Horror stories about guests throwing wild parties and trashing the vacation rental property in the process have been doing the rounds on social media. It comes as no real surprise that some hosts are contemplating whether or not the additional income that they are generating is really worth the possible risks. Hosts, don’t despair! Luckily there is a list of things that you can do to protect your property.
Invest in home security systems
If you are considering installing a home security system, there is one golden rule - disclose it to your guests. The most important thing to remember is that according to Airbnb rules you are not allowed to use any hidden cameras. So, if you want to go this route, you just need to make sure that you do inform your guests that there are surveillance devices on your property. This info should be included in the listing description as well as photos before guests have made a booking. Failure to do so can lead to nasty penalties…
Be sensible - get sensors
Getting smoke detector and carbon monoxide sensors are for sure one of the most sensible things that any host can do. In addition to helping you to protect your property, you might be lucky and be offered a better insurance premium. However, they could just save a life and that should be more than enough reason alone.
Switch to a keyless entry system
One of the key elements to managing your property efficiently is the key exchange process. Apart from the inconvenience, using keys also poses a serious security threat as guests can get the keys copied. By opting for a keyless entry instead, you can send a code to your guests rather than the actual keys. Some locks allow for codes that are only valid for the duration of their stay. This means that previous guests will not be able to return for a free stay. There are tools to simplify keyless entry, some of them are even free of charge. Conduct a research yourself and choose one that fits your needs!
Charge a security deposit
If you are in two minds about whether or not you should ask a security deposit, consider this - most guests actually do not mind to pay one. As a matter of fact, the guests who do moan and groan are often the guests who are troublesome. Ultimately it depends on your rate, but it is advisable to set a security deposit of at least $100.
Get the right Insurance
It might come as a surprise to some hosts, but the insurance offered by Airbnb or other rental listing sites may not be. Also, bear in mind that your standard insurance policy is not going to offer you adequate protection for your property.
You will have to get a business insurance policy. If your insurance is not in order yet, it is best to chat with a reliable insurance agent who is familiar with the short-term rental industry.
Screen every single guest
Although you will not be able to dodge all the difficult guests, by taking the time to study the reviews that your guests have received before accepting their booking, you can spare yourself a lot of grief. If you end up being more confused after you have read their reviews, be sure to ask them for extra info. Just make sure that all your communication is done via the safety of the booking platform.
Write clear house rules
House rules are not just there to put the hosts more at ease! By communicating your house rules to your guests beforehand, they too will feel significantly more comfortable about their booking. Also, ensure that you have a hard copy somewhere visible in your place.
Not only will you feel more at ease as a host with these tips, but your guests will also thank you too. Often when visiting an unfamiliar city, guests may feel like they're at the mercy of their host. Why not market your upgrades as one of your unique selling points? There's no reason for good security to scare guests off.
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About the Author
Inna is an expert in vacation rental management business and is currently working as a marketing director at AirGMS, the vacation rental software company. She is a dedicated marketer with over 11 years of experience and passion for content writing. This piece is a guest-contributed post.
Having faced lock-out situations for a couple of years, Cherry has sworn off keys (and alcohol). She is an avid follower of tech that prevents said situation.
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