Category : Hosting Tips

short term rental mistakes

The 7 Biggest Mistakes Short-Term Hosts Make

It takes practice to be a successful short-term host, from creating eye-catching property listings and making the most of your space, to interacting with guests from booking to check-out. Take a look at our list below for some common mistakes made by hosts, especially those just starting out in the short-term rental world. With some experience, you’ll be on your way to stellar host status in no time.

#1. Having limited ability.

Many first-time hosts devote only part of the day, like before leaving for work, to addressing guests’ issues, questions, or requests. But a maintenance problem or other issue can happen anytime, day or night, and delays in responding to these requests (especially in cases of emergency, like a pipe bursting or roof leaking) can lead to a bad review and potentially a dangerous situation. Guest Experience Coordinators at ERG are available 24/7 to help address anything that comes up during your guests’ stay. Whether a guest reaches out about needing fresh towels or something more serious, we respond quickly to get things back on track.

#2. Not optimizing your space.

You don’t need a lot of space, but you should efficiently use the space that you do have. Make use of spare rooms and empty areas by giving them a purpose: install drawers in the space under the stairs for more storage, or turn the corner of the living room into a cozy reading nook. Have a large backyard that goes mostly unused? Get some benches and turn part of it into a fire pit area. Small touches like these will make your listing stand out from the rest, which will get you more views, bookings, and positive reviews.

#3. Representing your property incorrectly.

Your listing is the key to attracting guests, so it’s important that you optimize it to include relevant descriptions about your home and high-quality photographs that feature its best qualities. Try to showcase the details that make your home unique, like a deck with skyline views or a game room in the basement that’s perfect for entertaining. One of the benefits of a partnership with ERG is a fully optimized property listing. Our professional photographers, interior designers, and writers are dedicated to presenting your home at its best.

#4. Not keeping up to date with local regulations.

This common oversight can cost you in the long run. Cities change their regulations for short-term rentals all the time, and it’s important to stay updated—or risk a steep fine and possibly your ability to rent in the future. Your city should have a short-term rental page on its government website with all of the info you need to apply for permits and learn about guest allowances, taxes, and more. Pay close attention to the information your city requires you to post on your listing, like your Business File Number (BFN), to remain a valid host.

#5. Underpricing or overpricing your property.

Most hosts on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO are incorrectly setting their nightly prices, and therefore sacrificing number of bookings, monthly revenue, or both. It can be tricky to correctly price your property while taking into account important variables like local events, hotel occupancies, and travel trends. ERG’s analytical pricing matrix considers these and many other variables to set rates that get you more bookings over multiple platforms, including our own exclusive platforms. We use a flexible pricing approach—not a static one—so the prices we set change based on day of the week, seasonality, weather conditions, and more.

#6. Not understanding the ups and downs of short-term rentals.

Every investment property makes more money during certain times of the year and less during others. Maybe there’s a summer festival in your town that attracts a lot of travelers, and the rest of the year is relatively quiet. Or if your home is in a region that sees sunny skies only a few months of the year, you’re likely to have a surge of guests at that time. It’s important to recognize that these fluctuations are normal and not get discouraged. Focus on ways to attract guests in the slower months, like a lesser-known event nearby or renovation projects that will make your home stand out year-round.

#7. Cleaning and maintenance slip-ups.

Two of the main reasons for negative reviews are oversights in the cleanliness of the property and delay or failure to fix something that’s broken. It’s crucial that you have cleaning and maintenance experts who you can trust to prepare your property before every booking. ERG’s professional cleaning company keeps your property looking immaculate after every check-out. If any repairs are needed, our maintenance team resolves the issue quickly and efficiently. We make sure that everything is in pristine condition when your guests arrive—every single time.

A partnership with Effortless Rental Group means 24/7 support by our team of short term rental management experts who are dedicated to your success. We’d love to help you navigate these and other common experiences of first-time hosts.

Airbnb and Resy

Airbnb and Resy Simplify Dining Away from Home

With their new partnership, Airbnb and dining reservations app Resy make it easier than ever to get a taste of a new city.

“When you’re traveling,” says the video in the Airbnb blog post announcing the partnership, “all those unfamiliar options can make it hard to choose. That’s why Airbnb teamed up with Resy to handpick some of the best spots around, from local favorites to award winners.”

Now it’s possible to book a reservation at almost 650 restaurants in over 15 major U.S. cities, including Denver, San Francisco, Austin, Miami, and Washington, D.C. Through the Airbnb website or app, guests can choose the type of food they’re craving—from Indian cuisine to Japanese tapas and everything in between—and desired location. All of the restaurants on offer through Resy have been curated for their quality of food and service, so guests know they’re in for a good experience.

