Boarding House: Market & Competitive Research in the Philippines

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Boarding houses, also called “bed spaces” or “dormitories,” are very important for many Filipinos, especially students, young professionals, and foreign workers. These shared living spaces are less expensive than regular apartments and give people a feeling of community and convenience. But running a boarding house comes with its challenges, such as making sure the residents are safe and healthy and keeping the place where they live peacefully.

In this piece, we go into the world of research and look at good ways to run boarding houses in the Philippines. We want to show how important it is to make well-informed decisions and improve the quality of life for renters and owners in this vital housing sector by looking at the current situation and addressing fundamental problems.

Identify demand for boarding house accommodations

Here are some steps to identify the target market and demand for a boarding house business in the Philippines:

Analyze the location

Identify the location of the boarding house business and research the local demographics, such as the age, income, and employment status of the people in the area. Consider the distance to schools, universities, business districts, and transportation hubs.

Conduct market research

Gather data on demand for boarding house accommodations in the area by researching online, interviewing potential customers, and analyzing the competition. Use this information to understand the needs and preferences of the target market, including their budget, the type of accommodation they prefer, and the amenities they require.

Identify the competition

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Identify other boarding houses or accommodations in the area and analyze their pricing, amenities, and services. This will help you to understand the market and to differentiate your business from the competition.

Create customer profiles

Based on the research, create profiles of the target market, including their age, income, interests, and needs. This will help you create marketing strategies that appeal to the target market and tailor the boarding house’s services and amenities to their needs.

Estimate the demand

Use customer profiles and market research to estimate the demand for the boarding house business. Consider the number of potential customers in the area, the average occupancy rate, and the estimated rental rates.

Test the demand

Before launching the business, test the demand for the boarding house by offering short-term rentals, conducting surveys, or offering promotions. This will help validate the business’s demand and refine the services and amenities based on customer feedback.

How to determine rental rates

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Here are some steps to perform an analysis of location and rental rates for a boarding house business in the Philippines:

Identify the location

Identify the location of the boarding house business and research the local area, including nearby schools, universities, and business districts. Consider the distance to transportation hubs, amenities such as shopping centers, and the area’s safety.

Analyze the demographics

Analyze the demographics of the local area, including the age, income, and employment status of the people in the area. This information will help you determine the rental rates and amenities appropriate for the target market.

Research rental rates

Research the rental rates of other boarding houses and similar accommodations in the area. Look for the average rental rates for different types of accommodations and how the rates vary based on the location and amenities.

Estimate expenses

Estimate the expenses of running the boarding house business, including rent, utilities, maintenance, staffing, and taxes. This will help you to determine the minimum rental rates required to cover the expenses and make a profit.

Determine your unique selling proposition

Determine your unique selling proposition based on the analysis of the location and rental rates. Your USP could offer lower rates, better amenities, or a better location that appeals to the target market.

Set rental rates

Set the rental rates based on the analysis of the location, demographics, rental rates, and expenses. Consider the pricing strategies of the competition, and adjust your rental rates based on the unique selling proposition of your boarding house business.

By analyzing location and rental rates, you can determine the appropriate rates for your boarding house business and develop a competitive pricing strategy. The analysis will help you to identify the unique selling proposition that sets your business apart from the competition and attract the target market.

boarding house design

How to analyze the competition

Here are some steps to perform a competitor analysis for a boarding house business in the Philippines:

Identify competitors

Identify other boarding houses, dormitories, and similar accommodations by searching online, visiting the area, and talking to locals. Look for competitors with a similar location, target market, and pricing.

Gather competitive information

Gather information on competitors, including their pricing, amenities, services, and occupancy rates. Look for details on their marketing strategies, customer reviews, word-of-mouth feedback from current and past tenants, and online ratings.

Analyze strengths and weaknesses

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor. Look for areas where competitors excel and areas where they fall short. Is it located in a noisy part of the neighborhood? Does it often suffer water or power interruption? Consider factors such as the quality of accommodations, amenities, customer service, and reputation.

