Help & Support

Smartstayz strives to make your rental experiences as safe, comfortable, and fun as possible. We'll do what we can to help

Contact

.
(800) 438-4541
support@smartstayz.com

Overview

About Smartstayz

What is Smartstayz™?

Smartstayz™ is an online rental community where people can list, search for, find, secure accommodations all across the country and easily manage the entire process online.

The Smartstayz™ mission is to help those who have a place to rent (HOSTS) and place-seekers (GUESTS) elevate their lifestyle and income by using a turn-key room rental sytem. Over the past 10 years, the team at Smartstayz have been renting rooms and have incorporated lessons learned &customer feedback to continuously improve the Smartstayz™ platform.  

1. Goal: To help people across the planet improve their lives by  joining the sharing community of renting space, whether its a spare room, an apartment, a mansion or an igloo.

2. Goal: To simplify our tool kit, incorporate best practices and make managing the room rental process simple and effortless.

3. Goal: Be at the forefront of developing  an intuitive and innovative  room rental system complete with publishing tools, safety verifications, search functionality, search rank, booking engine, messaging and payments.  

 

What is in the Help section?

The Smartstayz™ Help homepage is located at www.Smartstayz.com/help. The help section is a collection of resources loaded with info about being a host, tenant, and helpful best practices for using the site.

The help section includes:
1. A complete directory on FAQs about being a host, tenant, and our company. If you're wondering how Smartstayz™ works, how to edit your listing, or what happens after you click the “Book It” button, click on a topic below and browse the FAQs.
2. The search box. Enter keywords and phrases to narrow down a search for an FAQ. Look for the box near the top of the page to test it out.
3. Video tutorials and our downloadable Hosting Manual.


How do I get back to the Help homepage? Jump to the Help homepage at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of any web page.

How do I sign up with Smartstayz™?

Signing up is simple and FREE. All that is required is an email address.

Option 1: Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts. These accounts will automatically fill out some of your profile, and you’ll get an additional verification to help build your credentials.
Option 2: You can also sign-up SIMPLY with an email address to create an account.
 
 
What are Verifications?

Smartstayz™ was founded on Values of Excellence.  These values drive the core of everything we do at Smartstayz™.  They include: Communication, Credibility, Honesty, Transparency, Safety, Security, Simplicity, Comfort, and Convenience.  

To drive forward our values and build them into our community for customers, we have developed a Custom Identity & Quality Verification System that promotes maximum transparency among members.  As a host and guest, your profile is active immediately after sign-on, but its is not “ready for prime-time” as-is.  To move forward and become a trusted member of our community, it is important to complete the " Verifications" component of your  profile.
 
Verifications include a number of “credentials” that your counter party - The Guest, if you’re a Host, and the Host, if you’re a guest - will review carefully to make sure you are someone with whom they want to connect for renting.
 
Verifications include: 
1) Social Media verifications including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In
2) Phone number verification via SMS response;
3) Primary email address verification;
4) Residence verification;
5) Reference(s) verification(s)
6) Self-run criminal background check
7) ID validation
 
 
Why don't I just use a classified listing?

Classifieds only handle the first part of the process while Guestnest allows you to manage the entire process.  Compare Classifieds versus Guestnest and see why everyone is making the switch:



Feature SmartStayz Classified
Marketing to Prospects Yes: We focus on desirable busy professionals so you get to select from a pre-filtered clientele Yes: No "filter"; you have to weed through less optimal prospects to finally find one you like
Verifications Yes: further filter guests to ensure you get your pick of the litter No
Interviews / Booking System Yes: streamlines the interview process to save you time No
Financial Transactions Yes: Ensures payments are made on-time No
Reputation Yes: Reviews let you build your reputation and makes it easy to build your business No

 

How can I contact Smartstayz™?

You can contact 24/7 Smartstayz™ Support at http://smartstayz.com/flows/help. We’re available by email, phone, and live chat. 

 
What is the Dashboard?

Your Dashboard is the “welcome” or “home page” of your Smartstayz™ account. Just like the dashboard of a car, your Smartstayz™ Dashboard shows you important alerts and acts as a gateway to navigating your account.
 
When you login to Smartstayz™, you are automatically taken to your Dashboard, located at www.Smartstayz™.com/home/dashboard. You can also reach your Dashboard at any time by clicking on your name at the top of any Smartstayz™ web page and choosing it from the drop-down menu.
I forgot my password. What do I do?

If you forgot your password and cannot log in to your Smartstayz™ account, click on this “Forgot password?” found here, https://www.Smartstayz™.com/login. Enter the email address you use for Smartstayz™, and you’ll be sent a temporary password so you can log back in to your account. 

Change your password. Go to your Dashboard > Account > Settings and change your password to one you can easily remember. Enter the temporary password as your old password, create your new password, and update.
Already logged in.  If you forgot your password but you’re already logged in to Smartstayz™, first log out of your account before clicking on the “Forgot password?” link.
If all else fails, contact Smartstayz™ Support, and we’d be happy to help!    
 
 
I logged in through Facebook and cannot remember my password. What do I do?

If you created a Smartstayz™ account by connecting to Facebook, you were not required to create a password. If you’d like to do so now, first log out of your Smartstayz™ account, and then click on this “Forgot password?” link, also found at https://www.Smartstayz™.com/login. 

Enter the email address you use for your Facebook account, and you’ll be sent a temporary password so you can log in to create one of your own. 
 
Change your password. Go to your Dashboard > Account > Settings and change your password to one you can easily remember. Enter the temporary password as your old password, create your new password, and update.
 
***You should know that once you create a Smartstayz™ password, you’ll no longer be able to sign in using Facebook. Instead, you can simply use your email address and newly-created password. If you’re having trouble, just contact us at Smartstayz™ Support.
 
 
What should my profile include?

An effecive profile includes your full name, a profile photo (with your face showing, preferably), and some interesting facts about yourself, such as where you're from and your interests or hobbies. Though, you shouldn’t share any personal websites or links to any other online accounts you may have in order to be sure to keep your communication and transactions on Smartstayz™.  Verifications, references, and reviews also appear on your profile. You'll see the opportunity to verify your Smartstayz™ account in order to build a trustworthy reputation by adding your phone number or connecting to a social network. If you are new on the site and don't have any reviews from hosts, references are great way to have friends, family, and co-workers vouch for you.

Read our tips on how to take a great profile photo, take a photo now using the Smartstayz™ Photobooth, and learn more about why you should fill out your profile completely. 
 
 
Do I have to fill out my profile?

