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FAQ: Agency.CapeHolidays Management Services

FAQ’s

FAQ's About Airbnb (23)

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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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?

 

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 There Are Other Ways To Reduce Risk: Discrimination Is Absolute Useless As A Measure!

The age of people, their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, their physical inabilities, etc. do not define if they will trample your home, or expose you to risk. 

 Risk comes in all possible disguises.   
Read more on vetting guests

You can set an age limit for kids. But that’s about it. You can share liability risks. But only the guest can decide on your honest rules and warnings that will lower expectations.

Today, with Airbnb-homeowner and guest reviews you  get a legal way to discriminate between good and bad 

Consider Transparency As Your Risk Reducing Measure!

Bad Airbnb guests have previous public reviews. And if they are not good you don’t have to accept their booking. If they have no reviews you can try and qualify them. But  there is no obligation to accommodate zero-reviewed-guest. .

We have found the change in guests behaviour pre and post the arrival of Airbnb significant. In the past guests would have very little respect. Today they care. Even owners have jacked up their offering.  Because no one gets away with bad stuff today.  

Transparency: Guests do care about their public profile.

The solution today is not discrimination; the real issue is rather: from which marketing site does the guest originate from? If the guest is an Airbnb referral the risk is less than when compared to any other website where there are no social profile risks | no real transparency.

NOTE: There is no foolproof way. Things can go wrong. And the way this world operates it will go wrong. But we should always try to minimise risk. 

airbnb-discrimination

 

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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.  

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All Airbnb guests should be reviewed fairly, firmly and truthfully by hosts.

Nothing else and nothing less.

We are all nice people with a twist. Some twists are not pleasant. Therefore being nice when we have to write an honest negative review is not easy. But it must be done. 

Unfortunately, when we  give the guests a dishonest positive review we defy the objective of building trust.  Future hosts depend on an honest review from previous hosts. You depend on it. 

As they say,

“what goes around comes around”. 

We have had a case where 4 guys booked into a home with 4 great reviews. They were proper con artists and had parties every night. The last night they had [arranged?] a  break-in . This puts the owner on the spot and he does not want a bad review with comments about a break-in. And then the hosts either not review they guys or shake hands and agree to share only positive stuff. 

Well. We did not. We said they are not recommended. And we blocked them. 

BTW: These guests never laid a complaint with Airbnb or the police. Who would not complain after a break-in? Odd. 

And we expect our owners who manage to give us the truth as we know you want us to only send you good guys. 

When you review a guest consider the following criteria:

  • Overall experience. Overall, how the guest?
  • Cleanliness. Did the guest leave the place in a reasonable state?
  • Communication. How well did they communicate before and during the stay? 
  • Check-in. How well did they adhere to check-in procedure? 
  • House rules: how well did they follow the house rules?
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You normally search using the suburb’s name. Airbnb selects a relative map area to show all listings in that restricted map area.

Unfortunately, Airbnb does not show the actual suburb as known by the locals or how the city demarcates it.

When you don’t see your listing, view the Airbnb map. You would probably notice your home is outside of the area Airbnb selected for your suburb.

Adjust the Airbnb map and click on Search This Area. Now your listing should show.

Can you change this? No, unfortunately Airbnb only uses your actual address to create the map via Google maps and it prefills the address field as you type.

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Dear New Owner,

 

How much will I make with Airbnb or short term rentals in Cape Town?
Today I’ll try and give you an answer. However, it will not be straightforward.
Before we share the answer to the million-dollar question we must qualify the owner’s expectations.

Let me explain.

Kicking off we ask the new owner   what income they expect per annum from the property?   
The objective is not in defining if the owner is a short term rental marketing expert. No.  

We use the owner’s answer to the question to verify if we can meet the owner’s expectations. This answer help us qualify the owner.

It’s critical to know from the owner; who is the investor, the overall caretaker, and person expecting a return on their money.
However, when we normally ask the owner…. 

It’s very common for the owner to say;

“We do not know the market and would not be able to tell…… you telling us what you feel we can expect as you know the market better as you say you are the experts”. Potential Homeowner

Correct! We are the experts!

And  we will guide the owner eventually  but an owner with unreasonable expectations is a concern.

Let me explain.

As I mentioned we use the owner’s annual income expectations to qualify the owner
We would rather know if we can meet your expectations, today, than avoid disappointment tomorrow.Experience Airbnb Agent

For example: 

  1. If the  owner expects a lot more than what we can reasonably get  from the market then we know, to rather, stay clear of the owner. Let’s assume we don’t know the owner’s expectations and it is 2 x what is reasonable then we are going to have a massively disappointing relationship. It will fail as we did not know her expectations. 
  2. If the owner’s expectations are  in the ballpark we know we just overcame one of the obstacles to a good relationship. 
  3. If the owner’s  expectations are too low we can panel beat the expectations ; some times these owners tell us they only want a few profitable bookings. In the past when we did not know their low expectations; we bombarded them will ideas to maximise income while they were not interested. And this also causes strain. 
I am sure you now understand and would agree to our request to know what annual income you expect. Or would love to get.

