The Only Historic Bed and Breakfast in a Beautiful Georgia Town

beautiful Georgia town

The Simmons-Bond Inn is the only historic bed and breakfast in a beautiful Georgia town. The name of this town is Toccoa which literally means “beautiful” in the Cherokee language. People love their 115-year old Victorian Queen Anne with ornate woodwork especially the stairs (built by a furniture maker who owned a lumber yard). Guests love the stained-glass windows.


Amenities include flat screen televisions with free premium cable and free coffee service in every guest room, free wi-fi throughout the house, antique and modern books, numerous games and other entertainment. Their wrap-around porch has an exquisite view of an historic courthouse that offers public tours.

They are within walking distance from antiques, art galleries, museums, and restaurants. They are close to a hospital (they host doctors) and to Toccoa Falls College (they also host visiting professors and prospective college students). A train station is only two blocks away and an airport is just four miles away.

The Simmons-Bond Inn is centrally located on Main Street of Downtown Toccoa (part of Northeast Georgia) with more than two-dozen places with fun things to do located within thirty or forty minutes. Less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta.

They are now hosting private events:

  • Baby Showers
  • Business Gatherings
  • Chamber of Commerce Meetings
  • Church Groups
  • Family Reunions
  • Holiday Parties
  • Luncheons
  • Weddings
  • Wedding Receptions
  • Wedding Showers

The Simmons-Bond Inn can host up to 25 people in the common areas of their downstairs. The B&B can accommodate 13 overnight guests (this will book the entire house) for occasions like family reunions and weddings.

The Simmons-Bond Inn accepts guests of all ages, but no pets. They receive rave reviews for their delicious three-course breakfasts. Guests tell them they appreciate their warm hospitality and they love being treated like family.

Call friendly Innkeepers Dan and Tanya directly at 706-282-5183 and they will be happy to plan your event with you. They have access to local bakers, catering companies, and florists to make your meeting or celebration even more special. The Simmons-Bond Inn customizes events to meet the desires of their clients in their beautiful Georgia town.

Why You Need To Feature Your Local Community

feature your local community

Do you feature your local community? Margi and Doug Erickson, innkeepers of the historic C. W. Worth House, the longest running B&B in Wilmington, North Carolina (open since 1985), do an excellent job promoting their historic town of Wilmington. Their 7-room B&B (each with private bathroom) was first constructed in 1893 by Charles W. Worth, a wholesale grocery merchant and a commission merchant in cotton and naval stores at the turn of the 20th century.

On their website, they provide a sample itinerary to let people know all that is available in their local area. Innkeepers can promote their community in many different places: on their websites, blog posts, and social media. Margi & Doug feature:

