Profit Boosting Tips for Stay Accommodations

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
February 15, 2024

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Profit Boosting Tips for Stay Accommodations

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Welcome to the vibrant world of stay accommodation, a key player in the serviced accommodation sector, catering to a wide audience with options ranging from short stays to long-term accommodations in London, and unique farm stay experiences.

Serviced accommodations stand out by offering fully furnished, self-contained spaces that blend home comfort with hotel luxury. Ideal for business travellers on extended trips, families transitioning between homes, or anyone seeking a unique rural getaway, these accommodations adapt to various needs. Thanks to the UK's furnished holiday lets (FHL) classification, they also offer appealing tax benefits for investors.

This article aims to delve into the diverse aspects of stay accommodation, from temporary and emergency stays to the allure of long-term lodging. Targeted at professional landlords, property owners, realtors, and consumers, we're here to provide expert insights and practical advice on navigating this dynamic market. Whether you're exploring investment opportunities or seeking your next stay, this guide is crafted with you in mind.

Table of Contents

What is a Stay Accommodation?

Stay accommodation encompasses a broad range of living spaces, from the urban to the idyllic, offering temporary shelter to those seeking a place to rest, live, and experience life from a new perspective. It stands as a pivotal element of the serviced accommodation sector, blending the comforts of home with the luxury and services of a hotel.

The Significance of Stay Accommodation

In today's dynamic travel and living landscape, stay accommodation plays a critical role. It offers more than just a place to sleep; it provides privacy, space, and the convenience of home-like amenities, often with added services such as housekeeping. This blend of features has catapulted the serviced accommodation sector to outshine traditional hotel markets, especially in terms of profitability and resilience during times of high restrictions.

Varieties of Stay Accommodation

  • Short Stay Accommodation: Tailored for those seeking brief escapes, short stays typically last less than 28 days, accommodating everything from day-use to overnight stays. Ideal for tourists and business travellers alike, it offers flexibility and convenience.
  • Long Stay Accommodation: Designed for stays extending beyond six months, long stay accommodation caters to individuals and families in transition, offering them a stable and homely environment. It's perfect for those relocating or on extended work assignments
  • Farm Stay Accommodation: For those yearning for a rustic retreat, farm stays provide a unique opportunity to immerse in rural life. From farmhouse B&Bs to self-catering cottages and glamping, farm stays offer an escape to the countryside, blending agricultural experiences with leisure.

Whether you're delving into the property market, seeking your next travel adventure, or finding a temporary home, the world of stay accommodation unfolds a myriad of possibilities to explore, invest, and enjoy the myriad comforts and experiences it offers.

Duration of Stay in Accommodation Types

Temporary Accommodation: Time Frames Unpacked

Temporary accommodation often serves as a bridge for those awaiting a more permanent housing solution. While some individuals find themselves in such settings for just a few weeks, it's not uncommon for stays to extend into months or even years, especially when specific housing needs, like larger or adapted properties, come into play.

Supported Accommodation: Providing a Stepping Stone

Supported accommodation plays a pivotal role for young individuals transitioning out of care. It's designed to offer a semi-independent living environment, aiding in the gradual shift towards full independence. This supportive setup is tailored to cater to the unique needs of 16- and 17-year-old looked-after children and care leavers.

Emergency Accommodation: Navigating the Short-Term

In emergency scenarios, accommodation is ideally short-lived, with efforts made to limit stays in unsuitable settings, such as certain hostels and B&Bs, to no more than seven days. Families may find themselves in hotels or B&Bs temporarily, but efforts are made to ensure such stays don't exceed six weeks.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Staying Compliant

Diving into the world of short-term rentals requires a keen understanding of the legal and regulatory landscape. It's crucial for landlords and operators to familiarise themselves with local laws, permits, and tax obligations to ensure compliance and avoid potential pitfalls. The government's guidance on supported accommodation and the introduction of new regulations in July 2022 highlights the importance of staying abreast of legal requirements and ensuring that interventions are proportionate and well-regulated.

Navigating the nuances of stay durations across temporary, supported, and emergency accommodation types underscores the complexity and diversity within the accommodation sector. Legal and regulatory considerations add another layer of complexity, emphasising the need for due diligence and compliance to ensure successful and lawful operations.

Short Stay Accommodation: A Closer Look

Overview of Short Stay Accommodation Options

Short-stay accommodation encompasses furnished, self-contained living spaces rented out for brief periods, often from a few weeks to a few months. This sector is gaining traction among a wide array of guests including tourists, business travellers, and those in need of temporary housing. Many serviced apartments within this category boast amenities such as gyms, restaurants, and round-the-clock concierge services, enhancing their appeal. The market is also seeing a rise in unique short-term rental options like tiny homes and glamping tents, catering to those seeking novel experiences.