How do you try and figure it out? 

You may want to at least cover costs monthly, or cover the bond, or make at least what you can do renting it out long term. These are good starts and we can work with that.

It’s not science. You cannot fail. Just go with your gut. 

Trust us on this. 

P.S. We are not real estate agents who want to make a quick buck. Our relationship must last for years.

But if we get it wrong let’s say goodbye before we fail each other.Experienced Agent

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Setup An AirbnbInvestment Advice: Airbnb Cape Town

Excellent question:

How Do You Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town?

Today I just want to discuss flexibility

Let’s kick off with this quote from the FAQ “Why Are The Number Of Bedrooms Not That Important?”

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 a three bedroom. Two-Bedroom change-overs cost 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 drive. Experience Airbnb Agent
Setting Up An Airbnb Without Flexibility? You are leaving money on the table!
  • If you are looking at a 4 bedroom apartment then I’ll rather go for 2x two bedrooms next to each other. If you want to buy a 4 bedroom home then I would not consider two 2-bedroom homes. But if you consider building a 4 bedroom try and set them up to have two kitchens and be private if you choose. 
  • Beds. When we do the interior we tend to think large beds where two share the bed. Ideal for couples. But what happens if you have 4 single people who would not like to share? Always choose singles you can set up as kings. 
  • If you can do kings always do king beds, the least should be queen. And normal  double beds are close to being a waste . Not really but why? A bed is a once off investment; lasting a long time. And your beds should be flexible enough to cater to the tall, separated, and the huge. Do this and you will win over an owner ignorant to this basic. 



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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?

 

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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.

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Excellent question, “how much can I make on Airbnb?” when you intend to list on Airbnb. But what about the Airbnb income calculator?

You get some great Airbnb profitability calculators; they tend to only use your property address and the number of bedrooms to calculate your Airbnb profitability. Well, let’s look at….

Airbnb’s own free calculator. For example; look at a two-bedroom in Cape Town. Airbnb suggests a monthly R26 531 (or +R300 000 or $22000 per annum). This is optimistic, to say the least. What about occupancy? I see the norm is a low 37% occupancy. Did they calculate this income at 100% occupancy? I just have too many questions. And you should as well.

Personally, I believe the calculators may be designed to lull you into listing your accommodation as very few people in Cape Town would not list their accommodation on Airbnb if they can get the above. You may even consider buying a property because of the high potential Airbnb income. Mistake.

We believe you must crawl before you run. And let’s rather be conservative.

And consider other factors as well.

Your potential income cannot be based on your neigbourhood and number of rooms only; yes, it’s a good start but what about the host’s attitude towards guests, your rules (minimum stays, cancellation policy, discounts, etc.), your location in relation to the beach (or related major attractions), pool, jacuzzi, features, willingness to invest in staging and professional photos? And the list of critical Airbnb income drivers grows.

It is for this reason that we developed an in house Airbnb quiz to try and determine if your Airbnb accommodation will make money. No bull.

The quiz, obviously, depends on your honesty. But the verdict will be better than using an Airbnb profitability calculator.  It may not answer your question; How much can I make on Airbnb? Calculator. No. But when you get the results from the Airbnb Profitability Quiz you will know; if your Airbnb accommodation will make money or not and what you need to correct it.

 

Get The Free Airbnb Profitability Quiz here.


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airbnb-foolproof-audit

 Underestimate The Ingenuity of Complete Fools.    

This is really well said. In the Airbnb shorter rental business we cannot be more vigilant to the ingenuity of complete fools
When I use the word fool it’s not intended as a judgment; the intention is to rather say, ignorant person. Ignorant in its actions and choices. And these actions and decisions can be the  cause of serious damages and costs .  
All we need is to do what is reasonable to counteract these fools. Understanding we will never cover all ingenuity of complete fools. We, therefore, those owners do a foolproof audit. And keep on fine-tuning it. 

List of possible issues to recover during your foolproof audit.

Fool Proof Checks

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In general, you want to replace expensive things with quality but easily replaceable items.
The most critical of these listed issues must be shared to your manager to add to the listing, where guests book as they must take responsibility for staying knowing about potential risks, and in your house manual and rules.
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Potential guests have very many choices. And we have found that photos sell. But photos do a lot better of selling if the home is staged. Guests need to imagine staying at your home. And guests book our homes faster than the norm as measured in occupancy by Airbnb.
Agency CapeHolidays use a Cape Town Airbnb professional stager to evaluate the home, recommend changes to the owner, and when all things are in place she will do the staging on day of the photoshoot.  The staging service starts at R450 depending on the scope of work and size of the accommodation.
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Airbnb Guests book remarkable accommodation before they book a home with poor photos, boring interior. Homes don’t have to be luxury but everyone walking in should know this is a unique place! We believe…..

If it’s not remarkable it’s not good enough. From start to finish, we try to think about designing a more remarkable experience.

  1. We must do an audit of the home before we list it. This audit is like ensuring our (with you we are a team) investment against bad reviews – it’s not foolproof but does eliminate most nasty surprises. (Why do you need at least 40 reviews? more here) 
  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.
    Read more on Foolproof Audit
    What to check for when doing a foolproof audit – get it here.
  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. Owners Having To Open Their Home: Some owners initially find it difficult to contemplate guests will use their home and to trust their agents who control their homes.  
  5. Limited 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 improvements. Guests regularly recommend things. We don’t compromise on these as they improve profitability.
  7. Staging of a home: without staging, guests may not be able to imagine how they could use your home. Professional photos of a staged home is the way to go. The only way for us.
  8. We have created a free tool where you can establish if you (owner) has the right attitude to succeed and if your home has what it takes to succeed.  Complete this free Airbnb Profitability quiz here.
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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:

 


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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?

 

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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.

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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. 

 


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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?

 

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As you may have read, Agency.CapeHolidays.Info kicked off during 2009.

During this time we have had a few experiences we would not wish upon our worst enemies. Luckily we can count these bad experiences on two hands.

Some ridiculous, some funny and others; close to madness. Use the links below to read more.

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An owner gave us feedback and made this statement. 
The owner said:

I think your current contract is skewed towards Airbnb needs and thus biased against the owners.

This is a critical concern that I want to share with all owners and hosts using Airbnb (but let’s not focus on the tall tree alone. Booking.com is far worse).
I do understand the concern. And agree.
The bad news is we live in utopia. 
In general, I mean.
We tend to trust everyone. And that keeps the good people sane. 
But businesses, big corporates more, tend to maximise income at the expense of something.
Airbnb, may not even know how they screw the host. They do NOT only do an exceptional job of screwing they also bring us very many paying guests. But when things go wrong their true colours shine through.
Our intention with the T&Cs is to share ALL these risks. 
Using Airbnb; we pay a price for their dominance (bias against owner = host etc).
And we have an obligation to inform owners about this bias. 
In the past, we kept these risks to ourselves hoping the impact is not part of our path but surprise surprise we got burned. And owners had to carry the brunt. Carrying the brunt is not the issue. Being surprised is the issue. Our T&Cs shares the Airbnb bias (even if we don’t like it).
We can only reduce the bias (host, owner, agent) by direct bookings. In the meantime, we are transparent when it comes to bad news. 
BTW: We never really told owners of extenuating circumstances. We just said Airbnb T&Cs apply. But that was not fair. When we paid and owner R161 000 they had to pay back because of extenuating circumstances is not the kind of surprise we want to share with you post the incident. No. It’s transparent. You know what you are getting into.
Therefore:
Our Terms & Conditions rather turn you down today before we fail you tomorrow.
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We get various questions on this topic. An owner is new or worried that the pipeline is empty. At least when we say we are working on something it gives them hope. 
We are constantly working with agents and clients from our website, where we send them suitable options that match their budget and requirements. The issue is we cannot let an owner know about every single fish that swims near our net as many (most) of them don’t actually end up biting. And these incidents are less than 10% of the potential bookings. 
The other issue is, unfortunately, things have changed to Instant Bookings.

Have a look at these concerns by owners:

“N asks me quite often if I heard of any new bookings that are in the pipeline. Of course, I don’t, I get your note only when there is a firm reservation. Times are hard for most of us and Nathalie is obviously worried about the finances of the house. Maybe a short message to the owners telling them how it goes would be great”.

D asked, “Thanks [for the] update but have you had any enquiries for our place as yet? I saw it online but as you say we happy to discount where necessary and for longer stays. We want to avoid our place standing empty over the Christmas holiday period but also not prepared to give that period away either. Please keep me posted!”
Unfortunately, or fortunately works on instant booking. 99%.
The Internet uses concepts like these described in the “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini PhD
As soon as the buyer talks he thinks. When he thinks he changes his mind.
Instant-book removes the thinking part. They book when they are hot. And when the credit card is in hand do you think Airbnb wants it now? Yes! This is scientifically proven; these guys design and test psychological greed of the human. Like it or not. It’s been done. Everyday. And rejecting it’s not the solution. Being aware is a good start. Rather encourage direct bookings. 
99% of all bookings today are instant. No enquiry.
Important. Because there is no enquiry there are no negotiations. We offer our best price with the best preset long stay discounts ahead of time. And they instantly book.

We never give stuff away. And will never allow an owner to do it. But given the above and the buyers market (COVID) rather tell me what you think is a reasonable rate. And for Instant Book we must set the best rates up front; don’t do this upfront and you snooze and just too loose.

(BTW: There is always demand (sometimes more); the only judge of value is the guest. Not the agent, not the owner. Either we work on supply and demand pricing (within reason) or we set rates based on ego reasons and fail.)
Pipeline? Because of instant bookings, this business has no pipeline of warnings. When we learn about a booking the owner knows 24 hours later or earlier. We have only perceptions, feelings and limited insights. Opinions we share via our weekly newsletters.
Conclusion: There is no way of giving you a crystal ball view. Nothing. Because the process does not allow it. 
The only way to change it is to understand your Agents process to do instant bookings. Take it away from the 3rd parties. You must share our offers for guests to make them book direct.
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