Guest Who? How our Airbnb Management Service Started

When we first bought our chapel in Gorran High Lanes back in 1991, it was completely derelict. The roof was caving in, and it needed a great deal of work to make it liveable! We worked tirelessly to fully renovate it but left in many of the original features giving it a unique and quirky charm.

Despite this, for 25 years, we wondered why our beautiful chapel conversion never turned into a profitable rental business. Over the years, we went through countless rental agencies but only ever had a handful of school holiday bookings. Made worse by the bookings we did have, bringing in some nightmare guests… The property was costing thousands a year in bills and upkeep, and we had no choice but to sell. However, what happened next completely changed our outlook.

Our Airbnb Chapel in Cornwall
Kitchen area in our Airbnb Chapel in Cornwall

We were searching for accommodation for a holiday in Europe when a friend suggested looking on Airbnb. This was a few years before Airbnb took off; we had never heard of it. We were blown away by the incredible variety of properties available at far more reasonable rates than the hotels on offer. Furthermore, the review system made it really easy to find trustworthy hosts.

We had a fantastic first experience, and when we got home began looking into becoming an Airbnb host.

But Renting My Property on Airbnb Is Too Risky?

At first, we had reservations about using Airbnb as we were concerned about undesirable guests who might damage our property – we’ve all heard horror stories! However, the guests all turned out to be lovely, and the trips were completely seamless. So we soon realised that’s all they were – stories.

Unlike almost every other booking site, both hosts and guests are reviewed on Airbnb, so guests have a vested interest to treat properties with respect. Furthermore, as a host, you are in complete control over the guests that stay. For example, if a group of ten 18-year-olds enquired, you could easily decline the reservation request. Or, if you did not want to accept dogs or young children, you could edit your settings so you did not appear in the search results for guests with these requirements.

Additionally, as an extra security precaution, you can require all guests to verify their account with a form of government ID. This stops guests from making throwaway accounts, where they mistreat a property and simply create a new account to evade the bad review, as it is linked to their ID, and they can only make one account! No other rental platform or estate agent offers this level of safety and control.

Airbnb ID verifcations make Airbnb management even safer

And if that wasn’t enough, in the unlikely event your property is damaged, you are protected by the Airbnb Host Protection Scheme. This insurance policy comes at no additional cost to using the platform and has no excess. So it can be used to claim for small things that might not be worthwhile with a regular policy and for larger claims up to £600,000!

We became Airbnb hosts toward the end of the year and took our first booking over Christmas. There were then lots of stays over winter, and our property was fully booked right through the summer, not just the holidays! Annual revenues increased several times over, and we quickly earned ‘Superhost‘ status.

Airbnb has a global market of 200 million users and counting, so the exposure is massive. The user base is also incredibly diverse, with bookings coming from holidaymakers, businesses and locals requiring temporary accommodation. As a result, the platform helps to maintain high occupancy in areas that suffer from seasonality.

Cornwall & Devon’s First Airbnb Management Company Was Born

It didn’t take long to realise the massive potential of Airbnb, not just for us but for all the other property owners out there who are dissatisfied with low occupancy, poor yields and bad guests. And so our Cornwall & Devon Airbnb management company was born. That was five years ago, and a lot has changed since then! We now manage a large portfolio of high-quality properties all over the South West, including Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire & The Cotswolds. And have welcomed thousands of guests and have over 6000 reviews.

As owners ourselves, we’ve been on the other end of the stick when it comes to holiday letting agencies. We know what we liked and what we didn’t. So when we say we do things differently, we mean it. Whether that’s offering total calendar flexibility, simple pricing with no hidden fees or annual ‘contract renewals’, and never adding margins on top of housekeeping and other services. Our experience as owners is at the foundation of everything we do.

To find out more, book a no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.