How to start a guest house business

Running a guest house cannot only be extremely profitable, but it is also a life-long dream for many people. And, with more of us holidaying in the UK, there’s never been a better time to start a guest house business.

Although exciting, establishing any business can be incredibly daunting. So, before you start your guest house business, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the process.

Is running a guest house for you?

First and foremost, you should ask yourself whether or not this is the right decision for you. After all, running a guest house is a huge commitment and it’s important that you understand what to expect from the role. You should spend some time researching the market to determine whether or not there is a gap, or demand, for what you plan to offer.

Find a property

To run a guest house, you’ll of course need to have the house itself. Think about where you want to set up your guest house business –  location is everything and it’s important you set up your business in a place that people want to visit.

Many people choose to buy an existing guesthouse as it will be all set up and ready to go, rather than having to convert a property.

Research the market

It’s important to consider the market to ensure there is a demand for your offering. Is there a demand for a guesthouse in the area? Who is likely to stay at your guesthouse? What services and amenities will they be looking for?

Develop a business plan

The next step to starting a guest house is to develop a business plan. A business plan is vital when it comes to starting a guest house, as it will outline the measures you will need to take to make your business a success. It’s also important if you are making a credit application to obtain funding for your guest house. If you’re applying for a commercial mortgage, for example, your lender will also ask to see a business plan.

Having a sound business plan will help to keep you on track when it comes to achieving your business goals and, of course, it will also give you a clear indication into operating costs.

Generating interest in your guesthouse

If you’re starting a guest house from scratch, you will need to start by drumming up as much interest as possible in your new business venture.

You can do this by…

  • Investing in a website showcasing your guest house – integrating a booking system within your website is also a great idea.
  • Create a customer database from the offset.
  • Hire a marketing team to design a powerful logo and any other marketing materials you might need.
  • Advertise using all available platforms.

Ensure you meet regulations

If you are starting a guest house in the UK, you will need to comply with all fire safety laws and legalities. If you are altering a property or building a guest house from scratch, you will also need to obtain planning permission.

Why choose Stewart Hindley for your guest house finance?

If you’re considering buying a commercial property such as guest house, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding guest house commercial mortgages.

How to find a good location for a bed and breakfast business

Choosing the right location for a bed and breakfast is an incredibly important decision. After all, it can make or break your business.

The right location for your B&B depends on the vision you have for your venture, your target market, and your own personal preferences. When you’re looking for a good location, you should also think about local amenities, whether the location is attractive to potential customers, as well as the property’s proximity to landmarks and attractions.

Here’s our guide to everything you should consider when looking for a good location for your bed and breakfast business.

The location’s USPs

What makes the location unique and special for choosing to run a bed and breakfast? Why would it appeal to guests?

Think about the amenities in the area, transport links, and things to do and see. Are there landmarks that offer guests a unique experience, exciting activities, or restaurants nearby?

Cater to your target market

When choosing a location for your B&B, you should ensure that you are able to cater for your specific target market.

For example, if you are reaching out to families, the area should not only be accessible by different transport links, but you should also look out for family friendly activities, amusement parks, nature reserves, and other attractions.

On the other hand, if you’re catering for young professionals in a city centre location, you should consider bars, restaurants, spa days, landmarks, shopping facilities, and any popular events or festivals that take place in the area.

And make sure there are activities for your target market to enjoy all year round – you want to attract guests 12 months of the year, not just around a certain date or event.

Has the area got a good reputation?

You can get a good feel for an area by walking around speaking to other residents and business owners. Asking simple questions about the area’s footfall, crime statistics, what type of people visit the area, as well as the area’s reputation can give you a good insight into whether it would be safe and attractive for guests.

Competition from other accommodation

When considering a location for your B&B, look for competition in the area. Starting a bed and breakfast in an area without lots of other hotels and guest houses could be a good call as the competition will be minimum. However, it’s also important to consider why there are no other similar businesses in the area – is there no demand?

Is location everything?

Location is incredibly important when searching for the perfect B&B. After all, you could stumble across the most perfect bed and breakfast. But if the location isn’t right or fails to impress your guests, you won’t generate enough bookings.

People want a reason to visit an area and what an area has to offer can really enhance your marketing efforts, optimise sales and inspire people to book and stay with you.

Why choose Stewart Hindley for your B&B finance?

If you’re considering buying a commercial property, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial bed and breakfast mortgages.

Book yourself onto a Bed & Breakfast course and kick start your dream.

