CBIZ INNKEEPERS INSURANCE BLOG

Insights and tips on how to protect your inn or bed & breakfast, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
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5 Steps to Prepare Your Inn for Fall

Fall at Bed and Breakfasts

Fall is officially here and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is just around the corner. It’s time to prepare for those travelers who are looking for an end-of-year break or a seasonal festival. It’s the season for families and friends to spend time together away from everyday life or for those wanting to schedule an adventure to take advantage of time off. Fall is a perfect opportunity to maximize your occupancy and increase revenue. Keep reading for 5 steps to prepare your bed and breakfast to make your property the pick of the patch.

1. Refresh the Property, Room-by-Room

First things first, download the Simply Spotless Cleaning Checklist below. Then check your supplies. Do you have everything you need for cleaning and making small repairs? Now is the time to ensure everything is in working order, refreshed and living up to the standards you have set for your inn.

You have your list and supplies, now go through the property room-by-room. Evaluate the condition of the appliances, fixtures, furniture, technology and WiFi you make available. Use this time to replace worn or outdated appliances, furnishings and decor.

2. Revitalize Your Bed & Breakfast Marketing

Giving your bed and breakfast some TLC can help improve its marketability, which can lead to higher rates while keeping your booking calendar full. After you refresh your inn, consider updating your marketing efforts.

Look at your online listings, photos, website, social media accounts and other materials. Do they accurately describe your bed and breakfast? Even if you haven’t changed things like furniture, paint or decor, consider taking new pictures anyway. It’s always wise to have updated images of the property in the case that you may have to file a claim. Having an accurate, recent photo on hand can speed up the insurance claims process.

Share the love of the season by swapping older images for ones that appeal to the upcoming season. For example, capture your property nestled in a blanket of snow or decorated for fall. Create the appeal of a cozy retreat using images and videos. Don’t forget to mention any local events that visitors would enjoy holiday-related. The goal is to promote the seasonal appeal of your property. Think about things you love each season and highlight them in your property. 

Consider hiring a professional photographer to get new photos. Have them take a series of standard room shots and art shots around the inn. You will be able to use them to update your listings and websites, as well as post throughout the year on social media. The art style shots can even be framed and used as décor unique to your property.

3. Renew Your Focus on Safety Throughout the Property

Make sure you’ve addressed and corrected any potential safety hazards identified during the room-by-room walk-through. Other safety enhancements should be reviewed on a more regular basis. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested after every stay and batteries changed every six months. Light bulbs should be checked after each stay too. Furnace filters should be changed quarterly.

Winterizing your property takes a little effort but can eliminate problems and headaches later. Turn off water and other utilities, make sure windows and doors are securely locked, close storm shutters, unplug appliances, and drain water lines if your property is located in a cold climate. You should also set the thermostat to an appropriate level to maintain a safe air temperature inside the property. This can avoid damage from excessive heat or cold temperatures.

4. Prepare Your Team

Your staff is crucial to deflecting tricky situations which may occur during high occupancy. Take time to communicate with your staff on how to handle stressful or uncomfortable situations that may arise. Reviewing inn policies can help your staff feel confident facilitating requests and difficult guest issues. It’s important for them to know they are a vital member of the team for running a successful property. Smooth operation keeps guests feeling like your inn cares about their needs to promote an enjoyable holiday. 

5. Reevaluate Your Innkeepers Insurance

You’ve finished all the physical work of cleaning and updating your bed and breakfast, but don’t skip on the final (most important) item on your checklist - evaluating your innkeepers insurance! Do you have commercial insurance designed to cover damage during and between guest stays, liability protection for you if you are the target of a lawsuit and coverage for business income? If not, speak with one of our CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance experts today!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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