not a member? Join
Airbnb has been a game changer for holiday home owners as well as those who want to let their homes for peak times of the year as a side business. However, answering guest enquiries and queries, as well as setting it up to be market ready, isn’t always as easy as it’s made out to be. Making the process care free and efficient, Mitchell Fawcett set up Salcombe Air. Here’s what you need to know…
For a long time I had felt there was a gap in the market when it came to holiday homes. There are a lot of holiday home businesses in the South Hams, and each of them offers something different, but none really seemed to offer a comprehensive management service for clients using Airbnb. My idea was to personalise the service so the owner can make a bit more money for themselves as well as feel they are able to keep their property feeling more like their own, rather than turning it over to seem like a professional let. The result is that guests really feel they’re coming to stay in someone’s home when they visit.
I worked for a property maintenance and garden management company in the South Hams, and it was having worked in the industry for a while and seeing the different options out there that I thought there was a space for a different approach.
It’s really all about the personal touches and making people feel reassured. I like to meet with property owners and find out what they want from letting their property. Generally they don’t want to just turn their house into a business. Often they still want to use the holiday home themselves, but also make sure it’s not sitting idle when they are away and make a bit of profit in the process.
The emphasis is always on them and what they want, so we aim to keep the property reflecting the owners character and who they are, rather than making suggestions that neutralise it. With Airbnb distinct form traditional letting platforms, you’re staying in peoples’ homes, and often that’s something people like about it.
From there, I take care of the full management of the letting process, with the goal of taking the take weight off the owners. I set up their online profile along with all of the professional photography, I create the listing and I answer all guest questions. I handle 24-hour maintenance call outs, and the owners get a monthly report of who stayed and the profit they have made from it. It’s all about making it a hands free service.
I think one of the really nice things about Airbnb is that sense of community it can create as well. People do enjoy staying in different places with different characters, and of course the owners can review the guests as well as the other way around. So that helps to make sure people are respectful of properties as otherwise they will struggle to rent again.
Generally how simple it is. They always think there will be loads of hidden charges, but there isn’t. There isn’t a big marketing budget because it’s inbuilt into Airbnb, and if something happens, like the hot water goes off while guests are there, I deal with it directly - owners don’t have to have any contact with guests at all.
Mainly growing and developing the business! At the moment we’re covering Salcombe, Hope Cove and Totnes. However, we would like to expand more towards Dartmoor. I find a lot of people want to stay and walk on the moor, which is such an incredible place, so I would like to help expand that area of the market.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SALCOMBE AIR
Would you like to feature your business in this section?
* The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, if you notice anything that you know to be incorrect or misleading, please contact us.