REAL ESTATE MINUTE: With Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh
Airbnb is a short form for Airbed (a type of bed or mattress) and Breakfast that offers temporary accommodation for travellers, tourists, businessmen etc. The basic model is that, you as a homeowner or space owner, known as the host, can sublet part of your house, be it any space, living room, bedroom, outhouse by listing on Airbnb’s site in the hope to attract travelers or guests who are also looking for bargains and a closer feel of the local community. Everyone wins really – Airbnb makes money off commissions it charges both host and guest, hosts also carve out an additional revenue stream from letting out surplus space within their residence. Airbnb takes 3% commission of every booking from hosts, and between 6% and 12% from guests.
Guests also are able to not only enjoy a more homely and local community feel but also access big bargains that would have hitherto not been available at expensive hotels. Win win right? Well, at least it was before the advent of COVID-19 and its safety concerns. Opening up ones residence to host complete strangers was always going to be one risk too many for the average Airbnb host. Safety guidelines have since been amended to ensure the safety of guests and hosts. We will look at Airbnb’s official guidelines and then offer a few host-management tips to navigate this hosting challenge that COVID-19 has presented.
Airbnb’s Amended Guidelines
In order to ensure safety for all parties, Airbnb introduced a 5-step enhanced cleaning process. The 5-step cleaning process is a set of cleaning practices that all hosts are required to follow between guest stays, in addition to their local laws and guidelines. Here are the guidelines from Airbnb:
Proper preparation can help you and your team clean more efficiently and more safely. Make sure to:
· Ventilate the space before and during cleaning, when possible
· Use disinfectants approved by your local regulatory agencies for use against COVID-19
· Always read the directions and warnings on your cleaning products carefully
· Wash or disinfect your hands, and wear a mask and gloves while cleaning
· Sweep, vacuum, dust, and/or mop areas before sanitizing
· Wash all dishes and laundry at the highest heat setting possible
· Wipe down hard surfaces with soap and water
Sanitizing is when you use chemicals to reduce the number of bacteria on surfaces such as doorknobs and TV remotes. Make sure to:
- Spray high-touch surfaces in each room with an approved disinfectant spray
- Let the disinfectant stand for the length of time specified on the product label
- Allow the surface to air-dry
To help prevent cross-contamination, it’s important to finish cleaning and sanitizing a room before replacing items for the next guest. Make sure to:
- Wash your hands and replace gloves before replacing guest supplies, linens, and cleaning kits
- Safely dispose of or wash cleaning supplies and protective gear
- Don’t re-enter a room once it’s been sanitized
- Empty and/or clean your equipment (ex: vacuum, microfiber cloths) between each turnover
In addition to the official Airbnb guidelines, hosts can go the extra mile to ensure maximum safety on their own as follows:
Simplify your space
It is every hosts desire to provide delightful experiences for their guest in order to attract great reviews and new leads. That desire sometimes is however manifested in providing too many add-ons and supplies. So instead of leaving with cute jars on shelves full of travel-sized soaps, shampoos, and cotton swabs etc. keep your space simple and basic; for instance in the bathroom, provide the basics like hand soap and a box of facial tissue.
Allow for 2 days in between bookings
It is recommended to allow for days between bookings to thoroughly clean and disinfect spaces that leaving guests have used. It may be easy to look at days interval allowed between bookings as money lost, instead see it as safety gained and some hosts have even gone further by switched to duvet covers on beds and removed decorative pillows and throw blankets that can’t be easily cleaned.
There you go, a few tips to make management of your Airbnb assets safe secure and profitable.
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult
& Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.
Email: [email protected]
Linkedin: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh