Are you considering renting out a spare room or your second home?
There are a growing number of people who are converting spare rooms to guest bedrooms, in order to generate cash via platforms such as airbnb. After all, if you have rooms that are sitting empty why not generate an alternative revenue stream if you can.
However most of us have little or no experience of running a guest house or b&b and so whether a stay in someone’s house lives up to expectations, will vary greatly.
So what’s important to consider, before you take in paying guests?
Accounts – you are running this as a business
It seems obvious to understand it matters to keep your accounts and budgets in order. You need a determined methodology to keep records straight and you will need to consider how to generate invoices and receipts. Whether to record in a ledger, spreadsheets or using an accounting package like Sage.
No one would say it wasn’t important to be clean and tidy. Everywhere needs to be as clean as possible..if there’s dust in the room, or if the bed looks like its been slept in already, then its obviously not going to win you any stars when it comes to the all important reviews.
So… our first tip is to get used to doing lots of cleaning. this is great news if you are a compulsive cleaner. Professional cleaners seem expensive but you should consider them as inbetween guests as you will be guaranteed of a professional job. A cleaner will make sure to wipe doors and door handles, tops of doors, light sockets and bulbs, which you probably didnt even think about? Try and plan a deep clean once a month and then its easier.
Keep receipts of all cleaning products, cleaning services and even laundry detergent as this can go as costs against rental profit.
Laundering bedlinen and guest towels.
Anything that comes in contact with skin needs to be reasonably new and spotless. Towels and bedding do get past their best so start off with new. You can buy sets of professional hotel style bedding and new towels very cheaply via companies that cater for the hotel market.
We encourage doing your own laundry if you have the time, mainly so you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing it has been done properly and that bedding in your home has only been in your own washing machine and not with someone else’s fabrics in a commercial machine. But if this is a secondary occupation then you might not get the luxury of time to do that. Have a think about your options before hand. If you have a cleaner in for example, will they also iron bedding for you?
Importantly, wash sheets and towels even when they are new! Formaldehyde often coats new clothing and towels so if its imported wash and iron it religiously before use.
Hang outside to dry after laundering whenever possible. There is no comparison to line dried and ironed sheets . Even delicate bedding that instructs you to wash at 30/40 can be pressed hot and that gives not only the professional finish you need, smoothing the fibres, but also adds sterilising to your laundry.
Consider a roller ironing system. If you are handling huge volumes of ironing there are some great roller pressing devices for sheets and duvet covers that can be used virtually as soon as sheets come out of the washing machine.
Protect mattresses and pillowcases
Its’ a great idea to invest in protecting a bed before you start running your guest business by purchasing a few sets of quality mattress and pillow protectors, (the anti microbial types are good). Wash these regularly too. If you are buying new beds, again look to the hotel suppliers for much better deals. You are now running a micro business.
Consider the quality of the curtains. Light and bright rooms with clean windows are superb during the day but will your guests get a good nights sleep without the street lighting shining in their eyes all night? Most hotels opt for very dark black out lined curtains to make sure their rooms are as dark as possible.
Make sure the room is presented nicely. Clear all those ornaments away, and remove clutter. You can get tips on design by looking at hotel bedrooms but otherwise think less is more! It’s nice for guests to be able to look at one or two feature pictures or photographs but don’t overdo it. Consider a carafe of water, polished glasses plus tea and coffee facilities and, if your budget will stretch, essential toiletries in miniatures are a nice idea too.
A welcome note is always a nice touch especially if you are not going to be present or easily available during the persons stay. It is a great opportunity to detail local places they might like to eat or visit and you can ask for a review if they enjoy the stay too.
Finally, once you are cleaned and ready for your guests to arrive copy what luxury hotels do and add a touch of fragrance…
It provides a lovely welcome by spritzing one of our fabric and room sprays lightly around your home. Concentrate on curtains and soft furnishings (not forgetting the bathroom).
If you are running an airbnb property, guest house or hotel feel free to order 2 10kg sacks and we will send you a matching room fragrance to complete your presentation for FREE today! email us the message in the order notes as “Guestroom” to say you’ve seen this offer.