During the Africa Travel Summit held recently, Airbnb announced that it has hosted over 2 million guests in South Africa since launching in 2008. There are currently over 38 000 Airbnb hosts in South Africa and almost 40% of those are in Cape Town, which is ranked Airbnb’s most popular destination on the continent.
As a result, the Airbnb management industry is growing at a rapid rate especially in Cape Town, with hundreds of companies cashing in on the booming market. Agencies provide hassle-free solutions to homeowners, relieving them of the stress related to managing bookings, screening guests, cleaning homes, collecting and delivering keys, checking inventory and monitoring home security. Typically, such management agencies charge anything between 12% - 25% commission. This trend warrants some attention and is especially relevant at this time of year as thousands of holidaymakers descend on Cape Town.
Airsorted, is an Airbnb management company, founded in 2015 by 28-year old British entrepreneur, James Jenkins-Yates and has opened its first regional office in Cape Town. ‘Cape Town has proven to be one of Airsorted’s fastest-growing markets with the number of listings even surpassing our flagship cities like Paris and Melbourne,’ says Tamara Latimer, Country Manager for Airsorted South Africa. She says that most of the properties under their management are secondary homes for owners, used mainly as passive income generators or to service existing bonds. She also describes the local market as nuanced in some ways. ‘A top priority for South African homeowners is security, obviously, and this is why we run rigorous guest vetting before accepting bookings. Good cleaning is also very important to them and for this is why we source the majority of our housekeepers from the hotel industry.’
So how much can an average Cape Town property fetch in high season? ‘In general, a property in Cape Town can earn up to double over the busy high season,' says Latimer. 'However, pricing can vary drastically from home to home and suburb to suburb. In some of Cape Town's most affluent areas, such as Camps Bay, premium properties could even earn in excess of R25 000 per night in high season.'
Latimer cautions against going at it alone as most Airsorted hosts realise that bookings have increased since joining their service. ‘Plus, we're able to use pricing algorithms and our years of expertise to optimise their pricing — so our hosts' rental earnings through peak season and the rest of the year often exceed what's possible when looking after a property by yourself.’ Airsorted offers an all-in-one solution, guest vetting, check-ins, housekeeping, linens, and 24-hour guest support.
Visit airsorted.co.za for more information