Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question regarding short letting? You can find your answers below.
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In order to optimise the guest and host experience, Pass the Keys no longer operates personal check-ins. We quickly found that meet-and-greets are generally complex, aggravating, and uncomfortable experiences! Guests are often late, change their plans, or are simply tired and feel unsettled during a personal check-in. Back in 2016 Airbnb itself began recommending that hosts use keysafes to run remote check-ins. In fact, in order for your property to qualify as ‘business ready’ on Airbnb - which helps to boost occupancy rates - remote check-ins are now required.
Unfortunately, in order to be able to deliver the excellent guest experience that is required of us by all stakeholders, Pass the Keys will need to take control of your Airbnb account. This means that you will need to set up a new account if you wish to travel with Airbnb.
You will have access to all information regarding your listing through the Pass the Keys Client Portal, including income, and reviews. We provide full transparency on how we work to achieve your goals.
If you’d like to short-let your property and achieve the highest potential income without compromising on safety, we are the right service for you. You might be a landlord who wants to boost your rental income or a frequent traveller who’d like to make some extra money while you’re away.
A keysafe is a tiny, secure metal safe that is accessed by a combination lock. We generally install them on a wall or railing within a 3-minute walk of your property. Your guests will be given clear guidance on how to access the keys. Keysafes have been used in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, and are already employed by millions of hosts all over the world, including every single Pass the Keys client. The benefits come at check-in. Guests have the flexibility to arrive as and when they like. It works particularly well for tourists or business travellers who may arrive at the property through the night after a long-haul flight and simply want to access the property and rest.
To get the ball rolling, simply give us your details via the form found here or call us directly on 020 8050 2818. Our lovely specialists will be able to explain our services, walk you through the process, and provide you with an estimate of how much your property can make through short-term letting. If needed, we can schedule a visit to your home as well.
Pass the Keys offers a comprehensive hospitality management package which includes: - Listings on 20+ platforms including Airbnb and Booking.com - Pricing optimisation - Booking management - Guest vetting - Remote check-in - 24/7 guest support - Cleaning and laundry services We take the hassle out of short-letting!
Hosts can cancel at any time, subject to a specified minimum notice period. For hosts using our Airbnb-only service, this period is three weeks. For hosts using our Multiplatform service, it's six weeks.
During your onboarding process we will ask you to send us three sets of keys. Two of these we store, and the other is placed in a secure keysafe for guest use. To check-in, guests enter a code on the keysafe, collect the keys, and are then able to access property.
The majority of our clients choose Pass the Keys because they cannot do the work associated with short-letting (e.g. they are travelling), they do not want to do it (there is a lot of elbow grease involved), or they feel there would be a financial benefit if we were to do it. We estimate that for a beginner, one full-time short-let property can create up to 40 hours per month of work. At Pass the Keys, we'll do all that work, for a cut of the booking revenue. For many, this makes good sense. What's more, because we are professional co-hosts for Airbnb and have specialist departments in-house, we can often increase our hosts' gross booking values by more than our fees. So our hosts often end up financially ahead, whilst also not having to do any of the work!
Airbnb provides a Host Guarantee programme (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/guarantee), which covers damages up to £600,000. We will be able to assist you in the claims process, but ultimately the decision to compensate or not lies with Airbnb. As part of a management service we also provide a GuardHog insurance scheme for bookings through all other platforms.
If you apply for our 'Airbnb only' service your property will be listed on Airbnb but not on other short-letting platforms like Booking.com and Expedia.com. Our 'Multiplatform' service lists your property on all available platforms in order to maximise occupancy throughout the year. Due to the added complexity of listing a property on over 25 different sites, Multiplatform is only currently available to our full-time clients (9 months+), and takes a little longer to initiate.
You will receive your income directly from Airbnb at the moment guests arrive at your flat. Other platforms may differ in how they process payouts, so please ask our specialists for specifics.
While the exact percentage depends on many factors, such as the characteristics of the property, local rates, and the time of year, we expect you to make at least 150% of what you’d earn from long-term rental income after our fees have been deducted.
As a Hospitality company, we’ll do everything we can to ensure your guests have a great experience. This starts from the moment a potential guest makes their first enquiry. We provide a 24/7 guest support service, a streamlined check-in procedure, and always strive to communicate as clearly and efficiently as possible.
You can cancel our service at any time. We don't believe in long-term contracts or hidden fees.
You can begin using our management service within only a few days of signing up. We just need time to prepare your listing.
As with any safe, a very determined person with the right kind of tools might be able to access it. However, we mitigate this risk by ensuring that the safe is not installed in a location which makes it obvious which property it belongs to, and that your key-ring is not marked with the property address. Our keysafes are used by all Pass the Keys clients, and there have been no security issues to date.
