Short Term Rental Tips for Owners

admin 05/24/2018

Short term rentals - best known through AirBnB - have grown explosively over the past decade. From early wild-west days when travelers would sleeping on a stranger’s couch, the industry has become a mainstream travel category. By 2019, the industry is predicted to generate $167.9 Billion in revenue. But as a mass market product, the category must address its impact on communities and convince an ever-larger population of hosts to open their homes to strangers.

To convince the next million Americans to join become short-term rental hosts, the industry must address their anxiety about guest behavior. Homeowners see the possibility of additional income, but they need solutions to potential downsides such as:

  • Managing the condition of their home to ensure guests pay for any damages

  • Limiting the time spent managing their listing - especially on cleaning and maintenance - without sacrificing quality

  • Ensuring guests do not throw parties in their home

Additional income is attractive, but homeowners will not risk their greatest asset when the dangers and effort are too great.

Fortunately, entrepreneurial Airbnb hosts have built tools to solve homeowners’ anxiety surrounding vacation rentals, drawing upon their first-hand experience. For David Krauss, the founder of NoiseAware, guest parties raised concern with his homeowners’ association and opened his eyes to the need for noise management. Alex Nigg, the founder of Properly, developed management processes to ensure a consistent, high-quality experience for guests. But with a peripatetic travel schedule, Alex needed a way to keep tabs on his property from the road and ensure his cleaners were executing according to his standards. For both NoiseAware and Properly founders, experience has enabled them to build the tools to ease homeowner’s fears about getting into short-term rentals.

The Origin of NoiseAware

Based out of the land of barbecue and fancy calculators, NoiseAware is a lean start-up with one mission: to set an industry standard for noise with its cutting-edge noise monitoring equipment.

NoiseAware was founded by David Krauss and Andrew Schulz after Krauss experienced a “mini-Coachella” in his apartment. Here’s how it started:

Krauss was an active user on Airbnb, the famous home-sharing platform. He had gotten to Airbnb Superhost status after supreme diligence.

Then, one day, Krauss opened up his mailbox to find some heart-sinking news.

“The letter was a cease and desist from my Homeowners Association informing me of the raging party thrown by my Airbnb guests two days prior. Apparently, every one of my neighbors, my building’s lawyers, and even the police department knew about my guest’s crazy party before I did.

Just like that, my Airbnb hosting dream had become a total nightmare. One party resulted in a life-changing moment for me and unfortunately led to the distressed sale of my investment for a loss of over $35,000.”

Krauss was not alone. Each year, thousands and thousands of people report disturbances related to parties in their area.

Determined not to let this happen to him again, he teamed up with Andrew Schulz, who would later become the CTO and Co-founder of NoiseAware. They realized that it wasn’t just Dave’s problem they could solve, but a recurring issue within the industry that affected the growth of STRs.

How NoiseAware Helps Owners and Managers Prevent Parties

Easily one of the biggest fears of any host is guests having a party. If you have a neighbor who is keeping watchful eyes on your home, they may call you when a party is underway. But what if they don’t? Or what if you don’t have someone to help you monitor the property?

That’s where NoiseAware comes in. It will notify you of noise in your home, so you know before the authorities do.

NoiseAware works by monitoring the noise level in your property. When noise reaches a certain threshold, the owner of the home is quickly notified via SMS alert on their phone.

The owner of the house can then take preventative action by contacting the occupants in the house.

Most occupants will agree to lowering the noise in the property or taking the festivities elsewhere.

In essence, the owner of the house knows about the noise before disgruntled neighbors or law enforcement, enabling them to be proactive instead of reactive.

Being proactive is a key feature in the sharing economy and Alex Niggs, the founder of Properly, knows it too.

The Origin of Properly

Properly was started by Alex Nigg after he experienced first-hand the complications of managing cleaners and other service providers as a short-term rental host. In four years of hosting, Alex found himself facing three problems:

  1. Finding cleaners who knew the difference between an Airbnb and residential cleaning

  2. Ensuring new cleaners understood how to prepare his listing

  3. Managing the quality of cleaning when he was not present

With a heavy travel schedule, Alex couldn’t be present to manage these issues in person. But by solving these problems for his rental, Alex laid the groundwork for Properly.

How Properly Helps Owners and Managers Operate

Properly provides owners and managers with two critical tools—world-class solutions to manage cleaners and service providers, and a network of cleaners and service providers who understand Property Manager’s needs.

Properly’s tools solve key operational headaches: training, scheduling, inspections, and more.
Properly’s Visual Checklists make it easy to train cleaners on your requirements. These checklists provide cleaners with simple, step-by-step instructions to turnover a listing. Visual Checklists are based on your specific listing photographs, so cleaners know exactly what guests expect when they arrive. No more questions about the position of furniture!

Scheduling is also a breeze. Properly integrates with most major listing platforms and PMSs, and its Reminders automate job scheduling. What’s more, Properly’s app verifies exactly how long cleaners spend on a job and whether they are actually on location.

Inspections are another integral part of the solution. Through the Properly app, cleaners photograph their work—both cleaned rooms and projects from previous guests— enabling property managers to track cleaners’ work without in-person inspection. Additionally, a record of listing condition is incredibly helpful when filing a damages claim with an OTA or home warranty provider.

Alongside these tools, Properly’s marketplace of thousands of cleaners and service providers enables hosts can to find the partners needed to run their listing—whether they are just setting their listing, dealing with an emergency due to a cleaner cancellation, or expanding their team to manage seasonal demand. Cleaners are vetted by the community; they can only join the Properly marketplace by proving they work for Airbnb hosts or PMs. Properly monitors marketplace activity to ensure only high quality, trusted providers can respond to jobs. And badges based on cleaners’ work help hosts understand where a given cleaner excels—response time, experience, reliability, or thoroughness.

Bottom line: whenever hosts and property managers need help, Properly’s marketplace provides ready access to qualified partners.

Alex Nigg has this to say about his service:

“My main aspiration was to deliver opportunity: for hosts, the opportunity to host remotely, with peace of mind. And for service providers, the opportunity to build their own business, and to trade on their reputation. It’s been humbling to see how Properly is being adopted around the world, and how it creates an opportunity for hosts and their service providers alike.”

It’s safe to say that Properly is doing a “proper” job of giving property managers and cleaners alike a robust platform to conduct business.

David Krauss & Alex Nigg together at a European conference.

A Greater Picture

When taken as a whole, Properly and NoiseAware are innovative tools that eliminate homeowners’ anxiety around vacation rentals.

Both companies solve operational challenges that consumer property managers’ time and energy.

They are passionate about giving homeowners a great platform to start or expand their short-term rental businesses.

Both NoiseAware and Properly can significantly cut costs for new owners and managers or those looking to scale their businesses. That means that as the industry grows, they’re able to provide amazing experiences for travelers.

Interested in working with either of these companies? Email us at

Protect Your Property Newsletter

Sign up to receive developing news and alerts on protecting rental properties.