How to screen your guests like an Airbnb superhost. Avoid crazy guests, partiers, and rule breakers! – Episode 11
Listen to the episode here:
Screening Your Airbnb Guests 101
How to screen your guests like an Airbnb superhost. Avoid crazy guests, partiers, and rule breakers!
In this episode John from Vacation Home Help will teach you:
- How to screen your Airbnb guests
- Instant Book vs Request to Book
- Risk Factors to Consider
- What questions to ask guests before they book your Airbnb
Links to the stories about the deadly Pittsburgh party and Florida Airbnb shooting:
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John Candelario: A party at a Pittsburgh Airbnb got really out of control and left two dead and many people wounded. And Airbnbs responding to that. In Florida this week, there was a drug related shooting at a property at Soldera Resort in Davenport, import by Walt Disney World, all in one week. Airbnb is seeing that there are big issues in the safety of our Airbnb, and we can prevent a lot of these tragedies from occurring by better screening our guests. So today we’re going to learn how to screen your Airbnb guests like a super host so you can avoid crazy guests partiers and rule breakers. So are you ready for this lesson? Believe me, it’s going to save you a lot of money, a lot of headaches, and prevent some really crazy stuff from happening to you and your property. So let’s get into it and let’s learn.
All right, everybody, good morning. Good morning. Good morning. It’s John from the Vacation Home Health Podcast, where we help you level up your hosting skills and master the art of the vacation rental game. Today we’re talking about screening guests. This is definitely a need to know topic. If you’re new to Airbnb or you’re an experienced super host, you still need to understand how to properly do this because it will save you a lot of grief at the end of the day. So what does Airbnb do to protect us? What are the steps they’ve taken to prevent parties at rental properties in this kind of crime? Well, they’ve adopted a policy that strictly banned parties. They operate a neighborhood support line so neighbors can flag parties in real time. There’s a 24/7 safety team that enforces party policies. They conduct identity verification and background checks. And they use safety focused technology that restricts certain reservations based on certain risk factors, including local reservations, like locals coming in to stay at an Airbnb.
It’s a little weird. I don’t know why someone local would want to do a short term rental unless they’re causing trouble. Not in all cases, but in most cases. And that is something that their technology is looking at is an age most renters that are under 25, that technology is going to pick it up, too. I mean, there’s limitations to Airbnb technology, but it’s moving in the right direction. So with all this you’re doing, why are these bad things? Why are these crazy Airbnb horror stories still happening? Well, with anything technology, humans, everything can fail, and systems sometimes fail. So as a host, we need to prevent these types of things before they occur. So our property is not damaged, then we can keep people safe, keep our community safe, keep our homes safe.
Instant Book vs Request to Book
We need to do our own screening. And what does that look like? So if you’re an Airbnb, there’s two things. There’s instant booking where anyone can go online and book your property without even speaking to you. This Airbnb has been really clear about if you leave instant booking on, more people will book your property, more people will see you, and you’ll be higher up in their search rankings. So while this is all great, there’s a lot of risk associated with leaving and send book on. And a lot of hosts are choosing to ask the guests to request a book by asking, hey, can I book your property? I really like it and then allowing a little dialogue before the guest actually places a booking. So there’s two ways to do Airbnb, but one of them is what Airbnb says better for search results and better for business. But the other one keeps you safer. So you need to weigh your options to see which one is better. I can’t give you the best answer for your rental because your goals are different from someone else’s. But me personally on rentals that I have, I take instant book off just because I like more control over the guests that come into the rentals. So that’s something you really need to consider. And not just put instant book on or put request a book on. Just think about what your goals are, what you’re losing on, what you’re losing out on. If you turn instant book off, and if it’s worth, that trade off.
But let’s talk about the risk factors to look out for when you’re screening people. Where is your guest booking from Airbnb? Verbo? Where are they doing it from? There’s different protections against fraud for each platform, so you really need to know what those are. Think about how long they’re staying at your rental. If they’re staying for a long time, they could possibly squat in your house. If you’re taking advantage of those laws where if they’re staying over 30 days, it constitutes in some places that that’s a lease, like a residential lease, and they don’t have to leave without you giving them an eviction notice. So think about how long they’re staying, vice versa. If they’re trying to stay just for one night and you have a six bedroom house, think of how much damage can go on in one night. That’s almost definitely going to be a party. Like a one night in a large property could be a party. So think about how long your guests are staying and what that means for risk. The location, location, location. Where are they traveling from? So if you’re in Orlando and your rentals in Orlando, and the guest is coming from Orlando, why are they renting your house? Ask them that. Well, if they say, hey, it’s for a birthday party, red flag, that is a problem. So you want to know where they’re coming from. If the guest gives you a license and the license for verification says that they’re from the same city that your rentals in, even though they told you they’re from somewhere else, that’s a big red flag, right? So the location is really important in assessing risk and reducing risk what about the number of guests?
