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Curious what folks do when they have a stand alone listing (we have 2 AirBnB cottages that are very near us) and go out of town on vacation. With covid, we haven’t been away for more than a few days since we opened over a year ago but hope this winter to leave for an extended stay somewhere warm.
Do you sleep/block dates? Find a temporary co-host? If so, what would a reasonable rate be for a temp co-host to cover while you’re away for a few weeks or a month?
I block the dates. I tried making it available during a trip in 2016. I made my housesitter my co-host. Still, after being awakened at midnight by a message because the power had gone out, I decided the amount I could make wasn’t worth the hassle. That said, I wasn’t making much. Good luck finding a good, competent, temp co-host who does everything the way you see fit.
I simply never go away when I have guests. Although because I live in South Florida I’m sort of permanently on vacation anyway.
I have had to go away for a few days though in the past so I too have blocked dates when necessary. As @KKC and @JohnF said, I wouldn’t trust a temporary co-host to have attention to detail and do things my way. Furthermore, any co-host should be close enough to the rentals to be able to react immediately if the guests get in touch and there is no one here I could use.
I always block the dates. Otherwise, I could get a bad review that was out of my control, regardless of how well I trained said co-host. It might mean losing a few bookings, but a cpl of bad reviews can hurt more than that in the long run. I try to take my vacations in our slow season.
This might be an interesting note for other hosts. A few years ago I was unexpectedly in hospital in a coma. I’d already trained up a co-host just in case of emergency and a temporary cleaner. The co-host lived a mile away (too far, for me) and the cleaner was pretty rubbish.
I’d created an online guide on the back end of my website with photographs for them to work from on their phones. (“This is how the bed should look”, “this is how to arrange the breakfast basket” etc. Yes, I’m anal…)
She’d clean then the co-host would go in and check her work and add the little details. The guests would have his number and he was pretty good at reacting to guest contact.
It sort of worked but during the period of time this system was used for I did not get one single review…
When I hosted in AZ and went away for two months I had this young couple that was settling into the small town and house sitting here and there. They’d used Air before and were cat people. They’d been recommended by someone in town.
Because they had a nice place to live (my part of the house), think I paid them 1/2 of all the bookings we got while I was gone. It was the slower time of the year so they weren’t super busy. They were hard workers and it worked out just fine including for my cats.
I may be gone for a couple weeks later in Sept, and am hoping my neighbor will take over. We haven’t discussed fees yet. @jaquo We did get reviews from most guests while I was gone.
I block the dates. Sometimes it works out to take an overnight or two away during a guest’s stay, but I’m loathe to leave the same day I have a guest checking in, though I’ve been successful every time I’ve done it. Except once.
The guest checked in around noon, messaged me around 4pm that there was water coming from the wall, though it was tiny. A few hours later it couldn’t be stopped. Meanwhile I was 3 hours away on a fishing trip and couldn’t do a thing until I could get on the road.
So I get them settled and then am okay with an overnight away.
I block dates, but I have about a dozen repeat guests who call me if they don’t see a vacancy. I let them stay here if we are away since they need no guidance and are willing to forgo light breakfast for getting familiar accommodations. I had co-host once, but she didn’t like getting peppered with reminders about things that were happening well after we planned to return.
I’ve done short trips while guests are in residence in the suite attached to my house, without telling them I’m gone, but only for compelling reasons.
We do get power outages and water main shutoffs occasionally, and I dread having one of those events happen when I’m out of pocket. My back up plan would be to give trusted guests my lockbox code and let them into the main house where the electric panel and bottled water are, but eek.
I was friendly with one of my young neighbors who dogsat for me, offered them a co-host position, they turned me down on that one!
Fortunately my LTR tenants have been here 14 and 17 years so they are pretty savvy about handling issues emergencies. They are like co-hosts without any booking/online responsibility. I can trust them not to call in pros unless really needed.
I used to have a cleaner who I would pay to be on call and the pay her more if she had to go out. I’m now breaking in a new cleaner and I’ve decided to just block the dates I’ll be out of town. I think I may just keep it that way. Less worry.