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.
|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.
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!
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,
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.
And Airbnb’s response….
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?
- We update our rules to notify all future guests we have load shedding.
- 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.
- 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:
- A single light source.
- Internet modem.
- DSTV or similar.
- Charging phones – although we suggest all things that need charging be done before load shedding.
To limit the investment further we suggest a power back solution to our Airbnb accommodation as follows:
- One battery or more depending on the needs. Batteries can be added later as well.
- Batteries are charged using Eskom power when available. Therefore we don’t include solar panels. It can be done but will increase costs.
- An inverter to provide power from the batteries.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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
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.
“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?
- 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……
- It’s critical that all owners install power surge protectors as soon as possible. With labour it should be less than R1000.
- 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.
- If you don’t have a gas stovetop we suggest a one plate gas burner (more here).
- Fire and monoxide detector should be a standard fixture to any home.
- 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.
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.
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).
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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.