Smartstayz™ is a community marketplace built on trust and safety that facilitates the meeting of people in real life.  Completing your profile is one way you tell others “Look, I’m a real person, a good person, and I am a known entity in my communities”  Your pics, references, verified address, phone number, email, and other “real life” info about yourself give members of the community who might be living with you the confidence to move forward with your candidacy.   Two way street. And if you’re a Smartstayz™ host, to get the highest quality guests, you’ll want to complete 100% of your credentials to demonstrate that you too are also a high quality host.  You’ll find the more “put-together” your profile looks, the more interest you’ll have from other like minded individuals who want to either rent your room. or allow you to stay in their home.

 

How do I take a great profile photo?

Our professional photographers suggest the following tips for taking photos: 

1. Lighting should be neutral and natural. Too much direct light or sitting in a dark corner can distort your photos.
2. Space between you and the camera is important, and beware of angles! Extreme ups and downs can be disorienting (and a bit intimidating). Try to keep the camera steady and flat. We’ve found that the best photos are taken at about two feet from the camera’s lens.
3. As much as possible. try to use a photo that captures your character and personality. 
4. Try to keep your eyes open so it doesn’t appear that you’re on drugs or bored out of your mind.  
5.  The higher the resolution the better.  
6.  Don't shoot from too high or too low.
 
 
 
How do text message notifications work?

Since response time is so important for bookings, we created text message alerts to give you instant status updates of new messages, reservation requests, and more. When you verify your mobile phone number by SMS text message, a confirmation code is sent for you to input in your account.

You can then manage what notifications you receive or disable text message notifications altogether (without removing your verified phone number from your account) by going to your Dashboard > Account > Notifications.
 
What about cost? 
Standard message and data rates may apply for any messages sent or received, so it is best to contact your wireless provider for more information.
 
If you don't want to receive text message notifications, go to Dashboard>account>notifications and uncheck teh pertinent checkboxes.
 
 
Why didn't I receive my email notification or my verification email?

 

Sometimes a small spelling error can be the cause of the confusion. To make sure your email address is correctly entered, go to your Dashboard > Profile > Edit Profile.
It's also possible your email provider mistakenly marked our emails as spam and sent them to your spam or junk folders. You can help avoid this by removing our messages from your spam list and adding both "automated@Smartstayz™.com" and "contact@Smartstayz™.com" to your address book.
Don’t forget that Smartstayz™ Support is here for you to help you make sure you receive our emails.
 
What is a "Host"?

Smartstayz was founded on the tenet that we're all partners in each others' success.  That being said, we have long felt the terms "Landlord" and "Tenant" are antiquated and don't accurately represent what we feel should be the nature of the relationship - that of a HOST and a GUEST. By embracing the true meaning of this new terminology, a paradigm shift occurs - resulting is a greatly enhanced experience for both parties.  

A HOST provides not only a real product of great value (a high-quality accommodation), but also the maintenance and service that goes along with it.  A GUEST respects the HOST's property and efforts, and strives to match it.  The result?  EXCELLENT experiences.  We are striving to acheive a global room-rental community whose members truly see the benefits and embrace the new "HOST/GUEST" rental paradigm.  

Taking the above into account: What is a HOST?  Simple - A HOST is someone who provides excellent accommodations and respects his/her guest as a true friend.  If this is done, all the rest falls right into place!

 

Why and how should I connect my Smartstayz™ account to Facebook?

You can connect to Facebook at your Dashboard > Profile > Trust and Verification for the purpose of adding a verification to your account.

When you sign up for Smartstayz™, you can use your Facebook account. This automatically fills in your profile and lets you see the places and hosts your friends recommend. 
 
We pull basic pieces of information including your school, your employment, and any networks you're a part of, and we add them to your Smartstayz™ account to help you complete your profile. You can modify or remove any information in your profile that we pulled from Facebook and still keep the verification. Rest assured we never link anyone to your Facebook account, and you can also control what information is provided to Smartstayz™ by setting your privacy preferences on Facebook.
 
What's the rental agreement?

 

The rental agreement lets guests know what they need to do and what they should avoid. For instance, maybe guests need to clean the kitchen after use, should not go into the attic, or are not allowed to smoke on the premises. The rental agreement goes a long way to assuring a great living experience for everyone by setting expectations straight away, explicitly.  By the time a guest moves in, the rental agreement will have provided a thorough and definitive set of rules and guidelines such that there should be no doubt about what the most important criteria are for living at that particular home.  Guests can see the rental agreement at any time, and can review the specific rules that apply to the room they’re interested in by looking at the listing.  They will also see these rules, and must agree to them, before proceeding with the booking.  Failure to follow the rental agreement could result in a cancellation by either party.
 
What do you mean exactly by "Flexible Rental-Terms"?

Smartstayz™ was built based on our experience with offering maximum value for guests vs the alternatives - hotels, extended-stay hotels, corporate apartments, standard apartment leases, etc. As far as rental term, this translated into offering guests tremendous flexibility in their stay. Guests can change the rental period of their stay anytime they want, right from their Dashboard.  When you change your stay period, Smartstayz automatically gets you the best rate available.  You can add days, or months to your stay, or shorten your stay, all without penalty, as long as you meet the time conditions specified by your host in his listing. (For example, if the host set his "Required notice to vacate" at 15 days, as long as your change includes the 15 days notice, you have complete  flexibility).  as long as they give the HOST the proper notice (this is different for evbery host .  On top of making all of the utilities and amenities included, the price and flexibility of term makes the Smartstayz Value Proposition so much higher. 

 
Smartstayz™ encourages hosts to offer maximum flexibility as well.  We encourage this by allowing hosts to offer their space for rent using daily OR monthly rates, and allowing month-to-month (open-ended) rentals, specific time periods (guest specifies move-in and move-out dates), or a combination of the two.  By having this type of flexibility, another great need of guests is met through our hosts and Smartstayz™, and so we, as a team, succeed in providing tremendous value.  
 
How does Smartstayz™ handle security deposits?

Protecting yourself with a security deposit works best when it's handled through Smartstayz™'s payment system. When hosts add a deposit to a listing, any booking made from then on will be covered by the amount chosen. We'll automatically authorize the guest's credit card for the deposit as soon as that guest books your place. We release it back to the guest 48 hours after the checkout date, if no damages are reported by the host.

If damages are reported, then a Smartstayz™ Arbitrator will mediate with the guest and host to make sure both parties are represented fairly.  Smartstayz™ can also still assist with communication between the host and guest regarding the deposit, though we cannot ensure either the deposit or the return of the deposit if it did not flow through our payment system.
 
How do I include a security deposit on my listing?

We’ve made it easy for you to include a security deposit on your listing so you can help protect yourself from any mishaps that might occur during a reservation. The best way to include a security deposit on your listing is to handle the deposit with Smartstayz™.

