Why use rental agents if you can just Airbnb it?
Airbnb has one definite advantage as landlords can advertise cheaper prices for tenants. It can cut past the middleman direct to the public and offer the cheap offers however there are some major disadvantages to be aware of.
1. Speaking on the phone
Although texting is allowed you are barred from giving contact information so you can’t speak on the phone with the prospective tenants. We have found that when speaking on the phone with prospective customers you can find out what they need and want. It also gives a feeling of mutual trust when you are in conversation with a real person on the other side.
2. Untimely cancellations
There can be a lot of cancellations by owners/managers on airbnb. Some tenants have come to us after having booked an apartment on airbnb thinking that their apartment was booked only to find that the offer was rejected. Take the case of Brian H. He thought he had booked an apartment with airbnb only to learn about the rejection of his offer after asking his daughter to verify regarding when she can get the keys. We do a check on all our apartments to see that they are up to standard. One apartment in our portfolio was not ready to be rented. We informed our client about this and managed to find him a great apartment for his requirements.
3. Not the only way to market..
Airbnb is just one medium. Although popular, it is not the only place that prospective tenants go to book apartments. There are many websites and networks that can be used for marketing purposes. Unless you have the time to market the apartments it is best left to a trusted professional. As managers we put all the apartments we manage on airbnb and other channels.
4. Attention landlords! Be careful of this..
Make sure that when an agent uses a credit card system that they have the tenant sign the invoice. The prospective tenant can call up their credit card company and cancel their booking. This was learned the hardway…
A good agent knows their apartments so they can suggest something that they know
6. Seeing the apartment before booking
Agents usually meet with the prospective tenants so they can show them an apartment. It can be much more difficult to visit the apartment or at least have a family friend see the apartment through airbnb. You are nearly forced to book site unseen.
7. Extra services
A good agent will also offer extra concierge services- points of interest, cleaning services, private taxi services etc.
8. Sorting out the wheat from the chaff
We do the work for you sifting out the apartments according to your needs. Yes a client can check for many listings on the airbnb platform. Yet this is a long process and requires time. It is something that a good agent does as part of his work and can spend time sifting through the apartments for relevant offers. A good agent will send a number of offers to the client.
9. Sometimes better rates
We have the potential to get better rates because of our relationship with the owners
10. Agents also use airbnb to advertise
Agents also use airbnb to advertise so although its an effective way to market its not this vs that. It should be part of an effective marketing strategy including other channels and forums.