In the hospitality business, guest houses and B&Bs are a great way to mix business with pleasure. You are not only selling a business, you are selling a home and it’s important to remember this when dealing with potential buyers. You’re less likely to deal with serial business owners as a guest house usually attracts couples and families looking for a new challenge.
So what are potential buyers looking for in a guest house or bed and breakfast property? The location is incredibly important, as it will determine the amount and type of guests that will be staying there. If you’re selling your guest house take a look at what features make it worth buying and see if you can increase its value.
Tourist friendly location
Hotels appeal to all types of travellers, including business travellers, but guest houses have a niche clientele. They are designed for holidaymakers so your guesthouse ideally needs to be located in a town or city that attracts many visitors throughout the year. A destination such as Blackpool is ideal because people visit the beach during the summer but the winter illuminations also attract thousands of visitors in the colder months.
Think about the abundance of attractions and sights that your guest house has close by, and shout about them. Are most of the local places of interest within walking distance? Is public transport available on the street you are located? Do you have a Michelin starred restaurant around the corner? All of these facts are important to clients, so they are also important to buyers. A guesthouse in a tourist hotspot can be very profitable so is of interest to many investors.
Décor and furniture
The overall style and feel of the guesthouse will have an effect on its value, because buyers rarely want to spend extra cash on renovations making sure it’s to their taste. Old fashioned carpets and wallpaper, outdated bathroom facilities or garish décor is unattractive to many people. Try and keep the furnishings neutral and refined in both the guest rooms and the residential area, to appeal to as many buyers as possible. Including all furniture in the sale can also increase the saleability of a guest house.
There’s no better way to prove that a guest house or B&B is profitable than having your books at full capacity. It can take years to sell a business, so you should always be striving for plenty of future bookings throughout the year so you can show potential buyers your capacity rates for the upcoming months. Keeping customers happy and having lots of positive online reviews can boost your bookings, so make sure the guest house is well managed before and during the property sale.
Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll also need an experienced small business broker to guide you through the sale of your guest house. Get in touch with Hilton Smythe today to find out how we can help.