How to Target Business Travellers for your Short-Term Let

Workstation

With spending on inbound business visits to London in 2016 reaching 3.25 billion pounds (Statista) it is no wonder that property owners are looking to make their short-term let Airbnb listings more appealing to the business sector.

Making your property business ready can help you to fill gaps in your calendar, ultimately increasing your profits. This is because business people tend to travel more often during weekdays and businesses also generally operate throughout the entire year, even during off-peak times when tourists are less likely to visit.

Business people often lead busy lives and are unlikely to want to spend hours every time they travel searching for somewhere to stay. It is therefore common for them to remain loyal to a particular host if they have had a good experience with them in the past.

So how can you make your short-term let more appealing to business travellers? Read on to find out more.

Setup a workstation

If you have a spare room you could transform it into a study with a desk and comfortable office chair. Most hosts would prefer to make any spare rooms into bedrooms but you may have the space for a bed and desk and if not consider buying versatile furniture where beds can easily be stored away if a business person is staying. Alternatively, find an appropriate space elsewhere in the property, ideally in a quiet location.

The workstation could include a mouse, keyboard and computer (although business people tend to travel with their own laptops). You may also want to consider spare laptop and mobile phone chargers, a printer, fax machine, scanner/photocopier and a landline telephone.

WiFi

The majority of business people will need access to the Internet, so ensuring that you have adequate broadband speed is a must. Check to see if the broadband is accessible from all rooms within the property and if not think about ways in which you could improve this perhaps with a booster or having fibre optic installed. You should also ensure that you are on a sufficient broadband package so that you do not get hit with a hefty charge if guests go over the allocated usage. It is also a good idea to have an Ethernet cable plugged into the router so that guests can opt to have a wired connection. Most importantly ensure that they have the necessary password and instructions to login to the broadband.

Extras

If you are looking to go that extra mile you may wish to consider stationery items such as pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers, a calculator and notepaper. You could even get some of these things branded around your short-term let.

Another nice touch is to have a coffee machine; many business people lead hectic lives and will be grateful for convenience items like this.

Other items that will help to ensure that your business guests have a pleasant stay include an iron and board, hair dryer, clothes hangers, shampoo and conditioner, toilet paper and fresh towels. You could also leave them information on a local laundry service.

This goes for all short-terms lets regardless of the type of guest staying but you should ensure that you have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms installed and they should be regularly tested.

Check-in and out

Business people tend to be in a hurry so make their travel experience as stress-free as possible by creating a simple check-in and out process. This can be achieved with a lockbox, which also allows for 24-hour access.

Airbnb have a Business Travel Ready program, through which it aims to get more properties up to the quality standards expected by business travellers. Properties that are travel ready are also awarded with a badge. These listings have to meet certain requirements, most of which are covered above. With this in mind it seems that it is ever more important for hosts to adapt their properties to tap into the business sector.

6 Welcome Gift Ideas for Guests

Chocolates

Everyone running short-term lets wants guests to feel special to encourage repeat visits. Gifts are a way to do that, but of course you don’t want to go over the top and spend all your profit. They are also a great way to improve guest review scores, which are critical to driving your property’s listing higher in the search results on websites such as Airbnb.

If you are considering offering your guests a welcome gift we have put together five ideas for gifts that will contribute to a “feel good” factor without breaking the bank.

1. Personal hamper

It should go without saying that good Airbnb property management includes leaving a basic provisions pack. People don’t want to arrive at the end of a long and potentially troublesome journey to find that they have to go out and shop.

But have you thought of leaving a hamper of special goodies, locally sourced if possible, as well? It only has to be three or four items – cheese, pickle, marmalade, that sort of thing. If the costs look a bit daunting, try doing a deal with a local delicatessen to give you a decent discount as long as you leave a discreet leaflet or business card in the hamper to encourage your guests to shop there.

2. A bottle of something different

Leaving a bottle in the property is a good idea but champagne or another sparkling wine, while probably very welcome, is a rather uninspiring choice. Recently friends were pleasantly surprised by a bottle of sherry left in a room as a gift. It wasn’t their usual tipple but they enjoyed it and mentioned it to everyone, which is partly the point.

As with most of these ideas, try to select something that’s meaningful, probably something very English. You could fit it to the seasons, choosing Pimms for summer, mulled wine for winter and so on?

