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sgruning

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We own an Inn, not a "B&B" per se. We do not live at the Inn. In fact, we live 5 hours away. We do have a housekeeper and manager in the immediate area. We also have our second home there so we are there frequently and plan to retire there as well. There are so many extras I would like to do for my guests, but it costs every time I have the housekeeper there. This is one of the reasons my rates are average. I feel we have a very nice, very spacious guest suite that we offer. We do get many repeats. But for example, like making the bed, my housekeeper would have to keep going back to the Inn to see if the guests have checked out or not. We do not have a kitchen at the Inn at all, so breakfast is out, although I partnered with another Inn to purchase a "breakfast basket". I think I might start having a "welcome basket" placed in the suites as a nice ammenity. My bottom line issue.....budget. I hear and see all these great ideas, but they all add up. I did post a while back about having conditioning shampoo in the room and many of you responded I should. I took this constructive criticism to heart and did purchase a box of conditioning shampoo with our logo (matches the soap). I have monogrammed bathrobes, towels, etc. I have a nice coffee bought from a local coffee maker (Prarie Fire Roasted), assorted teas, kitchenettes, etc. I have also been looking at where all my competitors market their lodgings on-line (BBOnline, Bedandbreakfast, BNBFinder, Pillowsandpancakes, the bedandbreakfastdirectory.com, etc.). Then there is the chamber and the dues, taxes - state, local, county, tourism tax, business property tax, cable, wi-fi, utilties, toll-free, webhosting, insurance, etc., I am struggling with all the costs. I do not pay myself, only the housekeeper/manager.
So bottom line question, how do you pick in choose? Do I raise my rates? Much of the updating we have done we paid out of pocket. Luckily I am an adjunct professor and this extra money goes into the inn when we are short through the winter months. Any suggustions on who you list your property with, the value add to it or how you manage in general? Just 3 more years until we move there full time.
 

Samster

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If the costs are too high to run as a B&B and it's difficult to manage from out of town, why not just rent the house out?
 

Alibi Ike

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Why are you operating an inn? What's the purpose when you are so far away and have to hire staff for every little thing? A housekeeper and a manager? For one room? (Sorry, don't remember how many rooms you really do have.)
Why not a manager who does the housekeeping? Have it as a weekly rental- a self-catering rental. Guest handles everything themselves and cleaners come in when they check-out.
 

gillumhouse

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When I do Aspiring Innkeeper classes, I tell them the beauty (for me) of having a B & B as opposed to a "storefront" business is that I have to live somewhere - no extra utilities, taxes, rent or mortgage - and many expenses of the house can become deductions.
Yes, I live here. I am the staff and I do not draw a salary. Winter months when guests are few and far between, I subsidize where needed. Once my honking loan payment is paid off, things will be easier. Living here I am onsite if there are any problems - such as the morning of a full-house and the drain in the shower decided to divorce the drain pipe (water all over the dining room floor and a ceiling tile soaked and kissing the floor). Or when the
kid put the security lock on the room deadbolt - twice!
As stated by others, you have a vacation rental/guest house, not a B & B. You do yourself and the B & B industry a disservice to call it a B & B - no offense meant, just stating how I feel about it.
 

seashanty

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the op does say in the very first line of the post they 'own an inn not a b&b per se.' i looked at the website and it looks like a lovely place. 3 suites with kitchenettes. inns do come in all shapes and sizes although i'm a little confused about the layout. is it 3 little cottages? is there a main building? a common area? if you are getting good feedback and reviews from guests then you are doing something right. i can't quite remember the other post you mentioned and you may have explained how it is set up. i would think chantilly lace cottages would be more accurate if each is separate.
a bed and breakfast means breakfast ... and if i stayed in one of those suites i'd be happy with a delivered basket.
for me ... i look for a place that has an innkeeper on site, especially at night. i feel safer and any issues can be dealt with right away.
when you are able to live right there, you will be able to manage and run the property yourselves and eliminate at least one salary ... or is it all done by one person? and when/if you move there, where will you live? for now, since you are 5 hours away, it's probably more of a break even situation having to pay a manager and a housekeeper.
i did searches for my area to see which places come up first ... found where they advertised, and listed there.
all the resident innkeepers i know struggle with overhead. taxes, licenses, upkeep, repairs, advertising ... to have a nice place takes a lot of work and money. it's part of the business.
 

