Top 3 Smart Home Devices to Improve Your Short Stay Management

Blog Post 2 - Smart Home Image Header

Be a Smart Host & Choose Smart Home Technology

Renting out a spare space in your property on Airbnb for short stays is a great way for you to earn extra income. But, the hassles that come with it can be a headache to short stay hosts.

From checking your guests in at inconvenient times to electricity wastage and getting your unit ready for the comfort of your guests, there are many hosts like you who feel troubled by these problems.

So, how can you as a host manage your short stay units more effectively with less worries? Introducing the top 3 smart home devices you need to ease your management and elevate your burdens!

Top 3 Smart Home Devices to Improve Your Short Stay Management

#1 – SMART Door Lock

With the SMART Door Lock, you can now worry no more about not being able to meet your guests for check-in or getting your keys lost along the process of check-in and check-out.

You can easily set a one-time password (OTP) for your guests, provide them the code and reset a new password for the next guest. What’s more? With this device, you can remotely lock/unlock the door for your guests with your Smart Home Mobile App – it’s convenient and easy to use.

Bonus: The SMART Door Lock automatically locks the door if your guest forgets about it!

 

#2 – SMART Circuit Breaker

Electricity wastage by guests is one of the greatest fear by hosts. By connecting the SMART Circuit Breaker to your Smart Home Mobile App, you can now remotely switch off you short stay units that are accidentally left on by guests. Control electricity consumption at the tips of your fingers!

 

#3 – SMART Switch

Having guests who would check-in on their own at night? Schedule for your unit lights to switch on at the time of their check-in, so that they could feel safer. Similar, with the SMART Circuit Breaker function, you too can remotely monitor the usage of your lights through your Smart Home Mobile App. Having guests leaving  your lights on upon check-out can now be easily solved remotely. Turn off lights – Anytime! Anywhere!

Being a short stay host can be a lucrative job, but it is essential to be constantly on the look-out for the latest technology to ease your burden as a host.

For any further advice on how to manage your short-stay units as a host contact us at enquiry@hostastay.com

Ready, Set, Host – Cover Story by Malaysia SME [Pillars]

Blog Post 1- SME Pillars Interview

HostAStay and the Short-Stay Management Revolution in Malaysia

HostAStay’s CEO, Jordan Oon has been featured in the cover story for Malaysia SME [Pillars] Issue 251: Dec 22, 2018 – Jan 4, 2019.

Thank you for the amazing write-up and photos!

Read the full story here to learn how you as a short-stay homeowner or investor can Watch Your Investment Grow with HostAStay.

For more stories & the latest updates, follow us on Facebook at @hostastay.

Property Investment Revolution #820

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20th August 2017, Property Investment Revolution Event, Founder and CEO of HostAStay, Mr Jordan Oon sharing on How Do You Maximize Your Property’s Investment Income to over 284% of rental !

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The key catalyst of starting a Short-Stay Management Platform is because we can observe that

there are more and more overhang properties in the market, whereby investors can’t sell and can’t rent out their units. These units are left empty, hoping that the property valuation will increase, however it will end up decreasing as it becomes a dead town.

20952915_1508966209187398_1020914103508220470_nHomestay is being a trend in South East Asia, more and more tourist are looking to stay in homestay as they can fully indulge and experience our culture along with the locals. The 2nd thing that tourist look for when they travel is the place of their stay during their trip, and a comfy home would ensure their trip to be a success. This is why HostAStay wants to ensure that all the homestays are at a certain standard, to leave a good impression to all tourist.

5There are more investors/property owners turning their homes into homestays, to earn the extra income by hosting guests. However, the beautiful dream of doing Airbnb turns out to be a nightmare. The horror kicks in after they list their units up to booking platforms. There are several things to handle after that:

  • Housekeeping
  • Booking Arrangements
  • Handover Keys
  • Guest Service
  • House Maintenance
  • Review and Rating

This is why, HostAStay will empower GooPro Management, together with Phoenix Plus Properties, support property investors by managing their properties to earn the extra income and ultimately increase valuation of the property.

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HostAStay Berhad Empowers Short-Stay Management companies by:

  1. MAXIMIZING your room rates
  2. MINIMIZING your operation cost
  3. OPTIMIZING your resources
  4. ACQUIRING more guest and units
  5. ENHANCING guest experience

And we provide:

  1. Professional photography services
  2. Operators training
  3. Quality control

Using world class system, to ensure operators, owners and guest gain the best out of each homestay unit. Together with our key industry partners, we can make Malaysia the top tourist location with the best HomeStays for international guests.