Identify opportunities and threats

Identify opportunities and threats based on the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors. Look for areas where the competition is weak and where your boarding house business can excel. Also, consider the impact of new competitors entering the market.

Develop a competitive strategy

Develop a competitive strategy that considers the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, your USP, and the opportunities and threats in the market. Consider pricing, marketing, and operational strategies that help your boarding house business stand out.

Performing a competitor analysis is essential to developing a successful boarding house business in the Philippines. By analyzing the competition, you can identify areas for improvement, develop a unique selling proposition, and develop a competitive strategy that sets your business apart.

When is a boarding house not a viable business investment?

Several signs indicate that a boarding house may not be an ideal business in a particular area. Here are some of the signs to watch out for:

Low demand

If there is already an oversupply of boarding houses in the area, or if there is little demand for this type of accommodation, investing in a boarding house in that area may not be a good idea.

High competition

If there are many established boarding houses in the area, competing with them on price or quality may be difficult, especially if they have built up a strong reputation over time.

Negative perception

If there is a negative perception of boarding houses in the area, or if they are associated with problems such as crime, noise, or other disturbances, it may not be easy to attract and retain tenants.

Poor location

If the boarding house is located in an area that is difficult to access or far from key amenities such as transportation, shopping, and entertainment, it may be difficult to attract tenants.

High operating costs

If the cost of acquiring or maintaining the property or complying with local regulations and standards is high, running a good boarding house in the area may not be easy.

Boarding house operation and management tips

Here are some key factors to consider for the ideal operations and management of a boarding house:


Determine the market demand and the cost of providing services to set a competitive and reasonable price for your boarding house. Consider offering discounts for long-term tenants or for those who pay in advance.


Utilize various marketing channels such as social media, online ads, and referrals to promote your boarding house to potential tenants. Consider partnering with universities, schools, or companies to offer special packages to their students or employees.

Customer service

Provide excellent customer service to your tenants by addressing their concerns promptly, being available when needed, and treating them respectfully and courteously. Encourage feedback and make improvements based on their suggestions.

Maintenance and housekeeping

Keep the boarding house clean and well-maintained to ensure tenants feel comfortable and safe. Regularly schedule cleaning and maintenance services for the communal areas, and ensure that the rooms and facilities are in good condition.


Maintain accurate records of tenant information, rental payments, and maintenance schedules. This can be done manually or by using property management software to help you track expenses, monitor occupancy rates, and manage cash flow.

Staff management

Hire and train staff members knowledgeable about property management, customer service, and maintenance. Consider implementing a performance management system to evaluate their performance and provide feedback on areas for improvement.

Tenant management

Develop policies and procedures for tenant management, including lease agreements, rent collection, and dispute resolution. Ensure that tenants know these policies and have access to a copy of the lease agreement.

Common challenges of operating boarding houses

Like any business, a boarding house has its own set of challenges and opportunities. Here are some key challenges and opportunities to consider:

Higher operating costs

Running a boarding house can be expensive, especially in urban areas with high real estate costs. Operating costs may include rent or mortgage payments, property maintenance, utility bills, property taxes, insurance, and staff salaries.

Market saturation

In some areas, the market for boarding houses may be saturated, which means that there may be too many competing boarding houses. This can complicate attracting and retaining tenants and require you to be more innovative with your marketing and promotional strategies.

Concerns from tenants and neighbors

As a boarding house owner, you may receive complaints from tenants or neighbors about noise, safety, or other issues. It is crucial to address these concerns promptly and have policies and procedures to resolve disputes.

Ways to innovate

To stay competitive in a crowded market, boarding house owners may need to be innovative. This could include offering new amenities or services, such as gym facilities or catering services, or using new technology to manage operations and engage with tenants.

Overall, the boarding house industry presents both challenges and opportunities. Discovering them requires a systematic approach, with the steps above providing a quick guide for investors or property owners keen on exploring this business opportunity. Being aware of these factors and adapting to changes in the market, boarding house owners can build successful and profitable businesses.

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