Turning Your Home into a High-Quality Guesthouse
Since the rise of platforms like Airbnb, more and more people have been turning their homes into guesthouses. Even if you only have a single spare room to let out, you could still make a healthy second income by inviting people into your home. You are likely to do particularly well if you live nearby to a tourist hotspot or some good transportation links.
While the internet has made this a more viable option than ever before, there are still plenty of considerations that you need to make. You need to sort out the decoration of the room(s), consider logistical factors and start to build up a positive reputation. So, here are a few top tips that you can follow when it comes to turning your home into a high-quality guesthouse.
Do Your Research
Before you do anything else, it is worth researching how much of a market there is for guesthouses in your area. If you don’t live in a particularly desirable area, you are going to find it so much harder to turn a profit. However, if you live in a tourist-heavy destination, it should be quite apparent that you will be able to find guests. Otherwise, you may live in an up-and-coming area and therefore have less competition to face. In many ways, this is an ideal situation.
Upgrade Your Rooms
Before you list your guesthouse online and try to get bookings, you should upgrade your rooms through renovation and decoration. While you don’t want the rooms to look out-of-character compared to the rest of your home, you still want them to look fresh and modern, while still providing plenty of comforts. A top-quality bed and mattress should be your starting point, so take a look at Nationwide Contract Beds for some options. Once you have this, you will want to furnish it with beautiful bedding and duvets. Now that you have the basic elements, you can add practical amenities including hair dryers, air conditioning, and a TV. If you are aiming for a real high-end experience, a minibar and a coffee machine are always going to be appreciated.
Choose a Price for the Guests
Once you have your rooms all set out and ready to go, it is time to consider how much you are going to price them at. Since you are just starting out, you won’t have any customer reviews which can give you a helping hand in attracting your first guests. So, to start off with, you are probably going to want to price your bedrooms low to attract guests. However, you still need to set a rate at which you can comfortably turn a profit. It is always worth checking to see what your competitors are doing to give yourself a general guideline. If you find that you aren’t attracting bookings as quickly as you would like, you may have set the price point too high.
Health and Safety
Though you would hope that your home is a safe environment already, now that you are welcoming guests, you need to ensure that it meets certain standards. Smoke alarms and fire doors should be first on your mind, but you should also think about things like a carbon monoxide alarm and a complete first aid kit. If you are going to be providing a breakfast for your guests, you need to follow food health and safety guidelines.
Marketing and Advertising
One of the most challenging aspects of starting up a guesthouse is the marketing and advertising. You need to decide whether you are going to list the place exclusively on a platform like Airbnb or whether you are going to go down a different path. Perhaps you will choose to register your property with your local tourist board, which will help it to look more authentic and official. Alternatively, you could take care of everything yourself, setting up a website and running your own social media pages. You could also go down traditional marketing channels like printing out flyers to distribute in nearby businesses like cafes, bars, and restaurants.
On Your Own or Employees?
If you already have a full-time job, it can end up being a big ask to run the guesthouse all by yourself without any outside help. A cleaner is the most obvious employee that you will want to hire first, but you may also want to employ a breakfast chef if you are offering this service. As well as the people who you hire on a permanent basis, you may also want to get some staff to help you out with one-off tasks like building a website. However, you can obviously save a lot of money if you take care of everything by yourself.
Establish Your Reputation
The reputation that you build up during the first few weeks and months after opening can make or break your guesthouse. So, you need to work extra hard to encourage those positive reviews. One of the most important things is communication. If your guests have a problem with the place, you should encourage them to bring it up with you in person rather than waiting to leave a negative review online as this can be highly damaging to your business. The more five-star reviews you can attract, the better position you will put yourself in when it comes to attracting guests.
Plans to Extend
If you have started to enjoy some success but you only have a limited amount of space, you may consider converting another room into a bedroom or even building an extension onto your house. The more bedrooms you have to offer, the quicker you will be able to generate a profit. It is essential that you find out if you need any building permissions before you extend as you don’t want to find yourself in any violations of the law.
Turning your home into a guesthouse is something that more and more people are looking to do, and these are just a few of the best ways of getting started.