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.

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

 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

 

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

This is not the question you should ask CapeHolidays. We suggest you read what our guests and owner have to say about us.

  1. See what our Airbnb guest said about our Cape Town Accommodation here.
  2. We are SuperHosts because we do well. See the criteria for SuperHosts here. See the above link to see our SuperHost badge.
  3. We are not driven to be the biggest or largest Accommodation Agency in Cape Town. Our only drive is to be the best. This mindset is critical for our peace of mind and our homeowners and 1000s of guests.
  4. Why would more than 50 owners in and around Cape Town allow us to manage their accommodation? We must be doing something right. 
  5. Why would we be in this business from 2009 if we were to not trustworthy?
  6. Why would owners recommend us if we were not remarkable? See this redacted email we received from an owner wanting an Airbnb accommodation agent in Simonstown.

I hope you don’t mind but I was given your details by Carol, who says that you look after and manage her house in Simonstown. We recently bought a house in Simons Town. We intend to let our the house via Airbnb or Booking.com and wanted to make contact with you to see whether you would be interested in managing it for us. Owner

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 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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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.

Initially, owners may want to use their own maintenance teams. But they quickly realise their team many be great but not as responsive as critical- and frustrated guests expect. Time frustrates! And more so when guests are on holiday. You either fix it now or get a bad review. From 2009 we have learned the hard way and have a team subcontracting-maintenance-providers who don’t argue. If we call they jump. And high.  
In exceptional situations, we agree to the owner managing her own home with her own staff. It is critical that we agree with the owner on the standards guests expect. The past record of owner-managed-homes is not exactly what guests and CapeHolidays expected.
As you may know, guests score SuperHost CapeHolidays at 4.9 out of 5. And owner-managed-homes score less. If they consistently score 4.7 out 5 or less we will have to correct the issue with the owner in no uncertain terms or cancel our agreement.
When we manage the home and a third party (appointed by the owner) have access to the home; this is a recipe for disaster. In most cases, the third party causes friction between CapeHolidays and the owner. To date, this arrangement has never worked. And we will not be interested in managing the accommodation with such a third party arrangement. If this third party report to us, get paid by us and can be fired by us we may agree.

In the hospitality business the motto is:

Act Fast Or Feel The Brunt Of Guest Revenge! Experience Airbnb Agent
Why Keep A Management Kitty?

The mandate we agreed with the owner is to do everything within reason to get a 5-star review. We can never use the excuse,  “Guest, please wait for 24 hours, as we cannot get hold of the owner to okay replacing the geyser”. 

If we cannot authorize work, in an emergency with our proven and trusted workmen, then the owner is not really committed to us and our aims with the home.

Most emergencies we may get hold of the owner immediately but if we cannot we must act. Immediately.

Guests don’t mind that things can go wrong. But they hate it when you don’t really care. Their only measure of how much you care is how quick you act!Experience Airbnb Agent

 

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.

 

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