Hi all,

I’m working as part of a new startup in the home rental business called Hoppify, https://hoppify.com/host/. We’re currently in the process of building our host home rental network before we enable listings and actual bookings to occur.

What I want to gather from this group is if you could pick three things that matter most to you, as a host, when you’re opening your doors to guests what would they be?

Since we’re still a young company we have the luxury of being agile and being able to take your feedback and build a better product and offering.

Thanks! Shawn

Comments

dannydanny
5 months ago

Hi Shawn,

Thanks for the post.

  1. The ability to screen guests (I imagine many would also have this opinion)
  2. The ability message guests and have their contact details prior to arrival
  3. Have a guest which respects my home

Hope this helps

Thanks all! This is awesome feedback.

@Richard, we're positioning as last minute to find a niche in the industry but the way the app works is via auction pricing. We set a minimum price with the host that they'll allow their home/apartment to be listed for to cover their margins, and if the demand is high enough in a region the price will go up due to multiple people bidding on the property.

We're planning to allow for full communication between guests and hosts prior to and during the stay.

I want to figure out the best way to screen both guests and hosts. With all of the ride sharing/apartment sharing services now there has to be a way to quickly and cost effectively aggregate the data around individual feedback or sentiment. A problem we'll look to solve!

Welcome any additional feedback!

RichardVRichardV
4 months ago

I guess you have followed Tansler which will have aggregated inventory to reach 500,000. A word of caution on the message approach: "their place, your price" is a red rag to many people.

Managers will see it as another channel, they can add incremental bookings as long as its not painful technically. Self managing owners see the message as downgrading their investment and hard work.

Forbes says “Faster deals and fairer market prices”. Inventory managers will say fairer for who? https://www.tnooz.com/article/tansler-nets-1-3m-for-its-reverse-auction-vacation-rental-platform/

Careful positioning is necesary to garner loyalty and interest for sure.

You may have a look at snaptrip aswell as a last minute site, but predominantly managers and well presented but burning cash.

Your problem of screening is particularly interesting, and presumably involves personal social proofing?

Keep working at it, lots of fallout and opportunity.

Thanks, Richard! I think garnering feedback from here is the most useful information I've received to date!

We've followed Tansler, and agree that it's an interesting problem to try to solve. Renters want value and hosts want their property valued. I've heard a lot recently that hosts were dropping their prices on AirBnB because there are so many host homes available now and margins are closing in such a competitive area.

This just follows supply and demand, and one idea we've tossed around is controlling supply. Eliminate the real estate management company and only allow true home hosts, or at least giving priority to the true home and if there isn't much supply in a region show the bulk owned homes.

For the screening, it would involve social profiling as well as an element of renter scoring sourced from various data assets. We've been looking into data partners for this.

RichardVRichardV
4 months ago

You are spot on with Airbnb, certainly in specific destinations. The London 90 day rule for example is scaring managers and owners who know that either the neighbours will stop it or Airbnb will notify the authorities. Plus there is oversupply. HomeAway network sites have been throwing our low conversion warnings as guests see the error of their ways on fees and cancel then go direct.

Your market will polarise into traditional, where seasons are dominant and cities where footfall is higher and staffing is easier for management services. The former have more resilience to new business models as seasons are easily booked and giving away margin is madness. The gap is short stays out of season but are cheap.

The latter, big cities, are getting saturated and the Airbnb issue is not going away. The market is cancellations and last minute unbooked in seasonal, which is a smaller market and will tend to see less popular properties. Untapped small city locations are probably the best bet and cancellation or very close to booking "in season" market.

RichardVRichardV
4 months ago

Shawn,

Apart from what Danny mentioned, I had a quick look at your messaging. Are you looking at last minute? The other elements are aligned with the Airbnb model of community, experience, "feel the love".

Hosts preferences aligned with this scenario are generally

  1. Enough time to allow and qualify a guest. Instant book is hard, despite all attempts to force this through.
  2. Sufficient margins, which means fixed costs+ are covered. Unlike hotels, an empty property can be more profitable than full one at a cheap price.
  3. Full guest disclosure
  4. Options to book direct and book in the site.
  5. Full calendar syncs as most hosts use multiple marketplaces.

Hope that helps.

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