November 8, 2023

Virtual co-hosts to shake up STR management

by Alices Home

Virtual co-hosts to shake up STR management

Alices Home
November 8, 2023

Table of Contents

A novel digital platform has emerged in the realm of property management, offering a unique solution for Airbnb property owners. Alice’s Home, a Brisbane-based short-term rental property management company, has unveiled MyVirtualCohost, an online platform aimed at delivering cost-effective property management services.

The team behind Alice’s Home is confident that the Australian property management landscape is primed for a transformation, given the surging popularity of short-term rentals like Airbnb.

MyVirtualCohost.com is spearheaded by Queensland-based property manager Seiko Ma, who claims that it is the world’s first platform designed to provide Airbnb and short-term rental investors with a team of expert virtual co-hosts to oversee their properties.

Ms. Ma acknowledges that managing an Airbnb property can be a demanding and time-consuming endeavor, particularly for those eager to attain and maintain the coveted “super host” status. In a fiercely competitive short-term rental market, boasting “super host” status can be the deciding factor in attracting guests.

Ms. Ma explains, “Now, property owners who lack the time or financial resources to hire a property manager can still uphold their ‘super host’ status and ensure swift responses to guest inquiries.”

The virtual co-hosts on MyVirtualCohost.com work remotely, adhering to Airbnb’s official standards. Their responsibilities include property marketing, booking management, guest inquiries, housekeeping, maintenance, and assistance with platform disputes. Importantly, they emphasize providing personalized and genuine responses, avoiding the use of bots or auto-replies.

This innovative digital platform has emerged less than a year after the launch of Alice’s Home in February 2023, with the primary aim of relieving property investors from the burdensome task of managing their short-term rentals.

However, it’s worth noting that the regulatory climate for initiatives like MyVirtualCohost may be shifting, as councils across the nation are implementing stricter restrictions on short-term rentals. For example, Byron Shire Council recently reduced their short-term rental accommodation (STRA) cap to just 60 days, aiming to address the housing crisis in the region. Additionally, Victoria has introduced a new short-stay levy.

In Queensland, where the platform is based, both Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast have taken measures to deter Airbnb operators through rate hikes and planning obstacles. Despite these developments, Ms. Ma rebuts the suggestion that Airbnb properties exacerbate Australia’s rental crisis, asserting that they cater to a different market segment.

“Regular rental properties are primarily focused on accommodating the local population, whereas short-term rentals and Airbnb properties cater to families and individuals seeking unique and personalized holiday experiences,” Ms. Ma explained.

She concludes, “Short-term rentals and Airbnb properties should continue to serve their intended purpose, rather than being viewed as a temporary solution to a broader economic issue.”

In summary, MyVirtualCohost.com is poised to disrupt the short-term property management sector by offering property owners a unique, affordable solution through its team of virtual co-hosts, emphasizing personalized service and maintaining the coveted “super host” status in the competitive short-term rental market. However, regulatory challenges loom in various regions as councils seek to address housing and economic concerns.

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