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Vacation Rental Insurance: Are you Covered?

.Vacation Rental Insurance: Are you Covered? from MaidThis.com

Whether you’re renting a property as a serious source of income or just as a side hustle, it’s important that you have the right insurance policy to cover any damages that might occur. As running a vacation rental is a business activity, your usual homeowner’s policy or landlord’s policy won’t be valid for the times you rent your property out for short-term stays.

Luckily, many insurance policies are specifically designed for short-term rental properties these days and most providers will allow you to easily add a short-term rental policy to your usual home insurance plan. 

Here’s what you need to know about vacation rental insurance. 

 

What should your vacation rental insurance cover? 

What’s the difference between vacation rental insurance and homeowner’s insurance? The answer is the degree of coverage as well as what areas are covered. 

There are three main categories you should look at when determining what coverage you’ll need for your rental property: 

 

  • Liability: Without liability insurance, your guests could potentially sue you for any injuries or accidents that happen on your property. This is true even if it doesn’t seem like you’re at fault. General liability insurance protects you and your assets in the event of an unforeseen disaster resulting in injury. 
  • Property Damage: For serious property damage caused by renters or natural disasters, many hosts would be out of luck without property damage insurance. Make sure that the insurance policy you choose covers your entire property, including decks, sheds, and other structures that might be set further away from the house. 
  • Loss of Income: Your property is considered a business expense, so if damages prevent you from renting it out, you’ll need insurance to cover the loss of income. You may be able to be compensated for the time that you miss out on renting due to repairs as well as the repairs themselves. 

 

With a comprehensive insurance package, you won’t have to worry about things going awry when you rent out your property. It’s almost always worth the investment if you’re serious about vacation rental hosting. It’s much cheaper to pay for insurance than it would be to pay for damages or lawsuits that might occur without it. 

 

Vacation Rental Insurance Providers

It’s easy to find a trusted name when it comes to vacation rental insurance. Many of the big-name insurance providers now offer homeshare or short-term rental insurance policies. Here are a few to consider: 

 

The insurance provider you choose will depend on your individual rates as well as what feels best for you. It’s a good idea to shop around and see how the policies differ before committing to one. Don’t just go with what’s familiar; the insurance provider you’ve used for auto insurance in the past might not necessarily be the best choice for your vacation rental insurance. 

 

Overall, an airtight vacation rental insurance policy will save you a lot of time and hassle if something goes wrong during a guest’s stay. You can rest easy knowing that your property is covered, no matter what life (or a guest) throws at you. 

 

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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

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4 Irrefutable Tips for Getting 5-Star Airbnb Reviews

4 Irrefutable Tips for Getting 5-Star Reviews from MaidThis.com

Every Airbnb host wants to get consistent 5-star reviews. If you don’t care, you might be in the wrong business. 

There’s plenty of suggestions and information floating around the web about how best to land those perfect ratings, but how do you know what are the best, most tried-and-true methods? 

We’ve done the legwork for you so you don’t have to do the digging yourself. Here are what we think are 4 irrefutable tips for getting 5-star Airbnb reviews.

 

1. Communicate consistently.

Check-in and check-out used to be a great time to gets some valuable face time with your guests and to connect with them on a more personal level. Now that social distancing is the norm, that system is literally out all the open windows.

Unsurprisingly, no one is doing face-to-face check-ins or check-outs anymore due to the coronavirus. In order to make a connection, you’re going to have to create opportunities. 

Make an effort to stay in close contact with your guests before, during, and immediately after their stay. Don’t worry about being too “chatty”: You don’t need to write long, heartfelt messages. Simply drop a quick line to let them know you’re available to answer questions and are looking forward to hosting them. 

To really stay on top of these quick little notes, keep a Google doc or note somewhere with canned responses that you can consistently copy and paste into your messages.

 

2. Make a habit of over-delivering.

Make an effort to be honest in your listing, but don’t give away every nugget you’ve got in your gold pan. Surprise your guests with higher-level toiletries or a few snacks and drinks upon their arrival. 

Maybe hand-write a note thanking them for their stay and leave it with your printed house rules or somewhere you’re sure they’ll find it. 

