How To Start Homestay Business in Malaysia

What is a homestay business

Homestays are one of the common businesses to run in Malaysia. These days, many travellers are leaning towards staying in homestays rather than luxury hotels due to the amazing benefits a homestay offers.


If you’re planning on venturing into the homestay business and wondering how to start a homestay business in Malaysia, read on to find out more!


What is a homestay business?


Unlike the usual hotels, a homestay business is when you rent out a room or space to others who are around the area and monetize it. Homestay businesses don’t offer the luxurious stay like how hotels would, but rather a local experience showcasing the culture.

The trend of homestays has been on the rise in recent years and travellers are looking towards a more localised experience rather than what a luxury hotel can provide. Homestays are also popular as travellers get to learn the life of a local in an up-close way by living with them.


Benefits of homestay business


Not sure whether you should even consider starting a homestay business? Here are the benefits of starting your own homestay business:


1. Great additional source of income

Homestay owners are known as microentrepreneurs. This is because homestay business allows you to earn an income to support your living expenses as well as other personal use. It doesn’t require much effort either as you’ll only be renting a space in your own home where you’re currently staying.


2. Meet new people

If you’re hosting guests from all over the world, it gives you a chance to get to know various types of people with different cultures. You will constantly be exposed to people of different personalities as well.


3. Gain new skills

Being a host is not easy. It requires appropriate skills such as marketing, finance, communications and customer service. Over time, running a homestay business helps you to learn more about running an actual business.

Besides, since you’ll be meeting a wide variety of people, you’ll definitely learn a thing or two from them which could be beneficial in the long run.


How to start a homestay business in Malaysia


How to start a homestay business in Malaysia


If you’re not sure how to start a homestay business in Malaysia, here is a step-by-step guide on how to successfully start one! Even if you’re learning how to start an Airbnb business, the following steps still apply as well.


Step 1: Identify the space available


First and foremost, you need to know the space you’ll rent out to your guests. For instance, your living room, spare bedroom or simply an entire floor or house. There is no limit as to how much space you’ll rent out to your guests – it’s entirely up to you.


Step 2: Get the appropriate permissions


Before starting a homestay business in Malaysia, you’ll need to have your landlord’s permission to do so (if it’s not your own property). However, if it’s your own home, you can simply just follow the hosting rules stated on your listing website such as Airbnb or Booking.

To be more on the safe side, consider contacting Tourism Malaysia to know if there are any laws you need to be aware of.


Step 3: Prepare the essential amenities


You can’t run a homestay without the necessary amenities. Some of the common basic amenities include toiletries, towels, pillows, bed linens, blankets, and Wi-Fi connection. There are also various other amenities you can include but as long as you have the basics covered, it’ll be sufficient enough.


Step 4: Promote your homestay


Without any promotion, no one will know about your homestay! One of the best ways on how to promote homestay would be to try coming up with a marketing strategy so that you’ll know who your target customers are and attract them easily.

Set up your homestay business on popular property listings such as Airbnb, Agoda and Booking. Be sure to set up social media pages for your homestay business as well. Maintaining a positive social media presence is important as it’s one of the ways on how your potential customers find your homestay.

Identify what are your USPs (Unique Selling Points) that could attract guests to stay in your homestay and state them on all your social media platforms or property listings.

Need help managing your property? Check out our Property Management Services!


Step 5: Maintain appropriate rules and systems


You can’t allow guests to throw a party or simply cause a huge mess in your homestay. Be sure to set down some rules for the guests to follow so that you can prevent any inappropriate situations from happening.

Besides that, you should also set systems in place such as a proper booking system. This makes it easier for you to manage your guests as well.


Step 6: Establish appropriate communication


Choose proper communication channels so that your guests can communicate easily should there be any enquiries or assistance. When guests are able to communicate with you easily, they’ll feel more at ease knowing they can simply contact you.


Step 7: Provide great pre and post stay experience


Providing a good pre-stay experience would give the guests a good first impression. Some of the best ways to welcome your guests would be to pick them up from the airport or help carry their luggage upon arrival. Other than that, you can provide recommendations for places to visit or eat.

As for the post-stay experience, you can send them off to the airport and ask for their feedback so you can improve your homestay experience in the future.


Things to know before starting your homestay business in Malaysia


Things to know before starting your homestay business


1. Do I need to own a property first?


No, you don’t have to own a property to run a homestay business. If you are renting a property, all you need to do is get permission from your landlord to run your homestay business.


2. Do I need permits for homestay business?


In Malaysia, you don’t necessarily need any permits to run a homestay business. However, you can check with Tourism Malaysia to find out if there are any legal requirements you need to know about.


3. Can I run a homestay business on any type of property?


Yes, you can run a homestay business on any type of property such as a condominium, landed house or apartment. As long as you have a space to rent out, you can run a homestay business.


Homestay Rules and Regulations in Malaysia


Starting a homestay business in Malaysia requires adherence to key rules and regulations. Here are some of the important aspects that you should be aware of if you’re planning to start your homestay business.


Register with MOTAC

Register your business with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) to ensure legal compliance. Submit an application form along with the necessary documents, such as your identity card and proof of property ownership or rental agreement.


Local authorities’ regulations

Follow additional rules set by local authorities, which may include obtaining permits, licenses, and ensuring compliance with building codes and safety standards.


Cleanliness and hygiene

Maintain high standards of cleanliness throughout the property, including proper waste disposal and comfortable bedding for guests.


Safety measures

Prioritize guest safety by providing working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, and displaying emergency contact information.





After learning everything you need to know on how to run a homestay business, you can also consider taking some responsibilities of managing one off your shoulders. When you engage with homestay management services such as Airhost, we can handle every aspect of your homestay business from A to Z. Feel free to contact us and let us help you!

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