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Sinlge Bedrooms Vs. Whole Homes: Airbnb’s Marketing Shift

Airbnb started off with a simple concept. The founders realized that there were plenty of people who wanted to travel, even if that meant giving up a few conveniences along the way. They might be willing to share a bathroom, sleep on a couch, or stay in a bedroom that didn’t have a lock on it, all in the name of staying within their budget.

Of course, where a company starts and where it ends up are often nowhere near one another. Lately, Airbnb is course correcting to try to once again appeal to penny-pinching vacationers. If you have a rental property in Scottsdale, AZ, we’ll look at the debate, and how you can prepare to stay ahead of it all.

Marketing Shifts

Airbnb has been seeing a lot of complaints about how much it costs to stay in one of their properties. This is, in part, due to excess fees — many of which travelers won’t see until they’re at the very last step of the booking process. In addition, many of these costs seem entirely unfair to the guests. For instance, hosts may charge $100 for a cleaning fee while still requiring the guests to clean the property while they’re still on site.

It’s led to the company putting more efforts into their single-room options, which will make it easier to stay with the host (which is usually far cheaper than staying at a hotel. As Airbnb leans into this direction, though, companies like VRBO lean the other way. VRBO’s marketing continues to emphasize the downsides of living with a stranger, even if it’s only for a day or two.

Rental Properties in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ

Sojourn Properties LLC provides property management in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ, so our staff knows that bad PR and marketing shifts can make a difference to your bottom line. The main takeaway here is that there will be a continued market for both types of travelers. If you do happen to cater to the whole home crowd, the best thing that can do for them is be as fair and transparent as you possibly can. To learn more about how a property manager can make this easier, contact us today.

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How to Plan for Airbnb Emergency Repair Scenarios

Even with a well-maintained Airbnb property in Scottsdale, sometimes, unexpected repair situations can arise. Whether it is an overflowing toilet, a busted water line, or a faulty AC unit, it is ever-important to get prepared for these events just in case. Few things are worse than navigating the unknown when you have a guest to impress staying in your rental. Here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared for an emergency repair situation in your Airbnb.

Make sure guests know who to call if something goes awry

Make an emergency contact list and place it somewhere visible at the Airbnb property. Post your contact information clearly on the booking website and in your messages. Always ensure guests can clearly find contact information that will get them immediate attention in an emergency.

Know who you can count on when your property needs immediate attention

Few things are worse than having a busted pipe, a heating outage, or other emergencies and not being able to get a professional to help right away. Make your own list of pros you can contact in the area that will be available at a moment’s notice. This will ensure you won’t have to waste time searching for someone to help if a guest calls you with a problem.

Have plans in place to keep guests accommodated during repairs

Emergency repairs during a stay can ruin a guest’s experience. However, there are ways you can mitigate a negative review in spite of the situation. Have plans in place to make the guest as comfortable as possible for different scenarios. For example, if the water has to be turned off, it would be helpful to have bottled water in the fridge or a few gallons of water tucked into a closet. Or, if the primary AC unit goes down, it can be helpful if you have a portable AC or a few extra fans in the unit that guests can use to stay cool.

Need help with Airbnb management?

At Sojourn Properties LLC, we make Airbnb management in Scottsdale easy. If you need help with your short-term property rentals in the Scottsdale or Phoenix area, reach out to the team to discuss your needs.

Shelter in the Storm: Your AirBNB as Emergency Housing

You’d like to offer shelter in a crisis, but you’re unsure how your short-term rental can help. It’s situations like these where your AirBNB property management company in Sedona, AZ, can be a great resource. If you have questions regarding how to offer your rental unit as a shelter for displaced families and individuals, we have answers. Here’s what we know:

AirBNB Will Pay for Your Guest’s Stay

You can offer to host emergency guests at a discounted rate, but it’s not required. AirBNB will take on the responsibility of paying for the use of your rental unit for guests who have been displaced due to disaster or emergency, or for guests who are seeking refuge. They’ll also waive any fees normally charged to you or to your emergency guest.

Your Guests Will Be Vetted Before Referral

You won’t have to worry whether someone is taking advantage of your good intentions, because AirBNB makes sure guest information is accurate. This means guests must either be referred to AirBNB by a legitimate nonprofit organization or resettlement agency, or they must show proof of residency in an area affected by a disaster. In some instances, guests are required to provide special immigrant visas to book an emergency stay with AirBNB.

