New Homeowner FAQ
We are so glad that you’ve chosen Gästehaus Schmidt Reservation Service to discuss representing your property. We pride ourselves in representing the finest homes in Fredericksburg, Kerrville, Ingram, Hunt and Comfort. As this is a booming business in our area, we have devised a list of frequently asked questions.
What are guests looking for?
Above all, clean, well maintained accommodations. Interesting décor and unique amenities are often sought after (e.g. large whirlpool tub, hot tub, fireplace, creek, fishing pond, outdoor kitchen, etc.) as well as privacy and location.
Who cleans and prepares accommodations?
That’s up to you, but GS does offer a service to handle all of your housekeeping/managing needs and lawn service. Whether you choose a service or an individual, this person would need to be very responsible, decisive, and able to handle emergency problems 24 hours a day.
What About Breakfast?
This is up to the individual homeowner. We recommend offering a generous, quality breakfast, either full or continental. Quality is the key. Breakfast vouchers to local restaurants are also an option. The going rate is about $7 person/night, and GS handles distributing and paying the restaurants for you. Unlike other reservation services, GS only bills you for vouchers redeemed, not given. Even if you decide to not offer a breakfast or breakfast voucher, you are required to provide coffee and tea at the very least.
How much is the Gästehaus Schmidt percentage?
We retain 21% of the nightly lodging charge. Unlike other reservation services, our percentage remains constant and there are no additional hidden fees incurred by the homeowner or their guests. The 21% includes:
- Collecting lodging payments including credit card fees with a secure processor
- A write-up and photographs of your home for display in our office and online
- Maintenance of website for advertising, bookings, and information purposes
- Homeowner access to your home’s reservations through our website
- Advertising via paid promotional, donations to non-profit organizations, internet, travel writers, travel publications, etc.
- Collection and payment of state and local hotel/motel taxes along with a 1099 form annually
Are there any other fees?
We charge a one-time sign up fee of $200 and an annual fee of $100 per property or suite. There is a discounted annual fee of $75 for each additional property.
How many nights can I expect my property to be booked?
Historically, 6-10 nights a month can be expected. The more your accommodation is clean and ready for walk-ins, the more likely that it will be booked. Price, amenities, location, and flexibility are key factors. The ability to take one-night reservations, children, pets, etc. makes your property appealing to a wider variety of guests.
Do I have to have a license to run a B & B or Guest House?
The city does require that each home is registered with them and follows a few minor rules. Other than that, the only other requirements include- *An approval letter from the Fire Marshall, confirming that your property is safe for guests. *A $1 million commercial liability insurance policy; this can be obtained by local insurance companies. *If you plan to offer breakfast, Gästehaus Schmidt suggests taking a food handling course, which is offered locally.
Can I make my own reservations?
Gästehaus Schmidt requires an exclusive double booking if both our service and the homeowners are making reservations. Our guests also have a contract. This is essential because we take many reservations and there is a strong possibility of access to the reservation system through our website. Our guests can make reservations directly on our system 24 hours a day.
How do I know what to charge a night?
It’s up to you, but you may want to compare your property with a similar one in our service. Keep in mind, guests expect to feel that they’ve gotten their money’s worth. As a part of your consultation, Gästehaus Schmidt may run a market analysis to see where your property fits in.
How do I protect my valuables?
Generally speaking, theft is not a problem. Damages are a possibility, but not common. We suggest that you not use any irreplaceable items.
Do I need to advertise?
Gästehaus Schmidt advertises extensively, but you are welcome to advertise on your own. We ask that on any advertising you do partake in, that you list our phone number as a contact.
A Gästehaus Schmidt representative will visit your property to ensure that we are able to successfully represent you to the best of our ability.
What services does Gästehaus Schmidt Provide?
- Secure reservations
- Create a write-up for your home known as an information sheet
- Photograph your home for display in our office and website
- Provide confirmation and information sheet to guests
- Contact hosts/managers for reservations/cancellations/changes
- Collect lodging payments (credit cards/checks/cash)
- Welcome guests to Fredericksburg with friendly staff
- Offer visitor information/directions
- Maintain web site for advertising/information purposes
- Exposure to thousands of travelers through listings on over a dozen travel sites
- Homeowner has access to their home’s reservations through our web site
- Advertise via paid promotions, donations to non-profit organizations, internet, travel writers, travel publications, etc.
- Forward guest comments to homeowners
- Collect and pay state and local hotel/motel taxes
- Option of direct deposit or a monthly paycheck to homeowners with newsletter
- Supply homeowner with the total earned annually
If you have more questions or need an “on-site” consultation, please make an appointment with Jessica Davis. There is a $75 fee for up to one house consultation and a $25 per extra hour. When you list your home with Gästehaus Schmidt this fee will be deducted from your membership.