Summer is Ending for Hotels and Motels…..Now What?

The Summer season is coming to a close.  If you blink more than once, Labor Day will be a distant memory, kids will be back to school, sunburns will be remembered in photos.  This is also the time of year when hotels and motels in South Jersey will start initializing their winterizing process.


Some owners want to shutter up and travel south for the winter.  Some want to keep open through Thanksgiving or later.  Some will stay open for weekends until the next season kicks off.  No matter the plan, there is always a reflection period to assess the summer season that just was.  Did this season meet or exceed expectations?  Were there happy guests vowing to return next year?  Was the staff a big hit with both the owners and the guests?


We can’t help with the staff, but we can help with part of what makes the guests happy.  We’ve put together a checklist of some of the keys to winterizing from a communications perspective.


  • How did your WiFi perform?
  • Were your guests happy with their web access capabilities?
  • Did you have any problems such as vandalism or accidents? Did your guests feel safe?
  • What do you do with your phone system during the winter?
  • Conversely, what do you do with your phone system when you come back in the Spring?
  • What happens if there’s a problem with it?


We’ll go in reverse order here.  If you shut your phone system down, how do you do it and what do you do in the Spring when it’s time to come back on?  If you just unplug it and then cross your fingers and hope everything works when you plug it back in, you may be doing it wrong.


If you have a maintenance agreement with Steelman & Co, you’ll be covered for the shutdown and restart of your system.  We’ll assess the system, phones, and lines to ensure that everything is working the way it should and is shutdown the way it should be.  It’s not curing cancer but there is a specific way to turn a system on or off.


The maintenance agreement can be paid monthly, quarterly, or even annually, and that’s all up to you.  This will give you some peace of mind and some cost certainty since any time we would need to come out for a service issue, there is no fee for it.  Ask us about setting up your phone system on a maintenance plan and take one more thing from your plate at the bookends of your season.


Now we’ll look at vandalism or accidents.  We don’t drive ambulances or carry a badge but we can help with both of these with our security camera systems.  I’ve got an example to share.


A woman wasn’t even a guest at the hotel but she went into the lobby in hysterics, claiming that she fell in the parking lot, demanding an ambulance.  The manager called an ambulance and tended to the woman while the owner went to the NVR to check the video from the security cameras in the parking lot.  The paramedics and police showed up and put the woman on a gurney.  The hotel owner handed a CD to the police officer and one to the woman, showing video footage of the woman lying down in the lot and placing a chair over top of her body, not slipping and falling as she claimed.  The woman hopped straight off the gurney and tried to avoid the police officer, which she couldn’t.


This saved the hotel from a lawsuit and a headache, and turned into a great story for us to share.  Security cameras can help prevent vandalism in the same way.  Vandals often look for video cameras so it acts as a deterrent and is likely to send them elsewhere.  Now you’ll just have to refer us to your neighbors so they’re not victims of vandalism.


You can set up a TV to view your cameras.  You can see them on your phone if you’re going to be away.  You can use the NVR device just like your DVR at home, so you can scroll to the exact right point.  We make it very easy to watch over your property at all times, allowing you and your guests to feel safe and comfortable.


Let’s get back to those happy guests now.


What makes for a happy hotel guest?  The weather is important at a beach resort but no hotel owner that I know can change that.  Even in the paradise of South Jersey, a little rain must fall sometimes, and when it does, what do vacationing families do?  Of course there are myriad options around town but some simply retreat to their rooms to stream videos or music, break out the work lap top, or just surf the net.


WiFi is crucial to hotel guests on a daily basis but it’s especially important on a rainy day.  If your resort doesn’t have WiFi service set up correctly, your guests won’t have a good experience on those days.  Then, when their friends ask about their vacation, they might not have the best things to say about where they stayed.


Let’s look at what goes into the WiFi setup and how your resort can maximize it.


Distance matters.  If your internet modem is in the hotel lobby, and you don’t have your WiFi properly setup or configured, you’re likely to get the strongest and maybe only internet signal there.  That means that your lobby will look like an internet cafe only lacking the baristas and trendy music.  If that’s what you want, stick with what you have.  If not though…..


Call Steelman & Co at 609.645.0200.  We will take a survey of your property, free of charge.  We look at where your internet comes in, the layout of your rooms, the common areas where service needs to be maximized.  We look at where to place the access points in order to saturate your property with strong internet for all guests.  This allows your guests to stay in their rooms or near the pool and still get a strong signal to do what they want on their devices.


We also limit the amount of bandwidth each user can have.  For example, on that rainy day, the folks that want to stream movies to their tablet will be able to, but only at a set pace.  This way they won’t be hogging all the bandwidth and leaving everyone else cursing at their phone or device.


We monitor the access points and can see if there’s a problem on your internet service, router, or access points.  Our guys will show up to fix a problem likely before you even know about it!


Almost half of our business comes from the hospitality industry and much of that is in the South Jersey area.  This includes Cape May, Wildwood, Ocean City, and everywhere in between.  We have great testimonials, especially in regard to our WiFi service.  Take a look at www.steelmancollc.com/testimonials for more.


We understand the area and our customers.  We understand the technology.  We understand that you have options and want to prove that we’re the best one.  When you’re shutting down your resort for the season and reflecting on what could have gone better, think of us.  We can help you with the technological aspect of this so you can focus on preventing those rain dances.