3. Mini teddy bear

Small teddy bears with backpacks and other themed outfits were doing the rounds a few years ago but a lot of people still collect them. Small teddy bears with backpacks and other themed outfits were doing the rounds a few years ago but a lot of people still collect them. You should be able to find them in tourist gift shops in the centre of London; pick one with a picture or legend of an attraction near you.

Or perhaps there’s another small soft toy that is evocative of your area? It would be a cute reminder of a stay that will travel far and wide.

4. Chocolates – make them special

Chocolates are always a good bet although try being more adventurous than Milk Tray. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a local chocolatier who can make up small boxes for you, look at websites that personalise goods and buy bars or boxes of chocolate with the name and logo of your special hideaway.

5. Vouchers for local restaurants and pubs

This is another one that involves striking up good relationships with local businesses. Do the rounds looking for a restaurant or pub (or more than one if possible), which will give a discount or special offer to your renters. Two points about this – firstly make an effort to make the vouchers a bit special. Use decent stiff paper or thin card and get someone who knows what they are doing to design them.

Secondly put unique numbers on the vouchers and ask the restaurateur or landlord to keep them for you to pick up. This makes it harder for them to be copied (yes, some guests will do this!) and allows you to demonstrate to the owner that the deal is working.

6. Branded gifts

Another one that could be tricky to get right, branded gifts with your contact details could work well as long as you avoid the ubiquitous pens and USB sticks. On the other hand you don’t want to spend so much money that it outweighs the benefit.

Look for something that visitors would find useful such as an underground map, water bottles or a cool bag. They can work out at a few pounds each if you order enough. How about boomerangs or frisbees if there’s a large garden and you often accommodate families? It’s amazing what you can get these days!

Make it obvious

Finally, one point worth making is that if you’re leaving gifts that look a bit personal – the mini teddy bear for example – make sure you leave a note, or put something in your instruction pack, to let people know that it is a gift and that it’s OK to take it.

Professional management for your AirBnB account

Professional Property Management

It was not too long ago when property owners in London would have to go through a Rental management agency or a broker to make a deal for renting their properties out.
But times have changed and AirBnB has revolutionized the business.
Now every property owner is turning into a rentalpreneur or a microentreprenuer in the current sharing economy that has taken the global world by storm and rightly so. In fact there are individuals who are specifically buying properties just to let out on AirBnB.
No more the encumbrances that usually were part of the previous way of doing business — its more about the freedom to be able to choose how short/long a stay the host wants to give out the property for and thus be able to completely maximise on rent incomes in various flexible ways. Also it’s important to remember that with short lettings the owner can use the property as and when needed.

Also AirBnB’s jaw dropping $24billion valuation in June 2015 with revenues between $850-900 million has made everyone the world over sit up, take notice and also wanting to be a part of this success story. Airbnb was founded in 2007 and has become the brand of choice for Lifestyle Business Entrepreneurs who travel extensively and want the personal touch rather than the sterile environment of hotels.
So AirBnB has fast grown in popularity across all kinds of travellers, as there is room for everyone on it.
And even the hosts get to benefit in ways beyond just the actual income- they get to meet people of varied cultures and share experiences which sometimes also lead to great friendships and relationships.

But this way of doing business in the property domain does not come without its pitfalls.
The crucial factor for many hosts/property owners is the fact — Is my Home truly protected or taken care off not just with the guest screenings but key services that make all the difference- fresh laundry, impeccable cleanliness, protection against theft and damage etc..
And to top it with a service where the guest feels completely at home and the property owner feels at peace knowing that the property is being taken care off before and after the guests depart.
What is imperative here is the ‘Trust Factor’. Of being able to trust the management services that the property owners sign on to take care of all of the above.
Let’s take a look at what are the essential key services that a property owner/rentalpreneur will look for in a management service outfit.
Dynamic Pricing
Showcasing the property via professionally shot images etc (This requires a certain skill in being able to shoot alluring images of the property to be listed)
Guest Approvals & Communication
Meet and Greet Guests + Passing the Key
Housekeeping + Laundry + Fresh Linen
Property maintenance and co-ordination

In recent times there has been a spate of various management companies that have all come up to get their share of the pie that is AirBnB. But the question is how many can deliver and do deliver upon their promises.

What is crucial here for the rentalpreneur/property owner to ask of/understand from a management service before taking them on-
‘Are they here to build a long-term relationship with me or are they in it only for the short-term gain?’