Get creative and go above and beyond. As you’re less likely to ever meet your guests these days, these kinds of small personal touches can make all the difference. 

 

3. Do a little homework.

We really love this idea from Get Paid for Your Pad: Do a little reconnaissance on your guests to see what kinds of things they may be interested in.

If your guest is an Airbnb veteran, chances are that they’ve left several reviews for their past hosts. Hop over and check out reviews they’ve left on other hosts’ review lists. You never know what you’ll find – it may offer you a great way to make their stay even better.  

 

4. Think like a guest.

At the end of the day, it pays to simply consider what you would be “wowed” by as a guest yourself. Think back to some of your own amazing Airbnb stays in the past – what made them so amazing or memorable?

Implement what you can without breaking the bank. Remember that reviews don’t bring in more money right away, but they do help you build trust with new and potential guests which ultimately leads to more bookings… and more income.

 

Don’t stress yourself out over earning 5-star reviews. With a little consideration and planning, you can consistently earn your guests’ appreciation and praise.

 

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Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
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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

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What’s a “Fair” Airbnb Cleaning Fee?

reWhat's a "Fair" Airbnb Cleaning Fee? from MaidThis.com

As an Airbnb host, you’ve likely toyed a lot with finding your average nightly rate “sweet spot.” It’s a bit like impersonating Goldilocks: You’ve got to find a rate that’s not too high, not too low, but just right. And, as part of your rate, you’ll need to include a cleaning fee… But what’s a “fair” Airbnb cleaning fee? And how can you ensure your “fair” fee isn’t scaring off guests?

 

How much should you charge? 

Good question. In the age of Covid, chances are that guests are more willing to accept “higher” cleaning fees than ever before. That said, there are still plenty who will balk at the sight of what they deem “excessive” costs.

To figure out your magic cleaning fee number, here’s what we suggest:

At a minimum, know exactly how much you’re going to charge. Make sure that however you decide to divvy it up – be it across a guest’s stay or publicized entirely in the cleaning fee – that you’re going to get enough to cover your costs. Base this amount on your actual MaidThis cleaning fee or based on quotes from vacation rental-specific cleaning companies. Don’t look at regular residential cleaning fees to decide on your Airbnb cleaning fee. They’re not the same (and shouldn’t be).

Also, keep in mind that this shouldn’t be a place where you’re trying to make an extra buck or two. Charge only what you need to cover your Airbnb cleaning costs. 

Then, look at what your competitors are listing for their cleaning fees. You might be surprised to see how much they fluctuate from listing to listing. You might also discern that other hosts are wrapping up some of their cleaning fees into their nightly rates. 

Finally, make a decision about how you want to publicize your cleaning fee. It’s as simple as that.

 

How do you avoid losing potential guests because of a “too high” Airbnb cleaning fee?

Efficient and effective cleaning is very much a subjective viewpoint. Folks who may travel less often or who don’t understand the costs associated with ensuring turnovers are extensive from stay to stay may be turned off by a high cleaning fee – especially one that may exceed the cost of their entire stay.

So how do you combat this? By getting smart about how you publicize (or don’t publicize) your cleaning fee. 

 

Option 1: Put your cleaning fee front and center.

Whether you’re cleaning up yourself or paying a professional service like MaidThis to turn over your vacation rental, the most obvious option is to include your cleaning fee – all of it – in the specified place in your listing. 

There’s one definitive downside to this: Depending on how “expensive” your Airbnb cleaning fee is perceived to be, you run the risk of losing some potential guests. 

All that said, it’s still a common move for hosts to add full cleaning fees to their listings.

 

Option 2: Add part (or all) of your cleaning fee into your average nightly rate.

Instead of blatantly mentioning your cleaning fee, you could opt to spread it out across your guests’ stays. 

This obviously makes your nightly rate go up a bit, but it also keeps less experienced (or “stingy”) guests from having a heart attack at your clean-up price tag. Assuming your average nightly rate is still within range of your closest competitors in terms of similar stays near you and throughout the larger area, this little trick should come off without a hitch. 