Appeal to Various Guest Demographics

The short-stay segment is particularly appealing to younger generations, with millennials at the forefront. This demographic's preferences are reshaping the accommodation landscape, presenting a significant opportunity for the industry. Surveys indicate a strong preference for short-term rentals over traditional hotels among a vast majority of travellers, underscoring the sector's potential to captivate hotel-goers.

Benefits for Property Owners

For landlords, the allure of short-stay accommodation lies in its potential for higher yields compared to standard long-term leases. The ability to charge premium rates for nightly or short-term bookings significantly boosts rental income. Moreover, the flexibility to offer both short and extended stays allows property owners to adjust their offerings based on market demand, ensuring maximised occupancy and revenue.

Challenges in the Short-Stay Market

However, the sector faces its share of hurdles, primarily due to increasing regulatory scrutiny. Many local governments are introducing regulations to mitigate the impact of short-term rentals on housing availability and community well-being. These regulations, aimed at addressing zoning and safety concerns, introduce additional operational complexities for property owners in the short-stay market.

Short-stay accommodation offers a mix of lucrative opportunities and challenges for property owners. By navigating the regulatory landscape and aligning offerings with the preferences of key demographics, landlords can tap into the growing demand for flexible, short-term housing solutions.

Long Stay Accommodation in London

Demand for Long Stay Accommodation in London

London stands out with its robust demand for long-stay accommodation, boasting the highest occupancy rates across European capitals and ranking fourth in hotel room prices. Projections show visitor nights in London are expected to leap from 138.5 million in 2015 to a staggering 196.4 million by 2041, highlighting the city's increasing appeal and the consequent rise in accommodation needs.

Benefits of Opting for Long Stay in London

The allure of serviced apartments in London lies in their ability to offer more space and privacy compared to traditional hotels, a factor greatly appreciated by long-term guests. These accommodations not only outshine the regional UK hotel market with a GOP margin of 43% but also have seen a surge in investment, thanks to their proven resilience and the heightened awareness of apartment-style living amidst restrictions.

Considerations for Long Stay Providers in London

Navigating the complex legal and regulatory landscape is crucial for those looking to venture into the short-term rental market in London. Staying abreast of local laws, permits, and tax obligations is essential to operate within legal bounds and capitalise on the city's booming accommodation demand.

Trends and Impact on the Serviced Accommodation Sector

A significant trend towards longer stays has been reshaping the short-term rental industry, with extended stays now accounting for 21% of all bookings on platforms like Airbnb. This shift opens up lucrative opportunities for property owners and managers to cater to the growing demand for longer tenancies. Despite offering discounts for extended stays, the reduced operational costs associated with fewer guest turnovers and housekeeping needs translate into higher profit margins, showcasing the financial viability of long-stay accommodations in London's dynamic market.

This evolving landscape underscores the opportunity for property owners in London to adapt and thrive by offering long-term accommodation solutions that meet the changing preferences and needs of modern travellers.

Farm Stay Accommodation

Introduction to Farm Stay Accommodation

Imagine waking up to the sound of roosters, breathing in fresh country air, and sipping your morning tea with a view of sprawling fields and livestock grazing. This is the essence of farm stay accommodation – a unique retreat into the heart of working farms where guests can live, even if just for a few nights. Perfect for anyone from city dwellers craving a slice of country life to backpackers seeking an extended rural escape, farm stays offer a unique blend of comfort and adventure.

The Charm of Farm Stays

Farm stays stand out with their unparalleled offer of hands-on agricultural experiences. Guests don’t just stay; they immerse themselves in the farm's daily rhythms, perhaps helping to feed animals, collecting eggs, or learning the ins and outs of farm operations. It’s not just about accommodation; it’s about connection – to the land, to the food, and to the rural way of life. Places like Boutique Farm Bothies in Aberdeenshire epitomise this, offering cosy, themed bothies amidst stunning landscapes, making every stay memorable.

A Different Pace from Urban Serviced Accommodation

While urban-centric serviced accommodations cater to those seeking the hustle and bustle of city life, farm stays offer a tranquil alternative. They're a gateway to agri-tourism, inviting guests to engage with the countryside's authentic charm and slower pace of life. This shift towards agricultural experiences reflects a growing desire among travellers for meaningful, grounded holiday experiences over conventional hotel stays. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a longer rural retreat, farm stays present a unique opportunity to connect with nature, learn about sustainable farming, and unwind in the serene beauty of the countryside.

Farm stay accommodations are not just a place to sleep; they're an invitation to a different way of life, offering a profound connection to the land and a peaceful retreat from the fast-paced urban world.