If you’ve been thinking about owning your own bed and breakfast or guest house, why not take that step forward towards your dream and book yourself onto a bed and breakfast training course.

A Bed & Breakfast training course will help you decide whether or not this is the right decision for you as owning and running a bed & breakfast can be very rewarding but also challenging.

Karen Thorne at the Bed & Breakfast Academy is an experienced B&B owner having set up her own stunning B&B in Shropshire in 2004. Karen gives endless practical advice, built from years of running her B&B but also from her previous career in marketing.

The course covers everything you need to know from how to set up, run and market a successful Bed and Breakfast to fire and health & safety plus all the food awareness you need to have!

You can become part of an amazing supportive B&B community that Karen has developed with her wealth of knowledge and she is always there for that extra advice when needed. As a consequence, we cannot recommend Karen’s courses highly enough!

Also, lenders look favourably on applicants who have attended courses as it shows commitment to their plans and that they understand what is involved in running a successful B&B!

Why not take a look at Karen’s website www.bandbacademy.co.uk and sign up today!

B&B / Guest House Commercial Mortgage Rates

B&B / Guest House Commercial Mortgage Rates

When prospective purchasers like you think about buying a B&B or Guest House, you understandably think that mortgage interest rates will be similar to those of a residential mortgage, after all you are buying in effect is a house, which is absolutely correct.

However, the difference is that you aren’t buying a house, you are in effect buying a business and as a result you’ll require a commercial mortgage which differs from a residential mortgage, principally on price and the number of years the mortgage goes out to.

A current example is that some residential mortgage lenders are now offering interest rates at 1% gross over a term of 25 years or more, whereas by comparison commercial, mortgage rates are at some 2.75% gross over 15 to 25 years, and as with all mortgages, be they residential or commercial, the maximum term is generally limited by age and typically no lender will go out to a term which expires after 75 years of age, unless there are dependents that could take on the business to provide for a succession strategy beyond 75 years of age.

Whilst commercial interest rates are higher, the question you may be asking yourself is – can I afford to pay a higher rate of Interest? As always there is never a absolute answer, as with all commercial businesses, interest rates have to be considered against the backdrop of the business you are considering buying and the businesses’ trading profit, which services the commercial mortgage debt, as this is what any lender will consider against which is based on affordability.

That said, if a business on paper seems to be loss making, or only marginally profitable, then this doesn’t automatically lead to a decline to lend, as there are many other factors such as revenue and costs, that can affect the outcome, particularly as most B&B and Guest House owners “live out” of the business, so every situation is different.

This is where a professional broker, such as Stewart Hindley & Partners, who are experienced in raising debt for new to trade operators in the hospitality sector come into their own, with unparalleled experienced and only deal with lenders who specialise in hospitality finance to get the right mortgage for you and the business you are buying.

To learn more about how we at Stewart Hindley can help you purchase a B&B or Guest House, on the most competitive rates available, just get in touch and we’ll do our very best to get the commercial mortgage you require.   

Are B&B and Guest House Mortgages Affordable?

As you know, bank lending interest rates have never been this low, which has made the prospect of buying a B&B or Guest House business that much more affordable.  So, you may be inclined to think what’s the problem in getting a commercial mortgage?

You’ll be surprised to hear that even pre-pandemic applying and being approved for a commercial mortgage was and still is a daunting task.

Whilst lenders may welcome you with open arms saying that they can help you, the opposite is more often the case, as your first point of contact with your bank is a relationship manager, who is unlikely to be a sector specialist and won’t necessarily know the banks’ lending criteria for hospitality and new to trade operators in particular.

Also bank lending rates are higher, than residential mortgages, and paying your monthly capital and interest payments, is entirely dependent on the trading profit of the business you are purchasing and when these interest and capital payments are stress tested and sensitised this often leads to a decline.

This experience often thwarts prospective purchasers like you from buying their life style business, so why risk a decline from your bank or lender, when we at Stewart Hindley can secure the commercial mortgage you require on the best rates and terms available.

For impartial advice on how we at Stewart Hindley can help you with your commercial mortgage please get in touch.

Thinking about buying a B&B or Guest House in Scotland?

Why bed and breakfast purchases in Scotland are different.

There is a considerable difference when you come to purchase a B&B in Scotland, or a guest house. For instance, Scotland has its own judicial and legal system which differs from the rest of the UK which often results in confusion, expense and sometimes frustration when compared to English law and procedures.

