Interim Innkeeper/Innsitter suggestions

4 replies [Last post]
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Joined:
02/11/2018

As a former B&B owner, I'm interested in going into the inn-sitting business with my husband when I retire in June. I never used an innsitter in my own business, so please give me some ideas of what current innkeepers want when hiring someone. You're my focus group!

InnSemiRetirement's picture
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Joined:
06/26/2009

I used to have my own B&B (6 rooms) and now I innsit. It is a part-time pursuit, and I haven't done all of the things that I will suggest to you, so pick what suits you.  Before you do any of this, decide on what services you will offer, what size/style B&Bs you will target, what rates you will charge, including travel and minimum stays. It's a lot like having a B&B.   Research other innsitters, but know that this things vary widely, so be prepared to make a decision that works for you even if it is not the norm.

- most of my regular clients are within a 3 hour drive. Pick a distance you are comfortable with and send emails or letters to them with your proposed rates, credentials, etc. - follow up with a call (but don't be insulted if you get hung up on) to see if there's interest.

- join the Interim Innkeeper's Network. Many jobs are sourced through them, and it is 'one-stop' shopping for innkeepers.

- go to your state association/regional/AIHP/PAII conference.  Maybe as an attendee, not a vendor, especially if you have been out of the business awhile. Things have changed a lot in the last ten years in the industry.

- what Tom said.

Offline
Joined:
10/04/2015

I want someone that can use a computer, reply to emails and take reservations put them into the computer - I have staff to do the cleaning and they can check in guests when on duty so in the main need cover in the evening.

Tom
Tom's picture
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Joined:
10/11/2009

First few years, we used two professional innsitters; now work with two local ladies to fill in when we are on vacation.  In 2017 that was a total of 8 weeks (daughter and new baby in France)!  Usually we vacation in "shoulder season" so as to not have things too crazy.  We like to handle wedding weekends, graduation, etc. ourselves  Innsitting worked very well, we got favorable reviews from their tenure.  It pays if you have enough guests: we actually netted enough money to pay for our trip to France.

Key for us was the cost to pay a professional innsitter stay when we had no guests, typical of "shoulder".  Professionals came from far away and it wasn't practical to have them go off duty; the local ladies are happy to go home for a few days if there is no one at the Inn so they can garden, feed dog, feed husband.

So ... I advise you to start local.  Look for inns within an hour's drive.  That lets you meet face-to-face to build confidence with a potential customer and makes it easier for you to be flexible in response to varying demand.

We have several innsitting members on innspiring, and they may also advise.  We have had some controversy in the past about the subject with some very protective innkeepers (remember "rocket science" y'all?) who could never trust their baby to a stranger.  But if you can make a tour, to meet up, bring a physical scrap book with photos from your glory days showing your beakfasts, your reviews, level of housekeeping.  Use a pitch that you can be there in a pinch, as a lot of innkeepers really lack a back-up plan for illness, out-of-town family emergency, etc. even if they are too hard core to actually take a vacation themselves.

Morticia's picture
Online
Joined:
05/22/2008

So, think back to your experience - what would you have wanted the innsitter to be able to do?

Was there a reason you never hired an innsitter? It could be you just didn't need to, but if there were specific negatives why you didn't, those haven't changed.

I would look at the websites of people who do innsitting and see what they offer. That will give you a good idea what innkeepers want.

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