The kids have long left your four-bedroom house in Salt Lake City. Winter is upon you. Tourists are pouring in once again to test the snow of Utah. Many hotels in the area are fully booked. You miss the company of your kids as you observe young people load up their snowboards and skis onto their pick-up trucks. A friend told you once that you could convert your house to a Bed & Breakfast. With the two extra rooms, you could stand to earn some money.
You’re starting to think about it. The house is in good shape. You rarely call the services of a plumbing contractor or a roofing expert. But what will it take to do it? Do you need to renovate?
Understanding the Industry
The Bed & Breakfast (B&B) business falls under the travel industry. Typically, private homeowners offer their rooms for rent to travelers, and they only serve breakfast. According to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII), this is the difference between an inn and a B&B. Inns serve meals other than breakfast.
As of July 2019, the B&B industry has logged a total of $3 billion in revenue. Growth is steadily rising at 4.4% per year. But expect that this business will not be all rosy. If you’re very particular about keeping your home clean and organize all the time, you might want to rethink this option. You would have to deal with bad smells, hair clogging your sink, undisposed garbage, etc. It’s a lot of work, so be ready.
But if you like hosting people and interacting with them, then this might be worth your while.
Modes of Running a B&B
There are three types of owning a B&B: a) you own the property; b) you rent a property, and c) you become a manager of one.
Let’s stick with the first since you own the house. One of your primary considerations is to determine where you and your wife are going to stay. Will you remain in the home with the guests? Or will you live at a separate location, like in an extension unit?
Being in the same house allows you greater control of what’s happening with your property. You will also be easily accessible to your guests. Remember, when looking for a place to stay, customers these days look for a more meaningful connection with people and diverse cultures. Price is no longer critical in deciding where to stay. This information should help you determine your price point.
Set Yourself Apart
Travelers are looking for meaningful connections. Reflect upon who you are and what your interests are and connect that with what your area has to offer. Translate these two into a meaningful conversation wherein you can bee seen as an expert by your guests. If your hobby is carpentry and there’s a famous furniture shop where tourists go, then talk about when you became a consultant with the company during their early days.
This also means that you will be targeting a specific audience with interests that are aligned with yours — an audience who would be willing to pay more for a more meaningful experience.
The main point is your message should be customer-centric. On your website, for example, use text and images that relate to the people you are targeting.
There are other critical areas that you should focus on, like adding to your existing services or following through on your marketing initiatives. But these broad ideas will help grow the seed that’s in your head.