25 Aug How to minimise risk when letting your property short-term
We all like to cut loose on holiday. Let our hair down, get friendly with the locals, have a few drinks. It’s part of the experience of escaping our day-to-day lives. When we relax our minds, it’s no secret that our attitudes to cleanliness and civility can sometimes relax a little bit too.
As the owner of a short-term rental property, you’re understandably nervous about the potential trouble that could be caused thanks to holiday merry-making. Your property is a big investment. Luckily, with a few simple and friendly understandings between you and your potential guests, you can minimise the risk. It’s easy to when you know your property is being enjoyed in a responsible way, and even easier when you know you’ve got safeguards should anything go wrong.
As experienced AirBNB property managers, Beachside Breaks have a great track record. With over 650 properties managed, we’ve never had a major incident. We’ve developed a few little procedures to ensure that each property is well-respected by each guest. Our methods are no big secret, and rely more on common sense than anything else. But only hindsight is 20/20, and if you’re coming into short-term renting as a new renter, you’ll benefit from our wisdom.
The very first thing we do is state quite clearly in the online description that your house is not a party house. It’s important that your guests know what is expected of them. Having this information up front will deter the more cautious party-goers, and be your first line of defence if your property is not respected.
Ensuring your property doesn’t look like a party house is also a good idea. A house that is ill-kept and grubby to begin with will attract ill-kept and grubby people. Adequate and extra bedding like pull-out couches is a good idea, but if you have a cupboard full of mattresses that cover the entire floor, they’re going to be used.
As AirBNB property managers, we tend to say eight guests (including guests-of-guests) is a good maximum for any house.
When decorating your property, try and match it with the type of guest you’d like. Family-focussed is a good tone. Board games and books, tasteful (but not too expensive) furnishings, and child-friendly bedding and towels is not likely to look too fun for a bunch of twenty-something summer partiers.
Beachside Breaks have a set of standard house rules, terms and conditions and agreements that can be tailored and altered for each property. These agreements are organised before the guests step into the house, and are also visible in a prominent position in the house. We outline legal consequences for any wrongdoing on the part of your guests to ensure our documents are taken seriously. It may seem awkward to force your guests to agree to such stringent terms, but most people don’t feel threatened, and are more than happy to oblige. Having a strict idea about how your property should be treated shows that you have respect for it, and your guests will pick up on this.
Sometimes the opportunity can be too good, and you’re thinking about taking the risk of having a group that you’re slightly unsure about in return for a good rental rate. Summer holidays do bring revellers of all kinds, after all. In these cases, you may wish to negotiate a security deposit. We recommend at least $500 for a studio, plus another $500 for each bedroom. Beachside Breaks AirBNB property managers have found that this deposit – on top of the various other agreements – mean that the guests are almost too cautious. We’ve had panicked calls about broken glasses and scuffs on walls. Nobody wants to lose their deposit.
Another key to ensuring minimal damage is attaching a friendly face to your property. Meeting the guests in person to hand over the key ensures that they know the property belongs to a real person, and won’t treat it like a random hotel room. You’re also able to have a friendly chat with them and figure out what kind of activities they might be up to in and around your property. Of course, if this face-to-face meeting is impossible due to your being in another city or country, a Beachside Breaks AirBNB property manager might be just the solution you’re after.
With our customer screening, standard house rules and strong relationships with both renters and guests, Beachside Breaks has developed a great system. If you leave it to us, your guests will rest easy, and so will you.