All the Same Safeguards Will Be in Place

As the host, you’ll enjoy the same protection as normal, including the protections offered by AirBNB’s Host Guarantee. Accordingly, you’ll receive:

  • Up to $3 million in coverage against damage by guests
  • Reimbursement for missing items or unexpected cleaning expenses,
  • Reimbursement for lost income during clean-up

This means you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by offering your short-term rental to guests impacted by disaster or displacement. This may include providing shelter for emergency service workers as they assist during clean-up of natural disasters including, flood, fire, or earthquake.

If you’d like to learn more about the AirBNB process of becoming an emergency shelter for families or individuals in need, talk with a representative from Sojourn Properties LLC, your AirBNB property management company in Sedona, AZ. This is the individual who can help guide you through the process, making life better for you and for your emergency guest.

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Optimizing Your AirBNB for the Digital Nomad

Nomads still enjoy wandering. But today, they do it out of pleasure instead of necessity. There are probably prospective guests out there right now, reading the ad for your short-term rental and deciding whether or not to book a “workation”. The question of the day is: Will they choose your rental unit or another unit close by? The right AirBNB property management company in Sedona, AZ, can help you optimize your space to draw in these modern wanderers. Here’s what we recommend:

1. A Quiet Place to “Work”

Create a designated work space in your rental unit that allows guests to find seclusion when it’s time to work. And if this space has a pretty view, so much the better. You don’t necessarily need a window that overlooks a private beach, though it would be ideal if you have one. But you should at least aim for a window overlooking the garden or the neatly landscaped backyard. This can provide inspiration for guests who must stay logged in while winding down.

2. Fast Internet

High-speed internet is a necessity. Make sure you have sufficient internet speeds provided by a DSL, satellite, cable, wireless, or fiber-optic provider. This ensures your guests will be able to log on and easily work without interruption during their stay.

3. A Secure Connection

Most importantly, your internet connection must be secure. Otherwise, you could be putting your valued guests at risk. We recommend the following:

  • Disabling remote access
  • Enabling strong encryption
  • Updating firmware
  • Changing the password after every guest
  • Using long, strong passwords

These are safeguards that will help to ensure nobody accesses your private connection without permission. And changing your password regularly is a preventative measure, too. Never publish your WIFI password in your ad or in any literature you print up. Instead, give it to guests after they’ve arrived for their stay. After they leave, change it right away.

These safeguards are necessary to protect the privacy of your rental unit and your guests. Sojourn Properties, your AirBNB property management company in Sedona, AZ, can help you with more safety tips for your rental unit. Contact us today.

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Must-have Amenities for Your AirBNB

Staying at an AirBNB is all about having the comforts of home at your fingertips. That’s why most prospective guests have a list of things they can’t live without. If your rental space checks off these boxes, it could become the next hot commodity. Your AirBNB management company in Sedona, AZ, can tell you why these items top the list.

1. Internet Access

Many modern travelers need the ability to work, even while on vacation. As a result, rental spaces that offer internet access and a simple home-office set-up are in demand. A small desk tucked away in a quiet corner of the house will suffice as long as your guests can connect to your internet provider.

2. Convenient Kitchen

If your kitchen is updated and modern, guests are likely to have a better experience. This means having access to chef’s knives and cutting boards, a cooktop, oven, and a microwave. There should be a few nice pots and pans for cooking, and plenty of flatware and serveware.

3. Washer and Dryer

Nobody wants to take time from their dream vacation to check out the nearby laundromat. Make sure your rental unit comes equipped with a washer and dryer, so guests can wash off the sand, sea, or mud after a day of taking in the local sights.

4. A Place to Park

A designated parking space is nice. Private parking is even better. If your rental unit is located in an urban area with on-street parking only, consider renting a parking space from a nearby lot.

5. Luxury Amenities

An indoor or outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi or hot tub, and a well-stocked wine bar make nice icing for the cake. The same can be said for nearby attractions, such as theme parks or private beaches. If your rental unit can offer one or more of these amenities, expect to rent it regularly.

It takes more than a pretty home to be successful in the short-term rental industry. Guests must have a reason for choosing your space above all others. Sojourn Properties, our AirBNB property management company in Sedona, AZ, can help. Call today.

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How to Use Noise Monitors to Keep the Peace on Your Rental Property

If you have a rental property or Airbnb in the Scottsdale, AZ area, you understand the challenges that come with that, including how to keep your property free from damage and noise issues. However, how to go about monitoring noise levels is tricky. So let’s talk about how you can easily monitor the noise levels in your rental homes using a noise monitoring device called NoiseAware.

What Is a NoiseAware Device?