The best way to ensure you’re still bringing in enough money to actually cover your cleaning costs is to require a minimum stay. This way, you can split some (or all) of your cleaning fee across multiple nights, ultimately lowering the overall perceived cost by guests. When you have guests who are staying for a single night, it can be more challenging to ensure you’re getting enough money from their booking to cover the cost of a turnover – especially if you’re not doing it yourself. (If you’re renting out a room, this may matter less. If you’re renting out an entire home, this is where you can get into more trouble and end up spending money out of your own pocket.)

By including at least part of what you intend to charge for cleaning in the actual fee space provided, you help them understand that you do take cleaning seriously. This is true even if it’s a small amount (under $50).

 

Deciding how much to charge for your cleaning fee is a bit like a game – while ensuring you cover costs to turn over your vacation rental you have to also ensure you’re not scaring off potential guests. Do a little research and get smart with your advertising, and ultimately ensure your cleaning costs are covered after every check-out.

 

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Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
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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

Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning for Hosts

Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning for Hosts from MaidThis.com

Like everyone in the hospitality industry, Airbnb is making some important changes to its cleanliness guidelines. While cleaning has always been an obvious “front and center” issue, it’s now even more of a concern thanks to the coronavirus that just won’t go away.

Having a visibly clean home is great, but these days, it’s simply not enough. A safe listing is a sanitized listing and the best way to achieve that is by following Airbnb’s new guidelines as outlined in their Cleaning Quick Start Guide.

Here are a few things to know about the new “normal” for turnover cleanings and how to snag the new Airbnb enhanced cleaning badge of honor.

 

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing

We’ve said it before: Though there’s a tendency to use these two words interchangeably, “cleaning” and “sanitizing” don’t actually mean the same thing. Here’s a quick primer.

“Cleaning” means you’re removing dirt and other debris from a surface. Think of when you wipe down your kitchen counters or table after preparing and eating a meal: There are likely a few food splatters that made their way out of the pan or off the plate and you’ll wipe them away with a soapy sponge or rag.

When cleaning, you’re removing things from surfaces that aren’t a real danger to you or anyone else – they’re not likely to make you sick. 

“Sanitizing,” on the other hand, means you’re doing more than just removing dirt – you’re breaking down and removing germs and other harmful particles that have made their way onto surfaces. This requires more than just the average soap-and-sponge cleaning method; you should be using chemicals with disinfecting agents to kill those kinds of particulates.

To achieve a truly “safe” turnover, you should be both cleaning and sanitizing your vacation rental. 

 

The 5-Step Cleaning Process behind Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning

Airbnb (and, incidentally, MaidThis) has a straightforward 5-step process for turning over vacation rentals.

 

1. Prepare

Prep everything you’re going to need to clean. This includes ventilating rooms, compiling all necessary supplies, washing hands before starting to clean and sanitize, and wearing (ideally disposable) PPE.

 

2. Clean

Start the turnover off right by dusting and cleaning all the surfaces with gentler solvents to remove dirt and debris from surfaces so you can better disinfect in the next step. Take out the trash if guests left any behind, start the laundry and wash linens in hot water, and vacuum or sweep the floors. 

It’s also important to wash all the dishes and cookware in the kitchen – even if they appear clean – to avoid any cross-contamination. Preferably, kitchen items should be washed in the dishwasher if you have one.

 

3. Sanitize

Follow up your cleaning by sanitizing all the surfaces you’ve just cleaned and areas you didn’t clean with a fine-mist disinfectant spray. Focus on high-touch areas and objects, like remote controls, doorknobs, side tables, and countertops.

 

4. Check

Check your list to ensure you’ve done #allthethings in #alltheplaces. Then double-check because you can never be too careful.

 

5. Reset and Restock

Now that everything is safe and clean, start to reset the space. Make beds, replace consumables like tissues, toilet paper, and toiletries. Remake beds and place linens in their normal spots. 

 

As a MaidThis client, you can rest assured that our teams and partners are following Airbnb’s guidelines to a “T.” If you haven’t already, we encourage you to commit to Airbnb’s new cleaning protocol. You’ll be rewarded with a badge highlighting your listing as having an “enhanced clean.” There’s no better way to assure you’re guests you’re taking their stay – and their health – seriously.

