Protecting Your Vacation Rental Property in Australia

podcast Nic Symons

By The Hospitable Team

Renting your property short-term can bring you significant profits, but it also comes with risk, as it means opening your home to strangers. So, what can you do to avoid potentially troublesome guests who may violate your house rules or cause property damage?

For the new episode of the Hospitable Hosts podcast, we invited Nic Symons, an account manager for the APAC division at Superhog, a global digital trust platform for the vacation rental industry. Superhog’s product, Know Your Guest, is a comprehensive solution that provides hosts and property managers with a tech-based AI-supported toolkit that helps protect their business from all angles.

Nic joins Ethan Brown from Hospitable to discuss how hosts based in Australia can manage STR risks and protect their vacation rental properties. 

Press play now to discover how technology can help you minimize the risks of hosting problematic guests, effectively manage any potential problems that arise, and have peace of mind.

Do you prefer to read the highlights? We’ve got a summary of the key takeaways below.

Know Your Guest

You can never be prepared for all the circumstances when hosting people in your short-term rental property. Superhog offers a service called Know Your Guest for hosts and property managers. This service provides them with all the tools and features needed to manage guest-related risks.

“The crux of the whole thing is we do verification for your short-term rental guests,” explains Nic. “We’ll screen the guests, make sure that they are who they say they are, and information that we get is contactable for them in case anything were to go wrong.”

If Superhog approves someone, the host can also add damage protection to their reservation. The options are damage waiver, deposit, and an advanced damage protection plan with coverage from $500 US to $5 million US, the biggest in the industry.

“I know sometimes insurance companies aren’t too cool with you renting your house to other people like subletting and all that kind of stuff. So that’s where there was a gap in the market where Superhog could come in and do something helpful for people,” Nic adds.

Protect Bookings on Different Channels

Hosts use Superhog for properties listed on different OTA platforms, including Airbnb, Vrbo, and But Nic points out that the main thing that drives people to them is direct bookings. They need protection on these and want to take advantage of guest screening automation tools that save them time.

You can save even more time if you automate your hosting routine using Hospitable. And if you create your direct booking with us, all your reservations will be covered by up to $5 million worth of damage protection powered by Know Your Guest by Superhog.

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Nic recommends all hosts communicate in their listings’ descriptions that they are serious about vetting guests so that travelers can be aware that they will be screened. He thinks that can be a “good kind of frontline defense.” 

Good guests have nothing to worry about. Potentially bad guests who are going to do something illegal won’t like giving all their personal information to get screened to stay at your place. So they’ll go somewhere else.

Report Property Damage Effectively

Gathering evidence and documenting everything is essential in the case of property damage. “We recommend as many photos of the damage as possible, and we require them to be time-stamped to prove it was a particular guest. But then we also recommend getting photos pre-damaged,” Nic explains.

If you hire a cleaning service, you know that many of them might use a particular platform where they upload photos after every cleaning. “That’s probably the ultimate way because that way, you have photos of every single time someone stayed,” Nic suggests. “And obviously, you don’t need to keep all of them. You should keep the most up-to-date one showing the property’s condition at the time,” he adds.

Listen to the full episode of the latest Hospitable Hosts podcast to find out how short-term rental risk management tools can help you gain greater control over who stays in your rentals, protect your properties, and ensure a smooth experience for your guests.

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