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.

Perfect Host

All You Need To Know About Airbnb Verifications

15 Aug , 2013  

Airbnb Verifications

Airbnb verifications exists for obvious reasons. It’s hard enough to build trust in the real world. Building trust online where people can be anonymous is even harder.

This is of course a problem Airbnb is trying to solve. And it has come up with various ways to solve the problem. One of the newest and perhaps most effective is its verification program. Hosts who want to make sure they get secure guests and vice versa would have probably heard of this before. If you are not sure exactly what verifications are, and if you want to find out just how Airbnb makes sure these verifications are legitimate, then read on.

What Exactly Are Verifications?

Check your public profile. Verifications will appear there like so:

Verification

These contain all ways other users can pin valid identification to you. These includes your online IDs, your email address, and your contact numbers (mobile or landline). With the verification of these, guest and hosts alike will be able to make a much more informed decision on whether they can trust you or not.

Aside from Trust What Are The Uses of Verifications?

Aside from building trust, there are other things verifications are good for. Did you know that as a host, you can actually require your guests to have specific types of verifications before they can make any reservation with your accommodation? This is a very nifty trick for hosts who get too many requests which can be a hassle to respond to. However, there is a caveat for this strategy as you will also have to complete the verification on your own information, particularly the information you want to be verified on your guests.

If a potential guest does not have a specific information in your profile which you feel they should have, you can kindly message them on your thread, requesting them to add that particular missing information or photo or suggest that they verify their phone, etc.

How Do You Complete Your Verifications?

Simply visit airbnb.com/verify. This is where you will have to complete verifying your Airbnb ID as well as your offline ID.  You can also connect to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google profiles  for additional online verifications beefing up your profile.  Connecting your Airbnb account to your other accounts will give you an added boost since your network in Airbnb will widen.

Guest reviews and Airbnb photos are also counted as verifications for your account.

How is The Information Verified By Airbnb?

Some of you might have some doubts about how Airbnb conducts its verification process. The process is done through confirmation process sent through your contact mode. So your email, online and offline IDs, and phone numbers will receive an email, a text message, or a call. A confirmation code will be relayed this way which you will have to then input to your Airbnb account.

Airbnb then matches information from the users online IDs to data from offline IDs. These are done with the help of AIrbnb’s partners. The names on both online and offline IDs will have to match in order for the verification process to be completed.

There are some circumstances when Airbnb will need a guest to go through Checkpoint which means that their reservation requests will have to wait on hold for half a day (12 hours). This hold could be broken sooner, just as soon as the verification process is completed.

Airbnb’s vision for the future is that eventually, all of the users in the site will have verified information. This would be a great scenario as it will help increase security for everyone, not just for us hosts. After all, any anonymity or lack of information is something that destroys trust. And in this business, trust is everything.