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FAQ

FAQ: Agency.CapeHolidays Management Services

These FAQ’s are listed from the most popular as read by readers.

FAQ’s

New owners are concerned, initially, with the daily rates we set. 

Set the Airbnb rates high and I am happy. Rates are my measure of success!” 

For example, I got this email from a new owner, after we notified him of his second booking. 

I would have expected the going rate to be higher late in November….but I know you guys know what you are doing.

Although he says we know what we do, he is concerned. Correctly so. 

And most owners, initially, feel the same way. Only high rates will ease their minds. But after they realise we are stacking snow, hand upon hand, building trust they get the idea

Who can stop a snowball of trust?

Eventually, they happily bank a lot of money as the trust-snowball gets momentum and picks up speed.  

Patience is the name of the game. We must crawl before we walk. 

Unfortunately, rates are not based on fact. 

It’s based on the time for guests to take action (speed to book or lack thereof – more below), the level of trust you established (reviews for example), perception etc. 

At the moment your new house has no reviews and therefore no trust. No guest will take action (book your home) without an incentive. 

Why Would An Airbnb Guest Be Your Guinea Pig? 

Guests do not book willy nilly. They base their decisions on the ratings by other guests – positive reviews, Superhost status. Do they like the features, the photos, and the rates? There are more, like cancelation policies, etc. 

You can have it all but with no reviews, your home will come second when compared to similar homes with many reviews.

Therefore, you really don’t have much of a choice but to make it more attractive and your only ally – competitive rates. 

This means you can bring guests to take action faster with rates you may perceive as uncomfortable

At ground zero you are buying reviews. You are paying a price to get trust. 

Our only aim is to focus on achieving higher annual income. This will change your mindset. You now focus on the long term. One solid hand of snow at a time. 

Let’s talk time/speed …. 

The issue with maximizing rates, in isolation, is it ignores time-to-take-action – speed at which you get or don’t get bookings (more below) . High rates are useless if over time you get no bookings. 

Consider the “slower and faster” time to take action scenario:

  1. Let’s say you set high rates and after two weeks you have no bookings. Well, you have nothing to bank and have no possible reviews to build trust. This is slow and useless. And you end up like the rest who try to make money with Airbnb. 
  2. Let’s say you set a rate and get a booking for 28 days within a week, then another few bookings. Fast. 

Use Feedback From Time-To-Action! 

We are getting feedback from both above. 

  1. The first one we know we are wasting our time. Zero money. Zero reviews. No launch. 
  2. With the second option, we know people are interested and the snowball is being packed. By getting bookings so quickly we are going to get many reviews quickly. Trust. Even if the rates do not meet our expectations. 

Action speeds up, due to high demand, we can conclude:

Our Airbnb rates are too low and we can now increase. If we cannot increase now we will increase the rates for the same time next year. Slowly over time, as we collect more reviews, increase occupancy we tweak the rates upwards. And the owner is happy. 

If demand slows down we start all over again by reducing rates until guests start taking action faster. And slowly work our way up again. 

On the other hand; if you are focusing on high rates you may impress your neigbours but not your bank manager.  

Allow us to do what we do best; focus on time to take action, get bookings and reviews and accumulate. Based on these multipliers we will get better than competitive rates. Why? As we build trust the time to take action reduces (higher demand) and due to demand, we increase the rates. Over time the tortoise wins the race. 

Patience is the game now. 

 


Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

Category: About Airbnb

Instant Booking is one of the features hosts don’t really have an option with. Airbnb gives you another option where guests can first discuss a booking. But still, you cannot decline if you don’t have a very good reason. And guests don’t like being rejected when your calendar shows availability. And if we cancel the hosts will never keep their status as a SuperHost (see more). 

Instant book has two possible aspects: 

  1. Guests book immediately. They don’t need to enquire. 
  2. It does not mean guests stay instantly. Book now and stay within the next hour. No. We set what’s called a minimum notification period. For example, depending on the home, we set 24, 48 hours up to 7 days notice is required before they can stay. BTW: We also set prep days before and after a booking. We can set one, two days, etc. 