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Tip of the week – wake up and smell the five star reviews

Brick by brick – building a responsible, reliable business

Since getting into the sharing economy game what feels like many moons ago, it’s fair to say we’ve had some success – multiple amazing fundraising rounds, growth into new cities, etc. We owe a large part of this success to spending countless hours in ‘The Nest’ getting the basics right – while the sharing economy may be relatively new, hospitalityis old school, and we’ve years of experience in it. Accordingly, crunching the numbers suggests we’re doing something right: HostAStay homes are performing ‘better’ than Airbnb equivalents, with our average star rating at 4.9/5* for cleanliness. This is in no small part thanks to the fact we fully employ an in-house team of spectacular housekeepers and pay them a fair, living wage – outsourcing was not an option.

Foundations covered, we then turned our collective brain to combining this basic brilliance with creating memorable guest experiences. The sharing economy is a crowded space, and too often we’re seeing businesses forget that sharing means caring– for their own staff, as well as customers. We’re passionate about people, so we spend a lot of time recruiting the crème de la crème, as well as providing them with the tools and training needed to get the job done right, every time. By not outsourcing teams like housekeepers, drivers or guest greeters, we have full control over their output and create a much better guest experience. Ensuring your guests have a great time is our bread and butter, so who better to look after the people making that happen than us? When things go wrong, we’re the first people to know, and can rectify it swiftly and smoothly – this would be no easy feat if using an agency. We also know that by having these core functions employed as fully valued members of staff, they feel the HostAStay love as much as we do, and strive to do their best every time they step foot in your home.

Can you tell how much we love our teams on the ground? Every decision we make has one main objective: how can we make life easier for our staff? And though that goes some way to showing them how valued they are, we also provide them with lots of TLC to ensure they stick around with us on the Hostmaker journey. As well as a fair wage, we regularly put on things like massage sessions and homeopathic therapy days, and our efforts are paying off. While the hospitality industry’s average staff retention rate is 30%, ours is soaring at 80%. This team stability is invaluable in making sure your homes are well-looked after, without exception.

Despite our constant growth, we’re confident that we’re managing to uphold our values at every stage of operation – including making sure you, our beloved hosts, are happy too. We speak to you personally when you have questions or concerns (robots are not welcome here), and we make sure that guests are warmly greeted and looked after for the duration of their stay. We love being a responsible employerwe love looking after your home and guests, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next.

 

Between the sheets – why good linen matters

Mums are full of advice: work less, eat more, drink less, save more. While we probably all honed our selective hearing skills before we flew the nest, there’s one pearl of wisdom from our youths that cements the fact that mums really do know best – a good night’s sleep is invaluable.

So, what makes a good night’s sleep? A quiet environment helps, as does downtime beforehand and a nightcap (or two). But above all, we’re advocates of quality bed linen. We’re talking high thread count, freshly laundered, ironed with precision and expertly fitted – hotel standard. While it’s understandable to slack a little when making a bed for your own use, or for a visiting relative, high quality, 5* bed linen is a must when hosting paying Airbnb guests. And though said guests love your home’s quirks and unique style – it’s a selling point when weighing up the merits of choosing Airbnb over a hotel – time and time again we’re finding that guests expect hotel standard linens and towels, with a lack thereof being reflected in their reviews when they leave.
For this reason, we’ve made perfect sheets (and towels) our mission. As part of our Airbnb Guest Ready Package, your guests enjoy 200 thread count, 100% cotton, freshly laundered and pressed bed linen, as well as 600gsm fluffy towels and fancy toiletries, with beds and bathrooms prepared by housekeepers trained to hotel standards. That’s the trick of our trade – our secret sauce. So, now that you’re armed with that nugget of info, what’s the benefit of having an Airbnb management service provide your linen, we hear you ask?