The Little Things

Steelman & Co is a small company and we have to rely on different revenue avenues than larger companies. We don’t have a big marketing budget so we count on referrals and testimonials as a large part of our growth. We also have to focus on the little things to try and separate ourselves from our competitors. When I say little things, I mean punctuality, reliability, and consistency. Here are two stories that illustrates this and shows how we differentiate ourselves from other companies.

I called on a popular hotel in Wildwood this Spring to discuss WiFi services. The owner was willing to talk to me but was less than enthusiastic about what we could provide. He had doubts about any credible WiFi service in Wildwood. On top of that, he had seen contractors in Wildwood for years and didn’t hold many of them in high regard. In his experience, half the time the contractors wouldn’t even show up. This was especially aggravating during the off season when he would trek to South Jersey from his house in Philadelphia, only to have a no-show. He called it Wildwood-itis.

We set the schedule for the site survey and coordinated with the owner to be at his property at 9AM on Tuesday. At 9AM on Tuesday, our guys showed up and saw just how surprised the owner was. “Wait a minute”, he said. “You guys actually showed up when you said you were going to show up”. This is amusing for us since we do what we say we’ll do. We completed the survey and the next day, provided the hotel owner with a proposal for WiFi services. After some back and forth, he was convinced and signed up for us to do the work.

His next surprise came when we showed up to do the work. Again, we were punctual. We completed the work, cleaned up after ourselves, and left the owner with his mouth agape. He wasn’t used to punctuality, clean work, and reliability.

Fast forward a few months and this hotel is now one of our best references. His doubts about quality WiFi in Wildwood have been alleviated. He trusts at least one contractor that he knows now. And lastly, he is signing us up to work on his other property. The little things – being on time, doing good work, communicating about the process – all seem so simple but clearly had a big impact on this specific hotel owner. Take a look at our Testimonials Page and see if you can guess which one this is.

Next, I received a voice mail last Saturday afternoon from a potential customer. This prospect owns and runs a popular bar and grill in The Villas. He had been referred to us by an existing customer that sang our praises. When I called him back, ten minutes after his voice mail, he was impressed. He didn’t expect to get a call back on a Saturday, let alone just a few minutes after his voice mail.

When I showed up 15 minutes early for the agreed upon site survey that we coordinated on that call, he was even more impressed. He must’ve had similar experiences to those of the aforementioned Wildwood hotel owner. A big part of any job, folks, is just showing up, so show up on time or in this case, show up early. It clearly made a good impression.

I ran the survey and the next day, I went in to deliver and discuss the proposal with him. He had called his friend that had originally referred us to double check on our reputation and work history. He trusted his friend, liked that we were prompt, and when I arrived with the proposal, he had a check waiting for me.

So what’s the point here? Everybody has stories about how they won deals and what separates them from their competition. Everybody loves their own employees and thinks they do things better than everyone else. Maybe everybody even has great referral stories like these. The point here is that it works and this is further proof that it works. “It” is the little things. The little things work. Be prompt, be courteous, be knowledgeable. Do what you say you’ll do. Steelman & Company does these things and it’s helping grow our reputation. Check out our testimonial page to see who’s happy with our work. Call those folks for yourself and ask them what they like about us. If you do, you might be the next story on this page or the next testimonial on our site.

Get to Know Us

We’re Steelman & Co., a telecommunications company based in Cape May Court House. We install phone systems, WiFi, security cameras, and overall, connect just about anything to low voltage cabling. We also consult on all of your telecom needs from internet to VOIP systems to mobile phones, and then some. If there is something out there that helps you communicate with your customers and staff, we can help you get it.

So that’s a brief overview of what we do. But who are we?

There’s Darryl, our eponymous owner. He’s been pulling wire and installing phone systems for 20 years. He likes Tampa Bay sports teams, dark beer, and anything that makes his daughters smile. He’s not afraid to get dirty at work, including doing things like climbing in attics and crawlspaces under buildings. He’s the size of your average NFL tight end so that’s no easy task.

Next is Dave, the best telecom tech in the county. Everyone that knows Dave, trusts him and his knowledge. And Dave seems to know everyone. The only reason he slows down is to hit the links; Dave is one of the best golfers around. He’s from the Buffalo area but the South Jersey shore has been home for almost 30 years now.

Adam is the brains of our operation. He’s been a telecom installer for 20 years and is a Panasonic and Ubiquiti expert. If not for Adam, we wouldn’t have such a growing WiFi reputation (it’s true, look here – www.steelmancollc.com/testimonials/ ). Since he lives in Court House, don’t be surprised if Adam shows up at your business, ready to fix things, when you didn’t even call him. He knows when your WiFi isn’t working, many times before you do. It’s a gift.

Matt runs the sales department. You’re liable to see him at any Chamber event, Business Association mixer, or social function. He turns up often at a Phillies game as well. Matt is from the suburbs of Philadelphia and splits his time in Ocean City. He has been in telecom for 15 years and has relationships with just about all of the major service providers.

Between us, we’ve got over 75 years of telecommunications experience. The end of June saw us celebrate our 2nd year in business. Our guys all have sterling reputations in the area from their work with other companies and now have 2 solid years of Steelman & Co. We’re growing organically with a lot of word of mouth references. Keep checking our website at www.steelmancollc.com for testimonials and reach out to see how we can help you and your business. We’d love to make you our next reference!

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