Whilst serviced accommodation, also known as the provision of short-term accommodation of less than 90 days, is a relatively new property investment strategy here in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, it is becoming increasingly popular, both for investors and their customers (guests).
We’ve had countless questions about serviced accommodation at Belfast Property Meet, especially over the last few months, so thought we’d answer some of the basic questions in our beginners guide to serviced accommodation below.
What is Serviced Accommodation?
Serviced accommodation is fully furnished accommodation (generally apartments, flats or town houses) that is available for short-term stays (less than 90 days).
It offers travellers, business and tourists, flexibility, more choice and high quality accommodation. It offers property investors an opportunity to develop higher returns when compared to the buy to let and HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) returns on investment.
What does Serviced Accommodation Mean?
Serviced accommodation simply means accommodation that is fully furnished and available to book. The “serviced” title generally refers to housekeeping standards and the list of amenities available within the accommodation.
How can I make money from Serviced Accommodation?
Serviced accommodation has become incredibly popular in recent years both with businesses, corporate clients, tourists and people staying for leisure.
Guests enjoy serviced accommodation for a variety of reasons including the fact that properties are generally located centrally in popular areas, offer cost-effective alternatives to hotels, feature on popular platforms like AirBnB, Booking.com and orders, and also provide that “home from home” quality and atmosphere.
Corporate and business travel customers are increasingly using serviced accommodation on their travels. They enjoy the space and choice to cook and this adds to the “home from home” experience when compared to regular hotel provisions provided.
All of the above means that there are opportunities to succeed and make money from serviced accommodation. In some cases you can make up to three times as much on annual rent when compared to regular buy to let options.
However, as with everything in property investing, success is determined by hard work, experience and the correct decisions. Serviced accommodation, alongside almost every other strategy, is heavily reliant on location. After that property quality and room prices become dominant factors.
To control quality you’ll have to develop a serviced accommodation property power team that helps and assists you in running and maintaining a successful business operation. This power team will generally include a cleaner, laundry provider, maintenance contractor and locksmith.
You may also want to add a “greeter” to your team to attend to guests when they arrive but this isn’t essential.
When you have everything set up you will simply have to refine your entire process over time through experience with multiple guests. In our experience your time will generally be divided up into three segments:
How do I get started in Serviced Accommodation?
There are countless ways to get started in serviced accommodation nowadays. The most important advice is to ensure that you set up proper systems to run and manage your business effectively and successfully. With the right property, channel manager (highly recommended if you operate more than one serviced property) and promotion, via major platforms like AirBnB and Booking.com, you can start up and run a serviced accommodation business.
As mentioned in the above section, moving forward, success will largely be determined by a number of factors including property location, quality of said property, quality of cleaning and housekeeping services, competitive pricing (high, middle or low end) and customer reviews.
Where to Next?
If you’re a complete beginner but are interested in the serviced accommodation world come along to our next Belfast Property Meet event.
There you’ll meet like-minded property people, from beginners right through to experienced investors, network with useful contacts and learn from guest speakers. Attendees will be happy to answer questions or point you in the right direction to get you moving forward.
If you’re from outside Northern Ireland, or simply can’t make Belfast Property Meet events, check out our brand new Property Success University here. Learn from experienced investors from anywhere in the world and make proper steps in the property world!