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Rolacoy

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I am really happy to find this forum. We are going to give the bed & breakfast a try. We live in Waskom, Texas. We have been in the rental business for nearly 30 years. We sold all but one house and a duplex about two years ago. We have not lived in a town since about 1968. But a little over a year ago we decided to sell our house in the country and move into the duplex and convert it into a single family dwelling. We sold our house and moved into the duplex about 3 months ago. We are still remodeling.
However after building a big garage and garden room we decided that we would rent out part of the north side of the duplex. Then we thought we might try the bed & breakfast. Our place is nothing fancy nor does it have atmosphere as your B&B, but there is no place for people to stay in our town. Visitors to Waskom have to stay in Marshall or Shreveport. So we think that our B&B may partially fill the need of families who have company come to visit or for the local churches being able to provide a local nice place for visiting pastors or singers to stay here in town.
Then we may be able to pick up some travelers through the area. If it does not work out as a B&B we will rent the place out on a lease, we have a lot of experience at that. Below is my web pages of our remodeling:
http://www.waskomtexas.com/237/
and the apartment that we are offering for the b&b. All of these pictures are just place holders, I will shoot better ones when I make the website public. I would be very interested in any comments that you might have.
http://www.waskomtexas.com/waskom_garden
Benny Alford
 

YellowSocks

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Welcome to the forum! This is a great place to learn a LOT... ask questions and we'll answer! I first joined this group as an aspiring innkeeper more than two years ago and I learned so many things that made my opening smoother.
Do you have any zoning requirements to deal with? That is what we ALWAYS start with... you have to have the zoning to have the B&B, even with a duplex.
Ask lots of questions! Do try to start a new thread for each one, though... you'll find better quality answers if you ask one specific question on a new thread than six general ones, at least, that's what I've found.
You can, theoretically, make more money with a B&B than a rental (i.e., rents around here are $500/mo, but I can get more than that from five room nights), but they are a LOT more work (and overhead)!
=)
Kk.
 

gillumhouse

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Welcome! What is atmosphere? A B & B does not have to be fancy and it does not have to have "atmosphere" of a stratosphere variety. Mine is 3 guestrooms in a small city (pop over 2000 makes it a city here) and my "astmosphere" is coming back to Granny's house. It is a kick off your shoes and relax place with an elegant table setting in the morning to make their eyes bug out! If the bed is comfortable, the room clean, the bathroom clean (and preferably private ensuite), and the food goos - you have a B & B.
Ask away - but look at your zoning FIRST just as Socks said. Then look at building codes, fire codes..... We will give answers to every question - honest as we sees 'em answers.
 

Rolacoy

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Welcome! What is atmosphere? A B & B does not have to be fancy and it does not have to have "atmosphere" of a stratosphere variety. Mine is 3 guestrooms in a small city (pop over 2000 makes it a city here) and my "astmosphere" is coming back to Granny's house. It is a kick off your shoes and relax place with an elegant table setting in the morning to make their eyes bug out! If the bed is comfortable, the room clean, the bathroom clean (and preferably private ensuite), and the food goos - you have a B & B.
Ask away - but look at your zoning FIRST just as Socks said. Then look at building codes, fire codes..... We will give answers to every question - honest as we sees 'em answers..
We have checked with the city and have to pay a $10.00 fee, no inspection. The county requires nothing and no inspections. We are also a town of 2000, I have lived here for about 35 years. Because we have had the rentals I have had a very good relationship with the city. I know all of the city employees.
I talked to the head city secretary last week and told her that I would like to invite all of the ladies who work for the city (8) to lunch in the apartment some time within the month. we will provide lunch and a chair massage. I created a website for a lady that has a massage business. The ladies will come two at a time over a two hour period from 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM.
She said "I think we can work that out". It will be good public relations for us, allow the ladies at the city to see what we are doing and they will recommend us to people. We have been in the remodeling project and it has been a much watched project by many people in town.
And do I have a lot of questions.
 

