In room land lines

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As I am trying to plan the opening of my B&B I thought I would ask more advice concerning a land line phone.

Does anyone provide in room phones or a general use landline phone for their guests?

I realize most people use cell phones but I would like to know if this is something that people would use or would I be better off concentrating on other amenities.

In an unrelated topic I will have wi-fi and would be able to fax documents for the guests.

Thanks again.

 

 

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Also if you click on a person's user name it will pull of what number they are when you look at the top of the screen where you put in your internet address.  The people who have been on the forum the longest have the lower numbers while the higher numbers are newer people.

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Barry_Manilow wrote:

Also if you click on a person's user name it will pull of what number they are when you look at the top of the screen where you put in your internet address.  The people who have been on the forum the longest have the lower numbers while the higher numbers are newer people.

Except for those who have changed their USER ID, and have been here from the start and now have a diff idea lest they find themselves being stalked or hunted by maniacs online... I see I am 187, but I am probably #2-10. Since we came here from another forum when Swirt created this one instead of us having third party ads and no control on the other forum. 

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I enjoy your questions so keep them coming.  When I started innkeeping I had never stayed in a B & B before either.  I had worked in full service historic hotels and had gained some experience there.  I also never took an aspiring innkeeper course.  Just dove in and did it with maybe two weeks training from the previous owner.  I'm in my 6th year now and highly rated on Tripadvisor.  I learn something everyday and have grown as a person dealing so closely with all these people who come through the doors.  One thing I might think about is the housekeeping aspect.  If you are having back and carpal tunnel problems you might need to get help with housekeeping.   Housekeeping for me is where most of my time is spent, 4 hours a day for months on end but I do have a very part time housekeeper in the peak months.

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Thank you for your feedback.  Everyone is entitled to their personal view.

Glad to hear I am not the only one just diving in head first.  As I mentioned I am only converting one unit at this time to test the waters.

My back apt. is a duplex with 3 bedrooms upstairs and bath.  Downstairs has a kitchen and living room.  It also has it's own basement with washer, dryer hook-ups.  Possibly considering renting that out on a weekly basis, kind of like a condo.  Time will tell.

I have considered my physical limitations and have thought about very part time help as well.  I will only be renting 2 rooms at this time so it should not be to bad.

I ironically go an online auction site and won a computerized vacuum.  It literally scans the rooms and does it's duty.  Automatically goes back to it's charging station when the battery starts to run low.  Then heads out, re-scans and starts where it left off.  Therefore if clothes or chairs are moved it has a new pattern.  Has to be the electrician in me. lol  You can also program it as to when to run.  Think what guests will think.  That's a real OMG moment.

I feel entering this business sort of resembles myself in college as a Science, Math major.  I was required to take electives to round out my degree so I took ceramics.  My instructor had her own shop in Buffalo, NY and encouraged me to continue as what I did with my hands vs. art majors breathed new life.  Many of my pieces were on display.

We all have different talents, inherent skills and fortes that can not be taught from a text book.  Isn't that great!

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Hello! Don't take this the wrong way. The best thing you can do with your new vac is sell it. We tried this and it is a cool idea. It's fin to watch, but doesn't do a good job at all. Trust me!

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Came so close to buying one since I hate vacuuming, but after months of research decided a good old broom and swiffer were going to be much more effective.  An older friend of mine got one for the holidays this year, she returned it in two weeks.  Worthless.  My vote for what it's worth is spend your money on a chambermaid if you can't do the floors yourself. 

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We looked at a place in Ellicottville several years ago. Also in Penn Yan, Canadaigua, Mumford and Geneseo.

 

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I forgot to congratulate you on your success.  You are surely deserving.

Hope I fair as well.

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I cannot remember which thread it is that you said you had never stayed at a B & B to post this there. If you have never stayed at one, how do you know that you will like being an innkeeper - it is NOT the same as rentals! How do you know how it should be done - meaning how a B & B does things. We are each different, but the basics are the same.

It was staying at one that made me think I could do it. THEN we attended many workshops and seminars. And after I opened my B & B I discovered what it REALLY was. Being an innkeeper is like getting old - it ain't for wimps and is a lot harder than it looks. (Especially when you get old to boot! My knees are screaming already and I have not gone up to flip rooms yet!)

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 Have you ever stayed in a B & B?  I suggest you do so and lots of them so you can compare and have something to base your own on. You MUST take an aspiring innkeeper course as well. Maybe offer to help out with a B&B in your locale to get some experience first. Attend a conference. Many states offer them as well as PAII

Most of the questions you ask have already been asked here and could be found by doing a search. Don't want to be abrupt...but most of us don't have time to repost everything we have said in the past. If there are others here who want to answer your questions again, I am sure they will. Good luck.

