Innkeeper 102

26 replies [Last post]
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04/17/2018

Hello,
I just recently accepted a job as an assistant live in Innkeeper and start in about a month. I would love some advice or even hear stories...the good, the bad, and the horrors. I have hospitality jobs in my background but never worked in a motel/hotel/inn/B&B ..thank you for any and all advice and stories. I am super excited to start this adventure.

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Joined:
04/20/2018

Congrats on that. It's actually really nice meeting people from all areas. We do have here and there once in a while tenants I'm trying to get more advertising out there and get more business here then once every few months. We have 5 rooms we rent out with private bathroom.

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Patty's Place

 

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Joined:
04/20/2018

Buras,la . We get tourism and gotten a few kyackers coming down the Mississippi . So so cool. Where is everyone's bnb and inns at may I ask? I'M ready to fully open the doors and burst my mom's dreams full force . I want to be so busy I have to hire help. It's so pretty and the history on it is FANOMINAL!

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04/20/2018

Hi there y'all. I'm from Buras, La My parents have a B&B. My mother recently passed away almost 4 years ago. I'm struggling to keep it alive. A light bulb went off in my head recently and decided to take it and put it all in Gods hands and just go with my ideas and see where it takes off to. skimming around on the net these past few days has opened my eyes to a whole new world on a B&B. Got me excited and ready to say the least. What do I do and where do I start? check us out at www.pattysplace.net and tell me what y'all think and if I need to fix anything.  Thanks, Nicole

 

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Joined:
11/21/2017

Hi Nicole,

First, congratulations!  How exciting.  I'm really happy for you.

Noticed a few things on your web site. On the home page where it says, "father and daughter" the right parenthesis is the wrong color.  Copyright on the bottom could be updated to 2018.

I highly recommend putting a "book now" or "Reservations" button into the body of your pages not just on the menu on top.  Experience has taught me that people don't read web pages and the most important things you offer really need to be in their face.    On your accommodations page each photo of a room could be a link to book the room or put a "book this room" button under each photo;.

"accommodations" is also spelled wrong.  It's spelled with one "m" on the page and the menu but should be spelled with two "m"s.

I also highly, highly recommend that you provide an actual online reservation experience for people rather than an email form.  People want self-service and to able to book their room easily.  A lot of people might see the email reservation form and leave without booking.  If you stay with the email form, then I would also suggest you add a phone number so that people can call and make a reservation.

Hope that helps!
 

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Joined:
11/21/2017

Sorry...I didn't read all the commentary before I posted my previous reply.

Morticia's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

If you are not quite ready for online reservations at least add a Google calendar that shows what rooms are available and what the price is. I won't call for prices.

This is a punctuation error you should fix on multiple pages: remove the comma, it doesn't belong there.

Let us be your, "Home Away from Home".

I'd consider changing the color of your font as it is very hard to read on a mobile device.

You need a bit of seo work on your page tabs. All they say is 'home' or 'history'. That's wasting some prime real estate! Those tabs should be used to highlight search terms your guests might use: your town name, your parish name, the general area (if your town is on the Mississippi, use Mississippi River somewhere on the tab).

Your website is nicely laid out, you just need to do a little tweaking so it is easily found by random people searching.

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Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

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04/20/2018

Thank you so much . I will work on that. I'm still trying to figure out how to work that website.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Patty'splacebnb wrote:
Thank you so much . I will work on that. I'm still trying to figure out how to work that website.

Do you have access to the website to make updates? If you didn't build it yourself, be sure you can make changes. It can be very expensive to have to ask someone to make changes for you.

Lots of us take care of our own sites so someone should be able to offer how-to advice if you need it.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Sorry about your mom.

It sounds like your plate is quite full so I'd take a few minutes, or hours!, to figure out with the rooms you have who you want your target market to be.

Do you want groups just on weekends? Are you prepared to cook and serve breakfast all week while trying to do day care in the morning? Can you leave your relatives alone who seem to need adult care?

Who does all the cleaning if your ideas suddenly take off?

Once you have figured out who your market is, you can plan a course of targeting those groups on Facebook and wherever else you find them.

We have 7 rooms here but no other responsibilities. I'd be exhausted with your schedule!

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Joined:
04/20/2018

Yes this sitting with my cousin is temporary til I figure out how to get the bnb going full time. Luckliy with them I do have a lot of down time cuz they sleep alot. So I work through my phone and research different ideas and my online school work. Just can't leave from here with him. I'm on the state clock. Even though it's in his home. I can't complain though. Our Target is everyone but the locals . Our locals trash the rental property down here it's disgusting I'm affraid to even try it. I'm looking into cooking breakfast on Monday going to call the health Dept.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

'Everyone' is too broad! But I know what you mean.

