Does anyone actually make money owning a B&B?

Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum

Help Support Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Yes, renovations do cost a lot even when doing it all yourself. Will they ever end? It is definitely hard to get ahead but NO I do not miss my 9 - 5 job and never will. I love this and hope I never have to leave this ever.
 
That's a very complicated question. If I were to pull out a few questions from this, I think I would be better able to answer.
Does your current income provide you with a lifestyle that allows you to do the things you like?
Is your disposable income similar to what you would have if you worked for someone else?
Do you have the ability to increase revenue through increased occupancy or increased capacity?.
knkbnb said:
That's a very complicated question. If I were to pull out a few questions from this, I think I would be better able to answer.
Does your current income provide you with a lifestyle that allows you to do the things you like?
Is your disposable income similar to what you would have if you worked for someone else?
Do you have the ability to increase revenue through increased occupancy or increased capacity?
As long as my guests continue to have jobs, I can raise the occupancy here. However, fear of unemployment is lowering the number of nights guests come to stay from 2-3 nights, twice/year down to 1 night/year.
 
I have not read any of the replies but I wanted to say that I heard once in a seminar that a property cannot make money unless they have a minimum of 14 rooms. don't ask me to elaborate on that number, I cannot remember any more of what was said. This, though, stuck in my head.
Ok, I am going to bed now. Toilets are awaiting in the morning :)
 
I have not read any of the replies but I wanted to say that I heard once in a seminar that a property cannot make money unless they have a minimum of 14 rooms. don't ask me to elaborate on that number, I cannot remember any more of what was said. This, though, stuck in my head.
Ok, I am going to bed now. Toilets are awaiting in the morning :).
the nuber I heard was 5 or more rooms to suport two people.
 
I have not read any of the replies but I wanted to say that I heard once in a seminar that a property cannot make money unless they have a minimum of 14 rooms. don't ask me to elaborate on that number, I cannot remember any more of what was said. This, though, stuck in my head.
Ok, I am going to bed now. Toilets are awaiting in the morning :).
the nuber I heard was 5 or more rooms to suport two people.
.
Hahaha! We have 5 rooms. We can't even support the 5 rooms yet
whatchutalkingabout_smile.gif

 
Sure you can live off the income if you had zero mortgage. But even then there are always reno's and maintenance. How many inns have two owners and one works outside the B&B? If not outside, does some sort of addtl work like consulting? Plenty.
If you are fairly high occup then you have to hire much out so it is a vicious cycle. I know our B&B could have a much higher revenue if we held events here - sheesh just last night a local business called and wanted to have a breakfast meeting here.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread.
 
I like to say that the B&B finances my interior decorating and renovation addictions, at least they're tax-deductible now. Looking forward to that gig at Tiki Hut, it may help me break even now. LOL
shades_smile.gif
 
I have not read any of the replies but I wanted to say that I heard once in a seminar that a property cannot make money unless they have a minimum of 14 rooms. don't ask me to elaborate on that number, I cannot remember any more of what was said. This, though, stuck in my head.
Ok, I am going to bed now. Toilets are awaiting in the morning :).
IrisoftheWayfarer said:
I have not read any of the replies but I wanted to say that I heard once in a seminar that a property cannot make money unless they have a minimum of 14 rooms.
I recall the fellow who claims that which is not 100%. All B&Bs are so different I think the answer is "yes and no".
Here we are a tourist destination so you can definately make money on 5 rooms. And I think that the real way to do it is to have services like our wine tours. Of course, right now everything is going back into the business to make the second wing for us, so I have to work outside the business. But once we have 5 instead of just 2 rooms I will be able to quit.
The service (wine tours) works because every couple we take on a tour is like another room rented without the overhead. If we are really lucky, it will work for us down the road to hire a guide or two, but they would have to be very customer service orientated for us to do so. People like that are few and far between.
RIki
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
.
IrisoftheWayfarer said:
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
It's a great ad. It shows quite a lot where I am. My state doesn't do advertising anywhere on TV that I have ever seen and no guest has ever said, 'We saw that great ad on TV and just had to come!' And I have specifically asked, especially when all of my reservations come from the same area/state. I want to know what piqued them to all come here. And no one has ever seen an ad or an article, unless the ads are subliminal. You know, like Alfred Hitchcock movies where he used to appear in the crowd somewhere. Maybe my state has gotten Hollywood to populate the crowds with extras dressed like lobsters and all of a sudden everyone has to come to Maine.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
That is the big question. We are in our fourth year- about half way through it. Let me say that we are still kind of new and the sage wisdom of more experienced innkeepers may leave my thoughts looking kind of naive.
When we started, we wanted to build our business by word of mouth. We knew we would have to build our internet presence and have the essentials- a decent website with decent pics and online booking. We have worked harder at that and learned more about that than we imagined. Nonetheless, the bigger priority has always been to build sustainable business outside of the internet. We are in the less traveled area of our island and in order for us to be successfull, we had develop a way to drive business to our door beyond just the internet.
Some of the things that have been working:
We are building a brand and a niche. I guess this gives people a reason to choose us.
Different eggs in different baskets. We operate on more than one level. We have a retreat concept that draws a lot of local business. This saved us when the economic downturn slammed our mainland business so dramatically. We lost two airlines and four direct flights in a matter of weeks and the hotels here continue to be way under the occupancy they need to survive.
Build partnerships at every level you can. This is hard work and it can be tough when you screw something up that impacts someone else, but it a really big part of long term growth.
Be more critical in assessing the value of having others do it. We built Kalaekilohana ourselves. It took 3 years but in the end we had what we wanted at half the cost. The same applies to all these directories and even to my latest rather, admittedly severe litmus test for the new improved PAII. They will not increase our occupancy- we will. Bottom line. It is easy to fall into this trap. We have done it on several occasions.
The feeling is that this stuff will pay off in a sustainable way and that we will see a slow growth in occupancy. Lowering our rates is a death sentence. Discounting below our lowest published rate is a quick fix trap. Special discounts for someone because they wore red is bad for business. etc and on an on
Don't get me wrong. I am always on the lookout for a magic bullet that might stay into our airspace. There is nothing like a shot in the capital!
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
That is the big question. We are in our fourth year- about half way through it. Let me say that we are still kind of new and the sage wisdom of more experienced innkeepers may leave my thoughts looking kind of naive.
When we started, we wanted to build our business by word of mouth. We knew we would have to build our internet presence and have the essentials- a decent website with decent pics and online booking. We have worked harder at that and learned more about that than we imagined. Nonetheless, the bigger priority has always been to build sustainable business outside of the internet. We are in the less traveled area of our island and in order for us to be successfull, we had develop a way to drive business to our door beyond just the internet.
Some of the things that have been working:
We are building a brand and a niche. I guess this gives people a reason to choose us.
Different eggs in different baskets. We operate on more than one level. We have a retreat concept that draws a lot of local business. This saved us when the economic downturn slammed our mainland business so dramatically. We lost two airlines and four direct flights in a matter of weeks and the hotels here continue to be way under the occupancy they need to survive.
Build partnerships at every level you can. This is hard work and it can be tough when you screw something up that impacts someone else, but it a really big part of long term growth.
Be more critical in assessing the value of having others do it. We built Kalaekilohana ourselves. It took 3 years but in the end we had what we wanted at half the cost. The same applies to all these directories and even to my latest rather, admittedly severe litmus test for the new improved PAII. They will not increase our occupancy- we will. Bottom line. It is easy to fall into this trap. We have done it on several occasions.
The feeling is that this stuff will pay off in a sustainable way and that we will see a slow growth in occupancy. Lowering our rates is a death sentence. Discounting below our lowest published rate is a quick fix trap. Special discounts for someone because they wore red is bad for business. etc and on an on
Don't get me wrong. I am always on the lookout for a magic bullet that might stay into our airspace. There is nothing like a shot in the capital!
.
I have recently been surprised by a few other businesses who have immediately asked us for biz cards when we say who we are. Previously, there was little interest with many retailers to be part of the community. I have been told that we have to get out more to the meet and greets if we want more local biz. It's tough because they are at 8 AM or 5-7 PM. Prime guest time.
Unfortunately, most times I have let it be known we are available for biz guests to stay here, I've been told they get rates of $79 at the hotels and that's all the home office is willing to pay. Most biz guests we have spoken to won't pay anything more out of pocket and try to pocket as much of the per diem as they can.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
.
IrisoftheWayfarer said:
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
Here in Georgia the Pure Michigan ad runs all the time! I really like the ads and it has made me want to come back up to Michigan, so much so that I'm thinking about when I can visit my Mother in Law up there
omg_smile.gif

