Quantcast

B & B Turnover

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

Paisley

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
I was just reading the "Inn Pre-Sale" string. It got me thinking that, in my internet travels through the B & B world, I sometimes question - why so many up for sale all the time? Its a little scary. I mean, there are other businesses for sale of course and homes for sale, etc. but, when you think that someone has found THE place to do THE thing they want to do, there wouldn't be so much turnover. Of course there would be folks who realized (too late!) that this work/lifestyle simply wasn't for them. Then, there's the burnout. Understandable as well. I suppose there are other issues - life changes, relationships, illness, etc.
I would appreciate your honest input on this ...
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
147
Consider this...according to a recent press release by bandb.com, there are 20,000 B&B's in this country. (Maybe, maybe not, lots of places operate under the radar and never sign up for any memberships in any organizations.) So, if you're seeing 200 B&B's for sale at any given time, maybe more, maybe less, then 1% of these businesses are for sale. Which means 99% of them are still being run by somewhat happy owners.
Why it looks like so many are for sale is because you're looking at an aggregate. They are all listed together, in a place where buyers would look for them. There may or may not be a 'diner' brokerage out there, or a 'gas station' one, either. You could look under 'franchises' to see what franchises are up for sale and conclude the same thing...why are there so many for sale? Is this NOT the right biz to get into?
OTOH, this is a service industry. You are 'on' 24x7. It's easy to take something you've dreamed about doing for a long time and suddenly realize that it's a lot of work! Guests are not all sweetness and light. The 'confinement' of having to be tethered to the inn or at least a phone gets to people. You decide to go on vacation and realize that everyday you are gone you're losing money.
It does get old. Which is why you need a plan.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Bree gave you a good explanation. And I agree. After 7 seasons, I had to call it quits. Ours was just a "lifestyle" B & B...not in it to make a living in other words. It was more than a HOBBY because we worked really hard at it. But, there came the time, when I just did not want anyone else walking into my home. I was tired of "being on" 24/7. Even though we had wonderful guests and never really any problems at all...I just couldn't do it any longer. So now we live in our house and enjoy it ALONE :)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
Have you ever LIVED inside your business? With your whole family? AND you cannot put the closed sign on the door at 5pm, they SLEEP here with you, you awake to them.
Let me give my usual analogy:
Fish for dinner - 1st night broiled yummy, 2nd night grilled exellent, 3rd night blackened wow, 4th night fried super, etc etc for 5 years straight? FIsh for dinner 5 years solid wears thin. Fish for dinner is great - but not ALL THE TIME.
This is not suposed to be a lifelong business. Many go into this AFTER they retire thinking it would be fun. DO they get to go to the grandkids birthday parties on saturdays? Nope, what about their kids giving birth, can they leave the business to be there at the hospital? Nope. Nephews wedding? Nope. Holidays and special ocassions, Nope. What about simply hanging out with friends or going to a movie? Nope.
You are tied to your business day and night. There is NO getting away from it. As many people as you meet from around the world and country you are ISOLATED. Why do you think so many of us are on here for some fellowship? NO ONE UNDERSTANDS this industry.
We race out every Sunday to try to get to church - it takes the whole family to be able to get out of this place. We race in and people came up to me and said "Hey can you go downstairs and help with the "covered dish luncheon"?" Nope. I just served 12 people, stripped rooms, checked out, and have been working since 6am to get here with my family. ALL WEEKEND I HAVE BEEN WORKING. Now I want to be in church for an hour. Nope. NO ONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT WE DO!
If you aren't careful this business can chew you up and spit you out. The only romance in a B&B are the guests, the owners are too tired.
 

Paisley

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Consider this...according to a recent press release by bandb.com, there are 20,000 B&B's in this country. (Maybe, maybe not, lots of places operate under the radar and never sign up for any memberships in any organizations.) So, if you're seeing 200 B&B's for sale at any given time, maybe more, maybe less, then 1% of these businesses are for sale. Which means 99% of them are still being run by somewhat happy owners.
Why it looks like so many are for sale is because you're looking at an aggregate. They are all listed together, in a place where buyers would look for them. There may or may not be a 'diner' brokerage out there, or a 'gas station' one, either. You could look under 'franchises' to see what franchises are up for sale and conclude the same thing...why are there so many for sale? Is this NOT the right biz to get into?
OTOH, this is a service industry. You are 'on' 24x7. It's easy to take something you've dreamed about doing for a long time and suddenly realize that it's a lot of work! Guests are not all sweetness and light. The 'confinement' of having to be tethered to the inn or at least a phone gets to people. You decide to go on vacation and realize that everyday you are gone you're losing money.
It does get old. Which is why you need a plan..
Bree said:
Why it looks like so many are for sale is because you're looking at an aggregate. They are all listed together, in a place where buyers would look for them. There may or may not be a 'diner' brokerage out there, or a 'gas station' one, either. You could look under 'franchises' to see what franchises are up for sale and conclude the same thing...why are there so many for sale? Is this NOT the right biz to get into?
That certainly makes a lot of sense Bree.
 