Well, stripping and making beds is hard work. Then there’s the time spent washing sheets, drying them, ironing them. And if you’ve got consecutive bookings, this workload quickly doubles, triples…etc. You could have your housekeeper do it. But that time could be better spent cleaning surfaces or tidying, for example. There’s also the option of taking them to the launderette. But that can get expensive, and become quite the bicep workout while carrying them there and back. As Airbnb hosts ourselves, we quickly learnt that a lot of work goes into getting bedrooms and bathrooms just right, so our Guest Ready linen offering is designed to take the hassle out of hosting, while ensuring your listing benefits from glowing reviews – all without you having to lift a finger. You’re welcome

 

Amazing amenities: how to take your Airbnb to the next level

5 tips to decorate your home for Airbnb

You’ve heard the phrase looks can be deceiving? Well, your future Airbnb guests don’t agree. When deciding which city pad to pick for their holiday, guests rely heavily on the listing pictures – and they’ve got a discerning eye. That’s why having your home look its best in listing shots (and having it live up to that image when guests arrive) should be one of your top priorities when sharing your home on Airbnb.

We’ve already told you some of our favourite ways to make guests feel at home. But if your abode needs a little more TLC to appeal to guests – perhaps the decor is dated or too cluttered– allow us to offer 5 easy, quick wins that’ll have your listing attracting scores of guests. And scoring 5* reviews, too

  1. Try a fresh coat of paint
    This is probably the easiest and most affordable way to improve a whole room – the colour of the walls has the power to affect your home’s entire energy. Neutral tones are a great blank canvas for your colourful, more personal touches, and there’s no chance of them putting any guests off. However, if you don’t want to play it safe, some of Farrow & Ball’s bright colours, like Citron No. 74 and St Giles Blue No. 280, are sure to add a whole new dimension to your space.
  2. Roll out a rug
    It’s important that your new home feels lived in as well as fresh – after all, that’s what adds the character that hotel-phobic Airbnb guests look for. A rug can be a great statement in any living space, complementing other furnishings while also adding a layer of comfort. And boldly patterned rugs are also an easy way to enhance a room’s style.
  3. Get arty
    Great art is another foolproof way to add colour and charm to an otherwise plain area – evolving its look and adding interest to attract guests. Pick out one or two key colours from your room, and look for art that has them within its palette. Art should work with a room, not against it, which means don’t choose Andy Warhol prints for your country-chic apartment. And remember to hang them with the centre at eye level.
  4. Shop around
    We’re masters of the home makeover (check out our Pinterest boardif you don’t believe us), and we’ve found that the most unexpected places can throw up the best interior pieces. Zara has great statement end tables, eBay is amazing for mid-century modern gems, and Etsy is great for unusual prints and pictures. When shopping for trinkets for your home, don’t rule out any location before you’ve taken a peek – you never know what you’ll find, and what that piece could go on to inspire.
  5. Let it breathe
    We’ve already mentioned the need for your home to look lived in, cosy and comfortable, despite its refreshed look. A good way to achieve an au-natural aesthetic is to allow your home to develop organically over time. Building up a space slowly, adding only the most perfect pieces when you see them, means the overall look will be much more appealing, while also feeling less forced. This will really show in your Airbnb listing photography, and will help tempt lots more guests to make a booking.

If all that sounds like a lot of work, our Airbnb management service offer home redecoration as part of our package. However, if you fancy yourself as a DIY wiz, then give the above steps a go and watch the bookings pour in. Then tag us on social media so we can see your handy work!

 

How to rank higher in Airbnb search results – it pays to talk

In the Airbnb world, searching for your own listing as a guest would is the equivalent to ‘Googling yourself’ – and we’ve all done it. In fact, far from a vacant exercise, it’s actually a great way to check up on competition in order to ensure a healthy flow of guests through your door. And as we’re creatures of convenience, the higher your listing ranks in the search results, the more likely you are to get a booking, no matter how lovely your parquet floors and original features! So, how do you pull your listing to the top of the search results? The answer is communication. Communication is key.

Climbing the ranks

Airbnb’s search ranking algorithm is based on a number of things, but host responsiveness is one of the biggest factors. There are two factors that Airbnb look for: response time, and response rate. Having a 100% response rate, and fast response times, will send you soaring to the top of the list, but did you know that neglecting an enquiry for 24 hours will cause your average response rate to drop? Even more scary is the fact that you could even have your account shut down if you ignore an enquiry for 2 days! It may sound like a lot of effort to keep on top of your inbox, but lucky for you we’ve done the hard work: demystifying the ranking mystery. All you need to do is ensure your phone’s always on you, with email alerts set to loud, and that you respond in a friendly, helpful manner as soon as you hear that satisfying ping!