One of the most notable is the commercial land tax know in England as SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) whereas in Scotland this is known as LBTT (Land and Buildings Transfer Tax) which is charged at a higher rate to comparable SDLT. Another higher cost are legal fees which are generally 50% higher than comparable English legal fees for commercial conveyancing.

And it doesn’t stop there. Energy Performance Certificates have different ratings in Scotland to those in England and can often lead to confusion as lenders will only lend on commercial properties that are EPC compliant.

And finally, Scottish lenders and other UK lenders who operate in Scotland also have different lending criteria which can be more onerous than UK lenders so nothing is a given.

We at Stewart Hindley, operate throughout the UK, and have considerable experience assisting prospective purchasers who are buying properties in Scotland with their commercial mortgage requirement.

If you are considering buying a property your first port of call should be Stewart Hindley as we’ve funded many a Scottish B&B and Guest House not only for UK wide purchases but for Scottish Purchasers too.

 

For more information please get in touch

How much deposit will I need to buy a Bed & Breakfast, Guest House or Hotel?

Deposits for commercial mortgages higher

Raising a deposit for a B&B, Guest House or Hotel can be challenging at the best of times, let alone in the height of a global pandemic when lending sentiment is risk adverse.

Unlike residential mortgages where a deposit can be as little as 5% of the purchase price, commercial mortgages require a higher deposit contribution which is typically 35% to 40% of the purchase price, dependent on the lender’s appetite.

In addition to the capital required for your deposit, there will be other costs to consider such as SDLT (Stamp Duty), Valuation Fees, Solicitors Fees and Broker Fees.

Don’t forget extra costs

As a rule of thumb, when you are considering purchasing a B&B, Guest House or Hotel, you’ll need to make an allowance of circa 47% of the purchase price, as your total capital contribution, which will include all costs such as SDLT, and then you won’t go far wrong.

As with all purchase considerations, there is generally a deal to be done at a 10% discount or more off the vendors’ guide price, so don’t always limit your search to your budget.

Contact us for help with your commercial mortgage

For more advice on how we at Stewart Hindley can help you achieve your life style business, with commercial mortgage solutions for bed and breakfast, guest house and hotel purchasers, offering the best terms and lowest capital contribution, then don’t hesitate to get in touch for no obligation, impartial advice.

 

How to start a bed and breakfast in the UK

Are you looking to open a bed and breakfast (B&B) in the UK? Wondering where to start when it comes to securing the finance you need to purchase a bed and breakfast? If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place.

Many people dream of owning their very own bed and breakfast in the UK, but they don’t know where to start. The process can seem daunting, particularly if it’s the first time you’ve bought a B&B or hotel.

We’ve created a helpful guide outlining everything you need to know about starting a bed and breakfast in the UK.

 

Is owning a bed and breakfast right for you?

 

The first thing to consider is if running a bed and breakfast is right for you. Why are you thinking about buying a bed and breakfast? What are you hoping to achieve? And do you have the skills and qualities you need to run one?

 

Starting a bed and breakfast is a massive commitment and can be life changing.  So, think about what your expectations are and consider all the pros and cons of running a bed and breakfast. You should also think about whether it’s truly the lifestyle you want – it might seem idyllic, but running a bed and breakfast can be a lot of hard work, including early mornings, late nights and very few days off.

Consider the following points:

 

  • Are you familiar with the location of the bed and breakfast?
  • Have you got a strong support base around you?
  • Are you a multi-tasker?
  • Are you good at coping
  • Do you like the idea of being self-employed?
  • How do you cope with routine?
  • Do you cope well under pressure?
  • Do you love people and enjoy being around them on a daily basis?

 

Choose your bed and breakfast property carefully

 

If you’re certain that owning a bed and breakfast is right for you, it’s time to start looking for the right property.

 

Think about the location, how many bedrooms you want, and if you want a property that’s ready to go, or one you can work on as a project before you launch your business.

 

 

What type of mortgage do you need to purchase a bed a breakfast?

 

The next step in setting up a bed and breakfast is to secure a mortgage. You’ll need a commercial mortgage for this type of purchase.

 

Many commercial mortgage lenders are happy to lend on bed and breakfast properties and these are available as fixed and variable-rate loans that usually have a repayment span of one to 25 years. Remember that deposits for commercial properties tend to be around 35% or 40%.

