change the locks now
Hi all! Thanks so much for your support. We got rid of the property management company and have been using property management software (Hostfully), dynamic pricing (Pricelabs) + a cleaning platform (Turno) to manage it ourselves. We recruited our next door neighbors to clean/inspect/co-host and have a direct booking site (through Hostfully) and are open on Airbnb. Since going live on Airbnb we’ve been booked every weekend and the occasional few-day stay during the week. The cleaning fees and co-host % (10% for inspections, being on hand if necessary for something a guest needs, replacing the toilet paper holder that keeps falling off the wall, being a delivery point for supplies and helping troubleshoot house systems or oversee contractors) go directly to the neighbors and I share the owner’s report (which the former PM said was not available to share) with the co-hosts so they can see what we bring in and that they get a full 10%.
So far it seems to be going great. Fingers crossed that this continues! It was a LOT of time up front to learn the PMS and around $100 USD/month for one listing, but I really like it now and the customer support seems really good.
I really appreciate this forum and everyone’s input!
Thanks for the update! It’s great that things are going well for you, you have a co-Host, transparency in your reports and a way to direct book.
How’s your direct book experience? Some folks here have said that many of their guests seem to believe in AirCover and so are NOT direct booking. But others here are getting a great direct-book experience. I believe that it can be very valuable to get your guests to direct book so that if;/when your location becomes over-saturated with STRs that you’ll have a lot of repeat business.
So, please tell us about that. It sounds like your co-Host or co-Host’s wife is doing the cleanings. Does Turno mainly advise you of cleaners in the STR market (and they of you)?
You might want to take a look at DTravel for direct booking (I think this could be in addition to Hostfully). This link was recently posted by the owner/co-owner of this forum: Direct Booking Sites: The Key to Making More Money
Thanks for those suggestions! I will definitely look into DTravel. I agree with your idea that repeat booking is a benefit of promoting direct bookings, so hopefully that will be a plus for us. Our area has doubled in the number of STR in the last 2 years and these continue to expand, so fingers crossed that we can start with that now. That said, we have had no direct bookings yet but haven’t done any advertising either. I’m trying to get a blog up and running (combining AI-written posts with personally-written ones, including posts about using an AI to write posts) which I’m hoping will help. We’ll also be reaching out through our networks to share the DB site.
Turno is weird for me! They apparently do a lot of prioritizing by algorithms or some other nontransparent metric, so when my cleaners signed up to use the platform (which also automates scheduling when integrated with Hostfully and payments when integrated with Stripe) they were not visible to me when I searched for cleaners in the area! I had to go to customer service chat, which then freed up my view of cleaners in the area. Apparently you have to first open up a chance for people to bid before you can take advantage of the cleaners who have signed up. But now we have the cleaner/cohost couple on the platform and a backup person, so I again have my fingers crossed that this will work.
“lessor agrees to pay a commission of 30% of the rents collected in each month (which shall be deducted from the rents collected)"
Let me preface my reply by saying that this is our opinion and is based solely on our personal experience and for our area. I ask if other members might please refrain from ragging on me in your replies because you don’t do things this particular way and/or if our way doesn’t make sense to you.
I feel that we’re all here to help each other in our own way with our own experiences, information, and knowledge and positivity.
Thanks in advance.
I think it’s not unusual for a STR manager to base their fee to the owner on a percentage of the rent as their management fee.
Although here, I think the question is what this company considers their definition of “the rent” to be.
We are a small STR management company in the Catskill Mountains (NY) and our commission is a percentage of ONLY the base rental rate. So that’s the net rent… before cleaning and taxes.
With us, the total cleaning fee goes directly to the cleaners. We don’t get any of that. Also, the cleaning fee is not paid out of the owner’s part. It is paid by the guest/renter. So we collect the cleaning as a charge to the guest and then send it to the housekeepers.
For our area, taxes are collected by Air and they distribute it to the county treasurer.
We have NO additional fees to the guest/renter. So our base rental rate is always the same as it is listed on Air and our site. And that’s what our owners pay our commission based on.
Our owners’ statement will look like:
$ rental rate for the number of nights
$ our percentage
$ Air fee to owner’s side
$ expenses (supplies [at cost, no upcharge], professional repair work [that we weren’t personally able to fix].)
$ taxes (The tax is mentioned because up here, STR homeowners have to tell the county what the total tax amount received from the guests/renters was and send that information to the county. But Air sends the tax money to the county)
Perhaps this company takes the cleaning fee (and I agree that the 233.00 in the example is way overkill and will push renters away) plus any extra charges to the guest/renter plus taxes and adds all that to the base rental rate. They then takes their commission on that grand total. (???)
We get questions about our contract’s wording from our new owners every now and then. We’re glad to clarify and on occasion we’ve changed the wording.
Perhaps contact the management company and get more clarification on their verbage and terms and math calculations.
As an aside, I haven’t read everything here so I may have missed other language that’s in your STR management contract, so please take this from my limited knowledge of your contract… but we personally shy away from using terms like “lessor.”
Our thinking is that this wording is more appropriate for full time/long term rentals (which tend to be subject to a much stricter set of local and/or state regulations - in favor of the renter - than short term rentals. Depending on your area of course.).
We’ve been using “Manager” (us) and “Property Owner” (owner) in our contracts with our owners and especially in our Rental Agreements with our guests/renters.
All the best for a great STR owner future! Once you get through the thorny hedges it’s a clear sunny path!
That depends entirely on the industry. In technology and engineering interns get paid very well