The 5 steps to finding the right property management service in London

5 steps to find the best property management company in London - Hostmaker Blog

The number of landlords using a property management service in London is growing, and so is the number of such services. So how to pick the right one?

Well first, it’s a good idea to check the 5 reasons why you should be working with a property manager. You can see if it’s right for you and your properties. Second, not all property management services deliver the same service. You have:

  • traditional real estate agents (Foxton’s, Savills…) who often specialised in long lets but may do short lets on the side,
  • newcomers specialised in short lets (Airsorted, Passthekeys…),
  • and a few hybrid property management services who can do short, medium and long lets (like Hostmaker).

As a result, it is important to invest carefully in the company that’s right for you and your properties, without disrupting your rental income, and making you the most money.

The short let opportunity has been growing all over the UK, and in London especially. It presents landlords with opportunities: higher rates, more flexibility (as you aren’t tied up in long term contracts), better revenues overall. We’ve done a round up of the best rental strategies for 2019, and one of the main benefits of short let is making the most of the tourism flows: if they’re looking good, you could be leaving a lot of rental income on the table by long-letting.

This being said, early adopters have already been doing well, and the number of listings in the UK capital has quadrupled from 2015 to 2018 – reaching over 74,000 by October 2018.

This statistic gives us a clear insight into the attractiveness of the short let market, which is slowly winning over London landlords. Many started with one property, then another, then a third. And one of the best way to try is to do so with a specialised property management service, to truly assess the opportunity and see how it can protect your downside and maximise your upside.

At Hostmaker, our friendly team has compiled a list of the 5 fundamental steps London landlords should take to ensure that they find the property management service that’s right for them:

1. Locate the best and don’t settle

The number of property management services in London alone is growing all the time. As a consequence, it’s well worth landlords doing their research on how they can secure the highest quality service for their guests and tenants, whilst yielding the maximum financial returns for them.

We recommend asking the right questions to pick the right property management service in London: and don’t forget the bonus ones! Besides, don’t forget to really list the pros and cons of each: their services may look very similar, but when you scratch the surface they often differ quite a bit.

Among the most important differentiating points: the ability to welcome guest and tenants, the communication with them, the possibility to list your property on multiple platforms, and how sophisticated the pricing is.

2. Make sure they know the London market in and out

Once you’ve found the right property management company for you, it’s worth double-checking their local credentials. Local knowledge is more valuable than you think!

Ask them how big of a team they have on the ground, and how well they collectively know the city. Not only from a real estate standpoint, but also on the tourism side, as this is crucial for short lets. Indeed, the better you know what travellers visit your city, the more adapted your listing and your strategy.

Besides, you may want to check where else the company has offices, especially if you have several properties, or plan to invest internationally.

Hostmaker for instance makes the choice of always having its own teams in place, in every city, hiring locals to ensure the best property management. They are currently present in London, Cannes, Madrid, Rome, Bangkok, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon and Florence, with a little over 500 specialists, from housekeepers to handymen to account managers and pricing experts.

Please fill out our form to register your interest in our ever expanding market and let us know where you’d like to see us pop up next!

3. Decide the services that you do and don’t require

There are a wide range of services available with property management services, from the most basic needs (linen, housekeeping…) to a more complete offering (listing, photography, pricing…).

Different landlords will have different properties, and different needs. A busy landlord with a few properties and a main job will probably want an end-to-end property management service, while another may have someone to take care of it.

When it comes to short lets, there are some specific questions you need to ask yourself:

  • how to market the property on the best platforms (Airbnb or Booking.com? HomeAway orTripadvisor? One or several?)
  • how to price properly for different times of the year?
  • how to create stand-out listings that will be preferred by travellers?
  • how to service the property effectively (welcome guests, give keys, cleaning, maintenance…)

Therefore, the first step is to define what you need:

  • if you have never rented properties on short lets before:
    • check a few property management companies to understand their scope, and see what the cost of doing it yourself would be: you will at least learn more about the opportunity, and get free estimates and valuations
    • if you have a few properties, why not compare both models, or even two different companies?
  • if you have rented properties on short lets, casually or more professionally:
    • check your current cost per stay, including the time spent managing the communications, the listing, the pricing. Compare it to the estimates you get from a few property management companies
    • check if you may want to use only hand-picked services, or if you prefer a full-service company: is your time best spent on housekeeping, or finding your next property?

Hostmaker offers an end-to-end service, tailored for landlords who prefer safe, predictable income with the upside of short lets earnings. Get an estimate from the online calculator!

4. Compare the prices and plans

There are various factors which set every individual property and landlord apart. Each home is unique after all. The same way, most property management services will have different prices depending on location, amenities, number of rooms, ease of access... etc.

Price will be a big factor in your choice, and most properties management companies offer free valuation and revenue estimates. We strongly advise to ask for a few quotes, and compare a few different offers.

