New websites are emerging that cater to the more than 500,000 Airbnb hosts looking to improve the management of their short-term rentals. Vacation property management, which is estimated as a $69 billion dollar industry, has struggled to keep pace with the trends in the industry. Property managers once supported their high cost, often 30% of total revenue, by flouting their marketing and pricing capabilities. But sites, like Airbnb, have created one-stop shopping platforms that streamline the rental process. Filling in the gaps in service that Airbnb has not addressed, new specialized companies have emerged to help hosts with everything from key exchanges to predictive pricing.
As Airbnb matures, so do it’s hosts, many of whom have seen 100+ guests come and go. These ‘Superhosts’ are continually looking for ways to improve their guest experience, while at the same time preserving their sanity. The drudgery of making beds and responding to the same “is your place available?” email for the thousandth time can drive anyone mad. At some point, many Airbnb hosts ask themselves: “is this something I’m able to manage full-time, oversee part-time, or do I need to completely outsource?”
This decision is often about balancing your instinct for control and the desire for more freedom. Every host understands that it only takes one miserable review to sink their fledgling Airbnb enterprise. This fear often drives people to hold on to managing a place long after the excitement of hosting fellow travelers subsides. Although the majority of Airbnb hosts have never worked in hospitality, they know what good service looks like. Trusting that a third party service provider won’t drop the ball on their 5-star reputation isn’t easy.
There is no doubt that the service quality expectations of Airbnb guests are on the rise too. The days of supplying a blowup mattress and a bowl of Cheerios and calling it hospitality are long gone. Most guests are now expecting a pleasant smile to meet them at the door, impeccably clean bathrooms, pressed linens, and something fresh to nibble on in the fridge. Achieving a consistent level of service around the year can be a difficult task for even the most dedicated host.
A new type of property manager has arrived to offer Airbnb hosts a hand for a fraction of the cost. For fees ranging from 3% – 13% of total revenue (compared to 20% – 30%, for traditional property managers) hosts can select from a menu of services. By being able to pick and choose services, hosts are able to get the exact type of support they desire.
A group of smart new companies have arrived to help Airbnb hosts. From key exchange to predictive price modeling, here are some of the top dogs in the new Airbnb ecosystem: [Read more…]