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Almost ready to post my house, but


#1

My house is almost ready to list as available on Airbnb, but I have some concerns.
My house is in the city of Riverside. Riverside isn’t known for its tourist attractions, am I spinning my wheels here? The University is about 5 miles from me but I will be offering a whole house. Originally I thought about parents of students coming to visit their children in college, but will they need 3 bedrooms and 4 beds? I’m only looking to rent it out for maybe a week or 2 per month but is there any chance of that considering my location. One last thing, I have a dog (Golden Retriever). I’m going to disclose that and let my potential tenants know that there will be some dog hair, even though I Vacuum thoroughly. That’s not my question, I’m wondering if I should allow nice dogs? I won’t even consider breeds known to be aggressive, but I’ve noticed there aren’t many listings that do allow dogs. I thought that might give me a com’pet’itive advantage. What do folks think about that?


#2

We used to allow dogs (until the homeowners’ association decided that dogs weren’t welcome) and yes, I found that it increased bookings. Although I suppose it depends on each individual area. I didn’t find that dogs caused damage at all but other hosts might have anti-dog stories.

For parents/families of college students, I’d inform the local college and let them know about the accommodation you offer. Also contact large local businesses as they might have people coming into town.


#3

I think that allowing dogs might increase your listing, although with the “parents visiting students” target you are wanting, will many of those travelers be bringing pets for a trip like that?

I do think alot of people travel with their fur-kids now. If you are willing to allow it, it couldn’t hurt to try?

We are in Asheville/WNC area, which is highly pet-friendly (restaurants included!). I know allowing dogs would boost our listing rates but we have a non-fenced in yard, free-range chickens around and bears … So no dogs please!


#4

Just list your place and see what happens.

Most of us have made many tweaks in our listings after it was Live. You learn your market as you go.

I’m predicting your listing will be popular. (I said it first.) :wink:


#5

I allow dogs and have for my entire 4.4 years. I think allowing dogs helps get bookings.

I could launch into a whole tirade about the error of saying “breeds known to be aggressive,” but I won’t. I’ll just calmly and evenly say that “aggressive breeds” have absolutely nothing to do with your decision to allow dogs to stay with their owners in a whole house listing. Unless you live in an area with breed restrictions it’s not important.


#6

Respectfully, I disagree. Well, not disagree exactly because @TuMo is right - you learn such a lot by actually doing the job. But learn as much as you can in advance.

  1. Read this forum extensively
  2. Study the Airbnb help pages and the TOS
  3. Be prepared for every eventuality (that probably won’t happen, but still…)
  4. Make the very most of the new host boost

#7

Thanks for all of the advice, I’m taking it all in!


#8

Riverside??? California I assume from your name.

Will you be living on site? Next door? Or across town somewhere? People who are on-site tend to have much less problem with ‘party types’. If you aren’t there, you really want to get security cameras installed, tested and disclosed in your listing. Also numberpad locks or another secure system.

No sure that I would bank on people booking 1-2 weeks per month to visit their college kids, and I doubt they will need 3BR and 4 beds. You might want to consider separate listing for each bed room and book multiple guests rather than looking for the rarer guest who wants all that space…

Many hosts will trade fewer booking for less cleaning hassle – guest dogs can be messy in so many ways.


#9

Thanks for the reply Ken. Yes, Riverside CA. Pretty far from the big attractions like Disneyland and such, about an hour away. I dont like the idea of being here while the house is rented. I have another home that is a little over an hour away and plan to stay there if and when my place Rents out. I have several webcams that I purchased on sale last year. I purchased them while I still had a job so that I could keep an eye on my place during the day. I did think about setting the cameras up now but figured no one would want to stay in a place with a bunch of cameras. Thought I would rely on tenant’s prior reviews (bad idea?).


#10

I allow dogs and am positively encouraging about it. One because I love dogs but two because they are about 75% of my bookings. People with dogs often have trouble finding somewhere they can let them come inside. Make it clear that only well behaved dogs are allowed as you have a dog and live there. This should put off most people with troublesome dogs rather than target specific breeds. I find small yappy dogs more annoying than bigger dogs. I live separately upstairs with my older BC girl who loves meeting guest dogs but if they aren’t suitable we stay out of the way. I think if you have a dog yourself you will be more tolerant of occasional aberrant behaviour. I even have a guest dog book called “Dogs in the Air” which I get guests to sign on their dog’s behalf. Good luck!


#11

Great to hear from a host who love dogs. Thanks for that James, great advice.


#12

Thanks for the advice K9KarmaCasa.

You are right, certain breeds get a bad rap. I owned a Pitbull for 14 years, he was raised with my 2 daughters and never hurt anyone or any other dogs.


#13

Cameras can only be setup outside of your listing, but must be disclosed. Camera on the front door, other exterior door(s), driveway, garage, exterior yard.

If guests don’t like cameras they don’t have to stay with you.

Relying on previous reviews is not exactly a good idea. It’s one way to gain a little knowledge of potential renters, but the person with the account requesting your place may not even be the one(s) staying there.


#14

Got it, thanks Ken. Do you have cameras set up on your place? Anyone else have cameras?

If the guests do trash my place, does Airbnb help in any way? I’ve read that they have insurance but that it’s difficult to make a claim.


#15

Don’t want to hijiack the thread but if I saw that in your listing I wouldn’t consider staying there even without my dog.


#16

I do. I have a Ring Pro doorbell camera and two 24/7 DVR connected ones. I live here but highly recommend them for remote hosts.

If they do, Airbnb may help if you follow all their protocols to the letter. Among other things you have to submit a claim before the next guest checks in. You have to have pictures and reciepts and invoices. We have had people here who say Airbnb did support them and people who say they didn’t. I suspect that people who were not supported did something out of order or there is something they aren’t telling us but don’t know for sure. I wouldn’t count on them. You need to have your own STR insurance for a whole house anyway.


#17

OTOH, there are other people who would like that. You and I know that breed bias is rampant. The key thing is to leave it out because it’s irrelevant. I had someone stay with a bully breed, I can’t remember, I guess it was a pibble, and they wrote to ask in advance if I had any breed restriction. I was happy to say absolutely not and to host them and their pup for several days.


#18

Many hosts use outdoor cameras. I have a Ring Pro and it gives me peace of mind to allow check-ins when I’m at work or otherwise away from the house.

Most Airbnb horror stories start with “the guest reserved for 3, but neighbors reported 6 cars and upwards of 15 people at the house…”. Exterior cameras are a simple way to check on things.

Being dog friendly might give you a good market niche - also attracting people who’d be less fussy about some dog hair left by your pooch.


#19

Probably should also think about host liability insurance for short stays. Given US is a litigious society, you’ll worry about getting lawsuits from dog allergies, dog bites etc. There is a litany of “injuries” one can sustain, especially psychological injuries - trauma etc. Can’t be definitively proven but they can still get compensation with a good lawyer.


#20

I didn’t know insurance companies offered host insurance, I’ll look into that. Thanks!


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