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Your abruptness is duely noted.  You always have the option of not reading my questions and not responding.  So far questions I have asked have been responded to with many different veiw points which is the idea of having a forum of this nature.  This site, I believe is for aspiring innkeepers as well as established ones.

I have attended classes and read many books on the subject.  But practical advice and more than one point of veiw is invaluable.

I understand a B&B is not the same as rentals.  That's a no brainer.

My reason for starting one started approx. 20 yrs ago.  I have an ideal location, have catered large parties of well over 100 guests at a time.

My current situation of being located 1/3 mile off the road and the golfcourse not allowing the school bus to drive down anymore inhibits my ability to rent to people with children.

Then when you rent, I do a month to month, you may not always "like" the people and you are stuck until you give them a notice to leave.  Also, tenants who live here many years begin to lose boundaries as feeling they own the property.

A B&B has different people coming and going all of the time.  I can be pleasant to the most rude people knowing that soon they will be gone.  Learned this as a bill collector for a trucking company and having worked as an electrician for 20+ years in a factory at one time employed over 15,000 people. 

Unfortunately I developed bilateral carpal tunnel, ulnar nerve problems and will need a joint replacement in my thumb.  So far I have indured 2 back surgeries, the last being a spinal fusion and may be facing a 3rd. surgery.  I am now on SSD.

I need to be able to increase revenue.  I enjoy cooking and can do so as it is not necessary to stand the entire time while I am doing it.

I don't think I need to explain these things to you and yes, each B&B will be different.  I am sure mine will also.

Like I previously mentioned, you do not have to respond.  Simply block me.

Thank you, 

Colleen

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Colleen848 wrote:

Your abruptness is duely noted.  You always have the option of not reading my questions and not responding.  So far questions I have asked have been responded to with many different veiw points which is the idea of having a forum of this nature.  This site, I believe is for aspiring innkeepers as well as established ones.

This beauty of this site is that the regulars are here (it's like Cheers- where everybody knows your name) and the newbies are here. We have over 1000 people on this site- many of whom are too nervous to post anything becuase they are half afraid to get slammed by a small percentage of the regulars for asking questions that have been touched upon 6 months or 4 yrs ago- common answer to a newbie's question is to "Just go search for it. We've already covered it." Blah, blah, blah.

The only dumb question is an unasked one. The group of people here changes, so therefore the answers will change. Ask away- that's what it's here for.

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Also, it's not just answering the same question over and over when a little search would show someone else asking the question and getting an answer, it's that some newbies don't do any research first. They find a 'resource' and milk it dry without contributing a thing.

It's always nice when joining a new group to share a little. 'Hi, I just found you and this seems like exactly what I need. I wanted to share with you something I found as well...'

Give and take.

When we get takers here we get grumpy. We all of us work very hard for our businesses and we'd like a little respect for that. And we'd like a little sharing. Even if it is just a simple thank you when questions are answered.

I will say that Colleen's jumping in with a million questions and then saying she'd never even stayed at a B&B but thought it would be easier than renting apts did bother a few people. Never downgrade what some people are doing for a living and expect them to roll over and play dead. For many, this is a 16 hour/day job. If you've never even stayed at a B&B, of course you have questions! Which is why a little personal research (and vacation!) is a great idea. (We're going to stay at a B&B I have always liked the looks of. Hope it lives up to the hype! DH wants to stay at a $59/night motel but I'm pulling rank!) We'll be about 2 hours from Colleen, so I'll report back and maybe she can take a little break and have a look see.

You're right, there are over 1000 user names registered here. (Altho, truth be told a very large percentage are spammers who have been blocked. See what fame and fortune bring? )

I've always been a jump first and think later kind of person so I jumped right in to my first forum without an intro, holy cow! Singed but not burnt to a crisp, I just came right back and showed my chops. Sure the regulars questioned my business acumen, but I was able to show that I belonged. BY SHARING. Not by taking all the time.

Here's how I do XYZ. Do you find that works for you?

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Madeleine wrote:

You're right, there are over 1000 user names registered here. (Altho, truth be told a very large percentage are spammers who have been blocked.

Where do y'all find out info like that? I've been here a couple of years and apparently haven't explored the site well at all. Is there a registered user list here somewhere? Does it show who has been blocked?

I occasionally think of an old timer who has disappeared from here and wish I could look up the last time they posted and see if they gave us a goodbye or something. I hate it when I realize, where is old so-and-so? Haven't heard from her in ages. Wonder what happened.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

You're right, there are over 1000 user names registered here. (Altho, truth be told a very large percentage are spammers who have been blocked.

