Short Stay Guest Management Blog

HelloGuest is an independent third party and is not affiliated or endorsed by Airbnb or its affiliates or any other booking platform, in any way.

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Airbnb London Management & Information for Renting

Airbnb management and renting your London property have hugely evolved and expanded very quickly over only the last few years proving to be a great source of additional income and making more space available in London for rent. As well as facing a shortage in short term space to let, London is also a top touristic destination, so the more we can utilize unused space the better.

Under the governments sharing economy drive there are new proposals to further support Londoners letting out their homes, flats or even a spare room on a short-term basis.

The very unique feature of Airbnb management is that it allows the tourists visiting London to live just like a ‘local’ rather than staying in bland over-priced hotels.

Even during the London Olympics in 2012, thousands of properties were rented out through Airbnb property management for a few weeks to providing extra space and also during other popular events such as during the Wimbledon Tennis tournaments.

A typical UK Airbnb host can earn as much as 2,822 pounds a year by renting their property for just 33 days. For guests residential homes provide a much cheaper accommodation and better value than the average hotel, bed and breakfast or guesthouse.

Airbnb provides a way to relatively securely and conveniently rent out a person’s home while they are away or traveling which ofcourse is a welcome way for hosts to help cover their travel or living expenses in London.

Airbnb has established a strong presence and foothold in all the areas of London and the surrounding area. In fact Airbnb is not limited to zones 1 & 2 in London but reaches out beyond Greater London. In 2013 alone, it was estimated that Airbnb generated a massive US$824 million in economic activity in London and the UK and has supported close to 11,600 jobs.

Almost 80% of the Airbnb hosts in London rent out the home that they currently live in and in turn utilize the money to support increasing costs of living and expenditure.

Airbnb also supports and nurtures innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the country by supporting hosts who are self-employed or even freelancers. For people with flexible lifestyles & working schedules in London this is an ideal opportunity to combine this with renting out your home to support your living expenses or even support a lifestyle with greater financial freedom.

Tourists in the UK tend to stay longer while visiting UK as there is so much to explore and normally spend much more time in UK than in most other counties. On an average, a tourist to London stays for about 4 nights and which amounts to $1,496 per visitor.

Staying in expensive hotels for a prolonged period of time may not be practical and affordable for many travellers. This is where Airbnb comes in.

Airbnb London provides an authentic, local and unique experience living in a real English home with the big plus that it works out to be a lot more affordable than staying in classic commercially rented accommodation.

So you can see how Airbnb from a financial perspective is beneficial for both hosts as well as guests. Staying even in an average hotel will cost much more while offering less in terms of space and amenities to use during your stay, such as use of the kitchen to cook at home rather than expensively having to east out all the time.

Most Airbnb properties in London are also located close to the main hotel areas which in turn are close to the tourist spots or conveniently located with good transport links to get around and explore the city.

Airbnb is giving tourists better and cheaper options to enjoy the wonderful city of London as well as providing an economic boost to the residents at the same time.

Please get in touch with us at HelloGuest if you would like to explore renting out and having your place managed on Airbnb or you are just seeking supporting services.

Airbnb Property Management

Often we get asked what Airbnb is and how it actually works. Lets face it a few years ago very few people had heard of Airbnb at all.

In this article we will focus on what Airbnb is and how you can successfully manage your property on Airbnb

Airbnb has created an online platform to allow property owners to offer their space (be it just a room or the entire home) and make it available for visitors to rent for short stays. The host can show pictures of the property, provide a description and a nightly price to rent. The booking is made directly through the platform offering some protection for both sides as well as the option to secure a deposit. Its very simple to set up and provides some handy extra income.

However there are some considerations if you decide to use Airbnb and critical choices to make before you start. The biggest of these is how you will effectively execute the day to day Airbnb property management will determine whether you spend the weekends scrubbing your toilets or scrubbing the deck of your sailboat on some exotic island (for those of us who have sail boats but you take my meaning!)

One of the main challenges while managing your Airbnb property management is to separate or minimize your time from the income it can generate. If you are managing your Airbnb property you should aim to spend not more than 3 hours per week on it.

Airbnb property management includes each and every tedious task like cleaning, purchasing household goods, guest check-ins, accepting new reservations and maintaining a good line of communication with the current guests.

There are several aspects to the Airbnb property management in London. Let us take a look at each of them closely one by one.

