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New Innkeeper Transition Support

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wendydk

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For those of you who bought an existing Inn: What type of support did you get from the PO's? Was there a particular amount of time negotiated to help in the transition? How did that work for you? What did you not get from them that you needed? What would have made it easier?
Advice from those who have sold Inns would also be helpful!
 

Breakfast Diva

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We had a 2 week transition period. I was ready to get rid of them after 1 week. It was very difficult to still do things "their way"! I do have to mention that they were not savvy innkeepers, so the business/internet experience was lacking on their part.
If you're talking about yourself, you could be a wonderful resource for new owners and I would hope they would take advantage of your experience. 2 weeks should be plenty, then if you're comfortable, you can offer phone support when needed.
I hope you're talking about yourself!!
 

Don Draper

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We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered..
Don Draper said:
We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered.
Holy cow! It sounds like we're talking about the same POs! I'm afraid this is more common than we would like to imagine. Ours also had a problem just walking away. They continued to live locally and would call us asking if they could come and get things they forgot to put on the exclusion list! We just bit our tongues because we are in a very small town and couldn't afford making any enemies.
 

Morticia

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Har har. We negotiated one week of help. The PO's showed up late the first day, later the second day and 'called in sick' the third day. They basically told us we were doing everything wrong, insulted Gomez and called him names in front of guests, schmoozed with guests when they should have been showing us what to do and left us to decorate the entire inn for a holiday weekend with 2 days' notice. THEY organized a holiday event to take place here and then left us holding the bag.
The innkeepers' qtrs were filthy, we had to clean top to bottom before we could even move in. The inn kitchen was a disaster, nothing left behind worked right and they left us with a broken shovel in winter. We couldn't even iron anything, we had a travel iron and that was it.
So, all of that off my chest- please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them. ASK what they think they need, they will probably just want to do it all on their own anyway. I'd say give them 2 solid days of help and then wish them well and get on with your new life!
 

Morticia

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We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered..
Don Draper said:
We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered.
Holy cow! It sounds like we're talking about the same POs! I'm afraid this is more common than we would like to imagine. Ours also had a problem just walking away. They continued to live locally and would call us asking if they could come and get things they forgot to put on the exclusion list! We just bit our tongues because we are in a very small town and couldn't afford making any enemies.
.
Ours said they would leave certain things behind until our stuff was delivered and then they took it all. It was theirs, but we would have been better prepared had we known they were taking stuff with them.
The worst part was there was nothing online. It was all on little bits of paper. We came into it on a weekend that was all repeats. They were all stunned to see the PO's had sold so the PO's just stood around talking to them instead of helping us. Luckily, one of the PO's was kind enough to leave us with some recipes for groups so we didn't have to start completely from scratch. Essentially, we didn't change anything they did for the first few months until we realized guests didn't expect all of that from us and we were killing ourselves to provide it.
 

Morticia

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If you have memberships that are important that will expire during or soon after the transition period, pay them. Don't hand the new owners a piece of paper and say, 'This is very important, you HAVE to pay it now,' when the transfer papers haven't even been signed.
The PO's wanted us to give back money on the website's yearly fee, etc. For Pete's sake, we just handed over almost a million dollars and you want $75 back? Give me strength. Pay the fees and add them into the sale price. Bit don't nickel dime the new people.
Can you tell I still have resentment?
 

JBloggs

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Nothing.
We 3000 miles across country and were told we would have to pay the reg room rate to stay in this house the night before closing, and with the two kids we would have to pay for two rooms. That pretty much sealed the deal for me, we wanted no further contact after that.
If our inn sold I would be happy to spend time (if there were guests booked in during the transition) to assist and show how I do it, but they can do whatever they want to do. Just to give them a heads up on stuff.
That is the key, KEEP THE GUEST BOOKINGS UP TO DATE. (I am mentioning this for aspirings) make it part of the contract. These po's didn't renew any directories, why should they? They were outa here.
 

gillumhouse

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I plan to ask what they want me to do to help transition. It will be theirs - everything - only taking my personal stuff and what ever they do not want. They will get furniture, linens, dishes, silver, most of the glassware. I will take my pots & pans and favorite bread pans and the knife set DH gave me, but most everything will be here. I also plan to stay in town so I will be here IF THEY ASK ME but plan to keep my nose in my own place otherwise. I have actually learned how to "let go"!
 

greyswan

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Our PO were the best in giving a detailed transition... we bought it turnkey - linen, china, guest room furniture. They has stopped booking rooms for the month of the sale but continued to book rooms starting with our planned take over date - Sept 1st (3 years ago this year) We put our pets in a kennel for a week and did a transition period with them showing us how they ran the business. The mortgage company had to do an actually drive by reassessment of the property so that delayed our closing with them another week, but they were gracious to let us stay here even tho' it was a stressful situation. Mr PO took us out and about town - showing us where to sign up for licenses, permits, changing over utilities, meeting locals; Mrs PO showed us the bookkeeping, room set up, and her cleaning techniques - all very helpful. We closed on 8/22, picked up our dog and 2 cats from the kennel (man, that was expensive!) and our personal belongings arrived on 8/25 - we had our first guests on Sept 1. Mrs PO had left her files on product warranties for various pieces of equipment, paint chips for rooms, contact list for just about everything we would need (plumbers, electricians, etc), left previous guest index cards. I couldn't imagine a more helpful tutoring time.
I think it was difficult for them to leave the inn... they had been here for 12 yrs. They've only stopped by once and that was hard for them to do, I think. We certainly couldn't and didn't fill their shoes but we are making our own mark with the inn and in town in our own way.
 

Joey Camb

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we did a week but they were a bits of paper job and they had basically run the business into the ground so not so busy. We knew them from before the sale (it is a small town) and they labled all the paint cans with room numbers which was helpful in the long run. Wasn't a complex operation then so wasn't difficult to pick up (we have added 4 room since then) would like to think if we sold the people would feel they could pick up the phone in an emergency. I would do a week hand over to another person if they wanted it and as well I think it depends on what is their previous experience. ie non or comming with a file of recepies suitable for 8 and experience cooking them. Do they seem nice? could you work with them ? to hand over I mean?
 

Don Draper

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We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered..
Don Draper said:
We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered.
Holy cow! It sounds like we're talking about the same POs! I'm afraid this is more common than we would like to imagine. Ours also had a problem just walking away. They continued to live locally and would call us asking if they could come and get things they forgot to put on the exclusion list! We just bit our tongues because we are in a very small town and couldn't afford making any enemies.
.
Yes! They were so disorganized that on the day of closing the movers were just throwing stuff in boxes for them...they were moving to Chicago but staying here for about 2 months and they were over here ALL the time...we forgot this, can we get the mail, etc. Not a huge deal but we took over right in the busy season so were basically getting no sleep trying to stay on top of it all. Small town here too so we just kept our mouths shut but after they were gone for a period it became obvious that they weren't "beloved" by everyone.
 

Don Draper

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Har har. We negotiated one week of help. The PO's showed up late the first day, later the second day and 'called in sick' the third day. They basically told us we were doing everything wrong, insulted Gomez and called him names in front of guests, schmoozed with guests when they should have been showing us what to do and left us to decorate the entire inn for a holiday weekend with 2 days' notice. THEY organized a holiday event to take place here and then left us holding the bag.
The innkeepers' qtrs were filthy, we had to clean top to bottom before we could even move in. The inn kitchen was a disaster, nothing left behind worked right and they left us with a broken shovel in winter. We couldn't even iron anything, we had a travel iron and that was it.
So, all of that off my chest- please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them. ASK what they think they need, they will probably just want to do it all on their own anyway. I'd say give them 2 solid days of help and then wish them well and get on with your new life!.
Oh my! It is amazing that you stayed...but then I guess what choice did you have??? I vividly remember my mother and mother in law frantically trying to clean the kitch before we moved our stuff in...it was so dirty they were both speechless. Same with our bedroom...we didn't unpack for 4 months because i refused to until I had scrubbed the whole thing top to bottom and I just didn't have time.
Definitely provide a detailed list of what stays and what goes...everyone's definition of turnkey is different.
 

EmptyNest

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You are obviously a different person that what we have heard about from others. You will do the right thing I am sure. I suggest just making sure they have all the info they need as to passwords, listing of directories, etc etc. Make sure the place is cleaned when you leave and don't schedule any guests say for the first week or so. That way they can get used to things before guests arrive. Make yourself available by phone for questions say for a week or so...then leave it to them.
Isn't is great you will soon be a PO :)
 

Joey Camb

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Also I would go through with them any weird things ie this door sticks and has to be opended in this way this is where we keep the etc. But I would also try and write a lot down as you can guarantee they won't be able to take it all in and will save yourself some phone calls.
 

