How to Get the Most Out of your Serviced Accommodation Units
To celebrate English Tourism Week, our team have been busy preparing their top tips for Airbnb hosts and aspiring investors to help them get the most out of their investment.
Today our team have compiled their top tips to help you get the most out of your serviced accommodation units by increasing occupancy and profitability.
If you would like to find out more about serviced accommodation see our introduction here.
Successfully Marketing your AirBnB and Serviced Accommodation Units
Making sure your property stands out will ensure your property always has bookings, even in areas that are popular with short-term lets.
People looking for a place to stay usually have to decide on a property based on only a few pictures. So, the design of a property is extremely important to make your property stand out. Keeping up to date with current trends is important.
At the moment, the major features are light or cream colours, these are popular as they can make a house bright and inviting. This can also work in our favour when trying to draw attention to the property as small splashes of colour or pattern become more noticeable.
Photo Credit: Shally Singh, Fielding Financial Trainer
As an extension of the last point, to show off your new lovely interior, you need to make sure you have professional-looking pictures. There are two ways of doing this, first is obvious, hire a professional. This can be done through Airbnb relatively cheaply; professionals can also be booked on perfocal.com or snapgenius.co.uk.
The other way to do this is to do it yourself. If this is the case, you have to use a good camera. When taking the pictures there are a few things you need to do: use a wide-angle lens, hold the camera at chest height, take the pictures in daylight with the curtains/ blinds open, clean the house, make the beds and hide the bins.
Next is to make an attractive listing. Apart from the location and number of bedrooms, you need to highlight the property’s best features. These can include things like a pool, parking spaces or high speed WiFi. Don’t forget to list nearby attributes, like restaurants, public transport or tourist attractions too.
Make sure your charge price is comparable for the type and location of your property. Just like with pricing rents, you have to keep your price competitive. There are some free sites that can give an overview of the surrounding properties available for short-term let. They include airdna.co, a free site that reviews your postcode, and usewheelhouse.com, subscription service that updates local pricing for 1 per cent of each booking.
Top Tips for Increasing your Property’s Profitability:
Next is profitability, these changes won’t increase the amount you can charge, but they will increase profitability relative to the amount of time invested.
Similar to other types of property when we get really good at investing ‘DIY stands for Don’t involve yourself’. Time is our most valuable asset so many of these tips are for time saving.
- If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend managing the property, then a few management services exist to take care of those responsibilities. Some examples are Hostmaker, GuestReady and Airsorted, although they only cover certain areas. These companies charge around 15% of bookings but handle all management issues including cleaning and exchanging keys.
- If you would like to save some money by avoiding full-service management but would still like your property to run more autonomously, then a key safe would mean no one had to be around at key exchanges. Also having a physical guide with the WiFi code, appliance directions and other instructions.
- To make your property more professional and to make guests feel more comfortable you need to make sure your property is clear. Recently, I stayed in an Airbnb that didn’t remove any of their photos and even left their food in the fridge. It doesn’t make people feel at home and can ruin their stay. Next, you need to make sure all amenities, like loo roll and soap, are stocked up.
- Take out the right insurance, some home insurers see serviced accommodation as commercial activity so will require a different quote. Even though Airbnb has a guarantee on damage caused by guests, like all big companies, they have filled it with loopholes to avoid paying. So, its best to get your own quote that specifically covers short-term lets. Some brokers include Guardhog, Pikl, Towergate or HomeProtect.
- Finally, we can check if we might be eligible for tax breaks. The Rent a Room scheme allows up to £7,500 to be earned tax free for letting a single furnished room but includes homes. So, check if you are eligible. Also don’t forget that cleaning, Airbnb fees and insurance are all deductible from your profit.
Do you want to learn more about investing in serviced accommodation?
See our Serviced Accommodation Online Course here.