Don’t forget to estimate overall revenues against overall fees (variable and fixed). Also, it’s a good idea to check both short and long lets operators to get a complete view. We’ve put together a quick table below for a quick comparison:

Services & figuresCompany 1Company 2
Short, medium and long lets?
Rental revenue estimate
Fixed fees
(listing, onboarding, tenant…)
Variable fees
(commission)
Ad hoc fees
(maintenance calls)
Total yearly fees
Total net rental income

For reference, Hostmaker can manage short, medium and long lets, for a management fee starting at 12% + VAT.

5. Confirm your top contenders

Once you have established the property management services you need and the plan best suited to your needs, the next step is to get in touch with your top 2 or 3 contenders.

At this stage, you may already be in contact after asking for a few estimates, so it’s time to really ask the big questions, like:

  • what sets you apart from X? What makes you better than Y?
  • why is your estimate lower/higher than X?
  • what are the specifics covered by your management fee? Are there any additional fees?
  • can you switch between short and long lets when need be?
  • how much flexibility do I have with my property’s availability?

Better to ask the questions from the get go rather than be surprised later!

Best of luck with your search, and do feel free to get in touch with our team via our online service if we can help you with any questions. Or just send us a note at london@hostmaker.com or +44 2035530428, we love a good chat about properties!

London property management services fees: explained

Discussing the details of a London property management service contract

For even for the most experienced homeowners, investing in the services of an expert Airbnb property management service – or short let management service – is a guaranteed way to protect your downside, maximise returns and assure a memorable, 5-star experience for your occupants.

Keep reading to understand more about property management pricing plans, what’s included in the service, and also have some of the most frequently answered questions regarding fees explained in detail.

What’s included in a property management service?

An Airbnb property management service like Hostmaker can assist you in fully unlocking the potential of your property in a variety of ways. Typically most companies in the market would offer:

  1. Listing your home in one or more channels, often the likes of Airbnb, HomeAway, Booking.com, Expedia… etc.,
  2. Pricing your home for different days and periods,
  3. Managing incoming reservations and communicating with each guest
  4. Giving the keys and welcoming each guest (some companies use lock-boxes, others, like Hostmaker, prefer to always have a real person to welcome every traveller),
  5. Exchanging with the guests during their stay,
  6. Housekeeping and cleaning service after the stay.

What questions should you ask when comparing property management companies?

Parisian balcony life from one of the apartments managed by Hostmaker in Paris

The difference between each Airbnb property management company resides in how they do each step, and what extra steps they may provide.

For instance, a property management service like Hostmaker would list your home in over 15 different channels, 2 of which exclusive to them. Their housekeepers all have prior experience as housekeepers in hotels, and are provided special training inspired by their partnership with Marriott International.

It’s always worth asking more detailed questions as you are considering which property management company may be right for you, and why some are cheaper than others. To take the list from before, it’s worth asking some of these questions:

  1. Listing your home in one or more channels: what channels? Are there any exclusive ones? What are the benefits of the ones the company offers?
  2. Pricing your home for different days and periods: how often is the price updated? Does the property management company update it according to local events? What about local hotel prices?
  3. Managing incoming reservations and communicating with each guest: how would they typically manage this? Is there any risk of a message being lost?
  4. Giving the keys and welcoming each guest: is this done with a lockbox, or thanks to a human interaction? How is the information about your property communicated to the guest? How often is your home checked by the property management company? Is check-in available 24/7?
  5. Exchanging with the guests during their stay: is this available round the clock? How does the property management company ensure that they always have the right information, without having to contact you each time?
  6. Housekeeping and cleaning service after the stay: how are the housekeepers trained? How specific can your instructions be with them? Can they take care of your plants (yes, all very important questions!)?

Any other questions I should consider? Bonus questions!

It’s also useful to ask yourself what additional services might be offered, for both your and your guests. Typically:

  • Is the listing prepared by a professional photographer and a professional copywriter, to ensure maximum exposure?
  • Is there a performance dashboard available where I can see my earnings at a glance?
  • Can I open and close my property’s availability through an app or a tool?
  • Can they help with interior design work, should I need to refurbish the property prior to letting it? What are the packages offered?
  • Do they offer maintenance and technical support, 24/7, in that most annoying of cases when the boiler fails or the water leaks?

What’s the standard Airbnb property management fee (or short let management fee)?

Calculating fees for a London property management company
Calculating fees for a London property management company (the old-school calculator way)

In terms of fees, there are a variety of pricing plans around. For instance, Hostmaker offers a Fixed and a Flex plan, for property owners who want a stable income, and those who prefer to maximise their earnings. Other companies may have various options too.

The factors impacting a property management fee

As a rule of thumb, the management fee will depend on:

  • the level of service you would like to ensure (the more premium, the higher the fee, but the more complete the service)
  • the location and size of your property
  • the availability of your property (few weeks in a year, few months, or full time: the longer, the better as the service will have time to optimise the strategy to ensure the best returns)
  • the amenities of your property (balconies, spa-like bathrooms, sofa-beds can all be fetching higher prices, which may impact the fee)

The management fee is usually calculated on revenues driven to the property after the commission perceived by the listing platform (Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway…). Do ask the question if you aren’t sure!