  1. Sync your Airbnb calendar to Google

Check-ins, Check-outs, cleaning services and other jobs will always keep your schedule busy and at a certain point of time it will be increasingly difficult to keep track of all the appointments and tasks to be completed. There is an option and feature to sync your calendar to the Google Calendar. You can share all your booking details and other appointments at a one stop location and this will help deliver better scheduling. The Google Calendar also gives the added advantage of storing the Contact Information and other details along with the check-in and check-out times of all the guests. Airbnb provides a calendar management mode which makes it pretty easy to be able to sync it with Google.

  1. Crack each and every job

Prepare a list on which jobs you would like to do and which you would rather outsource. While most of the jobs may not be that glamorous, like scrubbing a toilet, it will help you save some money.

  1. Outsource others

Outsourcing has become important, as you cannot be expected to each and every other job along with your current full time job. There are various companies you can outsource all or part of the property management, such as cleaning or meeting and greeting guests. Just identify the tasks you least want to do or are most time consuming and see if you can cost effectively outsource them.

  1. Maintain an inventory

The supplies, if not managed correctly, tend to run out at the most inconvenient of times and can be reflected in getting poor reviews. For example most guests expect there to be toilet paper and will negatively comment if they are forced to buy some. Getting the required items organized can be easily achieved by providing and establishing a periodic checklist for ordering and replacing the missing items.

Doing a monthly inventory check for all the property rentals can also help significantly. Also, buying some of these products in wholesale can also help you save considerable amounts of money.

If the property is hugely popular and you are earning respectable amounts of income from it, then you may also consider hiring a personal assistant or a caretaker for the property if it covers the costs.

  1. Automated check-ins and check-outs

Success is if you can get a person in and out of an apartment with the least possible amount of hassle both for the guests and hosts. Many guests prefer less intervention from the hosts so you may consider installing keysafes or keylocks by the entrance to allow guests to check-in and check-out when they want opposed to the tricky part of coordinating having someone available to meet them.

  1. Hire Good Cleaning Service Providers

There is a huge cleaning service market available with many providers competing for your business. Ensure that you have a service that is reliable, can offer a flexible schedule and understands the business that you are in. if you cannot hire a cleaning service agency for each booking then another option is to hire them to deep clean the property once per month and then handle the rest on your own. If you do have some free time on your hands, then this should not be too difficult.

Please get in touch if you are looking to outsource any part of your Airbnb property management in London, you can contact us at hello@helloguest.co.uk

Welcoming guests – Airbnb Management Service London

How do you make your Airbnb guests stay special and make them feel welcome? There are ofcourse things that can be offered over and above what guests expect but we believe ensuring the basics are right goes a long way to achieving a high level of guest satisfaction and 5* reviews. Here we will point out some of the important items to make a good Airbnb management service London as well as provide some ideas how you can go beyond that to offer an excellent experience.

  1. Guest Communication

The first contact you have with your guests is via the Airbnb platform so before you even meet your guests it all starts with excellent guest communication; as this is the first contact you have make the first impressions count. A fast response rate and helpful manner are needed as well as providing useful information. If the guests already feel there is someone there who cares about their needs and they have all the basic information they will need ahead of their arrival then they will already feel happier about their visit.

First things to start your Airbnb management service London is to create an attractive listing. In the listing you should highlight the key features that would be of most interest to potential guests. It should include a good description of the place, the neighbourhood and transport connections. Finally good quality photos are essential, most guests will choose and judge your place based on the photos provided so remember to accurately represent your home.

  1. Guest Arrival Day — meet and greet the guests and key exchange

Ideally a good part of Airbnb management service London is to meet your guests in person, that way you can explain how things work in the property and answer any questions they have. Its also a good way to ensure that you have the right kind of guests staying in your property and knowing they will look after it.

If you can offer your guests flexible checkin and checkout times we have found this is also been much appreciated. Travel arrangements and connections often mean guests cannot always decide when they will be arriving and leaving, so after a long journey its nice to know the property is ready for your arrival.

  1. Linen & Cleaning

This is one of the basics but probably one of the most important ones to get right, we all want to arrive in a property that is well cleaned and with fresh bed linen & toweling available. In a way if you can aim to provide a good hotel standard quality of service with the unique benefits and personality that an Airbnb property offers. To go the extra mile we recommend using an Airbnb management service London to provide fresh clean & pressed bed linen and toweling. If you do use your own linen then its worth investing in good quality linen and toweling.

