#1 most important thing to do first after buying an inn?

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09/10/2018

Hey all! I just want to first say THANK YOU to you all for how much advice and tips I’ve learned since we started this crazy leg of our life by buying an Inn!! You’re all the best!

We take possession of our property next Wednesday, Jan. 9th!! 

What is, in your opinion, the first thing (besides having a toast and celebrating our new adventure) business-wise, you would do?

Thanks all!

ChrisandShelley's picture
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04/13/2014

Congratulations on this next season of your life. I can't think of anything to add to anything else here. One of the first things we did when we started was make it our own by redecorating some. We actually talk about that in our latest YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/8DPaCRVxG4c

__________________

Christopher and Shelley Smith, Innkeepers
The Wildflower Bed & Breakfast, Mountain View, AR

 

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07/12/2016

Congratulations!!   I would add, get all the utilities transferred to your name.  Find out account #s, security codes, passwords etc.  I had a very difficult time with AT&T getting the phone #s transferred to my name because I didn't have the account numbers and security code.  The phone numbers had been around a very long time, listed in who knows how many places over the years, and I didn't want to lose them.

Also, if you have a master key for all your rooms, find out the locksmith who made the original.  

Find out if there are any outstanding Gift Certificates out there.   We've had folks with GC over 10-15 years old looking to reserve and we had no data on them.

Lastly, if you don't have it physically, find out where they printed their stuff for the art work, original photos, logo, font, etc.  It took me a while to find out the font of our logo.

Question to you.  Why did you change from RezKey to Checkfront?

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09/10/2018

Thanks, we did all that. The previous owners were admitted technophobes and it was a struggle getting all our intellectual property under control but it now is. I redrew the logo myself since all they had was terrible jpg copies of copies of a crappy logo. I photographed the sign on the road that was the original logo design, done by hand, carved into a wood sign, and redrew it in illustrator creating an industry standard vector file. We have all our domains, phone numbers, and I’ve already redesigned the website, the rack cards, business cards, etc. (I’ve been in the business for over 25 years, marketing and materials is no problem for me).

I dislike res keys interface, it’s very 1998 windows computer to me. Others like it a lot and bully for them. I wanted something that would reside on my own website, not a redirect, which is a big deal to google and my SEO. Checkfront is an inline embed system, which means google indexes see it. Retaining visitors on our site also means a lower bounce rate, again, good for SEO. Checkfront is not just a lodging system but a booking engine for many industries, I like this because I’ve been able to tailor it to my needs, instead of having someone “on-board me”, I am in control of my data and my look. Once we settle in, i plan to rewrite a lot of the CSS to change the look to better suit my needs, as well. The price is about the same as others ($80/mo. for Checkfront, $50/mo. for MyAllocator) and so far so good. We are getting bookings easily direct and MA is taking care of the rest, although I’m really hating the OTAs at the moment. 

Hope this info helps answer your question.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

IF the booking system resides on your website, are you liable with the PCI question? Just curious.

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Joined:
09/10/2018

gillumhouse wrote:

IF the booking system resides on your website, are you liable with the PCI question? Just curious.

No, the system resides on Checkfront's servers, it appears on my site in an iFrame using HTML5 script. It's a fully secure system, but my website is also SSL certified. 

Lee2014's picture
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12/11/2014

  Perfect!  Glad for you.  The first thing to do is be ready for the impossible-I-can't-believe-this-happened situation because it is just around the corner!  Keep a diary or journal.  You will love reading it later on!

__________________

Have a great day!

 

Morticia's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Before the previous owners head off into the sunset be sure to get their phone list of who to call in an emergency.

We had owned our place less than a month when the sewer backed up into a guest room. Without the plumber's info right at hand, it would have been a larger disaster than it was.

Get a list of all the passwords for all the accounts you're taking over. We had to get a lawyer involved to get the password for the website!

Get a list of every website the place is listed on.

Good luck!

__________________

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

 

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Joined:
09/10/2018

Thanks! Your advice on this forum is invaluable and I respect your tips! We have this per contract. It helps that I'm a web designer by trade (designer by trade for 25+) years. All I will need is the domain log in and I'm good. AIR is making me create a new account. Trip Advisor, expedia are able to switch us over. haven't heard about Booking.com or others yet. We are switching from ResKey to Checkfront/My Allocator for accomodation/PMS software. I've already got the new set up ready to go. Just going to switch it over on the 9th. I'm also an expert on SEO and online marketing, I do it for all my clients. I hope it helps!

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

I'm going to chuckle here, but it's really good-natured and not mean - you're going to take care of 11 rooms, build a website, continue with outside clients, handle marketing, laundry, cooking, maintenance, guest relations, etc etc in the same 24 hour day we all have?

 

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09/10/2018

The two previous owners, each couples, were doing it before us with no problems and they were doing it the hardest ways possible. We have implemented so many time saving ways of doing things, more practical and cost effective things in just the month we’ve owned it, I believe we will manage all of it and more in less time than you can imagine. My wife will work at the medical clinic 3 days a week, essentially paying all of our bills with her job, we hire out the $10/hr. jobs and do the $100/hr. jobs (as our broker told us and it’s good advice). My monthly design clients are pretty easy going and excited for us, there will be time to take on new clients and from what the previous owners tell me, there was lots of idle time between job duties, boring as they told us. And we believe they were half assing it as innkeepers. All that said, I hope we haven’t underestimated our abilities but I’m also hoping your cynicism, no matter how good-natured, is wrong.

Camge's picture
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09/27/2014

Congratulations. It is a pretty amazing journey❤️

__________________

Cam Gelb

 

Camge's picture
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09/27/2014

Congratulations. It is a pretty amazing journey❤️

Camge's picture
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09/27/2014

Congratulations. It is a pretty amazing journey❤️

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Joined:
09/10/2018

Thanks. It's exciting. I think as much work as it's going to be, we're both looking forward to all the fun things we get to do while updating this place and making it ours!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Get a good night's sleep while you still can.

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Joined:
09/10/2018

Thanks, that's a good one! We will definitely try to do that. We've been in such limbo waiting for everything to happen this whole time and over the holidays, I got lots of rest. My wife started feeling guilty sleeping in so much but I told her "we're about to hella-busy, get all the rest we can!"

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