Tag Archives: hosting

Tips for better hosting from a pair of Airbnb junkies

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in BrickUnderground and was written by Michelle Slade, who is a freelance copywriter and editor. She’s the author of “Airbnb Pro” – a guidebook full of tips and techniques to help you find the best Airbnb accommodation at the best prices. She also blogs at makingitanywhere.com. These tips were specifically written for Airbnb hosts.

1. Respond to reservation requests speedily. Hosts in all other cities respond on time — and they do so politely. You, on the other hand, take about three weeks to message back with “mayb.ill think bout it an let u no.”

2. Don’t be mean when it comes to using your air conditioning in the summer. I’m talking to you, host #1 who emailed us daily to check on our a/c use, and you, host #2 who had post-its all over the walls reminding us to keep it off unless strictly necessary. It’s 100 fricking degrees outside; it’s necessary, okay?

3. Warn us that if we turn on the TV while drying our hair, the fuse will go (and of course, there’s no access to the fuse box because it’s behind three locked doors in the basement). 43.

4. Be honest about just how many stairs we’ll have to climb to reach your apartment. When we’re lugging around two suitcases, a kettle and a microwave (yes, we really did that), six flights isn’t “just a short walk up.” Normal people might not have so much random luggage, but they might have a knee problem or a fear of heights… or something.

5. Leave us a smidgen of storage space for our stuff — even if it’s just a collapsible clothes rail that you bring out when guests stay. When we’re staying in a shoebox and we have to store our clothes on the floor, arguments about “foot sweat marks” ensue.

6. Provide us with basic instructions for the apartment, so that we don’t end up hassling you with phone calls. For example, tell us any strategies for opening the front door if it has a particularly cumbersome lock. Let us in on the wifi password. And inform us where our trash should go on the street (it’s not always obvious).

7. Don’t be afraid to e-mail/phone and make sure everything’s going well. Airbnb is different from hotels: it’s meant to create a sense of community and reciprocity. We won’t feel harassed if you check in with us — and we understand that you’ll be a bit worried about leaving your apartment with strangers.

8. Don’t leave embarrassing medication in your bathroom cabinet: we end up wasting a lot of time hypothesizing about what could have possibly led to your “condition.”

Being an Airbnb Landlord Isn’t For Everyone

The following is an excerpt from an article by Mike Akerly, who is a New York City real estate attorney, landlord, and real estate broker. He is also the publisher of the Greenwich Village blog VillageConfidential.

by Mike Akerly | 8/16/12 – 2:49 PM

BrickUnderground

Q. I am a small landlord with a couple of condos in Manhattan. I am considering turning one or both of my properties into short-term rentals and rent them out through Airbnb.com and VRBO.com. From what I can tell, I can collect more rent this way than if they are simply rented out on long-term leases.

What issues should I be aware of before getting started?

A. Short-term rentals can be highly profitable but they are management intensive and, for this and a variety of other reasons, may not be the best choice for an NYC condo owner.

For instance, most condo bylaws have restrictions on the type of leases that can be entered into. It is common for the bylaws to restrict lease terms to no less than one year, though some condos have adopted more lenient rental policies by permitting three to six month leases. It is very unlikely that you would be permitted to rent the unit for a term shorter than three months.

Also remember that the condominium has a right of first refusal in the event that you choose to rent or sell the apartment. That means that after you enter into a lease, you must submit it and an application from the prospective renter to the board, which will have a legal right to rent the property in place of your prospective tenant.

Read the entire article here.

An easier way to find the perfect apartment

I read a brief piece today and it brought to light the great opportunity people may have when looking for an apartment in New York City.

Airbnb, Wimdu, Booking and HomeAway are among the home sharing services that people coming into the city have been using to test out how the locals live while also looking for a place of their own.

Craigslist still remains an option for this, but it’s reputation has taken some shots over the years. People now wonder whether many of their listings are legitimate and have to be willing to take a major risk when they send out advance checks to cover their upcoming stay. Airbnb and others require upfront payment and have an internal screening process which can significantly reduce the amount o fraud on both ends.

I know at least a few locals who have used home sharing Web sites to find an apartment.

Whether moving to a new new city or just to a new apartment in the same neighborhood, finding the right place can be stressful and expensive. Home sharing can help reduce that stress a little — and more than likely some of the expense as well.