Below is a list of FAQ’s directed towards owners. If you have a specific question, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Minnestay and we can answer it for you!
What are the occupancy and rate expectations for the unit?
We like to set clear expectations with each owner prior to us taking over when it comes to occupancy and rates
- The prime rental market in MN is between June and September. During this time, you can expect to see the highest nightly rates and occupancy.
- Shoulder months (October/November and April/May) have moderately high occupancy with slightly lower rates than in the summer.
- During the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years, you can expect to see rates almost as high as our prime summer rates.
- The slowest occupancy months are January, February, & March. We make it clear during our meeting that you will most likely see low occupancy and overall lower nightly rate.
- February and March are the BEST months for summer bookings. Close to 50% of our summer reservations happen in these months.
How do you price the units?
We use a Dynamic Pricing tool to help optimize daily pricing for each unit. Together with our local knowledge of the market, we will price each unit accordingly and maximize pricing for each booking.
How can I help optimize my listing?
There are a handful of things you can do to optimize your listings on the various platforms.
- Favorite your listings
- Click in and around on them often.
- Send the link to your circle
How do you market my unit?
- Your rental will appear on Minnestay’s website, along with Expedia, Vrbo, Airbnb, Booking.com, FlipKey, TripAdvisor, and about 30 other travel platforms. We professionally curate each listing to ensure the most visibility in all searches.
- Other marketing efforts include Google AdWords, social media targeted and retargeted advertising, email campaigns, etc. There is a full marketing piece available at request.
How does my unit become “LIVE”?
- Upon close, please fill the application for your rental license. This will need to be signed by the owner and Minnestay needs to sign and notarized as well.
- Complete the Owner On-boarding packet and let Minnestay know the anticipated date for the housewares and furniture to be installed.
- After all items are installed, email Minnestay so they can add you to the schedule for cleaning, staging, and photography
- Cleaning and staging typically happen on the same day and photos the following day.
- Pictures arrive within 48 business hours and your listings will be live within 72 hours.
- The earlier this information is shared, the quicker your listing will go live.
What items will Minnestay provide?
We provide each bed with sheets, pillowcases and bathroom towels. You will provide the other linens, furniture, and houseware items. You will also need to initially stock the unit with paper towels, toilet paper, cooking oil, laundry & dish pods, salt & pepper, etc. After this initial stock is depleted, our team will re-stock at no additional fee to the owner.
What all goes into the cleaning fees?
The cleaning fee that the guests pay include much more than our team cleaning your suite after each guest. We include the following items, at no charge to you, to make our guests experience as exceptional as possible:
- Staging of each home after guests stay.
- Laundering and changing out bath towels, sheets, and pillowcases
- Restocking of paper towels, toilet paper, dish & laundry pods, cream & sugars for coffee, cooking oil, bathroom basket amenities, shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, body wash, hand soap, etc.
- Ensuring that the unit’s internet, cable, hot water, heat/ac, etc. are all functioning properly
There are numerous items available on the owner portal:
- You have the ability to view a 12 month availability calendar and see what reservations are coming up.
- The net amount of all reservations for future stays
- Viewing of past reservations
- Blocking off your own time in your unit
- All monthly statements
How do Owner Referral Bookings work?
Referral bookings work one of three ways:
- Your friend/family stays in your unit, with no charges other than the hourly cleaning fee which is billed on the owner statement. We take 0% commission and you handle all communication and access to the building.
- If you want to have friends or family stay like in the first example, but have us handle the communication, there would be a $50 plus the hourly cleaning fee associated. We would bill this to your account at the end of the month. We take 0% commission.
- Your guest is charged a nightly fee plus the set cleaning charge for your home, we handle communication and access to the building. We only take 12% commission.
Any referral booking needs to be entered by the owner into the owner portal. Minnestay will not do this for you.
How do Owner Bookings work?
Any time you’d like to book your unit, you need to add it directly into the Owner Portal. If you are having troubles accessing this information, please contact Nicole. We will not add reservations on behalf of owners.
How do you communicate with guests?
We communicate with the guest from pre-booking to post-booking and everything in between. We answer all their questions, give local suggestions, and help them book additional concierge services. They also receive messages from us including:
- Pre-stay confirmation of reservation
- Information about purchasing extra services – early check-in, late check-out, in-home massage, etc.
- Electronic copy of Minnestay’s Rental Agreement to sign. Guests must sign this before arrival instructions and key access information are sent.
- Complete arrival instructions including how to access keys, where to park, and if there are any special features in the unit. Also included are check-out procedures and contact information for the team.
- During stay message asking if everything is up to their expectation
- Post-stay message to leave us a 5-Star review on Google.
After their stay, we utilize their contact information for our email marketing campaigns.
How do you charge for damage or missing items?
If there is damage or an item missing after a guest checks out, our house cleaning team takes pictures and sends it to our guest relations department. From there we assess the value of the item damaged/missing and charge up the guest accordingly. We utilize pre- and post-stay picture to help back-up our case to make this process run smoothly. Most damaged or missing items can be covered by the deposit the guests paid.
Owners are paid out on between the 15th and 20th of each month. Payouts are based on any reservation that check-in the month prior to the payout. For example, reservations checking on between July 1st and 31st will be paid out between August 15th and 20th. If there is a reservation longer than one month, you will be paid out on between the 15th and 20th the month following check-in.
New owners may not see a payout the first month due to onboarding charges: deep clean, purchasing of a new lock, holding deposit, etc.
Can I reserve the common areas space of my building or home?
Common area spaces are not reservable and are available on a first come first serve basis and are not reservable. This allows everyone to enjoy these common areas during their stay.
Booking & Management
Who pays the cleaning fee?
Cleaning fees are charged directly to the guests and goes to the management company to cover the cost of the staff and supplies. This does not factor into the commission rate.
How much does an owner fee if they stay in or use their unit?
Owners are charged at an hourly rate to clean their unit.
How does ricing work?
Pricing of the homes is based on size, location, and overall feel. We use a Dynamic Pricing tool to help fine tune the daily rates. Information is gathered and determined from multiples booking sources that look at local occupancy levels, rates, and events in the area. Pricing is updated daily.
Do you discount rates?
Yes, we do have parameters in place to maximize bookings for our owners. We typically do not discount Holiday’s or special events in the area.
Is this being marketed to businesses for corporate usage?
Yes, we have contacts with all the local and national companies that headquarter out of Minneapolis, plus many more.
Would you accept a long-term rental?
Yes, we would. There are many different factors that go into accepting a long-term renter including, but not limited to, what season it is and how long they are looking to stay. We define short-term as under 90 days. Long term is 91+ days.
What sites are you currently marketing the condos on?
We currently use 30+ sites including Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia, as well as our own site, etc. We also have private entities that we market your condo to including credit card reward programs, traveling nurses, relocation companies, etc.
Do we need to worry about double bookings?
No, you don’t! We utilize a software that is integrated to ensure that there are no double bookings.
Who pays for the Channel Partner’s booking fees?
We pay all other commissions payable to Channel Partners, such as, Airbnb, VRBO, etc. We do have the right to raise or lower the base rates of the homes and/or add a percentage increase to the daily base rate to offset the commissions that Channel Partners, such as, Booking.com, Expedia, etc, charges to the Management company on each booking.
Are professionally photos provided?
Each unit will be professionally shot once the home is 100% ready to go. This will be billed to the owners statement.
Should we obtain additional insurance coverage?
Yes, it is necessary to have a short-term rental policy on your home. Some carriers will not cover damages without this type of policy.
Who manages the cleaning supplies?
What happens if something breaks?
We take pictures after each clean to ensure all the unit furnishings are in good condition and nothing is broken or missing. If we notice an item is lost or broken, we will charge the guest and purchase a new item for the owner.
Who supplies toiletries? – Body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion
What houseware items need to be provided in each unit?
Please reach out to Minnestay for a complete list. These items will be needed prior to us accepting the first guest.
Does Minnestay have a way of reviewing a guest before the unit is booked?
Minnestay has systems in place to review guests before booking. We look at their past rental history and any reviews they may have. However, we do not run a background check on our guests, like a hotel. We cannot guarantee any guests activities.
What would warrant a refund and how does that work?
Refunds are dependent on the situation and are handled by Minnestay on a case by case basis.