Where do y'all find out info like that? I've been here a couple of years and apparently haven't explored the site well at all. Is there a registered user list here somewhere? Does it show who has been blocked?

I occasionally think of an old timer who has disappeared from here and wish I could look up the last time they posted and see if they gave us a goodbye or something. I hate it when I realize, where is old so-and-so? Haven't heard from her in ages. Wonder what happened.

I'm not sure the list is viewable but every once in awhile Swirt comes around and mentions how many people are signed up. I don't believe the banned user list is available at all because it would show the person's email addy.

 

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I'm sorry if I offended you or anyone else.  I did not mean to "down grade" what you are doing.  I believe I explained this had been a dream of mine for 20 yrs. and due to circumstances beyond my control, renting out apts. has become difficult.  Please do not down grade landlords either as they also deal with alot.

I am also aware of the fact that if I were not on disability now there is no way I could follow this dream as to me it seems to be a 24/7.  I am also single so I have no "help".  Hats off to everyone here and all of your efforts.  You are the people who made B&B's popular!

I think I have shared alot about myself and am sorry I can not contribute at this time as to what works for me as I have not actually opened yet.

I believe I have thanked many people for their response and also acknowledged the different points of view which I find invaluable.

Guess I have been singed too.  When I have something I can contribute I try.  Maybe it is only a suggestion or something I have seen at a store.

To all I have offended, I am sorry.  It was not intended that way.  Guess that's why I hate text messaging vs. talking on the phone.  There is no inflection in the voice and can often be misconstrued.

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 We do not provide any phones in the rooms.

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BBBBoB wrote:

 We do not provide any phones in the rooms.

I think the best way to get answers on these type questions is to make the question a poll.

We do not provide any phones in the rooms (either).

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double post..

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Colleen, you might consider MagicJack. They sell them at Walmart here, so they should be available everywhere. Consumer Reports investigated it a couple of years ago and said it really works. It's a good product.

You plug any regular phone into the phone jack on the little MagicJack box, then plug the MagicJack into your computer modem (cable modem or DSL modem). Then you just use the phone like any regular phone, but the calls are going over your Internet connection rather than the phone company lines.

All calls are free, even international. Directory assistance is also free. They assign a free phone number to each MagicJack box, so all guests would have a private line with their own phone number.

An alternate way to hook it up is to plug the MagicJack box into a USB port on an Internet-connected computer, so IF the guest has a laptop, they could make calls over WIFI without need to run a cable from the guestroom to your Intenet router.

The MagicJack costs about $35 (one-time cost). The first year of service is free. After that it's $20/year.

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That's a great idea. 

I had that rolling around in my head along with the other loose screws, lol but your pointing out the benefits helped alot.

The cell phone reception here varies by provider.

At one time I recall you could get a toll free number for people to call you on but I can't remember where or if it still exisits.  Have you heard of it?

Thanks again

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We have a toll free number and i am not sure I would bother if I did it today. almost everyone uses cell phones here and long distance is free.

Ice
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I don't even have a land line, why do they need one? 

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I have both land line and cell.  With my cell phone I do not receive a good signal here unless I am outside.

I know this house is old but I could swear it's walls are lined with lead because I am not even able to pick up an over the air television signal.

May be due to living below the escarpment that leads to Niagara Falls.  I used to live in Texas and never needed a telephone because everyone talked on CB radios.

When I put in my base station here all I could pick up was skip from Cuba or elsewhere along with Canadians.  No offense.  My grandmother was born there and half my family resides in Canada.

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Colleen848 wrote:

  I used to live in Texas and never needed a telephone because everyone talked on CB radios.

Hey,  we're not all red necks down here!  

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In the UK you can pretty much get good coverage with any of the majour networks ie Vodaphone or Orange anywhere as we are quite a small country and addicted to our phones.

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Guest land line phones are an unnecessary expense for your size of place.  Most folks have mobile phones.  In fact, more and more people are even ditching their personal land lines in favor of just having mobile phone service.

I only had two guests in two years require a land line and they were International guests who did not have a mobile for the U.S.  I had a portable phone for guest use in each of our houses that ran off our second line (which was only used for running the cc machine and faxes).  This worked perfectly for those guests without mobiles.  Other guests would sometimes use the portable phone to call locally here but that was rare.

