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FAQ

FAQ: Agency.CapeHolidays Management Services

FAQ’s

School Holiday Owners (38)

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. 

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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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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.  

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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.

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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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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.
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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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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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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
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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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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-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

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.

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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Yes. Unfortunately, agreements are to keep the bad guys in line. 90% of people are trustworthy. The problem is complicated 10%. And we need to clarify very important clauses. Clarifying them with our T&Cs sets the scene explaining the rules we try to adhere to. Our ultimate aim is to protect the guest, you and us. But that’s the foundation from where we aim to make all interested parties happy. This is not easy. But we must start at the bottom and then work towards success.
Some of our T&C clauses ar set in stone. A few are negotiable to suit your unique needs. We believe it best for you to read our FAQs, the read the T&Cs and then ask questions. We have two T&Cs; one for owners who only rent only during school holidays and other renting out during the year. These two groups have unique needs.
Read the Agency CapeHolidays Owner T&Cs here.
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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.
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Initially, owners may want to use their own maintenance teams. But they quickly realise their team many be great but not as responsive as critical- and frustrated guests expect. Time frustrates! And more so when guests are on holiday. You either fix it now or get a bad review. From 2009 we have learned the hard way and have a team subcontracting-maintenance-providers who don’t argue. If we call they jump. And high.  
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Can I LIST my Airbnb Accommodation with Agency.CapeHolidays.Info?

Yes. Obviously you need to qualify.
  • We only list remarkable accommodation; meaning if the accommodation is extraordinary, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, wonderful, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, miraculous, or wow.  Anything average, below par, standard, boring, cheap will not make the grade. To manage accommodation well, is expensive and only any remarkable accommodation can afford management. Let’s consider a one and two-bedroom boring place and a remarkable one bedroom; the rates on the boring places would not justify professional management but the remarkable one bedroom could.
  • 99% of the accommodation we list we manage and market. This means  if you want to market your own accommodation  but only need someone to manage then we will not be able to assist.
  • If you want to  manage your home and need us to market  we can assist as long as you can prove to us you can be as good as we are. I am not saying this to brag; experience has shown that our owner-managed homes don’t get the same high ranking reviews we get when we manage. There are one or two owners who do really well, one or two lower and then a few who are no longer part of our portfolio.  
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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). 

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

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

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Within 24 of a reservation, you’ll receive an email titled Confirmed Booking.  We share the following reservation info:

  • Name of guest
  • Dates
  • Number of guests
  • Amount to be paid to you.

And the CONFIRMED BOOKING may not be changed or canceled by the owner or CapeHolldays. 

Depending on the BOOKING SITE’s T&Cs we may only receive the money one day after arrival. 

Obviously, these bookings can be canceled; due to lack of payment or cancellations as per T&Cs

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An Owner Pieter recommended Sandra and husband John. Around the dining table, they heard about the slug of money Pieter got renting his home over peak. 

The one couple got easy money over Christmas and the others wanted to be part of the rainbow. 

Sandra showed us their upmarket apartment close to the beach. It was not guest ready yet. But we assisted in staging the accommodation and the photos were really great. This is going to be a winner. 

We sent them the T&Cs to read, discuss, agree, sign and send back. 

Nothing. Eventually, we got an email;

We know Peter who has a property that you have rented over the high season period. We are comfortable with a similar arrangement with our property. 

Long story short; the: similar arrangement was based on a handshake. Although low incidence, renting out accommodation has various risks. And things had to change. Easy verbal arrangements are great and easy but…. 

Various parties with different expectations make it difficult to just shake hands on hope for the best:

  1. The owner has risks, fears, and needs. 
  2. Guests have high expectations. 
  3. The management agent must address the issues of the owner and guests. 
  4. The provider Airbnb, Booking.com or other third-party agents has its own set of rules. 
  5. And where there is money the one holding it is controlling the roost. 

The rare incidents can be severe. Let me explain:

Since starting out Cape Town Management Agency during 2009 we only had three cancellations due to extenuating circumstances. All during 2019. An insignificant issue as measured in incidence and 4% in value. 

The three owners feeling the burn and are now out of pocket. These cancellations occur last minute. And in most cases, guests book at least two months in advance. Meaning; we will not get another booking. 

Two of the affected owners, we paid a substantial amount, said they were not aware we market their home on Airbnb and did not realise the risk.

One owner asked us to share the risks in more detail. Obviously, this is one example of many. 

