Grove City Motel is a friendly, old Florida-style motel in sunny Englewood, Florida.
The property consists of eight units and one cottage on good-sized grounds, which also include a swimming pool. Frequent guests are usually made up of eager fisherman looking to take advantage of the prospects the local area affords.
Dan Peterson and his wife came on board in early 2016 to help manage the day-to-day demands of the motel.
The day starts early with me opening up the office. I do whatever paperwork and processing that’s required and then work on the pool and grounds. My wife is in charge of rooms and laundry. Of course we work together depending on the needs for the day.
Since we did everything with pen and paper it was easy to miss a step. As for booking, we wanted to fill the room that would be empty during the week in the off season.
We needed something that my wife and the owners could use without needing a long training period. A platform that could easily be used when we’re away from the property (I am a bit technically challenged!) on a smartphone or tablet. I can’t believe how much I can do on my phone.
Little Hotelier is like having 24 hours of office staff for $119 a month. It’s so easy to operate, a child could do it. My wife and I simply entered all of our existing reservations and started using the system. We kept a written record of business for a week and then felt comfortable just using Little Hotelier to keep track of things after that. I like the ease of looking at the calendar to check availability and daily activity, and the reports button to keep track of income and statistics. It is so great to be able to rattle off numbers to my boss at the touch of a key.
The first month we used the front office manager. The second month we added the OTAs. Two days before the end of the second month I had to have major surgery on my foot. For a month I ran the office from my bed. In one of our typically slower months we finished with 87.6 % occupancy.
I still get to take my own reservations and decide which rooms I release to them. The best thing is in just a few seconds I can run last-minute specials to fill empty rooms.
I will be spending more time on landscaping and remodeling as soon as I get back on my feet. For now the only reason we have not had to hire a full time employee to make up for my recuperation period is due to the time saved by Little Hotelier and the unbelievable amount of outside work my wife has taken on.
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