Renting out private places to travelers was a groundbreaking idea when it first came out and that is why platforms like Airbnb y Alojamiento en familia have taken off worldwide. Now, they are presented as established accommodation alternatives, cheaper and more authentic than hotels for the renters and quite profitable without too much effort for the hosts. All you have to do is go on AppJobs, find the ideal home rental app in your city, register your place, connect with guests and… – voila!- making a passive income will be your magical reality.
But… there is always a but! There are some things you should know about your role as a host and take into consideration before starting to earn (lots of money) by renting your place to others.
Here are some tips from experienced hosts.
1. Communication is the King!
Hosts usually find that good communication not only creates a good feeling and sense of appreciation but also prevents all kinds of mishaps. When explaining something to your guests – in person, in emails or written materials and house manuals – make sure you are not leaving room for misunderstandings and never assume anything. For example, your guest might not know that in your city it is not allowed to throw toilet paper in the toilet, while for you it is common knowledge. Make sure you leave a relevant note in the bathroom. Good communication before the booking, while your guest is at your home and even after leaving (a friendly email for a forgotten item, for example) can make the whole difference in dealing with guests and running a smooth business!
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2. Bad reviews – now what?
Sooner or later a bad review is bound to come. Your first one might stress you out a bit, but don’t worry too much. What you should instead do is (see tip No1) communicate! Respond to your bad review politely and acknowledge your guest’s concerns. Explain what steps you are going to take to fix the issue mentioned and thank them for their constructive criticism that helps you become a better host.
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3. House Manual: because, sometimes, a book is judged by its cover
Your House Manual should be your Holy Grail! Make sure you include all the information that your guest will need in there. And make sure it is nicely and clearly presented! Ideas on what to include: Wifi code, cable & Netflix remotes operation, list of house rules, home address and phone number (if any), local emergency numbers, your preferred contact method, instructions on how to control the temperature and any special things about the house, like operation of appliances, locks etc. You could also include a list of your favorite restaurants, bars, and cafes in the neighborhood and around the city and any activities and sightseeing you suggest. It will be highly appreciated by your guests!
4. Damages: to charge or not to charge?
A damage will occur sooner or later – it might be as small as a broken plate or as big as a broken air conditioner. What should you do? Should you charge the guest and risk a bad review (no one likes to pay) or not? Well, there is no straight answer. You should take into consideration the following: is the damage negligible? If yes, it is better for you to absorb the cost and not make a fuss about it. Is the damage a result of wear and tear and not exactly the guest’s fault? You should spare them the trouble and replace the damaged goods. Is the damage a proven result of bad handling, breaking the house rules or carelessness on behalf of the guest? Then the key lies in tip No 1 once more: communicate! If your guests have not reported the damage, send them a polite message and ask for a whole or partial reimbursement for the damage they caused. When asking them for money, make sure to take into account the depreciation of the item caused by its use to be fair.
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5. Types of guests to avoid: the stereotypes can prove you wrong.
Different hosts have different opinions on which guests are “hard work.” Some believe that the older generations, in the ages of 50+, can be a handful because they have high expectations, require a lot of babysitting and are not familiar with finding the solutions on their own by using the almighty Google. Younger guests tend to be more self-reliable and can better take care of themselves. On the other hand, some hosts have had bad experiences with a younger guest who does not respect the house rules, cause damages or are noisy. So, what is the best way to choose guests? Did we mention COMMUNICATION? Your best guests will probably be the ones who have properly understood what it is you offer. If that’s clear from the beginning, things will most likely go smoothly, whatever the age of your guests.
6. Superhosts and their super powers.
What makes Superhosts so super? Their super power lies – where else? – in tip No 1, of course: Communication. You should make sure you are attentive and polite in your overall communication. Make sure your guests have all the information they need to find your place and have a pleasant stay in it. You could use online tools and software that will generate automated messages and help you better manage your rental business and you might want to invest in some convenient upgrades like smart locks, home temperature automation units, motion sensors etc.
Now that you have some extra expert knowledge, go ahead and look through home rental platforms on AppJobs, anywhere in the world!
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