Home Owner FAQ’s
StepByStepH Ltd act as a property management company, specialized in vacation rentals, looking after property portfolios on behalf of our client base.
StepByStepH Ltd is under the Companies Act 2006 as a private company. The situation of its registered office is in England and Wales under the company number 9314390.
StepByStepH Ltd advertise and makes renting out your vacation rental easy – We understand that you have lots of questions as home owner. We try to be as clear and informative as possible so we’ve put together a list of the most asked questions.
– What does StepByStepH Ltd do for Vacation Rental Owners?
We advertise your property and manage every aspect of keeping your vacation rental booked and ready for guests and owners to enjoy. Our goal is to enable you to make the most revenue from your rental without having to do any of the busy work involved with managing it. That means we do everything from taking photos, writing descriptions, and marketing it to potential guests as well as managing logistics like reservations, payments, check-in and check- out, housekeeping, light upkeep, and dispatching emergency maintenance. We can also manage handymen for regular maintenance, improvements, and emergencies. We make sure that you as home owners can sleep well at night knowing their rental is being taken care of and generating the most revenue possible.
– What do you charge for this service?
The commission rates for property manager services average roughly 35% and can go as high as 60% depending on the type of home and market. StepByStepH Ltd provides full service management for only 25% commission.
– How easy is it to get started?
Getting started is easy and risk-free. The start-up fee to activate your property is for FREE.
We can start promoting your homes for vacation rentals usually within a week. Our contract has no minimum volume commitment. Activation includes shooting new photos, putting together detailed listings, setting pricing, activating advertising on the main internet channels and beginning to take reservations – all in as little as a few days!
– Can you help me convert to a vacation rental?
Yes, we will help in any way we can. Whether it is helping you secure a short-term license if necessary, to meeting movers, the Internet Company, etc. We are here to help you quickly and smoothly to get through the process.
– What kind of contract do I need to sign?
Our contract is clear and straight forward for you and for us. We believe in a long term run, building up on repeated business. It includes a 30 day out clause for any reason – if you are not happy with the service you can leave with a month’s notice. We normally meet first to discuss with you and visit your property. We will then send you our agreement for your review.
– Do I have to commit to a certain amount of availability?
There is no minimum amount of availability requested. We can even promote your home all year-round. There is no problem with an owner, friends or family using a rental for weeks or even months at a time. Keep in mind if you plan to only make it available occasionally, then your revenue will be very limited. We also reserve the right to cancel a homeowner agreement if the home is predominantly unavailable for bookings or if it comes to our attention that the owner try to manage rentals, disclose prices without us being aware or involved. Simply, we are here to assist you.
– Does my home need to be of a certain quality or size?
We like to say yes. StepByStepH Ltd does not work only with luxury properties, yet we do focus on upper-end rentals in desirable and appealing locations. We will look at every home and let you know if we feel it will make a good rental.
– Is there anything I am required to have at my home?
Of course! When guests come into your home, they expect a fully-functioning home when they arrive complete with furniture, appliances, cookware, glasses, silverware, internet, TV, etc. as well as a standard supply of bed linens, bath and hand towels and typical consumables like light-bulbs and batteries. We will work with you to make sure that you have everything in place. Internet connections are required at every home. Nicely decorated and clean homes tend to command higher rentals and we always encourage owners to have a home that shows well. Just put yourself in a guest’s shoes to understand what could be his needs. We aim to provide nothing but the best to our guests for their stay.
INVENTORIES – You will need to have an Inventory prepared prior to letting your property. StepByStepH Ltd can act on your behalf and draw the inventory listing. Costs vary slightly from one property to another because of size of property and we shall advise you of this cost when instructed. PLEASE NOTE: StepByStepH Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for the Inventory Companies (if any used) in case of errors or omissions.
INTERIM INVENTORIES – StepByStepH Ltd Property Management would also advise to do an interim inventory between two rentals periods. Its purpose is not to check each individual item but to report on the state and condition of the property and whether or not redecoration or items replacements will be necessary. The cost of this service is chargeable at the cost of 25 euro per hour.
– Do I need to have a traditional phone line/land-line installed?
No, a landline is not necessary unless you wish to have one for your own personal stays. While we require Wi-Fi to be available, we do not require a landline. Now a days, all guests come equipped with mobile phone. The expense of maintaining a landline just for guest use is not needed.
– How do you set pricing for my rental?
