Camera Install / Guest Update
Updated: Dec 22, 2019
As I mentioned in the last post, I was waiting on a security camera to arrive in the mail. It arrived a couple days late, but whatever. It happens. The camera I chose was super cheap on amazon, 25 bucks. Install was easy, took just a few steps. There were a couple wacky things mentioned in the reviews. Some folks were alarmed that the camera is made in china and is part of an integrated Chinese spy network. It came off as a little tin foil hat to me, but figured if it is in fact true, what will china really gain by watching the inside of my garage all day, so I went with it. You really cant beat the price. The main reason I got it in the first place is for peace of mind. Almost all of our guests check in while were not home, so we cant count the number of people coming into the house. As well as being a deterrent for any inappropriate behavior from happening. Plain and simple, if something happens, its recorded and there will be accountability. The picture quality is great for counting people, and it provides enough detail to see of something is stolen, or if our cars are damaged. All around, it'll do what we need it to and give that valuable peace of mind that we were looking for. If you decide to go this route as well, make sure you update your listing on airbnb. I have in an email that Loftium is cool with it, so no shadyness or unwelcome policy surprises there. It must be disclosed on your listing if you are using a security camera in or around your listing.
Go to Booking settings on your "host" page
Go to house rules
Go to "details guests must know about the home"
Check the "surveillance or recording on property" dot
You can add a note or not.
The camera is set up in a way that when it detects motion, it records it as an "event." you can download and save the events you might need, and delete the ones you don't. Its all wifi and cloud, but you can stick a micro sd in there if you wanted to.
*I also made sure not to point the camera towards the airbnb unit. Just covering all my bases and making sure there isn't a violation of guest's privacy/rights. It can only see who is coming in and out of the garage entrance.*
As August comes to a close, we've seen a lot of variety in our bookings. We dealt with smelly guests, messy guests, noisy guests, polite, clean, and respectful guests, too. We've had our most difficult guests, and the easiest, so it just been a mix bag all around. The young group I mentioned in the last post did good, but still had some unusual behavior. We outlined the issues in a fair review, and that's that. There's not much else you can do or say about it. We were booked all but 5 days this month and still managed to get our chores done and keep the airbnb running smoothly. We were able to make over $650, which is going straight to the bank and into a savings account that we're using to buy our own house someday. Not too shabby. A lot has come together over the last 3 months and were super excited. Overall, the smoothness is there and we're used to the guests and cleaning and all that stuff. Hopefully its just smooth cruising from here on out.
Some disappointing news, our overall rating has fallen to a 4.7 out of 5. It seems that we can improve on our cleaning. I'm not sure I agree with that, but my opinion isn't what matters. We doubled down and did a deep clean of the unit, so hopefully we can get that number up soon. I think some guests see airbnb as more of a hotel in someone's house, as apposed to how I, and most of the abnb community defines it, as a mini hostel in someone's house. I've stayed in many hostels and hotels abroad, and from my own experience, we have a mini hostel at home. Which is fine, its still a nice, inexpensive way to travel, but you do have to be ok with forfeiting the hotel service and amenities, hence the affordable price. The plan going forward is to do the best we can, and give guests an excellent hostel experience. Hopefully our efforts are reflected in future reviews.
Fall is near, and I'm certain that new challenges will come with it. Cold, wet weather being among them. I'm also curious to see how well our listing performs during the slow seasons of the year. Colorado is a pretty year round tourist destination, so maybe it'll stay the same, maybe its busier? Who knows? All will be answered in time, so be sure to check back frequently for updates. You can also subscribe to our mailing list if you don't intend to miss a thing.
Thanks for looking, and take care.