How to Have Good Guests by Being a Great Host – The Ultimate A-Z Guide.

Discover the short-term rental algorithm for managing unmanageable guests with our ultimate A-Z guide on how to have good guests by being a great host, including vacation rental top tips, checklists, guides and risk management technology.

Bad guests are not what you sign up for when running a vacation rental, so how do you ensure you have good guests?

In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know to ensure you mitigate the risk of problematic guests, set yourself up for good guests and be the best property manager or host you can be.

And lot’s more.

What makes a good guest?

At Know Your Guest, we flipped the narrative. We asked over 2000 property managers, hosts and industry experts, ‘what is the definition of a bad guest?’

If you have a benchmark for what you believe makes a bad guest, you have the fundamentals of what you classify as a good guest. Thus, work towards understanding how to host good guests for every booking.

Here’s what we found:

According to Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies, “A bad guest fails to consider the impact of their behaviour on others and the state of the property. Accidental damages happen, but truly accidental damages are ‘owned up’ by good guests.” 

This is a great example of how understanding how a bad guest acts in a vacation rental, highlights to you the behaviours of a good guest.

“A bad guest is someone who does not respect the home,” Simon Lehmann, CEO and Award Winning Pioneer in the short-term rental industry.

75% of those asked were in consensus that a lack of respect for both the property and the property manager/owner was one of the main definitions of a bad guest.

Is there such a thing as a professional guest?

We know that a professional host is a successful host. 

As a whole, we work hard to continuously improve the standard and reputation of short-term lets to professionalise the industry, provide quality stays and optimise revenue. 

We know the key to professionalisation is through streamlining your operations. But as a professional host, how do you know your guest will be responsible?

Question to you, Is there such a thing as a professional guest?

Once you have defined what makes a good guest, how do you ensure you only host these guests?

The dos and don’ts of hosting guests in the vacation rental industry

Hosting Dos and Don'ts Comparison

Hosting a vacation rental guest is easier with these quick dos and don’ts. You can avoid common Airbnb hosting mistakes and build trust and delight your guests at every booking.

Knowing how to have good guests starts with the proper planning and execution when setting up your rental property.


  • Research your ideal guest: Understanding your target audience and knowing their expectations will elevate their guest experience. 
  • Research your local area: Is there a popular tourist destination local to you? What are your competitors offering? Do you have a niche that will let you stand out?
  • Prepare for potential problems: Set clear and appropriate expectations and use risk prevention to mitigate potential problems ahead of time.
  • Invest time in professional photos: Stop your guests from scrolling past your listing and wow them with high-quality photos.
  • Keep your rental clean: Hire a professional short-term rental cleaning service. No guest wants to stay in another stranger’s mess!
  • Decide whether you want to be an owner or property manager: Ask yourself how involved you want to be and whether you’d prefer somebody else manage the property on your behalf.


  • Set up wrong expectations: Don’t exaggerate the truth. It’s a surefire way to earn yourself a bad review.
  • Lie about your amenities: These amenities could be the selling point of your listing. You’re setting your guests up for disappointment if it’s not something you offer. 
  • Use other rental property images as your own: This will lead you to become a fraudulent host and is also a form of copyright, which can lead to legal action against you. Most OTA’s will also remove you from their platform. 
  • Overlook small details: Smart hosts will stay at their listing for at least a night to create a sense of the guest experience they are offering and whether any small details had been missed. 
  • Intrude on guest privacy: Don’t interfere with their private time, especially if the listing is also your main residence. 
  • Let one bad complaint put you off hosting: Try and resolve the problem your guest has by remaining calm. Document your communication. Remember, one bad experience does not make you a bad host. Your next guest could be the best you’ve ever had.

These simple steps can help you prevent unmanageable guests and implement the right risk-preventative measures for you and your guests’ safety.

Know Your Guest’s A-Z Guide on how to have good guests by being a great host

Know Your Guest A-Z Guide

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What are the essential amenities short-term rental guests want?

