How To School Holiday Rent My Cape Town Home- FAQs
Local Cape Town schools have a six-week break during December and January. For those who own a nice home in Cape Town, this is an opportunity to earn extra income by renting their property while the owner takes a break.
Many Cape Town “school holiday” owners want to rent their home but they don’t know-how. They think they will need to take care of it themselves. They also think it may be difficult to charge correct rates, so they are unsure about the best way to do this. But there is help! There are people with them.
You can read that it’s a difficult task to match the expectations of “school holiday” owners, and the impact of expecting guests (with a managing agent if you want to use one).
When managing an annually available Cape Town holiday home, feedback loops vary–the house becomes more guest-ready or foolproof. Owners also learn everything there is to know about their property. The same is not true for infrequent owners and thorough checks are required to ensure guests and owners are happy.
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.
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.
Our Cape Town Airbnb management services are ideal for homeowners who can not or are not interested in marketing or managing their own property.
Let me ask you a few questions to qualify your needs:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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).
- 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?
- 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?
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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Why Keep A Management Kitty?is kept to cover management costs. We must correct an issue (maintenance, DSTV, electricity, gas, or other) when it occurs.
- 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.
- 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.
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,
- we cannot afford double bookings,
- we cannot, therefore, allow another to claim days on the calendar.
- 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.
In the hospitality business the motto is:
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.
Explain instant booking and benefits
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:
- Guests book immediately. They don’t need to enquire.
- 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).
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?
Guests who can book instantly must:
- Meet Airbnb requirements
- Agree to your House Rules & Expectations
- Acknowledge that Airbnb homes can be different from hotels
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.
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.
– 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.
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