Tuesday, November 13, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

By André Roque

When they first list their property on Airbnb, most people think of it as an easy way to make more money. But managing your property takes up to a day per week of rental as you: manage your listing, respond to inquiries, wash sheets and towels, check guests in and out and deal with general admin.

In some countries, you have to register your property as a short-term rental business, issue invoices and/or report guests’ identities to comply with local regulations.

Due to all this work, it’s estimated that 40-50% of new hosts leave the market within the first year.

The first thing any potential host should do is define your goals based on what you value. Is it the money? Is it your time? Is it striking the right balance between time and money? Is it to grow your portfolio of properties? Or do you want to progressively transition from your current job into the short-term rentals business full-time?

Defining your values and goals will help you choose how to manage your properties, where to invest your time and money for maximum benefit, and what you can cut back on to save time or money.

Here are five steps to help maximize your short-term property value without taking up too much time.

1. Outsource Where Possible

From cleaning to washing sheets to the finishing touches that get you those 5-star ratings, there are lots of tasks that need completing in order to rent your property in perfect condition.

Tasks you will likely want to outsource include cleaning and laundry. These are the most time-consuming tasks and the easiest to outsource, with lots of companies built around managing these aspects for short-term lets. Just make sure you find a reputable company who will treat your property with the care it needs.

You could also consider outsourcing the management of the property to professionals, such as Airsorted and Hostmaker. This will leave you more time to add and manage additional properties in your portfolio, further increasing your income.

2. Manage Multiple Listings, Effortlessly

Airbnb is a great site, but there are lots of other reputable sites out there for listing your short-term let. By listing on multiple websites, such as Booking.com and Homeaway.com, you ensure that you can maximize the rental time on your property.

Each has different rates and features, so it pays to check out the terms and conditions on each site. Trying different sites will allow you to find the right site for you as well as keeping the property occupied as much as possible.

A big challenge of listing on multiple sites is managing the additional bookings quickly and easily. With more bookings coming in from a number of different websites, you need a good booking system to manage everything. Failing to offer instant bookings or neglecting to respond to requests in a timely fashion will cost you in rental fees and reputation.

A channel manager is software, usually available as a web app, that centralizes your booking calendar and allows for instant bookings on each major platform where your property is listed. With easy management tools, you can control every aspect of your rental property from a single online dashboard which distributes the information instantly to all of your platform listings.

Channel Managers, such as Guesty, allow for near-instant confirmation without the possibility of overbooking your property, helping you to maintain your positive reviews. Given the number of hosts who now offer instant booking, it’s important to provide your guests with quick, if not instant, booking confirmation.

3. Manage a Portfolio of Properties

As you get more experienced with running your Airbnb business, you may find yourself wanting to expand your property portfolio. More properties mean a greater income and help you build up your real estate empire.

When you have a portfolio of properties, however, the work going into managing them can no longer be sorted with just spreadsheets and email exchanges, you need to have a centralized system that will allow you to efficiently manage your operation. A Property Management System (PMS), such as Cloudbeds & VReasy, comes at a cost but it will greatly help you take control of your bookings and the day-to-day running of the business.

Features you should look out for in a good PMS system include the ability manage your bookings in your calendar, keeping track of service and housekeeping, tracking revenue and reporting, leveraging the rates and offers to maximize occupation, a customer database, and of course, an integrated channel manager for dealing with multiple booking sites.

4. Get Smart Access

One of the biggest challenges for hosts is providing access to your property. One option is to meet your guests and hand over the keys, which can mean travelling and waiting around for late guests, and some unusual and out-of-hours check-in times.

Options such as leaving your key under a plant pot, or in a coded box at the front door, pose all sorts of security issues.

Smart locks can save hosts a lot of time, providing access to your guests, whenever they arrive. Guests simply checks themselves in, making your property instantly feel like home and putting them at ease.

Better yet is a smart lock that connects to your bookings via your channel manager. Solutions like Homeit provide you with secure access control to allow guests, cleaners or your laundry company into the property. The right solution will be secure, easy-to-use, plug into your channel manager and can be operated from anywhere in the world. It will also make it very easy to share access with guests, including explaining how the system works; useful for those guests who may have trouble with technology.

5. Cater to Business Customers

There is a big market for business people staying in short-term lets instead of hotels. The costs can be a lot lower and they get some home comforts, such as a kitchen and living space.

With a few small tweaks to your property and listing, you can make sure it appeals to business customers. Features such as an iron and board may make little impression on tourists, but for people on a business trip, they can be a necessity to help them look sharp for meetings.

Other features, such as high-speed internet, will appeal to all guests but can be essential for business customers. Take a few moments to write down a list of things business customers could benefit from and try and adapt your property and profile to match their needs. It will get you some great new, low-hassle customers.


Andre Roque
    
André Roque is founder of Homeit, a smart access technology for the sharing economy’s short-term rental properties booked online on platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com. Homeit enables hosts to rent properties without delivering keys to guests or service providers, and enables guests to check-in at any time of day. It removes the need for copied keys (and therefore the possibility of lost keys), and the system works with every door, internal and external, whatever the physical lock, and integrates with the property’s booking calendar. Guests have instant access to the property, and hosts have transparency, and therefore peace of mind. They know who’s coming in, who’s going out (whether it’s cleaners, workers or guests), and when.