The Top Ten Amenities Guests Want in a Vacation Rental

Airbnb found that 97% of US travellers claim the type of amenities available will impact their guest experience. We’ve gathered 10 essential amenities that matter to guests, including some of the most searched amenities on the Airbnb platform: 

  1. Kitchen appliances to fulfil self-catering needs – One TripAdvisor survey found that 83% of potential guests rate a fully equipped kitchen as a top priority.
  1. Cooking essentials – Short-term rentals are ‘homes away from home’. Make your guests feel at home by providing everyday essentials like tea, coffee and cooking condiments. 
  1. Hot Tubs – One of the most filtered searches for vacation rentals includes ‘private hot tubs’ and jacuzzis. If your rental has one, highlight it as an amenity. 
  1. Washing machine & dryer – Guests love to know there’s access to clean laundry while away. Make it clear you’re happy for guests to use the washer and dryer. 
  1. Good WiFi strength and signal – One survey found that 96% of respondents rated WiFi either as “Important” or “Very Important”.
  1. Air conditioningHaving air conditioning or even access to a fan will improve guest comfort during the warmer months, especially if they’re not used to the heat. 
  1. TV/ streaming services/ games console – These are great features for when it’s a rainy day, keeping up to date with the news or even catching that big sporting event.
  1. Toiletries – Travel-sized bathroom amenities are expected at hotels, be sure to take your rental up a notch by offering these basics, such as miniature soaps and shampoos

  2. 24-hour check-inIt isn’t always possible to be available 24 hours a day, but with an automated self-check-in system, keyless entries or even lock box codes will keep guests happy and provide an independent check-in process.

  3. Free Parking – Guests and travellers like to know there’s somewhere safe to park their wheels that is convenient and not an extra that could easily rack them up an additional bill.

Check out Dack, EnsoConnect and Operto for seamless guest journeys and keyless entry options.

By providing the essential amenities short-term rental guests want, you’ll be hitting that ‘wow’ factor, keeping guests sweet and creating an overall greater guest experience. 

Happy guests are good guests. 

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Other thoughtful details guests love, include:

  • Personalised welcome baskets
  • Local restaurant recommendations
  • Local ‘off the beaten track’ walks and hotspots

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Building trust for better bookings

Business transactions are built on relationships and trust. The better your relationship, the happier the consumer. In the short-term rental industry, your guest is the consumer.

So, you must build solid foundations with them to hit those 5-star reviews. You do this by building trust.

You will need to:

  • Remain professional at all times
  • Address guests correctly and watch out for your tone of voice – do not put ‘xx’ on the end of messages or use language such as ‘hun, thnx’.
  • Set clear expectations with guests around payments
  • Present your property attractively but accurately
  • Build a trusted website with a straightforward domain name, SSL connection and professional logo
  • Verify yourself as a host

Cultivate transparency between yourself and your guests. Good guests go hand in hand with honest hosts. 

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Setting and collecting security deposits

Security deposits (damage deposits) are an excellent resource for remunerating costs from guests in the event of minor accidental damages. They are common within the hospitality industry and are used as a precautionary measure. 

Good guests will respect the reasoning behind deposits. They understand that by supplying a refundable deposit, they will be held accountable for their actions during their stay. 

Guests who question your reasoning and attempt to avoid paying a damage deposit for their stay, are guests unfavourable for you to host. They are more likely to knowingly:

  • Cause damage and not own up to it
  • Have a lack of respect for the property
  • Have a lack of respect to you as the host or property manager
  • Disobey your house rules
  • Invite extra guests
  • Throw a party

By collecting vacation rental security deposits, you can set yourself up for success with every booking and welcome good Airbnb guests that are there for all the right reasons. 

Here are a further 10 top tips to help you manage the implementation of a damage deposit for a great guest experience:

  1. Ensure you’re charging the right amount. 
  1. Choose the right damage deposit handling system for you. Automating the process with a company like Know Your Guest can help facilitate the collection on your behalf and keep you PCI compliant. 
  1. Transparency. Make your damage policy known in your listing wording and house rules.
  1. Be clear about when the security deposit is due.
  1. Be clear about when the deposit will be remitted back to the guests; ie, 7 days, 14 days or more. When you do refund the deposit, make this clear to the guest with communication or receipts.
  1. Keep careful records in the event of keeping a full or partial deposit, and document the damage caused as well as the costs you incur to fix it, in case of any guest disputes. 
  1. Ensure you’re using 3D Secure payment validation to prevent guest chargebacks and to protect payment details.
  1. Know the law in your area. Regulations and laws vary across states and countries, so it’s important to stay informed about your rights as a property manager and your guest’s rights as a renter. 
  1. Ensure you get the right balance between security and guest experience. Remember, good guests will be happy to provide a refundable deposit for their stay.  
  1. Don’t skip short-term rental insurance and damage protection.
Short-Term rental Damage CTA Protection

When collecting a security deposit on Airbnb, remember to be aware of their policy that stipulates ‘hosts are not allowed to collect a security deposit’ as they offer their own solution:

‘If a guest, someone they invite, or a pet causes damage during a stay, the Host can request reimbursement from the guest through our Resolution Centre. If Airbnb gets involved and determines that the guest was responsible, the guest’s payment method may be charged.’