gillumhouse

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Welcome! What is atmosphere? A B & B does not have to be fancy and it does not have to have "atmosphere" of a stratosphere variety. Mine is 3 guestrooms in a small city (pop over 2000 makes it a city here) and my "astmosphere" is coming back to Granny's house. It is a kick off your shoes and relax place with an elegant table setting in the morning to make their eyes bug out! If the bed is comfortable, the room clean, the bathroom clean (and preferably private ensuite), and the food goos - you have a B & B.
Ask away - but look at your zoning FIRST just as Socks said. Then look at building codes, fire codes..... We will give answers to every question - honest as we sees 'em answers..
We have checked with the city and have to pay a $10.00 fee, no inspection. The county requires nothing and no inspections. We are also a town of 2000, I have lived here for about 35 years. Because we have had the rentals I have had a very good relationship with the city. I know all of the city employees.
I talked to the head city secretary last week and told her that I would like to invite all of the ladies who work for the city (8) to lunch in the apartment some time within the month. we will provide lunch and a chair massage. I created a website for a lady that has a massage business. The ladies will come two at a time over a two hour period from 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM.
She said "I think we can work that out". It will be good public relations for us, allow the ladies at the city to see what we are doing and they will recommend us to people. We have been in the remodeling project and it has been a much watched project by many people in town.
And do I have a lot of questions.
.
Excellent and SMART start! I did not realize your B & B weould be in the city where you had had your rentals. You would obviously know the building and fire codes there.
Your "Mayberry" sounds like my "Mayberry". When I opened I heard, "Who would come to ..." and now they are concerned with what will happen to my B & B when I go ga-ga or croak.
 

Rolacoy

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We were leasing the north side of the duplex for $495.00 per month. of course we spent a couple of thousand on furnishings, which is cheap. If we can rent it as a b&b 10 times a month we can make more money with the b&b. No building codes. Insurance will be the only problem.
 

YellowSocks

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We were leasing the north side of the duplex for $495.00 per month. of course we spent a couple of thousand on furnishings, which is cheap. If we can rent it as a b&b 10 times a month we can make more money with the b&b. No building codes. Insurance will be the only problem..
Yes, mine quadrupled.
Sleep is more of a problem, for me...
=)
Kk.
 

EmptyNest

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Welcome. Looks like the place is coming along nicely. Once it is landscaped I am sure you will have a very attractive place there. As long as you have taken care of the zoning, business license, tax stuff, and insurance and get the place furnished you are good to go. Lots to learn and experience for sure. But if there is a true need in your community, you will find that out quickly. Read all you can and ask questions. Go here for some helpful worksheets.
Best wishes.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Welcome Benny,
Small town quirks can be that they say one thing then later say "oh didn't we mention the planning and zoning meeting first?" So like the others stated, before putting all your eggs in one basket and spending $$ on reno's for one purpose (a B&B) get it in writing.
Ex: We are in a small town as well. A couple reno'd a place for a small B&B and the neighbors were notified of this and all said NO WAY, NOT HERE. So how are the neighbors? If they are renters then they won't have a say. But the owner will be notified.
Secondly, we are the buckle of the Bible belt here. I can see 5 churches from my porch, within one block.
They all have homecomings, special events, revival meetings, etc etc and in almost 5 years we have had ONE - wait TWO special guests stay here. The second was a freebie, and THEY EXPECT you to put them up for free if you know them and have a B&B - like a donation to local stuff - - just be warned.
Otherwise, as is tradition (which is perhaps where the B&B-idea originated in the USA with travelling preachers etc staying in homes, "homestay.")
We have over 150 churches in this community. 2 special guests have stayed with us in 5 years.
That is from our experience. And of course we heavily discount for those guests as I told these 150 churches in a special letter inviting them to send their special guests to us, but it doesn't matter. Small towns look at it as an offense to put a special guest in a hotel! (Even if it is a lovely B&B)
All the best. You came to the right place.
 

YellowSocks

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Welcome Benny,
Small town quirks can be that they say one thing then later say "oh didn't we mention the planning and zoning meeting first?" So like the others stated, before putting all your eggs in one basket and spending $$ on reno's for one purpose (a B&B) get it in writing.
Ex: We are in a small town as well. A couple reno'd a place for a small B&B and the neighbors were notified of this and all said NO WAY, NOT HERE. So how are the neighbors? If they are renters then they won't have a say. But the owner will be notified.
Secondly, we are the buckle of the Bible belt here. I can see 5 churches from my porch, within one block.
They all have homecomings, special events, revival meetings, etc etc and in almost 5 years we have had ONE - wait TWO special guests stay here. The second was a freebie, and THEY EXPECT you to put them up for free if you know them and have a B&B - like a donation to local stuff - - just be warned.
Otherwise, as is tradition (which is perhaps where the B&B-idea originated in the USA with travelling preachers etc staying in homes, "homestay.")
We have over 150 churches in this community. 2 special guests have stayed with us in 5 years.
That is from our experience. And of course we heavily discount for those guests as I told these 150 churches in a special letter inviting them to send their special guests to us, but it doesn't matter. Small towns look at it as an offense to put a special guest in a hotel! (Even if it is a lovely B&B)
All the best. You came to the right place.
.
OTOH, I've had two in less than a year from my own church alone. (Big church...) Their policy is to hire services from within the congregation first, then within the town, before going elsewhere, so we expect to have more in the future.
ETA: Also had the pastor of another church while his carpet was being installed after their garage fire.
=)
Kk.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Welcome Benny,
Small town quirks can be that they say one thing then later say "oh didn't we mention the planning and zoning meeting first?" So like the others stated, before putting all your eggs in one basket and spending $$ on reno's for one purpose (a B&B) get it in writing.
Ex: We are in a small town as well. A couple reno'd a place for a small B&B and the neighbors were notified of this and all said NO WAY, NOT HERE. So how are the neighbors? If they are renters then they won't have a say. But the owner will be notified.
Secondly, we are the buckle of the Bible belt here. I can see 5 churches from my porch, within one block.
They all have homecomings, special events, revival meetings, etc etc and in almost 5 years we have had ONE - wait TWO special guests stay here. The second was a freebie, and THEY EXPECT you to put them up for free if you know them and have a B&B - like a donation to local stuff - - just be warned.
Otherwise, as is tradition (which is perhaps where the B&B-idea originated in the USA with travelling preachers etc staying in homes, "homestay.")
We have over 150 churches in this community. 2 special guests have stayed with us in 5 years.
That is from our experience. And of course we heavily discount for those guests as I told these 150 churches in a special letter inviting them to send their special guests to us, but it doesn't matter. Small towns look at it as an offense to put a special guest in a hotel! (Even if it is a lovely B&B)
All the best. You came to the right place.
.
OTOH, I've had two in less than a year from my own church alone. (Big church...) Their policy is to hire services from within the congregation first, then within the town, before going elsewhere, so we expect to have more in the future.
ETA: Also had the pastor of another church while his carpet was being installed after their garage fire.
=)
Kk.
.
YellowSocks said:
OTOH, I've had two in less than a year from my own church alone. (Big church...) Their policy is to hire services from within the congregation first, then within the town, before going elsewhere, so we expect to have more in the future.
ETA: Also had the pastor of another church while his carpet was being installed after their garage fire.
=)
Kk.
They paid you to stay there?
 

YellowSocks

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Welcome Benny,
Small town quirks can be that they say one thing then later say "oh didn't we mention the planning and zoning meeting first?" So like the others stated, before putting all your eggs in one basket and spending $$ on reno's for one purpose (a B&B) get it in writing.
Ex: We are in a small town as well. A couple reno'd a place for a small B&B and the neighbors were notified of this and all said NO WAY, NOT HERE. So how are the neighbors? If they are renters then they won't have a say. But the owner will be notified.
Secondly, we are the buckle of the Bible belt here. I can see 5 churches from my porch, within one block.
They all have homecomings, special events, revival meetings, etc etc and in almost 5 years we have had ONE - wait TWO special guests stay here. The second was a freebie, and THEY EXPECT you to put them up for free if you know them and have a B&B - like a donation to local stuff - - just be warned.
Otherwise, as is tradition (which is perhaps where the B&B-idea originated in the USA with travelling preachers etc staying in homes, "homestay.")
We have over 150 churches in this community. 2 special guests have stayed with us in 5 years.
That is from our experience. And of course we heavily discount for those guests as I told these 150 churches in a special letter inviting them to send their special guests to us, but it doesn't matter. Small towns look at it as an offense to put a special guest in a hotel! (Even if it is a lovely B&B)
All the best. You came to the right place.
.
OTOH, I've had two in less than a year from my own church alone. (Big church...) Their policy is to hire services from within the congregation first, then within the town, before going elsewhere, so we expect to have more in the future.
ETA: Also had the pastor of another church while his carpet was being installed after their garage fire.
=)
Kk.
.
YellowSocks said:
OTOH, I've had two in less than a year from my own church alone. (Big church...) Their policy is to hire services from within the congregation first, then within the town, before going elsewhere, so we expect to have more in the future.
ETA: Also had the pastor of another church while his carpet was being installed after their garage fire.
=)
Kk.
They paid you to stay there?
.
Yes. Full price, although my dh insisted I give the pastor with the fire a clergy discount, even though his lodging was paid by the insurance company.
=)
Kk.
 

