Category : Hosting Tips

How to Optimize Your Airbnb Listing

To get the maximum number of guests every month, you want to have engaging content and photos in your listing. Not only does this increase your likelihood of getting booked, it also adds to the total number of views on your listing, adding to the attractiveness of your property. We’ve come up with some tips below to make your listing the best it can be.

  1. Get a professional photographer

We’re all visual people, and we’re more likely to spend money on something when it’s presented attractively. Sure, you could snap some photos with your iPhone and call it a day, but your listing will look way more put together with professional photos. A photographer will be more knowledgeable about angles, lighting, and variation than you will—and it will show in the polished photos that emphasize the best features of your home.

  1. Write an attention-grabbing teaser

In the initial description, it’s better to focus on a couple awesome features of your home or neighborhood than to delve into a laundry list of reasons why someone should stay at your place. This is the first thing your potential guest will read, so make sure you know your audience. Is your place in the middle of the hottest stretch of bars and clubs in your city? Or in a super family-friendly area with a rec center and park across the street? Figure out who your home will appeal to most and use your teaser to reel them in.

  1. Think about the special features of your space

This is the section in which you should really go into detail about the unique parts of your home. Try to stay away from generic descriptions and really zone in on what makes your home special. Is there a reading nook with a great view? A tree-lined backyard perfect for kids? A rooftop hot tub? It’s always good to link these features with activities your potential guests could imagine themselves doing. For example, instead of just mentioning that there’s a large back deck, write that the back deck is a perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Zero in on a few of these features and your home will really come to life.

  1. Put some thought into the neighborhood section

One of the things that your potential guests will want most is to stay in an appealing area, whether that means they’re close to bars, in a quiet mountain setting, or in a suburban neighborhood safe for kids. Do a little research to find out what’s in your neighborhood. Maybe there’s a farmer’s market every Saturday that your guests would enjoy, or a coffee shop down the street that makes a great chai. It’s also good to mention any museums, historical sites, and concert venues in the immediate area.

  1. Don’t be afraid to set house rules

If your basement is off limits or your next-door neighbors are super sensitive to noise, let your guests know in the listing (and write it again somewhere in the house). The last thing you want is for there to be an issue because your guests say they didn’t know about your rules. Then if something does happen during their stay, you can refer back to your listing. It’s always good for you and your guests to be on the same page as early as possible—and putting your expectations into your listing guarantees that.

 

Tips for First-Time Airbnb Hosts

The world of short-term rental can be intimidating for someone who has never hosted before. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get started and make sure your transition into hosting goes smoothly.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

You might not be able to get everything perfect right when you start out, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t panic if you can’t get exactly the bed linens you want or if your plates don’t all match. You obviously want your home to look as presentable as possible, but don’t forget that setting up your space is supposed to be fun for you too—not overly stressful.

  1. Show your guests you care in little ways

Your guests will appreciate when you go the extra mile to make sure their stay goes well. When we say “little ways,” we mean little—nothing too expensive or time consuming. Check out [https://effortlessrentalgroup.com/hosting-tips/6-simple-items-add-home-happy-guests/] for a list of simple items you can add to your home to show your guests that you care, making them more likely to write you a good review at the end of their stay.

  1. Inform your neighbors

People will take note when there are strangers suddenly walking in and out of your house, so it’s a good idea to let them know that you’ll be hosting. It’s up to you how much detail you go into—maybe you tell them you’re a host on Airbnb or maybe you just say that you’ll have guests staying for a while—but a little heads-up is a good call regardless.

  1. Respond to your reviews

This goes for positive and negative reviews, especially your first few of each. For positive reviews, thank your guests for staying with you and tell them you’re glad they enjoyed their stay. For negative reviews, try to target their main problem and (politely) address whether it was out of your hands or not. Even if the issue was not your fault, apologize for the inconvenience. The idea is to set a precedent for the rest of your reviewers. When potential guests see that you’ve taken the time to respond to feedback, they’ll feel like they’re in good hands when they stay with you in the future.

Effortless Rental Group Property Management

2017 Brings Changes for Airbnb Renters

With the new year comes new responsibilities for short-term rental owners in the Denver area. Owners are now required to hold a short-term rental license, obtainable from the City and County of Denver website, in order to rent out their properties for stays shorter than 30 days. Not all American cities require a short-term license—state officials make the call on a case-by-case basis. Part of the licensing process involves proving that a property is an owner’s primary residence and posting his or her Business License Number on the Airbnb listing. The fee for the STR license application is $25 and an owner can be fined up to $999 for advertising their property without a legitimate license.