JBloggs

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Sorry, but you are describing what every one of us does daily, owning and operating a business has a high overhead, we do not get paid, and we are here 24/7. We don't have housekeepers (our B&B personally). Most of us have one person working outside the B&B/INN to pay the bills, it is not because they would prefer to work outside the B&B/INN. There is no way we could ever make ends meet otherwise. That is MY B&B/INN, not speaking for everyone else here. The TRUE BENEFIT of having a B&B/INN and living in it is that it is a home-based business, therefore the deductions. Even then, we could put the $ in the bank, draw interest, and never change another set of sheets and be ahead $financially. But it keeps us off the streets and keeps us busy. We market, we work hard - here. Onsite.
My words, when I say this often offends other higher occupancy B&B's, so these are my words only, in my situation, where I am. We do everything ourselves here. We will not get rich running a B&B/INN. It is very demanding and we wear many hats.
You can't just raise rates to cover expenses, EVERYTHING HAS GONE UP. You are describing an upscale rental without a true B&B/INN experience, owners need to be onsite, sharing the stay and expertise with their guests. They need to be up making them a hot home cooked delicious breakfast and pouring their coffee. Interacting with other guests (as much or as little as they want). That is a B&B/INN.
By the way, all the extra money - and that which is not extra goes back into the Inn, that is what we do with these old grand homes.
Edited to add INN to the same comments/thoughts. Lodgings come in many shapes and forms, but an inn should have someone on site at all times. Hired or otherwise.
 

Don Draper

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It seems like your place would do better as a vacation rental. It is not a b&b, not an inn...I wouldn't try to compete with those demos when you don't fit them. How does the house not have a kitchen?
ETA: I just had a chance to look at the website and reviews and I think the use of the term "Inn" might be confusing people. To me an Inn is a large b&b or small hotel, I would assume 24 hour onsite staff.
Maybe calling it a Guest Cottage would give the impression you are looking for. But I'm confused on layout too, it seems like it would make more sense to be able to rent the entire place. You can see how issues have arisen with people being loud, because there's no one onsite to police that (and unfortunately it needs policing, people on vacation often leave their manners and their common sense at home).
 

egoodell

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I would list it as a vacation rental and not an inn until you move there full time. Listing it as an inn I think gives the guest the impression that there will be staff available. Then just have a manager/cleaner to handle cleaning and check in and check outs.
Riki
 

EmptyNest

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Sounds like you have unrealistic expectations. What you describe is everything these innkeepers here do. If you are not prepared for all of it, then you may need to rethink your plans. B & B goers stay at a B & B because of the ambiance yes, but also because they want to interact with the innkeepers. They want a personalized experience. They don't get it with what you are currently providing. This is not a true B & B but as others have said a vacation rental.
You are not going to get rich with a small B & B. All of what you mention is just the normal business to innkeepers.
 

egoodell

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I also think that with three rooms we usually would be owner operated. I don't know that I could afford to pay a manager and make money. You have to be the employee to make money with three rooms, usually. But every case is different.
We are making money with two rooms but that is because 95% of our guests book our wine tours which we run ourselves. We do have extra income to pay our innsitters when they fill in for us while we are driving wine tours.
RIki
 

Copperhead

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Why not state it as 'self-catering' accommodations at least that would give them the idea no one is there. As stated most B&B goers are use to an innkeeper living on the property, and advertising as a B&B or Inn just upsets the applecart and makes people not know what to expect.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I agree with the others. Your place really is a self-catering or vacation rental. I'm afraid you're setting up expectations that you just can't meet because of your living so far away. If you reword your website, you'll find that the guests who book are really your target market and you won't have so many problems.
At this moment in time, your place is not a b&b or an inn. The best thing you can do for your business and your sanity is to be aware of what you are and how to make the best use of it. There are many people (including myself) that would find it very attractive to rent a place like yours instead of a traditional b&b. Market to those people and your life will be simpler!
 

birdwatcher

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I agree with all of the above comments. We owned and operated a B & B and had two homes on the same plot of land maybe 1000 feet appart. One had 5 bdr/5bath and could either be rented as a whole or we had different guests in each room-that was awsome yet it cost us more than we could manage and we had to give up one of them. We are now innkeepers but not owners which is a plus to have innkeepers that have at one time been owners of an Inn.
Anyway, yours is not a B&B nor an Inn-its a vacation rental. It would be to your financial benefit to market it as such. You would be surprised at how many families, friends etc looking to do this for a vacation-one its economically smart and two you can put certain things in your policies that charge extra for not cleaning or breakage. I'm sorry but a Bed and Breakfast is exactly that a "Bed" and a "Breakfast" (whether that be continental, a basket or cooked) an "Inn" is just a larger of a Bed and Breakfast. If you really need to be a B & B then you need a full time innkeeper or manager that lives close by to do what the name implies...Innkeepers work hard 24/7 for their guests experiences and trust me owning a B & B unless its in a great place does not make you rich.
 
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