To add a security deposit that’s handled with Smartstayz™, go to your Dashboard > Your Listings > Edit Listing. For your selected listing, click on EDIT ROOM or EDIT PLACE (if you ar erenting the entire place).  You can then enter a deposit amount of your choosing.  This deposit is then automatically applied to each and every reservation you book for your listing, and is tallied together as the total amount due from your guest when he books.  Smartstayz holds the security deposit, and we return it to your the guest 48 hrs after successful move-out, unless there are any issues of damage or other costs incurred during his/her stay that requires a reduction in the amount returned.  Hosts can report damage or other reasons for retaining the guest's deposit by contacting Smartstayz support within 48 hrs after guest move-out.
 
 
What's the Smartstayz™ GuestGuide?

GuestGuide is an integrated online map - attached to every listing - that allows you to see preferred and recommended vendors, stores, restaurants, gyms, or anything else you might be looking for are local to that particular home.   Many guests find this feature extremely helpful in transitioning to their new locale and for finding their way around once they arrive. So whether you need a reliable local mechanic, the nearest Home Depot, or a solid slice of New york style Pizza, hit up your host’s listing page, click on the “GuestGuide “ button and dig in. 
 

How can I protect myself with more than a security deposit?

In addition to including a security deposit on your listing and being familiar with the Smartstayz™ Host Guarantee, adding an extra layer of protection with renter’s or homeowner’s insurance may be right for you. Every policy is different and might not provide the same level of protection. To understand your coverage options, you should check with your insurance provider or providers in your area. 

Here are some common questions and answers:
 
1. Does my homeowner’s or renter’s insurance cover instances in which a guest or other third party is injured at my listing?
Some insurance policies protect homeowners and renters from certain lawsuits that result from injury to a visitor. Since the coverage contained in those policies varies, we recommend you confirm with your insurance provider that your rental activity is covered under your current policy before listing your space.
2. Does Smartstayz™ offer liability coverage?
Smartstayz™ does not offer liability coverage at this time.  Since you are the onsite manager of your property, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that tenants are following your renter’s agreement.
3. What is an Umbrella policy?
Umbrella policies often extend your liability insurance coverage beyond your minimum coverage for a fee. We recommend you discuss this with your insurance provider.
 
My address is shown incorrectly on the map. How can I fix it?

If your address is appearing incorrectly on the map, there’s no need to worry! It can be edited until it’s right on-target.

Are you trying to create a listing? When you create a listing, you'll need to enter an address recognized by our system in the address field. If our system does not recognize the postal address entered in the address field, Contact Smartstayz™ Support so we can help you update the address.
How do I use the calendar?
It is important to make sure your listing’s calendar is up-to-date since guests rely on your calendar to show them your rate and availability. It also keeps you informed of the reservations you have coming up. Manage your calendar at your Dashboard >Calendar.
 
When you’re all set, click the green "SAVE" button to update your calendar to make it to go live. You can view your live calendar as a guest sees it by going to your listing’s public page and clicking on the tab for the calendar. Any calendar dates that are NOT available to book will appear as red.  
 
You can manage your calendar for all of your listings right from this one central calendar.  Simple!
 
Why can’t I call or email a guest before booking?
To mitigate fraud and the threat of scams, we only share guest contact info (phone number, email address, and last name) after a reservation is accepted and authorized payment is received.  Reply to messages by opening the conversation thread and clicking the green “Send Message” button.  Even after the reservation is finalized, we strongly encourage you to continue messaging on Smartstayz™ to iron out the details. Messaging within our system provides a paper trail that our customer support team can reference in case your reservation was misrepresented.
 
Why should I use your payment system?
Our payment system protects both parties from fraud and illicit behaviors. In addition, the Smartstayz™ Wallet mazimizes convenience for both parties.  You will not have to “chase” a tenant for payment.  When a host accepts your reservation request you will be charged upfront. (You will not be charged if the reservation request expires or is denied). Smartstayz™ holds your payment until 24 hours after move-in, at which point we transfer it to the host. This gives you time to arrive, move-in, and confirm that everything is as expected.
 
Should you cancel your reservation, you will be refunded in accordance with your host's cancellation policy (as seen on the listing page and in your itinerary). Sending payment to the host outside of the site prevents us from being able to protect your payment. Our payment system is specifically set up so that your money is safe until you have successfully checked in.
 
What happens if I go around the Smartstayz™ payment system?
We will not be able to protect your payment. Should you need to cancel your reservation or if something doesn't go as expected, we will not be able to assist you as the reservation and payment are not recorded in our system.
Following a stay through Smartstayz™, guests and hosts are prompted to leave feedback for each other. If you go around the Smartstayz™ payment system you will not be allowed to post or earn reviews.
Guests: We will not be able to hold your payment until 24 hours after move-in.
Hosts:   We will not be able to enforce your cancellation policy should the guest cancel. You will forego earning points, which would raise your listing's placement in search results.
 
Does my host have a deposit and how much is it?
Some of our hosts do require security deposits and use Smartstayz™ to facilitate them for reservations. The amount of the deposit is listed in the details section of the listing page.
The security deposit is charged against your credit card or bank account on file when you book, and is credited back to your account within 48 hrs after check out - provided a damage claim is not filed by your host.
When is money exchanged?
All money is exchanged through the secure Smartstayz payment platform.  WE have developed this platform to make payments safe, secure, simple, and flexible.  This is just one of the many benefits of using Smartstayz.  Your easy online payments take place as follows: 
Guests: you are charged for your first installment, or in full.  Stays under 30 days usually require upfront payment.  Stays 30 days and over usually, but not always, allow youto make a payment up front and then payments scheduled for later dates.  
Hosts: You will receive payment 24 hours after the guest checks in.
Security deposits are charged immediately upon booking confirmation, and returned to Guest 48 hrs after check-out. provided there are no deposit disputes.
 
What information do you need to create a profile?
To create a profile, you need to use your full real legal name, email address, and personal bio. In addition, we strongly encourage you to include your phone number, connect your Facebook account, and complete as many reference verifications as you can.  This way you can establish credibility right out of the gates.
 
Am I allowed to decline reservation requests?
Absolutely.  Yes, you are allowed to decline reservation requests.  As a matter of fact, you will probably receive many requests forthe same time period.  It's up to you to decide who is the best fit for you. Remember: You have control over your listing.
 
How does Smartstayz™ work from an overview?

Smartstayz allows people who need a place to stay for long-term, short-term, nightly, etc to easily and securely find and book places in private homes without ever having to view them. How is this possible? The Smartstayz community thrives on trust, ratings, reviews, and high-quality. The Smartstayz network provides a huge selection of all-inclusive rentals in private homes all across the nation at super-value. Book rooms confidently, site unseen to live long-term, stay short-term, or visit for vacation - its simple!

