Should I think about being an innsitter?

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seashanty's picture
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so, the inn is for sale and, after this season, i am moving on. i'd rather not go into the details of the 'inn saga', so please don't ask me as i'm sad about it.  anyway, i'm exploring my options.  my degree is in business administration and i could seek office work again.  have driven my past employers crazy!!!   painting murals in their offices and redecorating, and serving up coffee and treats to clients as i present proposals and bills.  sound familiar?

had innsitters as guests this week who encourged me to inn-sit. they belong to a group that collectively advertises.

if i do offer myself as in inn-sitter, what should i call myself?  just use my name or go with a professional little 'company' name or something silly?  your thoughts?

 

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Thanks JBL, I will look into that further!

Let me repeat that I I really did not expect  to be paid or to be an insitter without some kind of training, I wondered if this was a good way to see if we are compatible with innkeeping etc. 

I looked quickly at that link and saw that it was a per person price, I wonder if it would be best if we did that as a couple or separately at two different places...or ?

 

 

Morticia's picture
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Innlover wrote:

Thanks JBL, I will look into that further!

Let me repeat that I I really did not expect  to be paid or to be an insitter without some kind of training, I wondered if this was a good way to see if we are compatible with innkeeping etc. 

I looked quickly at that link and saw that it was a per person price, I wonder if it would be best if we did that as a couple or separately at two different places...or ?

 

 

Unless you and your husband will operate separate B&B's, you really need to see if you can work together. It will give you an idea of whose strengths will be compatible with which inn jobs. ie- you may turn out to be the plumber, while your husband turns out to be the social butterfly.

Once you've done one vacation together, then you can try separate vacations to see many other B&B operations.

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Test drive your dream job. 

Take this job and love it.  

You are not going to get paid to innsit with no experience and our inns are very CONFIDENTIAL, so not likely to just be opened up to a stranger while we are away.  But you can PAY for the experience.  Click here for more details

click here for the pgrm details

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Morticia's picture
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One of those listings says 'one one one' mentoring instead of one on one. Sounds interesting though to do that. I'm going to have to do more research on being a host inn. Could be fun!

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I would love to learn everything I could from you Bree. 

Morticia's picture
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MTLLodge wrote:

I would love to learn everything I could from you Bree. 

Keep reading...I share all on here, eventually...

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So, have you had any takers? that is a bit pricey requirements. How much of that goes to the lisitng site???

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That is so helpful! Thank you!

I wouldn't expect or need to get paid, but I would definitely want to help build not trash the inn's business while the innkeeper was away. My experience is minimal, my family owned a B&B lodge many years ago, but that was before utilizing online technology. I will see what I can find out about training. Actually I like the working vacation idea you mentioned, Bree. I will do a Google search to find out more.

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What? Is this still true? What does that mean timewise, when you say after the season ends? I feel as though I am just getting to know you. And from all that I have read I think you will succeed in whatever you want to do.

After getting a large dose of the harsh reality of being an innkeeper, I was actually starting a topic to ask about innsitting ( cuz I didn't see anything on it anywhere ) when I did a search and this came up. Wow. I am still speechless.

Anyway, I am wondering if innsitting would be a good way to see if my dh and I are really cut out to be innkeepers. We currently have 6 weeks' vacation every year so we could feasibly do it this year before we have to make a decision about our future.

Also, we haven't researched what location we want to be in either, so that may help us experience different locations, inn sizes and management styles. I dunno, kind of sounds harder than having your own B&B.

I would love to get the usual assortment of feedback!

 

muirford's picture
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I don't think you can plan on innsitting as a first step...but, I did innsit at a small place for a weekend by myself before we bought our Inn.  I had been to several aspiring classes, including one that this innkeeper taught, and she thought I had a pretty good idea of what was going on by that point.  I don't think you will find many innkeepers who would do that, though.  Plus, I worked for free that weekend - I just wanted the experience.  It was not a busy season, either, and it was only three rooms, but I had one room the first night and two rooms the second night.  And a water emergency because someone took a shower in the clawfoot without putting the shower curtain inside the tub.  And a smoke alarm emergency because someone lit a fire in a fireplace without opening the damper.  I learned a lot that weekend - mostly about what I wouldn't do if I had my own place!!