Legal and Operational Considerations in Stay Accommodation

Navigating the Legal Landscape

Stay accommodations operate within a strict legal framework to ensure safety, fairness, and compliance. The Supported Accommodation (England) Regulations 2023 outline the obligations of providers of supported accommodation, ensuring that the needs of looked-after children and care leavers are met. Meanwhile, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 aims to prevent homelessness by mandating early intervention by local authorities. Additionally, hotels, as public accommodations, must welcome all guests, provided there’s availability, highlighting the inclusive nature of stay accommodations.

Operational Excellence Across Accommodation Types

The secret sauce to a successful stay accommodation lies in its operational management. From the grandeur of large hotel chains to the intimate charm of boutique hotels, the operational needs vary significantly. Think of hotel operations as a grand theatre production where every day is opening night. The ensemble includes various departments like Front Office, Housekeeping, and Food & Beverage, each playing their part to perfection. The goal? To ensure that from curtain rise to fall, guests enjoy an impeccable stay.

To manage different types of stay accommodations effectively:

  • Organisational Structure: Tailor the structure to the size and type of your accommodation, ensuring clear roles and efficient communication.
  • Staff Training: Invest in comprehensive training programs to empower your team to deliver exceptional service.
  • Facilities Upkeep: Regular maintenance and upgrades are non-negotiable to keep your property in top condition.
  • Guest Experience: From check-in to check-out, every interaction should aim to exceed guest expectations.
  • Technology Integration: Leverage the latest in hospitality tech to streamline operations and enhance the guest experience.

Remember, whether it’s a bustling city hotel or a tranquil farm stay, the principles of operational excellence remain the same. It’s about creating a seamless, enjoyable experience for every guest, every time.

Maximising Profitability and Guest Satisfaction

Optimising Revenue in Stay Accommodations

Achieving optimum revenue from stay accommodations requires a strategic and flexible approach, tailored to both market demands and guest preferences. Here’s a concise guide:

  • Dynamic Pricing: Adjust your room rates in response to demand, seasonal trends, and local events to maximise returns.
  • Targeted Segmentation: Customise your offerings and promotions to meet the specific needs of distinct guest segments, thereby enhancing revenue opportunities.
  • Length-of-Stay Restrictions: Apply restrictions to avoid extended bookings blocking potential higher-yield, shorter stays.
  • Online Distribution Management: Use channel management software to ensure rate parity and maximise visibility across Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and Global Distribution Systems (GDS).
  • Upselling and Cross-Selling: Propose room upgrades, premium amenities, or bundled packages to improve guest experiences and increase transaction values.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Employ analytics tools to scrutinise trends and predict demand, underpinning informed pricing strategies.
  • Competitive Benchmarking: Keep an eye on your competitors to adapt strategies and maintain a competitive stance.
  • Flexible Cancellation Policies: Attract more bookings with adaptable policies that provide reassurance to potential guests.

Enhancing Guest Satisfaction

Transforming guests into repeat patrons and advocates for your property involves:

  • Impeccable Room Standards: The foundation of guest satisfaction is a clean, comfortable room.
  • Digital Engagement: Harness digital tools for personalised guest interactions, from pre-arrival communications to efficient feedback management.
  • Seamless Experience: Facilitate early check-ins, streamline the check-in process, and ensure guests can easily communicate with you.
  • Local Insider Tips: Become the go-to for local insights, enhancing your guests' overall experience.
  • Personalised Stays: Cater to individual preferences, celebrate special occasions, and provide incentives for environmentally friendly choices.
  • Feedback and Reviews: Encourage guest feedback in a tactful manner, offering incentives for leaving reviews to build a positive online reputation.

Implementing these strategies ensures not only maximised revenue but also that guests depart with memorable experiences, encouraging repeat visits and positive reviews. Remember, the secret in the world of stay accommodation is finding the ideal balance between profitability and guest satisfaction.

Technology's Role in Stay Accommodation

Transforming Booking, Management, and Guest Experiences

Technology has fundamentally reshaped the stay accommodation landscape, making the booking and management process as smooth as a freshly made hotel bed. Let's dive into how it's doing just that:

Seamless Journey: From the get-go, technology plays the role of a digital concierge. It starts with guests scouring the web for the perfect spot to lay their hats, moving through to online bookings that are as easy as pie, and even to digital check-ins. No more fumbling for keys; a smartphone can now unlock your door!

Digital Touchpoints: Mobile apps and online platforms have become the Swiss Army knife for guests, offering everything from room service orders to local recommendations, all at their fingertips.

Operational Wizardry: Behind the scenes, technology acts like the backstage crew of a West End show. Hotel management benefits from streamlined processes, thanks to property management systems that handle everything from reservations to room service, making sure the operational side is ticking along without a hitch.

The Importance of Digital Platforms and Property Management Systems

Online Platforms: The digital realm is where stay accommodations get to strut their stuff. It's where potential guests get to peek behind the curtain, see what's on offer, and book their stay, often snagging some upgrades along the way.