 

Check out the MaidThis Covid Resource Center for tips, downloadable graphics, and more information on how to keep your guests safe during their stay.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • 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

Local Airbnb Bookings Are Surging for Summer

 

Local Airbnb bookings are surging for summer from MaidThis.com

Corona-cabin fever is real and plenty of people are sick and tired of looking at their own walls. While international airplane travel is definitely down and will continue to take a hit this year, local travel is making a comeback.

People with vacation time to kill may not travel across the globe, but they may travel cross-country. Airbnb is reporting a massive boost in same-country bookings compared to this time last year. According to AirDNA, an international Airbnb data analysis company, bookings in the US are continuing to inch upward.

So, what does this new little surge mean for you as an Airbnb host? Get ready now: Depending on where in the country you’re located, it could mean a helpful uptick in your bookings, too.

 

Folks are itching to get out of their own neighborhoods.

The extended period of local lockdowns has even the most dedicated “home-bodies” scrambling to make plans to get out of the house. Now that restrictions are lifting, we’re likely to see a slight shift in the meaning of the popularized term “staycation.” Folks may stay close to home, but not actually at home and ultimately make plans to get even a few miles down the road.

Now, more than ever, having “fancy” or high-ticket amenities is a sure way to draw in guests. People are building up some courage to leave their homes and stay in an Airbnb, yes. But they’re not as likely to be flocking to neighborhood farmers’ markets, cafes, or events (which have mostly been canceled anyway).

Things like having an above-average outfitted kitchen, a household Netflix or HBO subscription, a killer surround sound system, video gaming systems, or even a stash of “old school” games like “Clue” or “Phase 10” are sure to appeal to guests just looking to find some fresh surroundings.

Be sure to implement a deposit system through Airbnb to protect any big-ticket items you may have or plan to add to your vacation rental.

 

Not to mention, summer is officially here.

Many people are eager for a change of scene and summer is traditionally the time for vacations and fun. It isn’t just single people looking, either – it’s people with families.

Families are figuring out their own forms of “new normals” and chances are, many summer vacation plans that were in the works are now distant memories. Big crowd-drawers like Disneyland have made changes to how they’ll handle their own guests and will likely see massive dips in their numbers despite enacting social distancing measures.

That said, parents with youngsters who have been out of school for months now are ready for a break – even if that just means doing the same routines in a new setting and foregoing bigger vacation plans. 

Again, guests are looking for different things these days: Proximity to large venues is far less important than it once was and things like parking availability are likely to rank higher on vacation rental wish lists. 

 

As Americans continue to become more comfortable with the thought of traveling both locally and domestically, it’s becoming clearer that all is not lost for vacation rental hosts. 

So, what does this information combination mean for you as a host?

Here’s our biggest piece of advice for the moment: If you haven’t already, now is a great time to accept instant bookings. Many folks are making decisions at the last minute to leave their homes for a short weekend as lockdown restrictions are lifting. By allowing guests to book instantly, you further increase the possibility of increasing your occupancy rate.

 

Looking for more ideas to keep your guests safe and ensure them of the steps you’re taking? Be sure to check out our MaidThis Covid -19 Resource Center.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • 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

Increase Bookings during COVID-19: Airbnb Coronavirus Tips for Hosts

Increase Bookings during COVID-19: Airbnb Coronavirus Tips for Hosts

COVID-19 has changed the hospitality industry – if not forever, at least for the time being. Airlines, hotels, and vacation rentals are all having to cope with massive changes in order to keep both their guests and their staff safe.

These changes are coming about not only because of the highly transmissible coronavirus, but also because without them, travelers aren’t likely to feel confident about venturing out to places where they have little control over their surroundings.

So as a vacation rental host, you may be asking yourself what you should be doing to not only give your guests peace of mind when they stay with you, but also what you should be doing to drum up more business. 

Here are 7 Airbnb coronavirus tips to help ensure your potential and confirmed guests that you’ve got everything covered.

 

Airbnb Coronavirus Tip #1: Update your listing description.

Chances are you were already planning to do this (or already have), but it’s still worth listing in our tips. The point we want to make here is to be mindful of the language you’re using in your listing and to use specific key phrases.

