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Year-End Review for Short-Term Rental Industry

2020 Year-End Review for Short-Term Rental Industry from MaidThis.com

It’s clear to everyone that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected travel in unprecedented ways. Some hosts have struggled to maintain their businesses this year, while others in different parts of the country have enjoyed renewed success as restrictions have shifted throughout the course of 2020. 

Guesty has surveyed over 400 vacation rental owners to discover just how the pandemic has affected bookings throughout the year and has released their findings in their “Industry Report: State of the Short-Term Rental Industry Amid COVID-19.” 

Here are 5 of the most important takeaways for vacation rental hosts and the STR industry as a whole. 

 

1. Travel is more spontaneous. 

As the news about the pandemic seems to change every day, it’s becoming more difficult for people to make long-term plans. As such, last-minute bookings have become the norm. According to the hosts surveyed, 30% of reservations were made within 30 days of a stay, 40% of reservations were made within one week, and 15% were made the same day.

 

2. Families are looking for space. 

Lockdown has forced many families to cut back on their usual activities, which can be particularly hard on young children – especially if a family doesn’t have an adequate outdoor space for kids to run around and play at home.

Because of this, vacation rentals with large yards have seen a jump in popularity. If your property has a great outdoor space, be sure to highlight this in your listing to attract guests who are looking for a little more space. 

 

3. Digital nomads are thriving. 

With many companies switching to full-time remote work, employees are free to work from anywhere with a reliable wi-fi connection. Because of this, rental hosts have seen an increase in extended stays, with the majority being around 1-3 months in length. 

Earlier in the year, many travelers were looking to escape the city, so hosts in remote areas were more likely to see this type of extended stay. However, as the pandemic stretches on, people have begun booking stays in larger cities once again, so many hosts can capitalize on this demographic. 

 

4. Flexible cancellation can help. 

In the spring and summer, there was a rise in emergency cancellations, as COVID-19 restrictions progressed at a different pace everywhere around the world. Today, according to the report, the majority of cancellations occur 2-3 weeks before a trip, which is a significant improvement.

While those last-minute cancellations have tapered off, a flexible cancellation policy is likely to make guests feel more comfortable when booking their stay, especially as cases are on the rise in the United States. 22% of the hosts surveyed in the industry report have found that flexible cancellation was the most helpful strategy for their business in 2020.

 

5. Expect more bookings, but also more cancellations. 

Many travelers feel more comfortable booking an Airbnb than staying in a hotel. Guests report feeling safer in an Airbnb, as there are fewer common areas and shared surfaces, fewer people, and less guest turnover than in hotels. 

Because of this, travelers who would normally stay in a hotel for the holidays may book Airbnbs instead. However, COVID-19 is expected to spike after Thanksgiving. If regulations surrounding health and safety become more strict, more guests are likely to cancel their stays and decide not to travel at all for Christmas and New Year’s. 

 

While travel has changed beyond what we could have expected in 2020, it’s clear that many vacation rental owners are still seeing a level of success. The important thing is to understand the shifting trends and make adjustments to your business strategy accordingly.

 

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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.
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5 Tips for Writing a Killer Airbnb Description

5 Tips for Writing a Killer Airbnb Description from MaidThis.com

We’ve written in the past about the importance of choosing the right photo for your Airbnb listing. While a picture says a thousand words, you’ll still need a killer description if you want to attract the right guests. 

If you’re not sure what makes for a good Airbnb description, don’t worry. Here are our 5 top tips. 

 

1. Make the title catchy.

When a potential guest is searching for a vacation rental, they could be scrolling through hundreds of similar properties in a certain area. Make sure yours stands out right from the search results page with a catchy title that will make them want to click. 

Your title should be descriptive and let potential guests know what to expect. Instead of just writing “San Francisco condo,” be specific about neighborhoods, nearby attractions, or features that your property has to offer. 

 

2. Emphasize what makes you unique. 

Chances are, many properties in your area offer similar benefits in terms of home size and location. You’ll need to emphasize your own unique selling points in order to beat out the competition. 

You might want to point out a specific amenity you offer, nearby attractions, the size of the yard, pools or jacuzzis, or anything else that might appeal to a potential guest. 

If there’s nothing unusual about the property itself, you can create a unique selling point by going above and beyond. Include gaming consoles for guests to play, provide equipment for outdoor recreation, throw in passes to local activities, or feature other bonuses that will entice guests to book. 

 

3. Know your audience. 

If you try to cast too wide a net with your target audience, you might not end up attracting anyone. It’s better to be specific when writing an Airbnb description so you can win over the type of guest that’s most likely to book. 

