The trend of renting out rooms or entire houses to travellers has grown over the years with the introduction of Airbnb and Roomorama. This allows hosts to make additional revenue, and at the same times, guests have the option to experience a home-stay arrangement.
In other words, it’s a win-win situation.
Having guests over is always fun for hosts, but having to prepare for their visit is well…the total opposite of fun.
This is where startup GuestReady intends to come in, as an answer to every host’s nightmares.
The online website provides services for hosts or homeowners to ready their houses for guests – that include cleaning, laundry, and even check in and check out.
According to Digital Trends, the site promises to help hosts generate more revenue by optimising an Airbnb (or others) listing, pricing and occupancy, and asserts that local experts will help screen guests, as well as give them a warm welcome when they arrive – all on top of taking care of the host’s property.
In an interview with Tech In Asia, co-founder Lou Chan explains that Airbnb operations can become a lot more difficult when hosts are tied down with full time jobs, or have to travel a lot.
“Getting friends or family members to help out might not be as ideal as compared to a service that is dedicated to establishing a standard,” he says.
Services They Provide
There are two types of services that GuestReady offers.
One is the full package that includes property listings, guest approval, guest communication, check in and check out, cleaning and laundry, as well as professional maintenance.
The second option are standalone services where users pay for one or two services at their preferences, rather than the whole thing.
Payment options are also split to two choices – the percentage service fee and the fixed income guarantee.
The percentage service fee is when GuestReady takes 18% of the revenue hosts receive at the end of the stay; though there will be additional charges for cleaning and laundry services.
The fixed income guarantee scheme is when hosts are given a pre-determined monthly income from their short rentals. GuestReady will pay hosts a set amount monthly, based on their property.
Manpower And Trust Problems
Even though they are able to garner a lot of requests from customers, GuestReady’s CEO Alexander Limpert informs that without enough manpower to execute these requests, they would not have been able to succeed.
It takes an army of people to be able to carry out the required tasks such as cleaning, laundry and guest communication, he adds. In an interview with Tech Crunch, he mentions that the company has built its freelancer network with employees that come from a background in hotel and hospitality.
The job is not limited to students or experienced staff alone. However, he admits that students tend to have more flexibility with their schedules, making it easier for them to accept the jobs.
Trustworthiness of workers is also another challenge GuestReady faces, as you cannot allow just anyone to go into your homes, let alone trust them with your house keys.
In terms of hiring, Limpert reveals that the company uses a thorough selection method to keep their group of employees close.
“This is not the type of business with lots of people involved because it involves trust, but we have a broad network and a company that can help us in peak times, but that’s rare,” he says.
Coming In The Right Time
As mentioned earlier, the number of house shares have been on the rise recently. In Singapore, we have Airbnb, Panda Bed, HomeAway, Roomorama, Home To Go – just to name a few.
Statistics show that Airbnb in Singapore alone has 7,446 rentals (at time of writing). If we were to add in the numbers of the other house shares, the numbers would certainly be high.
With these many houses available for rent, GuestReady is coming in at the right time with their services. With so many availabilities for them to choose from it looks like business will only grow form here.
If you’re thinking that they are specially tailoring their services to Airbnb, think again.
Though Limpert mentions that GuestReady is focused on Airbnb, it’s only because they are a bigger player in the industry. He assures that hosts using other sites such as HomeAway and Roomorama are also welcome to come on board.
Feature Image Credit: Airbnb