Five-star service

Guests aren’t just chatty before booking, either. Once they’ve committed, they’ll be full of excited questions: when can they arrive? How will they check out? Will there be milk? And as a dutiful host, deserving of a great review after their stay, you’ll need to be on top of these messages too – responses in-stay have just as much impact on your response rate. This means you’ll need to be armed with the facts, and answering questions in a timely manner, should you wish to rank highly and achieve a 5* rating.
Unfortunately, it’s not always appropriate to whip out your phone and begin typing replies to curious guests. Most board rooms frown on that type of thing, and though we can’t quite understand why, not all long-haul flights have wifi yet. But wait, there’s hope! Any Airbnb management service worth its salt (hint hint) will offer an inbox management solution, and as well as guaranteeing to answer all communication in a timely manner (maintaining your well-earned 100% response rate and fast response speed), they’re experts in their field. This means their replies, both before guests book and during guest stays, will charm visitors’ socks off while answering any and all questions. And naturally, this goes a long way towards securing 5* reviews once they’ve checked out! You can read more about our inbox management service here.

 

How much time are you spending managing your Airbnb listing?

Managing an Airbnb listing can feel like a full-time job – in fact, speaking from experience, it can feel like ten different jobs all at once!

Not only is there the time it takes to set up your listing, but a great Airbnb host will take the time to optimize the listing – either by updating the information to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from guests, or changing the cover photo to find out which has the best guest appeal.

And that’s not even taking into account the pricing, guest messaging prior, during and after the stay, preparing your home and greeting your guests – once all this is completed, you’ll be ready to take a well-earned break!

We think it would be better for you to sit back with your feet up, possibly on a beach, with a cocktail in hand and let some of these lovely people take care of all those stresses.

The HostAStay team is now over 50 people who help care for your home and ensure your guests have a fantastic trip – take a look at some of the faces who keep the cogs turning to make sure every Hostmaker Airbnb guest is kept happy:

Housekeeper – maybe you’ve met some of our housekeepers at your home, if you have, we’re sure you’ll agree that they work their socks off (or usually, they just work in their socks!) to get your home guest ready.

Housekeeping supervisor – quality control is the final step before your guests arrive! As we fully employ our team, we can ensure they are regularly supervised and trained – this means your cleanliness rating is in good hands.

Welcome wizard – every great Airbnb experience should start with an in-person check-in to introduce your guests properly to your home and city. Our concierges are also sharing their local tips with your guests so that they can enjoy their stay as locals do.

Operations coordinator – each week we have over 500 services across London – these are the eyes in the sky to make sure that everything is running to plan, we call them the Calendar Queens – we like to think in a past life they were London cabbies because these girls definitely have The Knowledge.

Warehouse operative – the keeper of the keys works tirelessly packing your linen, towels, tea, coffee, hand wash and cleaning supplies ready for each service – our warehouse team work as the central cog which keep the rest of the operations running smoothly.

Van driver – the muscle who run around town to deliver fresh linen, towels and welcome packs to support the housekeeping team – our premium linen is a real WOW factor for guests and so we like to thank our driving team for making those moments possible.

Host manager – think of her as your proxy – she’s the one in charge of your home when you’re away, tying together the day-to-day logistics and maintenance to ensure your home is performing at its best – as your representative, she will also step-up to lead Airbnb resolution centre conversations if there’s ever the need for one.

Inbox ninja –  hosting is as much about your Airbnb conversations as your in-person interaction with guests – your guests’ arrival in London will be seamless with our fantastic inbox team, you can rest assure that they’ll receive VIP treatment before, during and after their stay.

Pricing specialist – this is where those extra hours really come in handy – as a host, you probably don’t have time to analyse the competing listings in your area, or think strategically about booking patterns of guests – that’s where our team excel in making sure you’re getting the best possible rates and occupancy for your listing.

Rescue runner – ask any Airbnb host and they’ll tell you that maintenance issues are a nightmare when guests are instay – with our man-on-a-moped running about town, we make sure when your home is misbehaving, it won’t impact your guests.

In a nutshell, here is the team behind your five star reviews. Now seat back, relax, and enjoy.

Host A Stay is here to look after your home and your guests.