An agreement has various purposes:

  • It draws the lines within which the guest, owner, and agent plays the game. 
  • It sets out and explains expectations for parties. It shares timelines, responsibilities, and duties. 
  • It explains the risks in no uncertain terms. And owners have the right to know. 
  • It keeps all involved as honest as is possible. 
  • It indicates to us that we have the right to represent the owner and the owner is committed. 
  • In exchange for generating an income, for the committed owner, we brand the owner’s home with the trustworthiness we established over many years. These include being SuperHosts and having nearly a thousand 4.9 out of 5 Star reviews. And we cannot risk losing these with owners who say, “Sorry, we shook hands and you did not tell me about that!” 
  • Money complicates things. Example: we get paid by Airbnb, we paid the owner; what happens when there’s a refund or cancellation? Airbnb immediately takes the money from us. Now we need to recover the money from the owner. This can become a mess when based on a cordial handshake. 

Our Terms and conditions are general. It may not cover all your specific needs. Certain clauses are negotiable others not. We can add, and adapt some. 

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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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 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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Excellent question;

What is Airbnb property management?

An Airbnb Property Management company provides a service to accommodation owners who would like to generate income from their accommodation but are either not able to manage the home themselves or they are not interested in management and marketing.

 

What Is the Airbnb Management Criteria I should  Consider Before I Decide? 

  1. An Airbnb Property Management company should provide a proven track record of Airbnb marketing success; this is measured in the average review scores. In general lookout for Airbnb Management companies with an average score above 4.8 out of 5 🌟 (FAQ SuperHost).
  2. These management companies should be SuperHosts. 
  3. How do they charge for Airbnb management? Do they charge a retainer or do they charge per incident? If the cost per incident you only pay if need. We have found management retainers make Airbnb agents lazy as they make money even if the home does not rent out. In our case, we only generate an income if the house generates an excellent income.  So the owner wins when we do a great job marketing on Airbnb.  . (FAQ What you are paying for..)
  4. Occupancy. Any Airbnb agency can promise you the sky to get the business. It’s like a real estate agent offering you a high suggested selling price to get the mandate. This is wrong.  Airbnb agents worth their salt must have a higher occupancy than the norm.  In Cape Town, we run between 25 and 50% higher. (FAQ Maximise Income).
  5. Rates: Any Airbnb management company selling their business on high rates is a red flag. Overselling will not work. As an agency we manage to ensure we get 5 🌟 reviews, so that occupancy can increase, meaning demand increases and only then do we increase rates. 
  6. Management and marketing are major functions. Management includes maintaining and improving the home, liaison with guests, welcoming and greeting guests, sorting out issues.
  7. Marketing is useless without 5 🌟 management. Marketing includes but is not limited to setting Airbnb marketing best policies to maximise income by attracting exceptional guests; setting rates to maximise income through occupancy, minimum stay rules, cancellation policies, and others. 
  8. Financial reporting. How do the Airbnb Agency report income and expenses, when and how regularly are you paid? Once a month or when the reservation is paid? We pay within 24 hours of receiving payment. (FAQ Cash Flow Reporting)

Agency.CapeHolidays.info is one of many Airbnb management companies Cape Town. It’s your choice. Obviously. But do your homework. 

Agency.CapeHolidays.info is an Airbnb property management company with offices in Simonstown and Green Point.

You can look at Cape Town suburbs where we manage here



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Exclusive Mandate: The Owner gives Agency.CapeHolidays.info authority to act on its behalf regarding the marketing and management of the Owner’s property for short term holiday rentals as per our T&CS.

The main focus of the mandate is the availability calendar; as your agents,

  1. we cannot afford double bookings,
  2. we cannot, therefore, allow another to claim days on the calendar.
  3. The calendar is only valid if we were involved with any changes to the calendar.

Management of the property: We cannot manage and get 5 out of 5 star reviews if unauthorised persons access the home without our knowledge. We have seen too many times where guests arrived at a prepared home to find another left stuff, used the toilet, or wrinkled a cushion by sitting on it.

To keep up the standards across all homes we need homeowners to give us full authority.

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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
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Why Keep A Management Kitty?

More on emergency breakdowns
Owner-only-kitty is kept to cover management costs. We must correct an issue (maintenance, DSTV, electricity, gas, or other) when it occurs.

  1. A few owners tend to forget to pay their monthly accounts. When this happens you don’t want to let the guests suffer because the owner is asleep.
  2. Other times, maintenance is required, and getting money from the owner to pay or waiting for a booking to pay is not clever.

Note: Your Cash Flow statement is up to date 24/7 and shows you at any time what is in the kitty and what money is outstanding at any time.

kittyairbnb

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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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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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The simple answer is that we manage all unique and remarkable Cape Town accommodation (see the areas we cover here).

We never said it must be luxury. Not necessarily. All we want is for guests to say Wow. Like these reviews (more here).

Airbnb reviews agency.capeholidays.info

But back to your question:

 If we consider peak rates ; our large homes rent for as much as R45000 per day, while small two-bedroom apartments about R2000 per night.

You can see the rates vary a lot. But let me just warn you; don’t get too excited looking at R45000 per night. Outside of peak this home will rent for a lot less. And very few homes will ever rent for R45000 per night.

You can read more on how to qualify your home here.

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Controlling the number of guests is not easy. When they arrive you can count them, then you see them seven days later when there’s a linen change or when they checkout.

Obviously guests are clever and will ensure the right number of guests when they meet the manager.

In between arrival and departure, there is no physical interaction with the guests and it is based on trust.

As more and more people use Airbnb and short term rentals other hosts have had extra guest problems. Some of the hosts live in Johannesburg with a place in Cape Town where the guest enters keyless.  No one to count. 

If you are an owner-manager ensure that you and your staff are aware of the number of people who have confirmed.

We send the owner and the manager an email confirming the dates and number of guests who have reserved the home. Unfortunately, not-too-honest guests will try their luck and have more people over. 

How do remote hosts resolve the issue?

Various non-intrusive options are available to detect noise.  Read more here. Party Squasher is another great option if only it was available in SA; it knows when there are too many people in your home by counting the number of mobile devices in the vicinity (more). 

capetownairbnbvideocamerasI could not find a smart noise alert device available to South Africa yet. I, therefore, suggest a  relatively cheap video camera  installed at the entrance (and declare it to guests). This video camera should link to the manager’s phone where she can check if she needs to. The above camera cost about an R1000 installed. In other words; if a manager has to do 3 headcount checks it would pay you back after three such visits. 

Agency.CapeHolidays can go and do an extra check on the number of guests at the standard incident fee relevant at that stage.  My concern is that it’s a very infrequent issue and throwing repetitive money to do a physical check is costly over time.  Please send requests to check guest number more often in writing. 

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Typical Airbnb House Rules.

The list below may be typical but only the minimum. Each homeowner must take this list and complete it specifically to their own home.

When owners have additional house rules the newly  updated listed must be emailed to Agency.CapeHolidays.Info where the agent  will add it to online listings of the property.

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The above list of minimum Airbnb House rules must be read by owners with the house manual, domestic person’s tasks and manager task manual.

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Our Cape Town Airbnb management services are ideal for homeowners who  can not or are not interested in marketing or managing their own property. 

More on the topic
Should I list CapeHolidays If I Can Do Airbnb Myself?
What do we provide for the commission we take?

Let me ask you a few questions to qualify your needs:

  1. Can you manage your own home and ensure a 5 Star rating for each and every guest staying? Can you enjoy your holiday away while guests demand attention? Can you be very responsive to guests? Are you willing to liaise with guests 24/7? Are you willing to negotiate with guests, resolve conflicts when it occurs?
  2. Do you know how to set  marketing policies to get the best possible return on your investment?  For example; setting the competitive rates, setting correct seasonal length of stays, protecting your home with the best possible cancellation policy?
  3. Can you generate 20% more income than the average Cape Townian using Airbnb? (Our occupancy is consistently 20% more than the average. Most are 35% and higher).
  4. Do you have on-demand maintenance people who will fix things there and then ensure you don’t get guest revenge when you are slow to act?
  5. Can you supervise maintenance work etc to your home 24/7?

If you answered  yes to many of these then it’s better you manage and market your own home.  You don’t need us. 

However, if you cannot manage/market then our management and marketing skills will bring you,  hassle free , at least 20% more income.

Our experience from 2009 will give you a better chance of renting your home for a fair price. 

Compare our management costs with other great Cape Town Agents.

Other Cape Town agent’s commission is as much as ours or more. And they have a monthly management retainer as well.  If these agencies have bookings or not you pay the retainer.  

However, if we don’t get bookings you pay zero.

Zero commission and zero management fees.

Is this fair or would you rather pay us a monthly retainer for doing nothing?

Don’t you think our model, of management fees per incident, ensure we focus on rather renting your home for the best possible deal than collecting monthly retainers?

Our  management function is exclusively available to you at cost .

There is no profit for us on management. Our managers get paid each cent we claim for management. 

Note: guests pays an additional fee for the change over management incidents. It covers about 80% of the management cost. 

No incidents! You pay nothing.

  •  We can unhassle your holiday home .
  • And you have to do virtually nothing.
  • The home will generate a healthy income while it’s maintained and improved at all times; while you focus on peace of mind.

For this, our homeowners choose peace of mind.

BTW: We are striving to be the best but we are not there yet.

If not we would not have grown our portfolio with very many happy owners.

Interesting: Why would our owners send us messages like this if we are not making a difference?

Airbnb agency cape town



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This answer is specific to owners who only rent out during school holidays

Here are some of the responsibilities of the domestic. For any deviation, the appointed manager must be notified immediately.  Below are 15 minimum functions for the domestic.   Available to Agency.CapeHolidays homeowners and management staff. 

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Be friendly, be accommodating, be FIRM!

We want a 5 Star review but our integrity is not for sale.

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With compiled a proformal manual for you to adapt. The manual is not final. It’s the minimum required.

Owner Only Protected Area

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Peak only homes or homes available a few times during the year are different from Airbnb homes we manage throughout the year. The one is set up for  guests with a track record and the other is where the owner lives during the year with no track record. Let’s consider a few more:

  1. Living in the home during the year gives us no real opportunity to establish issues the home may have. And the last thing you want is for guests to strain the home and then complain. Various issues may arise; one example is where pets live on the property. Even if they are taken to a kennel they tend to leave a mark; these can be resident and dormant fleas. Now, this is an extreme example but it has been an issue. Many other issues specific to these high peak homes have caused a lot of stress in the past.
  2. Because the house is not regularly booked out we don’t know how the owner would react to guest complaints, how quickly the owner will address issues and how open the owner is to people using her home. 
  3. The owner will not be in the immediate area to manage the property. And we will manage. In many cases, the owner’s domestic will assist with cleaning, etc. This helps. As long as we set the responsibilities clearly. These domestics need training. 
  4. A lovely 3 bedroom with a pool will be an ideal home if it’s rented out throughout the year. But the management costs and risks involved with renting out the same  (unproven) lovey 3 bedrooms for 7 or 10 days during the year is not worth it.  
  5. We must consider uniqueness; the more unique the higher the rates and the higher the demand. In general, most Airbnb homes in Cape Town are three bedrooms. Therefore lots of supply. The higher the supply the lower the rates. Making it difficult to rent out at a fair rate.
  6. Obviously you get 3 bedroom properties that defy everything I said above. Like Mbali (see it here). This is what I call  very unique . These kinds of 3 bedrooms are in high demand and get’s high rates. 
  7. Days available: The longer your home is available the better. Ten days over peak is okay. The problem is the lack of flexibility. How do you fit a square into a hole? The longer you have available the easier it is to do a nice long booking of ten to 14 nights. But if you only have 10 nights you may battle to get a 7-night booking. Very little money for the risk. 
  8. If your availability excludes New Year you are not making it easy to get a booking.
  9. How do you increase the demand for your home? Obviously you cannot change the location, but the number of people you sleep may change. If you can go from a six sleeper to an 8 sleeper you have moved into more uniqueness. If you have a three-bedroom with a room with one single or three-quarter bed you are throwing money away. If you have a pink kids room with small girl stuff you are reducing your ability to rent it. Make the home neutral, let two people sleep per room. An office is great for a working family but a sleeper couch for two kids in the study can increase the demand for your home.

Summary: If you live in your home – rent it once or twice a year, and it’s a relatively small home with a pool or less it must be extremely unique, remarkable, wow, or whatever you call it and have reasonably long availability (14 days or more) before we consider it. 

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The Best Owners To Assist with Airbnb Management

I wish we had a crystal ball. Because it can go wrong. And it will – more here on the Airbnb Marriage Made In Hell.

When you work with an owner you have to become a team. There is no opposition. Because a good agent assist the owner by doing what the owner expects.  And if the OWNER wins the AGENT wins as well.  Is that not ideal?

Let’s consider a few qualifiers:

  1. If an enquiring owner kicks off asking how much we charge, you know he is shopping for the cheapest deal. We are not in the auction business.
  2. bestairbnbownersOwners who are not interested in reading, or rather studying our FAQs. These FAQs make our relationship transparent. We know. And you know. There are no surprises. When we get an owner not interested in reading the FAQs we know we don’t have a team member. We may end up with more and more misunderstandings.
  3. When owners start micromanage us. It’s great to get the owner’s input and it’s encouraged. But if it continues never-ending, it becomes pedantic, demanding, etc then the relationship will strain. It’s like you assisting your friend with his bad tooth. 
  4. When owners expect us to maximize income but they want to set rates. Unfortunately maximising income should never be left to the owner. In the past, we had various owners who thought high rates equal high income. It’s not and owners have lost massive opportunities. More here!
  5. Owner’s who are very protective, and owners who cannot handle criticisms will find it difficult. Very difficult. Guests can be cruel. Be willing to learn. And improve from each criticism.
  6.  Owners who tend to focus on reducing costs  instead of investing in ways to increase demand for their home.  What you save being stingy will never compare to what you lose not investing in improvements.   If you want to focus on cost then it’s better to get a management company who does everything as cheaply as possible while increasing profitability is not an issue.
  7. Trust. Some owners trust very few people. If this is you then rather find another Airbnb management agency.
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