100's Of Winning Tips On How To: Setting Up A Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town  | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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100’s Of Winning Tips On How To: Setting Up A Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town 

Questions and Answers About Setting Up A Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town   

If you’re looking for a way to make money from your Cape Town holiday home, then read on.

Starting a self-catering accommodation business In Cape Town is all about being informed. But where do you start?

You can start by deciding whether you want to manage and market yourself or use an agency. There are pros and cons of each option so it’s important to think about what will work best for your situation. Talking about cons; what are the risks?

Once you’ve made that decision, the next step is figuring out how much time and energy you have available to dedicate towards managing your property. Do you have enough time? Are there any other commitments in your life that might get in the way? These are all things worth considering before taking on this project.

Read these frequently asked questions for in-depth information about starting up a self-catering accommodation business in Cape Town!

Let’s look at the questions and answers you may have to set up your Cape Town Airbnb accommodation business.

Questions and Answers About Setting Up A Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town 

Setting Up A Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town

Table Of Contents: Setting Up A Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town 
1. Setting Up A Self-Catering Airbnb
2. How To Make Money With Airbnb
3. How To Manage An Airbnb
4. T&Cs | Rules | Protection
5. Only School Holiday Owners

Setting Up A Self-Catering Airbnb Accommodation Business In Cape Town  

There are many benefits to starting up a self-catering accommodation business in Cape Town, but it’s important not to base your decision on purely financial incentives. A successful host, especially a SuperHost, can make money from Airbnb. But you must study it well. Ignorant is no excuse.

New owners are concerned, initially, with the daily rates we set. 

“Setting High Airbnb Rates 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) . Setting High Airbnb 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 setting high Airbnb 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 Setting High Airbnb Rates you may impress your neighbors 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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Category: About Airbnb

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?
Category: About Airbnb

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.

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.

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
Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town 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 Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town to have two kitchens and be private if you choose. 
  • Beds. When we do the interior we tend to think of 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 How Do You Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town 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. 



 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

 

Is Your Airbnb Ready For Guests?

Airbnb Ready For Guests books remarkable accommodation before they book 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 Airbnb ready For 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.

Airbnb Profit Calculator

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.

airbnbincomecalculator

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 Profit Calculator 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 neighborhood 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 Profit Calculator 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.


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.

Cape Town Airbnb professional stager

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.

Why Should I Choose Cape Holidays If I Can Airbnb It Myself?

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.  

How Qualify Accommodation For Airbnb

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 qualify Accommodation for Airbnb 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 qualify Accommodation for Airbnb. 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.

Airbnb Professional Photos

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.

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.

Setting Low Airbnb Rates

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 setting low Airbnb rates philosophy. 

After this introduction let me address the concern about setting low Airbnb rates equaling bad guests

When we talk about setting low Airbnb 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 setting low Airbnb rates, to overcome resistance to book. 

The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay a 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 profiles over time. 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 setting low Airbnb rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.

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).

 Get Your Free Unhassle Airbnb eBook Here 

What is the Airbnb hosting risks?

New Airbnb owners should be aware of the Airbnb hosting risks 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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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: 

  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:________

 


 Get Your Free Unhassle Airbnb eBook Here 

How To Make Money With Airbnb Accommodation Business In Cape Town 

You’ll read a lot of different opinions about making money with Airbnb. The following are some of the opinions you’ll likely read, and what they mean. 

What is import? Trust. If you ignore trust with your guests you are going to fail. If your Airbnb guests don’t give you 5-star reviews – regularly you will be just another average Joe. You will read there is, nearly, a direct relationship between the number of reviews and occupancy. Get those reviews in quickly. Why quickly? Airbnb likes action. A dormant holiday home in Cape Town or anywhere is a waste; they’ll dump you to the bottom. 

Obviously, Agency.CapeHolidays Management is biased but we are not really interested in managing a home the owner can manage herself. This should not stop us from giving you advice. So read what we share with this in mind.

Read these FAQ’s on setting up a self-catering accommodation business in Cape Town to profit.

You Can Identify With Loadshedding Frustrations And Its Negative Impact On Airbnb Guests.

Today I want to make a bold statement!

An investment in power backup will to not only protect your income but potentially increase it. Agent CapeHolidays

We can moan and groan, we can accuse and curse. But as you know it’s useless. We prefer to look for solutions rather than waste time fighting the madness of the past. 