How it works for a Guest:
1.Search properties and submit multiple bookings requests
2.Wait for hosts to confirm availability and approve your request
3.Select the finalist, pack your bags and get ready for your new home

How it works for a Host:
1.List your space and receive rental requests
2.Select a Guest and confirm move-in
3.Receive your payment

How does Smartstayz work for Guests??

Smartstayz allows people who need a place to stay for long-term, short-term, nightly, etc to easily and securely find and book places in private homes without ever having to view them. How is this possible? The Smartstayz community thrives on trust, ratings, reviews, and high-quality. The Smartstayz network provides a huge selection of all-inclusive rentals in private homes all across the nation at super-value. Book rooms confidently, site unseen to live long-term, stay short-term, or visit for vacation - its simple!

How it works for a Guest:
1.Search properties and submit multiple bookings requests
2.Wait for hosts to confirm availability and approve your request
3.Select the finalist, pack your bags and get ready for your new home

How it works for a Host:
1.List your space and receive rental requests
2.Select a Guest and confirm move-in
3.Receive your payment

What is a Smartstayz Profile?

A Smartstayz Profile is a snapshot of a host or guest for the purpose of making fast and informed rental decisions.  The important Smartstayz profile features include: Photo, description, rental goals, work, school, and group/club affiliations, reviews from prior hosts/guests, and a number of verifications.

A user can hide his or her profile anytime by visiting the "PROFILE & VERIFICATIONS" tab on their Smartstayz Dashboard, and then clicking "Hide Profile" in the upper right corner of the tab.  Additionally, Smartstayz has added an item-by-item profile hide/display feature.  By clicking the eyeball next to any verification, users can hide that particular item from their profile.  PLEASE NOTE: Even when all information is has an "open eyeball" icon, sensitive personal info like phone number, full name, address, social security number, or other sensitive private info is NEVER displayed on a public profile.  Smartstayz takes privacy and security of all of our members very seriously.

What do the "eyeball" icons on my PROFILE & VERIFICATIONS tab do?

The eyeball icons on your PROFILE & VERIFICATIONS tab allow you to show or hide that category on your public profile. PLEASE NOTE: Even when all information is has an "open eyeball" icon, sensitive personal info like phone number, full name, address, social security number, or other sensitive private info is NEVER displayed on a public profile.  Smartstayz takes privacy and security of all of our members very seriously.

Check out

How does the check out process work?
Check out for guests is simple and automated. Review the 4 simple steps below to ensure fast return of your security deposit in full:


1   CLEAN UP
    Remove all of your personal effects and clean thoroughly, making sure
    to leave the place in the same condition as when you moved in;

2  TAKE PHOTOS
    Take a minimum of 6 photos of the room with your phone so you have
    visual record of the place's condition upon your departure.
 
3  LEAVE THE KEYS
    If you used physical keys for access (vs electronic keypad, etc), then leave the keys according to your Host's instructions.  If no instructions were provided, leave them on any table in plain sight.
 
4  CLICK “CHECK-OUT”
    On Checkout day, when you login to Smartstayz, there will be a large "Check out" button on your dashboard.  Just click and you'll be officially checked out.  Your deposit return process will also be initiated automatically.  If the 
    place is in  satisfactory condition, you should receive your deposit back within 2-5 business days.  

Reviews

How do reviews work?
Reviews are one of our major trust and safety features. They are your opportunity to build a good reputation in the Smartstayz™ community, as well as to tell the community about your experience with a host or a guest. Since you can only write a review after completing a reservation, you can trust that any review you see on a profile page is the result of an actual person staying with or hosting another member of the community.
Two days after your reservation has been completed, you will receive an email from Smartstayz™ asking you to leave a review. You’ll also see an alert on your Dashboard in your account. Guests and hosts rate each other on cleanliness, communication, and more. In addition to public feedback, you can also send private feedback to each other.
 
Please remember: Please be honest, genuine and tactful in your reviews.  Help us maintain the environment of community and social maturity that really drives out value to all!
 
What are the review guidelines?
Reviews allow you to share your experience with the greater Smartstayz™ community. They reinforce the transparency of the site, significantly assist your fellow travelers and hosts in making informed decisions when booking, and provide helpful feedback. 
If leaving a negative review, please keep in mind that a review must be an unbiased, objective account of your stay and should simply state the facts.
If you receive a negative review, don't stress! Keep in mind that a review is a personal opinion to which each traveler and host is entitled. Simply work to address any problems that were noted in the review, and your next review should be great.
Smartstayz™ reserves the right to remove a review if it is inaccurate, makes false accusations, is a personal attack against a user, or is used as a form of extortion.
 
Can I remove a negative review?
Earning reviews builds trust in the Smartstayz™ community since reviews show that a user has successfully completed a reservation through the Smartstayz™ system. We encourage both hosts and guests to post their honest opinions, including negative comments. Honesty and transparency are vital to our community, therefore there is no feature on the site that allows you to change or delete reviews that appear on your profile.
 
Can I remove a negative review?
Earning reviews builds trust in the Smartstayz™ community since reviews show that a user has successfully completed a reservation through the Smartstayz™ system. We encourage both hosts and guests to post their honest opinions, including negative comments. Honesty and transparency are vital to our community, therefore there is no feature on the site that allows you to change or delete reviews that appear on your profile.
 
We do ask that the review is an objective account of the stay, according to our review guidelines. If you feel any review guidelines have been violated, or if as a host you would like to post a response to a negative review, you can do so.  Just remember, your responses are a reflection of you as a Host and a person, and so will affect your future “bookability”.  If you are viewed as rude, obnoxious, or insulting, that is not a reflection of the person you are reviewing - it is a reflection on yourself.  Be gracious and classy  - and your bookings will come rolling in despite a less-than-perfect review on your listing.   
 

 

Ratings

What are Smartstayz Ratings?

Smartstayz Secret Ratings is one tool hosts and guests use to evaluate one another.  At specific time intervals during a stay, hosts and guests are asked to rate their counterpart's "performance" in 4 categories.  The counterparty is unaware when the rating will be provided.  The ratings serve as an average "experience" score which, over time, will typically prove a good representation of a host/guest's rental style and quality of interaction with their counterparts.  An overall rating above 7 is usually indicative of a viable candidate.  Remember, however, never use one metric alone to make rental decisions.  Use Smartstayz's multi-layer prescreening platform, which includes verifications and user profile info, to effectively pre-screen and help select prospects. 

Check in

How does the check in process work? What about keys?
The check in process using Smartstayz™ is simple, and consistes of 2 steps.  
 
STEP 1: Arrive
Once a room is booked, Host and Guest contact each other freely to answer any questions about where the keys will be left, whether Host will meet the Guest(s) at the nest on check in, etc., or any other pertinent topics.

STEP 2: Relax
You'll be automatically "checked in" on the evening of your arrival. 