Research suggests that 15% is the standard rate you can expect to pay for Airbnb property management services on average – which drops down to about 12-13% for basic services and can often go as high as 20% for premium services.

An example of property management fees: the Hostmaker Flex case

At Hostmaker, the most popular offer is Hostmaker Flex, which offers property owners an end-to-end, full-featured management service, starting at 12% + VAT. This means that the management fee will be 12% + VAT of the revenue you will have received from stays in a given month, minus any platform fees and call-outs.

The management fee can vary depending on the factors above, but you can ask for a projection of what your property would typically achieve, as a benchmark. Across London, clients using Hostmaker Flex achieve on average 30% more than long-term lettings.

Have any queries? Let us know about your property and our friendly team can help with any questions you might have.

Which pricing plan is best for me?

It really depends on your portfolio and your situation. For instance, if you’ve got the right property and a need for a more stable income, a fixed option can be an excellent solution. Of course, you may be leaving money on the table, but you are assured of a rental income, without the risk of a void period between tenants.

On the other side, a fee-based solution like Hostmaker Flex means that you only pay when results come in, so the risks are very limited anyway, and the upside can be important.

Finally, if you manage multiple properties, a more professional solution can mix both pricing plan according to your risk appetite and earnings objectives. For instance, if you own a block of flats, you may want to have a few on long lets, a few on mid lets and a few of short lets, to spread the benefits of all types of lets.

A quick comparison of the pricing options at Hostmaker
A quick comparison of the pricing options at Hostmaker

Ready to unlock the true financial potential of your property(s)? We’d love to hear from you! Tell us about your property here and we’ll be in contact with all the information you need.

Best rental strategies for 2019: should property owners go short?

A Lisbon home designed by At Home with Hostmaker, the interior design studio of Hostmaker

As 2018 comes to an end, and with the uncertainty of Brexit looming, property owners in London are left scratching their heads as to what the best rental strategy is.

Is it a great time to buy new property, as prices seem to be going flat or down in some areas of the British capital? Is it better to go for long-term tenants as a stable income stream?

What about short-term lets – are they a good option in the current climate? These answers, and more, below. Or scroll down for the conclusion!

Rental strategies in 2019: long lets vs short lets

Hostmaker home with a living room giving on a balcony in Paris
Home with balcony in Paris – courtesy of Hostmaker

We’ve talked about the main differences between long and short-term lets before, to highlights their pros and cons for property owners. But there is more to it, if we want to go into the details. Here, we’ll review some of the main reasons to pick one or the other.

The main differences between short, mid and long term rentals or lets

Here’s a quick refresh of the main differents, and adding the further distinction of mid-term lets:

  • long-term lets (long lets): the traditional letting arrangement, with contracts from 6 months to 2 years,
  • mid-term lets (mid lets): a growing segments of lettings, from 1 month to 6 months, typically for professionals or students,
  • short-term lets (short lets): the fastest growing segment, from 1 day to 30 days, which originated in vacation rentals and is popularised by platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor or Booking.com and traditionally earn property owners the most.

Each strategy has its benefits and risks, and adopting one or the other depends on:

  • the economic environment – short lets are best when tourism is doing well for instance,
  • the property – its location, type and availability,
  • flexibility requirements – do you prefer to be able to get the property back easily should you need to, or to organise viewings easily?
  • bandwidth – and how much time you want to spend doing things yourselves or through agencies,
  • revenue expectations and risk profile – how much money would you like to get out of the property, and how risky would you like it to be?

Comparison table with pros and cons for short lets, mid lets, and long lets

As a rule of thumb, here is how short, mid and long lets compare:

Flexible lettings explained: comparison of short, medium and long term lets
Flexible lettings explained: comparison of short, medium and long term lets

How to pick the best rental strategy for your property or properties in 2019

Now that the benefits and risks of each type of letting is clear, we can look at 2019 together, and determine what is your best. To do that, we’ll first evaluate the property market in London for next year, and then look at the tourism forecasts for the capital. As we saw in the comparison table, this will help you decide between short and long lets.

Rental strategies in 2019: the property market, tourism forecast, and overall environment

The property market in London in 2019: looming Brexit and other factors

Long-term rents likely to go down in 2019, with slight rebound in 2019, making long lets less attractive

ONS: average asking price for houses in London and the UK up to March 2018
ONS: average asking price for houses in London and the UK up to March 2018

There is no avoiding it: the specter of Brexit looms. And with it, the uncertainty has taken a hold of many buyers and sellers. Whether the U.K. leaves the E.U. with a deal or without, the 29 March 2019 cut-off date is months away and all bets are still off.

