How Long Until I Am Jaded?

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Arks's picture
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So far my new business has hosted 4 reservations (2 couples, 2 individuals) but all had some local connection for staying. Two were booked by locals who had friends coming to town and wanted to put them in my place, one was booked by the local tourism assn. (speaker at the annual tourism banquet), and of course Innkeep.

Tomorrow night a couple arrives for two nights from 750 miles away. On the reservation they wrote "found you on the web". So they're my first "real" guests who are total strangers who have no connection to my town, as far as I know.

My questions, for you old timers (sorry, not referring to age, but experience).

  • How long before I stop looking up their address on Google Maps, and wandering their neighborhood on street view, just because I'm so happy they are coming?
  • How long before I stop running down to the guesthouse before they arrive just to make sure the keypad code I set for them will really work for them. When will I trust my equipment (which has worked flawlessly so far)?
  • When will I quit wishing I could be a fly on the wall to hear what they say when they enter their apartment?
  • When will I stop worrying that I've forgotten something they will need? People have stayed in both apartments now, and survived, but I keep thinking I must have forgotten to supply something!
  • And of course, I've already asked how long before I forget to disarm the burglar alarm when guests are arriving that day!

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10 & 1/2 yrs here and have no time to do these things. Just take them as they come. I run the whole show, me ,myself & I  but just 3 unites.

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Innkeep's picture
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Hi Mary, good to hear from yoiu.

How are you enjoying your retirement?

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I never researched the guests beforehand...no time.  But, if they were interesting to talk to and revealed an interesting occupation after staying here, I would look into them then.  Smiling

When you get busier, I imagine you'll stop being so excited over every single reservation. 

If you are a perfectionist, you'll never stop obsessing over the details! 

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People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

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06/24/2008

Sooooo Happy for you Arkie.  Glad you are enjoying your new venture and hope that joy continues for as long as you wish to keep doing what you are doing! 

No lies here - there are ups and downs after 15 yrs but overall I still am excited when guests arrive and I too love to see excitement in THEIR eyes when I show them around.  The ones that say 'your website does not do justice' is just what I want to hear as well.  IMHO you want to exceed their expectations and that is one way to do so.  Of course being too humble on your site doesn't get them to your door for the judgement! 

Keep that enthusiasm, it makes for a great innkeeper! 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

OK, so tell me how long before I stop notifying every family member and close friend every time a reservation comes in?

Just got a woman from Denver coming in for 3 nights next week! In town to do training for the local hospital. Says she's here once a year and she usually drives daily to the city 45 minutes from here (population 70,000, ten times our size) that has a B&B, but she was so happy to run across me on TA!!!

Glad she checked! I've only been on TA for a couple of weeks! Have only one review, but it's glowing. THANKS, INNKEEP!

Joey Camb's picture
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Its all about getting the first one = I don't think members of the public really understand how to put on new properties as its a bit of a faff so they just let it go. Once you are on it will be easier to get more reviews

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Online reservations are like prezzies under the tree from Santee Clauz!  Wake up and voila there they are waiting for you... yes

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gillumhouse's picture
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In 17th year and I still YIPEE when taking a rez.. We still look forward to the arrival.of guests.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

after 12 years I still get excited...and nervous! Can I suggest you don't google their address or them before hand? It sets up expectations and stereotypes that can drive you nuts. If you have to, look them up after they've left. The only time I do it is if they're a PITA or have that 'holier than thou attitude'. Last one was a couple weeks ago AFTER they left. They bought their house for 1.5 million and he was a physician/psychiatrist. Yup...then it made perfect sense to me. Those are the worst!

Oh yeah, and they had the cheapest, smallest, least amenity room...go figure!

Still, I'm not jaded after all this time. Sometimes disappointed, angry, hurt, euphoric, excited, thrilled. And all of those emotions in just a couple hours!

It makes me smile to see your enthusiasm!

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10/07/2008

Speaking of road trips...

Oh you weren't?