 

Communicating

What is a rental Invitation? How do they work?

Rental invitations is a feature unique to the Smartstayz platform.  Rental invitations are offers sent by hosts to guests, asking them to submit a booking request.  These Guest Invitations allow hosts to proactively, and politely, contact prospective guests that have specified a rental goal that matches the host's offering. 

Only a host with an approved listing and availability that matches the guest's accommodation needs can send requests. So when a guest receives a host request, that guest knows that the invitation is appropriate and directly pertinent to their rental needs.

Host Faq

General

How do I list my space on Smartstayz™?

1. ADD YOUR PLACE

Click the button to list your space, set your address, and upload photos. A photo is required to publish your posting. Use our guidelines to take professional style photos.  Accurately describe your space and select the appropriate amenities to give potential guests a good idea of what your listing has to offer. Don’t forget to set your calendar availability to let guests know when they can book.
 
Add a security deposit and/or a cleaning fee with Smartstayz™ Wallet system to make sure all your needs are met. Try out the Smartstayz™ valuator tool to help you decide what your place is worth.
 
Don’t forget to set up a payout method using our Smartstayz™ Wallet.
 
Check out our best practices for creating a listing that "POPS".
 
2. COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE AND VERIFICATIONS
Sign up with Smartstayz™, create a profile, and upload a profile photo. Build your credentials by getting verified, and automatically email associates for references.
 
3. GET BOOKED
Answer messages and reservation requests from prospective guests in a timely manner using Smartstayz™ Exchange messaging system on the site. Your response rate and search rank depend on it, so don't keep your potential guests waiting! 
Best Practice: Quick Response - By responding as soon as booking requests arrives, you will impress your guest, be more likely to obtain the booking and improve your long-term rank.
 
 
Who can host on Smartstayz™?

Who can host on Smartstayz™?
Almost anyone can be a host! It's free to sign up and to list your space. You must be 18+ and with a valid driver’s license and a record free of felonies. No matter where you live, if you have extra space that other people can live in, then you can benefit from Smartstayz™.   Hosts have come from everywhere. No matter who you are - it is important to learn how to play it safe on Smartstayz™ in our Trust & Safety Center.  

What does the room type of a listing mean?

Hosts on SmartStayz™ offer a wide variety of listings, ranging from single bedrooms, master Bedroom Suites, converted dens or home offices, whole houses, condos, apartments, and everything in between.  

If someone can live in it, you can rent it.  While guests can filter searches to look for something more specific (like boats, penthouses or castles!), all listings are categorized into the following three room types: shared rooms, private rooms, and entire homes/apartments.
 
Shared rooms are for those of you who don't mind sharing a space with others for a comfy, communal experience. With a shared room, you're sharing the space with your host and/or others. These rooms work best for the flexible traveler looking for a budget-friendly living experience.
 
Private rooms are for those of you if you prefer more privacy.  These spaces are often for longer-term rental arrangements and offered at around a fifth to a third of the cost of a hotel room.  With a private room, you share common areas with other guests and or your host, but you have your own private room to close the door and slip into your own world.  
 
Entire Places are for those of you are seeking a home away from home with complete privacy throughout the entire home. With an entire home/apartment, you've got the whole space to yourself.                    
 
What does it mean to be Smartstayz™ Certified? What is in it for me?

A Host or Guest can become “Smartstayz™ Certified” by completing ALL required profile fields and satisfying all required criteria.  

These include:
1) 100% Completed profile info
2) At least 10 high quality photo uploads
3) All verifications completed satisfactorily
4) Having had at least 1 positively rated stay
 
 
How can I protect myself as a host?

Protecting yourself as a host on SmartStayz™ is simple. These strategies have been tested for 1300 months and have proven effective. In addition, feel free to check out more information in our Trust & Safety Center:

 

1. Screen profiles and reviews of your potential guests. Review verified phone numbers, social networks links, and professional references.


2. Read the reviews left by other SmartStayz™ hosts.
Best Practice”: If the prospect’s profile is incomplete, feel free to message with guests to request that they complete specific profile verifications before booking with you.

 

3. Message on SmartStayz™ Exchange before booking a reservation. Make sure to keep your communication on our website to create a track record. Take advantage of our messaging system to learn about your guests and to explain your expectations. If you ever need more time to work out details, feel free to deny a reservation request. This has no negative impact on your ranking.

 

4. Set reservation requirements for your listings. Guests won't be able to send you a message or attempt a reservation request until they fulfill your specified requirements. Requirements can include a verified phone number, profile photo, and trip description.

 

5. “Best Practice”:Complete your house rules. House rules are incorporated into the standard SmartStayz™ rental agreement.   You will be able to add your individual house rules line by line.  Before confirming a booking, prospects not only see these rules, but must agree to each one individually, helping assure they not only understand the rules, but are contractually bound to them.  This pre-populated agreement is then automatically emailed to you in printer-ready form.  On move-in day, just print out the agreement, go over it with your new guest, both of you sign it, and you are “well on your way” to a Successful room-renting experience thru SmartStayz™.

 

6. Add a security deposit to your listing. Learn how SmartStayz™ handles security deposits right on the site to help you protect yourself from accidents that occur during a stay.

 

7. Add an insurance plan outside of SmartStayz™. Adding an extra layer of protection with your own renter’s or homeowner’s insurance may be right for you.  In version 2, SmartStayz™ will provide a list of vendors that can help you obtain the right personal covergage for your situation at a SmartStayz™ discount rate.

 

8. Feel free to Contact 24/7 SmartStayz™ Support if you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable. All of our executives are part of our open line communication team so you can obtain advice on any and all subjects.

 

How can I create a great listing?

Showcasing your listing is essential in increasing your visibility and making it more likely for the highest quality guests to reach out to you. Here are five tips to help you make a great listing:

1. Take Attractice Photos
Photos are the number one factor in a guest’s choice to stay at a property. 
2. Complete your listing’s description by writing at least 150-200 words.
Guests are arriving to your place site unseen, so help them out by telling them about where they are staying, what they are getting, the neighborhood they’ll be staying in, and what they can safely expect.
3. Make sure to complete your profile and verifications.
Let potential guests know you are who you say you are  and that they can be assured of a great experience renting your place.
4. Set a competitive rate.
Not sure what your monthly, weekly, or daily rate should be? Take a look at what other hosts in your area are charging and use a similar price, referred to as “comps.” In general, it’s a good idea for new hosts to start slightly lower, and then raise it as you get more reviews. 
 
What are the cancellation policies I can choose for my listing?