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I have two phone lines.  One is my business line that goes only to  me and then I have separate line that is my residential line but it is also used for the fax machine/copier. I have a cordless phone system from Radio Shack connected to it as well.  I have the base unit in my room that plugs into the wall jack and each guest room has a cordless phone that connects to the base wirelessly so no lines are needed in the individual rooms.  I am able to call the rooms and they can call me if needed.  The phones are used occasionally.  I have great AT & T cell phone reception but other phone providers like Sprint don't work.  Often times guests can not use their cell phones.   I do get business people coming in from time to time wanting signed documents faxed somewhere.   I don't charge to fax them but will if I have an incoming just for the cost of the paper and ink.  I don't have a scanner for my computer so it is just easier to use the fax machine.  I also have a low flat rate of about $15 for the A T & T land line with unlimited calling anywhere in the US so it is not too bad.

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We've had guests ask if they could send and receive faxes when they are engaged in business deals where a digital signature is not sufficient. It's rare so I wouldn't bother mentioning the fax unless someone specifically asks. Don't forget to charge for it. Many times it is an international call and 10 pages!

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The company that we use is $36 a year for 25 pages a month or $72 a year for 200 pages a month. I pay a whole 5c a page to China. The worst is Cuba, Diego Garcia and Nauru at over $2 a page. Well... there is Iridium and Immersat, which are just silly at $9 to $17 a page! And we can just send a PDF and have that fax out.

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 No in room land lines here because most use their cell phones. But we do have a phone availble in the hallway if their cell isn't working.

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Land lines in a guest room? So it can take up space and never do anything? People have this odd thing called a mobile phone now. We leave a cordless if they want to use it. But basically Google Voice, Skype and mobile phones cover it. 

Fax line? What's that. You can get a virtual fax if you really need it and you receive your faxes as a PDF file. And you can send an email and it gets delivered to someone who apparently doesn't know what the Internet is and why we use it.

Only people at bureaucracies use antiques like typewriters and fax machines.

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Land lines in a guest room? So it can take up space and never do anything? People have this odd thing called a mobile phone now. We leave a cordless if they want to use it. But basically Google Voice, Skype and mobile phones cover it. 

Fax line? What's that. You can get a virtual fax if you really need it and you receive your faxes as a PDF file. And you can send an email and it gets delivered to someone who apparently doesn't know what the Internet is and why we use it.

Only people at bureaucracies use antiques like typewriters and fax machines.

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If you DID have a phone in each room, would it be an extension of your personal or business phone? Could people in one room listen in on conversatons of another room, or the inn's business. And what if they call Australia and talk for 2 hours?

Surely having each room have it's own private line and phone number would be very expensive.

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Skip the land lines. Focus on other amenities. Of course, if you live somewhere that cell phones don't work, you might want at least one phone guests could use with a credit card.

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When we first came here 2005 there was a switch board and each room had its own phone and it printed you a list each day of how much money to charge to each room. In 6 months the guests spent about $6 and it was about $400 a year to have the system serviced and if you needed it fixing we decided it just wasn't worth it. Pulled everything out and never looked back. We have about 2 little old ladies who require a phone and as we have any landline numbers called free on evenings and weekends if they use the phone then I don't charge as its free for me and good customer service. During the day I charge what i think is reasonable. But honestly we have two lines one for the card machine and fax machine as the online booking agents we use send bookings by fax and one line for the B&B however 90% of the time its diverted to my mobile anyway, however a side benefit of that is you can ring out on that landline while talking to people on the phone (ie me and DH). 

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yup unless there is no signal-i would not bother with a landline, and if you have a landline personal phone I would make that available to guests if they don't have a cell phone-only local calls though. Most guests have cell phones now a days...use your $$ for other amenities such as wify....

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 I had someone ask about faxing a document once. I just scanned it on my scanner/printer and emailed it for them.

Riki

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My guests have cell phones. We have a landline extension in one room (pre-dates B & B and handy for me if upstairs cleaning). Even when we have guests visiting locals and tell them it is free for local calls, they tell us - we have our cells but thank you. It DID hurt me when we had a local family stay here (I took pity on a hard-luck situation and provided 2 rooms for the price of one - insurance company paid) and they did not have cell phones so used mine as if it was theirs - even answering my phone! If I EVER go brain dead like that again, I will remove the phone BEFORE they come in. Do not waste any money on landlines for the rooms. Make sure you have a strong wifi signal - they bring their laptops, Kindle Fire, etc. I have not needed the fax for guests for a LOOOOOONNNGGG time.

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 Fax documents? This is 2012. Email is all you need, and online reservations. 

Is there cell service there? If so, no landlines required.

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 We don't offer land lines in the rooms. We do have a phone in the library which guests may use, but they never do. Everyone uses their cells. Nobody goes anywhere without them.

RIki

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As long as you have a good cell signal, I would skip the land line. We have no cell signal so we provide a land line to the guests and I STILL get some irritated guests. Like I have control over the cell signal!

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