At least one organization of innsitters has training and certification available - that is Interim Innkeepers.  I have heard of a Professional Association of Innsitters but don't know if they are still in business.

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If you have never worked in an inn or been an innkeeper...I sure wouldn't hire you to innsit for me. I would think most people would want to use someone with innkeeping experience. They don't want to leave their inn in the hands of someone who doesn't know what is going on..SORRYSad

Morticia's picture
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Actually, rather than taking over someone's business while they are away, when you haven't a clue what you're doing, your best bet would be a working vacation. You go to an inn that has a 'working vacation' program and you work. You do all the tasks, with direct oversight by the owners. This way you don't have the opportunity to destroy their reputation while they are trying to relax on vacation far away. They are right there, putting out all the fires you are creating!

You get to see if 'this is the life for me' (sing along everyone!) and the innkeepers make a few bucks letting you do their jobs.

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Seashanty, I think you would be a wonderful innsitter. It is a path that I considered taking as well. I've looked into it briefly, but decided that with the kids and dh, it would just be TOO difficult to swing right now. I do know that on www.bbteam.com under the Needs/Wants section, there is a listing for an Inn Manager in FL...don't know how you would feel about that. You'd be going from one extreme to another, weather wise...

Good luck. I really hope you find what you are looking for. I also hope that you continue to post on this forum. It really won't be the same without you. You are a calming voice, always full of compassion and care.

 

 

greyswan's picture
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We just had a cancellation from guests coming from GA who couldn't find gas and heard that gas supplies thru NC were low, too. 

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Continuing off topic about the gas thing...

We had problems here.  There was gas in the pipeline.  Suppliers were getting their gas.  They decided to jack up the prices because there "might" have been a shortage with the hurricane.  There wasn't.  When the price came down, people went for the gas because of the previously jacked up prices, creating a shortage.  Our son couldn't get any gas in Atlanta at all...no grades.  Here, you could get premium at a few places.  Then, mid week when the new gas came in, the prices were still "low" and there is gas now.  We have a much lower average salary in our State, are closer to the refineries, fuel tax is not as high as quite a few places, and we are paying 35 cents plus more than most of you folks up North.  Hmmmm...

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gillumhouse's picture
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Due to Frontier Days, I have not been out the last couple days but saw from $3.97 to $4.05 depending on the station the other day.

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That is lower than here.

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There was an article on the news last night about the SE shortages. Showed the pipeline route to the SE and how that grade is in low supply...so that is the problem. Here in VA the Gov. passed a law so that we can use lower grade gas temporarily.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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greyswan wrote:

We just had a cancellation from guests coming from GA who couldn't find gas and heard that gas supplies thru NC were low, too. 

Have guests from Charlotte who are not here yet.  Hm. Wonder what is going on around there. I think they two rooms will be here together, hopefully they can have a vehicle between them all that will make it here and get gas here. 

Question, what did you do?  This is two rooms two nights, a big chunk of change for us.  I will have to give a GC if they call to cancel.  It is ALSO RAINING and they are here for a wine festival outside...?

greyswan's picture
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Probably should have done the GC thing.. we just let them cancel.  They are planning another weekend up and this time with more family members - their father was stationed at Camp Pickett in the 40's.  Their room did book for one of the nights and we got an extra night from another guest already here, so it worked out for us

gillumhouse's picture
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My brother is in Charlotte and e-mailed that if he can find gas, he is coming up next week.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

My brother is in Charlotte and e-mailed that if he can find gas, he is coming up next week.

They arrived and it was difficult to find gas they said.  They drove most of the way on fumes.

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greyswan wrote:

We just had a cancellation from guests coming from GA who couldn't find gas and heard that gas supplies thru NC were low, too. 

