Which home-sharing platform is right for you?
Posted by Guardhog Team on August 20, 2019 · Blog
With home-sharing activity growing at an almost incomprehensible rate all over the world, it should be no surprise to hear that more and more companies are trying to capitalise on this trendy new way that hosts can make some serious money and guests can travel more cost-effectively.
Home-sharing platforms are popping up on an almost weekly basis and while the majority are trying to fight for their own slice of this gigantic peer-to-peer-pie, there are a few out there that offer more tailored experiences to their customers depending on their requirements.
The home-sharing market is vast and for a new host that’s trying to get to grips with things, figuring out where is best to advertise your property can be daunting. But fear not! We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite property management sites so you can work out what the best option is for you and your property.
If you’re looking to Host and could also do with a little extra help around the house, then Roomr could be the perfect solution for you. Their business model is based on pairing hosts looking for help with childcare, pet sitting or elderly companionship with guests that are available to fulfil those roles whilst looking for a cost-effective way to live in a busy, and normally expensive city.
For Guests, they pay a fixed rate per month to Roomr, and hosts pay a small amount per month to Roomr for all the necessary checks and support they require. Now you may be thinking, hang on, I’m the Host and I still have to pay even though I’m letting someone stay in my house? Well, the deal is your Guest has to provide up to 15 hours of help per week, which would cost you in excess of £600 per month if you sought out that help privately.
The agreement is mutually beneficial, so no money is exchanged between the Host and the Guest, and fees to Roomr are kept to a minimum while still saving you potentially hundreds of pounds a month. If this sounds like it could be beneficial to you, you can find out more here on the Roomr website!
Canopy & Stars
When you talk about hosting to most people, they tend to associate it with houses and spare rooms, but for some, it’s about giving guests a magical experience in their unique outdoorsy spaces.
If you’ve got a luxury treehouse, cabin, shack, caravan or any other structure that comes under the ‘glamping’ umbrella and you want to provide your guests with a once in a lifetime experience, then Canopy & Stars could be the perfect place for you to advertise.
You’ll be visited by the C&S team who will decide if your space is worthy of their platform – they have pretty high standards to ensure they only provide their customers with the best possible experiences! – and if it is worthy, you’ll be provided with a dedicated team to ensure you’re getting the best out of your listing.
Related article: Are you insured to rent your home with Airbnb?
If you think your space is unique and creative enough to be listed alongside the most inspiring glamping sites in the UK and Europe, then you can get started over at the Canopy & Stars website.
If you’ve got an empty property that you never stay in and you want to start short-letting it for some extra money, then Altovita may be the perfect solution for you.
With the majority of their clientele being frequent or corporate travellers, hosts have the extra assurance that their place is going to be looked after, and with a massive range of extra services available for their guests, guests are guaranteed to be looked after in a way that is unparalleled.
The quality level of properties advertised by Altovita is high, so of course, there is an application process that potential hosts have to go through, but if accepted you can be sure that both you and your future guests are going to get the whole package, (and then some!).
As a host, you’ll have services available to you such as reduced rates on furniture rental, host insurance (provided by us!), property photography, interior design and home staging.
Your guests will be able to get luggage and sports equipment forwarding, baby kit rental, cleaning services, health and wellness services, childcare, storage, laundry services, private chefs, online doctors, transportation, groceries packages, spa and beauty treatments, personal assistance and even private jets.
Anything you or your guest requires or desires can be arranged directly via Altovita. Now, hows that for service?! Think you and your property have what it takes to become an Altovita host? Head on over to the Altovita website to find out more!
Kid and Coe
Are you a frequently travelling family that wants to let their space out when they’re on the road? If you are then Kid & Coe could be the perfect solution for you. It was created by a team of frequent travellers with families who found that non-child specific accommodations, such as hotels, just didn’t fit their needs.
This caused them to seek out kid-friendly accommodation which at the time was easier said than done – not because of a lack of it, but because it was difficult to find. If you are a frequently travelling family, you’ve probably come up against some similar issues. So how can hosting with Kid & Coe benefit you?
Well, you’ll know your vacant property is giving a grateful family a wonderful holiday experience, and as a host, you’ll suddenly have access to a wide variety of family-friendly properties that you yourself can stay in at a reduced rate.
And if you’d rather save a massive amount on your own travels instead of bringing in extra money, they offer an exchange program whereby you can stay in another hosts place while they stay in yours and there’s no money involved.
This could be hugely beneficial if you spend more time travelling with the kids than not! If this all sounds like it could be the solution to your family travelling trauma, head on over to the Kid & Coe website for more info!
If you’re an academic or are inspired by amazing people and want to get satisfaction as well as a decent amount of rent for your place, then you should consider hosting on SabbaticalHomes.