  • Activities (like golfing, kayaking, and shopping)
  • Airport (Wilmington International Airport)
  • Antiques (like Cape Fear Antique Center and Antiques of Old Wilmington)
  • Aquarium (NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher)
  • Arboretum (New Hanover County Arboretum)
  • Architecture (19th century urban architecture)
  • Attractions (including historic sites, gardens, parks, and trails)
  • Battleship North Carolina (open daily to visitors)
  • Beaches (they are midway between Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach)
  • Bicycle Rental (City Bicycle Company)
  • Craft Breweries (Waterline Brewing Company and Edward Teach Brewery)
  • Chocolate (Mon Ame Chocolate and Wine Bar)
  • Colleges (Cape Fear Community College)
  • Convention center (Wilmington Convention Center)
  • Dining (including Pilot House, Manna, and Pinpoint)
  • Downtown (one of the largest historic districts in NC covering 200 blocks)
  • Entertainment (various live entertainment)
  • Event Venues (including The Loft on Front and Bakery 105)
  • Festivals (Azalea Festival; Wilmington Wine and Chocolate Festival)
  • Film Locations (Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Iron Man 3, Safe Haven, etc.)
  • Food Tours (Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours)
  • Galleries (like the New Elements Gallery and Art in Bloom)
  • Gardens (Airlie Gardens by the Sea)
  • Ghost Walks (Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington)
  • Golf Courses (Magnolia Greens and Coastal Golf)
  • Historic Sites and Tours (3 Historic Mansions Open to The Public)
  • Holiday Events (holiday parades, Christmas by the Sea, Island of Lights)
  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours (Historic District)
  • Museums (Cape Fear Museum of History and Science; Cameron Art Museum; Wilmington Railroad Museum)
  • Music (including jazz and blues)
  • Nightlife (Satellite Bar & Lounge and Tavern Law)
  • Parks (Greenfield Lake Park and Hugh MacRae Park)
  • Performing Arts Center (The Wilson Center and Thalian Hall)
  • Plantation (Poplar Grove Historic Plantation)
  • Ports (a Coast Guard City that is home to USCGC Diligence)
  • Real Estate (they have 2 local realtor links)
  • Restaurants (like NeMa Lounge & Eatery, Elijah’s Seafood, and Caprice Bistro)
  • Running Trail (lots of trails to choose from)
  • Segway Tour (Historic Wilmington Segway Tours)
  • Shopping (The Cotton Exchange, Cape Fear Spice Merchants, Candles Etc.)
  • Theater (5 local theater groups performing year-round)
  • Trolley Tour (Wilmington Trolley Tours)
  • Universities (University of North Carolina-Wilmington)
  • Walks (Cape Fear River Walk)
  • Water Taxi and Water Tours (Wilmington Water Tours)
  • Wine Tastings (Fortunate Glass Wine Bar and Mon Ame)

Like many innkeepers do, Margi and Doug think of themselves as ambassadors to their city. They stay active in their community and welcome guests to visit them. They are open all year long. They set a great example for other innkeepers on how to feature your local community.

Insightful Questions Can Lead to Remarkable Results

lead to remarkable results

 

Insightful questions can lead to remarkable results. It is amazing how just thinking about the answers to questions (like the following listed below), can give innkeepers more clarity about what should be their priorities. It is important to regularly examine your goals (as well as the reasoning behind those goals).

 

  • What do you (and your inn) have to offer? (like innkeeper strengths & on-site amenities)
  • What do you excel at? (culinary skills, event management, hospitality, teaching, organization, property management, etc.)
  • Is your inn known for something? (the best place for…)
  • Do you have a mission statement or overall goal? (why do you exist?)
  • What is your focus? (this depends upon your inn’s purpose)
  • Who do you serve? (these are your current guests)
  • Who needs what you offer? (these are your ideal guests)
  • What problems do you solve? (this can explain why people visit you)
  • Why should they want your accommodations and services? (the benefits you offer)
  • What would make a lasting difference in your guests’ lives? (how you encourage repeat visits)
  • How do you (or will you) get your message across? (blog, social media, website, advertisements, press, etc.)
  • How do you (or will you) follow up to guest inquiries? (do you note who called and the questions they asked?)
  • Do you stay in touch with your guests? If so, how and how often? (weekly or monthly email list, mailing list, phone call, text, etc.)
  • Going forward, what is your plan of action? (how can you attract more of your ideal audience?)

It is a good idea to have a little notebook with you to record any random (yet potentially useful) thought that comes into your head. You never know when you may think of the next big thing your inn could do or offer! 

Guests are also a great source of information and inspiration. What do your guests compliment you about that you do have (or provide)? What do your guests ask you about that you currently do not have (or provide)? Read over your guest reviews as well as reflect upon what they have told you in person. Thus, insightful questions can lead to remarkable results!

How To Make Your Hospitality Better With Marketing By Seth Godin

marketing by seth godin

This is Marketing by Seth Godin is a must-read for anyone in business. Though this resource is useful for professionals from a variety of industries, this book is especially helpful for those who own and operate hospitality businesses. Seth Godin is a bestselling author many times over, the founder of many successful businesses, a former VP at Yahoo, and a member of the Marketing Hall of Fame. Thus, he has proven his expertise.

Godin advises that we must focus our work on the dreams and desires of those we serve. Obviously, innkeepers serve their guests. Effective marketing comes from understanding our target audience’s desires and connecting with them.

Godin recommends that we begin with an audience worth serving. Start with the needs, wants, and dreams of your ideal guests. Build your hospitality around what that audience desires. Tell a story that matches their hopes and greatest expectations.

  • What is the true story they want to hear?
  • Does your story match their worldview?
  • Is your story worded in a way that your audience will understand?
  • Does your story resonate with your audience?
  • Is your story memorable?
  • Is this a story your audience will want to share with others?
  • Have you positioned yourself to be the clear and obvious choice for accommodations in your local area?

Godin goes on to explain that what YOU (innkeepers) say about you is not nearly as important as what OTHERS (guests) say about you. This explains why quoting positive guest reviews on your website, in blog posts, and sharing on social media is so effective. Potential guests look at the words of your previous guests to let them know what they can expect. Your best guests become your new sales people when the words from their reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations spread.

How do we determine your audience (your ideal guests)? This means you decide who you can best serve. This is based upon the factors such as:

  • Your accommodations
  • Your amenities
  • Your events
  • Your food
  • Your guests
  • Your interests
  • Your local area
  • Your packages
  • Your weather

Examples of ideal hospitality guests (this varies depending on your inn):

  • Adventure seekers
  • Business travelers
  • Couples (romantic)
  • Culinary interests (“Foodies”)
  • Entertainment lovers
  • Families
  • Friends (Girls Getaway or Mancation)
  • History buffs
  • Pet owners
  • Sports fans

Based on Seth Godin’s advice to craft compelling true stories to attract your ideal customers, if you do not currently have it in writing, document the ideal guests you want to attract and write specifically to them. The more specific and personalized you make your content (including your blog, social media, and website), the more focused your content becomes on bringing in your ideal audience. Thus, you can make your hospitality (within your own specific niche) better.

Why Big Mill Bed and Breakfast Is So Special

big mill bed and breakfast

 

Big Mill Bed and Breakfast is more than a bed and breakfast. It is the original farmstead in Williamston, North Carolina that has been in the family since 1922. In fact, Innkeeper Chloe Tuttle was born here! With over 200 acres of grounds, guests are free to roam the original farm buildings and explore the expansive woodlands.

All five of her guest rooms and suites have private entrances and magnificent views of the lake. Guests are welcome to fish from a row boat on this lake.

Chloe continues to update and redecorate this special inn to keep it fresh. It is hard to believe that the Pack House, now a spacious suite, was once used to grade the tobacco for market.

Guests enjoy jams and preserves in season (blackberries, blueberries, figs, and grapes) from the farm orchard. Chloe’s menu uses many locally grown foods. She is happy to share her delicious recipes (including homemade granolas) with her guests and many of her recipes can be found on her Chloe’s Blog. She also is a talented photographer that captures not only her food, but outdoor nature photography.

Chloe Tuttle, and Big Mill Bed and Breakfast, is no stranger to media attention:

  • Our State Magazine has featured Chloe & Big Mill both in print and online
  • Scott Simon from NPR’s Weekend Edition interviewed Chloe about her “Snow Cream” recipe
  • ABC News featured Big Mill as one of the “10 Eco-Friendly Inns for Earth Day”

Here on the farm, they have been “earth friendly” for generations. Big Mill Bed and Breakfast has been honored with the highest award NC Green Travel gives and Chloe is part of Trip Advisor’s Green Leaders program.

  • Laundry is hung to dry on a long, sturdy clothesline
  • Everything that can be gets recycled or reused
  • Low-voltage lighting used wherever possible
  • Air-circulating ceiling fans are in most of the rooms throughout the inn
  • Water is drawn from the inn’s well
  • Plants are grown in a “rain gutter garden”
  • On the North Carolina Birding Trail

In addition, Big Mill Bed and Breakfast hosts weddings. Chloe’s website says, “Tuxedos to blue jeans–this is your day.” More than one bride has been pictured in her wedding dress alongside her groom on a motorcycle! Ask Chloe about her all-inclusive elopement or vow-renewal package.

