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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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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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Pros and Cons of Short- and Long-Term Renters

Pros and Cons of Short-Term and Long-Term Airbnb Renters from MaidThis.com

It’s safe to say that travel habits have shifted dramatically in 2020, but Airbnb hosts are still able to find success if they adapt to the changing times. As vacations have declined with the onset of the global pandemic, many hosts are turning to a different business model than usual in order to fill their rental properties: Long-term renters. 

There are pros and cons to both short- and long-term renting that you should consider if you’ve noticed a decrease in bookings this year. Here are a few things to think about. 

 

Short-Term Renters

Most Airbnb hosts target short-term renters. These are the people who want to book for shorter periods, like a weekend getaway or maybe they need to rent a venue for a family gathering. Usually, short-term renting is an ideal arrangement as you’re able to keep your property booked for peak season rates without having to worry too much about unpleasant guests overstaying their welcome.

However, when no one is traveling, short-term renting is much less lucrative. Hosts may struggle to keep their properties occupied, especially on weekdays (even at the best of times), and enhanced cleaning guidelines means spending more time and money on thorough sanitization between guests. 

 

Long-Term Renters

While the exact definition may vary depending on who you ask, in general, a renter is considered long-term if their stay is 30 days or longer. Some areas will grant your guest tenant rights after a month, so if you do decide to pursue long-term renters, it’s important to know your local laws and ordinances first. 

It’s also extra important to vet your long-term renters before their stay. Short-term renters can only do so much damage during their time with you, but a long-term renter could wreak serious havoc on your property if you’re not careful. It’s a good idea to check in with long-term renters a few times during their visit to make sure they’re not causing any harm to the unit.

However, there are many pros to long-term renting that make it worth considering. Usually, offering discounted rates would mean that long-term renting isn’t as lucrative as short-term if you’re able to book back-to-back short-term stays. 

But these days, since few people are traveling, you’re actually better off booking a long-term renter and guaranteeing your property will be occupied for a month or more at a time. 

Hosts who rely on short-term rentals might see their units sitting empty for most of the month, but plenty of people still need to book long-term rentals because they’re between leases, or because they want to ride out the pandemic in a new location.

Many hosts report that long-term guests end up taking better care of the rental property than short-term guests because they come to see it as their home during their stay. Finally, you’ll also save on cleaning fees as you won’t have to disinfect the property nearly as often when your guests are staying long-term. 

 

While you might need to change your business model to attract long-term renters, it’s a profitable solution that many hosts enjoy. Ultimately, navigating through these uncertain times will require you to consider whether short- or long-term renting is a better fit for you. 

 

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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

Blog

Environmentally Friendly Airbnb: Is Your Vacation Rental Eco-Friendly?

Is Your Airbnb Environmentally Friendly? from MaidThis.comIs your Airbnb environmentally friendly? Plenty of hosts ask themselves this question at several points throughout their hosting experience.

There are plenty of ways you can “go green” in your vacation rental and varying benefits for each change you make. Here are 4 ways to make your Airbnb environmentally friendly and the positive impact it can have.

 

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy Star-rated light bulbs have been around for years now and are far more affordable than they used to be. While many may have questioned their effectiveness, the data is clear: Energy Star-certified light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than “traditional” light bulbs. That’s pretty amazing!

While we don’t recommend changing out all your light bulbs simply for the sake of saving energy (and ultimately wasting perfectly usable “traditional” bulbs that are still operational), we do recommend you replace old bulbs as they burn out with Energy Star-approved ones. You may opt to purchase enough bulbs for your entire home all at once so you can ensure the light coloring and potency is consistent from room to room, but this isn’t completely necessary.

 

Effective Weather-Stripping and Caulking

We often don’t think about the weather-stripping or caulking around doors, windows, and showers and sinks until we notice an issue. That said, it’s far better to head off issues by checking these things a couple of times every year than to wait for problems to arise.

Poor caulking or weather-stripping can lead to pricey leaks – from water to cold air coming in during winter to leaking cold air seeping outside during the hot summer months. These ultimately jack up your utility bills and long-term can cause potentially serious damage in your home. 

Keeping tabs on them to keep your costs down and use less energy overall is ultimately good for the environment. 

 

Efficient Water Fixtures

While you can’t control how guests utilize the water in your home, you can do your water bill and the environment a favor by installing low-flow shower heads and sink faucets in your bathrooms and kitchen.

 

Is it worth making the switch? The EPA estimates that the average American family uses as much as 300 gallons of water at home every. single. day. That’s a literal TON of water. By installing low-flow faucets and shower heads, you could reduce as much as 60% of water over-usage!

 

Smart Thermostats

Guests change the internal home temperature a lot. Let’s face it: It’s impossible to please everyone! 

How can you ensure your heating and cooling bills don’t run through the roof? Install a smart thermostat that will allow you to “lock” minimum and maximum temperatures. Not only will you potentially save a bit of money on your monthly bills but you’ll be doing the earth another small favor.

 

There are plenty of ways you can translate “green home” basics into your Airbnb. Look for things you can do with few barriers. You might be surprised how easy it is to implement environmentally-friendly practices into your vacation rental.

 

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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

3 Beginner Tips to Improve Your Airbnb Search Ranking

3 Beginner Tips to Improve Your Airbnb Search Ranking from MaidThis.com

With literally millions of vacation rental listings online, lots of hosts wonder how they can improve their search ranking on Airbnb. While it’s not an exact science, there are a few things you can do that could make a positive difference.

It’s important to remember that any changes you make won’t affect your listing ranking overnight. That said, to determine how well your changes are working, it’s important to sit on them for at least a month to determine their effect.

