A good short-stay property manager will focus on not only keeping owners happy but also ensuring guests have the best possible stay during their time at your listing. Understanding how they plan to achieve this will give you confidence that bigger issues won’t show up later.
We have heard horror stories of guests who have been locked out of the property and not able to reach a manager for 24 hours as “they don’t keep their phone on, on Sundays”, or bookings not accepted as the team is too small to support a same-day turnover.
How do we do it?
HostKeep’s size and experience have helped us hone our guest experience approach since 2014. During this time our team has developed a sophisticated approach to guest engagement, starting with responsive replies to guest inquiries and bookings, a technology-focused support system ensuring any guest issues are triaged, responded to and followed up rapidly, and guest check-ins during stays to ensure all needs are met.
While Airbnb continues to be the dominant short-stay platform in Melbourne, this could change quickly. Some managers will tell you they do multiple bookings platforms, but dig a little deeper and you will discover the truth is a different matter.
Getting multi-channel right is a challenging technology and operations issue, and if done wrong can be very costly for owners with missed or overbooked reservations.
How do we do it?
As technology-focused property managers, HostKeep has invested significantly in our digital ecosystem, supporting the critical operational workflows needed to run a real-time, 24/7 business.
We have tried and tested a number of solutions to support multi-channel, and have now partnered with a leading channel manager to ensure the complexities of bookings, inquiries, payment, and security are managed in an effective, risk-reduced way for our owners.
If multi-channel is an important requirement for your listing, we truly believe there is no one better placed to achieve this than HostKeep.
Short-stay property management is a significantly different undertaking to traditional long-term rental management. The labour intensive, 24/7 nature of what we do requires a team that is available 24/7, doesn’t take holidays or annual leave, and won’t go offline for 48 hours if they get the flu or a hangover.
When considering property managers, remember “the larger the team, the higher degree of redundancy”. This can result in a slightly higher management fee, but this will pay for itself if your manager suddenly turns around and says “I can’t work this weekend”, leaving you, and the guest, high and dry.
How do we do it?
HostKeep has grown to a team of four directors, four operational team members, and an entire workforce of cleaners, maintenance specialists, and emergency service providers. We have the scale, experience, and resilience to handle whatever issues guests throw at us.
Most property managers stick to a fixed percentage based management fee, helping owners compare “apples with apples”. However, care should be taken to ensure you understand exactly what the cost will before when your listing is up and running.
Some property managers will charge a lower fee, but will exclude items like consumables and cleaning products, or overcharge guests for the cleaning fee, making your listing less attractive.
How we do it?
HostKeep has a simple pricing model.
- We charge 16-21% (as agreed with you based on expected returns and location) of the nightly rate the guest pays after the booking platform deducts all their fees
- The cleaning fee is charged as an additional amount to the guest (on top of the nightly rate). You will see the amount charged in your reporting statement
- We don’t charge our management fee on the cleaning fee
- We do charge GST on these amounts, but GST does not apply on the nightly rate (thanks ATO!)
You can see a full overview of our fees and payment process here.
Getting paid on time should be a number one priority for any owner seeking management services. You need to have complete confidence in the manager you have engaged.
How do we do it?
HostKeep has built sophisticated reservation management and tax reporting systems, ensuring your account is accurately reconciled, and that payment occurs promptly within 7 business day following the end of each month.
You can see an example of that reporting below:
We provide owners access to all reporting through the unique HostKeep Owners Portal.
How do we do it?
We currently have over 50 active and temporary properties on our books. This experience in the market can provide you confidence that we are here for the long term to ensure awesome guest and owner experiences.
All Australian businesses are required to register for GST when their annual turnover exceeds (or looks likely to exceed) $75,000. When comparing property managers it is worth enquiring whether the provider is registered, or expects to be in the near term.
While it might be tempting to go with a provider who has not registered, therefore saving an additional 10% GST expense, there are some significant risks you should be aware of:
- If they have not registered because they are not turning over more than $75,000 p.a. this may indicate they are still in the early stages of their business. This immaturity could expose you to unnecessary risk.
- If they have chosen not to register for other reasons, this may mean they are paying their service team through cash or other means. This might save cash flow in the short-term, but could come back to bite later if the ATO investigates.
How do we do it?
HostKeep has been a GST-registered entity since 2015. In this time, we have transitioned from a small start-up to a significant, profitable operator in this sector. We are working hard to ensure our tax obligations are met, reducing the risk of a nasty run-in with the ATO down the track.
You can see a full overview of our fees, GST collection, and payment process here.
While 10% GST is required to be applied to the HostKeep management fee, and any cleaning or maintenance fees, the ATO has provided guidance that GST does not need to be collected on the nightly guest earnings. You can read more details about in our blog post here.
There has been a recent explosion in short-stay property management companies as Airbnb and other platforms have gained traction locally. While many of these have flashy websites, the majority have limited operating history. The first few years of operation and growth can be challenging and this can result in risk for clients as there is no guarantee they will still be around in 12 months time.
How do we do it?
HostKeep is proud to have been listing properties on Airbnb since 2014, meeting the challenges of the emerging and ever-evolving sector, and working hard to ensure we have a resilient and trusted brand.
HostKeep current manages properties across inner-Melbourne. Please contact us to see if your property is in our service area.
HostKeep is supported by a network of professional, vetted cleaners and maintenance specialists to ensure your property is maintained to a high standard.
We have a comprehensive, technology-driven workflow system to ensure cleaners are in place to complete turnovers between guests. A condition report is completed following each clean ensuring consistency in the quality of our cleans, and noting any issues that require maintenance or repair.
HostKeep has serviced tens of thousands of reservations, and in our experience, we have found that the vast majority of guests are conscientious, polite, and well-behaved. But we do recognise the risks of inviting people into your property, and there are those rare instances when things go wrong, even if just by accident.
When incidents do occur HostKeep works with the guest and reservation platform provider to attempt to reach a resolution for any incident, and recover costs were applicable.
As a final line of protection, HostKeep requires that all of our owners hold adequate Landlord insurance. We recommend Centra Host and Short-Stay insurance as a cost effective way to ensure peace of mind.
HostKeep earns between 16 & 21% (excluding GST) from each reservation. This covers all our management services, all guest consumables, and hire of linen.
In addition, we charge the guest a cleaning fee for each reservation. This generally ranges from $66 to $180, depending on the number of bedrooms/bathrooms and the location of property.
The HostKeep management fee is charged on the net amount we received from the platform provider (after the cost of cleaning is deducted).
See below for an example of how this works:
HostKeep takes the work out of renting your home or apartment. We list and manage your place on top property rental sites including Airbnb, Tripping and Booking.com. We handle all aspects of the guest experience, including inquiry, booking, 24/7 check-in, cleaning, maintenance, and guest communications before, during, and after each reservation.
You can view the full details of our services here.
Property owners who want to rent out their home on the short term rental market to make supplementary income should use HostKeep. Typically our customers either don’t have the time to manage their property themselves or they don’t live near their vacation home.
We have a number of tricks up our sleeve from our years in the business.
We use dynamic pricing to automatically optimise your nightly booking rates. Our pricing engine takes into account factors like area, number of bedrooms, historical pricing data, popular events nearby and current neighbourhood prices to adjust your nightly rates and maximise your revenue per booking. You can also set your own rates and create discounts.
In addition, we promptly reply to all inquiries, which helps secure more bookings. We also sync your listing across major booking platforms in our network to maximise your exposure.