To Airbnb or not to Airbnb?

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…

5. Trust

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.

For more information please email us at or visit our website

short term rental in Jerusalem vs a hotel, which one is better?

So you are planning a vacation rental in Jerusalem…?

Which way do you go..  

Benefits of vacation rentals over hotels

  • • More Spacious

If you are more than 2 people generally you will find that apartments are much more spacious than hotels. Families with kids will find it cheaper to rent a 2 bedroom apartment and they will get a spacious living room.

  • own appliances

In apartments you use your own appliances. You can cook, use a washer and dryer. this is something you don’t get in hotels

  • luxury

There are many luxury complexes where you have all the amenities like a gym and pool. Take for example Harav Kook, King David Residence, Hazer Haneviim, Monbaz and others

  • Explore the city

Immerse yourself in the the city & culture. Live like a resident and get to know your neighbour. In a hotel you’re in a cacoon. What about the extra services? A good rental agency can have the services of a hotel for example cleaning, catering and other services.

For more information visit our website at and contact us at

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Don’t be caught off-guard with apartment scams!

Don’t be the one caught off-guard by apartment scams.

8 valuable tips for landlords and tenants in Jerusalem and how to avoid scams!

1. Go visit

If you can ask a trusted friend or family member to go visit the apartment before you pay it will save you a headache down the road if it is not in accordance with what you thought.

2. Just like Amazon..

An established rental agency will have reviews or testimonials that have the names of clients as references. They may not divulge all the information as clients may want to stay anonymous. Ask if any have left their contact details so you can inquire.

3. The big surprise

Be aware that in Israel for rentals above 2 weeks you may need to factor in an electricity charge which is calculated according to consumption. This however should not be a big charge however sometimes in the summer or winter months when the tenant forgets to switch off air-conditioners or heating this can be a costly exercise. The landlord may stipulate that electricity is covered up to 250 NIS per month. This is a clause that protects the landlord from abuse by tenants. For long term rentals, in general, you would need to account for utilities (electricity, water, gas if any), Arnona (municipal taxes: the amount varies according to the size of the property) and Vaad Bayit (building maintenance: this cost can be expensive if it is a new building with amenities such as security 24/7, pool, gym).

4. Do this last minute and you’ll get $$$

To save on costs it may be possible to negotiate good prices on last minute inquiries. This is not a guarantee but landlords will be open to offers. The risk in this is that the apartment you have kept your eye on will be gone.

5. Market everywhere

For the landlord to make sure that an agent takes good pictures and markets the property on a number of sites. Many landlords in Israel might use a website like Yad Shteim but they are limiting there market to Israelis mostly but there are many different websites that bring in clients from all over. A majority of our clients come from the U.S. and Canada yet we have inquiries from Australia, South Africa the UK, France and Europe in general. Make sure that the agents use a number of websites in their marketing.

6. Don’t be fooled

Be aware of agents putting the price above 50% of their commission. The standard should be 10% to 20% + Vat commission for short term rentals depending if the property is managed by the agent or not. For long term rentals (1 year), standard agency fee is 1 month rent + VAT. A good agent will market the property to a large audience and will use marketing to attract other potential clients as well as a broad network of other agents in the industry.

7. Secure yourself

Exclusive arrangements can be better for everyone. This Sukkot for example 14 out of 14 of our exclusive apartments whom we also manage have been rented out. This includes apartments with or without a Sukkah. An exclusive arrangement allows the agent to put full focus on that apartment and invest in it by adding it in numerous media as well as sharing with other brokers in the field.

8. Extra services

Since we also manage our exclusive apartments this would be of help when the tenants want a crib for example. We can use one of our cribs from one apartment and move them to another if they are not being in use. This saves the landlord costs. In addition we make sure the apartment is in good shape for example to make sure the air conditioner or fridge is in good working order. We will buy whatever is needed and usually shop around for what is needed.

Please contact us at or visit our website or call Tal on 058 600 1404

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