This has taken a toll on the property market: London houses prices overall are showing worrying signs of stagnation or even decrease in some areas. The general mood is best described as “wait and see”, as the November 2018 numbers show: listings for homes being sold on Rightmove in London declined by 24%.

This climate will also impact the attractiveness of London for new and existing residents. While it is unlikely to drive drops in rental incomes right away, there will be an effect for homeowners. The type of Brexit chosen has already limited foreign investments in the country, as well as delayed expansion plans for existing businesses. Most forecasts point at a modest growth overall in 2019 and 2020, up to 2.1%.

Statista - London rental prices from 2018 to 2022 growth forecast 2018-2022 UK Statistic
Statista – London rental prices from 2018 to 2022 growth forecast 2018-2022 UK Statistic

Finally, the Bank of England’s main interest rate has steadily increased in 2018, to now reach 0.75%. It’s making variables mortgages more expensive for 3.5 million U.K. homeowners, and is likely to rise again in December 2018 to fight off inflation. The pressure for homeowners to increase rental income will grow, and it is unsure whether it can be met in London with long term rentals alone.

Travel in the UK in 2019: even better than a record 2018?

Travel forecast strong for 2019 and 2020: the demand for short lets will increase

UK braced for record number of tourists in 2018 and 2019 - The Guardian
UK braced for record number of tourists in 2018 and 2019 – The Guardian via VisitBritain

On the other end, 2018 is already set to be the best year on record for tourism in the UK. VisitBritain forecasts 40.9 million visitors from overseas, spending a total of £26.3bn, up from 39.2 million and £24.5bn in 2017.

2019 could be even better, as many factors converge to give a boost to London in particular:

  • a weaker pound will make the U.K. more attractive to overseas tourists, increasing their spending power,
  • London, with 19.83m visitors in 2018 (up 3% on 2017), is #2 of Top Global Destinations charts
  • a strong economic growth forecast globally, especially in Europe and the U.S., will increase travel flows overall,
  • the share of disposable income spent on experiences, such as travel, continues to grow (especially with millenials now accounting for over 25% of the population in OECD countries),
  • London can easily take advantage of top 2019 travel trends such as a bigger focus on sustainability, and meaningful local activities.

This will fuel a strong demand for homestays in London in 2019, and ensure a good occupancy at a fair rate.

Conclusion: the best rental strategy in London in 2019 is… short, with a bit of mid

Short lets best bets to take advantage of growing tourism flows, especially with Brexit uncertainty looming

When all is said and done, the best strategy for 2019 is likely to be a mix of short and medium lets. As we’ve seen, the tourism forecast for London is very positive, guaranteeing a strong demand for short lets in 2019. On the other side, the growing demand for medium lets make them an attractive alternative from September to May. The risks are minimal – as the demand is strong – and the upside is big.

While the outlook for long term rentals isn’t completely negative, it is looking flat at best (after inflation). Thus, introducing short or medium lets to your mix makes sense. If the operational side is your main issue, there are a number of short let management services you can try. This commission-based model helps because you only pay them if they deliver revenue for you. And they will take care of the operations of listing, pricing, welcoming and cleaning – and often more.

In fact, specialised property management services, such as Hostmaker, can even manage your home on short, medium AND long term rentals. Their local experts will help you to pick the best option depending on your property, your profile and your goal.

Flexible lettings model mixing short lets, mid lets and long lets
Flexible lettings model mixing short lets, mid lets and long lets

Meet the Design Team

At Hostmaker, we pride ourselves on hiring the best and brightest pigeons from around the world to make sure that in whatever way we service your home, we have a terrific team of people behind it. That’s just one of the ways we live up to our award-winning standards!
This month, we’re shining a spotlight on our dynamic design team: Laura, Siri and Georgina. From soft furnishings to complete interior makeovers, this tip-top trio have got you covered from start to finish. Take a look at some of their other wonderful creations, and find out how they can transform your own home here on our new interiors website.


Laura Ward

Hostmaker Designer since August 2016

Laura initially studied set design at Nottingham Trent University. She first worked for a creative team for  a design, interiors and lifestyle PR company based in Covent Garden for a year and a half.

After the world of design piqued her interest, Laura took a course in interiors at Chelsea College of Arts, and then worked for a traditional interior design company out in the Oxfordshire countryside before joining the Hostmaker team. We may be a bit biased, but we think it’s the best decision she’s ever made!

“I love working at Hostmaker for the freedom to imagine creatively for each exciting new space, and to bring vitality and personality to homes. The styling and final touches before the shoot is my absolute favourite part, and last minute buys at this stage means that I have got to know so many more local hidden gems of London, while seeking out florists, boutique shops and interior spaces.”

Favourite place in London: Upper Street & Camden Passage. It’s the perfect place for an inspiring stroll with all it’s unique design stores – and my favourite interior designers place – Abigail Ahern’s shop.

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: Nordic luxe. I love scandinavian design but the trend has become so much more sophisticated recently. Designing darker interiors with luxe metallics and dark paint colours is so much more appealing and allows for a far more dramatic and moody aesthetic. The streamlined shapes too make for harmonious but edgy interiors.

