Profiting From Property: Opening a Profitable Bed and Breakfast for a Fine Income
Your home could be a diamond in the rough. If you’re looking to make a profit from your property, transforming your home into a bed and breakfast (B&B) could be one way to go. But there is far more to it than simply opening your doors and inviting strangers to come and visit.
If you speak to someone who’s been running a successful bed and breakfast, they will tell you that it involves dedication, some crazy hours, and a lot of hard work. There are also regulations you must know and follow, and you must cultivate a specific set of skills. From marketing to hospitality to cooking the Full English to keeping abreast of industry trends and Trip Advisor reviews, you’ve got to be on top of your game to even make your bed and breakfast the source of your family’s income.
Location, location, location
There is a mountain of truth in the importance of location. If your property is in decent proximity, meaning within a 45-minute commute radius to a major city or landmark, you may have the seed needed for a successful B&B. Think tourists. Are you within that 45-minute radius to Stonehenge or Salisbury? Are you on the outskirts of Oxford or London? Think university or government personnel as potential guests. Whatever your location has to offer as a way of generating interest in your B&B include it in your marketing plan.
There must be a plan
If you just hang out a sign saying “room for rent”, you probably won’t be seeing a large return on your investment. You’ll need to do your homework up front, carefully laying out your business plan and developing your marketing strategy. You’ll need to know how to follow the trends in the industry, from what thread-count to offer in bed linens to the popular choices in breakfast foods–to remain as competitive as possible with other rival bed and breakfast offerings in your area.
The best B&Bs will be constantly looking for methods to improve their service, upping their game to keep savvy customers coming back. If this is to be your sole source of income, then you have to think in terms of year-round operation. Summer tourism alone may not be enough to sustain you and your family through the remainder of the year.
The devil is in the details
The bed and breakfast industry in the UK boasts around 25,000 B&Bs and guesthouses already in operation, ranging from between one to ten or more bedrooms. Holiday trends are fluid, with more of us opting for multiple short breaks rather than one long holiday during the year. More are choosing to enjoy a holiday closer home, making location one of the top considerations for transforming a home into a B&B.
Don’t forget to include your fellow local businesses and governmental bodies in the process. Inform your local council of your plans. If you have a mortgage lender, make sure they are aware of any changes you’re making to the property, as well as informing your insurance provider.
Have a fire risk assessment done and register your B &B with the Environmental Health Department where applicable. Study tourism and visitor traffic in your area on a yearly basis. Know who they are and when to expect your target consumers to come around.