Setting up and running an Airbnb is no easy job – and even though HelloGuest is here to help you run things smoothly, here are the questions we get asked the most for newbie hosts still figuring things out. But remember, we’re always here if and when you need us.
We use 40+ booking channels to promote your holiday home and maximise your visibility to bookers. Some of the most common booking sites we use include Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, HomeAway, Spot A Home, Rightmove, Zoopla and so many more.
No problem, we can help create your listing and then get it listed on all the leading booking channels. We use software to ensure that the property details and pricing are consistent across all booking channels and that calendars are synced to avoid double bookings.
The occupancy rate to expect will depend on your location, the size of your property, the amenities you offer and the pricing strategy set. Whilst we cannot give you a specific figure without knowing your postcode and evaluating your property, you can better understand average occupancy rates per area here.
At HelloGuest, we offer a personal or self-check-in.
Depending on your location, we offer guests a personal meet and greet where we hand over the keys. Alternatively, guests can self-check-in using various options to enable self-check-in, such as key locks, key storage points or smart locks.
Self-check-in gives more flexibility for guests, especially if they are travelling, as it means they do not have to worry if they are delayed or when they arrive.
Whilst we do not guarantee you’ll start receiving bookings immediately, we know from experience that after we’ve made a few tweaks, we will see a difference in interest.
It’s important to note that an increase in occupancy can vary on different factors, such as the time of year (are we in season or out of season) or where your property is based. For example, there’s not a huge influx of bookings for properties near the seaside in months like January. That said, with the strategies we introduce, our listings are booked in advance, with many of our properties in 2023 being almost fully booked for the year by February.
If you’re new to Airbnb, remember that guests often book highly reviewed properties, so as we work to raise your ratings and reviews, it might take some time to get the ball rolling – but that’s what advertising is for, which is included in your package.
Don’t worry. Cleaning and housekeeping are part of our management service. We work with local cleaning companies we’ve vetted beforehand to ensure smooth transitions between guest stays. However, if you have a preferred cleaner in mind or someone who’s great and knows your property, we can retain them and take over the management.
A cleaner will be essential for high guest reviews.
In our experience in working with hundreds of homes, we’ve found that most standard home and landlord insurances do not cover property letting via short-term rental sites. Special short-term insurance policies are mostly required to ensure you’re fully protected. You’ll also be covered through Airbnb’s Air Cover, covering damage up to £1,000,000.
We’ll take care of this for you as part of our service. As we’ll manage everything through our Superhost account and assess the property after every stay, we’ll manage any damage caused by guests by reporting it to Airbnb and updating you of the progress.
When you onboard, we’ll walk you through and give you options for the type of cancellation policy you’d like to opt for and the type of pricing strategy we work with. We will, of course, advise you based on the best experience, but the decision will ultimately be with you. You’ll also set the minimum price of your holiday let.
One way we can increase occupancy rates is through up-to-the-minute pricing strategies that help you compete better with your competitors and avoid empty slots in the booking diary.
With some Airbnb management companies, you’ll be billed and invoiced additionally for cleaning and maintenance fees. However, this is usually incorporated into the price of your Airbnb so that the guest pays for it. That said, you might notice payments from the account to the cleaners, for example, but this is all reimbursed when the guests pay their fees in one lump sum when paying for their reservation.
Additional fees you might be expected to cover, however, are property maintenance fees if the home needs a repair that’s not caused by guest damage but general wear and tear.
Expenses will also include utility bills – click here for a breakdown of Airbnb expenses you’ll likely face.
We will always discuss proposed maintenance to the property and fees before carrying them out. However, in the event of an emergency during a guest stay and you are not reachable, we will action a repair.
However, our co-hosts can choose to have us take care of and resolve any maintenance issues immediately without their consent or being contacted first, especially for our clients with an allocated budget for repairs. But this preference can be altered and changed at any time.
Whilst many large companies promise you a personal account manager, it’s not always the case – especially if you’re trying to get in touch about a particular problem. The beauty of choosing HelloGuest is that you’ll have one point of contact during your entire journey – and that will likely be Veronica.
Even though we’re nationwide, we aim to keep things small here at HelloGuest so that our clients are treated as part of the team rather than a number in our statistics.
Our Airbnb management company charges one of the lowest commissions in the industry, but that doesn’t mean you ever compromise on quality. Starting off as hosts ourselves, we understand better than most that our clients must keep a larger portion of their generated income to make this whole process worthwhile.
It’s our philosophy that the harder we work, the more you earn, and the better the reward is for us, too. Hence our fees begin from 12% compared to alternative larger companies charging upwards of 17% and providing less of a personal service.
We keep things old school – at the end of the month, you’ll receive a report via email detailing your earnings. There’s no app you’ll need to download or forgetful platforms you’ll need to check or communicate with us on. Without these additional components, we do not need to charge our clients any platform fees. That’s how we keep costs low.
Once we value your property, you’ll know every cost to expect. Please note we only charge a commission starting as low as 12% (taken as a percentage of your monthly yield).
As you can understand, because this involves external contractors, we have to charge for a photography service or a home redecoration service, which you can learn more about here.
That’s no problem – we’ll constantly communicate with your guests and can assist them with their check-in when their travel plans do not go exactly to plan. For some of our properties, we offer a secure key box, which allows the guest more flexibility in accessing the property where agents like ourselves cannot be around.
In some instances where key boxes are not suitable for your property, we’ll organise a late check-in with our remote, local check-in teams, who can step in to assist.
Guests will be provided with all the check-in details needed to easily access the property. We will even be in contact with them via email and SMS on the day of arrival. However, we understand that problems happen, and we will be on hand 24/7 to help walk them through it.
We have a strict screening process, which is vital for keeping your home and belongings safe and secure. This part of the process is essential for ensuring your guests treat your property with respect, and we go the extra mile to read their host reviews from previous stays and verify their information to flag any incriminating activity. Additionally, all guest details are cross-referenced manually to ensure legitimate bookings.
If a guest damages your property in a rare event, we will inform you of the situation, gather evidence and take photos, which we will present to the guest on the platform they booked through to request they pay for the damages. If the guest refuses to cover the damages, we will raise the case with AirCover or an alternative booking site insurance like GuardHog.
We typically advise taking deposits to help with compensation and having a suitable insurance policy to provide additional cover.
*Please note parties are not permitted, and this is clearly stated in the listing. Protecting your home from parties.
Yes, we require a deposit from the guests for all our listings. Depending on the booking platform, the deposit is either charged as a pre-authorisation against their card in case a claim and charge is made or by direct payment, which we hold until after the guests have checked out and the property has been checked.
This can vary by area, and you may need to check if any legislation exists or requirements for the number of days you can short-let your property.
Properties in Greater London are restricted from letting their property for no more than 90 days per year. The 90-day limit applies to both 90 consecutive days or 90 days spread throughout the year.
Many hosts combine mid or longer-term tenancies (e.g. more than three months) with multiple short-term tenancies per year.
There is not a minimum limit, but generally, the more availability and the longer the property is available, the better the chance to get bookings.
Also, the further in advance the property is available to rent is better than providing last-minute availability as you will be limited to last-minute bookers at lower rates.
Ideally, we require a minimum availability of at least one month throughout the year, with a preference for as many consecutive weeks as possible, as this will maximise your revenue and positive reviews.
Yes, you can block out any periods you want or when the property is unavailable for rent; contact us, and we can block it out for you.