Chloe Tuttle is a friendly and talented innkeeper, gardener, chef, blogger, photographer, historian, and so much more. Just ask Chloe if you want to have an extended stay at Big Mill B&B. She loves to have the traveling nurses and doctors.

Guests will love staying at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston, a member of the prestigious North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns. Conveniently located just two hours from Raleigh, North Carolina and two hours from Norfolk, Virginia yet a stay at Big Mill B&B can be a fun vacation away from your cares!

Can Your Guests Get To Know You Before They Arrive?

guests get to know you

Looking for an excellent example of an inn with a detailed “About Us” section (where guests get to know you), I found Blessings on State’s “Meet Your Innkeepers” page! Gwenn, Glenn, and Valerie along with Mary and Kelly are the talented team of people making Blessings a friendly and elegant choice for accommodations in Jacksonsville, Illinois. Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Blessings at State loves hosting guests!

Here’s what I like about their “Meet Your Innkeepers” page that other innkeepers who do not yet have a detailed “About Us” section can emulate:

  • Enthusiasm about sharing their historic home and gardens with their guests
  • Welcoming guests to explore their local area including its shops and restaurants
  • Serving as local experts to share recommendations & develop travel itineraries
  • Developing strategic partnerships (their recommended restaurant offers guests of Blessings a complimentary appetizer or dessert)
  • Showing it serves a variety of guests including couples and business travelers
  • Pictures, names, and a specific description of what each person likes to do (Gwenn recommends that this is regularly updated)
  • Positive quotes and advice from the innkeepers to their guests (guests notice)
  • Life challenges overcome, talents used, and achievements made
  • If relevant, featuring pets and their amount of interaction with guests
  • True appreciation for how each person contributes to making the inn run well
  • Including participation in annual and community events
  • Membership in hospitality associations, Convention & Visitors Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce
  • Credentials like hospitality education or culinary expertise

Other things included in the Blessings “About Us” section of their website:

  • Awards (including TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence and Glorious Garden)
  • Press Attention (the Red Chair even made a visit)
  • Top 10 Reasons to stay at their bed and breakfast
  • Discussion of history with long list of modern amenities (best of both worlds)
  • Breakfast options (formal dining, breakfast to go, sleep in with delivery)
  • Discussion of gracious living (grand entry, woodwork, chandeliers, baby grand)
  • Invitation to enjoy their porch and gardens
  • Policies (check in/out, parking, early/late night arrival, food allergies, smoking)
  • Contact Us page

Other details innkeepers can include:

  • Contests and Other Awards (recipe contest, green leader, etc.)
  • Participation at Hospitality Conferences and Culinary Events
  • Hobbies (such as photography or sports)
  • Favorites (favorite food, favorite recipe, favorite movie, favorite quote, etc.)

Many guests want to already “meet” the innkeepers BEFORE they arrive and the “About Us” and “Meet Your Innkeeper” sections really do help. So how well can guests get to know you before they arrive? Readers, if there something else about you (or your inn) that you share on your website, feel free to comment below.

Also, enjoy this video tour of Blessings on State Bed and Breakfast:

Do You Know Your Signature Hospitality Story?

your signature hospitality story

 

In Carmine Gallo’s bestselling book Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great, he teaches that you must be able to persuade others to buy into your vision. Also, you must answer the question, “What’s your story?” Innkeepers should answer, “What’s your signature hospitality story?

