Here is one of the calendars you can get via availcheck-- the "guest house" calendar:
You can create an account and get a free calendar of one of two types -- an "instant Calendar" which seems best if you just have one room or one property, and a "guesthouse calendar" if you have more than one room or more than one property to rent out. You can list a total of 5 rooms or properties and get a total of 120 hits per month on them under the "free" plan, and if you want more than that you have to pay to buy an upgrade. So this website has a limited amount that you can do for free, but it does offer a very nice interactive calendar that allows guests to enter the dates they want and check which rooms/properties have availability.
This is the type of calendar you get with the availcalendar.com:
THe nice thing about availcalendar.com is that it seems you can create an unlimited number of calendars, for any number of rooms or properties, and they have not stated anything about limiting your number of hits on those calendars. So it seems to offer more than the other website, but the calendar is view-only and not interactive.
Post by High Priestess on Mar 20, 2017 5:04:47 GMT
Regarding Google Calendars -- you know, I tried for over an hour to get a Google Calendar into my website and be able to select dates on it. I could not figure out how to do it!! I know someone else who uses GOogle calendars for her website, so it's do-able, but I just couldn't figure it out or I was doing something wrong. I could get the calendar itself to appear in my website, but could not figure out how to mark off dates on it.
Since the Availcalendar is so easy to use, I am just using that one. It worked right away , no messing around, and it's free!
did you create your website on WordPress. I read reviews that they WordPress is very good allowing calendars and sync. I am not working on WordPress, but using my 'free' 5 page with GoDaddy. Cannot start paying monthly for a service I am not sure will work out or not for me. I hope I can break away from AirBnB.
How do you you manage security deposit with people coming for a few days to your house? Maybe it is in another post?
Post by High Priestess on Mar 20, 2017 23:45:20 GMT
I created my website for my room rentals on www.webs.com, actually -- since that was the very first website I ever created, and found it easier to use and less intimidating than Wordpress. It's a template site that makes it easy to use and edit. One has to pay a monthly fee for it (not much -- can be as little as $5 a month) whereas on Wordpress you can get a website for free. The domain name costs though...but again not much for a year...and the domain name you'll need regardless what service you use to set up your website.
Later on, I created another site for my room rentals business on Wordpress -- so I have two sites out there -- but the one I primarily use and keep updated is the webs.com site.
I actually did succeed breaking away a little more from Airbnb this year so far. Not totally --that's hard to do, there are so many people using Airbnb now -- and the people from other sites are just mostly not as good as those I get from Airbnb. I still get some of the best folks from Airbnb. But I did move gradually so that not so much of my business is with Airbnb.
Security deposits....it's not hard actually, the way I do it. Even if they are coming for just a few days, it's the same procedure as if they were coming for a couple months. I ask them to pay the entire amount of accomodations in advance, up to the first month's rent. So they pay for the first 30 days up front, or less if they are staying less time. Then they can either pay the security deposit together with the rent, or pay the security deposit on arrival. I tell them that I can only refund them the security deposit in the manner it was paid. So if they paid via PayPal, I refund it via PayPal. If they paid it by check, I refund it by check. If they paid in cash, I refund it in cash. This makes it more straightforward because with PayPal for instance, if someone makes a separate payment for security deposit, you can just leave that in your PayPal account, never transfer it to your bank, and so then when they depart, you just refund them via PayPal. in order to avoid service fees on PayPal, if you can have them check off the box "send to friends and family" then there are no service fees. if they dont' check that box then they will pay 4% fee on all transactions.
Also, I think as far as doing one's taxes, it can make it easier if you are able to keep the security deposit in your PayPal account, and then refund it from there, rather than ever transfer it out of your bank account. Because if it never went in your bank account, then as far as taxes go, you dont' even have to account for it at all, but if you put it in your bank and then paid it out again, your paperwork for taxes needs to reflect that.
I also dont' refund them right when they leave. I tell them I can only refund them after cleaning the room> This allows me time to check for damages which they might have tried to hide -- for instance, some guests will stain a sheet, then throw it in the washing machine as they are departing, claiming they are trying to help me. I may find out later after the wash is done that they were trying to hide that they spilled oil on the sheets, and it won't come out. So I wait until the whole room is cleaned and all laundry done and checked before I refund anything. This may mean that a person who pays in cash for the security deposit, can't get that refunded in cash, since they may be departing on a plane before I finish cleaning the room. In which case I can refund not in cash bu only via check (if they are in the USA ) or PayPal (if they are outside the USA)
Hi, this is the other Maria. LOL Deborah, what do you do with people who come for a short stay, i.e. 3 days. do you also collect a security deposit? I find that a little bit weird, i.e. a hotel puts a hold on certain amount on your credit card, we don't do that, specially if we are using PayPal (and do not have access to the credit card information).
Post by High Priestess on Mar 21, 2017 15:42:49 GMT
Yes, I collect a security deposit even for a stay of only 3 days ...or only for 1 day, for that matter. My rationale is that if someone is occupying the room for any amount of time, it's possible there may be damages.
I suppose you could decide not to take a security deposit for a stay less than 5 days or for 3 days or less -- but you need to ask yourself, will you be kicking yourself if the guest departs and you find that they've spilled coffee or wine or something else on the mattress or carpet and damaged it beyond repair? Or have broken the TV...or something else that's not cheap to replace? If you think such damage is really unlikely, or you are content to cover its cost yourself in the event it occurs, then maybe you can omit a deposit. I just don't like to do that.
However another option is lowering the security deposit amount if the stay is quite short. To me this doesn't make a lot of sense in a technical way -- for instance, if you rented a car, would you expect that you should be less liable to pay for damages if you rent it only for 2 days as opposed to 2 weeks? Probably not -- just as much damage could occur in 2 days, and the renter should be just as liable. The whole idea that a security deposit should be less because the stay is short, is logically fallicious in my view. However, it's harder to convince a guest to pay a moderate sized security deposit like $300 for a 2 or 3 day stay. I've even had people inquiring thru Airbnb decide not to rent on the basis that they thought $300 or $350 was too much of a security deposit on Airbnb, even though I explained that Airbnb does not collect it, they are not paying it in any way. So if it were collected they might protest even more. Hence, for short stays I lower the deposit to $150 for a rental bedroom. That's still significant -- in effect it's the same amount as the rent for a 3 day stay in my house. But people do pay it.
That said, I am trying to reduce the number of short stays that I take, since I am trying to get away from having so much work. I'm preferring to rent to those staying at least a week or two...though I don't always get that.