Talk about innkeepers who’ve embraced technology, to save both time and money!
Gary and Heidi, innkeepers of Atlantean Cottage in Bar Harbor (one of my new listings) have a great phone system setup. They have a cell phone plan with 3 lines: 1 smart phone each and 1 phone for the business landline that’s ported to a not-as-smart cell phone. They keep business separate from personal, yet they remain mobile for business. If a guest needs to use a phone while at the inn, they have a Google Voice number with an Obitalk device for a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) line that runs off the cable data. It cost about $50 for the device, no monthly fee. So their expense is simply their cell phone plan and cable (both of which they’d have anyway). What about a fax? Not really needed much these days, most people scan and email. But if they need to use a fax, there’s a free service with fax.com (limited volume for the free account). What about a credit card machine? They use Square with their iPad to take guest payments! There’s no fee for the hardware, only a small fee for the use, but it has proven to be less costly than the machine and the credit card fees when swiped or punched in. When they take deposits? Their reservation system automatically charges the guest’s card. Less room for human error and no need to keep credit card information stored!