Safe and sound – security tips for first time hosts

So you’ve decided to host your home on Airbnb – congratulations! You’re about to join a whole community of people who understand that travelling is no longer about simply staying or visiting a place; it is about feeling as though you are living somewhere new (even just for a weekend!)

However, the popularity of home sharing grows, so do the horror stories. Suddenly you’re having second thoughts about putting your home online, and letting people you don’t even know sleep in your home.

As early adopters of Airbnb, and full-time managers of over 1,000 homes, we can absolutely assure you that these are rare occurrences, and for the most part are easily preventable. But we also understand that as a new host, you may have some trepidation. That is why we have put together this checklist, to help reassure you, and help you fully enjoy your adventures as an Airbnb host.

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Bury Your Treasure

Whether it’s your family home, second home or your holiday home that you’re listing on Airbnb, we always encourage our hosts to remove any valuable or sentimental items from the areas of your house that your guests will be using. From fancy wedding crockery, to a homemade macaroni picture frames, and everything in between – if it’s valuable to you, it’s best to keep it safe. Even if guests are respectful, they might not give your great aunt Jane’s antique blue floral vase the same love and care that you do! That being said, we advise hosts to keep in mind that minor wear and tear is to be expected – much like you would if it were your own family coming to stay.

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Image via Skift.com https://skift.com/2013/11/13/airbnb-gives-hosts-the-tools-to-become-hoteliers-in-app-redesign/

Stick With What You Know

When it comes to communicating with guests, it’s best to keep this on the Airbnb platform, from the moment that they enquire about the booking, until the day before they check-in. While we do suggest that you provide a phone number for guests to contact you in case of emergencies or delays on their check-in day, speaking to guests through Airbnb up until this point not only makes it easier for both parties to keep track of any arrangements, but also means that you are protected under Airbnb’s terms of service, and their Host Guarantee, which provides up to £600,000 compensation for eligible damages.

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Keep Guests in the Loop

At Hostmaker, we swear by house manuals. Inside you can provide helpful tips about the local area, emergency services details – little things that can improve your guests’ stay and give them some peace of mind. More importantly however, it can be a friendly, helpful, and easy-to-use way to ask your guests to take care of anything valuable or fragile that you decide to leave in your home, as well as informing them of all the doors and windows that need locking before they leave the house.

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Give a Key to a Friend, and Give Yourself Peace of Mind

Whilst there are gadgets and gizmos aplenty that help store spare keys out of site and right outside of your home, these are still not as safe as leaving your keys with someone that you trust. This also means that your guests will have access to keys in emergencies if you are out of town, and a friendly face to help them out in their time of need. If you don’t have any friends, or (more likely) you don’t want to bother them, Hostmaker can look after your home and your keys!

If all of this sounds like too much to handle however, then don’t you worry! By signing up for Hostmaker’s fully-managed service option, we will not only help you get your Airbnb listing live and chock-a-block with bookings, but we also store and track your keys in our secure warehouse, as well as taking the following additional security measures:

  • Vetting all guests making booking enquiries
  • Acting as a local point of contact for your guests before, during and after their stay, keeping as much of our communication as possible within the Airbnb app
  • Providing your guests with a house manual full of the little details that make your home unique, as well as informing them of any security measures that need to be taken

Interested? Find out more here!

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