StepByStepH Ltd looks at nearby comparable rentals and hotels to understand pricing in the market. We also look at availability calendars to see how well others are booked at the pricing they have posted. We also rely on our own internal data from other rentals. Pricing is very specific to the size of the home, the exact location, and to the quality of the finish-out. No pricing is every set perfectly the first time – the key is to monitor and adjust pricing up or down based on actual market demand. This is where StepByStepH Ltd excels – we monitor conversion rates of your rental at initial pricing and adjust up or down according to how well the rental is booking. It is an ongoing process that is always a top priority. The more money our owners make, the more we make – so we try and do everything we can to maximize the revenue.
– How do you advertise my rental?
We list your home everywhere we think guests are looking for rentals! We start by putting you on the Bouganvillia Homes Vacation Rentals website, but we know that most consumers shop on the big consumer travel sites. In addition to our own site, we automatically get your property onto the major HomeAway sites (Homeaway.com, VRBO, and Vacationrentals.com to name a few), and we list your property on other sites like Tripadvisor, Flipkey, Airbnb.com, and Booking.com. We also synchronize your availability calendar so every site shows the right rates and availability all of the time. We believe no other property manager markets more than StepByStepH Ltd – after all if we do not book up your home we do not make any money on it either!
– What if I already have listed my home on those sites?
Many owners have already created listings. We will work with you to manage them over our account. We will go through them to review the listing if necessary, to add or improve the photos and to configure the listing to synchronize the pricing and calendar across all of the many sites we plan on listing your rental.
– Do I need to provide you with photographs?
We are happy to look at them. Even if you have, we will likely come and shoot some more. We work with local photographers. Each photographer is required to have professional quality real-estate wide-angle lens, professional tripods and flashes to ensure that the photos look great. The fact is that guests want to see great photos and we want to make sure your home looks fantastic online!
– How do guests pay you?
We use credit card processing and international bank transfer. Travellers prefer to pay with credit cards for transactions rather than send cash – it is safer, easier, and definitely more secure. We can also take cash, bank transfers or check payments. Credit card companies do charge for their service, we deduct a typical fee of 2.5% for Visa/MasterCard from the gross rent to cover their fees.
– How do guests interact with StepByStepH Ltd?
We have several ways for guests to communicate with us. First is our website and email, second we are ready to answer the phone around the clock.
– Can guests book my property online?
Yes they can, although virtually all guests begin with an email or a phone call. We do allow them to view a property online, and to book it and pay for it.
– How do you deal with advanced deposits?
We require 25% of any reservation to be paid at the time of booking, the remaining 75% to be paid 30 days prior the arrival date. A receipt of payment (apodeiksi) is given on your behalf for the total amount charged of the rental. We try to be fair to our guests, at the same time to be safe in our side and secure bookings.
– When do I get paid for reservations?
We pay owners once a month. Expect to receive by email an owner statement and a deposit to your bank account within seven days of the last day of any given month. This statement and deposit will cover all guests that check-out during that month. If you have a guest crossing over one month to the next, the payment for that reservation falls in the month they check-out.
– Why do you do commission-based pricing?
Commission-based pricing is the industry-standard for vacation rental property management firms. That does not necessarily mean it is the only answer – but we believe that it perfectly aligns our incentives with our homeowners. We only make money when our owners make money, and the only way to increase our revenue is to help owners increase theirs. We believe this is why the commission model has worked and is so well established in the industry.
– What kind of reporting do I get on my unit?
You will get a monthly statement from us that details out how much rental revenue you earned. Utilities bills remain at your charge. You will see our 25% fee along with any charges that you have incurred during the month (for example cleaning fees, laundry fees, maintenance fees, credit card fees etc…).
– Do I have to handle pay taxes?
In the majority of cases, where an owner is considered non-resident for taxation purposes, he still has to pay income tax on rents arising in his country. Owners’ tax computations must be dealt with by their accountants or themselves, as we cannot undertake to do this on their behalf. We provide a year-end account, but do not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.
– What about cleaning fees?
We pay the cleaners on your behalf. There is nothing you need to do to schedule them or pay for them. All charges are stated within your monthly statement. If you wish to have your home cleaned while you, a family member, or friend are using it, just let us know and we will clean it and bill you for it as part of your monthly statement.
– Do I need to provide you with a cleaner?
If you have a cleaner you are used to working with, then we may utilize them for your rental. In general, we have cleaners contracted with whom we setup in our dispatch system who have proven to be fast, flexible, and reliable. So if you do not have a regular cleaner we will have one ready to go for you.
– Do I need to do my own laundry for bed sheets and towels?