Even if the future has its risks only the most pessimistic amongst us will not agree when I say the clouds have a silver lining. Let me stop dreaming… 

Today we received a note from a guest who booked one of our homes, saying, 

There is a lot of mention in the UK press about Eksom & the power outages. Is the house security system still operational during the outage? Is there a backup generator?Agent CapeHolidays

Current guests, mostly foreign, moan and groan as the lights go out. 

But it gets worse. Read what this host had to say and the consequences. 

airbnbloadsheddingcapetown

And Airbnb’s response….

airbnbloadsheddingcapetown

You may think Airbnb has gone wild. They should not have given a refund. Well, yes. They are in control. They do these kinds of things. And while they have no real opposition they will continue.  So, let’s not focus on what is out of our control.  

We have to fix what we can fix. We have a choice to eliminate guest’ objections; remove the disruption caused by load-shedding. 

As load-shedding fears get televised more and more guests will decide on staying where there is very little disruption. 

I recommend we fix it as soon as possible and in the most cost-effective way possible. 

What can we do about load shedding hassles as Airbnb Hosts and Owners? 

  1. We update our rules to notify all future guests we have load shedding. 
  2. What do we say to guests already booked? We need to decide. Tell them and they may cancel. Don’t tell them and they may cancel on arrival with no time to resell the dates. 
  3. Get the best cost-effective backup solution to cover the home’s power basic needs for three hours. 

What is meant by the most cost-effective power backup for limiting the frustrating load shedding to your Airbnb accommodation? 

Guests want to be distracted watching TV, working on their phones, watching a streaming sports channel. And one light would be great. 

But take the power away and they look for a scapegoat. One way to release frustration is to give your home a negative review. 

Now, I can hear you may say, “they are on holiday and should be out and about, they can do social media back at home!” 

Forgive me but, after very many years, listening to these kinds of jokes I am not really interested in countering this objection. It’s a dumb argument. Guests vote with their money. And if this is how some owners feel then you’ll feel it in your pocket. ?

Now that I have that out of the way let’s continue……

I’ll suggest a solution to limit frustrations. It’s not a green off the grid solution. Those are 4 or 5 times more expensive. 

We need backup power to cover at least 3 hours in a 24 hour period. We suggest power to the following only:

  1. A single light source. 
  2. Internet modem. 
  3. DSTV or similar. 
  4. TV. 
  5. Telephone 
  6. Charging phones – although we suggest all things that need charging be done before load shedding. 
  7. Fan. 
  8. CCTV. 

To limit the investment further we suggest a power back solution to our Airbnb accommodation as follows:

  1. One battery or more depending on the needs. Batteries can be added later as well. 
  2. Batteries are charged using Eskom power when available. Therefore we don’t include solar panels. It can be done but will increase costs. 
  3. An inverter to provide power from the batteries. 
  4. A plugin and play system. Meaning a power backup system that is relatively mobile. This may allow us not to have to register power back with the local government. And no fancy electricians need to wire the kit. 

How much will such an Airbnb power backup system cost? 

Allow me to set the scene before I tell you the cost. 

If we get a two-week cancellation when someone arrives due to the lenient Airbnb allowing it due to load shedding you will potentially lose a lot more than the investment in a power backup system. An investment to not only protect your income but potentially increase it (more on this later)

With that out of the way…..

There are very many options and you can do your own homework.  I can share with you two simple options. 

  1.  Option one:  The basic unit is 1400Kva to support 720 watts of draw. A single 12v battery will supply the configuration mentioned (Tv, Wi-Fi, DStv, etc) for 3.5 hours. Installation’ is ridiculously simple. At R7650 for the battery and inverter kit. Dedicated deep cycle batteries.  Recommended. . BTW: If load-shedding gets worse it’s pretty cheap to add another battery.
  2. Option two: 2,4Kva (24v) lasts for more than six hours. R11800. This includes the inverter and two deep cycle batteries. See below for more on batteries. Really nice to have for long shutdowns but potentially too much.

Installed at your home with a dedicated manual on how to use it. For example, you do not want the ditsy one to stick a hairdryer in there and stuff the kit up. At the above costs. Obviously prices may fluctuate a little. 

Let’s have a look at the inverter and batteries. 

Silver-Calcium Deep Cycle batteries

airbnbloadsheddingcapetown

They may look exactly like car batteries – but car batteries simply could not stand up to the requirements of load shedding.

Only a heavy industrial battery will last. 