With Airbnb guests spending over $6.5 billion on dining in the last year (included in Airbnb’s restaurant report), it’s likely to be a lucrative partnership.

Looking toward the future, Airbnb plans to extend this service to international cities—and that’s not all. “We’re looking into allowing for even more dining options,” writes Airbnb in their blog post, “like exclusive tables for our users or social dining experiences where guests can share a meal and meet their fellow Airbnb travelers.”

Rental company vs doing it alone

The ERG Difference: Partnering with a
Rental Company vs. Doing It Alone

 

There’s a lot to think about as a short-term rental host, especially when you’re first starting out. You’ll consider pricing, interior design elements, details you want to include in your listing, and much more. But even with all of these decisions ahead, the most important choice you’ll make now is to either team up with a short-term rental management company or go at it alone.

Effortless Rental Group maximizes our clients’ revenue by setting nightly prices using our analytical pricing matrix, which accounts for variables like local events, hotel occupancy rates, and travel trends. We optimize your listing and post it on a variety of booking platforms, including our own exclusive platforms, Nightly Renter, Nightly Vacation Rental, and Best Family Vacation Rentals. More viewing platforms mean more bookings—and more money in your pocket.

Increasing your monthly earning potential is just the beginning. Effortless stands out from other rental management companies because we provide a turnkey service for our clients. This means that we take care of everything—from competitive pricing to bookings and guest correspondence to cleaning and maintenance. Our professional cleaning company and re-stocking team will give you the peace of mind that everything is ready when your guests arrive. Many of our clients travel abroad for part of the year or even live out of state. They trust us to manage every single aspect of their rental properties.

Another important benefit of a partnership with Effortless Rental Group is that you’ll be supported by a team of short-term rental experts who are dedicated to maximizing your monthly revenue and assisting you in any other way. Day or night, we’re always available for you and your guests.

Owners who want to maximize their revenue, give guests the best possible rental experience, and live without worrying about the upkeep of their investment property choose to partner with Effortless Rental Group. Whether you’re seeking management services for a complete holiday rental or flexible seasonal bookings, contact us today for an evaluation free of cost and obligation. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Effortless Rental Group

720.475.1486

 

airbnb management

Airbnb’s Open Homes Program Houses Hurricane Survivors

Helping those in need is nothing new for Airbnb. Since 2012, the company has connected thousands of people displaced by natural disasters and other emergency events with nearby hosts willing to donate their spare bedrooms. In 2015, Airbnb added a donation tool to their website for refugee assistance efforts through a partnership with The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Now, in response to the recent onslaught of hurricanes that have destroyed many homes and damaged countless others, Airbnb is once again stepping up to offer assistance in a crucial way: free shelter for those with nowhere else to go.

Through its Open Homes program, Airbnb creates a platform for hosts in disaster areas to list their homes for free. Then either partner agencies or verified account holders contact the hosts to set up bookings, which can last from one night to over a month, depending on the host’s preferences and availability. The process happens quickly, and people who have become homeless overnight soon have a secure and welcoming place to rest and recover.

“At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong,” writes Airbnb CEO and Co-founder Brian Chesky on the Airbnb website.

Over 700 hosts signed up to help Hurricane Harvey evacuees and relief workers, and another 200+ have opened their homes in the US and the Caribbean to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with numbers continuing to rise.

Even with all they’ve already accomplished, Airbnb founders don’t plan to stop anytime soon. In February, the company announced their goal to find free housing for 100,000 displaced people over the next five years. They will also donate $4 million over the next four years to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), to provide resources directly to refugees, evacuees, and others who need emergency assistance.

Founders are optimistic about the future generosity of hosts to help achieve these goals. Co-founder Joe Gebbia writes in an Airbnb blog post titled Opening More Homes to People in Need, “…Every single time we’ve asked our community to open their doors and hearts to help others, they have more than exceeded our expectations: they have humbled us with the immensity of their kindness.”

For more information and to volunteer your home, visit the Open Homes page here.

Indian Hills, Sleeps 24

Introducing the Indian Hills Estate—Colorado’s premier mountain wedding location

Effortless Rental Group is excited to announce that the stunning Indian Hills Estate will open as an exclusive event space November 2017. Panoramic views of the famous Colorado foothills and the highest standard of luxury throughout make this six-bedroom estate an unforgettable location for your wedding. The immaculate space includes a pavilion, a spacious deck, an equestrian center, and a paved outdoor area ideal for large parties. The estate sleeps 24, and the 75-acre lot accommodates up to 150 guests.