 
Does your current income provide you with a lifestyle that allows you to do the things you like? YES
Is your disposable income similar to what you would have if you worked for someone else? YES
Do you have the ability to increase revenue through increased occupancy or increased capacity? YES, but limited and we don't want to do special events. We'll leave that for the next owner.
First, I want to say that I know our situation is not typical of a 4 room B&B. We are one of the rare few that are able to not have an outside jobs, no pensions or retirement and the B&B is our sole income. Oh yeah, and we are in the middle of nowhere, but we do have the ocean close by.
When we first bought our inn in 2001 we were able to just pay the bills. We made a decision that we would not hire any staff and would do all the work ourselves except for the repairs and maintenance that needed to be done by professionals. We also knew that making that decision would mean that even now, with our increased occupancy, by the end of our busy season (summer is 98% occupancy) we are so exhausted we can barely get out of bed in the morning. But that's ok, because we are putting a lot of money away for retirement. We also gave ourselves a 10 year window for being innkeepers, mostly because I don't want to work this hard or this tied down forever. We are in the middle of our 5 year exit strategy.
I know it's not the same for everybody, but here are what I feel are the keys to our success:
Niche marketing/branding - figure out what the market wants/needs, keep to your niche. You can't be everything to everybody.
Marketing, marketing, marketing! Good, professional website& professional photos. I have been able to cross over from just the B&B crowd, to a major part of our business being 1st time B&B goers. Yes, it has some problems, but overall, once those newbies see that we offer the privacy of a hotel, but the ambiance & amenities of an upscale B&B we have them for life. And these people are much younger than the typical B&B demographics so we get them coming back for more years.
Offer them a great product at a fair price. Oregon room rates are low in comparison to the rest of the country.
ATTEND THE PAII CONFERENCE AND STATE ASSOCIATION CONFERENCES! We go every other year, but I've always come away with a few "gems" that I can impliment which have made a major difference. Some of the "gems" you've heard before, but for some reason haven't tried...going to a conference and hearing it again just might give you that little extra you need to try it. For me this year, it was hearing Jay Karen (PAII), when he was at our state conference. I don't know if you read the article in the Fall edition of IQ about room pricing & yield management, but my story is on page 28
http://issuu.com/ingridthorson/docs/iq_fall_08?mode=embed&documentId=081120193312-604455f7f3de4033a581816eb4e9c3ad
Now that I'm doing taxes, I have realized that after implementing all that I talked about above, we've had our best year on record....and it was a recession year.
I hope this post doesn't sound like I'm preaching! I'm passionate about this industry and my next goal is to help educate the aspiring innkeepers out there which is why I'm branching out to the aspiring innkeeper seminars.
Thank you JBJ for starting this thread. These are definitely the questions and answers that everyone needs to know before getting into this profession..
NW BB,
I could not have said it any better. I also have a small Inn and I echo your sentiments pretty much word for word. While my signifigant other still works, I think we would be OK if that job were to go by the wayside.
Marketing IS THE KEY. I get so frustrated when I hear other Innkeepers complain about occupancy, yet see that they don't spend even one penny to be listed on a good directory, don't take advantage of the many free opportunities out there, don't network with other Innkeepers, don't even really know who their target market is.
I promote the industry in our state relentlessly, provide marketing opportunities to other innkeepers through a state-specific B&B site and blog, even wrote an e-book. Hardly anyone takes advantage, but the ones that do, REALLY do, and reap the benefits. One other thing I might add....cultivate your online reviews! Not only do they reinforce your reputation, but the more reviews you have, the better your site will rank in the search engines.
We also had a banner year in 2008; 63% up in revenue and 28% up in occupancy over the previous five years. All due to shrewd marketing decisions...and this year is looking to be right on track.
Thanks for your great post!
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
The number of rooms to make a profit - according to a former MABB member who had a study done was 4 or more.
Now take this for what it is from a 3 rooms in Podunk start-up who is still in business after almost 12 full years.
I did an inventory of my assests - meaning what is in my area that will bring people here. Then I looked at what I could (and would) do service-wise that would make someone choose us over a B & B in the next county. Then after paying for several Internet directories, I concentrate on one area of interest per year and throw bones to the others that year. Last year was rail-trails so I advertised in biking publications (and a wine publication) that are printed on newsprint type paper as opposed to glossy because they cost less to advertise in AND have a decent distribution - placed in or subscribed to by people interested in that endeavor specificly.
This year it is motorcycles. The Tourism Division had ads and editorial in the June issue of Backroads, a motorcycle magazine and 1/2 page ads were offered for $400. I had an ad designed for that which I also used in another publication already. All ads are a crap shoot - all marketing is in reality. But nothing ventured is nothing gained. I have also found that an ad last year brings business this year.
Next year the Nationals are in Lexington, KY so horses will be in. There is a small magazine in PA that has ads at reasonable prices. I just need to keep my name out there - we are becoming known among the horse people as a good place to stay - for the horses (first concern), for ease of getting there (there is one place that gets good reviews except that it is hard to get in/out and VERY difficult to turn the rig around), AND a great place for the people traveling with said horses.
There are also web directories geared to these special interests and these are usually inexpensive. If a $20 - 40 annual fee for a directory be worth it if it just gets 1 room night a year? YES! and they usually get more than that. Example: the piddly $$ for horse web sites total about $150 a year and I am talking about 5 different sites. I have had 6 room nights so far this year with horses. I have had 5 nights from bicycles.
IF you can do other meals (and are willing to), you can add to the revenue stream with packages that include packed lunches and dinners. I do manicotti dinners. I make 16 to 20 manicotti at a time. I use 2 (one per person) per dinner so all my expenses are paid for by that first dinner. I vac-seal and freeze the rest so the rest is mostly profit - still have salad, bread, and dessert costs.
That is how I have built both occupany and revenue streams.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
.
Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top