For example, if your property is a big house with a yard, you don’t want to target couples looking for a romantic getaway. Mentioning family-friendly activities in the area is likely to be much more persuasive to your potential guests. 

 

4. Keep it short and sweet. 

Many people don’t have the patience to read a wall of text. If all your information is crammed into a single, long paragraph, people might close out of your listing before they even see what you have to offer. 

Consider the fact that many potential guests will be looking through multiple properties before making a booking decision. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find out what they need from your listing, even if they’re just skimming.

Use strategic formatting like paragraph breaks to make your description easy to read. If there is any really relevant information that a guest should know before booking, or something you think is sure to wow them, put it near the beginning of your listing so they won’t miss it. 

 

5. Answer the FAQs.

If your guest has questions about your property, they probably won’t reach out to you unless they’re really serious about booking it. That means you might be losing out on more casual browsers if you don’t include all the information they need up-front. Anticipate everything your guests will want to know about your property and include it in your listing. 

 

You don’t have to be a professional writer when writing an Airbnb description for your listing – it’s all about the strategy. By keeping a potential guest’s needs in mind, you can create a description that targets your ideal audience and converts their browsing to bookings. 

 

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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.
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Airbnb Host in LA
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Hours
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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.
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Writing Negative Guest Reviews: Dos and Don’ts

How to write negative reviews for Airbnb guests from MaidThis.com

As a host, you hope every guest treats your property with respect. However, even if you vet each guest properly, it’s possible that you’ll eventually end up with a bad hosting experience at some point in your business.  

In this case, you should feel free to write a negative guest review to spare other hosts from suffering the same fate. That said, negative guest reviews must be handled with care in order to help your case. Before you write that review, here are some dos and don’ts to consider. 

 

Do: Think it over. 

A negative guest review should be a last resort when all other methods of resolution have failed. Before you write one, ask yourself: is it really necessary? Wait a few days so you’re not responding out of fresh-set anger.

Sometimes you might have a guest that rubs you the wrong way, but they still treat your property well and their stay goes off without a hitch. Sometimes a problem stems from communication issues that are out of the guest’s control. 

However, there are some incidents that absolutely warrant a negative review, including:

 

  • • Damage to your property.
  • • Items being stolen or broken.
  • • Repeated violations of your guidelines.
  • • Breaking the law.

 

If these have occurred at your property, you’re not only allowed to write a negative guest review, but you arguably have a responsibility to other hosts to do so. 

 

Do: Be professional. 

If you’re thinking about leaving a negative guest review, you might be worried that the guest will retaliate by writing a bad review of their own. The Airbnb review process is double-blinded, which means neither party can see the other’s review until both reviews have been written, which reduces the chance of retaliation. 

However, it’s still important to remain professional and courteous in your tone when writing your negative review. The point of leaving a guest review isn’t to publicly shame the guest; it’s to make sure the guest acts better in the future and to make other hosts aware of a potential issue. There’s no need to be aggressive or impolite when delivering this message.

 

Don’t: Air dirty laundry.

Once you get started writing a negative guest review, you might be tempted to include every little thing your guests did wrong in order to really drive your points home. Getting personal or oversharing can actually damage your credibility as a host and isn’t necessary to get your point across. 

Your review should be concise and to the point. Be specific when explaining what the issues were, but don’t give more detail than is needed. Include the points that are egregious, but avoid dwelling on smaller issues that wouldn’t normally be a problem if everything else had gone well. These can take away from the integrity of your overall argument. 

 

Don’t: Try to sugarcoat it.

Many hosts feel awkward when writing a negative review. No one wants to come across as rude, so it’s tempting to downplay the issues at hand to avoid hurting your guest’s feelings. However, sugarcoating your review doesn’t do anyone any favors. 

The guest won’t understand that their behavior was out of line, and might not understand why you’re leaving them a negative review at all. In addition, future hosts won’t realize the severity of the guest’s behavior and may accept their bookings without a second thought. It’s important to be honest in your review so that everyone involved is clear on the situation. 

 

Leaving a negative review can feel uncomfortable, but it’s an important aspect of running a vacation rental business. As long as you’re professional in your delivery and have legitimate complaints, you’ll be using the review function as intended and doing everyone involved a favor. 

 

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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
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Set Up Airbnb Automation for the New Year

Set Up Airbnb Automation for the New Year from MaidThis Airbnb Cleaning

As the year comes to a close, it’s more important than ever to look into how you can make your life easier in 2021. One of the best ways to increase your revenue without increasing your workload is to invest in Airbnb automation. 