With towering trees, horse riding trails, and snow-capped mountains in your backyard, you’ll be surrounded by nature everywhere you look.

Indian Hills, Sleeps 24 Indian Hills, Sleeps 24 Indian Hills, Sleeps 24 Indian Hills, Sleeps 24 Indian Hills, Sleeps 24

Effortless Rental Group offers a complete range of event planning and personal services, including:

  • Wedding planner (see Milk Glass Productions for more info!)
  • Professional photography
  • Catering & cake
  • Beverage & bartending
  • In-house massage specialists
  • Hair/makeup stylists
  • Private chefs
  • Luxury car rentals
  • Transportation

Please let us know if you would like us to arrange any of the services mentioned above, or if we can help you with anything else.

We look forward to helping you plan your special day!

Partnering with a Rental Company vs. Doing It Alone

With the rise in popularity of short-term rentals, many owners are turning their investment properties into a second source of income. Once the decision to rent out the property using a short-term strategy has been made, there are numerous other questions that the owner must ask himself or herself: how much should I charge? How do I decorate my home? What do I include in my listing? Should I post on Airbnb, VRBO, or both?

There’s a lot to consider, especially when you’re starting out as a first-time renter. But the single most important decision you’ll make is whether you want to team up with a short-term rental management company or go at it alone.

One of the main benefits of a partnership with Effortless Rental Group is that you’ll be supported by a team of knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to maximizing your monthly revenue. To learn how you can make exponentially more money when you work with us, versus renting on a short-term or long-term strategy alone, check out https://effortlessrentalgroup.com/hosting-tips/want-increase-earning-potential/

Increasing your earning potential is just the beginning. Effortless stands out from other rental management companies because we provide a turnkey service for our clients. This means that we take care of everything—from analytical pricing using our custom algorithms to handling all bookings and guest correspondence. Our professional cleaning company and re-stocking team will give you the peace of mind that everything is ready for your guests. In fact, many of our clients travel abroad for part of the year or even live out of state. They trust us to manage every single aspect of their rental property.

Owners who want to maximize their revenue and live their lives without worrying about the upkeep of their rental property choose to partner with Effortless Rental Group. We would be honored to work with you in the future. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Effortless Rental Group

720.475.1486

Space-Saving Design Ideas for Small Properties

  1. Don’t waste the space under the stairs

Take advantage of this valuable (and often forgotten) space and add a few shelves or a cozy reading nook. Whatever you choose to create, keep it minimal and uncluttered with horizontal lines and neutral accents.

mochacasa.com

houzz.com

 

  1. Fold-down furniture is your friend

There’s a good reason the Murphy bed, originally invented in the early 1900’s, is making a comeback. Fold-down furniture like the Murphy bed allows for multi-functional rooms and creates a ton of extra floor space when not in use.

gedyrivera.com

houzz.com

 

  1. Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

Who’s the most space-savvy of them all? Mirrors enlarge any space by creating the illusion of depth. In general, the bigger, the better—opt for tall and wide mirrors over small mirrors or gallery arrangements, which will have the opposite effect.

mogome.com

freshome.com

  

  1. Area rugs suggest separate rooms

This is particularly true in studio apartments or in large spaces that are being used for two functions, like as both a living room and a dining area. Rugs in contrasting colors divide the space and designate each area for its intended purpose.

home-designing.com

jeleba.com

 

  1. Use expandable furniture whenever possible

Maximize your space by buying tables with slide-out or add-on segments to use only when you have guests over. Keep an eye out for pieces that have hidden storage compartments and a fold-out design like the table below—they’ll let you stash your stuff out of sight.

red.lateefabryant.com

westelm.com

 

  1. Install shelves and furniture on the wall

If you haven’t jumped on the floating shelf train, get going. This popular design trend frees your floor from bulky and heavy pieces and adds a modern feel to your home. Consider mounting your desk or dining table on the wall to free up even more space.

irastar.com

decorpad.com

 

  1. Keep things out of sight under the bed

Trust us—your dinner guests don’t need to see your flannel pajamas or your favorite moth-eaten sweater you can’t seem to throw away. Store seasonal items, shoes, or extra sheets under the bed instead. Get a bed with built-in storage or opt for some baskets to slide underneath the frame.

homesfeed.com

iconhomedesign.com

Sleep Like a Baby with 1 Simple Change to Your Beds

We all know that how much we enjoy our day has a lot to do with the amount—and the quality—of our sleep the night before. You’ve also probably heard that sleep is critical in staying healthy, managing pain, and forming new memories. But did you know that good pillows are the easiest way to ensure a good night’s sleep? And that changing out your pillows in your rental property is the quickest way to drastically change your guests’ experience for the better?