The standard Smartstayz™ cancellation policy is as follows:

BEFORE MOVE-IN:
Your prospective guest can cancel his/her “booking” by going to his dashboard, and clicking on “cancel your rental agreement”. The prospective guest will be notified via popup window that:
1) He will receive a 50% refund of security deposit if his cancellation is greater than 5 days before specified move-in date.
2) He will receive a 25% refund of the security deposit for cancellation 5 days or less from specified move-in date.
 
AFTER MOVE-IN
Anytime after move-in, guest can leave without penalty by giving the required notice of intent to vacate – specified by the host in his rental requirements to which guest agrees during booking. The host sets this required # days notification when posting the listing (14 to 30 days). GUEST gives notice of intent to leave by going to “YOUR STAYS” on his dashboard, and clicking the “Ready to move out?” button.. Guest should simply follow the op-out instructions from that point.
 
As long as the proper notice to vacate is selected, GUEST will get deposit back with no penalty as well as any amount paid in excess of the required number of notice days.
 
How do I edit my listing?


You can manage and edit your listing(s) by going to your Dashboard > My Listings. Find the listing you want, click on edit listing button, and make the modification.

There are six main editable components for each listing: Overview, Description, Photos, Calendar, Rules, Price and Rental terms. In each section, you can view and edit your listing's information.

1. Overview - View your overall statistics, and get some tips.
2. Description - Edit your listing's details, such as listing and room type, description, amenities, maximum number of guests, house manual, address, and more.
3. Photos - Upload and manage your listing's photos.
4. Calendar - Keep your calendar up-to-date, and learn how to sync your calendar.
5. Pricing and Rental Terms - Set your basic and advanced pricing, check your pricing with the nifty pricing tool, add a cleaning fee or a security deposit to your listing, and edit your house rules, maximum (or minimum) nights allowed, cancellation policy, and more.
6. Rules - Create a set of expectations and requirements for your guest so you are both on the same page right from the start.
 

How do I turn off or delete my listing?
You can turn your listing on or off by going to your Dashboard > Your Listings. Next to your listing, you’ll see a dropdown button "EDIT LISTING".  You can inactivate your listing there with just one click.
 
How is my appearance in search results determined?
We have improved the search results to help travelers find listings that are more relevant to their searches. This means the search results will show listings closer to the location they enter into the search box.
We constantly strive to provide our guests with the best search experience possible. In order to do so, we update our search algorithm on a regular basis, which means your listing’s appearance in search results may fluctuate.
Your activity from the past 30, 60 and 90 days impacts your ranking the most. Great guest reviews, high-score guest ratings, # of verifications completed, and fast response time to requests and communications all positively impact your ranking during the 90-day period. Expired reservation requests, host cancellations, and messages you don’t respond to will negatively impact your ranking. Denying a reservation request has no impact on your ranking.
Completing your profile is important to your search rank, so make sure to upload multiple profile photos and obtain references and verifications.
 
Bonus tips for High Rank! 
- Respond to any message you receive to make sure your response rate is top-notch.
- Taking high-quality photos and video can help you increase your reservations, which then improves your ranking.
 
Will I need to pay income taxes on my earnings?
Generally all income needs to be reported.  However, room rentals do differ in many ways from standard rentals, often in ways that are advantageous to you.  We suggest you consult an accountant - usually they are happy to provide a free initial consultation.
 
What am I expected to provide for my guest?

 

Every rental term is different, so we encourage hosts to use their best judgement when deciding what to offer.
 
Anything shown in your listing’s photos, written on your listing, or checked as an amenity at your listing will also need to be provided to make sure you are following our hosting policies. 
One of the major benefits to using Smartstayz™ is being able to rent a room with high-quality and respect assumed.  So make sure to leave your up-to-date contact information around so guests know they always have someone to reach out to during their stay. The more “solid” a host you can be - honest, reliable, friendly - the qualities of any good business manager - it won’t go unnoticed.  Guests will remember these characteristics when writing your reviews.  And great Smartstayz™ reviews means a track record that will bring you additional income for months and years to come.  The more positive reviews, the more bookings you’ll get, the more steady your high-quality guests, and the more money and and enhanced living your both will experience.  Some hosts even go above and beyond by leaving welcome notes, a bottle of wine, local treats, flowers or something else thoughtful that makes a guest's stay that much more memorable. 
What am I expected to provide for my guest?

Every rental term is different, so we encourage hosts to use their best judgement when deciding what to offer.

Anything shown in your listing’s photos, written on your listing, or checked as an amenity at your listing will also need to be provided to make sure you are following our hosting policies. 
One of the major benefits to using Smartstayz™ is being able to rent a room with high-quality and respect assumed.  So make sure to leave your up-to-date contact information around so guests know they always have someone to reach out to during their stay. The more “solid” a host you can be - honest, reliable, friendly - the qualities of any good business manager - it won’t go unnoticed.  Guests will remember these characteristics when writing your reviews.  And great Smartstayz™ reviews means a track record that will bring you additional income for months and years to come.  The more positive reviews, the more bookings you’ll get, the more steady your high-quality guests, and the more money and and enhanced living your both will experience.  Some hosts even go above and beyond by leaving welcome notes, a bottle of wine, local treats, flowers or something else thoughtful that makes a guest's stay that much more memorable. 
 
What do I do if a guest wants to see my place before booking?
The Smartstayz™ community facilitates security and trust, and keeping your communication and transactions on Smartstayz™ is a key factor in achieving this. We encourage all hosts and guests to complete their booking through our website before meeting in person to best ensure their safety and privacy. Check out some of the features we made with you in mind in our Trust & Safety Center, such as private messaging, Voice Connect, reviews, and verified photography.
In the rare event that a guest is requesting to see your property prior to making their reservation, it is at your discretion to give them a viewing in person. If you agree to arrange a viewing, please contact Smartstayz™ Support, and we'll be happy to assist.
What happens if I feel uncomfortable with my guest?
 
As a host, you are always in complete control of who stays at your place. If you’re not sure you’re ready to accept a request, simply decline the request until you and your guest work out the details and come to a decision. Declining a reservation request has no impact on your search rank.
If you have accepted a reservation and you feel uncomfortable with your guest AFTER movein, contact Smartstayz™ Support by phone at  (800) 438-4541 so we can assist you.
 
What do I do once my guest moves out?
 
Cherish the connection, stay in touch if you like, and move on to the next! Time is money - and this is especially for a small business owner like you.  Make sure to do a walk-through of your listing after your guest leaves to ensure that everything is in order, and begin thinking about what you want to write in your review. If you need to collect money from your security deposit, please notify us in your account within 48 hours after the move-out date of your guest by going to your Dashboard > Your Listings, and click on "Claim Security Deposit". Should you need any assistance (or should you want to tell us how wonderful your rental experience was), feel free to contact Smartstayz™ Support. 
 
