This post's overview:
- 1 Why use an Airbnb management company or a property management company in London?
- 2 5 best Airbnb management companies in London and their differences
- 3 So what’s the catch with the Airbnb management companies? Cons of Airbnb management companies
If you’re looking for the best Airbnb management companies in London, you’re in the right place. In this post, I will share with you 5 best Airbnb management companies in London and will highlight the major differences between Airsorted vs Hostmaker (sadly, Hostmaker didn’t make it through the Covid-19 crisis and it doesn’t exist anymore) and some other property management companies in London. Also, make sure to read this post until the end, as at the end, I will share some very important information about the cons and Airbnb management companies nightmares. I will also list a couple of Airbnb management companies you should avoid. If you’re interested in reading about my experience of almost buying a property in London and then refusing to sign a ridiculous contract, check this post.
Why use an Airbnb management company or a property management company in London?
Whether you’re an experienced landlord looking to increase your income or someone who travels often and wants to earn additional income from your property, there are multiple reasons to use a property management company in London. Even though Airbnb lets were restricted to 90 days in London, you can still combine Airbnb lets with longer lets and earn more than compared to a long-term rental. It’s easier to do it through the company, so you don’t spend days looking for tenants on all the different platforms.
Another reason to use an Airbnb management company in London is that they scale and do all the processes for you – property management companies take good photos of your property, ensure that cleaning happens before and after each guest. They also take care of the keys and bed linen and in some cases, your property is also covered by their insurance. If you travel a lot, as we do and you own a property, which you can rent out, you can actually earn money while you’re away [as long as your landowner or landlord permits it].
At the end of the post, I will also list companies, I would not recommend based on personal experiences or reviews I found online.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
5 best Airbnb management companies in London and their differences
1. City Relay
City Relay has been providing a full end-to-end Airbnb management service to London homeowners and property investors since 2015. They operate in London and provide a service that is both personal and professional. City Relay is the only Airbnb management company to have dedicated reception spaces where guests can check-in, leave luggage, receive advice and local recommendations face-to-face.
City Relay has developed a smart pricing software which will help you achieve maximum occupancy at the best price. They will manage your listing and market your home on over 30 booking channels and websites (and also market it to their own database of over 20,000 London visitors, which is great).
The company is on a mission to become the first carbon-neutral Airbnb property management company, and each host’s home is stocked with luxury eco-friendly guest amenities including toiletries, tea, coffee and cartons of water. The housekeeping team also uses only environmentally-friendly cleaning and laundry products. City Relay provides bed linen, bathroom and kitchen towels delivered to homes in electric-powered vans.
You can also get an instant rent estimation using this online form.
- It’s currently ranked the #1 short let property management company in London based on ratings on Trustpilot. The rating is 4.8 out of 5 based on 500+ reviews.
- City Relay has a unique offering of face-to-face guest services, luggage storage and they only use eco-friendly products!
- Smart pricing software that maximises occupancy and achieves the best price for hosts
- The company doesn’t cover outer areas of London yet. However, they are opening new reception spaces in 2020 to expand their coverage.
2. Mini Stay UK
Mini Stay UK might not be the most famous short term let management company in London, but it’s a reliable option if you choosing between various Airbnb management providers.
First of all, they don’t charge any fees at all and landlords get started for free. Secondly, they take care of pretty much everything for you. Finally, it’s a great and female-led company, so why not give it a try?
Mini Stay UK provides hassle-free management of vacation rental properties and other residences in the London area. They take care of everything you need, from navigating Airbnb’s terms and conditions to creating and updating your Airbnb listing (either on one of their Superhost accounts, or on your own Airbnb account), as well as dealing with all Airbnb guest communications. They also take professional pictures of your property, market your listing and ensure it stands out well against all competing properties in the area. They also send you your payment within 24 hours!
They take care of deep cleaning your house / apartment, provide clean towels, bed linen, kitchen cloths and even bathroom mats for each guest.
Finally, they also have a dynamic pricing strategy and a good key tracking system, so guests receive their keys remotely, quickly and conveniently.
Pros of Mini Stay UK
- Agile and female-led company
- Dedicated account manager for your property
- Payments sent within 24 hours
- They provide fresh towels, bed linen, bathroom mats and kitchen cloths for every guest
The cons of Mini Stay UK
- Management fees from 15% to 24%
Airsorted is the biggest Airbnb management company in the world and at some point, they got their ads all around London. Airsorted is targeting landlords, who want to maximise their income by using a range of Airbnb lets, short lets and longer lets. Airsorted is a good company, however, there was a bit of controversy involving them and Modestep on Twitter, but I don’t know, how much of that is true. You can read more here.
Pros of Airsorted:
- A very big company operating in multiple cities around the world
- Fast payment: you get paid 2 days after your guest check-ins
- Cleaning, keys and linen sorted
Cons of Airsorted
- 6 weeks minimum availability required
- A lot of recent complaints on Social Media
- You need to pay £90 upfront as a host and 12% commission plus cleaning fees for the initial guests
- You can potentially earn nothing if nobody books your flat
4. Pass the Keys
Another, this time smaller Airbnb management company in London is Pass the Keys. They started in London in 2015 (when the boom of short let management companies has started) and now have a good base of loyal clients. They are the UK’s largest professional co-host and growing at a 3x rate every single year.
Pros of Pass the Keys:
- Great reviews online
- Good customer service
- UK’s largest co-host network
- You can your Airbnb income right after the guest does a check-in at your property
Cons of Pass the Keys:
- Very expensive to use – 12 to 24% commission.
- 4 weeks minimum term
- No personal check-ins, only lock boxes for guests
- No insurance other than Airbnb’s property damage protection
And the last of the top 5 best Airbnb management companies is GuestReady. GuestReady is an international company operating in 6 countries.
Pros of GuestReady
- A large company with over 1000+ properties
- Achieves a superhost status for you pretty fast (allegedly)
- Takes care of everything
- Free to list your property
Cons of GuestReady
- Last time I checked, the minimum term was 8 weeks
- You get paid once a month
- 12% commission
So what’s the catch with the Airbnb management companies? Cons of Airbnb management companies
If you’re thinking that Airbnb management companies are too good to be true and what’s the catch, I’m here to spill the tea and tell you all the secrets.
Overall, I think the idea is great and using an Airbnb management company is a win-win situation. I would personally use a company that would help me get additional income.
However, one of the main concerns of the people is what is going to happen is something breaks in the apartment / house and who is going to stay at the property. There’s a lot of negative comments regarding one of the properties that belongs to a famous musician. Long story short, he used one of the biggest Airbnb management companies and returned to his flat finding it all mouldy and not suitable for living. The company allegedly stopped replying to his messages. The situation is still ongoing, but you can read more here.
So which Airbnb management companies should you avoid?
It is really up to you, but make sure to check reviews about the companies online. Some companies are actively involving their employees to write reviews (e.g. Leavy), so it’s hard to understand, what will happen to your property. If it looks like all reviews are written by employees, I would recommend avoiding this company.
Overall, the thing you need to remember is that the company has to make a profit from your property and it will be visited by many guests, so expect a lot of wear & tear. However, if something breaks, good Airbnb management will have extra insurance to cover the costs of the goods broken. Make sure to ask the company you’re planning to use in advance, whether they have extra insurance.
I hope that you found this post useful and now you know about the differences between different property management companies in London such as City Relay, Airsorted, Hostmaker (and the others).
Please let me know if you have any questions.