You can get Lead Acid Deep Cycle batteries – but if their charge drops below 50% when you use them, you damage them – and the damage is cumulative each time it dips under 50%.

Even if you don’t damage them, all you’ll get is 200 to 300 uses and that’s it for the battery.

This is why the experts only use Silver-Calcium Deep Cycle batteries – they keep on going-and-going – electricians predict for thousands of recharges.

Inverter: 

airbnbloadsheddingcapetown

1.4 Kva (12v) or 2,4Kva (24v): Pack the good looking inverter out of the box, plug it into the wall, plug your media center and other electronics into it – and… 

VOILA!! Just like that, load shedding becomes a meaningless non-issue

Not only do guests have no more objections, but Airbnb also has no reason to refund them and most importantly…. 

Your home will stand-out, for now, amongst the darkness called load shedding. 

How Do You Not Only Protect Your Airbnb Income But Rather Increases It?

I did a google search “Airbnb Loadshedding” and it’s no surprise two Airbnb listings in Cape Town advertise their accommodation as free from load shedding. As airbnbloadsheddingcapetown

And if guests have to choose will they choose your Cape Town Airbnb with a load shedding unhasseller or the quiet and dark house next door? 

You bet they will choose your home. And  potential not only protect your income but increases it.  Did I say this before? 

In these dark times, we don’t cry. We do what we can. Today. Not only does the backup power supply insure you against costly refunds you are a winner amongst the blind others who lag behind. Sounds familiar? Good things can be repeated ?


Load-shedding affects us all negatively. And Airbnb guests are frustrated. Obviously we can see load-shedding as a curse or we can do better than our Airbnb host next door in making guests happier than they ever expected.

Unfortunately, the load-shedding curse has consequences; if you are not interested in fixing the issues it will negatively affect your income.  It may even cause your house to burn down.  And we had such a close encounter yesterday. Luck was on our side.

Unsuspecting guests booked into the beautiful Mbali. They went out and left the “things” to charge. When the power got back the surge caused an issue; heat, then a flame and the next thing a fire.
CapeTown airbnb Loadshedding
This is not one of the emails with photos we like to send any of our owners ever:
 loadsheddingairbnbcapetown
“When the power came back on, after load-shedding, there was a power surge that sparked an electrical fire in the main bedroom. Thanks to the quick responses from Security and the fire department the house is ok. The main bedroom has water and smoke damage as the carpet caught alight. Beyond that, all seems OK”.

How Do Propose You Fix These Load-Shedding Issues?

  1. The obvious conclusion we can draw is that guests must unplug and switch plugs off.  But you are missing the FOOL. Guests are sophisticated FOOLs. It’s also called Murphy. If it can go wrong it will go wrong.  The only way to resolve this issue is to take full responsibility, do a FOOLPROOF Audit try and make it impossible for guests to make mistakes. The following steps are designed to protect you from Murphy……
  2. It’s critical that all owners install power surge protectors as soon as possible. With labour it should be less than R1000.
  3. We highly recommend owners invest in a simple power backup system at about R8000 (after discount). Not only will it ensure income it may even increase it. More here on what we suggest.
  4. If you don’t have a gas stovetop we suggest a one plate gas burner (more here).
  5. Fire and monoxide detector should be a standard fixture to any home.
  6. Ensure that you have liability insurance against guest claims and your insurance guys are aware you are doing short term rentals. 

Even though this could have been a major disaster; quick action by many roleplayers prevented a calamity. And it was great to get the owner sharing the following with us:

Elmarie,

Thank goodness I have the best team ever, I appreciate all you are doing to get us back in business.
It was quite a shock to read what happened. I had no idea about Surge adapters and will now investigate what they are and if I need them anywhere else.

 


You should invest in Netflix, DSTV and other streaming applications. This assumes you have invested in  uncapped Wi-Fi . Uncapped fast internet is non-negotiable.

What streaming apps should I have for my Airbnb?

  • Netflix
  • Showmax
  • DSTV NOW
  • YouTube
  • Music streaming
  • Games – (not streaming).

How do I get Netflix on my TV?

The best choice is a smart TV (more here) with built-in streaming functionality. If you don’t have a fancy smart TV then you need to see if you have a HDMI slot on your TV.

Click here to see what an HDMI slot looks like.

If you don’t have an HDMI slot on your TV then rather buy a smart TV. However, if you have a spare HDMI slot on your TV then either get an Apple Box or Android Box (we recommend this Android box. It’s more expensive than some but reliable and you can add DSTV).

