What began as casual couch surfing in the 1990s is now a global phenomenon that has changed the way people travel. Airbnb continues to dominate the home sharing sector, with property owners around the world opening up their homes to travellers seeking experiences with a local and authentic flavour.
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For hosts – and particularly the growing number who operate multiple Airbnb properties – the challenges of managing the process of letting out their homes can be extremely time consuming. To deal with this, a large number of Airbnb management companies have emerged offering to take this problem off of their hands, promising to deal with everything from bookings to meet-and-greets to cleaning and maintenance.
If you’re thinking of becoming a London Airbnb host, or are already one, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to and come up with our selection of five of the best Airbnb management companies currently operating in the capital.
Enjoying an enviable Trustpilot score, City Relay provide a comprehensive management service for every aspect of short lets. Unlike most of their industry counterparts, City Relay’s entire team is in-house, helping ensure a consistency of service so both hosts and guests know what they’re going to get each time. They also place a strong focus on offering services with a personal and local touch, and have set up high street Reception Spaces that acts as a kind of concierge service for anything from check-in and advice on local attractions to guidance for homeowners who are looking to short let their home. Furthermore, an internally developed pricing tool and specialist revenue team help maximise earnings for hosts.
With a promise of doubling your rental income via short lettings, Pass the Keys offer a multi-platform service designed to maximise occupancy throughout the year. They use a dynamic pricing algorithm to ensure you price your home at just the right level, while a professional on-boarding team ensures your listing looks as good as possible. They also have a guest management team that focuses heavily on delivering the best possible guest reviews and referral rates. Another perk is an in-house developed client dashboard that allows you to track rental revenues, bookings and reviews.
A boutique agency with a high staff-to-property ratio, SmartHost place flexibility at the heart of their offering. The company aims for an 85% occupancy rate throughout the year, and a 40% increase on the income a property would yield from long-term rentals (and in high season more like 60-65%). They have an in-house team of professionals for design, cleaning and maintenance, and they guarantee your listing will be active within 72 hours of signing up. As well as providing all of the standard short-let management services, other perks include supporting Airbnb Plus and customising contracts to clients’ specific needs.
Founded in 2016, Air Blue Lets help London property owners in zones 1 and 2 unlock the full potential of their homes while they’re away. Through dedicated management services, they allow guests to enjoy all the perks of a hotel, from fresh linen to 24/7 support. Property owners simply let them know of the homes’ availability and they do the rest, including photography, listing, guest communications, in person check-in, and cleaning. They also work with estate agents who have clients looking to short-let their property during a sale or in between a tenancy.
Billed as a flexible letting solution, Host Maker are one of the biggest names in the short-lets sector. Services include professional photographers and copywriters to make your listing stand out, 24/7 guest support teams, high-tech pricing valuation tools so you pitch your property at the correct rate, hotel-trained housekeepers, regular property checks and quick maintenance fixes. Clients are also assigned a dedicated advisor to assist you every step of the way, and you can keep tabs on how everything is faring via a customised online performance dashboard. For those keen to spruce up their home, Host Maker also have an in-house interior design studio.
Air Sorted are another highly reputable short-lets management companies, offering a full menu of services designed to take all the stress and hassle out of running an Airbnb letting. They create your listing, vet guests using strict verification checks, manage your online account, organise all professional cleaning and linen, optimise pricing using cutting edge technology tools, respond to all guest requests, enable 24-hour check-in, and restock your home with essential household items after each letting.