Let’s get to the details:

  • Instant booking means we must ensure 100% integrity of the calendar.
  • Any verified guest can reserve the accommodation immediately if the calendar shows availability. 
  • Any guest who instantly reserves do this by accepting our rules we set with the owner and the rules (T&Cs) by the booking sites like; Airbnb and Booking.com. 
  • All reservations must be accepted by the owner as he appointed us to do it per our T&Cs.
  • CapeHolidays don’t check availability with the owner before a guest do an instant reservation. 
  • But what about owner reservations? The owner agreed to first check availability with the agent at all times and only then reserve the accommodation for his own use.  
  • Owners cancelling guest reservations: cancellations carry no owner penalties only if the cause is a major disaster or something out of reasonable control. 
  • Owners ending/cancelling the agreement do it in writing. All current/confirmed reservations are honoured. Any owner not communicating the cancellation of the agreement will honour future bookings. If these are not communicated and/or honoured the owner is liable for penalties. 
  • All websites like Airbnb and Booking.com do instant bookings. This increases the chances of getting reservations. Read about Airbnb Instant Book here
  • Instant Booking Objections: Uninformed owners believe instant-book is a way to book riff-raff. Far from it. Airbnb is good but dominating force. (Either you don’t get bookings, or you are aware of their dominance and work accordingly). Instant-book not only works because of the psychology behind it, it also allows hosts to set up triggers to block bad guests with no or few reviews who cannot book instantly. We also can ask the quests to give us qualifying answers. If they fail you can cancel penalty-free. On the other side for enquiries first; if you opt for enquiry first you are looked upon as a judge; do you cancel because of prejudice? People do. You are too fat, too ugly, too white etc. Airbnb, therefore, limits the rejection of non-instant bookings; you justify your case for a non-instant booking rejection; if you reject too many you get kicked off. There are risks in any business. (If the kitchen is too hot don’t become a cook).

Read Why Are You Not Keeping Us Informed On The Pipeline Of Bookings?

What the above means is that everything works extremely well if the agent can ensure 100% calendar integrity. As agents or hosts, we cannot do our business best without instant booking


Here’s a typical email from a worried owner.

Just one question.  With instant booking, how do we vet the client? 

I would first like to find out who they are etc.  I have heard nightmare stories of houses being let and then the owners not being able to get the short term tenants out again.

Can I opt out of the Instant Booking option?


We don’t ever recommend not using Instant Book.
Obviously, there are risks. We must take the route less likely to bring us in to trouble. But risks will always be there. It’s not an Airbnb issue. It’s the nature of humans. There will always be dudes out there to try and fool us.
Instant bookings are complicated psychological triggers which bring Airbnb etc more money because people are eager to book. Take this away and you get less bookings. Airbnb does not like that. They promote Instant Book. If they have 200 homes in Rondebosch and 100 are instant book they place the instant books on the first page.
Therefore……
Airbnb made it easier to cancel an instant booking that an enquiry. Look at Airbnb using “penalty-free if you’re ever uncomfortable” under instant booking. They must qualify as follows for instant booking:
From the Airbnb site:
Instant Book
Guests who meet all your requirements can book instantly. Others will need to send a reservation request. You can cancel 100% penalty-free if you’re ever uncomfortable with a reservation.

Guests who can book instantly must:

  • Meet Airbnb requirements
  • Agree to your House Rules & Expectations
  • Acknowledge that Airbnb homes can be different from hotels

Guest Requirements

Profile photo

If you turn on this requirement, you’ll be able to see guests’ profile photos after a booking is confirmed, but not before. It’s turned on.

Government-issued ID (Instant book only) It’s on.

Require guests to submit government ID to Airbnb in order to Instant Book. If they don’t meet this requirement, they will send a request instead.

Recommendation from other hosts (Instant book only) It’s on.
Require guests to have recommendations from other Airbnb hosts and no negative reviews. If they don’t meet this requirement, they will send a request instead.

House rules

Suitable for children (2-12 years)

You can decide to restrict guests with children from booking if there are features that are dangerous for children or there’s a risk of property damage. Learn more

Suitable for infants (under 2 years)
You can decide to restrict guests with infants from booking if there are features that are dangerous for infants or there’s a risk of property damage. Learn more
Pets allowed NO

You can limit guests from bringing pets, but you must reasonably accommodate guests that might bring an assistant animal. Learn more

Smoking allowed NO
Events allowed NO
The following is a flexible list of Host rules:
– No Parties allowed
– Pets live on the property during the year but not while you are there
– The pool has no cover and guests take full responsibility for open pool
– No overnight guests.
– No loud noise after 10:00 pm.
– Have fun and respect your neighbours.
– After 6 pm arrival at R350 cash on arrival.
– Domestic worker rules:________

 


Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

If the owner ensures the calendar is always correct there is no reasonable-justification, for the owner, to cancel; other than for extenuating circumstance (Acts of God).

