Guest blog from Leo Walton, growth director and co-founder of SUPERHOG .
There are of course always going to be risks that come from trusting strangers with your property. Especially when you’re trusting them with what is probably your most valuable asset; your home.
The sharing economy has grown rapidly since its birth and home sharing has become a rival to the landscape that was previously dominated by hotels. This rapid growth has provided people with the opportunity to turn their homes into an extra source of revenue by becoming hosts, but this has also created new forms of risk.
We’ve all seen the horror stories about hosts having to deal with nightmare guests and the consequences (usually financially) that these guests incur. Guests are not always the problem however, with more and more scammers infiltrating the home sharing system and creating fake listings to entice unsuspecting guests.
We knew about the problems hosts and guests were facing from our Airbnb insurance company, GUARDHOG, and decided that we would tackle the risk management side of the industry head on.
That’s why we created SUPERHOG, our risk management and ID verification tool, to help improve the trust and safety aspect of the short term rental industry.
What we do
Understanding the true nature and history of a property or person means having access to up-to-date, relevant and accurate information. High customer expectations can only be met with fast and reliable insights.
Facebook maps personal connections, LinkedIn maps professional networks, and so SUPERHOG maps the complex short-term rental connections and relationships between properties, hosts, guests and companies.
Our main goal is to prevent incidents from happening in the first place. We do this by requiring guests to verify themselves against a form of government ID, so hosts and property managers can have that extra peace of mind that they know exactly who they are renting to.
Once guests have been verified, we are then able to back bookings with our £1 million guarantee (the largest in the sector to date for this kind of service) as well as provide a security deposit on behalf of the guest, so that hosts can get passed the difficulties that can arise from asking for a deposit and focus on more important aspects of their business. You can find out more about our deposit solution by visiting the SUPERHOG deposit page.
The service we provide property managers and individual hosts has allowed businesses to flourish. Both hosts and guests no longer have to worry about the potential problems that are well documented in this sector, such as fake properties, illicit parties etc.
By joining SUPERHOG, hosts are able to take more direct bookings knowing that we’ve got their back and will cover them for things that aren’t included in the Airbnb host guarantee.
One of our property management partners comments frequently on the fact that their hosts always appreciate that they have their best interests at heart, providing them with this risk management solution (SUPERHOG) and not charging them extra for it.
For example, our partner My City Pod decided that they needed a way to protect hosts from potential property damage AND to also attract more guests by waiving damage deposits.
The result of this was that we were able to offer them peace of mind, not only for themselves as a marketplace but for their hosts as well, by providing them with the best level of cover out there (our guarantee), plus the flexibility of implementing this service to their hosts, based on the fact that it was hugely beneficial to the hosts and at no extra cost to the hosts themselves.
“Being able to offer short term apartments without the guests needing to pay a security deposit has enabled us to triple our booking enquiries and have more Travel Managers from corporate companies willing to have a conversation with us about working with us at twice the rate compared to this time last year. It’s just added more value to our service.”
Kim – My City Pod
We were therefore able to increase bookings directly by minimising the risks that are usually associated with the short-term rental sector. You can read more about our case studies here.
Find out more about SUPERHOG