Making the Match: Finding the Buyer for an Inn

Or, where is that someone who loves the inn as much as you did, once?

When we start off the Seminar for Future Innkeepers, I casually mention that if I can talk you out of wanting to be inn owners I feel I have been successful! Why? Because to be an innkeeper you have to have the resources to buy an inn and the personality to be a gracious host! Many prospective buyers have the dream, but often the financial aspect eludes them.

The right personality is the next quest: innkeepers are like actors on a stage! They appreciate diversity in personality and culture, in different religious and sexual preferences; innkeepers appreciate what they are doing and give their guests their best. seminar for future innkeepersIn giving our seminars, I am always pleased when I realize there are a few aspiring innkeepers who are genuinely curious about this business, who love the personal and financial details and are excited about getting into the innkeeping business. They appreciate the marriage of business and lifestyle and connecting to the community. They are realistic about their financial situation, clear about their capabilities, know that it will take money, professional acumen and commitment to personal service to make them successful. Every new owner to an inn looks for projects that allow them to make the inn theirs. It’s their process to acclimate, with a new kitchen, the stripping of the wallpaper, combining rooms to make suites, paving the driveway, etc.

People attending the seminar sometimes are just collecting ideas for what to do next. Bored with their job, or being part of a down-sizing corporation, they are hoping for an exciting new adventure, a place for them to work together and be their own bosses and control their own lives. Some of these individuals/couples will be great at innkeeping, but innkeeping is definitely not for everyone. Some are at an earlier stage. Often the financial aspect of buying a viable inn business at the seminar can help them truly clarify if this really for them. Notice that I refer mainly to buying inns that are viable businesses, not home-stays. Most of our clients are Select Registry properties and income supports debt service.

The owners of properties that we consult with are serious about their exit strategy. They have decided to move on, but want to find the right person(s) to continue what they have started and made into a successful business. They look for assurance that the right couple will continue their success and have the financial ability and the personality to buy their property and take exceptional care of their guests.

What I like is to facilitate that match; it is never about selling you “that inn” but for us to guide you to find YOUR inn, the one that fits your lifestyle as well as your financial ability. The match where the new owner is proud to be the ambassador to the area, appreciates the local involvement, and is proud of the inn and their service.

When the owners in a win/win sale go off into the sunset they have greatly earned, and the new owners appreciate where they have landed, we are proud too! Come to the seminar and you will surely experience a reality check (the good kind).

Have a great summer!
– Heide

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