Renting out your home or small cabins on your land can be a great way to earn extra income. Even if you don’t live in a tourism hot spot, you’ll still garner a lot of interest from folks who want to stay in a small, well-furnished tiny home.
However, starting a tiny house bed and breakfast isn’t as simple as “build it and they will come.” You need to ensure you’re within your legal rights to build and rent a tiny home and should make certain key choices to ensure that you offer guests an experience they will love.
Before you put a tiny home on your lot, you have to account for the practical considerations of starting a tiny home rental. Check with the local zoning department to ensure that you are allowed to put a rental tiny home on your parcel of land. You don’t want to wrack up a bill for a code violation and may even find that your local department is willing to support your efforts.
Once you’ve received the permits you need, you’ll need to set a reasonable budget for your tiny home. Tiny homes are usually a much cheaper alternative to brick-and-mortar buildings, but you may need to put down a significant downpayment to receive a loan.
Finally, take a look at your own schedule. There’s no point in building a tiny home if you don’t have the time to maintain it. Renting a tiny home can be a great side hustle but usually requires a significant investment of time and resources. Unless you want to give some of your profits to a cleaner, you’ll need to make time for changing sheets and cooking up some tasty breakfast.
You don’t necessarily have to offer any services beyond a clean, private room. However, if you want to score serious interest and charge a higher rate, you’ll need to offer some extra services on top of room and board.
Start by covering the essentials. At a minimum, you need to offer:
- Cooking space;
- Access to a washing machine;
- Essential amenities (toilet paper, a pillow, soap, etc.).
Offering these essentials will ensure that folks leave good reviews. Without basics like Wi-Fi and a cooking area, you’re likely to find that guests will look elsewhere for more well-equipped rental locations.
Boundaries and Privacy
Starting a tiny house B&B is all fun and games until your first guests arrive. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself wanting to peer through the window to see what they’re doing and ensure that your property is safe. It’s normal to feel anxious about your property the first time you rent it out, but you still need to respect the boundaries and privacy of your guests.
Your guests also need to understand your own boundaries and privacy. Experienced B&B owner, Joan Stone, even creates separate entrances for guests to retain boundaries. Stone has been running a B&B on a horse ranch for nearly 20 years and is always “clear about the boundaries.”
Stone also finds restricting access to the rest of her property keeps everyone safe, as she offers some stand-out extras on her property — like being able to brush the ponies and feed the chickens. To avoid disaster, Stone requires guests to refrain from entering the fields without her supervision. As an owner, you can follow suit by offering a few extra perks that help your property stand out on the listing sites.
Tiny home rentals are on the rise. Tiny homes are popular as they are better furnished than most hotels and usually offer a higher quality of individualized service. However, the increased interest in tiny home B&Bs means that you may face stiff competition in your local area.
You can beat out the competition and charge a higher average daily rate by offering standout extras to your guests. Ideally, these extras should hinge on local features and interests that can drive tourism and land you scores of great reviews.
When developing some standout ideas, you may need to get a little creative. For example, if you live in an area with high volcanic activity or meteorites, you could offer metal detecting trips to find meteorites to entice adventurous guests. You just need to kit guests out with very low frequency (VLF) metal detectors. This is just one example of the ways in which you can offer your guests a unique experience that they won’t soon forget.
Starting a tiny house bed and breakfast can be a great way to supplement your income and get more from your land. Running a tiny B&B can also be a lot of fun — particularly if you offer exciting extras like metal detecting or access to farmyard animals. Just make sure your boundaries are respected by giving guests a place of their own to relax and enjoy your property.