By The Hospitable Team
Owning and operating a bed and breakfast can be an excellent option to earn extra money, and under certain circumstances, it can be extremely profitable. With recent innovations in the travel industry, using short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and similar websites, offer you even more opportunities for these businesses.
Wondering how to start a bed and breakfast business or thinking about earning money on Airbnb by renting out your room? Here is our short guide to help you start your B&B.
What Is a Bed and Breakfast?
A B&B is different from a typical hotel or a vacation rental home. You’ll have to offer your guests a cozy room to sleep in and a home-cooked breakfast to enjoy in the morning. Running a bed and breakfast requires a little more dedication and hospitality than running an average short-term rental property.
For example, you can host your Airbnb guests with typical rental properties without interacting with them one on one thanks to the internet. Just offer them a self-check-in option and direct them to your welcome letter and house manual, and they are good to go on their own.
But with B&B, you will need to give your guests much more attention. You or your team will have to interact with your guests daily, giving them a feeling they are invited guests in a private home.
So to run a successful B&B, you have to be personable and outgoing, always ready to meet new people and welcome them into your home. You must be available to your guests 24/7 and ensure smooth communication via messaging.
With a constant flow of new guests, it can be rather challenging. But you can automate conversations with our help.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
How to Start a Bed and Breakfast
There are several approaches when it comes to starting a B&B business. Firstly, you can rent out a few rooms in your existing home if you live in an area popular with tourists.
Secondly, you can buy a new property in a picturesque location, but you should remember that this part requires thorough research to determine whether the area can support your business. Find out if there is demand for nightly stays in the area, consider the weather, and what activities guests can enjoy while visiting your B&B. You should also find out what local B&Bs charge and their occupancy percentages. Transparent is an excellent tool to help you with the research.
With these numbers, you can estimate your yearly earning potential and decide if you’ve found the right location. This info will help you determine your pricing strategy as well.
And you can also make money on B&B without buying a property if you take advantage of the rental arbitrage model. You may rent a property long-term and then re-rent it to travelers short-term with the permission of your landlord.
It’s important to learn about the local legal requirements that may vary from city to city to make sure that it’s legal to list your space on Airbnb and other similar websites.
Besides, you should make sure you’ll be able to fulfill STR platforms’ requirements to hosts:
- Accept reservation requests when you are available
- Be responsive and reply to booking requests within 24 hours
- Avoid cancellations
- Maintain a consistent high level of quality
Customize Your Space
Before you create a listing for your property on Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, or other website, you should prepare your house for welcoming guests. You may need to decorate your home and buy new furniture to impress your guests. There’s a bunch of decisions you need to make that go beyond the obvious. Download our guide on preparing the property for short-term rentals.
Hire professional cleaners to deep clean your house. Remove your personal items and store them in another place. You should also provide the necessary amenities to ensure your guest will feel comfortable. There are lots of things to consider when getting your home ready, so it’s better to rely on Airbnb host checklist.
Prepare the tools to maximize your ROI
The top-of-mind distribution channel is the online travel agencies. They have a lot of advantages and just one serious drawback—they help you for a fee. It’s a no-brainer that direct sales are more profitable than sales via a middleman. The starting point of building your online presence is website development.
You don’t have to start learning HTML or hire an expensive marketing agency. You can actually get a professional website within minutes. You will also need to spend some time promoting your new website on social media. But that’s a rewarding exercise. Moreover, you don’t have to refrain from using Airbnb and others. On the contrary, you can enjoy the synergy effect of direct booking and OTAs!
Get a direct booking website within minutes!
List Your Property on Airbnb and Other STR Websites
When you are ready to accept guests, sign up and create an Airbnb listing. Provide a clear, detailed description of your space and highlight aspects that make it unique. Add high-quality photos of your space to give your guests a clear picture of what they can expect during their stay at your place. Set competitive rates.
To earn more money, you may want to list your property on several popular travel websites, such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo. Then, you’ll need to take measures to protect your property from double bookings, publish correct prices, and ensure effective communication with your guests across different channels.
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Running a Bed and Breakfast Business
It’s important to treat your bed and breakfast as a business. Remember that you will be in charge of various tasks that will keep your B&B thriving.
Apart from the basics of cooking breakfast for your guests and directing them to nearby attractions, there are essential things you might not have considered. Some of these tasks include
- Marketing and increasing the visibility of your listing
- Managing bookings
- Checking guests in and out
- Writing host reviews
- Fixing whatever happens to break
- Keeping your rental space clean and guest-ready
- Adjusting your services until they run smoothly
- Maintaining a strong relationship with your guests
- Budgeting, and much more
As you see running a bed and breakfast business involves a lot of responsibilities, so it’s easy to burn out when taking it all on yourself. It’s better to hire professional help with cleaning and other jobs you’d rather not do, automate routine tasks, and focus on what you love doing.
If you like the idea of really being at home with your business, then running a bed and breakfast could be perfect for you. A bed and breakfast in your home can be a great way to supplement your income. But if you want to make a full-time living from B&B, consider investing into buying a property with more rooms and be proactive when it comes to making repairs and improvements.
Opening a bed and breakfast can be a great business opportunity—if you’re ready to invest the necessary time and money. It comes with a lot of responsibility, but it can be fun and rewarding because it gives you the chance to connect with guests from around the world without having to leave your home.
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