Blog

Here’s Why You Should Be Spying on Your Competition

spy on airbnb competition

 

In every business across every industry, scoping out the competition is a major part of a successful run. If you don’t know how your competitors are performing and have a good idea of the things they’re doing right (and, possibly, the things they’re doing “wrong”), chance are you’ll see a bigger payoff for yourself.

As a vacation rental host or Airbnb host, doesn’t it make sense to follow the same basic business tactics? We certainly think so.

Here are our arguments as to why you should be spying on your competition – plus what kind of nuggets you should be collecting from that information goldmine.

By comparing your listing, you’re being a smart host.

We’ve said it a dozen times: As a vacation rental host, you’re a small business owner. Much of your success or failure falls into your own hands. As a host, this translates into bookings.

If you want to be a successful host and not just a “mediocre” one, here are the questions you should be asking yourself:

 

 

  • Are you getting booked as often as you’d like?
    • How often are you opening availability and not getting booked, especially over weekends?
    • If you’re not happy with your booking consistency, what could you be doing differently to boost your occupancy rate?

 

 

  • Are you offering amenities that guests want and appreciate? What could you be doing better or offering that would improve their stay even more?

 

 

If you want to have solid information on what you could be doing differently, you’ve got to do a little digging. These answers won’t simply drop into your lap; they take some research.

Spying on the competition helps you better gauge how your listing is doing compared to others in your area.

Here’s a question for you: Are you using your platforms’ search tool to its capacity?

Airbnb has one of the most robust search engines for vacation rentals out there and while it’s great for guests trying to hunt down a fantastic place to stay, it’s a goldmine of details for hosts looking to get an edge.

Here’s how you can use Airbnb’s search tool to your advantage:

 

 

  • Narrow down other listings that compare to yours in size and guest numbers. It’s smart to know just how many other listings like yours are in your neighborhood or general vicinity. Make a list in a spreadsheet.

 

  • Check the specifics on your local competitors. You can get pretty specific with this, which we totally recommend. The more information you have, the more you can improve your own listing. Search for answers to questions, like:
    • How many views are they getting?
    • How booked up are they compared to availability?
    • What’s their average nightly rate?
    • What unique amenities do they offer, if any?

 

 

 

  • See how other listings compare to yours and what you could possibly improve to make it better. There’s almost always someone out there who can do things a little better than you. If such a host exists, what are they doing? How can you implement that into your own listing?

 

  • Learn about why their guests like them so much. Guests often leave specific comments in their reviews to detail what was so great about their hosts. Use this information to your advantage! Copy the cool kids – it’s totally okay.

 

 

The more you know, the more you can improve your own listing and, hopefully, your occupancy rate. Though it takes some time to peruse the stacks and pages of information, it pays to know what your competitors are doing – quite literally.

So the next time you’re thinking about how to improve your own listing, start by looking at the other guys’. You just might find your answer!

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

How to Become an Airbnb Co-Host or Vacation Rental Property Manager

become airbnb cohost vacation rental manager

With vacation rental property management companies on the rise (and let’s also acknowledge the fact that these entities are nothing new when it comes down to it), marketing yourself as a vacation rental manager and landing a management gig is tough. The competition is fiercer than ever.

So if you want to jump into the property management pool, how do you get started? We won’t deny that it will be a bit of an uphill battle, but we’ve got a few tips to help you seal a deal (or a few!).

Finding Opportunities

Perhaps one of the most head-scratching roadblocks when it comes to getting started in vacation rental management is knowing where to track down hosts and owners who are looking for management (or as Airbnb refers to it, “co-hosting”) help. You can’t just go knocking on doors, can you?

Not exactly. But you can use some of the tools already at your disposal.

1. Tap your contacts.

If you’re already an entrepreneur of sorts like our friend Davida Horn, who started her management gigs via her relationship as a bookkeeper for her clients, use that “in.” If you’re already offering a service and happen to know or work with vacation rental hosts, talk to them about the possibility of helping them manage their property.

2. Become a really good local guest.

This is just smart all the way around: Being a great guest means you probably also know what a great host is like. But use your local vacation rental stays to your advantage – use this as a way to meet and get to know other local hosts in your area.