Professional cleaning after every guest visit is another resource worth investing in and will save you the time to do it or manage it yourself. We have also often seen issues with house cleaners not quite delivering the requirements for Airbnb properties. Again think about applying similar standards applied in good hotels to your property. Little things like having toweling obviously ready is nice. If you have pets make sure the place has received a deep clean before guests arrive.

  1. Essentials and Welcome gifts

Essentials include things like toilet paper and hand soap, providing these would be expected and should always be regularly replenished not to fall short. You may consider impressing your guests with offering them some welcome gifts. This could be breakfast supplies, fresh fruit, flowers or something nice to drink like a bottle of wine or prosecco. Some guests appreciate these touches while others less so, you need to consider if it’s really worth it vs the cost which comes directly out of returns you make. Anyway these are a decisions you have to make in what to offer as part of your Airbnb management service London.

  1. Guest Departure

Finally don’t forget about the guests departure, so long as they depart at a practical hour (ie they don’t have to catch a 6am morning flight!) its nice to meet your guests. Ask them how was their stay and try and get some feedback so you can always improve the experience for your next guests. If they had a good stay remember to ask them to leave you a good review as some guests forget to do this.

To find out more about Airbnb management service London available go to www.helloguest.co.uk

Some Things to Remember for Airbnb Management London

Managing and renting a property nowadays costs a lot of money but did you know your space can also be an opportunity to earn money? More and more people in London are renting out their places to guests coming for short stays. Airbnb management London helps lots of people to rent their houses while they are away. The Airbnb platform offers a clever way to connects hosts with available space to guests from around the world looking for a place to stay. It does mean opening up your home to strangers so there are some good practices and rules that can help ensure your Airbnb management London experience goes well.

  1. Make your listing attractive but accurate

First things to start your Airbnb management London is to create an attractive listing. In the listing you should highlight the key features that would be of most interest to potential guests. It should include a good description of the place, the neighbourhood and transport connections. Finally good quality photos are essential, most guests will choose and judge your place based on the photos provided so remember to accurately represent your home.

  1. Setting the right price

You should set your price carefully, to start out you want to ensure you attract guests. Overtime as you get some bookings and build up some good reviews you can increase your nightly rates. Airbnb also provides some useful functions like being able to set different prices for the weekend, offering more appealing prices for longer stays over a week and a month and if you want you can even customize your pricing to different periods in the calendar.

  1. Select the right settings and make your house rules clear

Every place is different and your requirements will vary so take into considerations what’s important to you and be considerate of your meighbours. Make your rules as clear as possible about what should and should not be done in the house & outside such as playing loud music after a certain hour or smoking in the house. Also choose carefully the settings available as they can have a significant impact on the experience such as check in and check out times and the minimum period of stay. Finally provide helpful information to guests such as city guides, what’s available in the area and emergency contact details. This helps provide a more professional service and lead to happy stays by guests.

  1. Keep the house clean

Cleanliness and hygiene are a very important part when you are about to host as part of Airbnb management London. Clean bathroom toweling and bedroom linen are essential for hosts to provide their guests. Similarly its very important to keep the house clean. If you are very busy and don’t have the time to keep the house clean after guests have stayed, then hire a professional cleaning company and add a cleaning fee to the rental rate. This tip works best for guests who stay weekly. Remember to remove any of your personal and most precious belongings to prevent unwanted accidents as well as clutter and items guests don’t want to see.

  1. Good guest communication

Try and respond quickly to guest questions and communicate important information before and during their stay. Ask them what information they need like travel advice and give them useful information like the best tourist destinations around the neighborhood or the best coffee shops around and places to eat. Building a rapport with your guests will help win good guest reviews.

For more information on Airbnb management services, you can visit www.helloguest.co.uk

Tips for Good Airbnb Property Management London

Some people find it difficult to let strangers stay in their house. However, Airbnb has provided a way for many people to do just that and let their homes and flats to strangers to stay for short periods. Why not rent out your property or extra space and earn some extra money?