However, there is one exception!

‘Hosts who manage their listings with API-connected software can set a security deposit using our offline fees feature. If a Host has done this, the deposit requirements will be clearly communicated during the booking process.’

With Know Your Guests’ damage deposit facilitation, you can collect security deposits across your Airbnb listings through one of our many API-connected software integrations. 

Speak to us today about how we can help.

Articles you may find interesting:

Short-term rental cleaning services

Cleanliness is of high priority for guests booking a short-term rental. They expect the listing to be freshly turned over from the previous guest, mess-free, comfortable, and suitable.

Make your property a pleasant home you’d want to stay in. If it’s not up to your standards, guests won’t be happy either. 

The prices of cleaning fees can be added to your listing, so it’s always best to outsource a short-term rental cleaning company to fulfil these requirements.

Check out Turno for help finding the right vacation rental cleaner for your Vrbo, and Airbnb listings.

Remember, if it’s clear the property is respected by all those involved, including property managers, owners and maintenance, guests will be more inclined to appreciate it too. 

Interested in getting a Cleaning Certification to show guests your short-term rentals are safe and trusted? Here are the 6 most popular short-term rental courses available in the industry.

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Damage Protection

To ensure you have good guests, you need to be confident as a host.

Roadblocks that impact a host’s confidence in the short-term rental industry are:

  • Awareness of guest-related damages and the added costs they can potentially incur
  • Loss of revenue due to damages, 
  • Trust in the guest’s responsibility and accountability
  • Whether their property is safe in the hands of a stranger.

Knowing your property is covered by the right damage protection, will give you the confidence to host with peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you won’t have to worry about insurance premiums rising or reaching into your own pocket to cover costs. 

Short-term rental damage protection is an additional layer of assurance for you and your business when renting holiday lets on a short-term basis, and can bridge the gap created by traditional homeowners insurance and landlord policies.

Unmatched Damage Protection CTA

Ask us how our vacation rental damage protection can help boost your confidence with your short-term rental bookings.

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Etiquette for hosts (15 rules for first-time hosts)

There is strict hosting etiquette which must be followed to ensure success as a business, or host, in the industry.

Common courtesy is a general rule of thumb when it comes to communicating in everyday life. When it comes to hosting, it’s good practise to perfect your etiquette to ensure a smooth booking process and guest experience. 

If you want to have good guests, you need to also be a good host. Mirror the behaviour and etiquette you want to receive from your guests.

What is Hosting Etiquette?

As a short-term rental host, you need to abide by specific rules and habits to maintain a highly-rated reputation in the industry. These etiquette rules will also reduce problematic behaviours, guest friction and frustrations. 

For Airbnb hosts, there are set Airbnb etiquettes that need to be followed in order to attain superhost status. 

To avoid bad guest behaviour, here are Know Your Guest’s 15 etiquette rules for first-time hosts:

  1. Always be polite and professional – Communicate with your guests in a friendly manner, but keep professional boundaries. You are providing a service to guests and their reviews will reflect the way you interact with them.
  1. Be accommodating with guest requests – It’s always important to put the guest experience first, going the extra mile for special requests can make a guest’s stay memorable for all the right reasons.
  1. Don’t get emotional with guests during a dispute – Sometimes guests can be unreasonable and disrespectful, but it’s important to not match their behaviour.  
  1. Communicate with your guests – Good communication can help elevate your guest review scores. If guests know you’re a good host, you’re more likely to have good guests who respect your property.
  1. Be a good concierge – Whether it’s greeting guests or leaving local recommendations, helping guests be comfortable in your property is all part of being a good host – curbing potential guest friction and problematic behaviour. 
  1. Personalise your messaging – You can help create more personalised experiences, which in turn will keep the all-important guest experience high.
  1. Maintain your property – Short-term properties are not immune to plumbing issues so it’s good to have a contingency plan. Have reliable and trustworthy plumbers and electricians on speed dial in case of any unexpected problems during a guest’s stay.
  1. Manage guest expectations – Be clear about your rules and requests. House rules are a great way to set guest expectations prior to their stay. 
  1. Manage host expectations – It’s just as important to manage your own expectations when it comes to hosting a stranger. Don’t ask too much of guests. This can ruin their experience and lead to negative reviews. 
  1. Have a good response rate – Efficiency keeps guests satisfied. They like to know they’re heard, and their questions can be answered. If you also use OTA platforms, a quick reply can really help boost your visibility too. 
  1. Have a risk management plan – You want good guests, why not ensure you’re reducing the risk of having a bad guest by implementing guest screening.
  1. Don’t invade guest privacy – Yes, it’s your property, but they are paying to stay there. You need to trust your guests and make them feel comfortable during their stay. This means leaving them alone so you’re not pestering them, and definitely do not spy on them, whether it’s through neighbours or cameras. There is short-term rental approved technology available, that can help monitor noise without implicating guest privacy. 
  1. Ensure you’re protected from guest damages – Damage protection, deposits and waivers are all solutions that will protect you from guest-related damages.
  1. Have an accurate listing profile – If you want good guests, you need to make it clear what your property offers. Guests will typically filter through properties until they find the best match. If your profile is over-exaggerating amenities, guests will not be happy nor will they be your ideal guest. 