Rolacoy

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You are right about the churches wanting a discount, but I know most of the pastors in town and will present this as a business. We are retired, this is part of our income. Some of their members are business people and I don't get a discount from them. We are tithes and most of them know that, so as I said it is a business.
There is just no zoning, or inspections here. At least 1/2 of the properties on our block are rentals, until we sold most of ours we owned 6 units on our block. The guy across the street owns the rental on our north. There are 6 more nice units to the north of us. We own the first rental unit on our south.
We have had some encouragement form the forums and some negative. I have talked to one lady who owns a B&B in Marshall, Texas, she said that people come for the atmosphere and I was told the same by another B&B owner. Hey, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Through enough mud an the wall and some of it will stick. We will give it a try and if it doesn't work wee will lease it out as a furnished apartment. So we have very little to lose.
I really thank you all for the help.
 

YellowSocks

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You are right about the churches wanting a discount, but I know most of the pastors in town and will present this as a business. We are retired, this is part of our income. Some of their members are business people and I don't get a discount from them. We are tithes and most of them know that, so as I said it is a business.
There is just no zoning, or inspections here. At least 1/2 of the properties on our block are rentals, until we sold most of ours we owned 6 units on our block. The guy across the street owns the rental on our north. There are 6 more nice units to the north of us. We own the first rental unit on our south.
We have had some encouragement form the forums and some negative. I have talked to one lady who owns a B&B in Marshall, Texas, she said that people come for the atmosphere and I was told the same by another B&B owner. Hey, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Through enough mud an the wall and some of it will stick. We will give it a try and if it doesn't work wee will lease it out as a furnished apartment. So we have very little to lose.
I really thank you all for the help..
Early on in my research I read a book that said there were five target markets for a B&B, and that to really do well you want more than one of them. They are 1) romantic getaways, 2) tourists, 3) long-term hospital stays, 4) business travelers, 5) universities. If you are going for romantic, you must have "atmosphere." If you're going for business, you must have wi-fi and desks.
So, you figure out your target market (persons traveling to your town who want to be in town instead of driving elsewhere) and what they need (reasonably priced, clean place to stay with decent breakfast). If what you provide is what your target market wants/needs, and the market is large enough to meet your income goals, then you're good to go.
=)
Kk.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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You are right about the churches wanting a discount, but I know most of the pastors in town and will present this as a business. We are retired, this is part of our income. Some of their members are business people and I don't get a discount from them. We are tithes and most of them know that, so as I said it is a business.
There is just no zoning, or inspections here. At least 1/2 of the properties on our block are rentals, until we sold most of ours we owned 6 units on our block. The guy across the street owns the rental on our north. There are 6 more nice units to the north of us. We own the first rental unit on our south.
We have had some encouragement form the forums and some negative. I have talked to one lady who owns a B&B in Marshall, Texas, she said that people come for the atmosphere and I was told the same by another B&B owner. Hey, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Through enough mud an the wall and some of it will stick. We will give it a try and if it doesn't work wee will lease it out as a furnished apartment. So we have very little to lose.
I really thank you all for the help..
Early on in my research I read a book that said there were five target markets for a B&B, and that to really do well you want more than one of them. They are 1) romantic getaways, 2) tourists, 3) long-term hospital stays, 4) business travelers, 5) universities. If you are going for romantic, you must have "atmosphere." If you're going for business, you must have wi-fi and desks.
So, you figure out your target market (persons traveling to your town who want to be in town instead of driving elsewhere) and what they need (reasonably priced, clean place to stay with decent breakfast). If what you provide is what your target market wants/needs, and the market is large enough to meet your income goals, then you're good to go.
=)
Kk.
.
YellowSocks said:
Early on in my research I read a book that said there were five target markets for a B&B, and that to really do well you want more than one of them. They are 1) romantic getaways, 2) tourists, 3) long-term hospital stays, 4) business travelers, 5) universities. If you are going for romantic, you must have "atmosphere." If you're going for business, you must have wi-fi and desks.
So, you figure out your target market (persons traveling to your town who want to be in town instead of driving elsewhere) and what they need (reasonably priced, clean place to stay with decent breakfast). If what you provide is what your target market wants/needs, and the market is large enough to meet your income goals, then you're good to go.
=)
Kk.
I was just discussing this with guests at the table today. We are everything here. This is why I always say "variety is the spice in the innkeepers life" so much of what we do is mundane. But as for guests, we have them here for every reason under the sun. Remember when I started the thread on Oddest or most unique reasons a guest has stayed with you?
I could never "sell" that concept when we eventually sell here. But it is a HUGE benefit and of huge value to our location and what we have created in this B&B.
Here is something I got today of interest:
Hello from New Zealand’s best Bluegrass/string band.
You might claim to be Aussie but since you were born here in the eastern Island we figure you still have a soft spot for kiwis.