 

Budgeting and planning

You’ll need to plan your budget to ensure that the bed and breakfast business is actually viable. Remember to allow for seasonal peaks and dips, and ensure you can cover all your costs.

 

Marketing

Consider how you will market your business. Who is your target audience? And how can you reach them?

From social media platforms and websites, through to traditional methods such as flyers, advertising and more, there are plenty of ways to promote your new bed and breakfast business. You may also decide to advertise via an online booking site.

 

If you’re considering buying a commercial property such as a bed and breakfast in the UK, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial mortgages.

 

 

 

How to buy a hotel

For many people, owning their own hotel is a life-long dream. A dream that can bring much fulfilment, new opportunities, and happiness.

However, when it comes to tapping into the hotel sector, there are a range of factors you need to consider and addresses before buying a hotel, and during the purchasing process.

Here’s our guide to buying a hotel.

 

What type of mortgage do you need to buy a hotel?

 

If you’re considering buying a hotel, renovating a hotel, or expanding any commercial property, you will need to apply for a commercial mortgage.

Many lenders offer a variety of commercial mortgage deals, with the majority available as fixed and variable-rate loans. You should always shop around to find the best deal and keep in mind that most commercial mortgages have a repayment span from one to 25 years.

 

What deposit do you need to purchase a hotel?

 

Deposits for commercial properties such as hotels are generally 30 or 40 percent of the total value of the property – a lot higher than residential properties.

The amount you can borrow will depend on a number of different factors, including:

 

  • The price of the hotel
  • The type of hotel
  • How much deposit you have
  • Current market conditions
  • Your credit score and financial situation

 

Whether you are eligible to purchase a hotel, will depend on the above factors and whether or not you meet the criteria set out by the lender you choose. Ultimately, it comes down to how much of a risk you are financially and whether you are in a sound financial position to be able to pay back the money you have borrowed.

 

Applying for a mortgage for a hotel – what do I need?

 

When applying for a mortgage for a hotel, you will be required to complete the relevant paperwork and also supply a sound business plan. During the process, you will be asked questions relating to your business and financial situation so that lenders can understand how you intend to pay back your loan. An affordability check will then be completed and you will receive an agreement in principle.

 

 

Why choose Stewart Hindley?

 

If you’re considering buying a hotel, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you.

 

 Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding hotel finance or commercial mortgages.

Staycations to dominate the UK hospitality sector

UK hotels to benefit from staycation surge

A staycation surge is expected in 2021 across the UK due to ongoing international travel restrictions and successful domestic vaccine rollouts. This presents a promising opportunity for UK hoteliers to attract people who would previously have chosen to travel abroad for holidays and weekend breaks.

Domestic travel received 70% of hotel clicks on TripAdvisor in January 2021, where the summer months proved to be the most popular for bookings.  VisitBritain predicts a recovery of £61.7 billion in domestic tourism spend in 2021, up by a staggering 79% compared to 2020.

VisitBritain’s October 2020 survey also suggested a 33% increase in domestic interest in short stay UK breaks, compared to 2020.

Glamping, holiday lets, caravan and camping searches at a high

Many travellers are turning to both weekly and weekend holidays across the UK’s wide range of leisure parks, from touring caravan sites to seaside static caravan parks, and from countryside lodges to mountain “glamping”. A turning point for many was when self-contained and self-catered accommodation was allowed to re-open to family bubbles from 12 April 2021 a full month earlier than traditional hotels.

Looking at Google search trends, the topics ‘glamping’, ‘holiday lets’, ‘caravan’ and ‘camping’ have all seen a record number of searches during the pandemic and are expected to increase even further in 2021, especially during the warmer months.

How easy is it to get the hospitality finance you need?

The last year has been very challenging due to the pandemic resulting in reduced appetite and lower LTV’s, however at Stewart Hindley, we have successfully completed numerous cases where prospective purchasers have either had their loan applications declined via other non-specialist Finance Brokers, or they assumed because they had a good relationship with their bank, they would get their loan application approved, unfortunately more often than not this is not the case.

Why use a specialist hospitality finance broker?

By engaging with a specialist hospitality finance broker, such as Stewart Hindley & Partners, you can be assured that if there is a deal to be done, we at Stewart Hindley will get it done in the shortest time possible on the best rates and terms given the for the prospective purchaser with an assured and timely outcome.

But don’t just take our word for it – visit our website to view some of our many clients’ finance testimonials.

To have an initial discussion with us, please get in touch on 01488 684834.  We look forward to hearing from you!