Everything in life carries risks, and renting out your property is no different. At Pass the Keys we add extra levels of security beyond what's provided by short-letting platforms. We vet all guests, we don't take 2-night bookings on weekends (this largely removes the chance of parties), and we provide additional Guardhog insurance as part of our service for full-time clients, so if something does go wrong, you're covered. For more information on our insurance provisions, call our host advisors on 0208 050 2818.
The standardisation of our service model allows us to support you promptly and efficiently, maximise your occupancy rate, and generate the highest possible income from your property. As such, we cannot make special arrangements on a per-property basis. We are always eager to improve our overall offering, however, so please don’t hesitate to suggest ideas!
We operate in multiple locations across the UK. Simple click on the drop-down menu at the top of the page to see where. Alternatively, enter your property details into the form on our website and get a forecast if we operate in your area! If we don't currently service your area, follow us on Facebook to find out when we do!
We have two types of client at Pass the Keys, part-time and full-time. Our part-time clients live in their property the majority of the year, or need to access it regularly. They want to earn from their property while it's empty, and the flexibility of short-letting allows them to have the best of both worlds. For many, this means creating income when there was previously only a cost. Our full-time clients are those who are choosing to short-let their property for most of the year, and it often replaces more traditional lettings like ASTs. This short-let model was formerly reserved for holiday homes, but with the rise of platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com, alongside short-let management companies like Pass the Keys, it's now available for everyone. Our clients tell us the two reasons they would switch from ASTs to short-letting are flexibility and earnings. Even a full-time property only achieves about 75% occupancy on short-letting sites like Airbnb, which means that for around a quarter of the year the owner can access their property, take inventory, do repairs, or stay in for personal use. As for earnings, short-let guests pay a much higher price per night than long-let tenants, so even accounting for management service fees most landlords can earn significantly more through short-letting. When you use the Pass the Keys service we monitor your property's performance relative to your potential long-let earnings, because we know that these base earnings are an absolute red-line we must not cross. To find out how much you can earn, use the free income calculator on our homepage.
After signing up, our clients are assigned an account manager, and begin our ‘onboarding' process. 'Onboarding' is our term for getting your property ready to let. We'll arrange professional photography for your property, organise an initial clean, and install a keysafe. We'll get to know the nuances of your property, so that we can effectively troubleshoot issues if and when they arise. Onboarding ordinarily takes 14 days, but if you are in a hurry, our record is a single day!
Once you hire Pass the Keys to manage your property, you'll be able check up on your property through our Client Portal app. After each guest stay we'll arrange a thorough clean and upload photos of your property to the app so that you can check everything is up to standard.
At Pass the Keys we only use professional photographers. As part of the ‘onboarding’ process, your account manager will arrange a suitable time to take photographs of your property. High quality photos are crucial to success on any short-letting platform, so we take this part very seriously. If you feel you already have, or are able to take, professional quality photos, please speak with your host advisor. They can be reached on 0208 050 2818.
The very first clean of your property would be paid by you. However, all further cleans are paid for by guests and are added to the cost of their stay. This is paid to you and invoiced by us to pass to the cleaners and linen providers in a form of disbursement. The cleaning cost depends on the number of rooms in the property, and its location.
Our service is as hassle-free as possible, so not much! We provide linen and towels, hotel-quality toiletries, professional photographs of your property, and a preparatory cleaning service. All you need to do is check that your property is equipped with the fundamentals (e.g. functioning WiFi, smoke detector, kettle etc.). Beyond these, sprucing up your property a little can help to boost your income, but is not essential. Give us a call for more details on the fundamentals and tips on how to make your property as attractive as possible.
'Onboarding' is our term for getting your property ready to host. Currently, our clients use an online checklist, which they can work through in their own time. If at any point you become stuck, your account manager will be able to help you move forward.
We don’t provide the cleaning services directly. Depending on the city, we contract cleaning companies or freelance cleaners. Cleaners are selected by the city managers of each city and monitored carefully. If a job is not completed on time, the city managers are alerted and ensure the problem is rectified.
While we don't provide furniture ourselves, we’re always happy to lend our expertise to help maximise the value of your property on short-let platforms. Practical choices like where to put toiletries, or how to stack chairs, can make all the difference!
Should you want to make use of your property you will be able to block out dates through the Client Portal. The property will then be unavailable for guests to book during those dates.
Absolutely! Just let us know, and we will apply them on top of our standard house rules. As a default, we do not allow guests to make excessive noise or smoke within your property.