Learn more about the new Denver STR License at www.Denvergov.org/STR

Is Your Property Guest-Ready?

The reason your guests are booking your property instead of a hotel is because they want to feel like they’re staying in a home. Make the most of your space and maximize your monthly income by fully stocking your space with everything your guests will need during their stay. We’ve compiled a list to get you started:

KITCHEN

  • Pots and pans with lids
  • Cooking utensils: spatula, serving spoons, colander, cheese grater, etc.
  • Plates/bowls/glasses/silverware/mugs for 150% maximum capacity (if your property accommodates 6 people, you should have at least 9 plates, bowls, silverware sets, etc.)
  • Wine glasses
  • Wine key/corkscrew
  • Kitchen knives
  • Salt/pepper/olive oil
  • Coffee maker
  • Kitchen towels

BATHROOM

  • Bathmat
  • Towels: 3 sets for each guest (bath towel, washcloth, hand towel)
  • Shower curtain for shower-rod setups
  • Squeegee for glass shower setups
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap

BEDROOMS

  • 2 full sets of sheets for each bed (1 on the bed, 1 for backup)
  • 2 duvet covers for each bed (1 on the bed, 1 for backup)
  • Mattress for each bed (pillow top recommended)
  • Mattress cover for each bed
  • Bedside table and lamp
  • Hangers

LIVING ROOM

  • Couches (ideally with pullout mattress)
  • Television with cable
  • Coffee table

MISC.

  • Vacuum
  • Broom & dustpan
  • Mop & bucket
  • Window covers (blinds, shades, etc.)
  • Cleaning products: paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher soap, sponges, glass cleaner
  • Extra light bulbs

This is a partial list and does not include décor or personal touches that make your property stand out from the rest.

Want to Increase Your Earning Potential?

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Rental Type15-May15-Jun15-JulTotal
Long-Term Rental$2,200$2,200$2,200

$6,600

Short-Term Rental$4,556$4,171$5,158$13,885
Effortless Rental Group Rental$7,062$6,465$7,995$21,522

Did you know that you could increase your monthly revenue by up to 200% when you switch from a long-term to a short-term rental strategy for your investment property? These are actual numbers from a property in downtown Denver. The property owner was receiving $2,200 in monthly rent from a long-term tenant. Converting to a short-term rental strategy increased the monthly income by 207%. This is a great improvement—but it requires a lot of time and effort to do all on your own.

Effortless Rental Group offers a complete turnkey solution for converting your property into a short-term rental. We handle all bookings and management duties. Not only do we take the hard work out of managing a short-term rental property, we also use our industry knowledge and pricing analytical software to maximize your monthly income (in this case, by 328%!)

The choice is clear: Effortless Rental Group produces a higher ROI and performs all the legwork in creating a successful short-term rental.

6 Simple Items to Add to Your Home for Happy Guests

There are tons of homes and apartments listed on Airbnb, but not all of them have owners that go the extra mile for their guests. Guests can tell when an owner puts time and energy into designing a space that fits their needs. Check out our list below for 6 items that can make your space stand out from all the rest.

  1. Guidebook to your city

Many of your guests will have never been to the city where you live, so it’s helpful for them to have a reference guide to the sights and spots they’ll want to check out. Throw in a couple maps for them to take with them on their adventures; although many younger guests will probably rely on their phones for navigation, older guests or those not particularly tech-savvy will appreciate the thought.

  1. Extra pillows and blankets

You don’t want cold guests. Make sure to have a heavy blanket (a down comforter or thick quilt) for each bed, along with several throw blankets for extra chilly nights or lounging on the couch. You do want guests to get a good night’s sleep. It’s not a bad idea to have a few extra pillows in the closet, of varying firmness, to make sure your guests sleep well and have the energy to explore the city, have a great trip, and write you a phenomenal review.

  1. Fresh flowers and plants

Your guests have chosen to stay at your place instead of a hotel or hostel. It’s nice to create a home-away-from-home atmosphere, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to add a couple of plants. They can be cut flowers in a vase in the living room, an orchid in the bedroom, even a cluster of succulents in the kitchen—just something to show your guests that the space is colorful and healthy.

  1. Your personal contact information

You’ve already provided this to your guests when they booked your property through Airbnb, but writing out your name and phone number somewhere in your home shows that you’re willing to help with anything that comes up during their stay. Hopefully nothing does—but seeing your contact info when they walk in will make your guests feel like you’re an attentive host who cares about their experience in your home.

  1. A (short) list of local restaurants and bars

Once again, your guests probably have extensive lists of where to dine, drink, and shop on their phones and computers, but it’s still a nice touch to pick out a few of your own favorite spots. Maybe there’s a local coffee shop that makes the best latte, or a steak joint that’s to die for right down the street. Let your guests know—they’ll appreciate it. A good place for this info is right next to your contact information.

  1. A special touch, like your favorite coffee from a local shop

This final item is more on the optional side, but going out of your way to pick up something (cheap) like a bag of coffee beans or a box of chocolates will make your guests remember their stay at your place. The most important thing is that your guests feel well taken care of, and a small unexpected gift sitting on the counter when they walk in is the easiest way to accomplish this.

Don’t spend a ton of money or go completely out of your way to find special items for each guest, but a little extra thought here and there will make your guests have a memorable experience staying at your place—and will make them more likely to stay at your home again in the future and recommend it to their friends.

Aurora Passed Short-term Rental Regulations

AURORA | City officials have agreed to allow residents to rent out their homes as vacation rentals using services like Air BnB, but  hosts of the increasingly popular short-term rentals must obtain business licenses and pay municipal lodger’s tax, ending a months-long logistical quagmire.

On Friday, Nov. 6, the city issued its first vacation rental business license to Saurabh Chawlah, an active Airbnb host who was barred from renting out his home on East Dry Creek Place in April after a neighbor complained about the amount of people frequently coming in and out of his east Aurora home.


“It was a long road, but I’m glad we got to this point,” Chawlah said. “
I’m glad that (the city) made this a priority over the past seven months — they did a pretty good job and they listened.”

The decision means that all vacation rental hosts with an Aurora address will have to apply for a $38 Aurora business license and collect an 8-percent lodger’s tax from each guest they host, according to Trevor Vaughn, manger of the city’s tax and licensing division. The business licenses must be renewed every two years for a $25 fee.

“It’s going to be an allowed home occupation,” Vaughn said.

He added that people who rent out all or a portion of their home to travelers may still be subject to a separate, state lodger’s tax of 4.25 percent.

Had the city not elected to pursue the current plan, Chawlah and his wife, Neha, would have had to pay upward of $4,000 for a conditional use permit and attend a public hearing to receive the approval of all residents and Homeowners Associations within one mile of their home.

The Chawlah’s re-listed their house on Airbnb early Friday, and Saurabh said that he plans on charging guests $45 per night. That price includes the now-mandatory lodger’s tax, which he will remit to the city on his own — not through the Airbnb website.

Vaughn said that the city has continuously pursued negotiations with sites like Airbnb to get them to agree to charging the required taxes at the point of sale instead of having individual hosts remit the city fees themselves on a monthly or quarterly basis.

“At this point, we are looking for more cooperation form the website providers in collecting and remitting the tax,” he said. “That’s something that we’ve been in touch with Airbnb about, but they haven’t cooperated yet. But I think that would be easier for all parties involved.”

Saurabh said that he’s proud of Aurora’s decision to allow vacation rentals by owners in the city, although he’s not certain how cozy other area Airbnb hosts will be to the notion of having to apply for a business license and charge guests an additional fee.

“Other hosts may not be too happy, but at least it will be an even playing field at that point,” he said.

There were about 40 Airbnb hosts serving Aurora visitors as of July, according to anecdotal data collected by the tax and licensing division. That’s a number nearly 10 times what it was early last year.

Prior to being shut down this spring, the Chawlahs had hosted about 55 guests in their Aurora home, according to Saurabh. He said that the majority of their visitors were people looking to stay close to Denver International Airport, students in town to interview at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and younger professionals flying in for job interviews at in Downtown Denver.

Saurabh said that barring any loud or cantankerous behavior, city officials have told him that any future grievances from the next-door neighbor who lodged the initial complaint will be ignored.

“In regard to who’s coming in and out of our driveway, that’s not really that person’s concern,” he said. “We’ve been told that if they do complain it will be ignored unless something crazy happens with loud noise, music or a party. But just with people coming in and out, we’re free to do it.”

Despite Aurora’s new plan regarding Airbnb, a slew of other cities around the state and the country are still wrestling with how to regulate the ballooning sharing economy. Following a months-long moratorium on the practice, Boulder voters approved a 7.5 percent tax on short-term rentals in the city earlier this week. In the metro area, the Denver City Council is in the process of considering its own regulations on Airbnb and other vacation rentals by owner there.

Written by Quincy Snowdon, Reported by the Aurora Sentinel

http://www.aurorasentinel.com/news/aurora-reaches-accord-vacation-rental-owners-biz-licenses-taxes/