Frequently Asked Questions
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, contact us on 0800 526 123.
How do I sign up?
What happens if I'm half-way through signing up and I can't finish my profile in one go?
I've submitted the profile but I can't see it live on the site.
When does the profile go live?
How much does it cost?
How will you advertise my property?
What if I don’t live in New Zealand?
What are your expectations of a host?
How much should I charge?
How much money will I make?
Being a Host
Do I need to offer meals?
Do I need to eat with guests?
How do I take reservations?
What do I do when I get a reservation?
How can I prepare my guest(s) room(s)?
Do we have to use the LookAfterMe product(s)?
How do I take payment?
Do I always have to be available?
What if I can’t meet my guest personally?
Should I have cancellation strategy?
Should I be GST Registered?
Should I be Credit card capable?
How often is my property assessed, and why?
Can Home Hosting be fun, or must I be a Professional?
Signing up is free and easy
- You can do it online yourself. At the top right hand side, click on the green 'Sign Up' button and start by filling your name, email address and password. Once you've clicked 'save', we'll verify you are a real person and send you a link to add property and room detail.
- Or, if you are not confident to do that yourself - we can create a profile for you by gathering information about your property over a phone call (for a small additional charge of $100).
Just hit the save button at the bottom of the page. You can come back to your profile simply by clicking on the Log in button.
This is because we have an additional check to vet you and your property. We want to make sure you are a real person and are ready to receive guests. Once we have approved the property, it goes live on our site. We aim to check your property on the same day you sign up during normal business hours. We operate a limited service over the weekend but are always contactable on 0800 526 123.
The profile goes live once we have reviewed your profile and have gone through all our checks to ensure you meet our standards and are ready to recieve guests.
It is free to sign up.
For guests, we have a simple but transparent 10% commission. This is well below the usual 15 - 25% charged by other platforms or agents.
Look After Me advertises through a wide range of on-line, print, events and other media avenues.
For more information visit the "how we advertise" page.
If you're a host, who loves the concept and has a room to offer overseas, please contact us anyway. Look After Me may expand to other countries if there is interest.
- Accurately represent your listing. Be clear about pricing, amenities, and expectations.
- Keep your calendar availability up-to-date.
- Respond promptly to messages & reservation requests.
- Coordinate check-in time in advance of the actual date.
- A reservation is a commitment. Your guests depend on you and you are an important part of their travel plans, so we expect our hosts to honour any commitment made to guests. Check our handy guide.
We recommend you structure your pricing with two prices – the first for a single guests and $20 - $50 higher for a couple.
- Basic listings (typically 1 – 2 star-equivalent) attract a nightly fee, starting from $45 through to $70 for a single or $55 - $110 couple.
- Classic listings (typically 3 – 4 star equivalent) from $70 to $150
- Premium listings (Typically 4 – 5 star equivalent) from $150.
More detail can be found on our Pricing page
To calculate how much you could earn - multiply the nightly rate by the number of nights you would like to host guests each month. For example, if you would only consider having guests during the weekend, the maximum available nights is 8. You could not expect more than 50% occupancy. Remember: we don't take any commission on the price you charge.
Income derived from providing small scale accommodation is usually secondary income for hosts. Those with more than two rooms and based in high traffic tourist areas can make a realistic return for their business.
More detail can be found on our Pricing page
Being a Host
For in-home hosting you must offer to provide breakfast (No obligation for self-contained units or holiday houses). We recommend you make it clear what type of breakfast you offer: Full, Continental, and/or Special diet and we offer the following minimum guidelines:
Continental breakfast: selection of cereals, fruit (either fresh, stewed or canned), pure fruit juice (not fruit drinks), tea, coffee (ground - not instant unless specifically requested), toast/bread and spreads, yoghurt, water and milk.
Full breakfast: includes the continental breakfast plus a cooked dish. You can provide a selection of cooked dishes from which guests order the night before, thereby simplifying the task next day.
Breakfast is usually left out for the guest to help themselves at their leisure (more like a home than a hotel), but by arrangement this can be served.
Not all guests want breakfast and if that is the case you can reduce the tariff slightly.
You may consider providing a cut lunch to enable guests to better enjoy their daytime activities.
This service will incur a charge in addition to the daily tariff.
There is no obligation to offer dinner, but by arrangement you may offer this to your guests.
Where dinner is offered it is usually advertised as being an extra cost and charged on a per person basis.
Not normally but this is a matter of personal choice, and depends upon your family circumstances and on how you have set up your guest facilities.
Our advice is to try different approaches and discover for yourself what works best for you. Experience shows that the more interaction you have with guests, the better they enjoy their stay.