The platform is dedicated to providing affordable accommodation to academics, scholars, writers and artists for sabbaticals, academic research, writing retreats, or some time-off travel. They feel it’s massively important that those who are going to shape the future have the opportunity to share their ideas all over the world.
Related article: What every UK Airbnb host needs to know about insurance
Stays are usually for a longer period of time than those that take place on other listing sites, with the minimum stay typically being a week and lasting anywhere up to a few years. Most commonly stays are for a few months.
From a hosts point of view, this means you’ve got a guaranteed income from the property for a fairly decent amount of time, and you don’t have loads of different people coming in and out which tends to cause more property wear and tear.
So, if you’d like to help some future minds that are on the move SabbaticalHomes could be a great choice for you!
The Plum Guide
The Plum Guide often refer to themselves as the ‘Michelin Guide – but for homes’. On average, they accept 1 in 100 homes onto their platform and the criteria you have to hit to be accepted is mega. The interesting thing about these guys though, is that they themselves hunt down the majority of the properties that are listed on their site.
If you do get picked and you then pass the manual checks that confirm your neighbourhood is acceptable and your property is beautifully designed, an expert home critic will be sent to visit the property in person. You will be assessed as a host, your ability to give great recommendations for things to do in your local areas will be tested, and they will check if you’re standards are aligned with The Plum Guide to ensure a great guest experience.
Then your property will be strenuously tested over 500 data points, including shower pressure, WiFi speeds and pillow types – all the small things that make a big difference. As I said, the process is MEGA and if you feel your property is worthy of being in the 1% of homes in the world, you can, of course, nominate your home to be listed on the platform. You’ll go through the same process and if you pass you’ll be able to start taking some premium bookings in no time.
The Plum Guide holds is hosts in the highest regards, and if you manage to get listed on there, you’re sure to be well looked after! Think you’ve got what it takes? Find out more on the Plum Guide website!
If you’re a part of the LGBTQ+ community or an Ally, then FabStayz is definitely worth a look at. The company was created after another hosting platform came under fire for having discriminating hosts that rejected stays from anyone that was of a different ethnicity or sexuality to themselves.
All hosts on FabStayz provide ‘gay-friendly’ accommodation, so those concerned about discrimination in parts of the world where it’s not so accepted are guaranteed to have some friendly and safe places to stay.
For hosts, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to show support for a wonderful community of people, and you’re guaranteed to be constantly booked up with LGTBQ+ travellers being some of the most travelled people in the world.
The platform is still in its early beta stages, and you’re capped at how much you can charge per night, but if you’re interested in being an early adopter on a visionary platform that is guaranteed to grow into something incredible, then you can become a Fab Host over at their website!
Travelling with a pet can be difficult, and there aren’t that many hosts out there that accept pets of any kind, which seems mad considering the number of people that have pets!
While I guess it’s understandable as pets can cause a little more mess than you’d usually see from a pet free booking, those that don’t allow them could be missing out on a pretty significant audience.
Related article: How To Deal With A Bad Airbnb Review
You can set your profile on any major booking site to allow pets, but most guests looking for a pet-friendly place to stay in London will head straight over to Pets Lets, which provides animal-friendly only accommodation.
If your fine with mans best friend coming to stay at your place with their owner, maybe Pets Lets is the place for you! Find out more on the Pet Lets website!
As far as home-sharing platforms go, Airbnb is the beast that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down when it comes to growth. For a host, it’s probably one of the best places to start, the platform is easy to advertise on, there aren’t really any minimum requirements, and it’s the place where most guests go to find home-sharing accommodation.
In fact, when we asked 2000 hosts and guests which of the sharing platforms mentioned in this post they were familiar with, a massive 86% chose Airbnb. When you consider that the next highest percentage was 12.5%, it’s pretty clear that Airbnb is the place most people are going to advertise their property.
They provide the most customisable experience for hosts – you can be as strict or relaxed about who stays in your place as you like and you are likely to get a much wider variety of guests staying from all different cultures, which really is what the sharing economy is all about – connecting cultures and communities together.
The downside, of course, is that there are millions of hosts on the platform, and you’re going to be going up against any other local hosts when a potential guest searches for a property in your area to let. You have to do a pretty hefty amount of work to make sure you’re appearing regularly enough for it to become a significant source of income (check out our Airbnb SEO tips here), and unless you decide to take on a property management company, you have to do all that work yourself.
Where some of the above-mentioned platforms list the property and do all the work to ensure it gets bookings, you’re very much on your own with Airbnb. If you’re ready to get your home-sharing journey started, you can find more information over at Airbnb’s website.
As you can see, you’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your sharing platform. The ones I’ve mentioned are just a few of the thousands of available platforms you could list with! As a host, you need to take the time to figure out what exactly you want to offer and who you want to offer it too.
Your requirements are just as important as the guests when it comes to ensuring you’re completely happy with how your property is being used.