Life in London can pretty expensive and in particular paying for all the property costs and bills. Using Airbnb can be a very helpful way to cover those costs and earn some extra income when there is a premium and shortage of available space in London. The Airbnb website platform allows homeowners to advertise their properties as potential places for guests to come and stay from all over the world. This enables houses or flats with spare rooms to become a good potential source of rental income. By creating an account on the Airbnb website, you are able to quickly set up and advertise your property for rent. When creating your listing for your property to rent, its important you post high quality photos and highlight the most interesting feature of the proper ity and the neighbourhood to attract guests from all around the world. This means providing a good level & accurate details about your home, transport connections and places of interest for guests to visit during their stay.

One of the main concerns about renting out your property to strangers is if they cause damage. There is always a risk this can happen but as the host there are several things you can do to avoid this including having clear rules regarding treatment of your house. Here are several points to guide you towards good Airbnb property management.

1. List of things that should and should not be done

The first Airbnb property management tip is to let the guests know your house rules, what access & items they can have within the property, for example can they use the entire place or just certain rooms, are they allowed to use the kitchen & washing machine, are pets allowed, etc. It’s better to state all these things upfront in the listing before the guests check-in. You may have to be prepared for the occasional unwanted accidents such as a broken glass or plate. Generally we advise not to leave anything you don’t want broken available and recommend to store them away or remove them. There maybe also other relevant house rules to follow such as waste disposal; you should let the guest know the system for waste disposal, which may differ in each country.

2. Neighborhood rules

Just as important as your house rules are rules regarding your neighbours. You don’t want to upset your neighbours and want to make sure guests are respectful to their needs. Therefore, you should inform the guests about things such as no music after midnight, no parties allowed in the flat and so on.

3. House cleanliness and hygiene

If you think it is necessary to charge the guests for cleaning service fee; you can tell them in advance and do not make it a hidden fee on their visit. Airbnb has helpfully created a separate entry to allow for cleaning charges so it’s very clear to guests. Proving your guests with a very clean property is also an excellent way to encourage them to treat the place well and likewise leave it in a good condition.

4. Choose your guests carefully

The Airbnb websites is a community website in which all the hosts and guests can communicate directly with each other. You can read reviews from other hosts about potential guests and they can read reviews from other guests. You can ask each other questions and for further information. This is very helpful in choosing the right kind of guests for your property. You don’t have accept all the guests; you can decline an enquiry from anyone who you feel uncomfortable with or unsure about. We suggest trusting your instincts here!

With the right Airbnb property management, you don’t need to be afraid having strangers come and stay in your home. If you do it right many hosts have commented its been an excellent way to meet and build friendships with people from around the world. For more information about Airbnb property management please contact us at www.helloguest.co.uk.

Airbnb pricing – How to set the best price & maximise your rental income on sites like Airbnb

Price setting is one of the trickiest areas for hosts to decide and one of the most commonly asked questions – is the price too high? is it too low? what’s the right price level?

Its also one of the most important factors to consider to get the most from your rental income so its worth taking the time to review it. Once you have added your listing, taken super photos and created a fantastic profile then pricing becomes one of the most important considerations guests will be making in choosing your place.

Although there is no perfect price level this article includes some tips and ideas on how to optimise your pricing & maximise your rental income:

  1. Competitive context — make a comparison of similar properties in your area and the prices they are asking. Firstly check other properties advertised on the same site as travellers will typically compare a few places before deciding, so this will be your direct competition and should provide you with the most relevant price range. If there are not enough comparable places on the site you are advertising on then do a wider search to include other sites or alternative accommodation options such as hotels, bed & breakfasts, hostels, etc.
  2. Occupancy rates & rental yields — if you are starting out its better to start with a lower rental price to get some bookings and build up some positive reviews. Once you have been renting for a while if you have no problem renting out your place most of the time then its worth testing if a small increase in pricing has any impact on your occupancy rate and visa versa if a decrease in rent will increase your occupancy rate. The goal is to find the right balance between the occupancy rate & rental yield to optimise your rental income.
  3. Seasonality & Special Events — on average summer bookings to London are 15% higher in the summer than during the winter period in addition to several seasonal peaks in demand, for example during Xmas, Easter, School Holidays & Bank Holiday weekends. There may also be special events in your area such as concerts, shows, matches, exhibitions, etc where it could be worth adjusting your pricing depending on the level of demand. Airbnb offers the option to add weekend pricing and manage different pricing levels in advance through the calendar.
  4. Availability — if there are only a few places available in your area and they are fully booked then you could reasonably increase pricing due to the shortages in availability. Managing variable pricing on this level is a bit more time consuming but could be worth it as a simple way to boost your rental income.
  5. Add a cleaning fee to your bookings — this Airbnb option is often overlooked but cleaning is one of the most time consuming or if you use a cleaning service costly elements for each booking, it’s becoming increasingly common and reasonable to add a cleaning fee.
  6. Additional guest fee — there is a feature on Airbnb that allows you to add an additional guest fee, so if you have the possibility to add additional sleeping arrangements even if a room or place is normally only large enough for a certain number of guests, this could be very useful for guests that don’t mind sharing the space or have an additional person staying for only part of the period.
  7. Review and adjust your pricing regularly — periodically review your pricing as competitor prices regularly change, the number & type of places available in your area change in addition to the reasons given above such as seasonality & availability.

