I have a place that I want to start renting. What are the risks?
Giving strangers access to your property is unfortunately always a little bit of a gamble. Most guests have good intentions but we shouldn’t put our head in the sand thinking everyone will be respectful. Prostitution, thieves, open house parties, and property damage are just some of the unfortunate things you may have to deal with entering this business. If you do not have a safe way to verify your renters before you hand over your keys or codes, it’s just a matter of time before you encounter some of these issues. Once the bad guys know they can enter your property without providing any identification, they may flag your house as an easy target and come back for more trouble.
My guest already sent me a copy of his IDs, why do I need the Virtual Front Desk?
Fraudulent guests can easily send you stolen or fake ID. When they check in with the Virtual Front Desk, you can ensure the ID matches who you see in the video session. It’s as secure as if you were meeting your guests in person.
Airbnb already has the guest’s IDs, why do I need them it?
Airbnb has their ID, but you don’t, so you need to take every precaution to protect your property. What’s more, fraudsters can easily open fake social media accounts and provide fake IDs online. The best way for you to stop trouble makers from entering your house is by making sure the person you see live on your Virtual Front Desk screen matches his/her ID. Then, should an unfortunate event occur at your property, you will have all the information about the guest you gave your keys to. You can also take a screen shot of the video call and access it anytime you need it.
I always give my door access code by phone and never had any problems. Why do I need Virtual Front Desk?
It took the founder of Virtual Front Desk several dozen bookings in his loft before he had to deal with a nightmare scenario in which a guest “trashed” his house. When he discovered the state of his rental, he immediately called the police only to realize he had no idea who he really rented his place to. Airbnb had the ID but they wouldn’t share it. Obviously the guest was not answering his “pre-paid phone” anymore, nor answering his emails.
When you do a video check in, take a live screenshot of the guest, and look at the government ID they uploaded to verify their identity, like any regular hotel does, you are protecting your property from potential vandalism because the guests know they’ve been identified and filmed.
I have bookings from Booking.com, Expedia and other platforms.Do they verify guests? Are they secure?
No. Unfortunately at this point, Booking.com, Expedia, and most other online travel agencies will send you guests without verification. It is your responsibility to double check your guests and verify their identity. The Virtual Front Desk will make sure you are covered regardless of who sends you your reservation.
Why is it important to have my guest sign my terms and conditions and/or the house rules?
Some guests may say they didn’t know about some rules in your property like no smoking inside, no parties, the check-out time, etc. Other guests may say they didn’t receive the email with your terms and conditions or that they just forgot about them. By having them read, accept and sign your house rules at the moment they check in, you make sure everything is clear and well understood.
Is the Virtual Concierge very helpful for my guests?
Yes, indeed! Not only for your guests but for you as well. First, paper house guides are outdated and difficult to update. And answering the same questions about your house and the surrounding area can be tiresome. Plus, Google won’t have the answers to your in-house amenities or the hotspots you personally recommend in your area. With our Virtual Concierge, you can provide your guests with as much information as possible to make their stay as pleasant as possible and, ultimately get better ratings.
I have a charge back. Can Virtual Front Desk help me to resolve a case ?
In the case of a charge back in which a guest is disputing charges over a security deposit you kept or room charges, you will have all the information on hand to give to your credit card merchant including ID, a signed terms and conditions contract, and a live photo of your guest.
Will my guest be charged to use the app?
No. Guests can download the App and use it free of charge.