 

According to Mr. Gallo, your “signature story” has the following components:

  • It is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end (resolution)
  • It’s intriguing, thought-provoking, novel, informative, interesting, entertaining
  • It’s authentic (it must be true, or it could harm your credibility)
  • It includes specific details that enhance its authenticity
  • It reveals a surprise (people love surprises)
  • It introduces empathetic characters (your audience should be able to see themselves in your shoes)
  • It includes conflict and tension as well as overcoming a meaningful hurdle to achieve success
  • This signature story will help you, your product, and your brand story stand out
  • It differentiates you from your competition because no two brands share the same story
  • You must appeal to your audience’s emotion in order to persuade them
  • The story is about your brand or company

Keeping Mr. Gallo’s advice in mind, ask yourself:

  • What is my story of how I became an innkeeper?
  • What is the beginning, middle, and end (present day)?
  • What true facts should I tell others so that my story is worthy of their attention?
  • What specific details can I add to enhance the authenticity of my story?
  • What surprises have happened to me along the way as an innkeeper?
  • How can I connect my past to the present day in a way that others could picture themselves in my shoes?
  • What conflicts and tension did I experience as I overcame obstacles to achieve what I have today?
  • Does this story help me, my inn, and my brand story stand out?
  • Does this story help set me apart from my competition?
  • Does this story appeal to my audience’s emotion so I can persuade them to stay at my inn?
  • Is this story a positive representation of my business?

Great storytellers build trust. Think about the overall message you want to convey to your guests. The world needs to know what makes you different from other innkeepers and accommodations.

If you do not have an “About Us” page on your website, consider having one. Many guests would like to know who they are staying with before they book a room at your bed and breakfast inn. This is an opportunity to share about your signature hospitality story.

Feel free to share your experiences both inside and outside the hospitality industry. This will help you look more well-rounded. You can even include volunteer experience (if it is relevant).

You may want to include the names of some of the countries you have visited, if you have traveled across the world. This encourages guests outside your country to visit your inn. If you speak more than one language fluently, be sure to include that in your story.

If you have a talent (like playing a musical instrument) or skill (teaching cooking lessons) you are welcome to include that in your story. This is part of what sets you apart from other innkeepers and bed and breakfast inns.

When you can show what makes you and your inn special, then guests will be more likely to stay with you. If you (or your inn) has earned awards and distinctions, or earned media attention, be sure to add that to your website as well. The better you are at communicating what makes your inn special, with your signature hospitality story, the more likely you are to receive bookings.

Do You Know What Makes You Different From Your Competition?

different from your competition

 

Businesses always have competitors, so do you know what makes you different from your competition? Do you clearly show why bed and breakfast guests should stay with you and NOT another local inn or a hotel? 

No matter what kind of B&B you have, you can emphasize your specific amenities, strengths, and accomplishments. Examples include:

 

  • Accommodating to Guests’ Dietary Restrictions
  • Art on Display and/or Guests Creating Art (with Instructor) During Their Stay
  • Bikes Available for Guests to Use During Their Stay
  • Breakfast Delivered to Your Room
  • Business Amenities: High Speed Internet, Desks, Electronic Charging of Devices
  • Community Outreach, Local Volunteer Service, and/or Sponsoring a Cause 
  • Consistent (and Exceptionally High) Online Reviews from Guests
  • Culinary Classes or Retreat for Your Guests or Your Own Cookbook
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station
  • B&B Farm with Animals to Pet and Products (Such as Goat Cheese)
  • Fresh Floral Arrangements in Guest Rooms (Part of a Package)
  • Game Room with Pool Table, Ping Pong Table, Chess, etc.
  • Gardening Awards for Incredibly Beautiful and Well-Maintained Grounds
  • Gift Shop with Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, Postcards, etc.
  • Gourmet Chocolate and/or Chocolate Desserts with Hot Cocoa or Coffee 
  • Green Leader in the Hospitality Industry
  • Guest Packages Customized for Specific Interests and/or Occasions
  • Host Elegant Private Events Like Parties, Retreats, Receptions, and Weddings
  • Indoor and/or Outdoor Pool for Guests to Use
  • Library of Books and Other Media Available to Your Guests
  • Local Love from Other Local Businesses (Receiving Word of Mouth Referrals)
  • Logo That Is Memorable and/or Catchy Slogan for Your Inn
  • Luxurious Spa or Private In-Room Massage Service
  • Modern Inn with Modern Decor and Amenities
  • Movie Theater Screening Room
  • Only Historic Bed and Breakfast in Your Town
  • Partnership with a Tour Guide Company That Picks Up Your Guests
  • Picnic Lunch Option for Your Guests (Can Be Part of a Package)
  • Plenty of Free Parking Available to Guests and Well-Lit Inn at Night
  • Private Wine Tastings or a Complimentary Social Hour with Wine and Cheese
  • Professional Photography of Your Inn and The Food You Serve Your Guests
  • Restaurant Inn Open to the Public (Not Limited to Your Overnight Guests)
  • Strong Online Social Media Presence 
  • Tickets to Local Concerts or Events (For An Additional Fee)
  • Won a Local, Regional, or Even National Best Recipe Contest 
  • Yoga and/or Fitness Focused Inn with Classes for Guests