  2. Leave honest feedback and guest reviews – If the platform you use allows it, leave a guest review and help other hosts know what you think about that guest. Then, remember to read other guest reviews before accepting a booking. That way, you’re mitigating the risk of hosting a bad guest.

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Preventing fraud as a host

You want good guests. Similarly, guests want a good host. 

Unfortunately, fraud in the vacation rental industry exists. How do you prevent fraud as a host so that you only host good guests? 

You need to ensure you stay vigilant about the types of fraudulent activity.

What are the types of vacation rental fraud?

How to spot a fake ID

Are you worried about guests using a fake ID upon booking your property? 

Have you considered implementing a risk management strategy like automated guest screening? Simply get your guests through a simple verification journey where they take a picture of themselves and their ID, which is checked in real-time and will pick up on irregularities.  

If you manually screen guests, how do you spot a fake ID?

Verify with ID Capture CTA

Here are 6 tips to help you spot a fake ID:

  1. The ID holder is different to the person on the photo
  1. The ID has ragged or squared edges
  1. There are bumps or raised lettering on the ID
  1. Can you spot any air pockets on the ID?
  1. The ID has misspellings 
  1. Is it missing the holographic overlay?

It’s important to remember that each country and state has different identity cards and driving licenses, so checking each ID when welcoming guests from all over can get complicated. 

Not all guests are ill-intentioned, but it’s important to stay vigilant about guests and your behaviours to build trust and confidence between both parties.

Automate the process with ID capture.

How to prevent chargebacks

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is the payment amount returned to a debit, or most typically, a credit card, after a consumer disputes the transaction. 

In a world where the vast majority of vacation rental bookings are made online, fraud is becoming more and more common. It’s not unheard of for people to steal a credit card and try to impersonate them when they make a reservation.

Thorough guest screening and asking your guests to verify their identity can help root out fraudsters and help you only accept legitimate bookings.

Articles you may find interesting:

For a full breakdown of ways to fight fraudulent activity in the vacation rental industry, download our know-how guide today!

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Intelligent Guest Screening

Vacation rental guest screening is a vital part of any business. Why manually screen your guests when you can automate the process, only allow access to legitimate guests and protect yourself from fraudulent bookings? 

Implementing intelligent guest screening is the first step to having good short-term rental guests. 

Why is guest screening important?

Property managers, hosts and platforms that invest in an effective guest screening method will:

  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Boost your revenue
  • Minimise incidents of damage
  • Deter bad guests
  • Protect your property from parties
  • Stop guests from using fake IDs
  • Prevent criminal activity within your property

Without the process in place, you are leaving yourself vulnerable, as a host, to damage, fraud, parties and even the potential to rack up a hefty fine in terms of noise violations. 

You can present yourself as a professional and trusted property manager or host by screening your short-term rental guests. Plus, your neighbours will thank you as you do your due diligence to ensure you only host good guests. 

Keep Bad Guests Out CTA

Articles you may find interesting:

Creating a digital guidebook

Elevate your guest experience as a property manager or host by creating a digital guidebook that will ease your processes, save you time and give guests the answers they’re looking for, without feeling like they’re a burden to you. 

Here are 10 guidebook essentials – courtesy of TouchStay – that will help you build a great guidebook for your guests:

  1. How to contact you
  1. Add a cover photo
  1. How to find your place
  1. How to access your place
  1. How to connect to the WiFi
  1. Any essential appliance instructions
  1. Top 5 local restaurants
  1. Top 5 things to do
  1. Nearest grocery store

  2. Review and update the more you host

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House rules and boundaries

Standard house rules help set guest expectations of behaviour that is allowed and what is not. You can’t expect guests to adhere to rules you have not shared with them, so you must clearly communicate your house rules before they book.

Top tip: you can continue highlighting your house rules throughout the booking process and even have guests sign and confirm they have read and accepted them. 

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Vacation rental insurance

You don’t want damage to your property when you’re hosting a stranger. That’s why you want good guests, so you can be assured your property is in safe hands.