Come on fresh face, get on the innteractive inns blog... you know my email address. Send it on over. I KNOW you are a great road trip from a nearby big city...

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I promise I won't keep boring y'all with every little thing, but I was so happy tonight to meet my guests who arrived this afternoon. They were returning to their apartment about 8:15 from a stroll of our downtown, and I ran into them as I was coming out of "Innkeep's" apartment.

They said the photos on the website looked beautiful and that's why they booked, but now they know the photos don't do their apartment justice, it's much better than they expected. That's exactly what I want. Photos look great, but with an actual experience that's even better than expected.

I'm badly in need of a PITA to  bring me back to reality.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

I ran into them as I was coming out of "Innkeep's" apartment.

Don't anybody get excited, I've been back home now for 4 days.blush

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Arks you don't want to know the answer.  sad

But I will tell you... 

It happens to all of us, when they disrespect your hard work, and then you have this monumental let down.  When they don't love everything like you had hoped they would. Acting as if what you have for them is crap! That is one that gets most of our goats, as you can see from the forum and those who don't run an inn don't understand how much skin is in the game, blood sweat and tears. For some, it is never enough...no matter what.

Treating your place like a sleazy motel on the side of the road is the one that also beckons this, but you can just call them ingrates and be done with them. We will all give you a "poor baby" forum hug, and say "It happens" not will it happen, but when.

Meanwhile enjoy this high you are on, there is nothing better than enthusiasm, and we are sharing in it right here and loving it! yes

Madeleine's picture
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True. It IS exciting to see the enthusiasm. Another reason I love coming here to chat. Someone is always doing something they're proud of and excited to share.

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Arks's picture
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Yes, hope I keep the enthusiasm and desire to make for a perfect stay. I can't imagine I will ever stop wanting the place to look its best when they arrive.

I checked an apartment yesterday after the cleaning lady left, making sure it was ready for an arrival today. She left the toilet seat up! And a bottle of Windex was sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor! This won't do. Must create a checklist and insist she really check certain things in each room before leaving.

But I'll still want to check it myself, even if she starts doing it all right!

Innkeep's picture
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I checked an apartment yesterday after the cleaning lady left, making sure it was ready for an arrival today. She left the toilet seat up! And a bottle of Windex was sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor! 

I find myself in that same category.  You think a bottle of Windex is bad?  I've left a floor steamer in my all tile shower twice in the last 6 weeks.  That's after I check and recheck the rooms.  There is a saying  "Why can't an old woman have a baby? - Because she'd forget where she put it!"

Madeleine's picture
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I was showing the new GM of the HGI around here one day and we went into one room that we had completely forgotten to clean. I said, 'Thank goodness I'm showing you around before the guests get here! How embarrassing would this be???'

We've left the vacuum cleaner in the room as well.

If I see something left behind when doing a check-in I say, 'Well, THAT'S where that got off to!'

Arks's picture
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Innkeep wrote:

I find myself in that same category.  You think a bottle of Windex is bad?  I've left a floor steamer in my all tile shower twice in the last 6 weeks.  That's after I check and recheck the rooms.  There is a saying  "Why can't an old woman have a baby? - Because she'd forget where she put it!"

Hilarious! And I completely understand how it can happen...repeatedly!

Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Yes, hope I keep the enthusiasm and desire to make for a perfect stay. I can't imagine I will ever stop wanting the place to look its best when they arrive.

I checked an apartment yesterday after the cleaning lady left, making sure it was ready for an arrival today. She left the toilet seat up! And a bottle of Windex was sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor! This won't do. Must create a checklist and insist she really check certain things in each room before leaving.

But I'll still want to check it myself, even if she starts doing it all right!

I hope you can get yours to follow the checklist. Mine insists she is so why I am finding unvacuumed floors, shades drawn and lights not working? Sigh. Another summer temp.

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Madeleine wrote:
I hope you can get yours to follow the checklist. Mine insists she is so why I am finding unvacuumed floors, shades drawn and lights not working? Sigh. Another summer temp.

