School Holiday Owners (2)
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?
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).
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.
All FAQs: Home Owner (4)
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- The first one we know we are wasting our time. Zero money. Zero reviews. No launch.
- 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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How to set prices on Airbnb, within reason, maximise income is quite simple if you follow a strategy that works. This means you should focus on occupancy and not setting high rates, on getting more reviews and eliminating resistance to book. Read the following FAQ where I discus high rates and time-to-action (demand).
Read FAQ (Will I Make Money Setting High Rates On Airbnb)
To set prices on Airbnb depends on the number of reviews we have and the established demand. Assuming we list a new property with no reviews and the owner wants to maximise income annually; we go through the following with the owner:
- After we have qualified the accommodation as being remarkable we discuss the owner’s income expectations.
- It’s critical to know what annual income the owner expects. The owner, in most cases, tells us; “you are the experts you must tell me!”, this is correct; we are the experts and we will guide the owner but an owner without some expectations is a concern. The owner may want to cover costs, her bond, or make at least what she can do renting it out long term. These are good starts and we can work with that.
- We use the owner’s annual income, plug it into our income calculator and see what seasonal Airbnb rates and occupancy are required to achieve it. We start off using 35% occupancy as a guide and we adjust the rates to try and achieve this owner income. If we can generate the income at 35% occupancy and the rates are very competitive we know we have a great opportunity to meet or exceed owner income expectations during year one. If we need 40% occupancy or higher or even higher rates we know this owner – agent relationship may not kick-off very well. Either the owner should lower her expectations or we would decline.
Airbnb Pricing Strategy Philosophy Part 1
Airbnb Seasonal Rate Calculator Part 2
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.
Maximising Airbnb accommodation income is “shorthand” for our focus on (long term) profitability over a year. Instead of focusing on maximising daily rates we ensure with our philosophy to:
- Build trust – reviews and high ratings from happy guests.
- We base our Airbnb rates on demand. And demand depends on seasonality and mostly on trust.
- Maximising income does not mean we are unreasonable at any time; our guest will never say the rates are cheap; we are not and will not ever be cheap, but guests will tell you we are reasonable.
- Our model of building a snowball of trust takes longer than a year. Getting 40 reviews needs patience (more here).
- But if we are lucky and demand jumps quickly to higher than 50% occupancy we increase rates. Let me add; we always adjust rates depending on demand. Always within reason.
Maximised income depends on trust; high rates depend on high demand.
As a Cape Town Airbnb accommodation agency;