How Do I Install DSTV on my smart TV or Smart Box?

How to install DSTV is not always that simple. Most boxes come with pre-installed DSTV, Netflix, and others. But if it not then it may be a bit of a problem. Unfortunately, the Smart Boxes or Smart TVs are limited as to what you can download and install. These limitations on Android boxes/TVs are due to Google. Why? I don’t know. 

On the Smart TV or Smart Box, you can access Google Play where you should be able to get Netflix and DSTV Now and install it. See how to install DSTV Now, here.

 What is cool is that you can add your Home DSTV account credentials to your DSTV Now application and watch DSTV on this device for free. You don’t pay extra.  Ideal for guests and excellent for reducing costs .

This means you don’t need to pay DSTV at home and at your Airbnb. If you want to be a scrooge you can even leave it for guests to use their own DTSV account login details but this will limit many British and other foreign English speaking guests who like to watch DSTV and DSTV sport.

The same is true for Netflix. With Netflix, I don’t suggest you install it with your account details. No. Each guest familiar with Netflix should use their own account credentials. 

Do This! And you have just invested in more 5 star reviews.

We received this email from one of our owners asking if we can accommodate other agents who want to share our Cape Town accommodation:

We have a friend (from Austria ) who specializes in renting properties here in Mauritius to a close network of German and Austrian clients. As you have 100% sole mandate and control over the calendar if she booked via you at BNB rates, would you share a small portion of your commission with her? She says they also like Cape Town.

We have many agents we work with. All you do is ask her to contact us directly. We share the images, rules, descriptions, etc. She can make brochures of the home. We give her your Airbnb link to check rates and availability. The rates guests pay are the rate she quotes her guests. If it’s available we give her a 10% commission on the Airbnb fee. Easy.
Agents Contact Us Here!





    Dear 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 helps us qualify the owner.

    It’s critical to know from the owner; who is the investor, the overall caretaker, and the 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 ; sometimes 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

    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.

    How to set prices on Airbnb?

    Let’s start with what is maximise income?”

    “It must be stressed that the concept ‘maximise income’ is a short way of saying; make the home profitable but never at all cost. Only within reason!” Experienced Airbnb Agent

    Maximising income is quite simple if you follow a strategy that works. This means you should focus on occupancy and not setting high rates, and on getting more reviews (trust) and  eliminating all resistance to book . Read the FAQ (1) where I discuss high rates and time-to-action (demand).

    To set prices on Airbnb it 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:

    1. After we have qualified the accommodation as being remarkable we discuss the owner’s income expectations.
    2. It’s critical to know what annual income the owner expects (Read more here on why we  must  know this). 
    3. 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 annual expected income at 35% occupancy  and the rates are very competitive we know we have a great opportunity to meet or exceed the owner income expectations during the year one. If during year one, we need 40% occupancy or higher to achieve the owner’s income goal, we know this owner-agent relationship may not last 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 

    Case Study 1: Airbnb Annual Income Expectations: Simonstown Villa:  

    Let’s consider the following email from a new owner with a lovely 4 bedroom accommodation in Simonstown. She would not be able to manage her home or market it. This is what she told me after I asked her for her annual income expectations:

    New Owner

    The financial data was as follows for the period May 2018 to June 2019 – 12 months. The loft room was booked for 191 nights at an average of 752 rand per night and generated 143697 rands for the year. The garden suite was booked for 181 nights and had an average nightly revenue of 1419 and generated 256921k for the year. Total revenue after booking sites costs was 400618k. New Owner

    This is really an achievement. 

    Agent CapeHolidays

    Interesting. And your logic makes sense. Obviously we need to see the home. And I believe if it gets foolproof remarkable interior with lots of flexibility like 8 single beds (can be made in Kings), for example, then it should exceed our own expectations.

    These are the homes we prefer.

    Looking at the figures you shared  the owner is doing 50% occupancy  during the year for both properties. Excellent. And a good sign. This means even higher occupancy/rates during summer as winter is relatively dead. The average Airbnb occupancy for this area is much lower. Obviously ours are on average 20% higher and winners a lot higher. But it took about 12 months of building trust with each property to get there.

    New Owner

    I would consider this a benchmark to use and hopefully surpass as the entire house would now be available at time that we are not there, this obviously also depends on when we plan to use it too.

