This is an independently written review of The B&B and Country Inn Marketplace that appeared in the December 1998 issue of Real Times, now called Realty Times. Reprinted with permission. www.realtytimes.com Appeared in our Fall 1999 issue.
Have you ever daydreamed about leaving your fast-paced lifestyle behind – the job, the traffic, the congestion – and running a bed &: breakfast inn in some peaceful, scenic spot?
It’s a dream many adventurous sorts have pursued, some successfully, and others with the ultimate realization that running a B&B involves a bit more work than they – anticipated. Nevertheless, if you’ve ever visited a B&B, it’s difficult to resist the “leave it all behind” bug.
If you’re serious about buying a bed &: breakfast, several sites on the internet cater to this market.
Just such site is The B&B Country Inn MarketPlace, the world’s largest Bed and Breakfast and country inn marketing firm, based in Hickory, North Carolina. The company has representatives in 35 states and provinces to help consumers find the B&Bs of their dreams. The B&B and Country Inn Marketplace serves both as an information source and as a search engine. The color photographs of available listings take a bit of time to download due to their quality, but it’s worth the wait.
The site contains a “MarketPlace” link which enables B&B owners to list their properties with marketplace agents if they wish. And a web-browsing B&B seller is able to contact MarketPlace agents if they see a listing that appears to be a good fit with his or her own property.
One of the most fun aspects of this site is the search engine. Aspiring innkeepers enter their criteria – preferred state, country, options (inn with a restaurant, historic, owner financing), and maximum price. A test search – entering the state of Vermont, opting for a historic property, and listing a maximum price of $800,000 produced an impressive listing in the Green Mountains. The most impressive part of the listing, however, was its detail and array of beautiful color photographs. The description listed such details as sites within walking distance of the B&B, dates of repainting and refurbishing, and how previous guests have been referred to the B&B. And the listing walked consumers through the home using vivid details – architectural features, carpeting and wood descriptions, suggested uses for various rooms, and more. The accompanying photographs make consumers feel as if they were there, wandering the halls of the home. Those who are interested in the property may contact agents either by phone or an e-mail link.
If you prefer to peruse properties instead of searching for them, another link enables you to go that route. All of the listed properties include several color photograph as well as links that will showcase additional photos of the respective B&Bs, if desired. Properties are located everywhere from the company’s home state of North Carolina to New Mexico to France. Prices range from relative bargains all the way up to $3 million. Properties that are historic are labeled as such. A “Unique Properties” link showcases some of the more beautiful and architecturally diverse inns on the market.
Consumers may opt to sign up for the company’s newsletter, another service provided by The B&B and Country Inn MarketPlace. A “B&B Guides and Links” link is very extensive, covering a dizzying array of helpful online sites and brochures.
Aspiring innkeepers also will want to check out the link just for them on this site. They may choose to order one or both of the available helpful guides to help them get started in the B&B business; or enroll in the seminar series offered by the company designed to brief consumers on all aspects of the innkeeping business, the seminar is given by veteran innkeepers, an MAI business, appraiser, a marketing specialist, an accountant, and realtors from The B&B and Country Inn MarketPlace. Or, if you’d like to roll up your sleeves and get a taste test of the business before you commit to buying a property, you may enroll in the company’s apprenticeship program, which will help you gain hands-on experience in all aspects of B&B operations.
The B&B and Country Inn Marketplace is perhaps the best way to get your feet wet in this growing facet of the hospitality industry. The best selling point of the site is that you may find out ahead of time – through the apprenticeship program, seminar series and available literature – if you have what it takes to leave it all behind and embark on this unique adventure.
Written by Courtney Ronan Copyright 1998 Real Times
All Rights Reserved.
Please address article comments to: Claude or Mariette Gagne ~ The B&B and Country Inn MarketPlace
926 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd., SE, Hickory, NC 28602 | Email us
Toll free 877-828-2323, Office: 828-324-7291