But, what if you end up hosting a bad short-term rental guest? How do you protect your property?

One surefire way is with short-term rental insurance

Having insurance for your rental will:

  • Provide financial stability and avenues for economic growth
  • Reduce the impact of loss for future bookings
  • Provide certainty and peace of mind
  • Provide damage control post booking

If your homeowner insurance policies do not cover you when hosting a short-term rental guest (traditionally, they don’t) then you need added assurance through a damage protection solution.

Unmatched Damage Protection CTA

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Creating a smooth guest journey

Why is the guest journey important when it comes to having good guests 

Sometimes, a good guest is one that goes through the guest journey without any hiccups, does not complain about the little things or even contacts you throughout their stay with multiple questions. A good guest can simply be an easy guest. 

That’s why, by offering guests a personalised and stress-free guest journey, your guests will be at ease in the lead-up to their stay, happier during their booking and be your dream guest that you’d be welcoming back in a heartbeat. 

The guest journey doesn’t end once they’ve booked your property. It continues long after they’ve checked out. 

So, by creating a smooth guest journey, you’re also showing guests you’re professional at what you do, and they’ll be more inclined to leave you that 5-star review. 

Technology providers that will help you create a smooth guest journey include:

  • DACK – Provides operators with a powerful operator portal to control, customise and manage guest experience, messaging, verification, check-in / check-out, and more.
  • Enso Connect – Guests, staying at an Enso-connected home or hotel, receive speed, ease and clarity of digital interactions, personalised to their needs and preferences.
  • Operto – Operto enables property managers to automate the guest journey while effortlessly managing portfolios at scale.

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Know Your Guest

Being a great host is about knowing who your guests are so that you can meet their needs, provide the right amenities and ensure they’re a good fit for your property. 

Not every guest is your ideal guest, but that doesn’t mean they’re a bad guest. 

If you truly want to know who will be staying in your home so that you can reduce the risk of hosting a bad guest, you need to use solutions that will help you understand the guest’s rental history, criminal background, and whether they are who they say they are. 

Know Your Guest’s risk management platform will provide you with all the tools to understand your guest’s rental history, manage guest-related risks effectively and build trust between all parties involved. 

Our software helps give you the confidence that:

A. You have a dependable and good guest staying in your property

B. If something were to go wrong, you’re covered. No matter how big or small.

Speak with us to get your personalised risk management quote.

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Listing Wording

This is where you get to show off your rental. To be a great host, you must ensure your listing wording perfectly describes your property, engages potential guests and converts them to paying guests. 

Here are 5 writing tips to help with your listing wording:

  1. Have a catchy property title
  1. Know who your target audience is 
  1. Ensure your description matches your photos
  1. Keep the structure simple and digestible, but don’t be generic

  2. Don’t oversell your property

Top Tip: The key to good guests is by setting the right expectations.

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Building a niche market for your rental

Niche vacation rental marketing involves focusing your marketing efforts and descriptions to cater to specific and well-defined segments of short-term rental guests. 

Niche marketing is like building a funnel to narrow down your ideal guest. That way, you can position your short-term rental property in a much more valuable way. 

With the ability to filter through listings with a click of a button and direct search engines at everyone’s fingertips, you need to optimise your listing.

You can do this by:

  • Knowing your geographical location and popular surrounding areas – what draws travellers to your area
  • Deciding on your hosting comfort levels – are you happy to be pet-friendly, child-friendly, smoking or non-smoking property
  • Is your property wheelchair accessible?Accessible short-term rentals are not out of reach. Creating small but significant changes to your property will create more accessible spaces for every type of guest. 
  • What is your property rental? – Is it a tiny home, a luxury cabin, or a beach hut? Whatever it is, show your potential guests.

Guests will be happier in a property that fully caters to their needs, so building a niche market is an excellent opportunity to help you attract the right guests.

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Avoiding short-term rental neighbour complaints

Building a strong foundation for a positive relationship with your neighbours is essential when running a short-term rental. Upset neighbours can cause you just as much nuisance as a bad guest. 

5 considerations that will help you maintain good neighbourhood relations and reduce the chances of a neighbourhood fallout include:

  1. Responsible check-in and check-out times to minimise disturbances
  1. Allocate specific guest parking or leave clear instructions in your guidebooks as to where guests are not allowed to park. 
  1. Screen your guests to mitigate the risk of parties and criminal activity occurrences
  1. Ask your guests a few questions to gather an idea of why they are booking

  2. Offer your neighbours your contact details

Top Tip: Having open and honest communication with your neighbours will help minimise neighbour complaints and create a welcoming experience for your guests. 