    For now my view is that we should be able to add a further 200k to the value above. To answer your question we would expect to achieve a minimum of what has been achieved historically and add up to 100k on top of this after costs and achieve a gross 550k before your 20% costs. This is a view based on the data we have, I am sure you will have a view, please could you give us your opinion and experience.

    Reasonable! Who would argue?

    Agent CapeHolidays

    Due to various issues (like meeting expectations) we only start off a new home if we can achieve the owner’s goal at 35% occupancy. This does not mean we will not try and beat it. But agreeing to a new house where 50% occupancy is required, to achieve the R550 000 goal, then we may disappoint you before we start. And that’s not fair on you. Agreeing at the  kickoff stage to higher occupancy  than what is our norm will cause pressure to maximising rates rather than  working on getting trust, and adjusting rates to address occupancy based on supply and demand during the first 12 months.[/su_highlight

    I must say that I am confident we can achieve 50% and higher occupancy to meet and exceed R550 000 but why make a promise just to keep the owner happy? Why not rather exceed expectations after 12 months?

    Our Motto

    We don’t have to be the biggest accommodation agency in Cape Town or Simonstown! No. We only want to be the best!

    This implies that we   can walk away; as we are not trying to win a deal at all costs. No.  We rather shake hands and walk. Ensuring we will always look the owner in the face knowing we did what was best for both parties.

    Let me qualify: When is the best time for an owner to stay  at their property if they want to maximise income? 

    Obviously, if you are not interested in a high return then it does not matter when you stay.

    Let me pack it out for you:

    •  About 25-30% of your income will be generated between 15 December and 5 January. This is peak time. And people pay a massive premium for our remarkable Cape Town accommodation. It is therefore ideal if you do not to stay between these dates.
    •  The most popular date is 31 December.  Most peak time reservations include 31 December. Let’s say you stay over Christmas but depart on the 27 December then you can still get peak rates over 31 December. However, if you stay over 31 December but not over Christmas – forget it. People are reluctant to stay over Christmas for long and are not really willing to pay a massive premium. 
    • Winter is nearly dead. If you do it well you may get some income at 30% peak. If you are willing to do winter then it’s the best. But winter is winter. (May to end August).
    • September to 15 December improves. The weather is better. But no fireworks. And ideal if you can stay over this period.
    • January is better than the other pre-peak summer months. If you want to stay then try and stay after 5 January.
    •  February is after peak the most popular.  The rates are not peak but occupancy is very high; higher than December January. 
    • March and April are again slower and not a bad time to come and enjoy your home.

    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
    Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town 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 Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town to have two kitchens and be private if you choose. 
    • Beds. When we do the interior we tend to think of 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 How Do You Setup An Airbnb In Cape Town 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. 



    I just received this concern from an owner. Basically saying, how do I find my accommodation on Agency.CapeHolidays.Info searching Google?

    cannotfindmyaccommodationongoogle

    I just type Cape Holidays into my browser. Friends have done the same and have the same experience…i.e. they can’t find my house. I’m sure it is taking me to the old site then. But if so it is taking anyone entering Cape holidays there…this may affect the marketing of the house negatively.

    My answer is not short but I’ll limit it as far as possible:

    Thanks for your question or rather a concern.

    Unfortunately, the way you search or friends search for a specific home, using Google, is no longer the way we try and market accommodation.

    Let me also say that your inability to find your home as described  has a very limited effect on your occupancy. 

    We operate like Pareto.

    We had to learn to focus our attention where it really matters. It does not help we focus 95% of our efforts on something bringing in less than 5% return.

    BTW. We are not in the business of leaving money on the table. As you know, there is no reason to  plod along a route that is not profitable, not easy, or without unnecessary investment in a loss while trying to conquer Google SEO. 

    Today, our website is like a business card today. It’s a place where we share our listings but don’t expect any massive income or traffic from it.

    The general competition by big powers like Google, Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and others are severe. And we have to decide which is the most effective and the less evil of the lot.

    An accommodation-agency-website generates very little sales today. And those inquiries you get are not only not qualified they are poorly informed, and most tend to be cheapskates who are not familiar with Airbnb  Booking.com and others. If today and you are not familiar with Airbnb then I am skeptical if you can afford to stay with us. 

    We do SEO but  Google rather wants us to pay them dear money to get attention . If you look at a search within Google you’ll see about 50% of the page is taken by Google ads.