 

1. Add the words “sanitized” or “sterile” to your vacation rental listing name.

Yes, we’re completely serious – this is not going overboard; it’s the bare minimum. Whatever cute name you had before can stay, but adding these words will help you immediately stand out from part-time side hustlers that aren’t using their Airbnb listings as a major source of income or treating them like true businesses. 

Check out how these hosts from Sedona, Kuala Lumpur, and London have updated their listing names.

While you’re at it, you might even want to throw in “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” with your “sanitized” or “sterile” to really beef up your new headline. 

 

2. Add a “sanitized” phrase or sentence to the top of your listing description. 

While your title definitely needs an update, your actual description could do with a reassuring facelift, too.

Guests are on the lookout now for every hint that you’ve meticulously turned over your vacation rental after previous guests have checked out. There’s no better way to put them at ease than to repeat yourself for good measure. 

At the top of your listing, be sure to highlight that you’ve either “sanitized” or “sterilized” your home from top to bottom. You don’t have to get crazy-detailed if that’s not your thing; a single sentence should do the trick. 

Need some help with this? Copy our sanitization message below and paste it into your listing:

 

**COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATE** This home is professionally sanitized and all high-touch areas are thoroughly sterilized between stays. We take the safety and health of our guests very seriously.

 

You can embellish if you’d like – check out this listing in San Diego for an example – or simply leave the message as it is. 

 

3. Add a photo to your Airbnb listing detailing the turnover cleaning process and keep it close to the lead photo.

Here’s another no-brainer: The more you can do to reiterate you’re taking COVID-19 and effective sanitization and sterilization seriously, the more confidence your guests will have in you as a host. 

While it’s true that people are visual shoppers and will be looking for the right words in your listing, they’re going to be even more impressed if you can literally show them what you’re doing to ensure their safety. 

To make this super easy, we’ve created a downloadable graphic in the MaidThis COVID Resource Center for you. Just pop this into your photo lineup and you’ll be good as gold. 

 

Airbnb Coronavirus Tip #2: Make some COVID-inspired changes in your home.

In all seriousness, your preparations and marketing shouldn’t stop at your listing updates. It’s imperative that you make some changes or additions to your home and how you run your business (for better or for worse, unfortunately). 

We’re not suggesting you go out and buy a sanitization fogger for yourself (though you could do that and possibly write it off on your taxes next year) but there are a few small-ish things you can do.

While you’re in the process of updating your listing, you might want to also make mention of the things you’ve done to make your vacation rental more COVID-safe. 

 

4. Switch your main door locks to keyless entry options.

Cut down on guests needing to use actual keys (and you having to disinfect them after every checkout) or touch much of your entry door by adding keyless entry locks.

Some locks are designed in such a way that guests can enter codes with their knuckles rather than their fingertips, further protecting the deadbolt system from becoming a new home for COVID virus particles or your guests picking it up from there.

 

5. Deck the halls with disinfectant. (Fa la la la la, la la la la)

At this point, no amount of hand sanitizer is too much. If you can manage to get your hands on enough, put hand sanitizer and/or sanitizer wipes in every room of your home. While it’s still a bit hard to come by in some places, you can still purchase bottles from a few major retailers

Additionally, consider adding a portable disinfectant stand by the door so guests can sanitize their hands the minute they walk in. Even if you’ve installed a keyless deadbolt, guests should clean their hands as soon as they can. 

This is a habit we’re all getting the hang of, so by putting a sanitization station immediately inside the entrance, you’re helping create a new habit and protecting your guests and ultimately your vacation rental. Put a photo of this in your listing pictures to market it along with your downloadable cleaning graphic.

 

6. Display your Airbnb turnover cleaning checklist.

Give your guests the ultimate peace of mind by leaving a copy of your cleaning checklist. Seeing exactly what goes into a turnover cleaning will help them better understand the amount of care and attention to detail you’ve put into ensuring their safety and comfort. 

Download and print out the COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist provided by Airbnb from the MaidThis COVID-19 Resource Center and leave it on the kitchen counter or in another obvious spot in your home. Your guests will appreciate it and may even go as far as to mention it in their review.

 

7. Air out your Airbnb between guests.

While the norm pre-COVID may have been to stack as many check-ins and check-outs back-to-back as you could muster, now the opposite is true. 