Paisley

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
Paisley said:
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?
You can't just walk away.
You can't stop when you feel like it. (think of the EXPENSE!!! This is unlike a job you have invested hundreds of thousands to millions into your business - depending on where it is, did you see the other thread with the inn I had thought had sold, selling for $1.395 mil - they work til it is sold.)
The rooms are booked, you keep chuggin' on and have a goal of when to sell and move on. We have projects to complete for the next owner before we list it. We have been here 5 years and it is time to sell. Each owner brings more and more to this place. It never goes in reverse. So we all appreciate that.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
Paisley said:
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?
  • It's good for me to work hard and serve others.
  • It's good for my kids, too.
  • I meet interesting people.
  • I make money while working at home.
  • I'm the kind of person who pours myself into any job... easily spending 12 hours a day. Might as well do it at home and for myself.
  • I consider it an investment for the future... hopefully we'll be able to sell the inn someday and retire.
=)
Kk.
 

Samster

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
6,475
Reaction score
14
Location
South Carolina
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
Some of us are just cRaZy...or glutens for punishment!

Like many businesses where the owner pours their heart & soul into it, there's a tendency to not last much past about 7 years. Also, some people go into it with the goal to make a nice tidy profit on the real estate component.
My dh & I have the opportunity with our business to improve and maintain a couple of historic properties. I am a big convert into the world of re-purposing old structures. And the other best part for me, is that it's a great business to meet interesting folks from all over! The world comes to you.

 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
what keeps us here? Do you like working in a big organization where everyone hates their job but stays there? I'd rather work more hours in an environment that I LOVE!
I'm so jealous that I'm stuck here at UVA while my dh is at the inn. Yes, he has to do laundry but he's out taking guests wine tasting. What a life!!!!
Rik
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
147
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
Some of us are just cRaZy...or glutens for punishment!

Like many businesses where the owner pours their heart & soul into it, there's a tendency to not last much past about 7 years. Also, some people go into it with the goal to make a nice tidy profit on the real estate component.
My dh & I have the opportunity with our business to improve and maintain a couple of historic properties. I am a big convert into the world of re-purposing old structures. And the other best part for me, is that it's a great business to meet interesting folks from all over! The world comes to you.

.
Samster said:
Some of us are just cRaZy...or glutens for punishment!
OK, you have been serving breakfast for too long...'gluttons'. 'Glutens' are those guests who don't eat bread.

 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
I can give an input of a different perspective. I work as an Innkeeper Assistant. I've been there for 2 years now. I LOVE my job. I can't wait for my next work day. I love the people, the smells, the ebb and flow...everything. It is in my soul to be there. The work schedule sucks. I work Fri, Sat, and Sun. I work away from my family. I'd rather be with my family and work. When my dh is home with our kids, I have to go to work. I homeschool during the week and work there on weekends.
I can't wait until it's my turn to be an owner. I have seen the dirtier side of innkeeping such as employee issues, taxing issues, guest issues, website and marketing issues, and payment issues. And I still LOVE it. I KNOW that I can do it.
Why would I want to do anything I don't LOVE if I had a choice?!
It's either IN you or it's not. After purchase is a really bad time to find out it ISN'T in you.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
I can give an input of a different perspective. I work as an Innkeeper Assistant. I've been there for 2 years now. I LOVE my job. I can't wait for my next work day. I love the people, the smells, the ebb and flow...everything. It is in my soul to be there. The work schedule sucks. I work Fri, Sat, and Sun. I work away from my family. I'd rather be with my family and work. When my dh is home with our kids, I have to go to work. I homeschool during the week and work there on weekends.
I can't wait until it's my turn to be an owner. I have seen the dirtier side of innkeeping such as employee issues, taxing issues, guest issues, website and marketing issues, and payment issues. And I still LOVE it. I KNOW that I can do it.
Why would I want to do anything I don't LOVE if I had a choice?!
It's either IN you or it's not. After purchase is a really bad time to find out it ISN'T in you..
penelope said:
I can give an input of a different perspective. I work as an Innkeeper Assistant. I've been there for 2 years now. I LOVE my job. I can't wait for my next work day. I love the people, the smells, the ebb and flow...everything. It is in my soul to be there. The work schedule sucks. I work Fri, Sat, and Sun. I work away from my family. I'd rather be with my family and work. When my dh is home with our kids, I have to go to work. I homeschool during the week and work there on weekends.
I can't wait until it's my turn to be an owner. I have seen the dirtier side of innkeeping such as employee issues, taxing issues, guest issues, website and marketing issues, and payment issues. And I still LOVE it. I KNOW that I can do it.
Why would I want to do anything I don't LOVE if I had a choice?!
It's either IN you or it's not. After purchase is a really bad time to find out it ISN'T in you.
It is not a lifelong career for the majority. You do it for a few years and then move on to the next stage of your life. Look at the stats guys and you will see that. Which is what the thread is asking about. You can be the best, absolute best, and perhaps those are the ones who burn out the quickest! Everything you have is poured into it.
See I resent people saying that you must not be a good innkeeper or it isn't in you if you want to sell and get out after 3 4 or 5 years. I can tell you of a few Innkeeper extraordinaires who are selling. Every situation is different. Would you sell your soul to be an innkeeper? Sell your family? That is what it is for most of the time. This is from my experience and plenty of others. Like mentioned you cannot do what everyone else does - celebrations with those you care about.
 

Penelope

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
0
I agree wholeheartedly, JBJ. I am not disputing anything of the sort. I am totally agreeing with you that some people have it in them to do exactly what you say: pour everything into it, give up life as they know it, pass on celebrations with those you care about.
Some people are willing to do it and some people are not willing to do it. There is no formula for this. There is no "it's this way and not that way" for this". You are willing to do it. You were willing to TRY it. How many aspirings get on here and read a few threads and go "whoa, not for me" and are never heard from again. I see what the costs are and the sacrifices are and yet I STILL feel like I have to do this. Some don't have that "have to" in them about this.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
I can give an input of a different perspective. I work as an Innkeeper Assistant. I've been there for 2 years now. I LOVE my job. I can't wait for my next work day. I love the people, the smells, the ebb and flow...everything. It is in my soul to be there. The work schedule sucks. I work Fri, Sat, and Sun. I work away from my family. I'd rather be with my family and work. When my dh is home with our kids, I have to go to work. I homeschool during the week and work there on weekends.
I can't wait until it's my turn to be an owner. I have seen the dirtier side of innkeeping such as employee issues, taxing issues, guest issues, website and marketing issues, and payment issues. And I still LOVE it. I KNOW that I can do it.
Why would I want to do anything I don't LOVE if I had a choice?!
It's either IN you or it's not. After purchase is a really bad time to find out it ISN'T in you..
Yes it HAS TO BE IN YOU. You cannot make yourself or your partner want to be an innkeeper. YOU have to LOVE IT.
I did ...for 7 years...and when I could no longer say I lOVE IT...that was the time to get out for me. Fortunately, I didn't have to sell the house...we still live here and now it is just our home.
That is not the case with many others, who have to sell to get their money out of it. And, sometimes that can take several years to do so they are stuck there. SOme plan ahead and put it on the market knowing the time is coming, while others are burned out and have to stay because there are no qualified buyers now.
 

Paisley

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
This is all really very interesting to me ... I can almost feel the fierce love of it all from many of you. Very refreshing!
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,520
Reaction score
84
As has been said, each case is different. I have been open 12+ years (complete year 13 in July 2009) and still love it. As long as I have all (OK most) of my marbles, I will be running this inn - as of now. We did not expect it to ever be a "living" since it is 3 guestrooms in Podunk, but felt if the B & B paid the expenses of itself and the house (meaning if it made enough to pay all utilities, taxes, and insurance) we would be happy. He had Social Security (and I have now lived long enough to collect mine - yeehaa!!) to cover our expenses and between the B & B (early years) and his medical expenses, it took a whole 10 years to deplete my 401k.
We love meeting the people - sharing their stories, providing the shelter for the night. We are able to provide a stable for those traveling with horses so instead of the horses being in the trailer for at least 10 to 11 hours, 5 or 6 is it. (For those traveling from Canada they are already 12 hours when they get here and would be twice as much otherwise.)
DH says he would miss the people if I closed. I maintain that people pay me to come entertain me. Work - of course it is. Anything worth having is work. If it is not work - it is worthless.
I love being able to see something I started from scratch become a viable business when very few expected it to ever survive. And yes, the next owner will turn it into something better - I plowed the field and paid for the improvements, the next owner will have a few more inprvements I am sure, but they will be able to harvest the "crop" I planted and cultivated. By that time, I will no longer be around - physically or mentally - take your pick.
 

Samster

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
6,475
Reaction score
14
Location
South Carolina
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
Some of us are just cRaZy...or glutens for punishment!

Like many businesses where the owner pours their heart & soul into it, there's a tendency to not last much past about 7 years. Also, some people go into it with the goal to make a nice tidy profit on the real estate component.
My dh & I have the opportunity with our business to improve and maintain a couple of historic properties. I am a big convert into the world of re-purposing old structures. And the other best part for me, is that it's a great business to meet interesting folks from all over! The world comes to you.

.
Samster said:
Some of us are just cRaZy...or glutens for punishment!
OK, you have been serving breakfast for too long...'gluttons'. 'Glutens' are those guests who don't eat bread.

.
Haha! You got that...it was a joke

 

newinnlove

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?.
Paisley said:
Thanks to all of you for your responses. Certainly, I feel that you have spoken honestly and have shed a little more light for me on the whole business.
Can I take this one step further and ask, considering the experience and knowledge that you have on living inside this business, what is it that keeps you there then?
  • It's good for me to work hard and serve others.
  • It's good for my kids, too.
  • I meet interesting people.
  • I make money while working at home.
  • I'm the kind of person who pours myself into any job... easily spending 12 hours a day. Might as well do it at home and for myself.
  • I consider it an investment for the future... hopefully we'll be able to sell the inn someday and retire.
=)
Kk.
.
Your Inn is lovely Kk. I like your attitude about running an Inn. And with twins too! Go Girl!
 
Top