    Trying to win the search engine optimisation game is like a keen school boy trying to play Springbok rugby. Google wants you to play rugby but the dice is loaded in favour of Google. You are competing against Google’s money making goals. The more successful you are with free SEO the less successful is Google. And they are there to squash the daily living light out of you. 

    When you pay Google Ads you get what you want and ask for. We can pay Google on your behalf. But we decided against it. Why?

     Google demands money irrespective of success. 

    We have taken a conscious decision to let Airbnb and others pay Google. And they do advertise. And we benefit indirectly.

     With Airbnb, we also pay but it’s controlled. You pay only for a successful reservation. The same for other listings sites.  

    We have focused our attention since Airbnb took over and Google started aggressively selling their adverts, on marketing via listings sites (Airbnb etc). And using our website as a business card.

    Today we are professionals at it with a success record we can be proud of. Like being SuperHosts managing more than 50 Cape Town Airbnb properties an achieving between 20% and 50% higher occupancy than the norm. 

    Therefore searching for accommodation and finding Agency.CapeHolidays.Info is not really how we any longer try and market your home or any home for that matter. Any enquiry we get from our site is a bonus. 

    If you want to share your home with friends it’s better to visit Agency.CapeHolidays.Info find your home and send your friends a link to your listing (Link here https://agency.capeholidays.info/listings/5-bedrooms-accommodation-simonstown/)

    BTW if you search the following you’ll see your home in 11 position.

    Have a look at all the Google ads and other stuff Google adds to make this more and more difficult to market via SEO – as you indirectly suggested.

    Search via Google for Queens Villa Simonstown.

    PS. With your home running at such high occupancy shows we are doing it right. And next year with all the additional reviews it will do even better. This house is and will be a mass success. But we cannot not focus too much (any) attention on completing with Google.

    P.P.S. We prefer to find ways to focus on identifying 20% of any drivers  bring us 80% income. Today Airbnb brings us more than 90% of our reservations. Not only is the process simple, and reliable it also brings the best out in guests. Airbnb guests are a different breed than guests from agency websites. This is because of social profiles populated with reviews from hosts where they stayed.

    This was a great and important question to ask but any Accommodation Agency should be open to new ways and criticisms from owners. And we welcome it. ? 

    What do you mean by maximizing Airbnb income?

    Meaning of MaximisingHow To Maximise Income

    Maximizing Airbnb 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:

    1. Build trust – reviews and high ratings from happy guests.
    2. We base our Airbnb rates on demand. And demand depends on seasonality and mostly on trust.
    3. Maximizing Airbnb 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.
    4.  Our model of building a snowball of trust takes longer than a year. Getting 40 reviews needs patience (more here).
    5. 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;

    Initially, you pay a price for the lack of trust. And you pay a price to get many positive reviews…… Our income only increases if your home improves at all times and your income improves.  Nothing else.

    Airbnb Profit Calculator

    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.

    airbnbincomecalculator

    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 Profit Calculator 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 neighborhood 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 Profit Calculator 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.


    Cape Town Airbnb professional stager

    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.

    Why Should I Choose Cape Holidays If I Can Airbnb It Myself?

    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.  

    How Qualify Accommodation For Airbnb

    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 qualify Accommodation for Airbnb 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 qualify Accommodation for Airbnb. 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.

    Airbnb Professional Photos

    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.
    How To Set PricesMeaning of Maximise Income

    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:

    1. After we have qualified the accommodation as being remarkable we discuss the owner’s income expectations.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 

    Setting Low Airbnb Rates

    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 setting low Airbnb rates philosophy. 

    After this introduction let me address the concern about setting low Airbnb rates equaling bad guests

    When we talk about setting low Airbnb 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 setting low Airbnb rates, to overcome resistance to book. 

    The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay a 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 profiles over time. 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 setting low Airbnb rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.

    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:

    superhost1 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.

    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).

     Get Your Free Unhassle Airbnb eBook Here 

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    How To Manage An Airbnb Accommodation Business In Cape Town

    A holiday home in Cape Town can be managed by the host. A good host is someone who has a good attitude and is able to talk to guests; banking goodwill.

    Managing hosts also need to set expectations for the guests that they are hosting and get five-star reviews from those people.

    If you want to have a self-catering home, you should know how to manage time, resources extremely well. If not, it could become a disaster. Guests don’t mind a mistake but they will take revenge (bad review) if you are not responsive.

    You need to meet people when they get here. You will show them the key amenities, like where is the pool or laundry room. You will also tell them about any other facilities, like WiFi codes. Setting expectations. If you are timid and afraid they will take advantage. Be firm but friendly.