Airbnb Official Guidelines recommend that you leave your home vacant for 24-72 hours between guests to help eliminate viruses. If you can, open windows to help circulate fresh air. Make a point to mention all of this in your updated description, too.

 

While it’s true that we’re all heading for a “new normal,” this isn’t the end for Airbnb hosts. As travelers gain more confidence and begin learning how to better protect themselves as they move around the globe, things will get better. 

The best way to ensure your success is to make changes now, whether big or small. The more you can do to reassure your guests by using these Airbnb coronavirus tips, the more likely you’ll be to bounce back quickly and finish the year on a high note.

 

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

Hosting through the Coronavirus Surge

hosting an airbnb during coronavirus covid-19

The novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, is coming in full force. Technically, it’s already here. It should come as no surprise that millions of travelers across the globe are canceling their plans – both out of fear and because of legitimate, lawful restrictions.

There’s a lot of fear going around and for good reason, but there’s no reason to panic. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but the reality is that many, many people will feel some negative repercussions as the result of COVID-19 this year, especially the travel and hospitality industries. 

As a vacation rental host, here are some facts about the current situation as well as a few tips on what you can do to weather the storm. 

 

COVID-19’s Impact on Travel

As of now, main airline carriers in the United States, including Delta, American, and United have interrupted or completely suspended flights to and from countries hardest hit by the virus, including Italy, South Korea, and mainland China. Though these changes are not permanent, they clearly put a damper on travelers visiting the US from abroad. 

Travelers from those same countries have been denied entry to dozens of other countries around the globe as the mass public deals with containing the outbreak.

Within the US, at the time of this writing, no travel restrictions are in place. However, as the virus continues to spread from state to state, that may change to help curb the spread of the virus. After the cancellation of SXSW in Austin last week, it’s likely that many more events will follow suit this spring. Unsurprisingly, guest cancellations will follow future event cancellations.

 

COVID-19 in California

As of Sunday, more than 110 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the state of California alone. Los Angeles County had, as of March 8, identified 14 cases of the coronavirus and the county and city officials have declared a state of emergency

Most concerningly, workers from LAX International came into contact with a traveler who had the virus but was showing no symptoms. Due to the sheer size of the state and because of the density of metropolises like LA, state officials “have acknowledged that the spread of the virus is beyond their control,” according to the LA Times.

The important thing to remember is to not panic. Basic health and safety protocols like washing hands, keeping a safe distance of 3-6 feet from people you don’t know or who appear sick, and avoiding touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth – are all ways you and those around you can avoid contracting the virus.

Maintaining High Occupancy & Revenue

This year’s high season is likely to look more like a low season. While you can’t control what people do, you can control how you market your vacation rental. Here are a few tips for doing what you can to stay on top.

 

1. Publicize that you sanitize in your listing title.

Sanitizing is a big way public locales can protect visitors from contracting the COVID-19 virus because while we don’t know how long the virus can live on surfaces, according to the WHO, we do know that it seems to react similarly to sanitization the way other coronaviruses do – meaning it can be killed with a quick cleaning.

By reassuring your guests that your place is COVID-19 free from the get-go, they’re more likely to flock to your listing. 

When we turn over your Airbnb after guests check out, we make sure to wipe down and clean every surface. You and your guests can rest assured that your place is a safe zone.

 

2. Adjust your cancellation policy.

Airbnb has already put a special COVID-19 cancellation policy in place for travelers going to or traveling from infected areas. That said, it makes you look better if you relax your cancellation policy and explain in your listing that you’re allowing flexible cancellations due to concerns surrounding the virus. 

At the top of your listing description, write a sentence or two that explains you’re open to flexible cancellations because you understand your guests’ concerns about traveling during the COVID-19 outbreak. Put them at ease from the start.

 

3. Offer airport pickup as a safe add-on service.

Right now everyone is concerned about using public transportation because you just can’t be sure who’s been in the car, bus, or train and when it was last sanitized. 

By offering your guests transport to and from the airport (for a fee!), you can guarantee their health safety. Of course, this means you need to take precautions and ensure your transportation is truly sanitized. 

 

4. Consider adding an Airbnb Experience to your hosting lineup.

The beauty of offering experiences is that you can market to both local and out-of-town guests. While guests may be canceling their stays in Los Angeles and greater California, locals who are staying closer to home might be looking for ways to get out of the house.