How do I collect money from the security deposit in the event of damage or theft?
To collect any money from the security deposit included on your listing, you’ll need to go to your Dashboard > Your Listings and click on the Claim Security Deposit button before 48 hours after the checkout date of your guest. Please take photos of any damages, as well as write a detailed account of the reason why you need to collect money from the security deposit.
Smartstayz™ Support will then put a hold on the security deposit funds and gather any details needed from you and your guest to reach a resolution. If money is owed, we can collect from the deposit and send you a separate payment.
 
How and when do I get paid?
 
When a guests books your place, you get paid either entirely up front, or you receive first month's "rent" pmnt up front for monthly stays or stays greater than or equal to 30 days.  We release funds directly into your Smartstayz Wallet (less our small Smartstayz reservation fee) for immediate withdrawal as soon as your Guest clicks "MOVE-IN" on the Dashboard.  Your Guest will click the "MOVE-IN" button once he sees that your accommodations are as described in your Smartstayz listing.  For your guests who ar staying longer than 1 month, we release your rent payment on that day as soon as its collected from your geust.  For up-front payments on fixed-time period rentals, you’ll receive the full pmnt within 24 hrs after your guest moves in.  Our secure payment system supports several payout methods. You can add your payout method by going to your Dashboard > Account > Credit Card/Bank Info.  If you need help setting up a payout method, feel free to contact Smartstayz™ Support for assistance.
 
Why should my guests and I use your payment system?
Our payment system is secure, reliable, and convenient. We collect guest payments up front when you accept a reservation request. By keeping your communication and transactions on Smartstayz™, you are upholding our terms of use and can rest assured that you will receive the proper payout for each and every reservation. We also uphold your cancellation policy from the moment the booking is accepted until the end of the reservation.
One of Smartstayz™’s main attractions for guests is that we do not release a payout to you until after they click "MOVE-IN" on the Smartstayz Dashboard and they confirm the place is "as-described".   For guests this means they can be confident their money is safe and secure until they are moved in and satisfied at your listing. For you it means more reservations since travelers flock to the site for our secure payment system, plus you get the added security of 24/7 assistance from our friendly Smartstayz™ Support team.
 
What are Smartstayz™ service fees?
We have worked hard to blend minimize the impact of our small fees so that that every transaction seems seemless and all-inclusive.  We add a 2.5% to 12% fee to bookings, depending on many factors such as rental term and price of stay.  The higher the total, the lower the percentage for the fee. The reason we scale the fee is so guests can save money when booking large reservations. This service fee is what actually goes to the site's operation, enables the platform that we provide, and allows us to offer amazing 24/7 Smartstayz™ Support before, during, and after travel.
After entering in the dates and number of guests for a reservation, guests will see the service fee either included or quoted on a listing’s page. The exact fee is also located on the booking page before you submit a reservation request and on any guest billing receipt.  Smartstayz™ also charges hosts a 2.9% fee for every booking that is completed, which covers the cost of processing guest payments.
 
How long does it take for my bank account to be verified for ACH deposits?

When providing us your bank account information for the first time, we verify it before sending you a payout by depositing a small sum around a dollar or less into your account. This is done to make sure we avoid sending money to the wrong account. Go ahead and keep the change! It’s on us.
 
We only need to verify the account once (which takes a couple business days), then you will receive your payouts as normal. Your bank account will not be automatically verified. Instead, its status will change to pending verification. Within a few days, you should receive an email letting you know if the verification was a success (and any instructions if it was not), and the status of your bank account will update accordingly.
 
How do I cancel a reservation as a host?
Life happens--and occasionally that means you'll need to cancel a reservation. You should first know that we’ve created a way for you and your guest to alter a reservation, which might allow you to avoid the cancellation altogether.  This is done by calling us at Smartstayz™ support, 24/7.
Please understand that we take host cancellations very seriously, and we strongly discourage you from canceling reservations, as they can cause a big inconvenience to your guests. They also hurt the reliability of our website. When you cancel, the following policies may apply:
1. Your ranking in search results is negatively affected.
2. An automatic review appears on your listing indicating that a reservation was canceled.
3. Your calendar will remain unavailable for the dates of the reservation.
4. You are subject to a cancellation fee if you cancel more than once in a six-month period.
 
We do understand that sometimes a cancellation is inevitable, so in the event that you absolutely must cancel, we ask that you contact your guest on Smartstayz™ to explain, then officially cancel the reservation by going to your Dashboard > Your Listings > Cancel Reservation. It’s also a nice gesture if you message some hosts in the area to see if they can accommodate your guest.
Once you cancel, your reservation’s status should have changed to “canceled” in your INBOX and ACCOUNT>TRANSACTION RECORDS. If it has not, then the reservation has not been officially canceled in our system. If your reservation has already begun and it includes a security deposit, then the security deposit will remain authorized until 48 hours after the date of the official cancellation.
Please contact Smartstayz™ Support if you need any additional assistance canceling your reservation.
What happens if my guest cancels a reservation?
If your guest contacts you regarding a need to cancel a reservation but has not yet done so, know that you might be able to alter the reservation to avoid the cancellation altogether. Sadly, sometimes a cancellation is unavoidable, regardless of how awesome you and your listing are. Please don’t take it personally!
 
Once your guest cancels the reservation, you will be automatically notified by Smartstayz™’s system. We will uphold your listing’s cancellation policy, and any refunds due will be automatically credited to your guest immediately after the official cancellation. Any payout owed to you will be issued 24 hours after the originally scheduled move-in date. If your guest is canceling during the reservation and the reservation includes a security deposit, then the security deposit will remain authorized until 48 hours after the date of the official cancellation.
It is important to note that if the reservation’s status has not changed to “canceled” in your Smartstayz™ account, then the reservation has not been officially canceled in our system; it is still considered active and will still appear on your calendar.
We are often contacted by stellar hosts looking to refund their guests more than their cancellation policy allows. Feel free to contact Smartstayz™ Support if you’d like to set this up.
How can I issue my guest a refund?
If you’re a stellar host looking to refund your guest for whatever reason, you can feel free to contact Smartstayz™ Support to set this up. We’ll refund your guest right on the site to keep the transaction safe and secure. 
How can I protect myself as a host?
 