When you know HOW you are different from your competition, then you can be sure to communicate your message of uniqueness to attract even more guests. Be sure to feature what makes your inn different in regular blog posts as well as in social media. This is a successful way to position your own brand. Make your B&B the obvious first choice for those looking to stay in your area!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How To Develop Guest Packages

how to develop guest packages

 

To attract more visitors to your bed and breakfast, develop guest packages.  Packages are a great way to reinforce your brand and your inn’s image.  This also allows you to offer discounts without cutting your room prices.  When you bundle several items, services, and features together, this adds more revenue to your B&B business.

 

 

Wondering how to come up with some great ideas for bed and breakfast packages? Can you offer some courses or classes?  If you teach a particular skill (or can find a teacher), offer to host a bed and breakfast retreat. Potentially, you could fill all of your rooms.

  • Artist Retreat
  • Bird Watching Retreat
  • Book Club Retreat
  • Culinary Kitchen Getaway
  • Farming Retreat
  • Board Games Retreat
  • Gardening Getaway
  • Photography Retreat
  • Quilters Retreat
  • Scrapbooking Retreat
  • Writers Retreat
  • Yoga Retreat

 

What about featuring local attractions in your area?

  • Entertainment Package
  • Historic Tours Package
  • Restaurant Package
  • Spectator Sports Package
  • Wine Lovers Package

 

Do you want to attract a specific group of people?

  • Class Reunions
  • Family Reunions
  • Girlfriend Getaways

 

How about offering a promotional package during each season?

  • Winter Specials: activities like ice skating, skiing, and snowmobiling
  • Spring Renewal: everything starts to bloom again
  • Summer Fun in the Sun: can include amusement or water park tickets
  • Fall Foliage: certain parts of the country are known for their beautiful autumn colors

 

Is there a specific sport or physical activity that is popular in your area?

  • Bike Tours
  • Golf Getaways
  • Horseback Riding
  • Snow Skiing

 

What about promoting the holidays to your guests?

  • New Year’s Package
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Package
  • Christmas Package

 

The bed and breakfast package could center around guests’ relationships.

  • Anniversary Package
  • Babymoon Package
  • Family Travel Deals
  • Honeymooners Package (you can offer this even if you do not host weddings)
  • Romance Package (not just for Valentine’s Day, but for any time of the year)
  • Wedding Package

 

There are so many different package possibilities, depending upon where you are located and your interests:

  • For mystery lovers, you could offer a Murder Mystery Weekend Package.
  • For couples or single travelers looking to be pampered have a Massage Package or Spa Retreat.
  • If you live near a university, you may offer a package to the Parents of College Students.
  • If your inn is close to a number of major businesses or hosts business conferences, you may offer a Business Travelers Package.
  • If you would like to offer discounts to a specific groups of people you can: Military Special, Senior Citizen Discount, Teachers Discount, etc.
  • If you are a green inn, you could offer a discount to those driving cars with alternative fuel options.  You can reward your guests for being eco-friendly and helping Clean the World.

For more alternatives, offer an a-la-carte approach and let your guests create their own package by choosing from specific add-ons you offer.  They could add chocolate, flowers, heart-shaped balloons, teddy bears, and other special upgrades to their room price.