Experiences can be confined to small groups which, due to how easily the virus can be passed in large groups, may be comforting to many experience guests. You can also advertise your experience on social media the same way you would your home listing and thanks to the robustness of advertising platforms like Facebook, you can target a very local market.

 

Don’t lose hope yet: There are still ways to keep your vacation rental business afloat during this season of uncertainty. Remember to stay calm and practice good health habits. As always, keep an open door communication policy with your guests. By following our tips, you’ll be more likely to keep your bookings up and cancellations down.

 

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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
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Is It Still Worth Becoming a Superhost?

should i become an airbnb superhost?

Since the program launched in 2009, there’s been much debate in the Airbnb community about whether it’s worth becoming a Superhost. While the vacation rental market is more saturated than ever, the fact remains that Superhosts see significant benefits to this day. 

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Superhost, here’s what you need to know. 

 

What Is a Superhost?

A Superhost, as the name suggests, is the highest tier of hosts on Airbnb. These are the top performers who consistently deliver on quality and rent their property (or in some cases, properties) for a significant amount of time throughout the year. It’s also worth mentioning that though Superhosts can be hosts of Airbnb Plus listings, they do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. 

There are a few benefits to becoming a Superhost. For one, Airbnb prioritizes Superhosts and features their rental properties in newsletters and searches, allowing them to reach a wider audience and ultimately make more money. 

Guests can also choose to limit their searches to Superhosts, which especially appeals to travelers worried about falling victim to a scam. The Superhost badge lends you more credibility so potential guests will feel more at ease while booking. As a Superhost, you also have access to priority customer support that allows you to get help faster when you need it. 

Finally, there are a few additional bonuses, such as an extra 20% to your referral bonus and a $100 travel coupon after each year of Superhost status. And of course, you’ll have the coveted Superhost badge featured on your profile. 

 

How to Become a Superhost

The requirements for becoming a Superhost have changed a few times since the program’s initial launch. According to the Airbnb website, here are the current requirements for becoming a Superhost:

  • 90% or higher response rate
  • Cancellation rate of 1% or lower, except in the event of extenuating circumstances
  • Overall rating of 4.8 or higher in the past year
  • At least 10 trips or 3 reservations that total at least 100 nights

 

You’ll automatically be granted Superhost status once you meet all of the requirements, no application required. However, this is more difficult in practice than it looks on paper. The high response rate means you’ll need to reply to over 90% of inquiries within 24 hours, which can be difficult if you have another job in addition to your rental business. 

You’ll also need to make sure your rental property is immaculately clean and that you go above and beyond in your customer service. This can mean offering additional amenities, answering questions immediately, providing a guest care package, and more. The work required pays off in increased bookings and more revenue, especially in desirable vacation destinations. 

 

While you can certainly make money on Airbnb without becoming a Superhost, the flashy badge and recognition certainly give your listing a boost. If you only rent your property on occasion, you might not hit enough bookings to meet the requirements. 

Ultimately, if you have the time and dedication needed to pursue Superhost status, you’ll see it pay off in higher profits. Despite the fact that there are more Superhosts now than ever before, serious hosts still benefit from the added perks. 

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
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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

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The Best Airbnb Management Tools for 2020

best airbnb management tools 2020

 

Running an Airbnb requires the same skills as running a small business. If you’re not organized, things can easily slip through the cracks. A misstep on crucial parts of the vacation rental process can lead to unhappy guests, or worse – problems during tax season

Here are 4 of the best Airbnb management tools that can help you keep your business on track and elevate your rentals in 2020. 

 

Guesty

Guesty is one of the most popular Airbnb management softwares on the market. One of the main draws is a 24/7 guest hotline that can manage communications with your guests even while you’re unavailable. This can considerably lessen the pressure on you as a host and provides a backup plan for times when you can’t respond. 

Guesty offers tools for every step of the vacation rental process. From analytics to see how your listing performs to a unified inbox for guest correspondence, this software is designed to help you perform better. Pricing varies depending on your specific business needs, so talk to their team if you want a quote. 

