I Resolve Not To.... in 2012

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Generic's picture
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Join me and list things that you resolve NOT to do in 2012 that you did in 2011. Here are some of the things on my list....

I resolve not to....

  • Create a special where I lower my price for single nights in the summer!
    • I did it in June of this year and not only could I have sold most of the rooms at regular price, the people who bought the special were mostly PITAs and tried to get extra nights at the special price. It brought in the wrong type of customers. I've learnt my lesson, I'm not doing it again.
  • Give away my garage space for free.
    • Hotels don't, why should I. I have property taxes to pay!
  • Forget to take a few days off before high season and after high season.
    • Clearly for my sanity, it's needed. Things slow down, I should just close for the weekend and relax a bit and recharge my batteries.
  • Be afraid to raise my prices if my occupancy is high.
    • Frankly, I'm worth it and people are willing to pay for what I offer.

Can you make a list of things you resolve NOT to do ever again?

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Let the business interfere in my personal life, family time and marriage.

I vow this every year, I vow this every day, then I work non stop and give too much to the guests and too little to those I love, who are most important. I overdue it and there is only so much energy in this body and I get too exhausted.  The balance is a tight rope walk, and when I am busy all I do is keep walking briskly forward and don't look down...but I need to pause and look. Getting to the other side is not the ultimate goal, it is the walk across the line that I need to find also  important.

 

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Generic's picture
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Ever since I decided that 6PM was our cut off and started doing self check-in at 6PM using door codes, I have managed to get a lot more of my life back.

We use a keypad and each guest gets their own code, usually their 6 to 8 digit phone number. We send it in email. But even if they don't get it, we can put a note on the door with the first and last digit and they have plenty of digits to fill in. And we have an SOS phone number under the sign, so they can call us, if they need to.

Time to put yourself higher on the rung and take back part of your life. It certainly made me happier this year than last.

Arks's picture
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I ran across some remote control keypad locks the other day that will be perfect from my guesthouse (4 vacation rental apartments I'm opening in 2012). The place will be all on-line reservations, self checkin, and with these locks I can delete codes and add new ones from any Internet-connected computer or even from my iPhone.

Also, the things will send me an e-mail when a particular code is used! Like, if the Smiths are assigned code 9441, the door will e-mail me when the Smiths arrive and enter code 9441.

Also, you can send instructions to unlock any door you want at an time. Like if there's a plumbing problem, the plumber can call me from his cell phone when he arrives and I can unlock the door for him without him having to enter a code at all. Don't know if I'll ever need to do that, but it's a cool feature.

They (Schlage) also have an optional thermostat as part of the system that would let me set the thermostat back after guests leave. That would save me having to drive downtown and do it manually, but of course somebody has to go in and clean the apartment anyway, so don't see the thermostat as that useful to me.

The locks cost about $100 more than a regular keypad lock, but for a vacation rental with absentee owner, it's well worth it!

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Generic's picture
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That is the lock that we have on our front door. Buy directly and they can help you get the parts you might need if you have non-standard doors. 

I set up my codes manually. But if you use the automated, the guest gets a 10 digit code that they can use to set up their code. No connections needed, it's based on the lock number and the time stamp you program into the door.

Some of the others have monthly fees, related to using mobile phone service to send the code. Or use the same time code, but hook you into using their software online so they get a monthly fee.

Madeleine's picture
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I've seen those keypads! Great idea. Some of them you can program so they will only work at certain times. You program it so the Smith's code only works after 3 PM (or whatever) on the day of arrival. And ceases to work at 11 AM day of departure. I have to do that manually, but I'm right here so no big deal.

They can also be set up to not work during certain time periods (for whatever reason). There were a lot of reasons on the site I saw for why you wouldn't want the codes available late at night, but that makes no sense to me. Oh, wait, it was set up so the STAFF could not get in after hours, that's what it was.

If you had a code for the plumber, it would only work the day the work was scheduled and only between set hours.

We have a separate code for the housekeeper. Whenever I'm on vacation, I take that code out of the door.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

I ran across some remote control keypad locks the other day that will be perfect from my guesthouse (4 vacation rental apartments I'm opening in 2012). 

of course you will want to have THESE in the guest rooms.

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

I ran across some remote control keypad locks the other day that will be perfect from my guesthouse (4 vacation rental apartments I'm opening in 2012). 

of course you will want to have THESE in the guest rooms.

Defeats those people who would try to use a magnet from the other side...

Arks's picture
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Just what I've been looking for! Two on each door (our downtown area is a really rough neighborhood).

Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Just what I've been looking for! Two on each door (our downtown area is a really rough neighborhood).

Egress. Always remember egress. Like Barnum Bailey: This way to the egress.

We have one guest room with only one window and I refuse to winterize that window in case the guest would need to exit the room thru the window and couldn't get it open because it was sealed. They could put a luggage rack thru it and egress that way I suppose.

Arks's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I resolve not to....

  • Create a special where I lower my price for single nights in the summer!
    • ...not only could I have sold most of the rooms at regular price, the people who bought the special were mostly PITAs...It brought in the wrong type of customers.

By this logic (which is good logic) you should raise your prices in summer rather than lowering them, to

  • bring in the right type of customers
  • make the same money, or more, with fewer customers
  • and work less hard as you do it
Generic's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I resolve not to....

  • Create a special where I lower my price for single nights in the summer!
    • ...not only could I have sold most of the rooms at regular price, the people who bought the special were mostly PITAs...It brought in the wrong type of customers.

By this logic (which is good logic) you should raise your prices in summer rather than lowering them, to

  • bring in the right type of customers
  • make the same money, or more, with fewer customers
  • and work less hard as you do it

And I have. I put my rates up midsummer and not a complaint and my occupancy didn't go down a bit. Just a matter of hitting the right customers... a little too expensive and they have too high a set of expectations... a little too cheap and you get the PITAs. It's just that happy medium that you need to try to maintain. Smiling We made more this year by October than the whole of the previous year.

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

 I am going to try not to turn myself inside out to try to please every guest.  NO early check ins and NO late check outs.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

Mine is not to be a soft touch and take the wafes and strays that no one else will take as they only want 1 night in the middle of something cos i feel sorry for them! so perhaps it should be - be more strickt about my restrictions!

Also as a to do - improve web site and work hard to reduce my commission bill!

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Madeleine's picture
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Let the guests dictate the terms.

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