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How to Buy a Guest House in Australia

Ready to realise your dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast? Here are some helpful tips to ensure the accommodation industry is right for you.

There are a variety of reasons why you may be thinking about purchasing a B&B. Perhaps you love to cook, decorate, and meet new people. Or maybe you’ve become an empty nester and would like to supplement your retirement with additional income.

Whatever your reasons, it’s wise to evaluate the pros and cons of the guest house industry before you take the leap into buying your own little B&B.

Let’s take a look at some helpful skills and personality traits that a buyer in this industry should possess:

  • A love of all things social: You should be an enthusiastic people person who loves socialising with strangers and making them feel at home. You should have excellent conversational skills and enjoy hearing and responding to your guests’ stories.
  • Exceptional culinary skills: You should be able to serve delicious breakfasts, and if your culinary skills aren’t up to the task, it’s essential that you hire experienced help.
  • A knack for hospitality: You will be your guests’ primary source of information for local tourist attractions and activities, so be prepared to provide superior customer service.
  • Energetic and hardworking: Owning and running a B&B will be far more enjoyable if you’re an early riser who can handle a slightly demanding schedule seven days a week.

You will be required to wake up early every morning to cook and serve a scrumptious breakfast, and then your day will be spent cleaning linens and preparing rooms for new guests who will be checking in later that day.

  • Clean and tidy to a fault: You should have high standards for cleanliness. In a survey conducted by AAA Tourism, 30% of respondents selected cleanliness as the most important factor in choosing lodging.

If housekeeping isn’t your strong suit, it’s highly recommended that you hire professional outside help.

  • Flexible and ready to adapt: You are running an around-the-clock business and will be constantly catering to your guests’ changing schedules for arrivals and departures. You need to be willing to adjust your personal plans to meet the demands of your business.

Finance and statistics

The amount of upfront money you will need for your B&B will be determined by the condition of the property and how many renovations and repairs you will need to do before opening for business.

Your overall profit will ultimately depend on several factors including your location, room rates, the number of staff you hire, marketing expenses, and any significant overhead costs. 

What to look for when buying a guest house or B&B

  • Research insurance: Prior to buying, research specific insurance requirements because B&B insurance is a specialised field, and not all insurance underwriters will provide it.
  • Establish your target customers: A city or suburban location will attract international travellers and business people, while B&Bs located in more remote, scenic areas will appeal to guests who are seeking weekend getaways and celebrating special occasions.
  • Determine the type of B&B: Consider your overall business plan and determine if you will be providing a luxury getaway retreat for your customers, or if you will be simply offering a clean place to sleep and a delicious breakfast.
  • Find an ideal location: Before purchasing a property, do your research and talk with other B&B owners in the area. If they offer a pristine environment and delicious food but still struggle with low occupancy rates, you should look elsewhere. A good location is essential.

Licences and permissions

Owners in this sector need to comply with numerous laws and licensing requirements that can vary in each state and territory, so be sure to conduct thorough research.

The government also provides a helpful guide that gives valuable information regarding various legal, operational, and business issues relevant to the accommodation industry.

Due diligence

Finally, as with all business ventures, it’s imperative to complete a thorough due diligence of the property you are considering. Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Who are your competitors, and how will your property be significantly different?
  • How much will the operation realistically cost to set up, and how much money do you have available to invest in the business?
  • What types of customers will be attracted to your property?
  • Is there enough of a demand from clientele to sustain your business?
  • What’s your marketing strategy?

The more you dig into all the details, the more confident you will be that you’re buying the right property and that you’re fully equipped to successfully tackle this new adventure.

Are you ready to realise your dream of owning your own guest house or B&B? Visit here to see current listings available for sale.

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally, which attracts over 1.2 million visitors each month.