 

Expensify

Expensify is an app that allows you to easily keep track of all of your receipts, making it easier than ever to stay on top of your business spending. Using it is simple: Just take a picture of the receipt and the app will pull all the relevant information for you. No need to worry about making a typo when entering all of those numbers!

In addition, Expensify can automatically categorize your receipts and you can sync it with most accounting software tools for a streamlined process. It’s just $5 per month per user which is well worth the price if you rack up a lot of monthly expenses. 

 

Wunderlist 

Hosting comes with a long list of responsibilities and if you’re not organized, some of them won’t get done. Wunderlist allows you to create any number of to-do lists and share them with other users, making it ideal for collaborating with co-hosts if you have them. 

You can set deadlines, add notes, and set up reminders so no task gets left behind. The business plan is $4.99 per month for each user, which is a small price to pay for the perks you get. 

 

Quickbooks

In order to keep your business in the green, it’s vital to manage your finances correctly and efficiently. Quickbooks allows you to keep track of your expenses, send invoices right from your phone, set up automatic payments for recurring charges, and stay on top of your financial documents. 

The most popular plan is their Plus option, which is $35 per month. It allows for up to 5 users and features mileage tracking, time tracking, contractor management, and more. They also offer plans as low as $12 per month if you don’t need the full range of services. No matter the plan you choose, tax season will be a lot easier with Quickbooks on your side. 

 

While hosting can be a big job, there are plenty of ways to stay organized if you have the right tools. The right software can go a long way towards helping you get ahead. If you take the time to incorporate these apps into your rental business, you’re sure to reach new heights in 2020.

 

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • 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

3 Things You Can Learn from Airbnb Luxe Listings

airbnb host learn from airbnb luxe listings

 

Airbnb has launched an offshoot luxury vacation rental business called Airbnb Luxe, which caters to guests looking to rent large, expensive properties such as mansions or villas. This is the service celebrities would use to book their next vacation⁠ – if they did that sort of thing themselves, that is.

While Airbnb Luxe focuses on high-society clients and expensive vacation rentals, there are a few things you can learn from this top-tier service no matter the size of your property. Here are 3 things you can do in order to channel luxe energy into your own rental property listing.

1. Play up the luxury like an Airbnb Luxe listing.

Your rental property doesn’t need to be enormous for you to make it look luxurious. Focus on using high-quality photography in your listing in order to show your property in the best possible light. Use the same techniques you might employ if you were trying to sell your home because, in a way, you are!

There are a few easy things you can do to upgrade the appearance of your rental property without breaking the bank. Plants, both real or realistically fake, can give your home a cozy but lush vibe. Moreover, adding decorative pillows or new area rugs can completely change the look of your existing space. If you’ve had the same decor for a while, try changing things up! 

2. Provide high-quality amenities.

You can bet that the mini shampoo bottles provided in Airbnb Luxe properties don’t come from the dollar store. Invest in sophisticated accents for your guests: sheets with a high thread count, fluffy towels, shampoos and lotions from high-end brands, or even spa-quality bathrobes for them to use. 

Even if your guests aren’t staying at a fancy estate, you can make them feel like they are. Think about what a celebrity would look for in a rental property and deliver that experience to your guests. 

3. Become an unexpected “trip designer” for your guests.

One of the main assets of Airbnb Luxe is the fact that each stay comes with a “trip designer,” or a personal travel consultant to help guests with everything from rides to the airport to booking additional experiences during their stay. 

You don’t have to be quite that hands-on, but offering to help your guests book their local experiences or arranging rides to and from the airport can help them out a lot. It’s often easier for a local to recommend and book these activities than it is for someone who’s not from the area. 

If you don’t have the time or energy to do these things yourself, you can still help your guests out. Spend a few hours researching the best companies in town for transportation, experiences, rentals, and more, and provide a list to your guests upon booking. 

 

At the end of the day, whether you’re renting out an apartment or an entire estate, you can utilize the strategies of Airbnb Luxe to give your guests an elevated experience. Treating your guests like celebrities will leave a memorable impression from booking to checkout. 

 

At MaidThis, we’re here to help you take your vacation rental property to the next level. For a cleaning service you can rely on time and time again, check out what MaidThis! can do for you.

 

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