Packages can be centered around the time of the week the stay, “Midweek Specials” for slower times during the middle of the week.  “Spontaneous Specials” for last minute bookings for spontaneous travelers.  Even a Frequent Stay or Extended-Stay Discount.

There are many more bed and breakfast packages that you can put together based on what is in your local area, the types of guests you are trying to attract, your skills, and your amenities.  The key is to design your packages around the desires of the guests you want to attract.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How To Have Amazing Bed and Breakfast Curb Appeal

bed and breakfast curb appeal

 

Have you seen that HGTV Channel show called Curb Appeal?  That informative show is full of tips on how to attract people to want to come inside your home.  It is about becoming the best looking house in your neighborhood.  As a bed and breakfast owner, your goal is to look so appealing from the curb, that those passing by will want to book a stay.

 

The last thing you want is for people to visit your website that shows your bed and breakfast looking at its best, only for them be sadly disappointed when they visit and see that it has not been well maintained.  As you may already know, this is why first impressions are very important.

 

Useful Curb Appeal Questions

 

  • Do I have an attractive sign displaying the name of my bed and breakfast?  Well made signs can attract the attention of others from the road.

 

  • Does my home look inviting?  You want it to look loved and cared for, just as you will do for your guests in showing them hospitality.

 

  • Is there a clear path to my front door?  Guests should not be confused about the main entrance to your bed and breakfast.

 

  • Does my front door look welcoming?  You may need to refinish it and add a coat of fresh paint.  You may want to feature seasonal wreaths on it. Some even inns have front doors with stained glass.

 

  • Is there an outdoor focal point that tells guests where to look first?  This could be a fountain, bench, walkway, tree, or anything else attractive.

 

  • Do I have an attractive way to distinguish the boundaries of my property from that of my neighbors?  This could be fencing with landscaping inside your yard.  Or it could be trimmed hedges that add an attractive border.

 

  • Is my lawn well-manicured?  The key is to consistently mow and fertilize so that it is easy to maintain and you have the greenest turf on your street.  If your yard needs to be revitalized, talk to some local lawn care companies.

 

  • Do my windows sparkle and shine?  Make sure that windows are clean.  If they need replacing, go green with energy efficient windows.

 

  • Do I need to have anything repaired? This means looking at things like your roofing, gutters, decks, and siding.  Make sure that nothing is rotted.  Have regular pest inspections performed.

 

  • Are my driveways and walkways safe, clean, and attractive?  This could mean power-washing, repairing brick as well as repairing stonework and concrete.

 

  • Do I have any dead or diseased plants or trees that need removing?    Trim shrubs, prune overgrown plants, and remove dead trees and their stumps.

 

  • Do I have a variety of evergreens and flowering shrubs?  Group plants by height and layer the groups for visual interest.  You can also vary the colors and textures.

 

  • Is there something that sets my yard apart from others?  This could be a gazebo, a pond, a fountain, statues, porches, and swings.

 

  • Do I have plants in pots or urns in eye-catching places like near steps and walkways?  Some people prefer a symmetrical look at the front door with the same thing on each side of the front door.

 

  • Do I have a garden of some kind for guests to enjoy?  This could be a flower garden, rock garden, or a vegetable garden. You can even grow your own spices to flavor your meals.

 

  • Do I have a plan for irrigation?  Depending upon your climate, ideally you have sprinklers for hot and dry times of the year.

 

  • Is everything that is painted on my property look clean and bright?  You never want guests to see cracked or peeling paint.  It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to revive the look of something.

 

  • At night, will my guests be able to see when they return to my bed and breakfast?  There should be enough outdoor lighting that it is safe and attractive for guests to come back to your inn.  Any paths they should walk should be well lit.

 

It is important that your property gives them a great first impression and sets your guests at ease that they made the right choice to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Help them feel sure of their decision from the very moment they see your property and love your bed and breakfast curb appeal.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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