Like all major events across the country—think music festivals, film and culture festivals, industry conferences, golf tournaments, major league sports championships—the Super Bowl creates a huge opportunity for hospitality operators. And for short-term-rental operators in particular. When Arizona hosted the Super Bowl back in 2015, Phoenix-area Airbnb hosts earned a total of $1.1 million for stays during Super Bowl weekend. By 2019, when the Super Bowl came to Atlanta, that number more than tripled for that city’s STR owners.
Even outside of the game’s host city, Super Bowl weekend can be a big weekend for vacation rentals. After all, short-term rentals are the most flexible and affordable accommodation options for groups. And Super Bowl weekend is all about watching the big game with friends and family, i.e. a big ol’ group.
But along with Super Bowl weekend opportunities come risks. And they’re pretty big ones. Here are four of the most serious risks you face as an STR host or property manager with a Super Bowl Weekend booking:
With increased volume of guests and increased range of guest markets, comes increased risk that guests will do things that require repair or replacement of property. Our friends at Proper Insurance have pegged $13,000 as the average insurance claim for damage caused by a guest. Even if damage is half, or a quarter or a sixteenth of that, you’re looking at significant costs. Costs you very well may be paying straight out of your pocket.
Ordinance Fines and Penalties (for violating noise or occupancy restrictions)
Phoenix: You’re looking at $500 for a first offense, $1,000 for a second offense, and $1,500 for a third offense within 12 months.
Scottsdale: Just one “nuisance party” that brings out the cops can result in a $750 fine. That goes up to $2,500 for a fourth offense.
In other popular destinations around the country, fines range from $250 on up to $10,000. Do you know what the noise violation penalties are where you operate your properties?
Increased Cleaning Costs
Smoking, misuse of things like swimming pools and hot tubs, stained carpets and upholstery—all of these are associated with excessive noise and occupancy. And they can be incredibly expensive to clean or mitigate after the fact. Just one ozone shock treatment to remove cigarette smell can run you $500. And you may out of pocket hundreds more for extra cleaning staff and/or hours needed after a group of rowdy guests.
Loss Of Revenue
Then there’s the loss of rental income itself for every night that your property is unoccupied due to cleaning, smoke mitigation, repairs, etc. In the worst case scenario, you may face loss of your rental permit. And if you lose your permit, you lose future rental revenue in perpetuity.
Fortunately, there are some easy, inexpensive and effective ways to prevent costly problems at your property. Here are 6 things you can do before and during your Super Bowl booking to protect your property, your guests and your profits.
1. Set expectations for your Super Bowl guests.
Make sure your Super Bowl guests know what’s allowed and what’s not. And you don’t have to make it scolding or inhospitable! A simple Do’s and Don’ts page in your house manual (print or digital) is a great way to encourage guests to have fun and take full advantage of your property’s amenities. You can make it even more inviting by customizing for Super Bowl guests.
Also make sure you know who will be in the guest group staying at your property and that you register all guests—full names, ages and contact information. And make sure you have a signed rental agreement, and that your guests know the consequences for breaking your house rules.
2. Offer recommendations to your Super Bowl guests.
Your Super Bowl guests are coming for a celebratory event. And they are likely to want to…celebrate. Give them options. In your confirmation, pre-stay communications and guestbook, let them know about great local bars and restaurants that can accommodate their needs. You can even offer to assist with reservations for large groups. At the same time, remind your guests, gently, that your home is the perfect place to relax and rest up after…or before…partying!
3. Have a Super Bowl weekend plan in place.
Don’t just hope that everything will be fine during your Super Bowl booking. If you don’t live near your rental, make sure that your local contact, is standing by for the duration of the booking, ready to respond to guests’ issues…and to issues caused by guests. A local contact is required by most permit ordinances. Let your guests know how to reach your local contact, and ensure that this person’s name is displayed conspicuously near the entrance to your property.
4. Install a privacy-safe noise sensor.
A privacy-safe noise monitoring system like NoiseAware is your best line of defense once guests are on property. It’s also incredibly easy to use, and just sits discreetly without bothering guests or “spying” on them. The noise sensor will alert to excessive noise issues, inside and outside, while letting guests enjoy themselves. It doesn’t record guests, it doesn’t identifying specific sounds, it just detects when noise goes over thresholds you set for your property and it notifies you, or your guest if you choose that option, when noise is in a zone that threatens to disturb neighbors or lead to property damage.
5. Use over-occupancy monitoring.
With occupancy, it’s about letting you know when occupancy is climbing or is significantly over your property’s regular level. These factors may indicate a crowd is gathering or a party is underway. NoiseAware’s CrowdControl over-occupancy feature won’t count cell phones or people, and it won’t tell you, “there are 5 people on your property when there should be only 4.” But, by detecting wireless signals on your property, it WILL tell you when things look like they’re getting out of hand. And that’s when YOU can make the decision to reach out to the guest, or have your local contact, or yourself, drive by the property to see if things look amiss.
6. Solve noise issues automatically with guest messaging.
Automated guest messaging takes late-night intervention out of the equation. With automated messaging, a message is sent directly to the guest when noise goes above the threshold you set.
Our data has shown that AutoResolve, NoiseAware’s guest messaging system, solves more than 90% of guest noise issues without human intervention, long before noise ever becomes an issue for neighbors or leads to massive messes or damage. In most cases, guests don’t even realize they’re being too loud until they get a notification. And the majority of guests are quick to quiet down.
And because a noise issue, unauthorized party or nuisance issue can happen at any time, not just during “party” weekends like Super Bowl, it’s incredibly reassuring to know that you can prevent issues you have no way to predict. At any time of day or night.
For a complete Super Bowl hosting playbook, including current laws and compliance requirements, visit Arizonans for Responsible Tourism.