Bay Area's Guesthop Eyes Global Expansion

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Help is on the way for many property owners wishing to list their properties as short term rentals as the sharing economy rolls on.

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“There are many things that go into successfully hosting guests and at Guesthop and we do it all.” has opened the door to seamless property and guest management in the surging market for short term rentals. The Bay Area company has become the premier property management service for hosts that rent their spaces through on line services like airbnb, HomeAway, Flipkey, VRBO and many other online sites, at least here in San Francisco.

Long time real estate veteran and Guesthop founder Emily Benkert dreamed up the idea of Guesthop as she saw many of her long time clients switch over to shorter term rentals, just after the advent of airbnb as a household name here in the Bay Area.

Benkert started fielding inquiries for many of her clients early in 2013 as a favor.

Many of her clients and property owners were too busy or just not available to manage their own listings. Since then, the growth of Guesthop has continued and now the online concierge site is in the process of opening offices in many major metro markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Portland and Miami.

During a recent interview at her San Francisco offices, Ms. Benkert seemed some what surprised but still delighted that her once fledgling local business has taken off as it has.

“I started Guesthop as a way to help existing clients get the most of the their properties, while taking the burden of property and guest management headaches away,” said Benkert. “There are many things that go into successfully hosting guests - and at Guesthop and we do it all.

"First, we field inquiries from prospective guests, confirm a booking and then meet & greet and provide local information when the guests arrives. We also provide 24/7 customer support for all our guest. At the end of the stay, we professionally clean the unit and get it ready for the next guests. There are not many owners & hosts that are in the position to provide that level of customer service and that’s why there is Guesthop.”

Real Estate investor and one of Guesthop’s first clients, Dave Collins said, “I would have never been able to manage my short-term rentals without the help of Guesthop. Guests often come in from International flights at all hours and I could not possibly meet and greet these folks. Emily and her “hoppers” do - and then they take great care of the guests throughout their visit and then painstakingly prepare the flats for the next guests.All my properties have maintained a five star rating on several sites thanks to Guesthop. Guesthop is indispensable for property owners like me that are just too busy or do not have the hospitality background that many sophisticated guests expect." has continued to grow organically by word of mouth over the last few years and before long Benkert started to field inquiries from cities from all over the United States, Europe and Asia. Benkert is in the process of hiring staff in the new Guesthop metro markets around the United States and through private equity and local Angel investments, is planning expansion into Europe by the end of 2015.

“It has been a great ride,” says Benkert with a smile, “it has been so much fun being part of the sharing economy here in San Francisco. It’s so exciting that the rest of country and the world is opening up to this concept.”

Before long you may see as many “Guest-hoppers” in your City as Uber drivers.

We will all have to wait and see.

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david collins
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