With the controversy surrounding listing long-term residential apartments as short-term lets, New York City hasn’t exactly caught a break in its relationship with Airbnb. But, as resilient and vibrant as it is, the city has divided and conquered the hurdles that once stood in its way. To this day, NYC proudly holds its ranking as Airbnb’s second most popular city high, as it inches towards 36,000 listings among its thousands of hosts.
And naturally: where there’s demand, there’s supply. In this case, old and new hosts alike – 99% of whom rely on the profitability of this business to keep on truckin’– are in need of some help managing their Airbnb experiences. So, in came the third-party services and softwares designed or developed to do just that. For all facets of hosting in New York City and across all verticals of Airbnb, there is a business in the ecosystem waiting to offer a helping hand. More importantly, these businesses are looking at your hosting situation as it interacts with and responds to your Airbnb environment. And, with a city as unique as New York, this is perhaps the most valuable asset that a service can offer.
Matt Lerner, Founder and CEO of Makomi, a full-service property management company helping New York hosts, explains why it’s important to see each local host through a fitted lens: “The unique challenge that we face is the fact that NYC buildings and apartments are all so different. There is not a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach for our service offering. We have clients in pre-war walk-ups, luxury high rises, brownstones, lofts, duplexes, and everything in between. All of them have unique and specific service needs and it is only because we have perfected our service model through adjustments and tweaks and over many nights’ worth of reservations, that we are able to serve them all in a customized and personalized fashion.”
Given the wild nature of the concrete jungle, this customization is not only beneficial, it’s necessary. With that in mind, we’ll lead you to the right shoulder to lean on for your Airbnb business to stand up tall.
The Key Ingredient
Maybe your apartment is on of these pre-war walk-ups or maybe it’s tucked away in a doorman luxury high rise, but regardless of your type, chances are check-ins and key handoffs with guests are not the simplest of feats. But there’s a light at the end of the hallway, and that light is the many, many options available for city mice like yourself.
Let’s start with the classic lockbox. All you have to do is stick it in your lobby mailbox or even under a nearby telephone booth, and just remember to give your guests detailed instructions on how to access and open it.
Or, you could always grab a pal. Ask your neighbor or your doorman or your downstairs Starbucks barista to hold a spare key for your guests for an easy and interpersonal welcome experience. On that note, why not hire a professional to do the same. Local key exchange facilities and services such as KeyCafe, CityCoPilot, and Proprly could quite literally be the key (get it?) to an amplified – yet efficient – check-in process. Again, this city is its own beast, and is better approached in a way that targets its personal traits.
The average age of a building in NYC is over 60 years and that leaves many of the buildings without modern access solutions such as remote electronic front door buzzers, and almost all use the tried and true locking method of traditional lock and key for suite access. In a digital age, where everyone wants and needs to manage their lives through their smartphones, this infrastructure presents a real problem. The KeyCafe service was developed to help the people of New York go digital today with their existing keys, no need for expensive upgrades or crazy workarounds, yet still free up their time from having to meet in person or pay an expensive service.
– Jason Crabb, CPO and Founder of KeyCafe
Whatever’s easiest for you should become your standard. Streamlining this particularly can help ease the pain of back-to-back, guest-to-guest bookings.
The Clean Slate
It goes without saying that a mess does not impress and that without a clean space, your Airbnb reviews will most definitely suffer. This process, too, is decked with many options. Of course, you can handle cleaning yourself. However, this choice often comes at a frustrating (and sweaty) price. Maybe you even have a private cleaner that comes in routinely and can tidy up between guests. With the right tools, managing your cleaner can be easy and, well, manageable.
But the challenges of running this smoothly on a larger scale may still prevail.
Cleaning for Manhattan hosts presents us with unique challenges in transporting our linens and towels. We’ve had to come up with an entirely new delivery model to cope with the traffic and parking situation in the city.
– Adam Falla, Co-Founder of GuestPrep
For that, there are the Airbnb cleaning professionals who are trained to turnover rentals and know firsthand about the host experience you’re looking to provide. In New York City alone, there are more than enough stand up services to choose from, such as Handy and GuestPrep. It’s important to remember that these businesses are tailored to you as a host and that cleaning your NYC apartment is exactly their cup of tea.
The Whole Nine Yards
Hopefully, for your sake, you’re scaling bigger and faster than you can handle. Don’t worry, there are some full-service companies that can keep the stress behind your Airbnb growth at bay. In addition to the many new services springing up, there are existing property management businesses, such as Makomi, who’ve been around the block once or twice.
All NYC buildings have unique needs & our model allows us to serve them in customized ways.
– Matt Lerner, Founder & CEO of Makomi
And, as hosting in New York is a totally different ballgame than it is in most other cities, it’s useful to get your feet off the ground with the help of a service that understands you and your market. Lerner again points out how important it is to tackle the atypical Manhattan Airbnb market with a perspective just as unique as the city itself: “NYC apartments are more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world. That means there’s a tremendous asset that goes to waste every night that a person isn’t sleeping in their own bed.” He explains, “that’s why we set out to help people recover some of these ‘lost dollars’ every time they aren’t getting use out of the very thing they’re paying so much for.”
Or, there are the combination service/software options like Guesty, who manages both your business’s data and your business itself, with some editable and interactive management features spliced into the mix. This type of advanced solution is targeted more for hosts who have already settled into their Airbnb routines and are ready to streamline their operations in a simple and trustworthy way.
These type of Airbnb management solutions can be your one-way ticket out of Airbnb hosting fatigue and into a certain stress-free liveliness that matches your city, so they’re definitely worth exploring.
As a native New Yorker or a recent convert, you know that this city is exceptional. And, with an exceptional city, comes an exceptional environment in which to grow your Airbnb business, crowded with other exceptional businesses aiming to raise your standard of hosting. So take advantage, take a load off, and – even in the city that never sleeps – take a nap.