Price setting can significantly improve your rental income if you are able to actively manage it. As part of our Airbnb management service London we will optimise your pricing and occupancy rates, we also offer individual as well full property management services with no hidden fees or contract commitment required — if you are interested in finding out more about our services then don’t hesitate to contact us (email: hello@helloguest.co.uk) or visit our website (helloguest.co.uk)

Please comment if you found this article useful or have some additional thoughts that could help hosts with pricing.

Should I rent my property on sites like Airbnb?

Short stay rental sites such as Airbnb, Housetrip, Wimdu & others offer travellers an alternative to staying in hotels. They are online market places connecting private landlords with people looking for a place to stay typically for short periods or weekend visits. This includes a wide range of places to stay from just a room, studio, apartment or even a entire house. But this isn’t exclusively for tourists as many regular business travellers have also been attracted by the benefits over staying in hotels.

So what are the advantages for travellers vs hotels?

  • Much more space for less money, typically you can get an apartment for the same price as a hotel room
  • Staying in a place with more character & personality than the impersonal ‘vanilla’ hotel experience
  • Having access to amenities such as a kitchen so you don’t have to eat out all the time
  • Meeting local people and getting local tips on what’s on & where to go

And what are the advantages for those renting?

  • Flexibility when to let out your place or not if you need to stay there for a while
  • Higher potential rental income vs longer term flat rental or a way to earn extra money if you are renting just a room or part of your property
  • Great chance to meet people from around the world, open your home and share experiences

Since Airbnb launched in 2008 there has already been a huge increase in the number of places on offer with currently over 25000 places in Britain. It has become an established alternative to hotels with more and more people using this option, demand is growing.

So what are the main issues with listing on sites like Airbnb?

  1. Once you have listed your property it takes some time and effort to manage the listing, the main on-going activities include guest communication, screening & booking, cleaning/preparing the place for the next guest, check-in & check-out, property maintenance & admin.
  2. Part of the above ongoing activities but worth highlighting is the importance of guest screening to avoid problems. Airbnb gives guests and hosts the chance to review each other providing a helpful safeguard for both sides.
  3. Even though the overwhelming number of experiences have been positive there have been some bad experiences with guests damaging things. As a result Airbnb has put in place some insurance cover under their Host Guarantee up to £600000 but some things are not covered. Also not all sites offer this and it’s worth checking your home insurance for additional cover. Finally you can ask that guests give a deposit to cover against minor issues.
  4. There may be some legal aspects to consider especially if you are renting your place and intend to sublet, you would need to check your lease or rental agreement. You may also need to take care of tax payments especially if you are generating a significant income from rental.

Overall we would recommend giving Airbnb a go as a great way to earn some extra cash and still have the flexibility to use your space when you need it. If you are letting out your place or thinking about it but want some help managing it we can provide either individual or a full property Airbnb management service London — don’t hesitate to contact us (email: hello@helloguest.co.uk) or visit our website (helloguest.co.uk)

Hello Hosts & Guests!

Welcome to our blog!

In addition to our short stay property management services in London we thought it was useful to launch our new blog to provide useful information about short stay rentals both for hosts and guests. Its a pretty exciting area evolving rapidly as several sites such as Airbnb, Housetrip, Wimdu, etc are leading the way in providing market places for anyone with space to make it available for people to rent for short periods. This is great news as it offers travellers an alternative and more personable experience compared to staying in hotels and a great way for renters to earn some extra income!