3 Simple Tips to Make Check-In Seamless


Ever get a call at midnight from a guest who can't seem to open the door?

If you have, we know how you feel. Through professionally managing dozens of Airbnb's, we've learned a few things to have as few of these calls as possible and think we can save you a few hours of sleep! By being a proactive host, you can reduce the amount of questions you get from guests and make check-in that much easier for everyone.

Here are a few tips to help you make your check-in process seamless and with no headaches.

Tip #1 - Keyless Entry

You're probably thinking  "keys in a lock box are fine, why should I spend money on a keyless lock?". We understand that, but after the 3rd time a guest mistakenly loses your keys or takes the keys with them home, we think you'll reconsider!

Save yourself the headache and the time replacing keys by making an investment in keyless entry. We recommend the Schlage Sense, a smart deadbolt lock that can be accessed remotely via WiFi. This baby gives you the ability to change codes whenever and wherever through their simple app on your phone and is very easy to install. Once your code is set, be sure to add it in your check-in doc (see below!).

Tip #2 - Detailed Listing + Lots of Photos

Most hosts forget that people do actually read listings! So be detailed in your listing and all of the amenities you offer. Although I'm sure there's lots of fun quirks to your home that a guest should know about, don't go overboard. List out the basics and keep it short. The quirks have a process all to themselves: the check-in doc (see below again!).

Supplement the details with pictures, and lots of 'em! Got a grill out in the backyard that you're ok with guests using? Perfect, take a nice picture with some patties grilling and make sure to add that amenity on your listing. Saves you answering a few questions during grillin' season and well...who doesn't like a nice burger? When pictures contain details you want to point out, consider adding captions just in case a potential guest misses it.

Tip #3 - Create a Check-In Doc

Having every detail about your home in your listing is cumbersome and will turn people off. You want your listing to be concise and to the point, not too lengthy. So where can you list all of the important details like:

-the code to the keyless lock?

-or that front door needs to be pushed up to make it lock correctly?

-your funky WiFi username and password?

That's right...a check-in doc! This is a separate document that contains all basic info and also pro-tips on your home that only you know. Put yourself in the guests shoes and ask yourself what they would want to know before staying at your place. This document is a life-saver and will save you a TON of time and repeated answers to repeated questions.

Check-in doesn't have to be something you dread. By implementing these 3 super simple tips, you'll greatly reduce the time spent on answering questions and make your life a whole lot easier.

Hyper Drive Your Airbnb Listing - 5 Qualities Every Great Airbnb Has


The difference in a "good" Airbnb and a "great" Airbnb listing is the difference of up to 60% more revenue. A few simple tips and consistent diligence can hyper drive your listing to achieve phenomenal numbers and it's what Airbnb management companies like us pride ourselves on: High quality and results.

Here's the 'secret sauce' in no particular order:

1) Location

High quality Airbnb listings are usually the ones that are located in A++ areas. What makes an area A++? Just like any real estate investment, being close to things like public transportation, nightlife + attractions and being in a safe area are critical. With these benefits, your listing can be advertised 10x more effectively and appeals more guests.

2) Comfort

Throwing together a bunch of cheap furniture is not only tacky, but reduces your profit. While you save upfront, you lose in the long run.

Invest in high quality furniture and it will pay dividends. Things like plush pillows, soft couches, memory foam are the first things that come to mind of course. But take into consideration the little things like nightlight, an in-depth guidebook, air fresheners and fun little trinkets around your home that give life to the space.

3) Guest Communication

 The best Airbnb hosts are able to respond quickly and solve any reasonable problems a guest may have. Are you able to answer your phone on the spot and maybe even run over to your home to take care of an issue? Are you able to keep calm with needy guests? A problem solver and calm attitude are intangible assets!

4) Listing Copy

Copy or copy writing is the ability to write a provoking story about a product or service so that a reader is engaged and takes action. In our case, it's our listing we're trying to sell to potential guests. The better story you tell, the higher the occupancy and rate you can command. Read a few listings and you'll be able to tell which hosts have really spent time in honing their listing copy. Just be careful to not book their home!

