Alternatives to Hostmaker. A guide to short term rental options

The news that Hostmaker has gone into administration makes for disappointing reading. It is sad for the company, all of its employees and the wider industry. It’s also confusing for the homeowners who rely on Hostmaker’s service to provide them with bookings and assistance in hosting guests.

Yet it also isn’t entirely surprising. In a fast-growing industry, there will be some winners and some companies that don’t make it – there will be buy-outs, mergers and exits. Consolidation was already predicted in this Skift report last year.

The good news is that there are other options for you. If you’re a former Hostmaker host, here is a guide on what to do if you want to continue letting your home out when it’s empty.

1) Transfer automatically to Houst. Hostmaker competitor Houst (formerly Airsorted) have stepped in and bought the database of homeowners, offering homeowners a simple transition on the same terms. While no transition is easy and some are questioning their ability to ramp up so quicky and provide a quality service, this is obviously the simplest option available for homeowners in the short term.

2) Consider some other respectable companies who help with simple Airbnb management, often providing low commissions and basic levels of service, in some cases having guests do self-check-ins or use lock boxes. City Relay and Guest Ready are options you can consider if you just need help with the basics like cleaning and linens.

3) Do it yourself. You may have considered taking the plunge to operate your own home for short lets by listing it directly on Airbnb. This can be enormously rewarding if it is your passion to provide great hospitality, but remember it is hard work and you need to be available for guests at all hours of the day. There are also multiple booking platforms, so if you want to maximise your bookings, listing on more than one platform is highly beneficial.

If you’ve got a portfolio of homes that you operate yourself, and need marketing and distribution to 40+ platforms, then UnderTheDoormat’s marketing and distribution service can help.

4) Consider a full-service option. There is a wide spectrum of offers for homeowners in London. If you chose Hostmaker because you wanted more than just a cleaning and linen service, with extras such as personal check-ins and if you value a fully hands off approach, companies like onefinestay and UnderTheDoormat will not only fully manage your home, but offer fuller service including insurance, guest verification, photo inventories and personal check-ins

Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your research. Check the industry body the UK Short Term Accommodation Association’s page to find out what to look for, and which companies are accredited.

UnderTheDoormat is an award-winning luxury home accommodation business, offering modern travellers the quality of a hotel in the comfort of homes. We have welcomed more than 12,000 guests from more than 80 countries. We can also help you to earn effortless income on your home while you’re away, and if you sign up before March 31st, we will give you a special thank you, worth £200. Take a look at our homeowner page to find out more.