Thursday, May 24, 2018

Freeport, Maine...Did You Know?

While we all know that L.L. Bean and the outlets have long been anchors for Freeport, the village has evolved into so much more!

Did you know....
There are concerts in the park all summer?
There's an annual winter festival in the park sponsored by LLBean?
There are 2 state parks nearby?
You can go fishing from Winslow Park?
There are 3 new breweries coming to town?
There are already 2 breweries in town?
You can canoe and kayak?
You can take a scenic nature cruise or sailing trip from town?
Pineland Farms is only 10 miles away?
Portland is only 20 minutes away? (and can often be more expensive than Freeport)
There are a number of new small, specialty shops in town?
Bow Street Market (a wonderful small specialty market) in town offers items farmed, fished and made by locals all over Maine?

I haven't even mentioned the booming food scene which has reached Freeport too (not just Portland)!

See why we say Freeport is so much more than shopping?

James Place Inn is situated in a lovely residential neighborhood, just a side street off Main Street. Close enough to walk everywhere, but removed enough to enjoy the quiet. And with sidewalks up and down the entire length of Main Street, it makes walking around a pleasure. And the inn is just 3 miles to the waterfront.

With 7 rooms and a gorgeous 3 bedroom owner's house, this beautifully maintained inn checks off a lot of boxes for buyers. Check out the property offering below and contact me with any questions!


James Place Inn

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Limerock Inn is motivated to sell?


Yes, the Limerock Inn is motivated to sell….

Why, you ask? What’s wrong? Why are they anxious to get out? These are common questions from prospective buyers when they hear a seller is motivated. But in this case, there’s no negative reason. The owners Frank and PJ are 13 years in. That’s a pretty good stretch. And they’re definitely too young to retire. So they started thinking about what they’d do in the next phase of their lives. For Frank, an opportunity to get back into business lending fell into his lap. Too ideal to pass up, he accepted the position in 2017. Because Frank’s job requires some travel, that often leaves PJ to run the inn solo which can be pretty difficult when it’s busy, even as good as PJ is. So are they motivated to sell? Yes! It’s not really possible to fully devote yourself to two jobs and do them both really, really well. And Frank and PJ don’t want to offer anything less than 100%. 

So it’s time to hand over this grand Victorian inn to new stewards sooner rather than later. Check out this gorgeous painted lady Victorian. It checks off a lot of boxes.

p.s. if the beautiful wall covering or more period decor isn’t your thing, they’ll give a $50,000 seller assist to redecorate or use how you see fit. Now THAT’s an offer. Now bring yours!



 
One of the newly redecorated guest rooms with a more neutral tone on tone wall covering





View the listing details on my website.

Thanks for browsing!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

New Listing - A Boutique Motel in Wiscasset

A Boutique Motel

Another new listing just hit the market! This one offers high visibility on Route 1 in Wiscasset, just a few miles from Red's Eats and their famous lobster roll.

At a Glance
-8 acres of woodlands
-29 guest units plus 1 longer term vacation rental
-Workshop and Storage Building
-Laundry building with up to date commercial equipment, slop sink and storage
-Main lodge building with reception lobby, guest dining room/lounge with wood burning fireplace
-Firepits, picnic tables, croquet, bocce ball, badminton, and a half mile walking trail around the property
-Public water/sewer for the lodge and 29 units; septic for the cottage property
-Original cottages built circa 1915 (closest we can find through research), some were moved 1950 to another location offsite and then moved to this site in 1975; the motel and main building were built in 1971 with a second story added in 1972. At some point during the 1990s, the owner at the time moved the individual cabins onto shared foundations with a common roof, and at the same time added the two story picture window addition. In May 2017, the current owners finished the 6 cabins that were unfinished at the time they purchased, and turned them into 4 beautifully designed cabins.
-Great owner's 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment with large open living/dining room and brand new kitchen and sitting room.

Very strong seasonal business in place that could be extended if new owners wanted.

For more information, click on the presentation above or visit the listing page on my website.

Financially Viable. Financials disclosed to qualified party with signed non-disclosure agreement.

Offered at $1,425,000






Monday, May 7, 2018

New Listing! Lindenwood Inn in Southwest Harbor, Maine

Lindenwood Inn

A fantastic new listing just hit the market. Loads of goodwill comes with this inn - the innkeeper/owner has been there almost 27 years!

Check out the listing presentation and contact me if you wish to discuss or have any questions. This issue checks off a lot of boxes...

Offered at $1,700,000

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

When a prospective buyer asks "What's the primary reason an innkeeper or an inn fails to succeed?"

I recently had a really great conversation with a new aspiring innkeeper. Naturally, he had a lot of questions. Many of the questions have been covered in my Top 12 Blog Posts Buyers Want To Know (which is how I came up with the topic in the first place, directly from conversations with aspiring innkeepers).

But there was one that I hadn't thought of:
"What's the primary reason and innkeeper or an inn fails?" And I've added 'or fails to grow the business' Brilliant question. 

The majority of the time, there is one primary reason: Change.
The innkeeper fails to understand the need for change. To change with the times, with the changing demographic, with the ever changing marketing landscape.

