Are you considering renting a property or a room, via Airbnb or another platform?
There are a growing number of people who are buying property to let for holiday use or converting spare rooms to guest bedrooms. 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. So, whether a stay in someone’s house lives up to paying guests expectations, will vary greatly.
What’s important to consider, before you take in paying guests?
It seems obvious to understand that it matters to keep your accounts and budgets in order. But if you have no experience of running a business this can seem alien. You need a determined methodology to keep records straight and you will need to consider how to generate invoices and receipts. These days there are plenty of easy to use apps or online accounting packages like Sage which are really easy to use for anyone IT literate.
No one would say it wasn’t important to be clean and tidy. Everywhere needs to be as clean as possible. If there is dust in the room, or if the bed looks like it has been slept in by a guest already, then its obviously not going to win you any stars when it comes to gaining a positive review.
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 in between 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. Details that you probably didn’t even think about as we rarely clean them in our homes. Try and plan a deep clean once a month and then it is 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 to the hotel market. Just search online.
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 used by a paying guest has only been in your own washing machine and not with someone else’s fabrics in a commercial machine. But if renting a guest bedroom is a secondary occupation, then you might not get the luxury of time to do that.
Have a think about your options beforehand. If you have a cleaner in for example, will they also iron bedding for you? Ironing should never be skipped when it comes to pristine looking bedding. Plus even with bedding washed cool, a hot press gives a sterilizing finish. Eliminating mites, bed bugs and other nasties, without needing any chemicals.
Wash sheets and towels before use even when they are new!
Formaldehyde often coats new clothing and towels. It isn’t a great chemical for skin contact and doesn’t smell particularly nice. On the other hand, one of Distinctive washing powder’s features is that soft scent is activated when the body warms up leaving your paying guest drifting to sleep with a pleasant aroma.
Hang laundry outside to dry after laundering whenever possible. There is no comparison to line dried Distinctive sheets.
If you are running it as a business then consider a roller ironing system. Many of them can be used virtually as soon as sheets come out of the washing machine and then just need to be folded and aired before use.
Protect mattresses and pillowcases
It is 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 antimicrobial types are good). Wash these regularly too. If you are buying new beds, again look at 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 blackout curtains to make sure their rooms are as dark as possible. Remember you can wash soft furnishings safely with Distinctive as long as you wash cool and use a washing machine with a large capacity drum. Drum speed needs to be set just right for curtains as you don’t want to damage them. Ask us for specific details by emailing your washing label if you are in any doubt.
Make sure the room is presented nicely. Clear all those ornaments away, and remove clutter. You can get tips on the 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. You can top these up rather than waste.
A handwritten 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…
A couple of sprays per room is all that’s needed. Concentrate on curtains and soft furnishings (not forgetting the bathroom).
If you are looking to take in paying guests by running an Airbnb property, guest house or hotel, please 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.