Number of Guests and Nights Matter
Let’s talk about that. If you have a three bedroom condo, but they say they’re bringing 14 guests, that’s a mismatch. If you’re saying the places for business travel and they’re trying to bring a whole family to go to the parks, that’s a big mismatch. So the number of guests can really tell you if it’s going to be a party situation, a big gathering, what’s going on there? And think about when they’re booking bookings on holidays, like the 4 July. If they just want to come only on the 4 July. I don’t know why you just rented out one day on a holiday when someone would book the whole week and you can make more money. But if you do that, you don’t want someone just to come in for the holiday and leave. Same for the weekends. If you have a three night minimum, it’s really common for them to book Friday, Saturday and Sunday, destroy your house on the weekend, check out and then you’re going to be empty for the week and your house is going to need a lot of cleaning being done. So think about if these are weekend party is coming in. If you’re by the beach and people want to come in for the weekend, really, that’s not uncommon. But if you’re a weekend party house, that’s going to affect your risk. So that’s something to think about. The same with how much you’re charging. If you’re charging a little bit per night, right, then you’re going to get guests that are budget. And if someone says, hey, I’m coming into your property and it’s like 700 a night, but it’s him and his girlfriend or someone in their spouse, but it’s a huge house, that should be a red flag. Why would two people need such a large house? So that’s something else to think about as well. Think about all these things, like all these risks. And while screening your guests can be really challenging at times and it’s more of an art than a science, you can do it. And these are the four questions I think you should ask every guest who books your place. One, what’s your experience with short term rentals? Have you rented a vacation rental before? This will let you know what their level of experience with this kind of accommodation is. If it’s their first time booking an Airbnb or if they’ve done this before and it’s a good way for you to gauge if they understand how this works. Another question. The second question, ask them where they’re traveling from. That way, you know, if they’re coming in from the West Coast, the East Coast, or if they’re local. If they tell you that they’re local, that’s a big red flag. Also ask them why are you interested in this property? If you ask them why they’re interested, they’ll tell you it’s for a family vacation or they’re coming in for a couple’s getaway but this will help you assess if it’s the right guess for you. Also, finally ask what is the purpose of their stay? If you just ask this question to let you know it’s to take their kids to Disney world or they want to see Niagara Falls, whatever the reason, they’re coming into town, at least you know and you could feel better and have more peace of mind about why they’re vacationing with you. Now. You don’t want to pry too much into private information because there are boundaries and you don’t want to creep them out and ask them all the questions that you possibly can because that’s a little weird.
But ask those four questions and if they answer those four questions like any normal person would, you should be okay. But really remember what risk you’re taking and the risk factors we discussed, okay? Because screening your guest gets challenging, but you can do it. You’re going to get better with experience. It’s better to prevent these problems than to deal with them later because no one wants a problem at their Airbnb. So I hope this was helpful. This is not an end all be all we’re going to do more podcast episodes on screening your guests. But this is to get you started. So if you’ve never thought about how to screen your guests before, you have a frame of reference on how to tackle it and how to take this on. And I guarantee you, once you start screening your guests appropriately, you’re going to have less damage at your house. You’re going to save a lot of money in repair bills, okay? And you’re going to have more peace of mind because you’ll know that who’s vacationing at your property is not going to do the crazy things that are happening in the news like the shootings and drug dens and there’s people who even film adult videos and vacation rentals. You don’t want any of that near your Airbnb. So you really want to get good at this.
You want to become knowledgeable and you want to put these tools into practice and I guarantee you it will save you so much trouble. So 2021 was a great year. We helped so many investors and owners double their rental income. Want to find out how they did it? Just listen to this podcast. We will share our secrets, we will share our experiences for free so you can see exactly how we did it and exactly what steps we take so that we can beat the most profitable hosts that we can be in conclusion. Screen your guests. That will be the path to success. Have a good one. Adios Amigos.