Now is a great time to review your processes and figure out ways to save time and energy. Here are 5 things you can do. 

 

1. Mark down any trends. 

2020 has caused unprecedented changes in the vacation rental industry, and the seasonal trends of years past might not apply in the age of the pandemic. However, at least in the United States, we’re likely to see the effects of this virus continue into 2021. 

To start your year-end review, it’s worth looking at how this year compared to previous years in terms of trends to see how the pandemic affected your business. Were people traveling during different seasons than usual, or traveling in smaller groups than previous years? Keep these new trends in mind as you update and optimize your listings for the new year. 

 

2. Write down your FAQs. 

Look back over your communication with potential guests from the past year. What questions were asked that you don’t already answer on your listing? 

It’s worth saving a document of form responses or message templates for the most common questions so you don’t have to keep typing up your correspondence from scratch.

 

3. Consider property management. 

A property management company can automate many aspects of the Airbnb process for you, from tackling customer service to optimizing your listings. The year’s end is a great time to look over your profits from the past 12 months and decide if hiring a property management company is right for your budget.

If you’ve been using a property management company, it’s also a good time to evaluate how well it’s been working for you. If you haven’t noticed a dramatic increase in profits, you might want to consider switching companies. 

 

4. Use Smart Pricing, if it’s right for you.

Airbnb’s Smart Pricing considers over 70 factors when adjusting your prices for you. For property owners who don’t want to keep track of optimal pricing, especially when the world is so unpredictable, this can be an attractive way to automate your listings. 

Smart Pricing can be helpful to some Airbnb owners, but others may find more success with manually adjusting their pricing. You might find that Smart Pricing isn’t as accurate as researching your competition can be. It all depends on your area and what works for your property, so play around with it before setting and forgetting. 

 

5.  Try touchless check-in. 

Many hosts are finding that automating their check-in process not only makes their lives easier, but is a hit with guests, as well. 

Touchless check-in is more popular than ever due to the pandemic. You can automate this by opting for keypad entry or a lockbox with a key for your rental property, then letting guests know the code before they arrive. 

 

The end of the year is always a great time to re-evaluate your Airbnb strategies, but especially now that so much has changed in 2020. Hosts have had to make many adjustments, but you can make your job much easier moving forward by automating your business for 2021. 

 

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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
Saved

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Recharge Yourself as a Host this Fall

Recharge Yourself as an Airbnb Host from MaidThis.com

Someday, we’ll all be able to look back on 2020 and laugh, right?… We can only hope. 

There’s no denying that this year has been, in the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper, “a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck.” (His remarks were in response to the first presidential debate, but they still apply to the year as a whole, wouldn’t you say?)

So, while a few things remain on this year’s check-off list, one thing may not be on your to-dos that really should be is to recharge

We’ve all taken a beating and we all need a little R&R. Here are a few of our recommendations on how to recharge yourself as a vacation rental host this fall. Best of all, they’ll fit any budget. 

 

1. Book an Airbnb staycation.

You may be rolling your eyes at this one, but hear us out on this one. There are two reasons we recommend going this route: 

A) You’re away from home and a true guest somewhere else, and 

B) If you can’t help but work, you can take the opportunity to spy a little on your competition.

We recommend going a little crazy here and booking a night or two in a place that you wouldn’t normally – maybe something more expensive than you’d typically look for. Consider a place like this super-hip downtown loft or really get outside the city in this cozy Airbnb Plus historic home once owned by actress Bette Davis.

The idea here is to, for once, be the guest and not the host. Treat yo’self. 

 

2. Support local businesses: Book a spa appointment, order a hefty take-out order from your favorite restaurant, and look for other “shop local” opportunities.

Everyone is struggling these days, especially small businesses across America. If you’re looking to recharge yourself, you can also do a little good by supporting your peers.

If you’re not comfortable visiting a spa, purchase a gift card from them or buy one for a friend. You’re still supporting the business! If funds are tight, look for deals on Groupon.

If you’re not comfortable (or unable to because of city or state closure mandates) sitting in a restaurant to eat, order a big takeout meal. Order for a meal or two and choose menu items that will still taste great when they’re reheated at home. This way, you’re supporting a local business and saving yourself the trouble of cooking for multiple meals. *HIGH FIVE* While you’re at it, tip the staff at the restaurant even though you’re not dining in. 

Ask friends and search the web for other ways you can treat yourself and support other community entrepreneurs. 

 

3. Find a new hobby.

There are so many things you can do to fill your time and the internet has opened a world of learning to everyone. Even before the pandemic hit, online classes and courses were available to anyone willing to learn a new craft. 