The home that you are most proud of: Davinder’s home in West London


Siri Thomassen

Hostmaker Designer since February 2017

Siri grew up in a small town in Norway, not too far from Oslo. Bit by the travel bug at a young age, Siri has also lived in Rome and Argentina. After finishing school, Siri decided to come to London to study Production for Film & TV at UAL for her bachelor’s degree. It was here, through her work with set design, that she discovered her passion for interiors.

“I love being a part of the design team. I’m pretty sure we will conquer the world at some point (just kidding!). But seriously. I love working with the girls – we’re always bouncing ideas off each other and we share the same vision of what we want Hostmaker design to be. As a team, we compliment each other so well, and we’re never scared to challenge ourselves and dream big. ”

Favourite place in London: I love east London, especially the Hackney area with its artsy vibe and all the independent shops. I can never get sick of Broadway Market on a Saturday morning, and walking along Regent’s canal, soaking in the sun, looking at all the beautiful house boats.

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: As a true Scandi I love natural, raw elements in design – neutrals & wood never fails. Having said that, Laura has lured me over to the dark side this summer… I’m totally in love with the dark and moody style (à la Abigail Ahern). It’s so fun playing around with dark and intense colours, mixing in really quirky accessories & plants.

The home that you are most proud of: Deepti’s luxury 3 bedroom flat in Kensington. We went really dark and moody, creating the perfect autumnal home!

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: The rustic lodge look, with large leather couches and sheepskin throws! It makes you want to dive in and snuggle up.

Quick design tip: Large lamps with Warm light bulbs always make a living room feel homely and welcoming!


Georgina Haslam

Hostmaker Design Project Manager since April 2017

After graduating from Loughborough University, Georgina started her career at a property management company, project managing the design of homes in their portfolio. Seeking a new challenge in a faster-paced environment, she came to the team wanting to utilise her skills in a company who really understood the importance of good design. Lucky for us, Hostmaker Design was the perfect fit!

“I love my team – they really make me look forward to coming to work everyday! They are very talented and I love helping create beautiful homes for our portfolio. I learn something new at every shoot we do – I loved interiors before, however, since joining Hostmaker I am beginning to gain a better knowledge of design, and the importance of putting thought and love into everything we do. It really shows in the final photos”

Favourite place in London: Angel – I had never been there before until we worked there for a few months over the summer and the girls showed me some of their favourite interior shops. I could wander the little alleyways in search of beautiful pieces for our projects for hours!

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: I am really excited about the festive season coming! I love christmas and everything about it – I can’t wait for the furs, warm colours and open fires.

The home that you are most proud of: Lisa and Adam’s gorgeous home in Islington. The whole process went so smoothly and the hosts were always so helpful in picking out particular signature items. We had lots of space to play with including a lovely terrace!


Take a look at some of their other wonderful creations on our Pinterest portfolio, or read about other hosts who have been left delighted with their design services.

Transforming your home in 2017

Our in-house interior design team are always looking out for the latest global trends in interior design, so that they can continue to wow our hosts with their fabulous creations. However, at Hostmaker we believe in going the extra mile. Which is why this week our design pigeons took off their paint-splattered overalls, and put on their thinking caps, and are proud to present to you: top trends to transform your home in 2017.

Ladies – take it away!


Sometimes taking inspiration from all the trendy ideas that are piled on Pinterest (or Pinterest’s trendy sister Tumblr)  can become overwhelming. What’s going to make your home stand out and get that superhost status we all strive for when you are wading through millions of pictures of things you desire?

Look no further than these 6 trends that are becoming the looks to have in your home this year! While some are newcomers, others have stood the test of time in 2016, and are exploding with more pizazz into 2017.

Dark colours to create a moody atmosphere

Faraday Mansions-21 (1).jpg
Jim’s home in Baron’s Court

Dark green is said to be the frontrunner for all things hip this year. We’re suckers for a dark green velvet couch, but this isn’t exactly budget-friendly, so maybe wait a few bookings before buying the sofa of your (our) dreams.
Instead, why not try getting some dark green velvet cushions to complement any sofa you already have. Or get your hands dirty and paint a dark green feature wall in your lounge, to add interest to the room and change-up those old white walls. Why not go all in and paint a whole room to create a super moody vibe? Bring in some floor lamps and wall lights with warm bulbs, and you have a sophisticated room all of your guests will rave about.

Bring on the textures!

townhall-chambers-8-lucys-8
Lucy’s apartment near The Shard

Mixing and matching textures is always in. It creates a depth to a living room or bed, and tjuzes the space up a bit. Put a chunky knit throw on a smooth leather chair, or three different textured cushions on a bed to add contrasting layers; it will make your guests want to dive on in, cosy up and feel right at home.

