Q: What services does MetroButler offer?
We do it all! MetroButler will help you list your property, dynamically adjust your pricing, correspond with your guests, confirm your reservations, secure and process payments, and handle your guests' check-ins and check-outs. MetroButler even provides toiletries, clean towels, and bed linens for your guests, so they don't need to use yours. We act as an all-in-one host logistics manager and concierge, so you don't need to worry about a thing while your guest enjoys a terrific stay. Since every home is different, we also offer a la carte solutions such as storage and supply replenishment to suit your needs. Here is a breakdown of our services.
Q: What is Your Commission and Pricing Structure
MetroButler's fee is 25% of the rental fee, which is the average nightly rate across a given rental period multiplied by the number of nights. The funds are transferred to us the next business day after a guest checks in, and those funds land in our account a few days later. At the end of a reservation, we deduct our commission, any costs that are the host’s responsibility (For example, if you, as a host, tell us there is an air conditioner, and the guests arrive to find no air conditioner, we may draw down on those funds to have an air conditioner installed – the cost of the air conditioner would likely be lower than the forfeited revenue from the guest cancelling the reservation for failure to provide a promised amenity), and Airbnb’s 3% host fee, which covers transaction processing. Cleaning fees are passed through to guests.
Q: Do you offer any individual services on your website, like key drops and cleanings, for a lower commission or on a fee basis?
MetroButler is a full-service logistics manager. We do not offer line-item services like fee-basis key drops. Because our services are more comprehensive and robust than other Airbnb service providers’, we understand that that means we’re not for everyone.
Q: Are your fees negotiable?
Q: How much can my apartment get me per night?
There is no simple answer to how much your apartment is worth per night. Many variables affect pricing, including seasonality, length of reservation, location, property type, quality, and more. Our focus is not on extracting the maximum number of dollars per night out of your home. In fact, in our opinion, this is not a good way to look at your home’s value. Instead, we focus on maximizing both short-term and long term revenue, overall. That means that we strive to boost not only your nightly revenue, but also your occupancy rate. An apartment rented for 28 days of the month at $280/night is better than an apartment rented for 10 days of the month at $300/night.
Q: How is pricing determined?
Once of the many tools we employ to help you maximize revenue is a sophisticated dynamic pricing algorithm that pulls from multiple data points. A Tuesday may have a drastically different price than a Wednesday if there’s a local sporting event in town that spikes demand or if local hotel vacancy rates are low. Our algorithm continually updates your listing to find the optimal balance between nightly price and occupancy rate to maximize your revenue.
Q: Do I need to do anything to get my property Airbnb-ready?
Before we can take you on as a client, we have a few simple requests that make it possible for us to do our job.
1. Have a stable WIFI connection. If you have issues with WIFI, please call your ISP before we start.
2. Make sure your place is furnished. Believe it or not, we have had prospective hosts ask us if we can help them with an unfurnished apartment. Most guests on Airbnb would be surprised to arrive to a home with no bed. If you need help furnishing your home, we’d be happy to recommend designers for all budgets.
3. Make sure that you have at least two sets of keys for us and at least one set of keys for each bed in your home that we can provide to guests. If you need help copying keys or digital fobs, let us know. We’d be happy to help.
4. Make sure you have a duvet and at least two pillows per bed. If you need our help in getting these, let us know. We’d be happy to help.
5. Please be honest about issues and problems in your home. Do your hot water pipes make noise at night? Do you have squeaky floors? You may not notice these issues, but a guest paying a few hundred dollars per night likely will. We need to be prepared with solutions, or we may be able to help you remedy issues before they become problems.
6. Please make sure your home has been professionally cleaned before our in-home consultation. We take photographs for your listing, and the way your home appears in photos is the way it will appear in your listing. Bad photos make the listing less desirable to prospective guests, which means fewer bookings and less money in your pocket.
7. Please make sure you have all the basics a guest would expect, like dishes, glassware, utensils, pots and pans, etc. If you need help determining what you need, just ask. We can help!
Q: Is Airbnb Legal In New York?
Nothing about Airbnb itself is currently illegal in New York.
Zoning codes and city and state laws and regulations dictate how, when, and where short-term rentals are permissible. Airbnb has a great snapshot of the laws in New York on its site, here. Special rules apply to rent regulated apartments, and your lease may contain language either permitting or restricting subletting.
One law you may want to familiarize yourself with is the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, which restricts the renting out of a Class A multiple dwelling for periods of fewer than 30 days. The definitions of “Class A” and “multiple dwelling” can be found in Sections 4-7 and 4-8 (Article 1). You can determine whether your building is Class A by inspecting the building’s certificate of occupancy. The law exempts rentals to a “boarder, roomer or lodger,” which has been interpreted to mean that, in general, if a guest shares the apartment with a permanent resident who is present for the duration of the rental (i.e., a “shared space” rental), that rental is permissible under the Multiple Dwelling Law.
Q: What happens if a guest damages something in my home?
