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6 things to know before leaving to open a guest house

From the green to open a gîte or a chambre d'hôte in the countryside, this is a project that has what to do dream. But that requires a commitment of personnel

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6 things to know before leaving to open a guest house

From the green to open a gîte or a chambre d'hôte in the countryside, this is a project that has what to do dream. But that requires a commitment of personnel and financial matters.

Change of work, from living green and why not carry out a professional activity as a room host or a cottage... This perspective appeal to more than a third of the French working age, according to a survey conducted by the network Guy Hiccups real Estate and the Institut Opinion Way in march 2016.

as it is not out of reach : "while some regions will see their prices soar, other geographical areas have prices that remain very attractive for facility projects aimed at the tourist" note Fabrice Abraham, ceo of Guy Hiccup. Has the image of the Ardeche where the products of charm with many hectares of land are displayed around 240 000 euros. But if the purchase of a beautiful residence is an essential prerequisite to the launching of this activity, that doesn't bode for much of the success of the company.

The construction work is often necessary to adapt the property, are added to the regular fee to entice customer. "Open a gîte or a chambre d'hôte is a bit of a fantasy. But to live is difficult because there is a lot of competition," warn Laure Thiebault and Céline Arsac, respectively a lawyer and a responsible saver by Agence France-Contractor (AFE), a public body in charge of coordinating action at national and local level in favour of entrepreneurship. Some tips for success change of life.

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Gîte or chambre d'hôte ?

"In spirit as well as in the law, these two types of accommodation are extremely different and do not present the same constraints," insists Christian Biancaniello, vice-president of the network of holiday rentals Clévacances and owner of gites in the Jura. While a cottage is considered a holiday rental and is a self-catering accommodation furnished and equipped, a guest room must be located in the principal residence (main building or outbuildings) of the one who rents it, and thus implies to accept to stay in the home of strangers.

in practical terms, explains Fabien Of-evils, responsible for the engineering quality and the development of the federation of Gîtes de France, "from a regulatory point of view, an owner of lodging does not have to provide hotel services such as breakfast or the supply of household linen. They remain, however, recommended a commercial point of view. Conversely, an owner of a guest house is in the obligation to offer a number of services at no extra cost, including breakfast".

Another important difference : the capacity of each of these accommodations. Unlike a guest house which must not propose more than five rooms and receive more than fifteen people at the same time, the number of tourists that can be accommodated in a shelter is not limited. On the other hand, as soon as it can accommodate up to fifteen guests, it is the law of the establishments receiving of public (ERP) and must meet strict standards for accessibility, security, and fire fighting.

What legal obligations ?

Except for a simple statement of rental prior to deposit in the town hall, there is no regulatory obligation to open a gîte or a guest room. In other words, except for the owners who have voluntarily chosen to seek to obtain a label with a private network, "there is no imperative in terms of equipment if this is not of course to respect the characteristics of decent housing," says Christian Biancaniello. Attention, however, "since march 2014, the law Alur determines the opening of a furnished rental in a prior approval for change of use in some geographical areas, especially Paris and a few towns of the petite couronne", reminds Isabelle Barres, author of the guide to Lodgings and rooms of hosts : the key to a successful creation (Vuibert, 2015).

>> Practice : Download our guide to council for défiscaliser by investing in real estate

also of note : the rental (the same point) of a guest room to constitute a commercial activity, the operator is required to register with the register of commerce and companies (RCS) and registered with the Centre for business formalities (CFE) of the chamber of commerce. Similarly, if the taxable income generated by its activity exceeds 5 100 euros, it must affiliate with the social Plan of independents (RSI) as a self-employed worker (TNS). For shelters, it is enough to their owners to request their registration in the Sirene register, Insee's request, from the registry of the commercial court of the place of the rented accommodation. As to the subscription of a specific insurance, if it is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended.

Where to install ?

As with any business, location is key. "We need to find the right place and not to fall into the trap of a classic family house or piece of house that one wants to have to convert it back to a gîte or guest house, but that is not well enough located to attract customers," stresses Christian Biancaniello. Among the réregions the most promising : those who have been an important attraction, thanks to the proximity of the sea, the mountain or even of a tourist site (natural park of regional, cultural and natural heritage, walking track, famous, amusement park...).

But this is no longer the sole criterion. Today, "the one beauty of life is not enough", confirms Fabrice Abraham. "The sectors related to transport are to be preferred." The ease of access afforded by major highways, rail and air is a more highly sought after currently by the tourists. Urban areas and peripheral cities also have a good potential customer. "Urban tourism and business is experiencing a real boom," says Christian Biancaniello.

How to make themselves known ?

With 80% to 85% of the customers who book their rental in a gîte or chambre d'hôte on the Internet, according Clévacances, it is impossible to ignore this means of promotion that is the Web. Although it is of course always important to be on the guides and other address lists that are maintained by local tourist offices, "the rules of the game in terms of marketing have changed," insists Christian Biancaniello. Today, according to the AFE, the projects most professionals put in place a genuine strategy of e-tourism with presence on Web directories, social networks, and even the review sites and rating.

in order To continuously improve their seo, the owners of bed and breakfasts and guest houses do not have a solution other than to spend a marketing budget of annual activity. Or, to conclude commercial partnerships with platforms of online sales. Attention, warns Isabelle Barres, "if they offer a visibility of which you can hardly miss, these operators also have the tooth hard with the car rental companies in terms of tariff conditions or even home at the last minute. It is therefore up to each of well the pros and cons".

Another strategy to gain visibility : join a network of tourist reception which the label is acknowledged by the public authorities. Has the image of Accueil Paysan, Clévacances, Fleurs de Soleil, and Gîtes de France.

How to promote your offers ?

If the authenticity and friendliness are always among the criteria most sought after by the clients of gîtes and guest rooms, "they now expect a level of comfort at least equal to what they have at home," points out Fabien Desmaux. In addition a certain charm and decor cosy and cocooning, they want to have the services, appliances and hi-fi quality. Not to mention the now essential wi-fi". In the Face of the requirements of increasingly strong, the operators must ensure that their hosting responds always to the taste of the day, both in terms of equipment development.

making it important for homeowners to budget for a "work" annually to refresh and revamp regularly rented dwellings (re-do the paint, for example), but also to be able to improve the ancillary services offered to residents. Because, without being decisive, they are a real plus for customers and allow for a gîte or a guest room to differentiate themselves within an more and more abundant. Thus, in 2014, 27 % of the homes of host members of Gîtes de France were equipped with a swimming pool and 11 % of a spa or other equipment in well-being.

What investment, what a gain, what tax ?

whether it is to buy, renovate or adapt a housing, the bill climbs quickly. According to a study conducted in 2014 by Gites de France, it takes on average 91 000 euros to create a gite and 76 000 euros for a guest house.

A significant investment, which may, however, be reduced through the aid and other grants local, state Laure Thiebault and Céline Arsac. "The aid and their amounts varying according to the departments, it is up to each project leader's responsibility to educate themselves before starting their activity". As regards the gain generated by this type of rental, it is difficult to generalize. If Gîtes de France is estimated to be 10 700 euros the annual gross revenue of an operator of bed and to 18 600 euros, the owner of a guest room, "the prices are totally free of an address to the other," recalls Fabien Desmaux.

similarly, the filling rate (evaluated by the Gîtes de France to 41% in average in France per year, for all accommodation types combined), and seasons of occupation differ greatly between regions. Therefore, caution Laure Thiebault and Céline Arsac, "to be able to live totally from this activity is rare and it is often better to consider it as a supplementary income".

For this, which is their tax, these two types of accommodation are subject to the tax regime of the micro enterprise (micro-BIC). Operators of guest houses or lodges, provided that they are classified "furnished tourism", benefit, below a threshold of 82 800 euros of revenue per year, with an allowance of 71 %. The cottages non-classified are also entitled to a lump-sum allowance but only up to 33 100 euros of annual revenue, and it is limited to 50 %.

Read our complete file

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To ensure that your cottage is classified "furnished tourism", it is necessary to refer you to an organization licensed appraiser. Their contact details are available on the website of Atoutfrance, the national agency for the development of tourism.

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