Where can you advertise short-term let properties?

Here at Hello Guest, we understand how difficult handling short-term let properties can be. It’s not only managing the property between stays and keeping everything looking ship-shape, but knowing where to advertise your accommodation in order to attract a continuous stream of guests through your doors.

Luckily, there are lots of easy to use sites on the internet that are available to help you. With plenty of people perusing them each and every day, they’ll make certain that your property is seen.

Here are just a few of the websites we recommend you check out…

Airbnb

When it comes to advertising short-term let properties Airbnb is an obvious place to start. Well-known, with plenty of traffic, it was specifically set up to connect landlords with rooms to spare with travellers looking for a unique place to stay. It certainly has lots to offer you, including full control over your availability, prices, house rules, and how you interact with guests, and leaves check-in times entirely at your discretion. It’s also incredibly easy to use – you simply set up a listing, welcome guests, and get paid through a secure system at the end of it. Best of all, the company will deduct only 3% from the total amount you earn, in the way of a very competitive service fee.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is similarly well recognised, and has plenty of people visiting it to see what’s available each and every day. This makes it a great place to list a home or room for let. With the largest travel community in the world frequently checking it out, it really is a good place to earn money easily, and has the added boons of no upfront fees nor contract. Like Airbnb, the site will take just 3% of your total profit as a booking fee, making it a highly attractive prospect for landlords like yourself.

House Trip

House Trip advertises over 300,000 holiday homes from around the world, making it another handy site on which to list your property. Essentially just another arm of TripAdvisor, it charges the same 3% fee as its parent company and has many of the same advantages. However, as it’s slightly more specialised than the former, it might still be worth placing an additional ad here.

OwnersDirect

OwnersDirect has an astonishing 775,000 holiday homes advertised on it, so perhaps yours deserves its place among them? Allowing you to easily input your details into its database, it will ensure that your property is viewed by travellers in 190 different countries across over 50 dedicated sites. Giving you the option to control prices, availability, and who stays in your property, there’s little to dislike about it, and it arguably has the best in-class booking tools on the internet.

Wimdu

Wimdu is another popular place to advertise a short-term let. With over 350,000 apartments and holiday homes on site, it gives hosts the opportunity to earn around 900 euro per month on average simply through letting their empty property, and is quick to pay up too. Automatically transferring your profits into your account within 24 hours of your guests arriving and having checked in, we would certainly recommend that you give it a try if you’re hoping to increase exposure.

HomeAway

One of the most frequently used sites for holiday homes, HomeAway has over one million listings, and your short-term let should be among them. Making it really simple to add your information to its database, it’s another part of the OwnersDirect family, and offers all of the same perks as its highly popular sister site.

Booking.com

Booking.com is available in over 40 languages, lists 1,495,104 properties and covers 228 countries. In London alone there are approximately 7,052 properties on their database.

Unlike some other platforms Booking.com do not charge your guests extra, the price you set is the price they pay. They also have a simple calendar that will integrate with other platforms.

Making advertising your short-term let properties easy, this plethora of handy websites can be utilised to make your profits soar. Be sure to include your short-term let among their listings today, you may also wish to consider smaller specialist sites for city rentals such as Only-apartments.

Alternatively, you could opt to contact a reputable property management company like our own and have them do all the hard work for you.

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

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!