You've already highlighted fishing and hunting. Are you able to expand that? Can you offer a place to clean the fish? Can you cook the fish for the guests? Do you know anyone who would take the guests out fishing or hunting for a fee?

Would you want to focus on fishing trips?

What is there to do besides hunting and fishing? Are you close to any attractions?

As far as people staying because they are working on the area - where are they working? Have you met with anyone in those organizations to let them know what you offer?

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Hi Nicole, welcome, and sorry for the loss of your mom, good that you are there to share. Our daughter and husband joined us recently to help, old age comes too quickly.

I found this group a few years ago, lots of good folks, lots to learn. Gillum and others suggested online booking to me as well, hard sell since mom doesn't like computers, but it has been wonderful. I also use the Reservation Key program. Unlike Gillum we use a regular credit card processor and Authorize.net, we take a small $10 deposit when a room is reserved. It's nice to get an email saying a room is reserved and a deposit paid. The few that cancel and lose the deposit probably pay for the use of the system.

Even if a reservation is from an email or phone call we place it in the system which follows up for us with reminder and thank you emails to guests, good way to ask those guests to write a review or visit our Facebook page. Don't know if you "play" Facebook, but for me I enjoy the contact/comments with our regular guests and hopefully reach a few potential guests.

We are a mom & pop motel and not allowed to serve breakfast, but echoing Gillum I would see a (simple) hot breakfast as a plus, if allowed and practical to provide.

 

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Jim & Maxine

 

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04/20/2018

Thank you so much for your response. I value every pointer I can get . I am on Facebook which I'm about to clean it up and get family off of it. That's my biggest down fall is no one down here likes to see noone successful. Sad I know. And the 10.00 deposit is very helpful why I never thought about that one. I'm on air bnb, getting on VRBO we have a Facebook page, a website and on them buy sell trade sites on Facebook throughout the country. I try and target large groups on there. I work full time sitting with my cousin through the state of la he's handicap 60 hours a week, 2 teen girls, 1 boy, a husband and a 60 yr old dad plus I babysit from 5am to 7 am before school. AND take care of my aunt with her son I sit with she's sick and not doing good. I'm on overload.once the bnb kicks off good I'm downsizing my life to just that.

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Facebook, just so we are talking the same things, create a business Facebook page for Patty’s Place, this is separate from your personal page, use it to talk about things happening at the business 

i think it is everywhere that folks think because you are “ in business “ that it means you have no money worries, few understand we take in money with one hand and quickly hand it out with the other hand

Your dad is a young guy, my son is 55

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

My oldest son is 56 and my "baby" is 44. it was a bit of a shock to my system when my oldest hit 50.  In 2 years the first 5 of the 6 will ALL be 50 or over!

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

I am only 55 going on 56...

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I would suggest getting an online reservations program rather than the e-mail for a reservation.  People will just move on if they cannot reserve NOW! I use ReservationKey, you can take cresit cards onine or not, your call (I do not but most do - I generate an e-mail that you will get a call within 24 hours to get cc# for this real-time reservation). I also have it set up to NOT take same day in case I am not home, do not want people at the door.

I use Square for credit card processing - just need an iPhone or Android or with wifi an iPad. No contract and fees only when used.

Are you in a Parrish that does not allow cooking breakfast? Just asking, not criticising the Continental.

I do not know enough about web sites to comment. Looked nice.

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Joined:
04/20/2018

Thank u so much. My mom was all about pen and paper . She was a great note keeper. But our world has changed so much to online and that's where everyone's at these days. So I'm working every which way I can to succeed through online revenue for the bnb. We can cook I'm gonna call our health unit Monday to see about that. We do get the health Dept once a year inspection. We do cook dinner for them opon requested if they not from here. Like gumbo with seafood, fish alot, sweet tea stuff the south Cooks alot of. We offer cereal milk juice coffee waffles pancakes stuff quick and easy for them.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Today, while I was the Hospitality & bathroom for the Arts & Crafts Festival for my city, I came into the office to check e-mail and found a most appreciated and lovely reservstion for Friday night. Love my ReservationKey! She was surprised to get the call back so quickly and it is now a guaranteed rez.

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Joined:
04/20/2018

Yayyyy!

Lee2014's picture
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Joined:
12/11/2014

  Rejoicing with you!  It will be a ride of the year so get ready for some fun and Hard Work!  This website is a great place to learn and ask questions!

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Have a great day!

 

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Joined:
04/17/2018

Thank you.. I’m super excited and nervous as well... but I have learned so much in the few days I’ve been a member.

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Jusdt relax, be yourself, and ask questions. We want to help you succeed if we can.

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Joined:
04/17/2018

Awesome... Thank you Smiling

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Joined:
06/24/2013

Congratulations on your job.   It's a special industry.  Where is your inn?

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TBH

 

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Joined:
04/17/2018

Thank you. It’s in spring lake nj

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