Should you start a homestay business?

Homestay business can be very lucrative if you know what works and what doesn’t. In Malaysia, homestays have reached more than 6,500 which has been registered and a lot more which hasn’t. This might be a good business to venture into for entrepreneurs or even for foreigners who prefer a simple and small setup.

What you need to know about homestays

With a booming tourism industry, homestay can be an interesting option for tourists. Whether it is a weekend vacation or a staycation, homestays have become an accommodation choice around Malaysia which is known for its rich culture and traditions.
What can you offer then? After all, it can be a small business to begin with.

  1. affordable place to stay with basic amenities
  2. a family-oriented atmosphere
  3. local traditions and foods
  4. less stress and easy arrangements

What does it take to start this business?

It is not necessary for you to offer your own space if you want to start a hometay business. In fact, you can have several setups. Among the factors that you can consider are:

  1. Size of property – This must be something that is suitable for homestay. You need to consider the size of the space your guests are living in. Studio apartments might not be the best options (good for AirBnB though) and you might like properties with many rooms. Most customers want to stay in a house with a porch or parking space.
  2. Licensing – Remember that you need to register your business with the relevant authorities. So licensing is a must. You need to comply with the local laws and any regulations that might be involved. Do your homework before starting the business then contact Tourism Malaysia to see what you need to do in order to get listed
  3. Rent or buy – the property’s ownership is entirely up to you. if you decide to rent, then ensure that your landlord is aware of why you are renting but if you intend to buy, then ensure that your neighbours are aware that you are using the property for homestay. Another factor that must be taken into consideration is security services. You need to ensure that they are informed as well.
  4. Location – you want to offer homestay with a ready catchment of customers. There is no reason to offer this option in an obscure location because you need to have a steady stream of visitors at all times. During the peak seasons, you want all your rooms to be rented out.
  5. Services – this is one factor that needs a lot of working on. If you are going to offer meals in your homestay, you might need to live in or at least have a cook on the premises. Otherwise, you need to consider catering food or delivery for the guests.
  6. Marketing – at the end of the day, you will need to do some form of marketing and promotions for your homestay. Most of your customers are internet-driven people which means they rely a lot on online search, reviews and such. Make your presence known on social media and work your way from there.


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