Anyway, we are visiting your neck of the woods I September/October of this year and would are planning to busk our way through the Crooked road from Monday 29 September to Thursday 2nd October and would love to get some recommendations from you about places we could visit where there was a good chance of getting a meal and a bed in return for some fine music.

Check out our website for full details of the gigs we have booked.,

See you in about 10 weeks time.

Cheers
Sean
Johnny Possum
www.johnnypossum.com
 

gillumhouse

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You are right about the churches wanting a discount, but I know most of the pastors in town and will present this as a business. We are retired, this is part of our income. Some of their members are business people and I don't get a discount from them. We are tithes and most of them know that, so as I said it is a business.
There is just no zoning, or inspections here. At least 1/2 of the properties on our block are rentals, until we sold most of ours we owned 6 units on our block. The guy across the street owns the rental on our north. There are 6 more nice units to the north of us. We own the first rental unit on our south.
We have had some encouragement form the forums and some negative. I have talked to one lady who owns a B&B in Marshall, Texas, she said that people come for the atmosphere and I was told the same by another B&B owner. Hey, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Through enough mud an the wall and some of it will stick. We will give it a try and if it doesn't work wee will lease it out as a furnished apartment. So we have very little to lose.
I really thank you all for the help..
To the regulars- don't barf but he has not heard it before.
No one knew my small city was a tourist destination until I told them it was. I created my niche and told the world about it via Internet and well-placed ads in niche publications.
I took an inventory of what was within 60 miles or less of my house and turned much of it into routings for day trips and packages. When a man in town told me his son was trying start a stable, I found out how much he wanted as stable fee, I was off and running with overnight stabling and rail-trail riding packages.
Where are you located?
 

Rolacoy

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We are located in Waskom, Texas, half way between Marshall, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana. Good Ideas you all have.
 

EmptyNest

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You are right about the churches wanting a discount, but I know most of the pastors in town and will present this as a business. We are retired, this is part of our income. Some of their members are business people and I don't get a discount from them. We are tithes and most of them know that, so as I said it is a business.
There is just no zoning, or inspections here. At least 1/2 of the properties on our block are rentals, until we sold most of ours we owned 6 units on our block. The guy across the street owns the rental on our north. There are 6 more nice units to the north of us. We own the first rental unit on our south.
We have had some encouragement form the forums and some negative. I have talked to one lady who owns a B&B in Marshall, Texas, she said that people come for the atmosphere and I was told the same by another B&B owner. Hey, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Through enough mud an the wall and some of it will stick. We will give it a try and if it doesn't work wee will lease it out as a furnished apartment. So we have very little to lose.
I really thank you all for the help..
To the regulars- don't barf but he has not heard it before.
No one knew my small city was a tourist destination until I told them it was. I created my niche and told the world about it via Internet and well-placed ads in niche publications.
I took an inventory of what was within 60 miles or less of my house and turned much of it into routings for day trips and packages. When a man in town told me his son was trying start a stable, I found out how much he wanted as stable fee, I was off and running with overnight stabling and rail-trail riding packages.
Where are you located?
.
We understand. We have to build up a good archive here for newbies. So everyone just keep doing their thing.

 

MTLLodge

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We are located in Waskom, Texas, half way between Marshall, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana. Good Ideas you all have..
I am also doing the small town thang! Has anyone heard of Stoutsville MO? Mark Twain Lake? We are building a house up there. We are actually doing the work. Had some one build the shell and then we took over. (hubby's a handy man) ( I'm a handy woman!)

 
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