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The Importance of Guest Screening – Prevent Problems Before Booking

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Screening Your Guests: Why It’s Essential to the Success of Your Vacation Rental Business

Guest screening shouldn’t be an afterthought. In fact, thoroughly screening a potential guest should be the first thing you do before you accept a booking.

Over the last few years, the number of short-term rentals and the number of guests staying in them has skyrocketed. Never before have there been so many different accommodation options for travelers around the world. The more vacation rentals available, the more competitive the market gets, as hosts scramble to secure as many bookings as possible to keep their business profitable. While an increased booking rate drives in more income, it can also raise the risk of bad guests staying at your rental. And those guests might throw a party or destroy your property, leaving you with thousands of dollars in damage. 

To avoid this happening, it’s essential to be prepared. First, you need to be aware of the possible risk posed by different guests that could be staying at your vacation rental. Second, you need to come up with a specific plan and have security checkpoints in place to act quickly. 

Here are some tips on how to limit the risk of bad guests, even before they get a chance to stay at your property. Let’s get started!

Define the Ideal Guest to Help Identify Future Bad Guests

John Hildebrand of Hilde Homes offers guest-vetting advice and a special NoiseAware discount code!

Even before you list your rental, you should know what image your vacation rental is presenting. It is critical that your listing is defining the exact type of guest you want to attract. Do you want families to stay at your property? Couples? Groups of young people? Every traveler type will be looking for specific features when deciding to book a property. When you create your property listing, you want to make sure to highlight the amenities that will attract the people that you want to welcome as your guests.

Do you want your vacation rental turning into a party property? Our guess is no. Imagine if you were booking your property to throw a party: What key factors would deter you from booking it? Those are the things that you want to include in your listing!

When you get a booking request, ask some questions. Are the guests locals? How long are they staying? How many guests will be staying? You want to be clear about the house rules, so your future guests know what to anticipate. A good tip is mentioning quiet hours or even the usage of Noise Monitoring devices to ensure risky guests pass over your property. 

Security Deposits and Rental Agreements: Essential to Protecting Your Vacation Rental Business

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We highly recommend that you always include both a security deposit and a rental agreement on your property listing. The trick for the security deposit: make the amount large enough to incentivize guests to want it back at the end of their stay. 

Generally speaking, there are two ways you can go about setting the amount of your security deposit. Many property owners use a set amount (such as $250) for the security deposit. This figure always remains the same, regardless of the length of the guest’s stay. It’s often fixed per the value and quality of the amenities that your vacation rental offers. Another idea property owners/managers might choose is the percentage method, which calculates the amount from a percentage of the overall cost of the stay (i.e., 10% of the total amount). 

The next step is just as crucial, your Rental Agreement. What is a rental agreement? It is a legally binding contract between the homeowner and guests that clarify, in writing, any arrangements that have been made between the two parties. It is the perfect place to reiterate house rules and state all repercussions if the house rules are too broken. Having a rental agreement in place will help you and your guests agree on what is and isn’t acceptable at your property. Want more information on what to include in your Rental Agreement

Guest Screening Services: Guest Background and Fraud Prevention Do The Work For You

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In order to make your life easier, there are different companies out there that can do the guest vetting for you. They’ve developed specific algorithms that look at your potential guests and send their profiles through the screening process to eliminate any risky guests. Guest screening allows you to feel confident that the lovely guests booking your property are the same guests that actually show up! Need a guest vetting service? Here are our favorites:


Monitor every reservation, from start to finish, and get insights on how to reduce risk. Autohost scans inspects and ranks every reservation to flag risks. From inquiry to check-in, we continually analyze reservation changes and notify the manager or operations team with actions to take to reduce your risk and avoid parties, fraud, chargebacks, crime, and potential damage to your business.


Safely uses a score to determine whether you’re looking at a problem guest or not. The company’s robust algorithm predicts the level of risk for every reservation. Based on the characteristics of the guest, the property, and reservation, every vacation rental reservation has a different level of risk for negligent or malicious damage. When you know the reservation risk score, you identify which reservation you need to keep an eye on.

Noise Monitoring Keeps Your Property Safe When Good Guests Behave Badly

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Sometimes you’ve done everything in your control to prevent problem guests from booking a stay, and bad actor still slips through the cracks. And sometimes even the best guests can get loud and rowdy in certain circumstances. Don’t worry! Having a privacy-safe noise sensor at your property lets you easily take action when noise at the property goes over your pre-set threshold. All you have to do is send your guests a quick text, kindly reminding them of the quiet hours at your property. Bam! The problem gets solved pretty quickly after that. Out of experience, more than 75% of noise disturbances are resolved within 15 minutes after a simple, friendly text message.

Did you know? The average noise disturbance lasts 57 minutes!? NoiseAware users, on average, can solve noise alerts in under 13.7 minutes!

No one wants thousands of dollars in damage after a party was thrown at your rental property because you didn’t vet for bad guests; that’s why guest vetting processes are so important. Depending on your type of STR business, your guest screening process might differ a little bit from our suggestions. Still, nevertheless, it’s essential to be prepared to keep troublesome travelers away from your listing by knowing how to spot them. 

To learn more from experts on how to start or keep a successful short-term rental business visit our friends at Porch “Running a Successful Vacation Rental”