Great question! MetroButler conducts a photo-documented walkthrough of each property before and after each guest’s stay. If you have special things you want us to look out for, let us know, and we can add them to our digital checklists. If something is out of place, we can open a claim right away, and you have many layers of protection. We first try to reach out to the guest to resolve the issue directly. If that fails, we can escalate the matter through Airbnb’s Resolutions Center. Within the Resolutions Center, we can ask Airbnb to mediate disputes. Because this is a largely evidence-driven process, our photo walkthroughs are particularly helpful. If you have receipts for any damaged or missing property, that is always helpful. We maintain security deposits on each listing, so most matters escalated through the Resolutions Center result in a charge to the Guest’s security deposit. On the rare occasion that harm exceeds the amount of the security deposit, we work through the Airbnb Host Guarantee program, which offers up to $1,000,000 of protection for hosts. MetroButler also carries insurance, and we can help you navigate claims if you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.
Q: What happens if something in my home breaks (that’s not the guest’s fault) and needs to be repaired while I’m away?
If this occurs, we will take necessary measures to remedy the issue. Any expenses incurred to remedy the situation will be deducted from your next payout.
Q: How is my home advertised, and what does MetroButler do to make my home stand out?
When you become a MetroButler client, one of our first tasks is to build out your listing and profile in a beautiful, comprehensive, and impactful way. We can arrange for professional photography, and our in-house staff writers highlight the best of what your space and neighborhood have to offer. We are Airbnb experts, so we follow numerous procedures to ensure that your listing is featured prominently in search results.
Q: How do guest check-ins work?
We have a dedicated team of Butlers to make sure everything runs smoothly. When a guest confirms his/her arrival time, we coordinate one of our Butlers to conduct a pre-check-in walkthrough to ensure that everything is clean, tidy, and 100% guest-ready. That same Butler will prepare and stage your home with MetroButler linens and towels, will take care of special requests, and will be wait to greet your guests upon arrival. When your guests arrive, the Butler will welcome them, conduct a walkthrough, provide important information, and give the guests instructions for reservation communications and check-out. We also have a dedicated web-based app for each home we work with to provide helpful hints on amenities, tech, and local recommendations, and our Butlers can show your guests how to use the app.
Q: How do guest check-outs work?
At the end of each reservation, a Butler will return to your home to collect MetroButler linens and towels. That Butler will conduct a comprehensive walkthrough with a digital, photo-based, multi-point checklist. If anything that Butler discovers at check-out is inconsistent with the information gathered at check-in or otherwise out of place, the Butler will carefully document the issue, and we can open a claim right away if necessary. Once everything is as it should be, your home will be cleaned and prepared for the next guest or for your return.
Q: Do you provide cleaning services for each reservation?
Yes. Not only do our cleaners follow a comprehensive multi-point cleaning checklist, but they will also make up each bed using MetroButler sheets before each guest arrives. Before your return, they can make up the bed with your sheets. Just let us know where they’re kept.
Q: I’ve decided I’d like to start working with you. What are the next steps?
Please complete our new host questionnaire, here, and we’ll be in touch very soon to get started!
Q: Will you provide me with updates on how my listing is doing?
Happily! In fact, once the new version of our host dashboard rolls out, you will be able to log in and see all of your stats in one place! Happy hosting!
Q: Are there set-up fees, monthly fees, or minimum booking requirements?
MetroButler has absolutely ZERO set-up fees, monthly fees, or minimum booking requirements. We offer an in-home assessment, profile creation, and listing optimization completely FREE. We can ever arrange for professional photography. We only collect our fees once your property is successfully booked. We only make money when you make money.
Q: Who should use this service?
If you have a property that you want to list as a short-term (or long-term) rental, we can help! We cater to business travelers who need to leave town for work, individuals looking to go on short (or long) vacations, and people who have to relocate and want to use their vacant homes to recoup expenses. If you think MetroButler is right for you, drop us a line.
Q: What if I don't have a profile or listing on Airbnb?
No problem! We are short-term rental experts, so we can optimize your existing profile or even create a new perfect profile for you from scratch (at no additional charge!).
Q: Why should I use MetroButler?
Short-term renting takes considerable time and effort. If you don’t have the time to engage in the process, or if you don’t understand how to optimize your listing, pricing, and profile to appear atop search results, the process can be daunting and provide lackluster returns. We provide turnkey solutions to maximize your home’s earning potential, so you can make money without lifting a finger. Our pricing analytics and process expertise will help you secure more bookings and increase your income. Plus, while you are away, you don’t have to worry about a thing. Our experienced professionals are a local presence and are available 24/7 to look after your home.
Q: Do I have control over who stays in my home?
Absolutely. You are able to provide MetroButler with a set of criteria for what makes your ideal guest. This can include everything from the total number of guests per booking, to the desire to only rent out to families rather than groups of friends. We will make sure to confirm only guests that meet the guidelines you have provided.
Q: Is MetroButler operating in my city?
Currently, MetroButler operates only in New York, but we will be expanding soon. Please check back periodically for updates.
Q: How do I start making money with MetroButler?
As soon as you are ready to get started, please complete the Host Questionnaire, which should take you no more than a few minutes.