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Vacation rental sex offender checks

New regulations and requirements are frequently being released around hosting sex offenders in your short-term rentals.

So that you can continue to host good guests and confidently keep your community safe, it’s best to ensure you’re implementing effective sex offender background checks into your screening process.

Sex Offender Checks CTA

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How to prevent parties at your vacation rentals

Parties getting out of hand are obviously a major concern. Who hasn’t heard a horror story about guests throwing a party and completely destroying a rental?

Making sure such parties never happen is vital to:

  • Protect your property from costly damages and criminal activity
  • Maintain good relationships with your neighbours.

There’s a reason why some guests take it upon themselves to use someone else’s property to throw a party!

Vacation rental guest screening helps you prevent parties by identifying guests who likely intend to use your rental for a party. Guests planning to party will avoid offering their details as they won’t want to be accountable for their actions. 

6 ways to help avoid vacation rental house parties:

  1. Create house rules with clear wording stating ‘no parties allowed’ and have specific quiet-down hours
Host Bundle Checklist CTA
  1. Use guest screening technology to flag potential risky reservations by performing background checks prior to check-in.
  1. Create a rental agreement your guests have to sign and confirm before they arrive. 
  1. Implement noise solution technology to monitor your guest’s activity without violating their privacy. Minut or NoiseAware are great products that do exactly that, allowing you to monitor your property between check-in and check-out, from anywhere in the world.  
  1. Ever wondered whether your guests are lying about bringing extra guests to your property? Occupancy monitors/mobile phone detectors, such as Operto and Party Squasher, can help you determine whether your rental agreements are violated during a booking. No more worrying if a guest lies about the number of guests on Airbnb. 

  2. External cameras such as ring doorbells for the purpose of deterring break-ins and unauthorised parties. Ensure you’re fully transparent with guests and disclose the use of these in your property descriptions.
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Common questions asked when hosting vacation rental guests

What to do when a guest doesn’t leave? How to avoid squatters?

Typically, a short-term rental stay is less than 30 days. But, if a guest won’t leave after their stay is up, this can cause you a long-term nightmare, and you could be up against tenant rights and even potential court hearings to help evict these nightmare guests. 

Protect yourself and keep guests checking out by:

  • Watching your length of stay limits. Be cautious with extensions. 
  • If you extend the booking, don’t extend the trip too long.
  • Invest in smart locks. New key codes can be generated remotely by you.
  • Invest in security cameras while maintaining guest privacy
  • Thoroughly vet your guests before approving their booking
  • If you’re using a booking platform, keep your communication through them in case you need their support at the end of the booking

How do you prevent guests from rearranging furniture in your property?

Style should not impact the functionality of your short-term rental space, which is why it’s a fantastic idea to experience your rental from a guest’s perspective to ensure you’re not missing the smaller details. This will also help you know whether your furniture is in the most practical position for guest usage.

Other ways to reduce guests rearranging furniture in your property include:

  • Setting clear expectations in your house rules; ‘do not rearrange the furniture’
  • Fix solid furniture in place
  • Add signage around your property as reminders about your rules and provide safety tips
  • Collect damage deposits in the instance damage is caused from moving furniture

What questions do you ask guests before accepting them?

In addition to guest verification and digital guidebooks, the host’s communication before the booking can set boundaries and a mutual understanding for the stay. This can help you have good guests that are a right fit for your property.

Some questions to ask include:

  • What’s bringing you to the area? – You can get a feel for the type of trip they’re planning and suggest local recommendations they may enjoy.
  • Who are you travelling with? – If you only have 1 bed and the travellers don’t seem to be a couple, it’s good to confirm they are aware of this.
  • Do you have any questions about the house rules? – This helps reiterate your rules and their rental agreement.
  • What made you choose our rental? – This can help you understand more about your target guests and build your niche market.

What happens if a guest lies about the number of guests on Airbnb?

If a guest lies about the number of guests staying at your property, and they have booked via Airbnb, you have a couple of options on how to proceed. According to Airbnb, you can:

  • implement an extra guest fee charge

  • implement an added cleaning fee

Top tip: Include your maximum guest capacity in your listing description and your house rules to set your expectations.

How do you handle a bad guest?

Have you ever had your property trashed by a guest? 

What would you do if you end up hosting a bad Airbnb guest? 

Here are 5 tips to remember when dealing with a bad guest:

  1. Listen carefully to the guest
  1. Stay calm in the face of adversity
  1. Don’t get defensive and avoid arguing with the guest
  1. Keep records of all communication with the guest
  1. Have a neutral third-party mediator that can help diffuse the situation

Reactions aren’t always the most effective solution when handling bad guests. It’s better to prepare for the worst by implementing a risk management strategy so that you can identify problem guests before they book.