NoiseAware is a smart noise monitoring device. It only measures noise, it doesn’t actually record anything, so your guests’ privacy is preserved. Any rental host, or short-term rental management company in Scottsdale, AZ can keep track of excessive noise in any rental home using a phone app that’s connected to the NoiseAware sensor.

How Does a NoiseAware Device Work?

A NoiseAware device works by measuring the decibel levels occurring throughout your rental property. This device uses a proprietary algorithm to track how loud any given noise is and how long the excessive noise level is maintained. Using this technique, the NoiseAware device doesn’t trigger an alert for every sporadic loud sound.

What Does NoiseAware Do When Consistent Loud Noise Is Detected?

If your guests are watching a movie at a loud volume or blaring their music outdoors, they will receive a polite pre-recorded message to please keep the noise down. After the first warning, if the noise continues, your guests will receive a second request to keep the noise down and the host will be alerted about the excessive noise.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Noise Monitoring Device

Ask any professional Airbnb management company in Scottsdale, AZ, and they’ll tell you the pros and cons of using noise monitoring devices.

Pros:

  • It’s a 24/7 rental property noise monitoring tool.
  • It can be used as an additional layer of security against out-of-control parties and gatherings.
  • It is 100% privacy compliant.
  • It’s non-obtrusive.
  • It is easy to install.

Cons:

  • Some guests might find it offensive (but those are the guests you probably don’t want anyway).
  • There is a cost involved.

What’s Next?

If you want information about enlisting the help of a short-term rental company or professional Airbnb management in Scottsdale, AZ, please Contact Sojourn Properties today. We would love to show you just how easy and cost-effective using a short-term rental company can be.

Unexpected Guest Requests: Best Ways to Respond

If you talk to the grizzled property owners of the world, they might say that nothing shocks them anymore. Because every guest has their own lives, those personal preferences are inevitably going to bleed over into their vacation stays. However, for those who are new to the world of short-term rentals, you might be confused as to the best ways to respond. We’ll look at the best ways to talk to people, even when you’re thoroughly taken aback by what they’re asking for.

Be Thoughtful

The first thing you need to do with an unusual request is to take the request seriously. There are times when a request will be a joke, but it’s likely that most requests will be a sincere question from the guest. Instead of laughing it off or immediately saying no, take a beat to think about it and see if there’s a way to do it.

Charge Appropriately

There’s no need to rub in an extra fee to the guest, nor is there a need to inflate the charges because you either don’t want to take care of the request or you’re hoping to make some serious cash for the extra effort. If you truly don’t want to make the request happen at your property, politely decline. If you can make it happen, come up with a reasonable amount and then make it clear how much the guest will need to pay for the additional consideration.

Think of Solutions

There are plenty of property owners who will flat out refuse an unusual request. They won’t even consider compromises at any level. Admittedly, this isn’t a terrible tactic at times. Some guests will push and push until the whole situation becomes a mess. However, especially for new property owners, you might want to think about how you can meet the guest halfway.

Property Managers in Scottsdale, AZ

If you’re in need of Airbnb management in Scottsdale, AZ,Sojourn Properties LLC is here to help. Whether it’s getting a separate mattress for the primary bedroom or hosting the guest’s seven canaries in the second bedroom, the reality is that you’re going to have some unique things pop up along the way.

What Amenities Attract Airbnb Guests?

With so many Airbnbs dotted around Arizona, the competition is stiff. One way to attract more guests is to offer the most popular amenities that Airbnb guests are looking for.

Ring Doorbells

Security is a top concern among Airbnb guests. Ring doorbells offer peace of mind for individuals, couples and families. They act, not only as an active security measure against opening the door to a potential threat, but as a deterrent to anyone thinking of acting with malicious intent.

Robust WiFi

Airbnb guests expect not only to have wifi available, but that it be strong enough to support work, online video conferencing and entertainment streaming for adults and their children.

Corporate Services

The trend for corporate Airbnb guests is continuing to increase. Corporate travel coordinators want to ensure that their employees have the services available to support their company directives. This many include car services, peripheral equipment such as a printer/copier and upgraded appliances and bedding.

Dedicated Workspace

Even non-corporate guests look for a dedicated workspace in Airbnb listings. This amenity provides your guest with a spot to place calls back home to family and friends, take care of their “work vacation” needs or simply offer a place other than the kitchen table to play a game with their family.

Ceiling Fans

Along with air conditioning in hot climates, Airbnb guests look for ceiling fans to keep the air flowing to ensure a comfortable indoor environment. This is especially true of Arizona Airbnb properties.