Sure, you have to pay to stay, but you’re also building relationships. If the host you’re staying with isn’t interested in getting management or co-hosting help, perhaps they know someone that is.

Put simply: It pays to know people and the more people you know, the more you could potentially get paid.

3. Search the interwebs.

There’s a possibility that you could find someone asking about where to find a vacation rental manager on a number of job boards and, more importantly, this may also be a good place for you to list your own availability.

You can also look on industry-specific websites like Airhosta. Airhosta matches potential co-hosts and property managers with hosts looking for help with their listing. Check it out!

Land the Gig: Stand Out from the Crowd

Now that you know where to search, who to talk to, and what to look for, the next step is ensuring that once you start exploring those avenues, you look the part and have a stellar sales pitch.

Don’t forget you’re selling your skills as a co-host or vacation rental manager! Your professionalism and preparedness matter.

1. Organize a management proposal to show off your expertise.

Ideally, you should have some experience as a host yourself so you can prove once and for all that you know your “stuff” and can handle helping your potential clients’ guests and running the show from the backend.

Show your potential client your plans for:

  • Incoming guest inquiries and general communication
  • Check-in and check-out procedures
  • Turnover cleaning
  • Emergencies
  • Maintenance and general upkeep

 

We’re just scratching the surface here – overprepare so you can show yourself at your best.

2. Focus on what sets you apart.

As we said before, vacation rental management is nothing new and it seems like everyone is getting into the business these days.

What do you have that makes you different – or arguably better – than the other individuals and companies you’re competing against? Don’t be afraid to be confident about what you can offer. That’s likely to be your biggest selling point.

3. Set a reasonable (but competitive) rate for your services.

Typically, vacation rental managers and co-hosts take a percentage cut of the rental rate secured by the actual host. A number of sources online suggest anywhere from 10-25%.

Setting your own rate can be a little tricky because you don’t want to undersell yourself, but you certainly don’t want to oversell, either. Look at your experience and what unique points you can offer, and set a rate for yourself.

Consider developing a tiered option, too, to give your host more flexibility. If guests stay longer, perhaps your percentage cut could be a bit lower.

In the end, you have to do what’s best for you and feel confident that you’re getting back what your services are worth.

 

It’s no cakewalk getting started as a vacation rental manager or co-host, but the payoff is often well worth the legwork. If entrepreneurship is something you’re striving for and you’re passionate about hosting guests and visitors to your city, this may be a great “job” for you. So what are you waiting for? Get started!

 

Need help deciding how to show your potential hosting clients how you’ll handle turnover cleanings? Let MaidThis! help! We provide Airbnb and vacation turnover cleanings to dozens of hosts and have an exclusive team of cleaners whose sole responsibility is turning over vacation rentals. Give us a shout for more information.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

What House Cleaning Should Be Done Weekly?

what house cleaning should be done weeklyTime just flies – even if you’re nowhere near having fun. Weeks might go by without you noticing that you may have neglected to, say, clean the carpets. We can relate – you have too much on your plate as it is, and a little dust on the chandelier is the last of your worries. But that’s why cleaning services Brentwood are here to remind us what house cleaning should be done weekly. Although chores can wait, it is the bane of adult life that some things are simply a must – even mothers-to-be are not completely exempt from chores.

Take a look at our list of what house cleaning should be done weekly so you can plan ahead and develop a weekly cleaning routine. Although less comprehensive than a professional cleaning checklist, it will come in handy. It might not sound like a lot of fun, but at least it will stop household chores from piling up.

Laundry

Doing the laundry is not too difficult but it is ever so boring. Sorting the dirty laundry into lights and darks beforehand (the rule should apply to all the occupants in your household) will take up less of your time.

Kitchen appliances

The tricky part about cleaning the kitchen appliances is that they might seem clean even if they are actually not. Avoid grimy build-up by cleaning them thoroughly once a week using a clean sponge and a disinfectant.

Dusting the furniture

If you think dust is just ugly and leaves a bad impression on houseguests, think again. Not only does it pose danger to our health, it can even damage furniture surfaces by leaving tiny scratches.

Vacuuming carpets and rugs

Your vacuum cleaner is a godsend, so make sure it is ready for action at least once a week. It is the most efficient way to get rid of all the dust particles, especially if you are into the really fluffy carpets and shaggy rugs. Vacuuming once a week will prevent the really stubborn, heavy dirt from developing.