Look into Airbnb’s Online Experiences or consider learning hubs like Skillshare or Masterclass. There’s so much to learn out there and at such an affordable price. Take your mind off your struggles for a while and find something new to enjoy.

 

After a year like the one we’ve had, it’s important to remember to take time to reflect on the good. Step away from everything for a moment and make an effort to do something for yourself.  

Take what time we have left to turn things around and prepare for the awesomeness that will be 2021. By giving yourself a little time to recharge as a host, you’ll be ready for what comes next.

 

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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
Saved

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What We’ve Learned about Airbnb Domestic Travel in 2020

what we've learned about US domestic travel in 2020 from MaidThis.com

In 2019, Americans spent a whopping $972 billion on domestic travel – and that was at a time when international travel was still a wide-open option.

While some states have instituted travel restrictions and there’s no question that all travel levels are down from their expected marks this year, Americans are still making efforts to move around the country. As summer winds down, here are a few things we’ve learned about Airbnb domestic travel in the U.S. and how we expect they’ll continue to make an impact through the end of 2020.

 

Guests are planning ahead less and traveling more spontaneously. 

According to data compiled by Guesty, there’s been a major uptick in bookings made just a week before “go-time.” More and more guests are “feeling out” the moment – case levels where they’re traveling from and to, restrictions on travel and movements in the area they’re vacationing in, and whether or not entertainment venues and activities are open – before they book. 

These days, such precautions are completely warranted and the emerging pattern makes sense as most Americans are genuinely concerned about their health and the safety of those around them. Because there’s really no telling when this will all be “over,” based on current trends, we’re going to bet that bookings for much of the rest of this year will follow this pattern.

 

More people are opting to stay closer to home than travel across the country. 

Earlier this summer, Airbnb reported a huge uptick in local bookings around the world – meaning guests were opting to stay closer to home rather than travel to far-away places. This surge was a surprise given the pandemic was still looking pretty dire in a lot of places and considering the bottoming-out of cancellations it experienced as the pandemic made its way around the globe.

As air travel is still a risk given the necessary close proximity to other travelers and the question of the safety of recirculated cabin air (even with many airlines promising state-of-the-art filtration systems, there is still no consensus or enough study information to confirm how truly safe airplane air is), fewer travelers are trekking anywhere near airports.

 

More than ever, guests are opting to stay longer

Rather than booking for a short time, guests are often choosing to extend their stays. This could be a combination of necessity and opportunity: Guests who really want to experience a location can’t cram as much into a shorter stay and thanks to the surge in remote work requirements, they may have the time to “live” somewhere else for a while. 

Airbnb seems to be pushing this by alerting hosts like you to update their listings to cater to guests looking for longer-term stays and by giving guests more obvious long-term, close-to-home options. We expect this to become more of a norm than it was before given the continuing crisis, though there will still be plenty of guests who only book for a few days.

 

Things began to heat up for the summer. With the slow season upon us, we’re sure to see more shifts in the “normal” expectations for bookings. That said, by arming yourself with recent facts and having a better idea of what guests are looking for in their stays, you may be able to come out on top.

 

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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
Saved

Blog

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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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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2 of the Best Airbnb Door Locks

2 of the Best Airbnb-Friendly Door Locks from MaidThis.com

Door keys are so last century. No one wants to keep a jangling wad of metal in their pocket or handbag anymore when they can walk in the door by simply pressing a button.

These days, it’s also worth mentioning how the novel coronavirus has affected the short-term rental industry and the fact that the more we can cut down on passing things from person-to-person, the better. 

Now that every check-in is a remote one, dealing with physical keys is that much more of a hassle. Here are 2 of the best options for Airbnb door locks currently on the market. One may just be a great fit for your vacation rental.

 

Yale Assure Lockstarting at approx. $199 on Amazon

We love this lock for a number of reasons. Not only is it a fully keyless option, but it looks super modern and sleek. You have a few options to choose from to get much of the same functionality, including opting for a new door handle rather than a full-blown new lock. We think that’s pretty neat.

Here are a few other reasons why we like the Yale Assure Lock lineup:

 

  • Control everything from your smartphone: Add and remove an unlimited number of access codes right from the app. Never recycle old codes again if you don’t want to.

 

  • Third-party integrations: If you’re living in your home and truly home-sharing, it might be helpful to get your lock set up with other smart home apps like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.
  • Set up auto relock: Set the door to automatically lock every time it closes so you never have to worry about whether or not it’s secure.