SMART TVs

Increasingly, Airbnb guests seek out properties that offer SMART TVs. This amenity greatly enhances their in-unit entertainment choices and allows both adults and their children to spend time relaxing in your Airbnb without always having to leave the property to have something fun to do.

Managed Property Services

Remember, Airbnb guests are usually staying in an area where they wish to sightsee or do tourist activities, but they know very little about how or where to do them. Managed Airbnb property services is an amenity that your Airbnb guests look for when they are booking, and one that can lead to great reviews when they check out.

For Arizona Airbnb property management, contact Sojourn Properties. We are experts in what Airbnb guests are looking for, and we know how to please both you and your guests!

4 Often Overlooked Reasons Your Short-Term Rental Is Not Getting Rented

Have your short-term rentals taken a dip lately as far as occupied nights? While there is always an ebb and flow to interest in short-term rentals in AZ due to changing seasons and travel patterns, if your numbers are dropping substantially, other problems could be to blame. Check out four often overlooked reasons for a dip in short-term property guest interest.

1. Has something changed about local competition?

Occupancy rates can naturally decline if there are suddenly more options in one general location. For example, if a competitor opens up a collection of condos for rent nearby at a similar price point, this could create a decline in your rentals.

2. Have you recently changed your per-night rates?

Occasionally, adjusting your per-night rates is a must. However, if you accidentally overshoot the proper price point for the area, you could easily see your occupancy rates decline. Take a look at the current going rates for properties that are similar to yours and make adjustments as needed to keep your own pricing in line with the market.

3. Has a local event or occurrence changed location perception?

It is not at all uncommon for certain events or occurrences to change how desirable a location is to stay at for travelers. For example, if there has been a highly publicized crime or event that came with negative connotations, this can affect occupancy rates for short-term rentals. In the event this seems to be affecting your rentals, be sure to pay close attention to highlighting the security features or safety of your specific rental.

4. Have you recently had a few negative reviews?

If you’re dealing with a short-term rental like an Airbnb or vacation rental where online reviews are possible, make sure you haven’t had a negative review or two lately. Travelers looking for these quick-and-easy accommodations can be highly apprehensive if prior guests had complaints. This is especially true if the complaints are posted recently. If you do spot negative reviews, answer the reviewer promptly and professionally, and make sure any issue that resulted in a complaint is corrected.

Get Help with Your Short-Term Rentals in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Sedona, AZ

Short-term rental management in AZ can come along with a lot of work. If your occupancy rates have recently gone down, it may be a sign that you need a bit of help. Reach out to the team at Sojourn Properties to find out about our services.

 

Pets or No Pets? The Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets as an Airbnb Property Owner

In the U.S, 68 percent of households own a pet. When people pack up their bags and set out on business trips, family vacations, or weekend getaways, many have their pets along for the ride. According to Forbes, over two million pets and other live animals are transported by airplane on an annual basis. As an Airbnb owner, this begs to question, should you allow pets in your short-term rentals?

In a perfect world, pets could stay anywhere with their human owners with no trouble at all. However, pets can, unfortunately, pose a few risks to the Airbnb property manager in Scottsdale, AZ. Take a look at the pros and cons of allowing pets as an Airbnb property owner.

Pro: Allowing pets can make your rental more profitable.

People are willing to spend more money on accommodations when they have a pet in tow. Because not all Airbnb owners do allow pets, it can be a little more challenging for travelers with pets to find the right place. This naturally gives your rentals a competitive edge, which means you can possibly adjust your rates and make bigger profits with each stay.

Con: You may inadvertently deter some prospects.

As much as people who own pets adore them, not every weary traveler will want to rest their head in a place where pets have been inside. Some people are also allergic to pet dander, which means they will naturally gravitate away from listings that are listed as pet-friendly.

Pro: Allowing pets can make your rental more inviting.

Naturally, people who treat their pets as members of the family will feel more invited and comfortable when they find an Airbnb that is pet-friendly. Without these accommodations available, travelers who have their pets with them are forced to find local boarding facilities or pet sitters. This alone can mean a guest could cut their stay short.

Con: Pets always come along with property damage risks.

Whether it is potty accidents, an anxious puppy that likes to chew, or claw scratches on a door, pets can cause damage to property. You can counter the costs of these damages by charging an additional fee for guests that stay with their pets. However, some property owners prefer to avoid the extra trouble.

Need Help with Airbnb Property Management in Scottsdale?

At Sojourn Properties, we help you make the best marketing decisions for your Airbnb properties, whether you allow pets or not. If you need help with Airbnb property management in Scottsdale, reach out to the Sojourn team to find out how we can help.