All the bathroom surfaces

Yes, it’s no picnic but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to keep those germs at bay. The bathroom is so moist and warm that it’s basically a haven for bacteria. Cleaning it requires using generous amounts of bleach to fiercely scrub the toilet, the sink, the bath and the tub so as to get rid of and prevent stains from mildew and the like.

It also includes cleaning all the other, seemingly less nasty, parts of the bathroom – the mirror, the fixtures and counters, tiles and grout, even cabinet doors. You really don’t want to know how far toilet water can actually travel.

Let MaidThis decide what house cleaning should be done weekly so you don’t have to

Ever had the feeling that cleaning tasks somehow proliferate all of their own? Don’t know what house cleaning should be done weekly? Here at MaidThis, we absolutely understand, which is why we will go above and beyond to match you with top-notch cleaners and recommend the best cleaning schedule for your home. Call us today and allow us to make your life a little easier!

Clean my Home


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Choose Your Date & Time 7 Days a Week
  • Flat-Rate Pricing. No hidden fees.
  • Free Recleans, Happiness Guaranteed
Book Now

Testimonials

Using the platform was super simple. I've used my cleaners five times now, and the one time I did have to reschedule it was super easy, hassle-free. It's really simple, it's easy, and they've done great job.
Gus
Los Angeles, Ca
20+

Hours
Saved

My wife and I are thrilled how easy everything is with MaidThis, and now I’m a customer for life! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding your own cleaner, definitely try MaidThis
Jordan
Redondo Beach, Ca
25+

Hours
Saved

I work a full-time job and I have a small kids at home, so by the time I get home the LAST thing I want to do is clean. If you need to save time, I recommend going through MaidThis. Their customer system was amazing.
Suzy
Los Angeles, Ca
70+

Hours
Saved

Blog

Cleaning and Scrubbing Can Wait Till Tomorrow

cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrowHere’s a friendly reminder from maid service, Brentwood: cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow! In other words, there are things you’ll once look back on much more fondly than having spent the whole weekend doing your weekly cleaning. Watch your kids grow and cherish those moments. Instead of getting cranky and agitated at the sight of cookie crumbs on your impeccably clean kitchen floors, try letting your hair down and enjoying yourself with your munchkins, or enjoying your pregnancy, for a change. Besides, you can always have professional cleaning done every now and then, so you can really have it all!

Set your priorities straight

“Cooking and cleaning can wait ’till tomorrow, For babies grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow. So settle down, cobwebs, and, dust, go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby ’cause babies don’t keep.”

Whoever wrote the poem knew exactly what they were talking about. As you try to keep your home clean and wholesome for your family’s sake, make sure you’re not, in fact, missing out on what really matters. Take some time away from household chores and just go out and play with your kids. Memories of these unforgettable moments last a lifetime. A squeaky-clean home, sadly, does not.

Find your inner child

We tend to forget that kids pretty much have it all figured out. They laugh from the heart, they speak their mind, they make mistakes. Let them be kids – they have a lifetime of adulting ahead of them anyway.

Sure, you want to teach them responsibility, but don’t let it turn into torture. Get them to help out around the house from time to time, but also show them how much you appreciate their help. After all, they understand much more than we think.

What’s more, kids learn from us all the time, even when they see us staring listlessly at the TV screen or frowning at the energy bill. Kids see us as their role models and mimic what we do. If you can learn to focus on the joys of life more than you do on everyday problems, you’d be doing your parenting right.

Set meaningful goals

Make a conscious effort to set an example for your kids so they’d grow into decent human beings. But don’t forget about quality time and how rewarding it can be for everyone. You should enjoy your kids’ childhood at least half as much as they are. In the words of the Rolling Stones: “Time waits for no one.”

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, or MaidThis can take care of it for you!

Once you realize that cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow and there are more rewarding things you could be doing with your kids instead, you might never feel like cleaning! That’s where professionals come in, which is what MaidThis is all about – we match you with the best in the business for spotless cleaning done in a jiffy. Call us today and see for yourself!

Clean my Home


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Choose Your Date & Time 7 Days a Week
  • Flat-Rate Pricing. No hidden fees.
  • Free Recleans, Happiness Guaranteed
Book Now

Testimonials

Using the platform was super simple. I've used my cleaners five times now, and the one time I did have to reschedule it was super easy, hassle-free. It's really simple, it's easy, and they've done great job.
Gus
Los Angeles, Ca
20+

Hours
Saved

My wife and I are thrilled how easy everything is with MaidThis, and now I’m a customer for life! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding your own cleaner, definitely try MaidThis
Jordan
Redondo Beach, Ca
25+

Hours
Saved

I work a full-time job and I have a small kids at home, so by the time I get home the LAST thing I want to do is clean. If you need to save time, I recommend going through MaidThis. Their customer system was amazing.
Suzy
Los Angeles, Ca
70+

Hours
Saved

Blog

Fill Vacancies through the Slow Season

slow season vacation rental vacancies

 

Busy season is coming to a close… Winter is coming!

Whether you spent the summer occasionally booked or filled to capacity, things are about to bottom out. Keeping your occupancy rate up is, for the next few months, going to require a little extra work on your part.

So how do you continue to rake in guests when things are quiet on the interwebs?

We have a few suggestions! Which one strikes a cord with you?

1. Create a package deal.

You don’t have to wait for a special event or a major holiday to offer your potential guests a great reason to stay with you. In fact, by offering a package deal that your competitors aren’t, you’re giving yourself an extra little edge.

Many hosts have the most trouble filling weeknight slots – weekends tend to stay fairly solidly booked. Offering special packages is a great way to fill some open spots during the week and entice guests to break away from their normal schedule for an unconventional rendezvous.

Whether you require your guests to stay multiple nights or not is up to you, but make their experience even more memorable by throwing in some pizzazz:

 

 

  • Design a “romantic getaway” for two: This may arguably be a bit overdone, but that’s only because it’s always a crowd pleaser. Throw in some traditional Valentine-esque additions to your guests’ stay, such as a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, and a lineup of rom-coms to watch so they can enjoy a few of nights of mid-week romance.

 

  • Create a retreat and respite from work: Sometimes, people just need a break from their jobs. Why not offer guests a place to unwind? This works well for folks who may live nearby and just need a break from their own home. Getting away from a stressful environment can be, for some, as easy as living somewhere else for a few days instead of going home to their own place.

 

  • Let the guests focus on food: Give your guests the opportunity to get culinary! Consider subscribing to a meal kit and giving your guests the option to prepare meals for themselves via ingredients delivered to you or to their vacation rental door. This will require some major attention to detail and communication on your end, so be sure you’re well prepared to play chef-host.

 

 

  • Be creative!: The best part of creating package deals is that the sky is the limit! There’s no wrong way to build a unique stay experience for your guests. Go with your gut and plan something you would enjoy. Chances are, you’ll find guests who will love your ideas, too.

 

2. Reach out to previous guests and cut them a deal they can’t pass up.

Every host has a few “favorite guests” they’ve had stay and chances are, the list is fairly short. It never hurts to reach out to folks you’ve hosted before and invite them back for another fantastic stay with a twist.

Offer them the opportunity to stay with you and consider sweetening the invite with one of your fancy package deals or simply at a slightly discounted nightly rate.

This will likely work better if your guests don’t live terribly far away and won’t always work out but it’s worth a try every once in a while. Be sure not to constantly be hitting up your previous guests – that’s a good way to turn fans into enemies.

3. Lower your nightly rate.

If all else fails, drop your nightly rate in the middle of the week. This is a wise thing to do anyway, to a point.

You’re far less likely to stay consistently booked if you stick with your summer rates through the fall and winter. Drop slightly across the board – this may take a little trial and error – and if you spot vacancies a week or two ahead, start dropping the rate on those nights only little by little until you either get booked or time runs out.

Remember, as you make changes to the costs for your guests be sure you’re not messing with your fees to ensure you cover yourself for cleaning costs and other expenses.

 

Pulling in bookings during the slow season isn’t impossible, but it will take a little elbow grease. No matter how you go about pulling in guests, don’t forget that even if you find yourself spending a little more to bring in guests, don’t lose sight of the reality: Some money is better than no money!

Testimonials