    Read these FAQ’s on setting up a self-catering accommodation business in Cape Town to manage it effectively. 

    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.
    Category: Management FAQs

    How To Try and Prevent Too Many (Unlawful) Airbnb Guests Staying!

    noisyairbnbmanyguestshowtoprevent


    As an Airbnb host or as an Airbnb agency in Cape Town no one can really be checking a home 24 hours a day. Guests are trusted. And more than 99% is great. Really excellent. ? 

    But what happens when you get too many guests staying? 

    1. You have no way of controlling the number of guests. At arrival and departure, you’ll see them but never in between. And if they want to break the rules they will. Hosts can visit daily but this is not only an expensive story lining guests up to count them, it is also intrusive to the more than 99% who behave well. 
    2. Airbnb will not compensate you if you discover after the fact that too many stayed over. Airbnb will however support you to kick them out, and or get compensation for the extras from the date you discovered it. 
    3. Trying to get the less than 1% kicked out is a mess. It can be confrontational. And neighbours may become very upset. 
    4. The time to resolve such issues is long and painful. 
    5. Time to fix issues, replace broken stuff, etc. 

    The larger the home, pool, jacuzzi, etc are the more the potential it is a target for parties. Smaller places may not attract parties but may still get the extra unauthorised guest or two. 

    How to limit the issue. 

    1. You discourage extra guests before they book.
    2. The host, during pre-arrival communication, tells guests that only x number are expected 10 to stay as per the booking. And that no one extra is allowed. 
    3. Network with neighbours to inform you of any disturbances or odd things. 
    4. It is recommended to install a very basic video camera outside of entrances. There are various inexpensive options available. This can be used as evidence or to check numbers when guests are staying. Hosts can check the feed on their mobiles. BTW. This must be declared to guests before they book on booking sites.
    5. Unfortunately, one guest is enough to cause continuous loud noise. Therefore, I strongly recommend owners to install a clever noise monitor. One of the recommended ones for Airbnbs is the Minut Smart Home Alarm. South Africans can get it here. All new owners will be required to install such units.

    Let me just remind you that we are talking about low risks. Very low. But for a small investment, you will ensure long term peace of mind. 

    Is this a reasonable recommendation? Tell me. 

    Regards Johan Horak

    Cape Town Airbnb Agency.CapeHolidays.info with offices in Simonstown and Green Point.

     


     Get Your Free Unhassle Airbnb eBook Here 

     

    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.

    horakclanairbnb

    Category: Management FAQs

    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.

     

    We have compiled an extensive Airbnb Manager Operating Manual

    This manual is a guideline and not limited in any way. As we identify other relevant manager tasks we will update these tasks. The extensive manual with manager tasks is available for owners who agreed to our T&Cs and Agency.CapeHolidays Managers. It should be read with the house rules, house manual, and domestic responsibilities.

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    This content is password-protected. Please verify with a password to unlock the content.

    ps loader
    Category: Management FAQs

    You should invest in Netflix, DSTV and other streaming applications. This assumes you have invested in  uncapped Wi-Fi . Uncapped fast internet is non-negotiable.

    What streaming apps should I have for my Airbnb?

    • Netflix
    • Showmax
    • DSTV NOW
    • YouTube
    • Music streaming
    • Games – (not streaming).

    How do I get Netflix on my TV?

    The best choice is a smart TV (more here) with built-in streaming functionality. If you don’t have a fancy smart TV then you need to see if you have a HDMI slot on your TV.

    Click here to see what an HDMI slot looks like.

    If you don’t have an HDMI slot on your TV then rather buy a smart TV. However, if you have a spare HDMI slot on your TV then either get an Apple Box or Android Box (we recommend this Android box. It’s more expensive than some but reliable and you can add DSTV).

    How Do I Install DSTV on my smart TV or Smart Box?

    How to install DSTV is not always that simple. Most boxes come with pre-installed DSTV, Netflix, and others. But if it not then it may be a bit of a problem. Unfortunately, the Smart Boxes or Smart TVs are limited as to what you can download and install. These limitations on Android boxes/TVs are due to Google. Why? I don’t know. 

    On the Smart TV or Smart Box, you can access Google Play where you should be able to get Netflix and DSTV Now and install it. See how to install DSTV Now, here.

     What is cool is that you can add your Home DSTV account credentials to your DSTV Now application and watch DSTV on this device for free. You don’t pay extra.  Ideal for guests and excellent for reducing costs .