Funky lighting

charville-road-24-8-1
Rehan’s flat near West Kensington

Lighting always seems to be an afterthought when it comes to decorating a home, and in 2017 we want to change that for the better! Why not make the lights a feature in your home, bringing in an unexpected fun element that also brings warmth to the whole room?

Sputnik lights are always fun, and class up any space. A dominating floor lamp as an interesting piece can really give a room some oomph, and make it just as interesting as the guests coming through the door! Don’t forget to always use a warm bulb. This is a must, as it omits a warm ambience and makes your space feel homely and welcoming.

Fabric upholstered bed frames

Fairholme-Road-28-Detail.jpg
Rajeev’s home in Baron’s Court

If you’re wanting to go with more of a vintage vibe in your home, this is a simple way to pull your bedroom together, add a luxe feel and move away from the wooden frames that everyone seems to have these days.

An element of surprise

How to decorate your flat for Airbnb
Tamsin’s flat in Notting Hill

The word ‘home’ evokes a sense of safety and familiarity, and that is what we want for your guests when they arrive at your home. However ‘travel’ is associated with adventure, discovery and escapism. At Hostmaker, we always want to create a contradiction between comfort and discovery with our designs.

Comfort is always key, and relatively easy to achieve. However, adding an element of WOW can help give a home an adventurous side… just like your guests! This can be as simple as a bright yellow cushion in a room with dark painted walls – something that immediately grabs your attention when you walk in the room.


Taking these trends and making them your own is the best process in creating an interior you will love! We love to look at the surroundings of where our homes are and take inspiration from the atmosphere these locations provide, to help your guests feel like they are truly living like a local.

Tip of the week – creating a gallery wall

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times (and we’ll say it once more): when it comes to decorating your Airbnb, personality pays off. While it’s second nature for most hosts to try to emulate the design of their favourite five-star hotel, it’s a look that Hostmaker-designed homes try to avoid. Just remember – if your guests wanted to stay somewhere that looked like a hotel, they would have just booked a hotel!

Instead, your guests have made the incredibly wise choice (if we do say so ourselves) of booking a stay in your home, which we believe should reflect the unique style of yourself as the host, and the city that you live in.

Gallery walls are a quick, easy, no muss, no fuss way of adding a little extra pizzazz to your already beautiful home. And luckily, there are an infinite number of ways that you can achieve this modern interior design look. Here are a few of our favourites below!

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Take a lead from Sian. Don’t be afraid to mix colours, sizes and textures – the more the merrier! See more photos of her beautiful home here.

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You don’t have to stick to photographs, paintings and prints: why not frame a few of your favourite magazine covers to showcase to your guests your own personal interests?

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Despite the name, gallery ‘walls’ don’t actually have to be mounted on the wall; take lead from Paul, and layer them up against one another. A perfect solution for those who are constantly redecorating!

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Mixing colours doesn’t have to be reserved to just the prints. Using different colours of frames can help a blank wall pop that little bit more! See more photos of Ian’s home here!

Flowers and cacti and plants, oh my! Tip of the week

Roses are red, violets are blue, what is Hostmaker’s tip of the week for you? In case you haven’t already guessed: decorate your home with some flowers or a couple of potted plants.

If you’ve already spent a lot of money on furnishing and preparing your Airbnb for your guests, but it still feel like it’s missing something, this is a quick and easy way to help your Airbnb feel much more welcoming.

We’re not saying that you have to turn your home into a greenhouse! Even just a single, simple vase can add a touch of life and personality to any room. Take inspiration from some of our hosts below if you don’t believe us. And don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb and need to buy fake plants instead – we won’t tell if you don’t!

Rajeev’s home is littered with little green accents that help bring it to life. See more here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12939200

Maria’s carefully placed pieces help bring the beautiful greenery from the outside world into her home: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13844569

Sangita’s Sloane Square apartment takes it a step further by including framed artwork of plants on her walls: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/10072738

Amazing amenities: how to take your Airbnb to the next level

Think about the last time you stayed in an Airbnb.

Now, think about the last time you stayed in a Airbnb and were left wowed by the experience. Why was this? Most likely, it was a combination of things: the quality and uniqueness of the interior design; how you were made to feel right at home by whoever checked you in; your host giving you local shopping and dining recommendations to help you feel like a true local.

But as Airbnb experts, we know that there is one thing that every incredible Airbnb experience has in common: amenities. While these little touches are sadly sometimes overlooked by hosts, they are always appreciated by guests when they’re packing for their trip, and during their stay. Plus, according to one of Airbnb’s co-founders, amenities can also help you pocket a little extra cash per night:

“We’ve found that if you offer a hair dryer, you can make on average $10 more a night”

Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder

While providing simple amenities may seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised as to how many hosts forget to have them ready for guests in their home, or include them on the Airbnb listing itself! If this is you, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Both of Hostmaker’s service options include all the basics that your guests will need.

