How to set up your Serviced Accommodation (SA) units

Welcome to the ultimate guide to setting up serviced accommodation units. Here are the key elements to keep in mind:

 

 

1. Order the broadband and utilities

 

Ordering broadband and utilities should be the first thing that you do as there can be delays setting these up. Guests need broadband for work and for leisure and a good broadband connection will guarantee happy guests.

 

Mobile dongles can be a good backup internet. They are a fairly inexpensive temporary option, but it is advisable to be used only during a property setup. The internet speed of these devices depends on the location and network provider. You you need to get one that works well in your coverage area.

 

Some providers also offer wifi cloud access when waiting for hardwired internet to be installed.

 

2. Get insurance

 

You must have insurance to reduce your liabilities in case things go wrong. A good broker will make this seamless and the process should just take 24-48 hours. For SA, you need public liability and contents insurance for the property. Most of the time, you won’t get a provider that will insure less than £10,000 worth of contents. So for most units £10,000-£15,000 should suffice.

 

Tip: Use a broker that understands SA to ensure you get the right product.

 

 

3. Light refurbishment work

 

Do the hard work like getting the walls painted and putting new carpets down while the property is empty. Talk to the landlords/letting agents or the owners of the property. Negotiate new works to ensure your property is looking fresh. Landlords should be willing to do this because they know that keeping the property well kept is paramount. If you ever need to negotiate, negotiate upfront.

 

Tip: After doing the messy stuff, carry out a deep clean before you begin to dress the property. It will allow your cleaners to do the best work possible with less furniture and more space to move around.

 

 

4. Furnishings

 

Sometimes, you take on properties that are already furnished. And sometimes, the furniture might even be the perfect fit for the style that you are going for. However, you'll encounter properties with furniture that are not up to standard. Don’t settle for poor quality furniture just because the landlord put it in there. Ask the landlord to get remove or offer to remove. Replace the furniture as part of your agreement especially if it is long term because by then, the furniture will be old. What you don’t want to do is to pay for the old furniture that is already there when you take the property on.

 

Other things that to take note of when setting up your SA Units

 

Condiments

Provide the same condiments as a hotel. Coffee, tea, toilet roll, toiletries, hairdryers… bulk buy for your properties to reduce costs.

 

Photography

Once your property is set up, recruit a professional photographer to showcase your unit in the best way possible.

 

Accountability Process (checklist)

Use a checklist to highlight who is in charge of a certain tasks so they can be accountable. Checklists are important in any business. Without a checklist, you are likely to miss things which could result in unhappy guests.

 

Key, Keys, Keys

Make sure you cut enough keys for the property. There should be a key for the guests, maintenance, housekeeping and a spare master key. Lockboxes and Keynest are a good alternative to using various sets of keys and make self check in easier.

Learn more by listening to the full podcast episode or watch Ben and Chris on Youtube:

This podcast is all about providing you with loads of useful information about Serviced Accommodation. If you are looking to start or grow your SA business this podcast is for you!

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