‘Can I trust them even if I live in another city/country?’
‘Am I assured of security and safety of my home and its valuables etc?’
‘Will I get 5-star ratings for my property if I engage with this management services company?’
‘Does the team share the same philosophy?’

These are all crucial questions that you as a Rentalpreneur must ask prior to getting anyone onboard.
Most management services in the AirBnB domain are impersonal and are genuinely not caring enough to go that extra mile and this for most property owners can be a make/break deal.

We at Hello Guest constantly keep endeavouring to ensure that our property owners not just get to know us face2face but also understand us and our operations at every step of the way.
Transparency is the key to build long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial to the property owner and the management team.
At Hello Guest we reinforce flexibility and true partnership with property owners by not getting into any fixed length timeline in the contract. This means that both are happy to continue developing this relationship or leave it if the client for any reason is not satisfied with our services.

So for your peace of mind whilst you sit back and let us maximize on your property why not get in touch with us and see how we can be your partners in business. To contact us click here.

Hello! The guest is calling this summer…

Let Out Your Home

Hello! The guest is calling this summer..

In the light of the recently introduced ‘tax break’ by the UK Government/UK Chancellor George Osborne on March 16th 201, micro-entrepreneurism in the Airbnb domain is now in full swing. This allowance in essence means Airbnb hosts in the UK will now be able to earn 1000£ tax free which means more income for the cash strapped citizens who own homes that have the potential to be let out.

This is a major step up from the earlier ruling in March 2015 that allowed Londoners looking to rent their homes to freely do so for upto 90 nights a year without council permission.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-for-londoners-as-red-tape-slashed-on-short-term-lets

Also the government has come up to speed by allowing for ‘no forms’ to fill policy and no tax to pay in sync with the digital age. The property owner is now fast becoming a business owner and like any business it needs to be taken care of- before it is being advertised as a potential holiday pad for any visitor.

This then is the ‘sign of the times’ we are now living in. The much talked about ‘sharing economy’, which analysts estimate to be currently worth £9bn globally and rising. It is all about a digital connection.

SO then how do we at Hello Guest perceive this connection — What does it mean?

As people travel more frequently, there is far more connectivity thanks to the varied Digital platforms that keep innovating and showing us on how we can do it all better.

But for us its not just about being better. It’s more than that.

For us at Hello Guest it’s about true connections and relationships. The way we see it The Digital Connection has only become popular because of the power of collaborative economy. This economy that is fast gaining a strong foothold has in turn greatly increased the desire in people to travel far and wide and connect beyond the digital but ironically via their digital connections.

These travels are also all about how you stay, where you stay and why you stay. Which means the vibe that a traveller or a guest will feel when he/she see a home that is being advertised online for a short break is what will clinch the decision.

That means you as a property owner is not an impersonal owner anymore. Your home now is subject to scrutiny from the world outside. At the same time by going out on their own, most property owners suffer from the ‘wrong kind of guest’ who invades your space and by the time he has left, the space has been turned upside down.

You certainly don’t want that! But no need to get fazed as most property owners flounder in the AirBnB space on how to go about it.

Specially if you have put in love and care and yes money into making your home for what it is, all the more reason that you engage professional services to be able to discern the kind of guest who will appreciate that.

We are the bridge that connects…with our experience in knowing people.

We firmly believe in a proper meet and greet with the property owner and understand what exactly are you looking for, the kind of income, the kind of guest etc.

We at Hello Guest know what it takes to collaborate and yet build solid trust and connections with our property owners and our guests. The Summer of 2016 already seems to be heating up with a plethora of new and old players in the domain all vying for a piece of the action. The key factor that ultimately decides on who gets the most is not a game of chance but rather a setting of professional service with a willingness to extend beyond just the standard services outlined by this domain.

It’s about going deeper and exploring, figuring the right match- its about playing cupid for the intrepid traveller and the property owner.

This is exactly what sets us apart at HelloGuest- It is not just the promise of a well-deserved short stay/intimate break that we advertise but the promise of a home away from home, where your needs are taken care of to the minutest details and all you have to do is turn the key to your London break.

A city that is one of the most exciting and only gets cooler as the temperatures soar up. So if you are planning a visit this Summer to beautiful and sexy London or if you are a property owner turned entrepreneur in this rental space- Hello Guest is calling!

Reach out to us at helloguest.co.uk/contact-us/

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.