I sometimes wonder whether ours can even read. They looked at the checklist, and then put it aside....

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Iris's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Yes, hope I keep the enthusiasm and desire to make for a perfect stay. I can't imagine I will ever stop wanting the place to look its best when they arrive.

I checked an apartment yesterday after the cleaning lady left, making sure it was ready for an arrival today. She left the toilet seat up! And a bottle of Windex was sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor! This won't do. Must create a checklist and insist she really check certain things in each room before leaving.

But I'll still want to check it myself, even if she starts doing it all right!

Yes, for your peace of mind, you will want to check after the housekeeper is finished. I do that by doing the job of adding the towels and soaps, coffees, etc. That way I see the entire cottage and I know I am the last one in there before the guest arrives

 

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Madeleine's picture
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Under this topic, let me ask (because I am getting jaded) - early morning phone call, didn't answer I was asleep. Email from a large GDS I do not list on referring to phone call asking me to cancel a guest rez and refund the deposit. Guest name correct. Arrival today. Weather is bad where they live. What would you do?

Generic's picture
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Call guest directly, since you don't deal with GDS.

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Generic's picture
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PROZAC

Madeleine's picture
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You're still obsessing? Stop it! In reality? About 2 years before you stop worrying. But you can stop goggling their addresses today.

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

It's been 24 years for us and we still do all those things!   Just yesterday a couple who stays every year in the cottage arrived for their annual 4-night stay.  So yesterday I spent the day fussing to make sure they had coffee, 1/2+1/2, homemade brownies, plenty of fresh air, AC, gas stove (we are in one of those in-between season periods where either it's too hot or too cold!), and nice variety of DVDs.  When you get busy enough you won't have time to research them and will learn to fret over only the things you can control.  Otherwise you will be "spent' after 6-7 years.  

Congratulations on a job well done!   Now that you have created lovely apartments you can wind down and let them do their magic on your guests!

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Joey Camb's picture
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You might want to think about a questionare ie what did you like/ what didn't you like? anything you would like added? quite a lot of it will be rubbish but just now and again there might be something you hadn't thought of!

Arks's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

You might want to think about a questionare ie what did you like/ what didn't you like? anything you would like added? quite a lot of it will be rubbish but just now and again there might be something you hadn't thought of!

Have that already. Thanks!

Iris's picture
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After 19 years, I still do most of these things. If they are new guests, I always wonder how they like their cottage. Are they comfortable? Did I leave enough coffee in there for them?  What did they say to Mike? What does Mike think they think?  

If we didn't care, we would not be in the business. If we didn't care we would be rich like Hiltons.  Hope that you don't ever lose this concern. If you do, it's time to find a new way to live

 

 

Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

For the first few years we would drop off a questionnaire.  The last night of their stay. Most filled it out and in the morning we would pick it up and give it a read. It truly helped us see if we had everything in the suites that meet the needs Plus. Now every few years or so we do the same, just to see if perhaps we have over looked some thing they might need. Or that they would like to see. Then we would sit down Hubby and I , decide if that was some thing we would or could do.

We have a check list for us every time a guest leaves to make sure we have every thing in the suites   slippers, house coats, coffee, teas,waters,and so on. That way we are not likely to miss the main ingredients to make their stay a good one.

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Flower

 

Iris's picture
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Flower wrote:

For the first few years we would drop off a questionnaire.  The last night of their stay. Most filled it out and in the morning we would pick it up and give it a read. It truly helped us see if we had everything in the suites that meet the needs Plus. Now every few years or so we do the same, just to see if perhaps we have over looked some thing they might need. Or that they would like to see. Then we would sit down Hubby and I , decide if that was some thing we would or could do.

We have a check list for us every time a guest leaves to make sure we have every thing in the suites   slippers, house coats, coffee, teas,waters,and so on. That way we are not likely to miss the main ingredients to make their stay a good one.

Long story short, you do care for as long as you are an innkeeper wink

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