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Monday, November 5, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

By John Auckland, Founder of TribeFirst

Equity crowdfunding is a brilliant way of raising new funds both for young business looking to get off the ground and giants such as BrewDog who are seeking to grow rapidly and capitalize on the publicity.

However, it can also be quite a scary concept for those unfamiliar with the process, and understandably so. Essentially, you’re publicly asking the world to endorse your idea with their money, so the fear of failure can be immense!

Crowdfunding platforms do their best to support campaigners, but it would be near-impossible to provide a standard solution to help each and every business that approaches them. Each campaign requires a lot of time, dedication and thorough research to set it up for success.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

By Jérôme Faissat, co-founder, Andersen

Until quite recently the electric vehicle (EV) was viewed as an idea largely promoted by environmentalists. However, there has been a rapid rise in the popularity of EVs.

In 2010, only around 100 EVs were sold in the US, yet by 2017 over 200,000 were sold. In total, there are estimated to be over a million EVs currently on the road in the US alone. Research suggests that by 2030 there will by 500 million EVs worldwide and that, given the exponential growth rate so far, even that figure may be an underestimation.

There is an infrastructure issue currently facing the EV market – availability of charge points. There is a shared pain for all drivers worrying about how far they can drive before they might get stranded.

Given the rapid speed at which the EV market is evolving and the issues for mass-adoption, let’s look as what may happen to increase charge points.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

By Marc Hurr and Daniel Eduardo Suero, co-founders of iBAN Wallet

It’s an inescapable fact that banking is changing. A perfect storm has been created for the big bank following the 2008 global financial crisis which eroded consumer confidence. In addition technology and smartphones are providing new opportunities for FinTech businesses.

The Impact of Technology in Banking

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Thursday, September 20, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

by William Sachiti, Academy of Robotics

Have you ever wondered how an autonomous vehicle sees? How it manages to navigate its way around obstacles and avoid pedestrians – even if one runs out in front of it?

To teach an autonomous vehicle to do all these things, we need to start by gathering huge quantities of data. To do this a data gathering car is used.

Data Gathering Speedster

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 9:45 am

 

by Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington and Helena Calle, from Fast Future

Cortana. Siri. Alexa. One of the subtle strategies designers use to make it easier for us to integrate AI into our lives is “anthropomorphism” –  the attribution of human-like traits to non-human objects.  However, the rise of AI with distinct personalities, voices, and physical forms is not as benign as it might seem. As futurists who are interested in the impacts of technology on society, we wonder what role human-like technologies play in achieving human-centred futures.

For example, do anthropomorphized machines enable a future wherein humanity can thrive?  Or, do human-like AIs foreshadow a darker prognosis, particularly in relation to gender roles and work?  This article looks at a continuum of human-like personas that give a face to AI technology.  We ask: what does it mean for our collective future that technology is increasingly human-like and gendered?  And, what does it tell us about our capacity to create a very human future?

Artificial Intelligence 3382507

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Monday, August 13, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

Hugo Tilmouth
    
Hugo Tilmouth is an award winning Entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of ChargedUp. He has a background at the intersection of clean tech and startups.

In this conversation, Hugo talks about ChargedUp. ChargedUp is a network of dispensing stations that allows users, for a small fee, to borrow a battery pack from one location, charge their mobile device and return the battery to another location. All the batteries are recharged using 100% green energy. Located in restaurants, cafes, transport hubs, sports stadia, and tourist attractions; users will never be far from a ChargedUp station.

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Friday, July 27, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

by Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington and Helena Calle, from Fast Future

In many places summer means electrical grids working overtime to keep cooling and ventilation systems going.  In less developed parts of the world, temperatures will reach levels where people will die.  Our comfort and survival depend on our ability to continue to power the planet.  But energy resources are not equally distributed.

Many see this situation being addressed slowly over the next fifty years – too late for those without reliable energy supplies. But what if we embrace a fundamental shift in thinking? In our book, The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business, we explore alternative, surprising, and unexpected scenarios of how we might change the path to the future.  To look at the reinvented future of energy, we use these perspectives, and explore four scenarios which draw on a workshop our team designed and facilitated at the Finland Futures Research Conference in Tampere, Finland in June 2018.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

 

By Gus Bartholomew, Supplycompass

With the number of consumers putting ethics and sustainability at the top of their list when purchasing from a brand, and with the number of brands describing themselves as ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ on the rise, more brands are asking themselves the how they can create a genuinely ethical brand. With terms like ethical, sustainable, conscious, responsible, transparent and organic often being used interchangeably, it can be confusing to know what word is right.

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Friday, June 8, 2018
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 9:45 am

 

by Dean Anderson, Gamestatix

It won’t be too long before it’s possible for every player to make a living just by playing video games, writes Dean Anderson.

Playing games is a fun, rewarding and transportive experience for millions of people. However, gaming is rarely seen as anything more than an enjoyable hobby. Yet, if you’ve ever tried to complete Dark Souls, nail every challenge in Myst, or just get the better of Mike Tyson in Punch Out!! on the NES, you will understand the skill and dedication it takes.

Having a true passion for something means knowing it inside out – becoming an expert – and this a worthy skill, particularly if this knowledge is used to improve the art itself.
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