Have guests from Charlotte who are not here yet.  Hm. Wonder what is going on around there. I think they two rooms will be here together, hopefully they can have a vehicle between them all that will make it here and get gas here. 

gillumhouse's picture
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From what I heard on the radio the shortages are due to two things - people stock-piling when they thought the hurricane was going to disrupt the gas supply AND the grades of gas that are required for certain areas. there was a good supply of gas but not in the blend required for sale in some of the cities. Some blends require extra refining processes.

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For completely selfish reasons, I hope you do become an innsitter! I'd trust you completely with my hypothetical B&B!

I think you'd be wonderful at innsitting or innkeeping. I did read about an innsitter couple that travelled in a RV with all their cooking/cleaning supplies. They were profiled in the How-To book that I'm currently carrying around with me everywhere. I think RV's look like so much fun, and that would solve the transportation and in-between lodging issues.

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stephanie wrote:

For completely selfish reasons, I hope you do become an innsitter! I'd trust you completely with my hypothetical B&B!

I think you'd be wonderful at innsitting or innkeeping. I did read about an innsitter couple that travelled in a RV with all their cooking/cleaning supplies. They were profiled in the How-To book that I'm currently carrying around with me everywhere. I think RV's look like so much fun, and that would solve the transportation and in-between lodging issues.

RV's? You can buy a few right now.    The roads are clear of them with the gas dilemma.  Funny, a country singer who was born and raised here filmed a video this week at a local truck stop.  Stop laughing, it is true! I laughed then read the local news about him.  Anyway, he couldn't get out of dodge! I mean that literally, out of Nashville to get here, there is no fuel in TN and he couldn't get his butt over here with the crew to film with no gas.

I am sure there will be plenty of RV's for sale...are plenty.

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Yes, my friends  went down to the Biltmore on Monday. I had plotted out a few side trips for them..but they couldn't go anywhere..as there was NO GAS in Asheville!!! They said the week before it was $5 a gallon there. They only had 1/2 tank left to get them over the MT on I-26 so they were afraid they would run outSad 

I had thought about renting an RV this summer and spending the summer driving across country to Grand Canyon and surrounds...so much for that plan!!! I bet it will never happen now because there is no way I am traveling and paying for something that gets like 4 miles to a gallon!!!!!  OH well

Morticia's picture
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I don't want to jinx myself but why are there gas shortages in some places? I haven't heard anyone around here say anything like that but hear it from guests from TX and other points south. I went to NY last weekend, no problems in the 5 states I drove thru. At least no problems on the highways with gas or the price of gas, which was running $3.75 give or take a nickel.

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Bree wrote:

I don't want to jinx myself but why are there gas shortages in some places? I haven't heard anyone around here say anything like that but hear it from guests from TX and other points south. I went to NY last weekend, no problems in the 5 states I drove thru. At least no problems on the highways with gas or the price of gas, which was running $3.75 give or take a nickel.

Did I tell y'all about the lady driving up to me and asking "Do you know where there is any gas!"  Every service station in town was out.  This was the week of hurricane Ike.  That really put a lump in my throat.

My parents are west and coming back towing a 5th wheel and are having to plot it out and carry fuel in the back of their truck for those states.  TENNESSEE is a very long state!

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All they said was it had to do with the hurricane and no supplies being shipped in. Have no idea why there???

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Best of luck in your search whatever it ends up for you. 

I am glad you are now looking forward.

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I can't remember the name of the site..but go to the PAII site and look at innsitters. You can get an idea of what folks charge and what they do. We have several on our site who mostly do VA.

You would be great at it...but right now..I just don't know how much income that would bring in for you. THings are pretty tight. 

You would need to start marketing yourself pretty quickly...maybe send emails to the inns in Maine first. Folks need to get to know you before they will hire . Maybe you could do a few to build up some references. WE KNOW YOU ARE A GREAT INNKEEPER..but you have to build up a reputation as a GREAT INNSITTER.

Have you thought about looking for an innkeeper / manager position??? Sometimes there are listings at Paii or bbonline.

I know this is a tough situation you are in, but I think it is for the best that you move on with your life and think about YOU FIRST

egoodell's picture
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 I think you would be a wonderful innsitter and would work fine with anyone who really cares about their guests and B&B.

Riki

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Sorry to hear that, but know there are good things ahead for you!

Inn Sitting - what are you willing to do, and what is the norm for an innsitter? Maybe others can share their experiences.

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Seashanty, you have a knack!  You would be a great innsitter but I think you'd be even better as an innkeeper for a large property.  I don't know if you want something that is that big of a commitment though in light of just coming out of your present situation.  Everyday I see how the large inn here could use someone that has a passion for it as opposed to their current staff!

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I, too, think you'd be a fantastic innsitter, and would recommend you in a heartbeat.  In fact, I wish I were going somewhere and could afford to hire you!  You'd be fabulous at it!  But... obviously you'd have to travel, and not be settled in one spot...

Or... could you buy your own inn somewhere?  Or a house and convert it?

I think vacating is a very wise choice and I hope you land somewhere fabulous!!!

=)
Kk.

swirt's picture
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You'd be a fantastic innsitter!  I don't know how secure/steady the work is though.  I guess a lot depends on your willingness to travel.

I know of an inn in this area that is (was as of the Spring anyway) looking for someone to be the innkeeper long term.  I'd be more than happy to contact the owner and see if they still need someone if you have any interest.  (I'll email you the website)

seashanty's picture
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well, my goodness, how kind of you!  i think the biggest challenges would be doing things exactly the way the owner wants and being familiar with the various reservation and bookkeeping systems. 

i don't know what inn-sitters charge -- or are able to earn -- but i have earned very little as an innkeeper and managed (as long as i am able to have backup housing between 'gigs' it could work).  just exploring, it may not be the path i take.

from my research so far, i'm finding a number of 9 to 12 room places with owners who employ innkeepers all the time, they do not run the inns. this surprised me.  i am most familiar with owner/innkeepers who work 24/7 to get it all done alone ... whether it's a couple or a single innkeeper. 

Morticia's picture
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We just got the names of a couple who live on a boat and do innsitting. Obviously, they are somewhat limited to places where they can dock the boat and then get to the inn, but I'm thinking I might give them a call. (There IS a marina here.)

muirford's picture
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You would be a great innsitter!  I have some time off booked in the next few months if you want to give it a shot here.  Also, this was posted on the PAII boards as an opportunity - if you want the info, email me and I will give you the contact.  I didn't want to post it in case it is sensitive.

ThIs VA B&B is taking applications for a full time person or couple to work with and partner with Nameless, the owner who is a single Master Innkeeper. I am looking for either an experienced assistant(s) Innkeeper, or an inexperienced person(s) to intern/apprentice as assistant Innkeeper(s). On-site lodging is required and is provided as part of the compensation package in a new apartment on the first floor of the Inn. Monetary compensation is in the form of a salary at the management level for assistant Innkeepers, or at a training level for inexperienced innkeepers. Salary levels will be negotiated depending on your qualifications but will be competitive with the going rate for B&B cottage industry. If you know of anyone, give em a call.

gillumhouse's picture
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They would be beating a path to your door. One of my members was desparate to find an innsitter last year so they could go on a delayed honeymoon.

I think several on this Forum have used innsitters. I think you would be wonderful as an innsitter. Plus a larger inn would not phase you - you will think you are on vacation with 4 or 5 rooms and 6 will be a snap!

GeorgiaGirl's picture
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If you became an Innsitter, would you only work locally or would you travel?  If you would travel, who pays your expenses to get to the Inn you would sit for?  Could you make enough money to support yourself?  From everything that I have heard you say on this board I can tell you would be the best of the best

Morticia's picture
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Something that inspires confidence. You could use your name with a catchy tag line.

"SeaShanty Smith, PITA slayer'

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 I think it would be fun to come up with a fun or quirky name that people will remember.  Inn sitting might be a good thing.  I know in some areas there are shortages of them.  I think it could be fun to work in different b & b's.   Could you ever open up another b & b in the future?

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