Therefore clause 3.3 in our T&CS should never be an issue. This clause, however, will ensure owners who may not have the best intentions stay honest. And is that not one reason for an agreement; to keep the bad guys honest?

The quick answer is you can not cancel any booking. And not reporting unavailability to us for whatever reason has serious consequences.

Here’s the long version:

Risk. As you know all businesses have some risk. Even though these risks have an extremely low probability please take note. 

One of the risks is what’s called Instant Bookings. Instant bookings increase the chance for bookings. 

When guests meet set criteria they can instant-book. And we cannot cancel as we will face severe penalties. Not only is there a cost involved but we can easily lose our SuperHost status. 

When an owner agrees to our terms and conditions we share this risk and must limit it. 

We, therefore, must indicate to owners, who may not take this seriously, the risk and consequences

Let me quote the Terms and Conditions

3.3 If the OWNER cancels or cannot host as agreed, a confirmed booking, a penalty of US$1500 will be paid by the OWNER to the AGENT and the OWNER will be kept liable for any additional losses incurred by the guest who made the booking and any losses occurred by the AGENT, excluding ‘Acts of God’.

The loss, when the owner rejects a confirmed booking, is not measured only in monetary terms. No. The cost to lose our SuperHost status is not quantifiable. 

Booking.Com makes it more difficult. 

Booking.com says that if you cancel a confirmed booking, you must find alternative accommodation for the guests. If you cannot they will find similar accommodation, and if the rates are higher then you will be liable to pay the cost to relocate the guest. 

Therefore, we, explicitly, share with the owner the risks and consequences of rejecting a confirmed booking. 

How often does this happen? 

Well, infrequently, but we have had one or two peak only owners who have asked us to market and then remove their homes from the market, without notifying us when it happens. In these cases, we accidentally learned about it. Next time we may not be that lucky. 

The risks are low as long as owners inform us of changes well in advance. 


Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

New Airbnb owners should be aware of the hosting risks of Airbnb and do something to limit it.

NOTE: In general, you may never even encounter any of these issues. Reading about these risks may scare many owners. If that is the case then you make take this as an absolute. It’s not. The risks are very low.  

Let’s consider a list of risks of hosting Airbnb guests and solutions here:

 


Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

CapeHoliday’s Accommodation Management Costs

    1. The explanation: cost drivers.

    2. Video: cash flow; income, expenses, reservations, payments and expense summaries.

    3. Add the Spreadsheet To Your Mobile Home Screen. 

Note: We get two kinds of owners; those who want to unlock the value of their home and bank a healthy profit and those who want to save costs.

The latter always consider costs to operate, but the first consider the opportunity and to learn how they can bank more.

airbnb-money-saving-tip

The one considers problems, the other solutions.  We tend to work best with owners who don’t skimp on investing in guest experiences which results in more guests, better reviews, more trust, and more profit.  

Explanation of Costs.

Owners who utilize CapeHolidays Management Agency are obviously interested in costs to manage their Cape Town holiday accommodation. And it can be confusing. So, let me try and explain. 

Most Accommodation Management companies in Cape Town requires a fixed management fee per month.  In our case, we don’t.  We could not see why we need to charge owners a fee if there is no activity at the home. This is why our management fee is the cost per incident.

The major cost management drivers (change over cost) are:

  1. Meeting and greeting guests.
  2. Change over costs includes laundry, cleaning the home, and replenishing essentials (Olive oil, toilet paper, salt & pepper, coffee, tea, etc). As this is self-catering essentials are stocked just to see the guest over for a day or two – a starter pack.

How much are the actual incident fees? This depends on the home but the minimum is currently R350 per incident. But can be different depending on the house. It can change at any time. And owners will be informed if it does.

All costs; every-day running the home is not included. These not include fees are, but not limited to, rates and taxes, Internet, DSTV, pool, electricity, etc.

The change over cost is per booking. Each booking has at least one meet, greet, and clean. The variables costs are; laundry, consumables, extra service and window cleaning, upholstery- and carpet cleaning (if and when needed).

Every guest who books pays the total rate for the stay and an extra, one-off, change-over fee to cover most of the change-over cost but not all costs.

You may ask, “why does the change-over-fee not cover all the costs?” The problem is not that we can increase the change over fee but we must consider the total rate the guest is willing to pay. We, therefore, make the fee “just enough”. 

When we get paid by the guest we deduct our commission and pay you the total excluding the change-over fee. The change-over-fee is credited to your account. This means you get it but it’s not paid to you directly but used to cover costs. 

When we get invoiced by the contractors (meeting, greeting, laundry, etc) we debit this change-over-credit. 

Most of the time the change-over fee will not cover the full services rendered, and the reason why we keep a kitty for these costs. 

Let me summarise:

  1. The guest pays the rental fee plus a change-over fee.
  2. After we deduct our commission and we credit your account with the rental amount and the change-over fee. 
  3. When and if we get an invoice from our contractors for each incident – for example; meeting, greeting, cleaning, laundry, etc., we indicate the reason for the cost and debit against your account. 

The actual change-over-fee and per-incident management costs are shared with the owner as soon as we have met and discussed the home and the individual owner’s needs.

Video Explaining CapeHoliday’s Accommodation Management Costs

Finding The Cash Flow Spreadsheet when you need it?

It is very simple to do on your mobile phone. You can also add it to your desktop computer but today I’ll only share how to save it on your mobile Home Screen!

Steps:

  1. You get the Cash Flow via email from CapeHolidays
  2. Open the email and click on the button “Cash Flow” while using your mobile phone or e-pad.
  3. It will open in Google Sheets.
  4. If you use an Android Phone (Samsung, and other) watch this 1-minute long video to save where you can get it.
  5. If you use an iPhone or similar watch this short video on how to save this sheet to your mobile home screen.
  6. Now you have a button on your phone with access to the Cash Flow every minute of every day.

 


Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

This is not the question you should ask CapeHolidays. We suggest you read what our guests and owner have to say about us.

  1. See what our Airbnb guest said about our Cape Town Accommodation here.
  2. We are SuperHosts because we do well. See the criteria for SuperHosts here. See the above link to see our SuperHost badge.
  3. We are not driven to be the biggest or largest Accommodation Agency in Cape Town. Our only drive is to be the best. This mindset is critical for our peace of mind and our homeowners and 1000s of guests.
  4. Why would more than 50 owners in and around Cape Town allow us to manage their accommodation? We must be doing something right. 
  5. Why would we be in this business from 2009 if we were to not trustworthy?
  6. Why would owners recommend us if we were not remarkable? See this redacted email we received from an owner wanting an Airbnb accommodation agent in Simonstown.

I hope you don’t mind but I was given your details by Carol, who says that you look after and manage her house in Simonstown. We recently bought a house in Simons Town. We intend to let our the house via Airbnb or Booking.com and wanted to make contact with you to see whether you would be interested in managing it for us. Owner

I regularly get questions like, “Are you taking a big enough breakage deposit?” 

Injuries, accidents and your liability seem to be on the back burner. 

But let me answer your breakage deposit concern first. 

As an owner, you want to protect your belongings against breakages. You can throw money at the problem or you make it as foolproof as possible. 

After a thorough foolproof audit and making changes, the next defense is a breakage deposit. 

Read more on Foolproof Audit
What to check for when doing a foolproof audit – get it here.

How high should the breakage be to cover your home? Can you consider any figure you believe is high enough? 

Okay. You decide to hit them hard with a high breakage deposit. But the consequence is; no more bookings. Nothing. 

Obviously, we need to consider the risk. How many breakages occur and how severe are they? 

  • How often do we claim for breakages from guests? Probably less than 1%.
  • Has our conservative breakage deposit covered these breakages? 99% of the time. 

Instead of limiting or stopping bookings it’s our view to get a breakage deposit about equal to one day’s rates during high season. 

But you may be risk-averse and want more. Your only choice (not really a choice) is to get your short term insurer involved. You must tell him you do short term accommodation and want insurance for breakages, accidents and liability claims. 

Let’s get back to breakages:

  • If breakage is more than the deposit, then insurance must kick in. It’s easier than taking legal action against the guest. 
  • If another non-guest with access to the home breaks something or has an accident the insurance must cover the loss. 
  • Obviously, if it is malicious damage the owner can take legal action. 

Action:

  1. Get insurance and third-party liability insurance. 
  2. Set a reasonable breakage deposit. 
  3. Do a foolproof audit. And act on it.

In general, short term rental accommodation business is easy if you do the common sense issues well. They are simple. But relentlessly risky if skimped.

P.S. If it can break it will break. This does not mean we must change to plastic plates and glasses. Everyday use items must be easily replaceable in the blink of an eye. To claim from a guest for such accidental breakages is not ideal.


Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

Investment Advice in Airbnb Cape TownMore Property Investment Tips

Investment Advice for Airbnb Cape Town:

The obvious question is- how many bedrooms should my Airbnb ideally have?

My quick answer is that the number of bedrooms is a driver when trying to make money with Airbnb. But! If everything is not equal; then other drivers are more important.

Like The Following Airbnb Success Drivers: 

Location: Critical.

On the beach will “sell” on Airbnb long before any other.

Experience Airbnb Agent

We have two beautiful apartments against the mountain. The two-bedroom is royal but seventy steps up, with spectacular views. The one-bedroom is as great but at 15 steps only, also with views. However, income is not really different.

Interior and outside living:

Guests pay premiums for funky or modern places with sun-filled light and inviting living areas. Imagine sun-loungers and a deck. It sells.

Water:

I mentioned beach location; if you cannot bring the beach to your Airbnb accommodation then try a pool or hot tub. And it does not matter if the sea is just 50 meters away. Airbnb guests will pay a premium for water.

Sun loungers, deck (and pool), amazing location with great interior and a view and you have a seller.

Experience Airbnb Agent

Marketing Philosophy and Rules: 

You cannot measure your Airbnb success until you have learned by failing. Going in with an attitude of…. “why do they need a pool? Can they not see the sea?”, or “who wants to watch DSTV on holiday?”  or guests “must pay high rates; I pay high rates at hotels!” or “they should stay a minimum seven days!” 

These comments are shortsighted and show ignorance. And will cost you dearly.

Should you invest in a two or three-bedroom Airbnb?

It matters only if they look exactly the same, at the same location, with a similar interior. If not, then most of the drivers above are critical.

For more on investment advice: Airbnb Cape Town Airbnb success drivers, I suggest you complete our free questionnaire. The questions we ask will assist in getting a better idea. And you may be surprised to know that your Airbnb rule sets may be a killer driver.

After you completed the questionnaire our calculator crunches “numbers” and sends you a report;  automatically emailed to you. More below. 

P.S. One bedrooms have a disadvantage as the change over costs for a one-bedroom Airbnb is as much as it is for a two-bedroom and even three bedrooms. Two-Bedroom change-over costs nearly as much as a 4 bedroom but if you give me two two-bedroom apartments next to each other then I take two x2. I’ll rent them as a 4 bedroom or 2x two bedrooms. But, I suppose this is not the only way to look at it. Now we are opening-up flexibility as a driver. See FAQ on flexibility here

But let me stress: we should never focus on cost. Cost should be driven down but be careful.  Cost is a negative concept.  If your one bedroom has everything I mentioned above and via the questionnaire then a one-bedroom can beat the best.

More reading:

  1. Is your Airbnb set up as flexible as possible? (FAQ here).
  2. Tips for buying Cape Town Airbnb accommodation (more here).
  3. Interior design will make or break your Airbnb Success (more here).

Win Unhassles Airbnb eBook & Plus Advice Worth R10000


Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
Hi Johan here. Welcome. Thanks. Knowing you are taking time to watch is really encouraging.  Our Cape Town SuperHost team of memory creators Unhassle AIRBNB Management and Unlock Value For Absent Owners and Hosts like you.  
Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?

 

When you list your home it has  ZERO trustability ; no reviews and no bookings. 

More on the topic
Why Should I List With You If I can Do Airbnb
What do we provide for the commission we take?

But, when we list your home, under our Flag – CapeHolidays, your home is seen as a SuperHost home immediately. Our GOODWILL becomes yours.

To be SuperHosts:

We must maintain a 4.8 star rating with positive reviews (more on criteria).  Something we have achieved:

Superhosts CapeHolidays

As you can see we score 4.9 out 5 for every of the nearly 600 guests who reviewed us. Designed for success from 2009. 

For this reason, we are SuperHosts and very proud of it (see our profile at Airbnb). 

CapeHolidays SuperHosts

Obviously, we can, with confidence, say we are a successful professional Airbnb Agency in Cape Town.

Because of this Badge of Trust, we share it with owners who are willing to work with us and have remarkable accommodation. 

Unfortunately, choosing remarkability is not that easy. Why? Because the final judge is the very critical guest who paid to stay and have earned the right to review your home.

These guests come with high expectations. If your home fails at the first booking it will be uphill to recover. 

When we choose, the owner and/or the home, incorrectly we could lose our SuperHost status. Therefore, we must be supercritical before a holiday home is added to our portfolio.

Guests who book and see our SuperHost badge know:

  1. Superhosts are experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests.
  2. When we reached Superhost status, a SuperHost badge automatically appears on our listing and profile to help guests identify us.
  3. Airbnb checks Superhosts’ activity four times a year, to ensure that the program highlights the people who are most dedicated to providing outstanding hospitality.

In other words, SuperHosts attract more business because of established trust. This overcomes the lack of trust you have when you list your home from ground-zero. It takes time and lower rates to attract guests when you are new and competing with the masses out there.

I have said it:

We choose our owners and homes very carefully. 

We are a team working together and the sky’s the limit. And there is nothing like reading reviews from happy guests. Wait. You’ll see. It’s fun to bank good money while everyone is happy!

Read more on criteria to become SuperHosts.

How and when will I be paid?

One day after the arrival of the guests you get paid. The only thing to take note of is Tripadvisor and the sites it uses. Tripadvisor make guests pay in USA dollars. And only pay us 1 day after arrival. Due to exchange rate fluctuations, the amount paid may be slightly different from the one we quoted you – we quote you in rands at the time of the booking.  

In the hospitality business the motto is:

Act Fast Or Feel The Brunt Of Guest Revenge! Experience Airbnb Agent
Why Keep A Management Kitty?

The mandate we agreed with the owner is to do everything within reason to get a 5-star review. We can never use the excuse,  “Guest, please wait for 24 hours, as we cannot get hold of the owner to okay replacing the geyser”. 

If we cannot authorize work, in an emergency with our proven and trusted workmen, then the owner is not really committed to us and our aims with the home.

Most emergencies we may get hold of the owner immediately but if we cannot we must act. Immediately.

Guests don’t mind that things can go wrong. But they hate it when you don’t really care. Their only measure of how much you care is how quick you act!Experience Airbnb Agent

The short answer: NO!

This is a common concern for new owners. As we implement our trust-building phase we use competitive rates to attract reluctant guests to stay and get reviews at the new accommodation. 

The Consequences of AirBnB’s Commoditization On Rates

It’s only after new owners become familiar with the painful reality and impact of AirBnB’s commoditization of the short term accommodation market, that they change their mind about our rate setting philosophy. 

After this introduction let me address the concern about low rates equaling bad guests

When we talk about low rates to buy trust we are talking about competitive rates only and not Rock-bottom rates. 

As you know, we don’t have the accommodation seeker’s trust yet, and we must use our only effective driver, namely rates, to overcome resistance to book. 

The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay premium rate tomorrow. But with no reviews (trust) forget it. 

Only a remarkable holiday home at a bargain will do. 

In the market we operate, guests are not poor. 

Let me make a statement based on experience. 

Even if the rates are competitive you still get great guests. 

Now let me share why I say this:

The real risk is not bad guests but rather uneducated guests. With today’s social media profiles guests cannot hide any longer. 

And Forbes did a great job of explaining why guests’ requests to stay are sometimes declined more here.

We started our business in 2009. This was before social media. And many people left homes untidy as there was no recourse. Even owners got away with shoddy offerings. 

Today Your Social Profile Is A Valuable Asset

When a guest book and stay they review us. And these positive reviews made us SuperHosts. Trust! As guests depart we review them. And they establish trusting profile overtime. Today we all know the consequences of a bad review for both parties. 

Let me repeat: Even if the rate is competitive no guests will risk getting a bad review knowing other hosts will not approve them with a  bad previous review. 

The only risk for us is first time users on Airbnb. Unfortunately, they are not familiar with the implications of getting a bad review and how it impacts their future ability to use Airbnb. And some of them, ignorantly, will not leave the property in the same clean state they received it. 

When they get hit with a bad review they never again treat any Airbnb place poorly. And if they do they get blocked. 

Our challenge is to make it as difficult for new guests to book without first qualifying (See Forbes article above) them and then we educate them on what we expect. 

To answer the question: No. Competitive rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.

Our Airbnb holiday accommodation is all remarkable.

They don’t have to be luxury but everyone walking in should say WOW! If it’s not, it’s not good enough. From start to finish, we try to think about designing a more remarkable experience.  

Read more on Foolproof Audit
What to check for when doing a foolproof audit – get it here.
  1. We must do an audit of the home before we list it. This audit ensures the investment against bad reviews – it’s not foolproof but does eliminate most nasty surprises. (Why do you need at least 40 reviews?) 
  2. Foolproof: If it can break it will break. Your long hair white carpet is a serious fool failure. Your crystal glasses are cool but why? Guests will use and break them – mostly not on purpose. Why not rather use excellent generics we can replace easily? Steps; are they dangerous? Can you add a gate to prevent accidents? Do it! Do a foolproof audit.
  3. Fumigate: If you live in the home and it’s only available during holidays; fumigate! Cockroaches are very expensive insects! Dogs, and cats? Fumigate; fleas are also expensive mistakes. And you will refund guests whatever your agent negotiates on your behalf. No questions asked! Just refund! 
  4. Some owners initially find it difficult to contemplate guests will use their home and to trust their agents who control their homes.  
  5. Don’t skimp on features; proper WiFi is non-negotiable, Netflix, TV, Nespresso, BBQ, sharp knives, extra blankets in the lounge for cold winters,  etc. 
  6. The above goes hand in hand with the continued investment in improvements. Guests regularly recommend things. We don’t compromise on these as they improve profitability.

Use Our Free Quiz To Qualify Your Airbnb Accommodation here.

Our Agency Management Terms and Condition are not cast in stone. Some clauses are negotiable. Some others are not. It’s important that you read it. And understand it. This FAQ will answer any issues you may have. Read the T&Cs here.

In exceptional situations, we agree to the owner managing her own home with her own staff. It is critical that we agree with the owner on the standards guests expect. The past record of owner-managed-homes is not exactly what guests and CapeHolidays expected.
As you may know, guests score SuperHost CapeHolidays at 4.9 out of 5. And owner-managed-homes score less. If they consistently score 4.7 out 5 or less we will have to correct the issue with the owner in no uncertain terms or cancel our agreement.
When we manage the home and a third party (appointed by the owner) have access to the home; this is a recipe for disaster. In most cases, the third party causes friction between CapeHolidays and the owner. To date, this arrangement has never worked. And we will not be interested in managing the accommodation with such a third party arrangement. If this third party report to us, get paid by us and can be fired by us we may agree.
How To Set PricesMeaning of Maximise Income

How to set prices on Airbnb, within reason, maximise income is quite simple if you follow a strategy that works. This means you should focus on occupancy and not setting high rates, on getting more reviews and eliminating resistance to book. Read the following FAQ where I discus high rates and time-to-action (demand).


Read FAQ (Will I Make Money Setting High Rates On Airbnb)


To set prices on Airbnb depends on the number of reviews we have and the established demand. Assuming we list a new property with no reviews and the owner wants to maximise income annually; we go through the following with the owner:

  1. After we have qualified the accommodation as being remarkable we discuss the owner’s income expectations.
  2. It’s critical to know what annual income the owner expects. The owner, in most cases, tells us; “you are the experts you must tell me!”, this is correct; we are the experts and we will guide the owner but an owner without some expectations is a concern. The owner may want to cover costs, her bond, or make at least what she can do renting it out long term. These are good starts and we can work with that.
  3. We use the owner’s annual income, plug it into our income calculator and see what seasonal Airbnb rates and occupancy are required to achieve it. We start off using 35% occupancy as a guide and we adjust the rates to try and achieve this owner income. If we can generate the income at 35% occupancy and the rates are very competitive we know we have a great opportunity to meet or exceed owner income expectations during year one. If we need 40% occupancy or higher or even higher rates we know this owner – agent relationship may not kick-off very well. Either the owner should lower her expectations or we would decline.

Airbnb Pricing Strategy Philosophy Part 1 

Airbnb Seasonal Rate Calculator Part 2 

Yes. We use a professional company to take photos. They are not a staging company and only come in a do the shoot. Their basic 20 package is very affordable. They also do a 40 shoot with drone shots. Larger properties (+4 bedrooms) do the 40 photo-shoot. It’s critical that professional the property is staged. Check the FAQ on Staging.

Many owners want CapeHolidays to manage their accommodation in Cape Town, Simonstown etc, list it with Airbnb and other; the problem is they may wonder if their home will make the grade. Some owners may have an inflated perception of value and expect the ultimate; obviously, when our knowledge of the market does not meet the owner’s expectations we sit with unnecessary conflict. It’s therefore not only the accommodation but includes qualifying the owner.

  1. You can do our free qualifying quiz (here) on your own and get an instant report today.
  2. You send us the best photos of your place. It can be cellphone photos. But it must show everything; the good and the not so good. As long as it’s everything.
  3. Our interest is in remarkable accommodation. Guests must be able to see classiness when they view your staged and professional photos. See FAQs for photos and staging.
  4. Old poorly maintained homes will not make it. Note: Guests are seriously critical.
  5. Remarkable accommodation with great entertainment, pool, beach location, romantic setting, etc, quality easier because guests pay a premium to stay in a house with a pool.
  6. The owner must qualify as well. We establish this by meeting with the owner and understanding her expectations. What incomes she expects against how flexible her rules are and if it is reasonable.

Read more here on how Agency.CapeHolidays.info does business getting 4.9 out of 5-star reviews every time.

Great question.

If You Can Do It! Do It!

The Question is Can You? Or  Do You Want To?  

More on the topic
Should I list With A SuperHost?
Must Read: What do we provide for the commission we take?

If you can list your accommodation on Airbnb and manage it yourself then it’s best you do it yourself because;

  1. Your Airbnb management costs (change over cost) should be less as you will not have to pay to use our professional SuperHost Cape Town Airbnb management services.
  2. You will have to perform at least 20% better the Cape Town average occupancy.
  3. You may have a lot of free time and this can be an adventurous challenge to try out.
  4. You may prefer to control who has access to your home as many homeowners don’t like being told by an agency how it should be done.

On the other hand an Airbnb Agent in Cape Town like Agency.Capeholidays may assist you better if the following are important?

  1. From day one your home – if qualified – is in the hands of a trusted Cape Town SuperHost (read more here) with nearly 1000 5 star reviews.
  2. I said, above, we at least get 20% more than the Cape Town norm. If it’s an extraordinary excellent home it may even do better. Have a look at Mbali at 87% occupancy where the norm is 34% by other hosts, Mbali was 40% when we took it over from another agency and then 27 days booked for December. Obviously I choose one of the best homes to share with you.  airbnboccupancycapetown
  3. Yes, the change over costs will be higher but your home is in the hands of professional Airbnb agents or Airbnb SuperHosts.
  4. Flexibility, liaison and personal availability 24/7; you will not have to worry about going away and being online all day long answering guests, liaising with guests or handling critical guests.

After all that is said and done; we believe it’s better for a Cape Town homeowner to try to become a SuperHost if they believe they have the time and attitude. If not, they may always feel a bit of resentment and that will not be ideal for our Agent & Owner relationship. We have been there. It’s not ideal. But when we have mutual trust we make a winning team.  

A few owners only want occasional bookings and not interested in maximising income.

Yes. We can assist you.

Some Cape Town Accommodation owners only want to get one, two or three bookings during the year. And nothing more. 

We just need to agree to a different T&Cs (see it here) for your specific needs. 

These owners either;

  • tend to live in their homes during the year. 
  • owners who only want a few guests through their home. 

These owners keep the home for their own use or no use during the year and make certain dates exclusively available to CapeHolidays. Agency.CapeHolidays.info are 100% responsible for bookings during this time and the owner will honour all bookings during the agreed availability period. See the consequences and responsibilities for Instant Bookings.

Owners who don’t live in their homes during the year may want the management of their accommodation while they are not here; our T&Cs do not provide for this function. And these owners will need to discuss their needs with us clearly to understand their needs and agree on the management fee to oversee the home during the empty time.

Can You Assist if I only want occasional bookings? Read this FAQ.

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