How to Start a Cabin Rental Business

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Cabin rentals can be an inexpensive, romantic and rustic alternative to pricey hotel rooms. They are favorites in the woods and on islands and beaches, particularly in tropical countries. You can start a cabin rental business with only a few cabins and a little bit of land in a great location. This can be a great business to retire to, or to pursue for one season out of the year.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license
  • Investment capital

Start Your Business

  • Choose a location. Make sure that the location you choose for your cabin rental business has ample traffic of potential customers. If you plan to conduct this business in a foreign country, check the laws to make sure that a foreigner can own or lease property, legally run a business and get money out of the country once he has earned it. Some countries require at least one business partner who is a citizen of that country. If you plan to rent cabins in your own country, you may gain tax advantages by living on the property. Otherwise, you will need to hire a property manager or management company.

  • Set up financing. You may choose either to purchase or lease the property, depending on how much of a down payment you can afford, the terms of the lease or mortgage and how long you anticipate holding the property. Speak with a certified public accountant and a tax attorney before making this decision. Also, set aside some capital that will cover any necessary repairs, operating costs such as utilities and maintenance, and staffing such as housekeeping and management. It may also be wise to set up a line of credit for emergencies.

  • Acquire your property. Make any necessary repairs or upgrades before you begin renting cabins to customers. If demand at the property location is seasonal, such as at a mountain ski resort or a summer-only Alaskan vacation destination, allow enough time after purchasing your property to get ready for the season before you begin to rent.

  • Market your business. Advertise both directly to consumers and to business customers such as travel agencies, travel and review guides such as Lonely Planet and tour companies. The more positive reviews and ratings you can accumulate both on websites and in print, the better. It may also help to establish a website with photos, directions, things to do around your location and a scheduling tool that allows customers to book rooms through the website.

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