Not changing with the times and the demographic
This could include changing the style of the inn to appeal to a larger demographic, to a younger demographic, and to the demographic with a preference toward a hotel stay. Many (not all) guests are moving toward bright, light, clean lines, neutral decor and away from the historic style of a former grand era. That doesn't mean that historic and traditional decor isn't appealing. We are seeing more of a mix of the two, to appeal to both preferences. But gone are the preferences of the lace doilies, floral wall coverings to match the bedding and draperies and heavy decor. Historic architectural details such as original woodwork, tin ceilings, beautiful staircases, slate roofs, turrets, pocket doors, carved fireplace mantels, etc, are all much appreciated details. But they can mix with a more contemporary, neutral decor in a very pleasing and eclectic way.

Inns of all sizes have an opportunity to appeal to the hotel guest in several ways, one of which is more contemporary with neutral walls, pops of color, white linens, clean lines, uncluttered look. This doesn't mean every inn has to be modern, it just means there can be a mix of period details, some patterned textiles, but mix them judiciously with light neutrals. You want the room to feel fresh. Guests love to walk in a bright, uncluttered room and often that translates to clean. You'll appeal to a much bigger demographic, particularly the younger generation of travelers. And they are a big part of our tourism economy.

Today's traveler expects instant communication, instant booking, everything on demand. They are often in communication with an innkeeper via text. They often book a room on their phone and show up at your inn 5 minutes later. And that's a great segue into my next point...

Not understanding the importance of the OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) and GDS (Global Distribution Systems)


The Cloud has provided so many opportunities for the lodging industry to distribute their rooms by distributing them amongst many consumer booking sites. That's a whole other series of blog posts in itself, so I'm just going to speak in general terms at this point!

These days, OTAs such as Expedia, Booking.com, etc are as essential to the small inns as the large hotels. Let's face it, we are all competing for guests. In more recent years, we began to see a change in the hotel industry in that many began offering cookies at the front desk, free WiFi, free bottled water in rooms, crisp white triple sheet bedding, layers of pillows and an accenting bed scarves. All things that  most bed and breakfasts have already been doing. They saw the need to compete with our segment of the hospitality industry. And so in recent years, our segment has realized the need to join the hotel market in the OTAs. Why not? Many innkeepers will answer "the commissions are too high". But if 15% of a $150 reservation fills that room, isn't $128 better than $0 if it sat vacant? If you are able to drive reservations to your site and away from the booking sites, fantastic. You've managed to accomplish what every innkeeper wants.

Many innkeepers avoid these sites to avoid double booking. But there are ways to integrate the OTAs with your reservation system so that the reservations are done in real time and there's never a lag in updating your availability. It's done seamlessly. This may mean an upgrade to your current reservation system, but it can make all the difference and pay for itself with seamless OTA bookings.

Not fully understanding the supply and demand and room rate structure
It's basic economics. If the demand for your rooms is up, your rates should go up.  If the demand for your rooms is down (you see a drop in occupancy), you drop rates (but not lower than initially). Once you see the rate drop begin to fill rooms after time, you increase your rates again. But this requires constant monitoring of rates, even daily. There are business and tech savvy innkeepers who get it and who understand Yield Management an how to adjust rates according to the demand. More on that in another blog post!

Not fully understanding the importance of today's social media marketing
This can be another blog post but you probably don't have the attention span (or time) to read all that can be said about this topic. But this is absolutely essential.

It all comes down to change.

To discuss any of this, feel free to contact me. And check out the rest of my buyer-helpful blog posts.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

New Listing! The Lighthouse Inn & Carriage House in York Beach, Maine

A fantastic new listing just came to the market just steps from Long Sands Beach and Nubble Light.

The Lighthouse Inn and Carriage House


The Lighthouse Inn and Carriage House is located in York Beach’s most sought-after neighborhood, on The Nubble!

There are 31 rooms; a large lobby/great room with stone fireplace; outdoor pool and hot tub; patio with umbrella tables; laundry facility; staff cottage; and paved parking for 36 cars.

The original carriage house was built in 1870 and the additional hotel buildings were built in 1980. All units are renovated and offer a casual, hip, beachy vibe.

The business is operated 6 months, May-October and is financially viable. Strong cap rate.

Offered at $3,295,000. See the listing on my website.  Contact me for details.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Commercial Interest Rates.....up? down? up? down?

Interest rates for commercial hospitality loans remain historically low. However, we are seeing them on the rise. The most favorable recent rates we saw in January ranged from 4.35% to 4.75%. Today we are seeing 4.8% to 5.25% or higher. The better your credit, the better the cash flow of the property, the better chance you have of obtaining the most favorable rate. And don't forget about your business plan. This contributes to the lender's comfort level with your ability to operate a successful inn and repay your loan and that in turn contributes to the rate they offer.
We have connections with various local banks who are well versed in hospitality loans and they tend to offer the most competitive rates.
If you have a 401k, you might be able to use that to invest in your own business purchase. You might be able to qualify for an SBA (Small Business Administration) loan.
Contact me to talk about your options. But don't wait too long. Rates are on a slow climb. 
Read more about financing and more on my Top 12 Blog Posts For Buyers