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

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.

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. 

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

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



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.