Perfect Host

Being Considerate To Your Airbnb Neighbors

25 Sep , 2013  

Airbnb Neighbors

The problem with Airbnb neighbors in New York is that people in a building or apartment community want to be protected from random strangers coming in and out of their supposedly exclusive neighborhoods. As much as possible, neighbors want access to their neighborhood to be kept safe from other people who they know nothing about. Hearing that strangers come in to their buildings, some neighbors might flip their lids. Having access to an apartment complex for example, could give rise to theft and other possible complications. But that is not the only problem. Exclusivity is not just about safety. It is also part of what divides social classes. Let’s talk about a preconceived stereo type as an example: rich people are afraid of letting in poor people because they are afraid of being robbed. As simplistic as that may sound, there is reason behind that fear. Even though sometimes, this fear of your neighbor, fear of other people who are different from you, gives rise to prejudice. Sometimes, these fear take too much of people’s lives and keep them from adventures, new friends and experiences, new opportunities, etc. It also gives rise to disconnection. And Airbnb is all about making connections.

So for the interest of your Airbnb neighbors:

what are the things that you could do or should keep in order for them to not be too afraid? You may feel sometimes that your neighborhood is different, more understanding. You may feel that you don’t really need to arouse their suspicion by actually telling them that you are letting in people to your home and letting them stay a while. But in the long run, talking to your neighbors might actually be simpler and more beneficial to you and your business. Here is are a couple of things you might want to clarify with them or consider:

Regulations in Your New York Building

These are different from your own house rules but you will want to inform your guests about this as well. Simple things like these can go unnoticed. But you have to know your building rules and you might want to notify your neighbors that you will be having guests. But if you remind your guest of building rules and tell them to avoid bothering your neighbors, you might avert headaches in the future. Some guests might think socializing or asking for neighbors to buzz them in is alright, but this might bother your neighbors unnecessarily. Some buildings might actually ban smoking in certain areas. Or you yourself might ban it in your room, thus driving guests to smoke in places that your neighbors might smell. Plan ahead in these scenarios and write up big signs and designated areas for smoking. Inform your guests promptly. Parking rules for example are some of the most clearest things you have to inform your guests who have cars. Most buildings have prescribed guest parking spaces.

Minimizing Guest Noise

Other things that might bother your neighbor is noise. Some guests make a lot of noise. No surprise there. They are, after all, in a vacation. But you have to be diligent and remind them that they are not in a hotel, they are in another neighborhood. There must be a limit and small rules about making noise. Partying is something prohibited by some hosts but you don’t always have to go that far. You might also have to be selective about your guests. Those with toddlers or pets will be an issue. Not only will children and pets likely make noise, they might also make a mess. So it all depends on the kind of space and neighborhood that you have. Take them into consideration. If there is a pet hotel nearby, you might want to use that for guests with pets.

Think of your neighbors. That is not just something they teach at school or church. In the long run, this will protect your business’ sustainability. Hope this article helps you with that and with your Airbnb neighbors, whether in New York any other City.

Perfect Host

What are your Airbnb Host Responsibilities?

20 Sep , 2013  

Airbnb Host Responsibilities

Being a “good” Airbnb host is not just something people assume since they do not understand airbnb host responsibilities. Yes it is obviously a good way to do business and a way to make sure you get good reviews and more bookings in the future. But the fact is, being a good Airbnb host is a requirement as well. It is your obligation as Airbnb attests. And that’s not just some idealistic moral lesson. Your guests can actually report you or get their money back if you are not a “good” host. So what are your responsibilities or obligations as an Airbnb host?

Airbnb Host Responsibilities

All rentals in Airbnb have to meet what is called the “minimum quality standards” in terms of cleanliness, safety, and also accessibility. They should also not be falsely advertised in your listing. Thus everything you say in your listing should be consistent with the actual rental room or space. You can find this in the Airbnb page as well, but here we have spelled things out more so that it would be much easier to understand. Here are the criteria a host has to be sure to take care of:

-        Make sure that your space is thoroughly clean even before your guest comes over. Also, fresh and clean sheets and towels should be provided. What does that mean? No stains, no smells, no dead vermin, no trash, etc.

-        The appliances as well as all amenities that are listed should not be broken and should be present. These could include things such as TV, hair dryers, internet connection, fans, etc.

-        The same thing goes for whatever utilities you have listed in your Airbnb ad. They should be fully functioning. Therefore, all your listed electricity, temperature control, plumbing, bathroom shower, sinks, faucets, etc should be in good working condition.

-        This one is obvious but has to be stated as some hosts might feel it is irrelevant: All your space’s windows, doors, and most especially all the locks, should all be working.

-        You must provide pictures of your space that are true to life and current. Of course a photo taken years ago would show a new, fresher space, and therefore would be misleading.

-        The presence of anything that might disturb guests, such as noises, pets, etc. as well as any other major issue, should be clearly communicated. This means you should most likely add them to the description or at least message your host if something new comes up.

-        There should be nothing in the space that would pose as a safety or health threat. This could include faulty wiring, pests, etc.  A safety threat is something obvious but others may not be obvious to you so you might want to consult a professional if you feel you need to.

-        There should be adequate lighting present. Also, lighting should be safe, meaning gas lamps placed near palm fronds or something of that nature is a no-no.

-        You as a host, or someone who represents you should be available at all times for the guests needs within a 24 hour time period which starts the moment your guest comes to check in.