Bookings that come through enquires via our website. You will be sent a notificaiton there is a new booking request and given an opportunity to confirm or decline the booking. Confirming a booking will automatically book out the calendar, and the guest will be sent a link to pay to confirm the booking. Once paid - you will be sent a second notification. At that point, you can make contact with your guest to arrange details.
Firstly, consider if you are available to take the booking and that your accommodation fits the needs of your guests and the number in their party.
If the booking suits -confirm the booking.
After the guest has paid, please contact your guest to make detailed arrangements. We suggesti you ask your guest:
1. Confirm the arrival time and and negotiate any pick ups and the price
2. Check the special needs or dietary requirements of your guests
3.Explain how meals work at your place (breakfast included, other meals by arrangement, self-catering) and negotiate suggested charges for that.
5. Give clear directions to your property, using street names and landmarks.
Please contact us if you'd like an email template of what we recommend.
All rooms, no matter what standard must meet the following minimum standards:
- Clean, fresh towels and linen
- Room and bathroom to be spotlessly clean
- No hairs of any kind on the bed
- Very tidy and dust free
- Provision of Look After Me toiletries (minimum a soap) and guest gift
- Water and glass
- Rubbish bin
- Bedside lamp
- Smoke detector (usually in hallway)
- Provision for personal belongings
- Here's our handy guide to Getting Ready
Once the booking is confirmed our system will send a payment link. Once your guest has paid, we will send a second notifcation.
As part of your sign up process, we would have have signed our Terms and conditions and provided us with your bank account details. We pay you on the day your guest arrives, less our 10% commission.
For transport options, you are welcome to legally accept a koha for picking up. You are not legally allowed to charge for this service unless you have a passenger licence.
Each property and rooms have their own booking calendar. This means you can block out your property when it is not convenient for you to take guests.
If you are unable for whatever reason to be available to greet your guest you may arrange to leave a key at an agreed place on the property.
Alternatively arrange for a friend or a family member to greet your guest and settle them.
Make sure you give clear expectations of what time you will be at the property and your contact phone number should they need to contact you.
A hand written welcome note, some homebaking, a few chocolates are a nice gesture of welcome.
Yes you should, and unless otherwise specified in your website profile, all Look After Me rooms operate using these following recommendations:
- For a full refund, cancellation must be made five full days prior to listing's local check in time (or 3:00 PM if not specified) on the day of check in.
- If the guest cancels less than 5 days in advance, the first night is non-refundable but the remaining nights will be 50% refunded.
- If the guest arrives and decides to leave early, the nights not spent are not refunded.
If your anticipated turnover is going to be over $60,000 per annum, you have to be. If close to that turnover, it would be worth going to your local IRD office. If you are GST registered, your quoted tariff should include the GST content.
Not necessarily - we operate a Merchant Bank account and our guests would have paid using a credit card, into our Trust Account. We hold these funds in trust for you, releasing funds directly into your nominated bank account, on the day the guests arrive, less our 10% commission.
As part of our sign up process, we will initially vet and check your property, usually on the day you sign up. If you have a current Qualmark rating for your property, the requirement for a further Look After Me assessment is waived.
We sincerely hope that Home Hosting is fun, and if it's not then don't do it. . A good maxim is "promise only what you can deliver and deliver more than you promise". Guest satisfaction comes from having their expectations exceeded - so have fun but do the job right.
Local authority by-laws differ and some regulations may be interpreted or applied differently in various parts of New Zealand.
No you don't have to have a liquor licence - an amendment to the Sale of Liquor Act (1999) exempts hosts from the requirement to have a licence.
Should I have a smoke detector in my property?
Yes. You must have a working smoke detector on the property. It is also advisable you have signage to advise the location of the exits guests would use in case of a fire and provide guidelines on sensible evacuation policies.
Prospective hosts are encouraged to use common sense in this regard.
What about insurance?
We strongly recommend that you have full insurance cover while operating a B&B/homestay. You can contact your insurance provider and enquire about ‘InnKeeper’s Insurance’. In most cases this is only marginally more expensive than standard home and contents insurance.
While Public Liability and Fire & General insurance may not be a legal requirement, you do have a heavy responsibility for your guests and their possessions so adequate protections need to be in place.
We recommend these protections are put in place prior to or as soon as practicable after signing up. Insurance protection is provided on a doctrine of "full disclosure" and if you neglect to advise your insurance provider that you are home hosting you will probably find you have no protection at all.
This needn't be costly or time consuming. In most cases it's just a matter of advising your insurance company you are having paying guests.
Should I pay tax from my revenue from LookAfterMe?
If your income from LookAfterMe is less than $232 per week, you will not have to file a tax return or pay tax.
For more information please see the following links: