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Dear Instagram Friend

Dear Instagram Friend 

What a pleasure to connect with you.

We are looking forward to a remarkable relationship. We value experiences. And why be boring if it’s easy to ‘wow’?

We are a small but dedicated self catering agency in Cape Town. Our aim is not to be the biggest but only the best.

Today we want to share how can we extend our friendship to you.

  • If your are an owner with a remarkable Cape Town home and would like us to assist with marketing and management then read this.
  • We can offer you remarkable accommodation in and around Cape Town. Just complete our enquiry form telling us you are an instagram friend. We will give you an instagram deal.
  • Collaboration: We get many invites to drink coffee and or discuss collaboration. We love coffee but we will never have a be able to make our homes even more rewarding drinking coffee with all our new instagram mates. I am sure you will understand. Please, rather, share your proposal here and if it fits our portfolio we will seriously consider it. One way is to write an informative article with professional photos on your Cape Town interest and we will consider publishing it on our blog.
  • Reviews articles or videos: We get many requests from pretty young people and not so young people who want to stay a weekend or few days for free in exchange for a review they will publish and share. Our only reviews comes from Airbnb, and our own websites from genuine guests who paid full fee to stay. That’s the only reliable way for us to get honest reviews. Nothing else.
  • Magazines, select Instagrammers with a proven track record (at least 150 000 Instagram followers) may apply for a competition where their followers stay for free if they win the contest. In exchange we will provide accommodation depending on season and availability. Apply here!
  • Are you an agent or do you get clients visiting Cape Town? We can and will gladly work with you. Just complete the enquiry saying that you met us through Instagram and you are agent looking for accommodation for your clients. Apply here!
  • Photoshoots.  We are not great with shoots at our homes. It’s not our core business. But if you insist; shoots starts at R10000 per day. Apply here!
  • Can we provide employment? Unfortunately we are not hiring.
  • Sponsoring request for Miss South Africa contestants or similar; we would love to assist but we have to pass this time.

Great stuff. You have read it all. Tell us how we can assist or how we can improve. Or go back and like our photos 🙂 And tag us with #ctremarkable when you do or see something remarkable in and around Cape Town. Go! And have #ctremarkable fun.

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All FAQs: Home Owner (3)

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. 

Did you find this FAQ helpful?

I Don’t Want A Corporate Airbnb Management Company To Assist My Guests!

I never thought about this objection until I got a potential owner who said to me, “I want professionals to manage my mother’s home in Muizenberg, but I don’t want an impersonal corporate company to run it!”

Never in my worst dream did I expect this judgment.  Unfortunately, she never read our FAQs and 100’s of 5 star reviews.

 If you read our reviews and our Airbnb profile carefully (hereyou’ll notice what guests had to say about our personal hosting. You’ll see that we are called the Horak Clan. We host people as, “Johan, Elmarie, Nandi”. How personal is this? The only none personal thing is our logo.


Did you find this FAQ helpful?

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?
Did you find this FAQ helpful?



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