-        Finally, and most important of all, your space should have all the legal issues properly taken care of. This would be further discussed in our other articles.

The Same Responsibilities as Hotels and Travel Lodgings

So there you have it. What is a good host really? If you can simply answer that fully and with enough common sense, common decency, and really, a dose of empathy, you probably wouldn’t even need this list to check on whether you are being a responsible host for Airbnb.

BnB News

The First Airbnb Video Commercial for TV

16 Sep , 2013  

Airbnb Video Commercial

The Airbnb video commercial project planners has just recently released their commercial ad for television. For people who are used to the usual TV commercial with the hired impeccably dressed actor explaining to you why you should buy into the brand, this commercial will be utterly unfamiliar. Before you get into the video, it would be useful to explain just how the video was created.

The video is a crowd sourced video compilation. Some time ago, Airbnb tapped Vine’s six second movie app and announced that it would be creating the first Vine film using footage people will send to them. They then sent out very curious tweeted instructions to people from all over the world. Tweets like “take a shot of a paper plane flying through a grassy field”. You get the picture. They then collated all the films, handpicked, and edited the whole thing. The result is the following, gorgeously artful 4 minute film that is a step ahead of the garden variety, boring TV commercials we are so used to seeing.

Airbnb Video Commercial

So there you have it. The film, we think is really very effective and it would also be useful for us to understand why.

Why The New Airbnb Travel Film Is So Effective

The medium is the message. This must already be apparent most people who have seen the video. What better way to send your message about how the spirit of the sharing community and travelling than to have crowd sourced film created from home made videos by people from all over the world. That is probably one of the most powerful aspects of the film. The fact that people from continents and oceans away have sent these bits and pieces to create a whole that has a message about the sharing community, makes a very important statement and also evokes the kind of sentiment, the Airbnb brand has been going for, differentiating it against all other brands.

Short Films – Why Vines are The Thing

The video takes you to a journey as well. Starting from the office (as Airbnb wants to appeal to people who are sick of the humdrum office life), a piece of paper is then sent flying off and sees the open fields. Eventually even falling in love with an envelope and eventually being dumped into a trashcan and then recycled. It is all cleverly played out along with beautiful yet simple music accompaniment that is a sure fire way to tug at lonely heartstrings of those who long to travel and who long to find that kind of fulfillment only travelling gives a person.

The film then ends with the plane paper being an inspiration for other office paper to take flight and travel. And this cleverly summarizes what Airbnb is all about. The ending is both a great completing statement. Yet the ending does not feel that closed off since it starts of another wave of travel (something which Airbnb, of course, wants people to keep doing.) Kudos to the Airbnb Video Commercial for creating a clever ad that does not look at all like an ad, but in the end, delivers all the right marketing statements that the brand really aims to wear.

Promotion

How Do I Promote My Rental?

13 Sep , 2013  

How to promote a rental

How To Promote A Rental

So you want to know how to promote a rental? Are you having trouble getting bookings or are you looking for other ideas on how to promote your vacation home? Read on through this list of ways to help you do just that. We’ll also briefly discuss each method for you.

Vacation Property Owners and Paid Websites for Rental Listing

This is the obvious choice for many vacation rental owners. And it will also be very effective since many hosts get around more than half of their bookings through paid listing sources such as VRBO and HomeAway.com. It’s a relatively easy method but it will cost you money. Of course, you will get what you paid for in return so its money well spent.

Free Listings and Classifieds For Vacation Rental People

You don’t have to use print media classifieds, you can always use free sites like Craigslist or Backpage. These usually get mixed results and you will have to deal with all the spam. The best way to use Craigslist is to funnel it to your Facebook page or website. There are also many up and coming rental listing sites that will let you put in your listing for free since they are still building their database. They are not usually very effective but of course they are free to use.

Set Up Your Own Website
This question has probably popped up in your head before. The question is: will it be worth putting in the time and money to have your own website built for your rental? A lot of rental owners overlook this method because it seems too difficult and expensive. However, there are more affordable methods to have a website built for your property at more or less 9 dollars a year for the domain name. If you have a really profitable vacation rental or if you have more than one, then this might be a very good choice for you. Having your own website lends a professional feel to your business and this will translate to more bookings.

Get A Facebook Account

If you don’t plan on getting your own website, then this option is the next best thing. In fact, if you put in a lot of effort into maintaining your Facebook page, it might even be more effective than your website. Facebook lets people who your fans are and if they have nice posts on your page, then this will be very attractive to potential guests. Of course if you get bad comments, you will also have to manage them manually. Remember that having a profile page is different from a creating a separate fan page. What’s more important is to create a fan page for your rental. This will also let you take advantage of Facebook’s paid advertising alternatives if you so choose.

Advertising Your Listing: Business Cards

Having a business card is something that people also overlook in this day and age of virtual information. But if you meet possible guests frequently, giving them your card will be a powerful tool. You can also list your website or facebook page here so that they will have a second chance to look you up and convert.

Using Airbnb

We are a big fan of Airbnb. They have a community of listings and profiles where you can read reviews on both guests and hosts alike. Airbnb also handles the payment of guests, making the transaction both easier and safer. It’s free to list but it’s not exactly a free listing site since Airbnb will charge your guest a small percentage from the total payment. If your already on Airbnb and need help getting your rental or room promoted, check out our article on how to be more visible on Airbnb.

 

Good luck with your marketing techniques. Remember, these are just some of the ways on how to promote a rental and there are lots of others to discover.