There is a plethora of pillows on the market, with various firmness, textures, sizes, and shapes. We’ve picked our favorites that will make sure your guests get a good night’s sleep and are geared up for sightseeing in Denver the next day. When your guests are well rested, they have more energy to explore Denver—and write you a positive review on Airbnb or VRBO at the end of their trip. Speaking of Airbnb and VRBO, feel free to mention the brand and type of pillows in your listing—it shows potential guests that you’ve put time and thought into making sure they’re comfortable during their stay at your home.

 

Our top choice: Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow, from $50

This pillow outperforms and out-reviews any other pillow on the current market. The firmness can be adjusted by adding or removing foam, and the natural materials meet CertiPUR-US standards for allergy sufferers and guests sensitive to harsh materials. The removable fill also makes it easy to adjust the pillow to fit side, back, or stomach sleepers. Long-lasting and affordable, switching out your current pillows for these ones will make your Airbnb or VRBO rental property stand out from the rest.

 

Utopia Bedding Premium Super Plush Fiber Filled Pillows (2-pack), from $19

At $19 for a 2-pack of queen-sized pillows, these fluffy pillows are definitely the winners when it comes to price. Hypo-allergenic with an anti-microbial finish, these fiber-filled pillows will ensure asthma and allergy sufferers get a good night’s rest. The full polyester stuffing resists compression and deformation over years of use. Note: the pillows are shipped in a vacuum-sealed bag—for best results, allow pillows to expand for 2-3 days before use.

 

Foamily Premium Hypoallergenic Stuffer Pillow Insert Sham Square, from $7

For maximum comfort on your bed or couch, these inserts by Foamily are our top pick. The pillows stay fluffy and do not deflate over time, and offer a good level of support for the back and neck. They come in a range of sizes to perfectly fit in your shams and provide your Airbnb property with some stylish accents. And beginning at $7 for the 12” x 12” size, the price can’t be beat.

How to Make Your Home Appealing to Business Travelers

Many of your guests will be traveling for pleasure, but you’ll get some who are in town for a meeting or convention. It’s important that your home accommodates business travelers with all of the amenities they’ll need during their stay. When you set up your home with special business features, along with having a solid review background, a speedy response rate, and several other specifications, Airbnb alerts potential guests who look at your listing that your property is “Business Travel Ready.” This title attached to your listing greatly increases your chances of getting a booking request. For a good place to start, take a look at our list of home additions geared toward business travelers.

 

  1. A workspace set up for laptops in an office nook or room

This is the single most important item for the business traveler in your home. Even if your guest is planning to explore your city a bit for pleasure, the main reason he or she is there is for business. A workspace in your home is essential, whether it’s an entire office or just a corner of the living room set up with a desk and chair. There should be an outlet nearby and enough space for a laptop and a few folders.

 

  1. Fast Wi-Fi

You should have Wi-Fi whether or not you want to cater to business travelers, as your guests will need to be able to look up where to eat on their phones or communicate with people back home. It’s especially important for business travelers to have high-speed internet so that they can do research, get in touch with colleagues, or figure out where their meeting is located.

 

  1. Toiletry essentials

Shampoo, toilet paper, clean towels, and a hair dryer are on the list of features Airbnb deems necessary for a listing to receive the “Business Travel Ready” label. Your business-oriented guests will be glad that your home matches the level of amenities they would find if they were getting ready in a hotel room. No need to spring for the most expensive salon shampoo and conditioner, but make a little effort to provide something nice.

 

  1. A printer/fax/scanner

This one is pretty self-explanatory—if your guests need to receive documents or send them elsewhere during their stay at your place, they’ll be glad to have the supplies to do it. Business travelers might need to print notes for a meeting, but it’s not a bad idea to have a printer available for all of your guests. People may want to print out concert or event tickets, or boarding passes for their flight out of your city.

 

  1. Hangers and an iron

Your guests will need to prepare for their meeting or conference, and you can help them accomplish this. Hangers and an iron are essential items for all types of guests, but even more so for guests traveling on business. It’s a good call to have plenty of hangers and closet space, as well as an ironing board (small is fine) to go along with the iron.

 

  1. If possible, a meeting area

It doesn’t hurt to designate a specific area of your home as a space for guests to brainstorm ideas alone or with others. This could be a home office or extra room—it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Throw in a couple desk chairs, a desk or table, and a dry-erase board on the wall and you’re good to go.