5) 5 Star Reviews

Roll all of the above qualities together and you will get higher reviews. On average, listings that have 5 star reviews are viewed 60% more. The more views you get, the higher probability it is of getting your place booked. It takes time to build reviews, but with consistent high quality service, this is achievable!

High quality listings demand time and a cool head. If you're short on time and able to deal with sometimes unreasonable requests, you're not only a saint, but will land in the 90th percentile of all Airbnb's! But...if you're like most of us, a professional Airbnb management company is an investment that can really hyper drive your profit.

3 Biggest Airbnb Myths Busted


You often hear that death and taxes are the only things in life that are certain. Maybe we should add "change" to that list as well. Change is constant and even occurs in marketplaces as old as real estate! We're seeing it now with the advent of platforms like Airbnb.

Here in Chicago, more and more people are opening up their minds to the possibilities of the potential Airbnb can have for their properties, but it's a slow moving osmosis that has yet to catch on a grand scale due to the fear of the unknown. Often, it's this fear of the unknown, that leads people to spread myths about certain topics. The proverbial "Bigfoot" of the real estate industry is Airbnb (a tad bit more cleaned up though!).

Let's dig into the 3 biggest myths you may have heard about running an Airbnb in your property.

1) Increased Wear and Tear

The most common myth of all! On the surface, this makes sense. Someone who only comes to your home for a few days vs. someone renting it out or living there full time wouldn't take care of it as much. Makes sense, right?

But let me ask you 2 questions:

a) the last time you stayed at a hotel, did you purposely damage anything? 

Probably not. You know that the hotel has your personal and financial information and can charge you for damages.

b) when you live somewhere, you might be inside for 14 hours of the day. But, when you go on vacation or visit another city, how often are you inside where ever you're staying? Maybe 2-3 hours of the day and then during the night to sleep?  

Us too. 

So if most people don't damage where they stay out of respect and most people are only inside for 15% of the time they vacation, is wear and tear really as big of an issue as you may think?

Nope! Add on the fact that professional Airbnb management companies like HelpHost do thorough cleaning and in-depth inspections 3-4 times a week and we'd argue that your property is has more value in a given year vs a long term rental!

2) NIMBY (Not In My Backyard)

This term stems from the 1980's when developments were springing all over the Midwest near traditional farming communities. The residents of these farming communities were terrified of the impact that the influx of new residents would have on their culture.

This same mentality has taken root 30 years later with Airbnb travelers and communities who are concerned that tourism will change their neighborhoods due to:

a) new people around the area.

b) businesses popping up to sell their products to potential new customers.

Now if you stop thinking right there, this might seem like a bad idea. But let's go a step further and think about what these changes will actually do.

a) new people around the area: introduces diversity and opens the doors for new ideas to mix. A potential tourist will also see a neighborhoods culture and experience it first-hand increasing the likelihood of acceptance.

b) businesses popping up to sell their products to potentially new customers - economic development and increased tax revenue which will help the communities infrastructure, schools and quality of life.

Through a positive lens, we can see that this myth is based on irrational and derisive biases. Diversity and economic development help grow communities, not tear them down!

3) Party-Goers

Lastly, this myth revolves around the few bad apples that the media loves to publicize: the crazy parties. Yes, on rare occasion this has happened, but did you know there are over 80,000 bookings per day via Airbnb?

Digest the number 80,000 for a second and then take into consideration how many times we hear about a bad apple, 3 times a year? 10 at most?

The % of bad encounters on Airbnb is clearly minuscule and should not be a governing reason to not consider the opportunity it can bring. 99.99% of the time, you'll have an average tourist visiting their friends/family or a family who just needs a place to stay for a weekend that's home-y and comfortable. 

There you have it. 3 of the biggest myths, busted! 

Still skeptical? We understand that. This is a new concept for most people. We only hope that by reading this article you might question traditional, long held beliefs and experience the opportunity Airbnb brings first hand.