Hosting Tips & Tricks

February Host Wrap Up: Airbnb Subpoenaed & STR Loan Options

February Host Wrap Up: Airbnb Subpoenaed & STR Loan Options

Howdy, to all you happy hosts and rental rock stars! I hope your February was full of booked nights and 5-star reviews. I don't know about the rest of you but, in my opinion, this winter vortex needs to go away. I am tired of organizing snow shovelers for my rentals and loading up on bags of salt. Plus, did you hear that it snowed in Vegas for three days? Ugh, I cannot take it anymore. So, let's move on to this month's Rental Host Wrap Up before all the cacti freeze:  


Airbnb Subpoenaed

In our continuing effort to keep hosts updated on the ever-changing legal landscape of short term rentals, let's take a look at New York City. NYC just subpoenaed Airbnb and HomeAway for the records of hosts in their district. They want the addresses, names, contact information, the volume of bookings and amount of money earned for each host in the city. The knee jerk reaction is to expect that they will never give up that information. Except, that every other time Airbnb has been asked, the company has quietly agreed to give over this type of information. Combine this fact with city agencies using the longitude and latitude in a listing's URL to track down an Airbnb's location and it is getting quite difficult to operate an illegal short term rental. While the laws might be unfair, unfun and cut into profits, it's looking like the smart move these days is to try to comply with your local laws or work to get the laws changed. For full details about the subpoena, check out this article on CNN.

Airbnb Laws

STR Loan Options

The short term rental revolution has come fast and hard and the banking industry has been running to catch up. In our day to day operations this is no big deal but, when we work to expand our rental empire, the banks rarely offer loans that factor in rental income. Homes are no longer just long term investments that slowly increase in value. Nowadays, they can be daily and weekly profit generators that produce an on-going, significant cash flow. That being said, there are a few ways to finance a new short term rental. This article in the Morgage Report does a great job of breaking down three options to help get a loan.


Listing Spotlight

This month's listing spotlight is a Bali beauty described as a 5-Star Villa with Staff & Pool! The opening drone footage on the facebook page is quite the show stopper. I think the number one thing hosts can take away from this listing is to lead with your best image. Make sure the primary draw for your rental is put front and center so it cannot be missed. Check out the full listing on Airbnb and, when you book the place, make sure to save a bed for me.  

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Amazing Airbnb Listing

Hosting Tip: Microfiber, Cotton, or Bamboo?

The bedding in your Airbnb is the most handled item in your rental. Oh, I hear the doubt in your reading. But, it's true. Out of all the hours a guest will spend in your rental, the most time will be spent between your sheets. Between you washing them and guests getting them dirty, your rental sheets are constantly in use. So, it is worth taking the time to make sure your choice in sheet material is the best option for your rental. That's why we at Good Host Shop created a quick and handy reference list of the pros and cons of the most popular types of sheet material. Take a peek and make sure you have chosen wisely...


Question of the Month

Rental hosts rarely receive the opportunity to see how other hosts operate which makes it hard to learn and improve. The solution? Every month, I ask a question so we can all learn from each other. Let's take a look at last month's question:

Do you offer a self-check-in option for your guests?

  • 88% - Yes
  • 12% - No

Wow, that is an overwhelming landslide. Looks like a guest assuming there will be a self-check in option is not an unreasonable expectation. Also, without a self-check in option, a host is guaranteeing that they will spend at least a few days a year standing around waiting for a guest to show up many hours past the check-in time. 

This month, I want to look at your booking window: