Those who own a beach hut or have hired out a hut may think that a beach hut hire generates lots of income with little or no work. I hear quotes such as “the summer months hire income pays back the beach hut investment in three years”. While that could be true, there are expenses associated with hiring out a beach hut that should be taken into account and if you are self-managing your beach hut hire, then you do need to take into account the significant time investment too. It’s, therefore, understandable that you may ben intrigued if these quotes are true. It’s also understandable that I’m regularly asked by other owners “How much can I earn hiring out my beach hut?”.
Having successfully run a beach hut hire company for two years and as an ex-accountant, I know how important it is to understand what income you’ll generate. While the answer does include a certain element of ‘it depends’, the below article sets out how you can calculate the income that your beach hut hire could generate. You’ll even find a downloadable 2017 income calculator, perfect for next years planning. Yep, I still love a bit of excel despite no longer working as an accountant!
How Much Can I Earn Hiring Out My Beach Hut?
There are a number of factors that will impact upon the amount of income you will be able to earn but all can be linked to two main drivers. Price and utilisation (number of days hired out to guests as a % of days available to be booked).
The price you can charge and tariffs you adapt will all be determined by a number of key factors. In the same way, your utilisation rate will be driven by those key factors too. So while it may initially look strange that I’ve not dived right and only talked about price and utilisation as the two metrics that drive your potential income, it’s due to the fact that these themselves are determined by the considerations below.
Type of Property
There are three aspects of your beach hut build itself that will help determine how much you can charge:
- Are you able to sleep overnight in the beach hut and will you allow guests to do so? ‘Sleeper Beach Huts’ are far and few between and thus you could demand a higher hire price for your beach hut for this added time and benefit.
- Do you have facilities in your beach hut such as electricity, solar panel lighting, heating, cooking or even toilet facilities? While a kettle and small gas stove are expected as normal, anything over and above this will aid with setting a higher beach hut hire price.
- The size of your beach hut. With many 12ftx8ft limiting guests to either 6 or 8 as maximum numbers for day guests, if your beach hut is larger or smaller, you’ll need to consider how many guests could be accommodated. The number of guests allowed will not only impact on the experience for guests on the day but their view of the value your beach hut offers for the price they are paying.
The geographical location of your beach hut may impact your hire price. For e.g. if you are located in a popular tourist destination with award-winning beaches and nearby facilities, you are likely to attract more guests.
In addition, if those hiring feel that it’s in a desirable location they may be willing to pay a higher hire price. At the other extreme, regardless of how desirable your beach hut is, if associated with an area that has bad press or reputation, you may need to account for this in its hire price. It is possible to raise awareness and change views re a location but you would have to consider this the effort required when marketing your beach hut hire.
Do try to see your beach huts location through the eyes of the guests you are trying to target. If you are looking to target families, is your location family friendly or more aligned to a couples retreat for the day? Many businesses refer to this as identifying their ‘ideal’ client and your location may help determine this and their purchasing preferences.
Beach Hut Design, Style and Contents
How would you describe the difference between a 1-star and 3-star hotel? Do decor and pricing pop into your mind? You’d be right, these are the two key factors including the facilities of the hotel itself that determine the hotels pricing.
The same applies to beach huts. Your Beach Huts design, style, layout and contents will all impact the price you will be able to charge and the type of client you will attract. Adding some extra’s or thoughtful small touches can make all the difference.
This is another case of putting yourself in your guest’s shoes. If your hut looks unloved full of low value, mismatched items that are in need of repair, not only may you not attract enough guests but you’ll find they will treat your beach hut as they find it. There is, of course, a balance and you’ll want your beach hut to represent who you are too but I can’t emphasise how much this will impact on both your price and utilisation.
Do remember that if you ‘look’ interchangeable with other beach huts in terms of style and design and are similarly priced, you’ll have to work hard to retain your guests year on year I’ll explain why this is important in future blogs when we talk about retention and cost of attracting new guests.
Ability to Market/Advertise to your Ideal Client
I continue to be surprised at how many people are not aware that you can hire out a beach hut for the day or week. I frequently have new guests comment to me that they weren’t aware you could hire beach huts. They’ve only discovered us either through friends or via some of the national press we’ve received.
If there is already a high demand in your locality then you shouldn’t need to start to build awareness of beach hut hire from scratch, but you will need to help your guests find you and make it easy for them to understand what and who you are.
If there isn’t already a demand in your locality, don’t worry, it’s not impossible to build awareness. It may just take a little longer to reach the utilisation levels that you desire. Do remember to take this into account when planning your finances.
Personal or Friends and Family Use
The amount of time that you and your family use your beach hut will impact the income that you receive. If you offer your beach hut out to your friends and family at zero charge (or a discounted rate), then you need to take this into account.
If you are a beach hut owner that uses your beach hut most weekends and the full summer, then you will need to weigh up the time and effort versus the low number of days that are likely to be booked.
On the other hand, many owners do forget to block out time for themselves to enjoy their own beach hut. Do try to block out your own time in advance and not be tempted to sell those ‘extra days’. After all, you did buy a beach hut to enjoy yourself too!
If you estimate the number of days and rough timing up front that you will be using, you can account for them when calculating your potential income. I’ve included this in the downloadable income calculator for you too.
But what about the competition?
I know. Most people and blogs that are focused on holiday rentals state that your price and therefore income is defined by your competition.
While I agree, I only agree to a very very small extent. There are numerous examples across all industries that show this does not hold 100% true. I firmly believe that just because your beach hut is next door to another beach hut doesn’t mean that you will get the same number of bookings at the same price. My own three huts have shown that this isn’t the case due to all of the above factors like marketing, design and style which command a higher price and have sold out year on year.
If you do look at your competition to get a feel for pricing and utilisation, then please do be careful. Each of the consideration above will drive your income and only you can decide if your competition is going to determine how you manage and advertise your beach hut hire.
Additional Income Streams
Depending on your overall ambitions and time available, there are other ways you could look to add to your income streams.
For e.g you may want to think about buddying up with local suppliers to deliver their services to your beach hut. This could range from providing catering to beach hut themed gifts. I know of one beach hut hire Boutique Beach Huts who offers spa treatments and personal chefs during your beach hut hire.
Do a little brainstorming and see how creative you can be to increase your average income per hire versus the time and investment to do so.
Ready to Use our Income Calculator?
Now you’ve worked through the above, you are ready! Of course, you are – I promise you it’s not that hard and I’ve sent up a fab excel file for you.
All of the cells are pre-populated but you can you amend the prices and utilisation by day of the week and month too. Have fun and I’d love to know if you find it useful!
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