 

 

 

Gate Labs All-In-One Video Smart Lockapprox. $299 on Amazon (with service plan)

Gate Lab’s video smart lock is in a category all its own and might be our favorite of the two choices here. It’s the only lock on the market that directly integrates video along with its actual locking capabilities. Pretty cool, huh?

While compared to other “smart” locks it falls a tad short – it doesn’t integrate with Alexa, Google Home, or other third-party applications – and in order to get all its functionality, you’ll need to subscribe to a monthly “premium” service plan, it’s still one of the most robust options out there. 

Here are a few things we love most about the Gate Labs All-In-One Video Smart Lock:

 

  • Live HD video streaming: Greet your guests upon their initial arrival! You’ll be able to see them (and verify it’s who you’re expecting) and speak to them directly using the lock’s two-way audio to ensure they settle in comfortably.

 

  • Remote locking and unlocking: Lock and unlock the door via your smartphone and add up to 4 other admins with the same capability on the free service plan.
  • Unlimited guest access codes: Set a new code (or cycle through several) as guests come and go so your home always stays secure. Add and remove access codes all from the Gate Labs smartphone app.

 

 

 

There are a number of really amazing and secure Airbnb door locks on the market and not all are created equal. That said, we think these two options are the best suited for vacation rental hosts thanks to their functionality and user-friendliness.

 

By investing in a secure and easily-managed lock system, you not only keep your vacation rental safe and ensure the safety of your guests.

 

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

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.

 

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

3 Key Takeaways from the “State of the STR Industry” Report

3 Key Takeaways from the "State of the STR Industry" Report from MaidThis.com

Times have changed, haven’t they? 

At the start of the year, 2020 really seemed like it was going to be something spectacular. Arguably, it has been, albeit for reasons no one could ever have imagined. 

Like you, we’ve wondered what the long-term effects will be for the vacation rental industry and how other businesses have been faring. Thanks to Guesty’s recent “The State of the Short-Term Rental Industry Amid Covid-19” report, we have a better idea. 

Here are the 3 biggest takeaways we noted from Guesty’s report. 

 

1. Nearly all hosts have enacted more robust cleaning practices… and rightly so. 

When a dangerous virus lurks in communities – especially one that causes a sickness like Covid-19, where some infected individuals may not even know they’re spreading it – there’s no such thing as “too clean.”

Hosts around the globe have gone out of their way to ensure their homes are not just clean but that everything is sanitized and surfaces are properly disinfected. In addition, hosts who have seen the most success haven’t been shy about the changes they’ve made: The newest “best practice” is to mention your cleaning and disinfecting in both your listing name and your description.

At MaidThis, we’ve done our part to ensure all the cleaners we match you with follow our Covid-19 safety guidelines and have created the Covid-19 Resource Center to help you communicate your cleaning changes to your guests effectively.

 

2. Hosts with the best Covid-rebounds are implementing more flexible cancellation policies. 

Now, more than ever, flexible cancellation policies are king. 

Leisure travel hasn’t experienced a hit like this in modern history. Guests are leery of booking stays they can’t be certain will come to fruition. Their reasoning for being cautious should come as no surprise: With the threat of more states reneging on their reopening plans and the possibility of further skyrocketing Covid case numbers, plenty of folks are unwilling to make plans they can’t easily cancel. 

While you may not be willing to go with a fully-forgiving cancellation policy, the numbers suggest that any kind of cancellation is better than none. (Arguably, this has always been true.) As things can change in a flash these days, you’ll be more likely to see bookings increase if you give guests at least a week to change their plans. 

 

3. Industry insiders expect short-term rentals to bounce back faster than hotels post-Covid.

While it won’t happen overnight, industry insiders like Guesty and hosts alike expect the short-term rental market to regain its stride in due time. 

Why?

Social distancing is a big reason. Hotels make it nearly impossible for guests to distance well enough and avoid high-contact areas like elevators and lobbies. Offerings like free continental breakfasts have become a thing of the past due to the threat of community spread and there’s no telling how safe (or not) public swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor – can be if someone was unknowingly infected with Covid-19. 

Short-term rentals make it easier for travelers to keep their distance. Whether they rent a place with a private pool or opt to prepare their own breakfast, there’s a sense of security in knowing there are no shared amenities at a vacation rental like there are in a hotel. This alone plays a huge role in guests’ peace of mind. 

 

There are still many “unknowns” with this virus – not just from a scientific perspective but from an economic perspective. No one can say with certainty how things will continue and how quickly affected industries will recover and find sure footing. As we all continue to discover a new normal, we expect to see more positive feedback surrounding these observations and others like them.

 

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