Digital Marketing: Imagine shouting from the rooftops about your amazing stay accommodation but in a digital sense. That's what digital marketing does, ensuring your place shines brightly in the crowded online space, attracting guests from all walks of life.

Property Management Systems: These are the backbone of any tech-savvy accommodation, automating the mundane and ensuring everything from check-ins to maintenance requests are handled with a click or a tap, leaving more time for personal guest interactions.

In-Room Tech Delights

Smart Room Features: The room itself becomes a hub of tech delight, with smart TVs for binge-watching, digital controls for setting the perfect room ambience, and lightning-fast Wi-Fi to keep guests connected.

Personalised Experiences: Imagine walking into a room that knows you prefer a cooler temperature and dim lighting for that perfect evening chill-out vibe. That's the kind of personalised service technology is ushering in.

In essence, technology in stay accommodation isn't just about keeping up with the times; it's about enhancing every step of the guest journey, making management a breeze, and ensuring every stay is memorable. So, whether you're a guest looking for that perfect getaway or a property owner aiming to streamline operations and boost satisfaction, technology is your best friend in the world of stay accommodations.

Future Trends in Stay Accommodation

Predicting the Evolution of Stay Accommodation

The future of stay accommodation looks bright and brimming with potential. With the UK's hotel accommodation demand potentially hitting a plateau in 2024, the focus shifts towards more personalised and flexible lodging options. The serviced apartment sector, already outperforming traditional hotel markets with a hefty GOP margin of 43%, is set to redefine hospitality. This shift is largely attributed to the increased product awareness of apartment-style living, offering the cosiness of a home with hotel-like security and convenience. As we sail into 2023, expect a wave of innovations in sustainability, cutting-edge technology, and unparalleled travel ease. The drift towards alternative accommodations signals a transformative era in the hospitality industry, steering away from the conventional towards the unconventional.

Impact on Professional Landlords, Property Owners, and Realtors

This evolving landscape presents a treasure trove of opportunities for professional landlords, property owners, and realtors. Long-stay accommodations are emerging as a formidable niche within the serviced accommodation sector, promising higher rental yields and the luxury of usage flexibility. This model not only preserves the property's value through continuous maintenance but also ensures a smoother cash flow and mitigates tenant-related risks, unlike its long-term rental counterparts. Furthermore, the UK’s favourable tax treatment of serviced accommodations as furnished holiday lets (FHL) sweetens the deal, amplifying their investment appeal.

The resilience of this sector, despite the hurdles of recent global disruptions, highlights its steadfast demand and growth potential. The expansion across the UK is a testament to the enduring trend of seeking more flexible, homely, and convenient living options. For tenants, it's about the charm of experiencing a home away from home; for investors, it's about capitalising on a lucrative, manageable venture. The landscape of stay accommodation is not just changing; it's thriving, promising a future where both guests and property owners can reap the benefits of innovation, flexibility, and profitability.

Final Thoughts on Stay Accommodations

Stay accommodations are emerging as a dynamic facet of the serviced accommodation sector, offering diverse options from urban short stays to tranquil rural retreats and distinctive farm experiences. This article navigated through the various aspects of stay accommodations, highlighting their significance for landlords, property owners, realtors, and guests.

The sector's growth, propelled by technological innovations and changing guest preferences, presents ample opportunities for stakeholders to explore and capitalise on. The shift towards more personalized and flexible lodging solutions indicates a robust demand and a promising avenue for investment and diversification.

Looking ahead, the stay accommodation sector promises a blend of tradition and innovation, offering stakeholders the chance to enhance guest experiences and achieve substantial returns. Embracing these opportunities could lead to success and expansion in the dynamic world of modern hospitality. Stakeholders are thus encouraged to tap into the potential of stay accommodations for both growth and diversification.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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David
Account Manager

"I have a philosophy in life called keep it simple. I don't live to work, I work to live. This is the first time I've leased this property on Airbnb. A house allows me to have vision of all the revenue and all the expenses associated with the apartment. They work as a well-oiled machine. They strive very hard to keep both myself and the tenants happy."

Jules
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"Honestly, if I didn't have Houst, I don't think I'd have this house anymore. With Houst's help, I can focus on my busy life while they manage my Airbnb listing. Guests call this place the 'magic cottage', and Houst makes it possible to share its special charm without any stress."

David
Account Manager

"I have a philosophy in life called keep it simple. I don't live to work, I work to live. This is the first time I've leased this property on Airbnb. A house allows me to have vision of all the revenue and all the expenses associated with the apartment. They work as a well-oiled machine. They strive very hard to keep both myself and the tenants happy."

Jules
Sales Director

"Honestly, if I didn't have Houst, I don't think I'd have this house anymore. With Houst's help, I can focus on my busy life while they manage my Airbnb listing. Guests call this place the 'magic cottage', and Houst makes it possible to share its special charm without any stress."

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