The Secrets of Both Sides of Innkeeping with Heide Bredfeldt

Ep. 2

Although services like Airbnb, VRBO, and others alike might seem very convenient for travelers who want to do it all by themselves, they can't and don’t offer the same individualized service innkeepers provide. 

A guest that appreciates being catered to and pampered will undoubtedly look for accommodations where they can get that kind of service; inns and traditional b&bs are uniquely qualified to provide it. As innkeepers, we must remember to be proud, own that space, and walk steadily knowing there is an exclusive space for us in the market. 

Today, I have the honor of welcoming my first guest to the show, Heide Bredfeldt, Co-Owner and Partner at Inn Partners. She has been assisting current and future innkeepers for over 30 years with her spouse and business partner Bill Oates, "The Guru of the Inn Business." In 1999, in partnership with her son David and her husband, they purchased the Three Mountain Inn in Jamaica, Vermont. In less than 5 years, the Inn achieved a four-diamond rating from AAA before being sold. 

Heide blends her experience as a psychotherapist and former innkeeper to incorporate the personal side of Innkeeping into her consulting. She has a gift for matching the right buyer with the perfect Inn, and she kindly shares bits of her knowledge and experience with us today. 

Our conversation touched on the strong bond between Innkeeping and attention to detail, Heide's definition of hospitality, being an ambassador in your area, and the importance of self-care. We talk about the importance of knowing what guests want and how crucial it is to read them properly and listen to them carefully. Heide also shared details of the journey that made her an innkeeper and the lessons she learned along the way.  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • We know that you've been in the business for more than 25 years. Could you tell us about your history and your experience? (2:35)
  • What's your definition of hospitality? (9:20)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • You shouldn't be doing the $15/hour job (8:27)
  • Giving an Oscar-winning performance every time we receive a guest (12:07)
  • Make sure you vacuum under the bed. Some of Heide's lessons learned along the way (18:20)
  • If your restaurant doesn't serve a guest's favorite dish, you must know a restaurant that does (22:45)



Connect with Heide:


Let's Connect!

More Episodes


How To Improve Guests' Experiences and Maximize Sales with Doug Kennedy

Ep. 12
Today, Doug Kennedy, Founder and President of the Kennedy Training Network (KTN) joins us to share some nuggets from his 30+ years of experience in the hospitality industry. Doug delivered training workshops globally, in places like Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sophia, Frankfurt, and Milan, to name a few, touching the lives of at least 40,000 hoteliers in the process.  At KTN, Doug delivers training in hotel sales, hospitality and guest service staff, front desk, and reservations sales. Our conversation revolves around the five principles of hospitality excellence, how to attract new clients and increase sales, situational sensitivity, and the importance of self-care. We discuss Doug's two definitions of hospitality, how innkeepers can avoid exhaustion and burnout, and how being smaller than hotel chains and understanding the human touch are advantages inns have in the industry. In addition, Doug kindly shared some sales tips to transform our business simply by re-learning to use our inn's phone. Tune in to Episode 12 of INNtrospection, and pay attention to our conversation because Doug offers a discount code for his course "Reservations QUEST". Enjoy! Some Questions I Ask:How do you define hospitality? (4:23)In one of the articles you wrote, you talk about the five fundamentals of hospitality excellence. Can you enlighten us as to what they are? And give us some examples? (15:33)How do you feel that innkeepers can keep from burning out and keep being innkeepers and finding it exciting and fun? (23:12)In This Episode, You'll Learn:Hospitality is about caring for and about your guests (6:52)We are here to serve our guests, not to be their friends (11:50)The importance of self-care and taking a moment for us (22:57)Celebrate phone calls. People call before booking online (31:21)The importance of understanding the human touch a phone call provides (34:33)Resources:Kennedy Training Network website Book: Doug Kennedy - So You REALLY Like Working With People?: Five Principles For Hospitality ExcellenceBook: Doug Kennedy - Still On The Road To Sales And Guest Service Excellence: Doug Kennedy's Hospitality Training Articles 1996 - 2012Connect with Doug:LinkedInLet's Connect!

Inntrospection's March Madness

Ep. 10
People from all walks join the innkeeping industry for the most varied reasons. Some of them are fulfilling an old dream, others are just adventurous spirits, some found in innkeeping the perfect alternative for their 9 to 5, and there are those who love meeting new people and getting in touch with different cultures. Whatever the case might be, once they are part of the industry, some common topics arise in their lives. Such as what to do with their free time, how to build space for free time, the feeling of never disconnecting from the inn, or getting help to allocate time for advertising the inn. I decided to create my own version of NCAA's March Madness in today's episode. We'll cover a wide variety of topics, from the exciting and interesting conversations I had during the Association of Lodging Professionals Conference with over 100 innkeepers to the tough time I had during my first years in the business. We also go through how I created space for myself, how I disconnect from my business and the proper way to hire talent to help us. As  March is  Women's History month, I also take a few minutes to remember the intelligent, courageous, and inspiring women in my family who taught me so much about life, entrepreneurship, and being a strong woman. In This Episode, You Will Learn:About my beginnings as an innkeeper and my endless 24/7 rounds working days (5:26)What should we look for when we hire talent to assist us (9:43)How I created time for myself (13:29)About the strong, independent, courageous, and inspiring women in my family (18:34)We are broken vessels. How we fix our wounds and assimilate our defeats make us stronger (25:26)Let's Connect!