 

  1. A list of coffee shops for remote work

Sometimes inspiration doesn’t hit until we get outside and into the real world. If you know a guest is going to be staying at your home for business, it’s not a bad idea to leave behind a short list of coffee shops nearby. Whether they want to post up there for the day or just stop by for a quick latte before heading to their conference, they’ll appreciate the effort. Check out https://effortlessrentalgroup.com/entertainment/7-best-denver-coffee-shops/ for a list of our favorite coffee shops in Denver.

Tips for Troubleshooting Issues with Guests

As a host, you deal with all sorts of people: young and old, seasoned travelers and newbies, cooperative and—not so cooperative. While most of your guests will hopefully be stand-up people, there will inevitably be a few who give you trouble. But don’t fear—we’ve compiled a list of tips for dealing with the issues that your guests might throw your way.

  1. Excessive complaints and requests

Most of the requests from your guests will be reasonable, like dinner recommendations or a couple extra towels. But occasionally you might come across a guest who asks for way too much—like new sheets for every bed in the house—or contacts you constantly, blowing up your phone every five minutes. It will be annoying, and you’ll feel like telling them off. But try to keep your cool—if you do, these same guests will hopefully write you a review at the end of their stay that acknowledges how you took care of their every request. Unless they just can’t be satisfied, in which case you’re out of luck and simply have to grin and bear it. A good question to ask these guests: “Is there anything else I can do to make your stay as enjoyable as possible?” The answer might be “no,” but hopefully they’ll appreciate your dedication.

  1. Disruptive and disorderly

As you rack up more months as a host, you’ll probably get a handful of guests who just want to use your home as a party spot. A lot of these guests are respectful partiers, but some are not. Your neighbors might call you during your guests’ stay to report the noise, or in the case of excessive noise or excessively awful neighbors, they might just call the cops directly. It’s pretty unlikely that your guests will get in any legal trouble with the cops (unless, of course, they’re unruly and rude toward the officers), but it’s still a hassle and makes you look bad to your neighbors. If a party is out of control and the cops are called, it’s not a bad idea to write that in your review on your guest’s profile. Future hosts should know what to expect if they allow this guest to stay in their home.

  1. Broken/stolen items in your home

This is the number one fear of short-term rental hosts, and with good reason—you’ve spent a ton of time and money furnishing and designing your home, and you don’t want things to get messed up. But especially with rowdier guests (see above), something is bound to get broken at some point. The first line of defense should always be to talk to the guest directly. Most likely, they will have realized that they damaged something during their stay and will be quick to sort out the repayment process. In some cases, though, guests will say that the item was already broken or that they never saw an item that you know they stole. This is when you contact Airbnb and let them handle it. They deal with guests like this every day and are more experienced at settling these matters than you are. Note: be sure that your guest actually damaged/stole an item. It’s embarrassing (and sometimes legally problematic) to accuse a guest of doing something he or she did not do.

  1. Payment issues

All payments should be handled through Airbnb or your other short-term renting platform, so they should be the first people you contact with any issues. Airbnb employs a team of people whose job it is to work out problems of this nature, so it’s probably a better idea to contact them than to try and resolve an issue with a guest on your own. If you are going to contact a guest directly about money (for example, in the event that a guest damages something in your home), make sure you know how much the item costs and can back it up with a receipt or a link to the product online. As we all know, people get pretty touchy with money, so having all of the information and conveying it in a clear way is always helpful.

  1. A bad review on your profile

If this happens because of a specific problem that you were not able to fix, it’s a good call to own up to it and apologize in your response to the review. Maybe it was out of your hands, like you were out of town and the pipes froze, but you should still apologize for the inconvenience. That’s where the respond option to reviews really comes in handy—but try not to launch into a paragraph of self-defense where you also attack the guest for being too needy and whiny. This just makes you look bad. Unless of course, you have some real evidence for your claims—like the guest broke all of the beds and sprayed red paint on the walls. If not, keep it friendly.

Sometimes you can do everything right and still get a cranky guest who writes you a bad review. There’s not a whole lot you can do in this case. If you want to respond, keep it short—something like, “I did everything I could to accommodate [guest’s name] during his stay. It’s unfortunate that he had such a bad stay. I hope he finds what he’s looking for in the future.” Something concise and polite will do. There’s no need to start an emotionally-charged comment war.

Just remember that for every guest who gives you issues, there will be at least 20 more who don’t. Being a host is usually a great experience, and when it’s not, just remind yourself that they call it “short-term” rental for a reason—your guest will be out soon enough.