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Starting a Guest House Business?

  • 2017-04-21

If you have been dreaming about a guest house business, you may be thinking that it would be an easy way to bring in extra money each month. Although you certainly can make a profit with short term rentals, it’s not always as easy as it seems. With Airbnb and similar platforms continuing to rise, a large number of property owners will consider renting out their space for profit at some point.

Starting a Guest House Business

How do you know what to do to get started? What sort of requirements will you need to consider? Is it really that hard to start a guest house? Join us today on the blog as we take a deeper look at what you will need to consider when starting a guest house business.

Thinking About Starting a Guest House Business?

Much like bed and breakfasts, guest houses are a type of accommodation that is often in a private residence. Many provide breakfast and amenities such as tea and coffee, making them semi-catered. Unlike fully catered accommodation such as hotels, and completely self-catered accommodation such as villas, apartments and aparthotels, guest houses provide a bit of home comfort, while still offering some degree of privacy. Many property owners who think about starting a guest house business have adequate space on their property – often a separate, self-contained suite or cottage that is away from the main house but still accessible.

Some of the most important things to consider when starting a guest house business include the following:

  1. Management is everything. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can see to your guests, ensure that your property is equipped to meet the demands of the modern traveller and still provide value added services such as concierge. Unless that is your full-time job, it is very difficult for one person to handle everything alone. A well-managed property makes all the difference in your success. If guests have a flawless experience from start to finish, they are more likely to leave a positive review, recommend you to friends and become a repeat guest. If, on the other hand, they are less than impressed, they are likely to leave a poor review, which in turn affects your future bookings. A good short term property manager will not only provide day to day management, but also marketing, guest services and bookings management – all of which helps your business grow.
  2. Reputation is important, too. That means that you shouldn’t only focus on providing the basics. You also need to continually work at building your reputation. A bad review or a guest complaint can be damaging to any business. New businesses will find poor reviews especially harmful. This is another reason to consider working with a dedicated manager, who will actively market your property across various channels. It will give you the benefit of fully trained staff as well, who can meet guests, provide assistance and ensure that your guests’ needs are met consistently and thoroughly.
  3. You’ll also need to keep your guests in mind. One of the things that most people forget when starting a guest house is that guests are your bread and butter. Ironically (or perhaps tragically), guests are often treated as an afterthought, with owners not listening to feedback, not providing what guests need, or worse, not communicating properly with guests. If your guest house is on your property, you will need to ensure that guests can access features such as swimming pools, patios and BBQs. You will need to equip the guest house with all the amenities that a modern traveller would expect (that includes international plug points and WiFi access). For a list of features that you may need, view our list of essential upgrades for short term rentals.


When you’re ready to get serious about starting a guest house business, get in touch with the Totalstay team. We will help you prepare your property for a maximum return on your investment.