Pricing your property correctly is key to ensuring long-term success. At Pass the Keys we use a combination of computer-based pricing algorithms, and human intervention. We use a wealth of data to establish an initial pricing for your property, but subsequently consider season-changes, local events and competition to dynamically optimise price levels. We additionally ask each client if they would like to set a minimum and maximum price-per-night. Once your price is set, and your property is put live, we monitor the rate of incoming bookings, as this is the real indicator of whether it has been priced correctly. Our system will recognise if your property is not being booked quickly enough, or is being booked to quickly, and will send an alert for human intervention.
We use portable or wall mounted keysafes in conjunction with smart locks, so guests can check in at any time of the day and night. Our keysafe is a secure, police approved lockbox and has been used by every Pass the Keys client to date. Keysafes make check-ins more flexible for guests, and are especially attractive to business travellers. They're a prerequisite for getting your property classed as 'business ready' on Airbnb.
We have a number of systems in place to check the quality of the cleans. The most reliable is to ask guests for live feedback. When guests check in to your property, our system will send them a text message asking them to rate the cleanliness. If they respond with a score below ⅘, the guest experience team will be alerted, and action will be taken to rectify the problem.
We have a dedicated revenue management team who monitor your Airbnb (and Booking.com, HomeAway, etc.) listing performance on a daily basis and apply a dynamic pricing strategy to fill any open dates or last-minute cancellations.
Effective, proactive stewardship of your assets is at the heart of everything we do. We have developed a specialised method of guest screening and will advise you of any damage that may be caused to your property. Airbnb provides a Host Guarantee of up to £600,000 to cover any potential damages, and we can also recommend specialised home insurance for extra peace of mind.
Your occupancy rate (OR) is the percentage of available nights your property is booked for. For instance, if your property was available for 100 nights, and booked for 75 of them, you would have a 75% occupancy rate. With short-letting there are always going to be gaps between tenancies, but it's our job to keep them short. We recognise that a high occupancy rate is the key to a happy host, and we are proud to say our managed properties significantly outperform the global Airbnb portfolio. OR is a difficult thing to master because it is determined by a variety of factors. There are internal factors, such as property size, interior quality, photographs and pricing. There are also external factors, such as time of year, local events, and competition. If the OR for a property is very high, however, that can be a sign that it is being priced too low, and that there is room for higher overall earnings. That's why at Pass the Keys we use a combination of inhouse dynamic pricing algorithms and human intervention to achieve the best balance of occupancy and average daily rate.
Nothing specific - there’s certainly no need for previous experience in the property industry, just an entrepreneurial drive, a willingness to invest time and effort into building a successful business, and the resilience to overcome the challenges you’ll face in heading a complex operations service.
Absolutely, this is something you can discuss in our introductory call.
We are focussing on the UK at the moment but are looking to expand internationally in the future, so keep an eye out!
Tech: You’ll have access to our rich inhouse tech infrastructure which streamlines management operations, and is essential to growing a scalable service in your city. Higher Incomes: You’ll have a major head-start in attracting clients by working under the Pass the Keys brand, the highest rated UK management service of its kind. Guest Support: Guests in your properties will all have access to our 24/7 guest support system, so you have more time to grow your business. Knowledge: You’ll have access to all the knowledge we’ve built up as the largest Airbnb Professional Co-host in the UK, whether in the field of operations, sales, marketing or client success. And it’s always easy to tap into this knowledge, with our rigorous training scheme and robust support structures.
Once you sign up as a Franchisee with Pass the Keys, you’ll be invited to a week long training academy at Head Office from sector specialists in Finance, Operations, Sales and Marketing. Our team will run you through the ins and outs of our tech infrastructure. Our Marketing team will talk you through the best ways of attracting clients in your city, and the Sales team will give you essential tips on closing a deal. The training academy also gives you the chance to get to know the wider team, who you’ll be working with as we grow the Pass the Keys brand together in your city.
At Pass the Keys we’ve established a broad and wide-reaching support system for our franchisees. Our first channel of support is the Franchisee Buddy System, which pairs all new franchisees with an existing franchisee or City Manager. They’ll guide you through the first steps and teach you how to overcome common obstacles. You’ll also be assigned a dedicated franchise account manager, who can be contacted whenever you wish. You’ll be in touch with Pass the Keys HQ on a weekly basis to check everything’s going smoothly, and help with any challenges you may be facing. We also hold a Quarterly National Meet-Up (QNM), which is a chance for HQ, franchisees and city managers to get together in one place, and discuss progress. We also provide root cause analysis support. Suppose something’s not looking right, but you’re not sure why. Perhaps you’re bringing on a steady flow of properties with good occupancy rates, but failing to see much profit. We’ll look into the root causes of the issue (perhaps, amongst other things, your nightly rates are set too low), and suggest the best way of moving forward.
We are indeed! We're very proud to have been approved by the BFA as this is recognition that we are doing things the right way.
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