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Guest Screening for Growing STR Managers (Ep 291)

Guest Screening for Growing STR Managers (Ep 291)

If you have a small number of Airbnb listings, screening guests (and rejecting the bad ones) is not a problem once you know what to look for. But what if you want to grow your short-term rental business to 20, 50, or even 100 properties? What tools are available to STR rental managers to vet and monitor guests? How can you leverage effective screening to make more money AND acquire new listings?

Anton Zilberberg is an STR Legend and property manager out of Toronto. He operates a portfolio of 100-plus properties through his luxury STR company, QuickStay, and serves as the Founder and CEO of Autohost, an AI screening tool for Airbnb guests. Today, Anton is back on the podcast to offer his advice on guest screening to STR managers who are looking to scale.

Anton covers the risks property managers face, describing the scope of the fraud problem in the STR industry. He also weighs in on how effective screening increases STR revenue and gives property managers a competitive advantage. Listen in to understand Autohost’s multilayer verification process and learn how effective screening protects you, your business—and your neighbors!

Topics Covered

The fraud risks that property managers face

  • Credit card schemes + identity theft cases
  • Gun violence, escort services and drugs
  • Resell STR on dark web

The scope of the fraud problem in the hospitality industry

  • Accounts for $150B annually
  • 1 in 20 bookings potentially fraudulent

Autohost’s multilayer verification system for screening guests

  • Digital fingerprint determines geolocation
  • Checks on ID, credit card and social channels

Anton’s insight on security solutions for STR managers

  • Install NoiseAware, security cameras, etc.
  • Process in place for removing guests
  • Educate team on security and safety

How to identify and deal with fake IDs

  • Use ID verification system
  • Collect additional information (e.g.: social accounts, business email)

Anton’s insight around complying with privacy laws

  • Do not store or share personal information
  • Verify accuracy, then dispose of info

How effective screening increases STR revenue

  • Remove booking restrictions, allow Instant Book
  • Rewarded with higher position in search results
  • Fewer gaps in calendar = less unsold inventory
  • Allows to accept locals (especially in off-season)

How effective screening gives property managers a competitive advantage

  • Demonstrate higher returns for owners
  • Use as selling tool to grow business

How Airbnb screening compares to Autohost

  • Airbnb verification at booking only
  • 9 vs. 2,000 verifications + tests

Aton’s advice for growing STR managers

  • Create systems to set expectations, monitor high-risk guests
  • Verify ID and phone number, charge security deposit

How much it costs to use Autohost

  • $1 to $10/screening based on services
  • $5/screening for first 200 GPFYP listeners

How screening prevents problems for STR hosts

  • Hold people accountable (sue in court if necessary)
  • Charge unverified guests with trespassing

Connect with Anton

Autohost Quickstay Anton on LinkedIn

Resources

Anton on GPFYP EP290 Ernst & Young 2018 Global Fraud Survey NoiseAware STR Legends Get Paid for Your Pad on Facebook

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