    This means you don’t need to pay DSTV at home and at your Airbnb. If you want to be a scrooge you can even leave it for guests to use their own DTSV account login details but this will limit many British and other foreign English speaking guests who like to watch DSTV and DSTV sport.

    The same is true for Netflix. With Netflix, I don’t suggest you install it with your account details. No. Each guest familiar with Netflix should use their own account credentials. 

    Do This! And you have just invested in more 5 star reviews.

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

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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.

    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



    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.

    1. Never have a phone available to guests. You cannot control any calls made by guests other than limiting it to local phone calls. If you don’t set it up for local calls only remove the handset and lock the ports.
    2. Internet is a must. Ensure you have uncapped.

    PS. Never ever use Telkom for anything. Nothing. Cancel Telkom and ask us for alternatives.

    Category: Management FAQs
    I  propose  the following simple procedure:

    How to Handle Your Friends and Family Staying:

    Most owners use the agent as the bad guy that must be consulted. This removes the emotional ties between family and friends when money is involved. And it works like a dream for other owners. Owners can adapt the procedure to meet their needs as long as you communicate it in writing with us.
    1. Send friends and family to us to check availability, arrange bookings, quote them and get payments.
    2. They pay R1200 change-over-fee for less than 7 days’ stay. Longer than ten nights stay, with another linen change, another R1200.
    3. All guests get a 40% discount between May and September from the Airbnb guest rate they would have paid.
    4. All guests get a 30% discount between March & April and October to 15 December from the Airbnb guest rate they would have paid.
    5. All guests get a 20% discount between 7 Jan – Feb.
    6. No discount over peak 18 Dec to 7 Jan
    7. Any payment received will be reflected in your cash flow sheet.
    8. Our commission is on the discounted rate.
    9. Friends and guests should ideally stay 4 nights. If they stay shorter we will block 4 nights. This is due to capacity constraints. If we can fit in a clean sooner we will open the calendar sooner. For peak, the minimum stay is none negotiable at 12 nights.
    May I Use The Home For My Own Purposes?
    Category: Management FAQs

    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. 

    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.

    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

    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. Airbnb property 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 maximize income by attracting exceptional guests; setting rates to maximize 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



    No. Unfortunately,
    • we don’t manage while owners do their own marketing. 
    • if owners allow us to market and they do their own bookings; this is a recipe for double bookings. We are taking a risk to maximise your income. To do this we must know all the bookings we make will be honoured without us checking availability with you.
    When we list the owner checks availability with us before she reserves the home for herself.

    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.  

    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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    Self-Catering Accommodation Business In Cape Town: T&Cs | Rules | Protection

    Managing a Cape Town self-catering holiday home has its risks, fears, and worries. You read bad press about parties, people occupying houses, theft, and whatnot. Without getting way out-philosophical;

    A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. This saying has also been credited to Albert Einstein and John A. Shedd..  

    You have to address the risks, do foolproof audits, set up systems to reduce risk. Never assume. Fools like hosts who make assumptions.

    The following FAQs are for owners who want an agency to manage but you can pick and choose what to read. Adapt it for your Cape Town self-catering business. And make it better.

    Read these FAQ’s on setting up a self-catering accommodation business in Cape Town to make it foolproof (if there is such a perfect home – we should try).

    When you click this button a new page will open.

    How To Short Term Rent My Cape Town Holiday Home During School Holidays Only?

    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 are worried about the work that goes into it. They’re also unsure of how to manage their home, and whether or not they should charge in a different currency. These people need someone with the infrastructure and marketing skills to help them rent their home on Airbnb. It’s not difficult when renting online but when it comes to pricing and management, guest liaison, checking on guests, parties, etc. they may decide that it’s too much for them.

    You may read that it’s difficult to match the expectations of “school holiday” owners, and the impact of expecting guests. When you manage an annually available Cape Town holiday home you have various feedback loops; the house becomes more guest-ready or foolproof. Owners also learn the ins and outs.

    I suggest owners ensure they are fully aware; high expectations will be deflated if the owner lives in a perfect world. Read as much as possible. We also share a Terms & Conditions dedicated to “School Holiday Owners” specifically. The T&Cs is designed to highlight the issues you may encounter.

    Read these FAQ’s on setting up a self-catering accommodation business in Cape Town for owners with kids at school; meaning the home is only available during school holidays.