egoodell

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Also if they are interested in shadowing you during a week or so would help them get into the groove. That's what they do in restaurants. The guests don't have to know why. You could introduce them as the assistant in training. That would still be the truth.
RIki
 

wendydk

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Har har. We negotiated one week of help. The PO's showed up late the first day, later the second day and 'called in sick' the third day. They basically told us we were doing everything wrong, insulted Gomez and called him names in front of guests, schmoozed with guests when they should have been showing us what to do and left us to decorate the entire inn for a holiday weekend with 2 days' notice. THEY organized a holiday event to take place here and then left us holding the bag.
The innkeepers' qtrs were filthy, we had to clean top to bottom before we could even move in. The inn kitchen was a disaster, nothing left behind worked right and they left us with a broken shovel in winter. We couldn't even iron anything, we had a travel iron and that was it.
So, all of that off my chest- please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them. ASK what they think they need, they will probably just want to do it all on their own anyway. I'd say give them 2 solid days of help and then wish them well and get on with your new life!.
Morticia said:
So please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them.
What about items like dish towels, cutting board, cleaning supplies.....gadzooks.....
 

The Tipsy Butler

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We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered..
Don Draper said:
We do two weeks, staying here at the Inn as guests while learning how to "run the show". Our PO's were also not that savvy, nothing was computerized so we didn't need to know too, too much about how they did the bookkeeping end of it. It was nice to run breakfast with them for a few mornings, just to get a feel for the flow.
Our PO's were NOT HONEST with us about previous repairs and what needed to be replaced. They were defensive about everything. That didn't help at all, and at that point it was a done deal so I have no idea why they chose to handle it that way.
What I really wish we'd gotten were detailed occupancy numbers...they gave us the yearly numbers but it sure would have been nice to know exactly how slow that first January was going to be. A list of suppliers for all the toiletries, cleaning supplies, gift shop items was helpful along with a note of approximately how often everything needed to be ordered.
Holy cow! It sounds like we're talking about the same POs! I'm afraid this is more common than we would like to imagine. Ours also had a problem just walking away. They continued to live locally and would call us asking if they could come and get things they forgot to put on the exclusion list! We just bit our tongues because we are in a very small town and couldn't afford making any enemies.
.
Ours said they would leave certain things behind until our stuff was delivered and then they took it all. It was theirs, but we would have been better prepared had we known they were taking stuff with them.
The worst part was there was nothing online. It was all on little bits of paper. We came into it on a weekend that was all repeats. They were all stunned to see the PO's had sold so the PO's just stood around talking to them instead of helping us. Luckily, one of the PO's was kind enough to leave us with some recipes for groups so we didn't have to start completely from scratch. Essentially, we didn't change anything they did for the first few months until we realized guests didn't expect all of that from us and we were killing ourselves to provide it.
.
We were incredibly lucky. I was left with an inn that was absolutely spotless (in fact it probably hasn't been that spotless since), enough cleaning supplies to run a small hospital for a few months, a kitchen full of utensils, a fridge full of food .... etc etc. Within hours we were able to concentrate on how to make it "ours", not how to make it habitable / presentable.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Har har. We negotiated one week of help. The PO's showed up late the first day, later the second day and 'called in sick' the third day. They basically told us we were doing everything wrong, insulted Gomez and called him names in front of guests, schmoozed with guests when they should have been showing us what to do and left us to decorate the entire inn for a holiday weekend with 2 days' notice. THEY organized a holiday event to take place here and then left us holding the bag.
The innkeepers' qtrs were filthy, we had to clean top to bottom before we could even move in. The inn kitchen was a disaster, nothing left behind worked right and they left us with a broken shovel in winter. We couldn't even iron anything, we had a travel iron and that was it.
So, all of that off my chest- please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them. ASK what they think they need, they will probably just want to do it all on their own anyway. I'd say give them 2 solid days of help and then wish them well and get on with your new life!.
Morticia said:
So please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them.
What about items like dish towels, cutting board, cleaning supplies.....gadzooks.....
.
Little Blue said:
Morticia said:
So please, whatever you do, don't leave the new innkeepers in the lurch. Make sure they have the basic necessities to get started or at least give them a list of what they need to bring with them.
What about items like dish towels, cutting board, cleaning supplies.....gadzooks.....
If it's a turnkey, then I would leave everything they need to be able to cook and clean on their first day as well as enough supplies for at least a few weeks. They will be overwhelmed if they have to go to the store all the time to pick up everyday essentials AND take care of guests.
Think of it this way. YOU get to get new stuff!
 

Joey Camb

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The only trouble you may hit is if you try to not take bookings for the week of sale and then it moves due to whatever (in the UK no property sale ever runs to time or smoothly) and when you are super busy ie the next week is when it all comes off. LOL. I wouldn't object to being at the end of the phone if necessary as I am generally nosey and am a cronic people pleaser so would want to know how they are getting on.
 
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