If you remain calm and personally removed from the situation, you will help diffuse the guest’s frustration. An argument will only propel guests to leave bad reviews, which can harm your business and host status. 

Know Your Guest’s risk management platform can mediate between you and the guest in the instance that you have hosted a guest and your property has succumbed to guest-related damages.

We’ll help you recuperate the cost. Ask us how.

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How to write a good review for guests

Leaving guest reviews may seem like a tedious task you can pass off; however, it is what can take you from being a good host to a great host. The short-term rental industry is a community built by hosts. 

You would want to know if your next guest trashed the last rental property they stayed in.

Guest reviews left by hosts help you understand the guest’s behaviour, especially if you haven’t yet implemented thorough background screening yet. 

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Why you should implement rental agreements

A vacation rental agreement will create mutual legal protection for both you and your guests. 

They help lay down the rules for your rental property and help guests understand expectations and their liabilities during their stay. 

It’s also an added layer of protection for you as a property manager that can help save you time and money post-stay on guest-related damages and unnecessary expenses from a lack of guest accountability. 

By using a short-term rental agreement that is signed and confirmed by guests prior to checking in, you’ll benefit from:

  • Full transparency with guests, minimising disputes and problems during the reservation
  • Less room for misunderstandings
  • Professionalism
  • Should a violation occur, you have the contractual agreement to aid with recuperation

Guests with good intentions will be happy to enter into an agreement with you upon booking as this will also protect them against any disputes that may occur

A bad guest will be opposed to being bound by a contract due to the formalities and accountability it will bestow upon them.

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Automating self-check-in

As a property manager or host, you can automate the check-in process so that you do not need to be present at your rental. 

This builds efficiency for you and your guests, saving time and potentially awkward encounters. Some guests prefer to be left alone without small talk and feel more trusted by their host when given the responsibility of smaller tasks, such as a self-check-in process. 

Guests can gain access via:

  • Keycodes and keypads
  • A smartlock 
  • Lockbox

You can communicate these instructions easily alongside other check-in information. Third-party providers such as DACK, EnsoConnect and Operto can help automate this process for you.

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The types of travellers you may cross paths with when hosting a short-term rental

If you want good guests, you need to know the types of travellers you could be welcoming into your short-term let.

Here are 4 types of short-term rental guests and how you can appeal to their niche market:

  • Business travellers: Highlight your dedicated office space and WiFi strength, or shout out about local co-working spaces. Business travellers will need time to wind down, so they’ll also be looking for leisure amenities.
  • Families and multi-generational travellers: The key is to have something for everyone, with your amenities taking centre stage in your listing descriptions. Your rental needs to be child-friendly with sleeping arrangements to sleep all ages.
  • Couples: Think romantic getaways, valentine’s day, birthdays and anniversaries. Have photos that reflect your rental as the perfect getaway for special occasions. 
  • Adventure travellers: Appeal to their sense of adventure by highlighting local activities, and tourist hot spots and market an experience over just being a place to stay.

A great host will be able to determine whether their property is the right fit for the guest’s booking. If you’re the right fit, you’re more likely to experience having good guests as opposed to guests staying in a place that doesn’t conform to their traveller expectations.

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U is for…

Understanding the risk level of your short-term rental property

It’s important as a property manager and host that you’ve determined the risk levels of your property to ensure a safe and comfortable booking for your guest. 

Risk levels are sometimes different for each guest and can depend on the type of traveller.

3 big risks for Vrbo, Airbnb and other short-term rental hosts include:

  1. Property damage – wear and tear is expected, but larger guest-related damages can occur 
  1. Guest injuries – attractive nuisance can include hot tubs, fireplaces and outdoor grills
  1. Theft – personal belongings and property are at risk of being taken by some guests

With an automated risk management strategy, you can identify risks (without bias) and safeguard your properties whilst keeping your guests safe. 

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Host verification for mutual trust between both parties

Knowing you’re hosting good guests is an important consideration for many property managers. 

Guests want that same assurance of staying with a good host. 

The rise of fraudulent listings is a concern for many, which is why host verification is a great way for property managers to provide guests with peace of mind that they’ll have a smooth booking with no unprecedented problems.

Download our e-book on preventing fraud in the vacation rental industry for more ways you can help fight fraud.

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Airbnb is rolling out additional mandatory verifications for hosts to help build trust between both parties. 

Check out industry provider I-Prac for other short-term rental host certifications.

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Implementing a damage waiver option for guests

Damage Waiver VS Damage Deposits: How it Works

Guests like to know they’re in control of their booking, which is why it’s a great opportunity to offer options when collecting security deposits.  

Guests can choose between whether they want to pay a non-refundable fee and waive their liability of damage, or pay a damage deposit that can be collected in the instance damage occurs. 

Contrary to popular belief, damage waivers do not create bad guests who are unaccountable for their actions. Instead, they build full transparency between hosts and guests and actually create greater guest experiences. 

When setting a damage waiver for your property, ask yourself:

  • What is the risk levels of my property?
  • How many guests are staying?
  • Do I offer a luxury stay?
  • How much do I want my damage waiver to cover in terms of damage?

Talk to us about how we can help you create a new revenue stream with the Know Your Guest damage waiver solution.

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5 examples of risk management strategies you can implement to ensure you’re hosting good guests

  1. Identifying your risks 
  1. Background checks
  1. ID verification
  1. Collecting damage deposits and waivers
  1. Short-term rental insurance and damage protection

Discover how you can have good guests by being a great host.

Speak to us today about our all-in-one, risk management platform that offers a complete solution to effectively mitigate guest-related risks, safeguards your properties and leaves troublesome guests at the door.

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Why do guests complain? How to avoid common hosting mistakes

When hosting a short-term rental, you can’t be in control 100% of the time. Sometimes, things do go wrong. 

In most cases, however, we see complaints from guests about situations that could have been avoided entirely.

If your guest is complaining, listen to them. They’re not a bad guest for voicing their concerns. In fact, their small grievance could be something you’ve overlooked and could help you elevate your listing in time for your next guests.

Here are the most common complaints/mistakes and how to overcome them:

Misleading Listings

This is a popular guest complaint arising from when hosts overexaggerate the truth with their property descriptions and don’t have photos that accurately represent their property. Be honest and set the right expectations from the offset.

Top tip: Hire a professional photographer to photograph your property and remove false statements from your listing description.

Hard-to-Reach Outlets

This goes back to the functionality of your property. Guests don’t want to be searching on their hands and knees for an outlet to charge their phones. The practicality of your property will enhance the guest experience.

Top tip: Experience your rental for a few days as a guest. You’ll soon discover if you’re missing any smaller details.

Lack of Property Cleanliness

It’s the small things that guests notice. Hiring a professional cleaning service will ensure you’re maintaining an enhanced cleaning routine. 

Top tip: Equip your rental with scented candles and air fresheners to avoid unpleasant smells. Be mindful of guests who struggle with overpowering smells, and choose neutral scents such as fresh linen. Guests can switch on and off plug-ins, so it can be a great option too.

Confusing Guest Instructions

Is your vacation rental easy to find on maps? Do you have straightforward check-in instructions? If the answer is no, then chances are your guests will be left frustrated before they’ve even stepped foot in your property. 

Top tip: Make everything clear and simple. You may be an expert on your property, but your guests aren’t.

Lack of Communication

Every communication touchpoint will impact your guest’s experience with you as a host. Show your guests that they’re in good hands by having a fast-reply rate and answers to their questions. 

Top tip: Go above and beyond by providing a welcome book with a list of things to do in your area, answers to frequently asked questions, your WiFi password, and even describe the little quirks that make your property unique.

Missing or Broken Amenities

Guests expect to find the amenities you’ve listed in your property description. It could have even been the main selling point when deciding to book your property over another. 

You can easily avoid a complaint about your amenities by only listing what you provide and frequently checking they’re in working order.

Top tip: Leave easy-to-read instructions on using (or even finding) your amenities, so guests aren’t left frustrated. If they fail to work the hot tub, and that’s why they’ve booked, the guest is more likely to leave you a bad review.

Noise Complaints

If your property has noise you can’t control, ensure you make guests aware in the property description. Nobody wants to book a relaxing getaway only to find out your property is situated by a railway line.

Top tip: Place earplugs by the bed for guests.

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Zoning and regulations

City regulations and zoning requirements are constantly evolving and changing when it comes to short-term rentals. As a property manager or host, you must stay up to date with your local law requirements so that you do not come under fire or shut down by authorities.

Most recently, regulations around hosting sex offenders have become widely spoken about. It’s important for you to know who’s staying in your home so that you can protect your community from criminal activity too.

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A great way of staying up to date with rules and regulations is by joining vacation rental associations. 

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By following these steps, you can be a great host, successfully manage your short-term rental, maximise your profits and create that 5-star stay guests are looking for.

Say goodbye to troublesome guests and have good guests every time you accept a booking.


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