One of the biggest reasons homeowners are hesitant to enter into the short-term rental market is due to the worry around letting strangers into your home. Over the years, we’ve come to find these fears are unjustified. Don’t let those rare Airbnb horror stories prevent you from making passive income!
Guesthop has been a host management company for six years in the Bay Area. As one of the most popular Airbnb destinations (with the price tag to prove it!) we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the crazy. You might be surprised at just how much the good outweighs the rest, and, even more so, how easily the bad is resolved when you’ve got a dedicated property manager on the case.
We’re going to bust the two biggest myths plaguing potential Airbnb hosts.
1. Guests will steal my stuff
Someone recently told us they didn’t want to become an Airbnb host because they were scared that guests would steal their oven knobs. While that’s one super specific fear, many people express a similar hesitation when opening their home.
With hundreds of properties and a few years behind us, we can count the number of thefts on one hand. Yes, even in San Francisco. The truth is, the vast majority of people who stay at Airbnb properties don’t steal things.
Screening Profiles is Essential
When you use an Airbnb property management company like Guesthop, we screen each guest before approving their reservation. We don’t approve guests with bare profiles, and we take additional measures, such as looking at previous reviews and using Airbnb’s platform tools, to validate identity and screen prospective visitors.
In addition to the platform tools and our years of experience screening guests, Airbnb has a Trust and Safety team numbering over 100 people. They are available 24/7 to us in the event of any problem. The company also offers insurance and a resolution center.
Remove Things of Special Value
Accidents do happen. Guests can knock things off tables, spill drinks, and the like. Anything of sentimental value (like a fragile, one-of-a-kind piece of art work) is best not kept in a property in which people will be moving baggage in and out.
If you’re putting your primary residence on Airbnb, and don’t have a storage unit or another property to store your valuables, we recommend keeping a closet or room dedicated to your belongings. We’ve seen this work well before. We put a clear sign on the door and let guests know in the property description and messaging that this space is off limits.
2. Guests will trash my place
The other big concern we hear from potential hosts is that guests will throw wild parties in their home. They’re worried about real damage to their property, noise violations, and bothering neighbors.
In our experience, this is actually very rare. Many of our hosts live above or below their Airbnb (gotta love those Victorian Bay Area homes!). The majority of complaints we’ve gotten are about the TV being too loud — both from hosts and guests! Hardly on par with other Airbnb horror stories, and certainly not a good enough reason to miss out on valuable passive income from home sharing.
Most guests are just like you and me. More often than not, they’re also initially a little hesitant to stay in someone else’s home. Many guests treat your place better than they treat their own.
That said, Airbnb knows how important guest profiles are to ensuring hosts’ comfort level, so the fields are pretty robust. Guests need to upload their license and connect with a social network. It adds a level of accountability to ensure the safety of your property.
Communication is Key
At Guesthop, we also require that guests communicate with us beforehand. We ask them to let us know the reason for their trip, how many guests will be staying, and sign off on our house rules. If anything seems suspicious, we won’t move forward with the booking.
We know how to effectively communicate with guests and set up expectations. A family with small children probably won’t be comfortable in a home with steep stairs. And a group of college friends in town for a football game won’t realistically be able to share a small studio.
Swiftly Resolve Potential Issues
We do our best to screen guests before they arrive, but are quick to respond to issues should they come up. That’s the benefit of using a host management company like Guesthop. We’re dedicated to your property around the clock.
We can jump on a simple problem, like asking guests to turn down music. And, we know how to mediate more serious concerns, like calling guests when neighbors suspect they may be throwing a party.
It’s important to have a property manager fielding emergency calls like this to prevent small problems from becoming Airbnb horror stories.