Becoming a host can be a financially rewarding experience. The process isn't difficult, but it does require some set-up time and careful consideration of the parameters of a smooth rental experience.
Below, you'll find tips for safe and effective hosting, helping you create a winning listing, choose guests, and be prepared for contingencies.
Your listing is your full-color brochure and your rule book. Taking the time to make it shine and to clarify your rules and expectations will pay off.
There are three main components that make up an awesome listing: the listing description, photographs, and the house rules.
Security deposits provide priceless peace of mind, and they're an easy feature to add to your listing. In the event of an incident, our team will be available to assist.
To make a claim, go to your Dashboard > Your Listings > My Reservations and click on the Claim Security Deposit button within 48 hours of the guest's checkout date.
An Zipvacation team member will serve as a mediator between you and the guest to resolve the situation once the claim has been submitted.
Be prepared to submit photos, estimates, and a description of the damages.
You can set custom parameters for messages and reservation requests, which means guests who don't meet your requirements can't send you a message or attempt a reservation until they fulfill your requirements.
Selections for reservation requirements include: verified phone numbers, complete profiles with photos and descriptions, location information, and trip context or purpose.
For your convenience, you can set cleaning fees that will be automatically collected each time you accept a reservation.
Purchasing an insurance policy is a simple, affordable way to protect your property. The Host Guarantee is not a replacement for homeowners or renters insurance. We recommend speaking with your insurance provider to explore your options. Get more information on the Host Guarantee.
Asking questions is a major part of the screening process. Get to know your potential guests and make sure you have a comfortable rapport. We recommend scheduling a phone call instead of emailing. Be prepared to answer the guest's questions, as well.
Here are some preliminary questions to get the ball rolling:
Make sure that guests have completed their profile verifications. If they haven't, ask them to do so.
Check for verified phone numbers, connected social networks like Facebook, and references.
A positive review is perhaps the best indication of the authenticity of your potential guest. Because Zipvacation's reviews are a snapshot of a real experience between parties, it's a good indication of your guest's reputation and how he has conducted himself not only in the reservation process, but in any previous rental experiences.
If, after corresponding with a guest, you are hesitant about accepting a rental request for any reason, trust your instincts. At Zipvacation, you are never under any obligation to accept a reservation.
Providing clear, written instructions on how you expect your guests to behave in your home can save you a lot of aggravation down the road. If you have a no-smoking policy, for instance, be firm and say so. You have the right to call the shots about what is and isn't allowed in your home.
The best way to protect your valuables and irreplaceable items is to remove them. The same goes for any sensitive documents. If they can't be removed, you may want to consider a secure, locked space to store items you don't want guests to access.
Whenever possible, it's in your best interests to meet your guests. If you can't meet in person, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to meet them on your behalf. It's also a good idea to inform your neighbors that you plan to have guests. In turn, let your guests know that your neighbors are available in case of emergency.
Even with the most thorough planning, things don't always go as intended. Our operators and customer support staff are always available to provide phone, chat and email support. Contact us here.
If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, please contact the local police or emergency services.