Here are 3 beginner tips to improve your search ranking on Airbnb and other short-term vacation rental sites. 

 

1. Invest in good photos. 

We’ve said it over and over (and you’ve heard it over and over from other short-term rental sources): PHOTOS WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR AIRBNB LISTING. Guests are more likely to click on listings that have great, professional-looking photos than ones that look like they were simply taken by the host on their phone. The algorithm on Airbnb will learn which listings tend to get the most action and push these to the top of search results over time.

Guests are looking for stellar photos that sell them a dream stay or vacation. Think about it in terms of how hotels market their properties. Hotels are really, really good at selling the appearance of their rooms and common areas because they have professional photos taken from the very best angles. 

The point here is not to over-sell what you have, but to be sure you can truly highlight all your best features. Be sure to choose a great lead photo, too, to entice guests to click on your listing when they’re searching through properties. 

 

2. Respond to guest questions ASAP.

The faster you can respond to guests, the better. In fact, you should stay in contact with guests well before their stay up until the time they leave

Airbnb tracks how quickly hosts reply to guest questions and booking requests. They keep tabs on how often a host replies in 24 hours or less – this is considered a good reply timeline. (Of course, the sooner you can reply, the better.)

Ideally, implement the instant book option for guests so you don’t have to worry about checking booking requests quickly enough (or turning them down which can also be detrimental to your ranking over time). Airbnb’s “What factors determine how my listing appears in search results?” help page explicitly mentions that allowing instant bookings can positively affect your search ranking.

Anytime you delay and wait for more than 24 hours to reply to guest correspondence or requests, imagine a negative “ding” on your Airbnb record. Over time, a build-up of “late” correspondence replies will negatively affect your ranking in search results.

 

3. Keep it super-clean.

This goes without saying, but guests expect a clean home. And we mean 5-star hotel-quality clean.

In the era of COVID, maintaining a clean home is more important than ever. Whether you’re rolling your sleeves up and doing it yourself or partnering with a company like MaidThis, it’s vital that you implement and maintain a coronavirus cleaning process.

Before the pandemic, guests simply expected a home to be squeaky clean and as good as what they saw in photos on the vacation rental listing. Now, they want to be sure they can’t possibly become ill from a previous guest or cleaner that may have been asymptomatic.

How do you accomplish demonstrating your cleaning systems in your listing? Harvest as many positive reviews as possible and ask your guests to specifically mention how they felt about cleanliness and safety. You can also download a free cleaning graphic from the MaidThis COVID Resource Center to add to your photo lineup.

 

Learning the ins and outs of the Airbnb algorithm is tough for all hosts, even those who are well seasoned. To maximize your occupancy potential, re-evaluate your listing a few times every year and make changes based on hints from Airbnb.

 

Clean my
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

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.

 

Clean my
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

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.

 

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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

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

Updating a Vacation Rental for “Covid-Era” Guests

ways to update a vacation rental during coronavirus from MaidThis.com

It’s becoming more and more clear that Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere: The changes we’ve been making to our “normal” lives – including social distancing, going out less, and wearing masks in public places – are here to stay for the foreseeable future. How long we need to actually keep these measures remains a mystery, but the knowledge that they are necessary is not.

With that knowledge in hand, we all must transition away from how we operated before and start implementing new systems. As a vacation rental host, you’re likely already doing a number of things to reassure your potential guests that you care about their health and safety. As bookings pick up, however, there are a few non-health-related things you can do to potentially increase your booking rate.

Here are our 2 big tips for updating a vacation rental for Covid “era” guests.

 

1. Invest in some “work from home” furniture.

With the “work from home” trend now kicked into full gear, it’s pretty clear that many companies are seeing the benefits of letting their staff work outside the office. Not only is it safer in the age of coronavirus, but studies have shown for years that remote workers are more productive than those who trudge to an office space every day.

With that information in hand, it makes sense to ensure your Airbnb is remote work-friendly. 

If you don’t already have a small work station set up in your vacation rental, now is the time to do it. Depending on how much space you have, you can create an entire work area for guests who will also be on the job during their stays. Add a desk, an ergonomic chair, a surge-protecting extension cord or two, and a desk lamp to your setup.

Need some inspiration? Check out these handy ideas for small office spaces and nooks from The Spruce.

 

2. Upgrade your kitchen basics.

Though the economy is opening back up and as a community, we need to make an effort to support local small businesses, plenty of people are still leery of going out and sitting in restaurants or cafes – and for good reason: There’s no eatery that can promise a “no-risk experience.”

So, while we can, at the very least, advocate for guests to order takeout or opt for food delivery services, you as a host can also make it easier  for them to prepare meals “at home.” This is a great option for updating a vacation rental for Covid “season.”

Take an inventory of what your Airbnb kitchen currently offers in terms of utensils and small appliances. What can you upgrade to make your guests stay more comfortable and more enjoyable to cook?

 

What can you upgrade?

Consider upgrading your pots and pans set – either to ones of better quality, larger sizes, or possibly adding a few extras to broaden the size range. Toss in a few extra “specialty” gadgets that might go over well, such as this OXO avocado slicer, this AdeptChef Stainless Steel Fish Spatula, or a countertop indoor grill for sandwiches, paninis, and burgers.

You could even up your coffee game and add a quality bean grinder, a milk frother, or possibly even a single-cup brewing system.

 

These are just a couple of ideas to better improve the quality of your guests’ stays as we all transition into what are becoming new norms in life. From going out less and eating in more to working outside of the office, ensuring you can cater to Covid-driven needs and desires is one of the best ways to further set yourself apart from other vacation rental listings and pull your booking rates closer to where they were pre-pandemic.

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.

 

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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

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.

 

Clean my
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

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


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