No, our cleaning team brings all linen to a laundry facility and bring it back to your property. Laundry charges are stated within your monthly statement.
– Do I need to provide all the amenities every time a guest stays like soap, or toilet paper?
No, you don’t need to worry about it, StepByStepH Ltd makes sure homes remained stocked. We require our vacation rental homes come with an initial set of amenities so when guests arrive, they don’t need to head straight to a market. That set includes a couple rolls of toilet paper per bathroom, a roll of paper towels, small sizes of soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and dish soap in the kitchen. StepByStepH Ltd buys hotel amenities in bulk and restocks these for every stay. Rather than have an owner manage and maintain, StepByStepH Ltd bills owners only 10 euro per stay to completely restock.
– What if I want to do some decorating on my own?
We love it when owners stay involved with decorating and improving their home. Just make sure to check that the home is not booked and you can easily access it whenever you want!
– What happens if there is an emergency? Who does the guest call?
The guest always calls StepByStepH Ltd. The guest actually never knows the name of the owner for privacy reasons (unless you really want us to tell them). We take the call and dispatch the appropriate handyman. Until 50 euro, we pay the handyman and then put the bill onto your home owner statement taking out of the revenue owed to you during the month – that way you don’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for anything unless it happens to be a major repair. If such situation would happen, we will inform you and agree with you first before any work to be done.
– How do you deal with noisy guests?
We require renters to be at least 25 years old, and we have a strict policy of evicting them upon any sign of noise, partying, or over-occupancy. Parties do happen and we want people to enjoy themselves, however we do not tolerate abuse at the properties and contractually have heavy measures in place to evict and charge additional fees to the guests. If we receive multiple noise complaints about a guest, we will send over the police and attempt to remove the guest from the property for the remainder of the stay.
– Do owners have to allow pets?
It entirely up to you. Just let us know. We understand many owners do not want to allow them and that is fine. We do charge guests an additional non-refundable 100 euro rent per stay (200 euro for 3+ bedroom homes) for pets to ensure that an owner’s home is fully cleaned and any damage caused by the pet gets billed to the guest. This fee gets paid as additional rent, so the majority will go to the owner.
– What about regular maintenance?
StepByStepH Ltd provides guest servicing and property management to owners, but we are not a maintenance company. We are not contractors or repair people.
We handle a reservations management, guest support, regular housekeeping scheduling and inspections, dispatch of qualified maintenance personnel, monitor internet up-time, indoor temperature when equipped, pool temps when equipped, maintain electronic locks, etc. During inspections we will restock consumable items like soap, toilet paper, shampoo, and even perform simple maintenance like changing remote control batteries or light bulbs for lamp fixtures or ceilings when reachable if spares are available on site.
– Who takes care of my lawn, or my pool?
We are happy to schedule a regular lawn or pool service, but most owners already have this in place and continue to use who they trust. We recommend that all owners have repeat services in place. Owners typically pay these fees direct to their contractors along with utilities, internet and TV. If you would like us to set these up for you, no problem. We charge a small 25 euro one-time amount for setting up this service on a repeat schedule. The bills for the service are sent directly to you.
– Are there any other regular services I should have scheduled?
In addition to repeat lawn and pool service, StepByStepH Ltd recommends having a service plan in place that regularly services your air conditioning and heating appliances as well as changes your air filters.
– How do I get into my home?
As an owner you have can access the property whenever you want. If for some reason you wish to access while a renter is in the property, please check with us first 24 hours in advance. Generally we like to avoid disturbing the tenants but understand there may be times when this needs to be done.
– How do you handle insurance and security deposits?
StepByStepH Ltd Property Management also advise you to notify your Insurance Company of your intention to sublet so that they may advise you of any additional cover that may be necessary. Insurance as ‘Asfaleia Astikis Euthinis Pros Tritous’ is mandatory.
This enables owners to rest assured damage is covered, however owners should expect that from time-to-time normal wear-and-tear will happen outside the policy. A standard in the property management industry is to withhold 4% of gross rent to cover the costs of small items, however StepByStepH Ltd does not do this. Owners should expect every now and then they might have to replace a fork or knife, do some touch-up painting, replace a sink or shower fixture, etc. All homes experience periodic maintenance. Guests do sign a contract committing to paying for damage, and there are strict policies when additional cleaning is needed as well.
– What if I want to stay there, how do I book for myself, friends or family?
You can just call us and we will book the unit for you. There is obviously no charge for this and we even schedule cleaning when you leave so it is ready for the next guest. We bill you on your owner statement for the cleaning.