Do you already have the basics down, and are looking to add a little extra guest appeal to your home? We like your style! Here are three extra tips for you achieving hosts out there:

Why not save your guests the last-minute panic buy at the airport and curate your own home library for them to use during their stay? Include everything from the books about the city, to the latest murder mystery bestseller.

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Or if you want to give your guests a more relaxing experience, provide some scented candles, reed diffusers and extra-special bathroom products to really help your guests unwind

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But, if you think that the fastest way to a guest’s heart is through their stomach, then we are right there with you. Curate a welcome basket for your guests, filled to the brim with delicious snacks, and complete with a handwritten welcome note! Or, if this all sounds like a little too much work, then consider Hostmaker’s Hands Off Hosting service. Not only will we fully manage your Airbnb home for you, but we also provide a welcome pack for each of our guests and all the amenities that they could need – just like a five star hotel!

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How to make your bed guest ready

As former hoteliers who look after 1,000 homes across four cities, we know one or two things about beds – we make hundreds of them every day! And as they also put one of the b’s in Airbnb, we take them very seriously.

All travellers know that coming home to a beautiful, comfy bed is the best possible way to end a busy day of shopping and sightseeing. As a result, beds can make or break your guests’ stay and even have a huge impact on your reviews.

With so much on the line for all of you hosts out there, we at Hostmaker have gathered our best tips and tricks, to give you a quick guide on how to make your bed guest ready. (You can thank us later!)

How to decorate your flat for Airbnb

Avoid the Hotel Look

This piece of advice comes straight from our Lead Designer herself!

I would actually go against the typical hotel-style bed; give the bed some personality and make it feel more like home” – Lauren Framp

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again and again!) – the reason that guests are flocking to Airbnb for their travel accommodation needs? Not just to visit a city, but to live there. While we understand the temptation to go with what you know and imitate a 5-star hotel bed spread, you can give your guests this same 5-star experience with a bed that has character.

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Three is the Magic Number

The easiest way to do this without compromising on style? According to one of our Junior Designers, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

“Extra cushions and throw pillows will really make the bed feel homely – 3 is the best number as they will add something to the bed without going overboard, and it’ll help keep it symmetrical!” – Becky Marshall

Her other tip? An artfully draped throw or two. Don’t be afraid to mix textures and shades – consider different patterns or fabrics, lights and darks, or adding a bright pop of colour.

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Count Those Threads!

Not literally, obviously. But according to one of our Housekeeping Supervisors, while you may not want your bed to look like it belongs in a hotel, it should feel like it does.

“During my year-long training at a leading hotel group, I learned how to make beds properly. But when I make my bed at home, it never feels the same – even when I use the same techniques! Now I know that it’s the quality of the linen that makes the difference” – Océane Chamoret

We suggest always buying the highest quality linen you can can afford to help tuck your guests in tight each night. Prefer not to make this kind of investment? Hostmaker’s pay-as-you-go housekeeping includes top quality linen that is laundered, ironed, starched and delivered to your home each time you use our service!

All these little things – tip of the week

At Hostmaker, we know that part of the reason that modern-day travellers are choosing Airbnbs over hotels, is the desire to live like a local and have a home away from home!

Hostmaker’s tip of the week? Keep what makes your home unique and cosy; books, magazines, board games, or movies will help guests feel comfortable in your nest!

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Take a leaf out of Sasha’s book: his Hostmaker-designed home in Kensington is full of small details that reflect his personality and make his Airbnb more welcoming

While guidebooks and house manuals do help your guest get acquainted with the house and the area, nothing helps people feel more at home after a long day exploring, than getting comfy on the couch with some scrabble or a colouring book, and having a cozy night in. After all you’ve already shared your house with your guests – why not also share with them the things that help you unwind?

How to make your Airbnb business travel ready

By offering the chance to live like a local, Airbnb’s unique travel experience entices vacationers to step outside of their comfort zones (and hotels!)

However, with an unbelievable 10% of all Airbnb bookings now made by business travellers, a new type of guest is beginning to step into the spotlight. “But what’s in it for hosts?”, we hear you ask. The truth is… a lot!

Easy to Manage – with fixed travel plans and schedules that are rarely amended or cancelled at the last minute, managing a booking from a business traveller is incredibly easy for you as a host

The Best Kind of House Guest – business travellers also tend to be quiet, won’t be partying into the night, and will treat your home with respect. Giving them a place to stay will give you some peace of mind!

Big Spenders – it may not surprise you to know that this kind of guest spends an incredible amount of money on travel each year (more than $1.2 trillion, to be exact!) — a portion of which you could potentially pocket with your Airbnb listing…

So you’ve heard the benefits — now what?

While Airbnb do have their own requirements that hosts have to fulfil in order to be verified as Business Travel Ready, we here at Hostmaker have used our expertise to put together our own list of extra recommendations. Take our tips on board, and you’ll be welcoming business travellers to your home in no time.

