Safely Webinar Recap: Acing Guest Verification for Your Short-Term Rentals

Let’s Talk Risk

 As pleasant as your guests may look in their profile photos, the fact is, you can’t predict how they’ll treat your rental. In the event that they do damage the property, you’ll have to navigate the uncomfortable situation of paying for repairs or replacements out of your own pocket or charging the guest, which could result in a negative review on a listing profile.

Fortunately, there are methods hosts can utilize to weed out the bad apples, many of which were relayed in the webinar we put together with our partners at Safely, a company offering insurance solutions tailored to the needs of short-term property managers. 

 

Hosted by Sheli Grumet, Business Development Manager at Guesty, the webinar features Safely CEO Andrew Bate’s take on minimizing risk in the short-term rental game. Bate walks us through the evolution of financial fraud and the measures Safely takes to ensure property managers can go about their business worry-free.  

At the very end of the webinar, our hosts opened the floor to questions from listeners. Here are some highlights from the Q&A portion:

Q: Can a guest be rejected? If so, what then happens with the booking?

Andrew: Yes, absolutely. A guest can be rejected. We (Safely) send the guest a notice that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and explains exactly why they were turned down. And if a guest wants to dispute, we give them all the information they need and help them with that process, making sure it’s completely legal. I know that sometimes the booking sites are a little punitive if you cancel reservations too often, but we have really good data here and we have no problems getting reservations cancelled with no penalty to you (the property manager).

Q: What does the integration process with Safely involve for Guesty users? 

Sheli: If you’re a Guesty user then it’s very easy to integrate with Safely. First, I advise you to visit the Marketplace and to do so you can head to Account, where you’ll see integrations and that will take you directly to the Marketplace. There you can find the Safely listing. Click on the listing and you’ll find the API key, which is what you’ll need to paste into Safely’s dashboard. Once you paste that, you’re instantly integrated. 

Q: How is this different from what Airbnb already offers?

Andrew: One of the benefits of using Guesty is that you can list on every single site and you’re not attached to only one OTA, like Airbnb. We’re offering a holistic solution for both the verification and the insurance, across all your reservations. Our insurance policy is primary and from what we hear from our customers, it takes 4-5 minutes to submit a claim. You don’t have to go after the guest to collect for damage. Your responsibility is done pretty much when you file the insurance claim, which is not the case with booking sites. 

Q: Can any Guesty user integrate with Safely?

Sheli: Absolutely. All of our users have access to the Marketplace. We suggest that you review each of the companies that you’re interested in, talk to them, go through a demo if necessary, and find out every aspect of the solution they’re offering. And once you’re ready to connect, go into the Markplate, copy the designated API key and paste into the partner’s dashboard. Then you’re instantly connected and can enjoy the benefits of that company while still having everything centralized in one place, the Guesty dashboard. 

Q: Can I specify the types of guests that I do not want to accept?

Andrew: We’re doing two things. We’re running the risk score to help you understand how risky the reservation is and, if the guest does fail, we do let you know why. It’s up to you if you want to turn them down or not and so all we ask, if you do indeed want to turn them down, is for you to hit a button that  notifies us and then we’ll work with you to turn down that guest. What you can’t do is go with your gut feeling – it has to be for a legitimate, legal reason.

Q: Does Guesty play a role in the actual verification process?

Sheli: Safely is pooling the reservation information from Guesty so the guest information, if you’re updating it as you retrieve it, is playing a role in the verification process on Safely’s end. 

However, something that’s coming out very soon – if not already out for some of you – is our Check-In Form, which is where you guys can ask these verification-type questions before the guest checks in, at the moment of a booking confirmation. That information will automatically be pushed into the reservation page and then that can also play a part in Safely’s verification process. 

Q: Is Safely available outside of the US?

Andrew: Yes! We are so excited to launch in Western Europe. We have everything lined up, we’re just going through the licensing process right now. I’m hoping that by early next year, we’ll be expanding beyond Western Europe. We want to move as fast as possible!

Q: Do you have to insure every reservation?

Andrew: Yes and no. We allow you to select which homes are going to be insured. Sometimes it just isn’t right for a home to have the insurance. Maybe you’re in a very price-sensitive market and you can’t add the Trust and Safety Fee to the reservation, or maybe you’re homeowner doesn’t want it. Whatever the reason is, you can choose which homes include Safely’s services, but we do ask that when you sign up a home, all commercial reservations in that home are included. 

You can take the home out of the program, no problem. But when it’s in the program, all reservations are included. Also, verification of certain guests can be seen as discrimination so we want to avoid that. 

More to come!

Be sure to check out the recording above and stay tuned for updates about future webinars from Guesty. With insight from leaders in the property management industry, you can start managing better today!

If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.