1. Wifi

We know, we know — who doesn’t have wifi these days? However, as business travellers will most likely be required to work throughout their stay, it is especially important that your wifi is not only fast, but reliable. Check the speed before your guests arrive, and maybe even consider upgrading your current wifi plan to help get those five-star ratings!

2. Stock Must-Have Essentials

Think about anything you would expect to find in a hotel room on a business trip — an iron and ironing board for your crisp, white shirts (plus some hangers to hang them on!); a hair dryer to fluff up your feathers before your big meeting; a coffee maker to ensure that you’re bright-eyed and bushy tailed for that important pitch. If you want to go the extra mile, book Hostmaker’s pay-as-you-go housekeeping service. We’ll not only clean your home until it’s sparkling, but we also provide sugar, tea and coffee for all of our hosts!

3. Create a Defined Workspace

A laptop-friendly workspace is a no-brainer when wanting to attract travelling professionals. However if you really want to put a smile on your guests face think about whether or not the space has…

    • Adequate lighting — no one wants to sign the wrong dotted line because they couldn’t see it in the first place!
    • Essential stationery such as pens, paper and envelopes — we checked, and people do still write letters
    • A comfy and adjustable chair — the only thing worse than having to do work when you’re not in the office, is having to do it with a backache
    • Lots of plug points and adapters — for all of those uber-connected, high tech, professionals
    • Good signal and is in a quiet spot in the home — so guests can effortlessly talk to their bosses, co-workers, mothers, children, great aunts twice removed…

Consideration of all of these details will go a long way with business travellers!

4. Say Hello!

It is well-known that people travelling for business will arrive and leave at all hours. While using a lock box is always an option, having a friendly face to welcome a guest after a long trip will help them feel relaxed and right at home. Not much of a night owl? No problem! Why not try Hostmaker’s 24 hour meet and greet checkin service?

6 amazing Airbnb listings in London

Hostmaker Converted Loft Shoreditch

Here at Hostmaker, we’ve made knowing what the perfect Airbnb listing looks like our business. So if you’re looking for an outstanding, unique Airbnb home in London (either as inspiration or for a weekend staycation), look no further: we think the following 6 fit the bill. Not only are they beautiful both to look at and to live in, each has its own distinctive character – exactly what Airbnb is all about. Take a look and let us know if you agree with our selection!

Lots of light in Little Venice

Think red, lime and blue don’t go? Think again. And though ‘bright’ and ‘spacious’ might be the most overused adjectives in the world of interior design, there really is no better way to describe this bold abode. There are two beautiful bedrooms, as well as a slick and well-styled living room with windows of decadent proportions. Oh, and did we mention the tennis court and huge garden? There’s no denying this apartment has serious game.

Hostmaker Amazing flat Maida Vale

Not-so-amateur dramatics in Clapham

Let’s not beat around the bush: this home used to be a cinema. It’s since been recast as a three bedroom apartment, and the result is a cosy pad that’s best-in-show. The high ceilings are dramatic, the sleek modern furnishings are a delight, and the original deco features are show-stopping. With so much history framing your door, you might not want to leave. But if you do, Clapham’s a buzzy area with appeal for all ages.

Hostmaker Converted cinema

Swingin’ style in Brunswick

The hosts of this characterful two bedroom home in a Grade 2 listed Brunswick building lovingly purchased most of the original 60s furniture at auction, cleverly mixing British and Scandinavian styles to create an inviting inside that matches its historical outside. The palette is a mix of loud limes and mustards – contrasting the building’s muted grandeur – and with the arty wall hangings and playful cushions, this place would be as suited to sophisticated drinks before dinner as it would to ‘Netflix and chill’.

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Up, up, up in Stoke Newington

When most people think converted loft, they think art, space and light. Unsurprisingly, this fashionable Stoke Newington apartment has all three in abundance. The surrounding neighbourhood is quirky and coveted, and the flat’s colourful perspex chairs and eye-popping wall graphics will certainly whet your appetite before you step outside to explore.

Hostmaker Loft Stoke Newington

Perfect timing in Kings Cross

Where better to while away the hours than the clock tower above St Pancras International? There’s an unrivalled view of St Paul’s, as well as…well, most of the city’s skyline, and it’s within minutes of The British Library. Not sold? The interior is as perfect as the location, with carved antique furnishings, a palette of gorgeous creams, and a sizeable library of its own.Hostmaker Clock Tower London

Making waves in Chelsea

This home is an eco-friendly houseboat. And it’s in Chelsea. We could leave it there, but it’s also worth mentioning the beautiful mix of hide, leather and dark wood, along with the cute deck for watching the city’s elite pass by over coffee on misty London mornings. Ah, bliss.

Hostmaker Eco Boat Chelsea

We’re sure you’ll agree that the above Airbnb homes in London are a cut above the cookie-cutter, white-walled rooms found in a city hotel (the ‘boutique’ variety included!). And better yet, as they all benefit from Airbnb management services, you can be assured there’s no compromise on quality or cleanliness either. Perfect 🙂