There are some great ways you can protect yourself as a host on Smartstayz™. We've listed a few, and feel free to check out more information in our Trust & Safety Center.
1. Screen profiles and reviews of your potential guests. Look for verified phone numbers, connected social networks, and references, and be sure to read any reviews left by other Smartstayz™ hosts. If their profiles are a bit bare, feel free to ask inquiring guests to complete some profile verifications before booking with you. 
2. Message on Smartstayz™ before booking a reservation. Make sure to keep your communication on our website. Take advantage of our messaging system to learn about your guests and to explain your expectations. If you ever need more time to work out details, feel free to deny a reservation request. This has no negative impact on your ranking.
3. Set reservation requirements for your listings. Guests won't be able to send you a message or attempt a reservation request until they fulfill your specified requirements. Requirements can include a verified phone number, profile photo, and trip description.
4. Complete your house rules to set guidelines for your guests. To edit your house rules go to your Dashboard > Your Listings > Edit Listing > Pricing and Terms.
5. Add a security deposit to your listing. Learn how Smartstayz™ handles security deposits right on the site to help you protect yourself from accidents that occur during a reservation.
6. Add an insurance plan outside of Smartstayz™. Adding an extra layer of protection with your own renter’s or homeowner’sinsurance may be right for you. 
7. Contact 24/7 Smartstayz™ Support if you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
 
How can I take quality photos of my listing?
 
Photos are the first thing guests look at when considering booking a space, so here are some suggestions to help you make your photos shine.
1. Light up your space. Brightness lets all the depth and color in a room stand out. Sunlight is best, but if it's a dim day, just flick on an overhead light and lamp.
2. Shoot into a corner. Explore the range of your space and add dimensionality. Avoid extreme close-ups so you can show what your entire space has to offer.
3. Photograph the entire structure and surrounding areas. Help guests imagine what coming home would look and feel like from the door to their room.
4. Clean the scene. As they say, less is more. Decluttering is key as it will make your place feel more livable, and extra items won’t distract from your furnishings. Just be  
     sure this is a true reflection of how guests will find the space.
5. Highlight the amenities. Document the offerings that make your space unique and comfortable, like your hot tub, patio, garden, or pets.
 
How can I take quality photos of my listing?
Photos are the first thing guests look at when considering booking a space, so here are some suggestions to help you make your photos shine.
1. Light up your space. Brightness lets all the depth and color in a room stand out. Sunlight is best, but if it's a dim day, just flick on an overhead light and lamp.
2. Shoot into a corner. Explore the range of your space and add dimensionality. Avoid extreme close-ups so you can show what your entire space has to offer.
3. Photograph the entire structure and surrounding areas. Help guests imagine what coming home would look and feel like from the door to their room.
4. Clean the scene. As they say, less is more. Decluttering is key as it will make your place feel more livable, and extra items won’t distract from your furnishings. Just be  
     sure this is a true reflection of how guests will find the space.
5. Highlight the amenities. Document the offerings that make your space unique and comfortable, like your hot tub, patio, garden, or pets.
 
What is Smartstayz™’s commitment to me as a Host?

Our Terms of Use state that, “Our site is a venue for users to learn about one another and, if they wish, arrange stays with one another. We are not involved in the actual face-to-face contact between users. As a result, we have no control over the conduct of our users or the truth or accuracy of the information that users post on the Site.”
That being said, our highest priority is the safety and security of our community and we will do anything we can to protect our users from negative experiences, including theft and vandalism.
We give you the tools you need to flag users, message threads and listings to alert the security team if something feels unsafe or uncomfortable.
 
Should I have a security deposit?
Yes, we highly recommend having a security deposit. Whether it's wine on the rug or something more serious, having a security deposit is a good way to help protect yourself against any mishaps.
 
Should I have any homeowners or renters insurance?

It’s up to you.  But make sure you review and understand the terms of your insurance policy and what it covers and does not cover. Not all insurance will cover damage or loss to property caused by a guest renting your space.
 
 
What Are Verifications and How Do I Get Verified?

Verifications help you build trust within our community because they show that you have taken extra steps to prove you are a “good” person. They appear on your public profile. To add verifications to your account, go to your Dashboard > Profile & Verifications tab 

All members can verify their phone number or connect to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to add verifications to their profile. (You can only connect your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to one Smartstayz™ account.)  
Additionally, when you complete a reservation on Smartstayz™ and receive a review, you automatically gain another verification.  Other verifications such as references, ID Validation, and Background Check are excellent ways to further establish your credibilty in the community.  More verifications means faster responses, more rental options, and better rental rates.

Can I refund money to a guest? How?

Funds can be transferred to a guest's Smartstayz Wallet anytime, as long as a booking transaction has occurred between parties.  A host can transfer any amount up to the total amount received by the host (less service fees).

Refunds can be made by going to your ACCOUNT tab, finding a particular wallet transaction, then clicking on the guest name.  A popup then allows hosts to enter the amount to refund to the guest.

Guest Faq

Account/Settings

How do I edit my info like name, address, etc?

You can edit your personal info by visiting your Smartstayz Dashboard and clicking on the "Profile & Verifications" tab.  Then click on "Personal info" on the right-hand side menu bar.

Check out

What is the check out process for Guests?
Check out for guests is simple and automated.
 
1) Clean up and get the place looking like it did when you arrived.
2) Leave the keys according to the instructions provided by your host.
3) Login to Smartstayz and click the big "Check out" button
 
That's it!
 
Your deposit will be returned automatically within 48 hrs, provided there was no significant damage for which your host would file a claim.
 
When prompted via email, write a review of your stay and your host.  They'll do the same for you.  When its time to travel again, you'll have an easy time getting the booking of your choice with glowing reviews on your profile!

Guest Overview

How does Smartstayz work for Guests??

Smartstayz allows people who need a place to stay for long-term, short-term, nightly, etc to easily and securely find and book places in private homes without ever having to view them. How is this possible? The Smartstayz community thrives on trust, ratings, reviews, and high-quality. The Smartstayz network provides a huge selection of all-inclusive rentals in private homes all across the nation at super-value. Book rooms confidently, "site-unseen" to live long-term, stay short-term, or visit for vacation - its simple!

How it works for a Guest:
1.Search properties and submit multiple bookings requests
2.Wait for hosts to confirm availability and approve your request
3.Select the finalist, pack your bags and get ready for your new home



How it works for a Host:
1.List your space and receive rental requests
2.Select a Guest and confirm move-in
3.Receive your payment

What is a "Guest"?

A "Guest" is simply anyone who wants to find a place to live or stay who wants to enjoy an uncommon rental experience by acting in the way they would like to be treated.  Longer term "guests" have historically been referred to as "Tenants", but Smartstayz wants to change that.

Smartstayz was founded on the belief that all people who are renting space of any kind should be subject to the same level of service that most all other industries strive for.  By treating people as "Guests" the stage is set for improved rental experiences across the board for all parties involved.  To this end, Smartstayz strives to create a rental community that embraces openness, transparency, courtesy, cordiality, friendliness, and responsibility.  At Smartstayz, "Landlords" become "Hosts", and "Tenants" become "Guests" - and everyone wins.

What is the Dashboard?

What is the Dashboard?

Your Dashboard is the “welcome” or “home page” of your Smartstayz™ account. Just like the dashboard of a car, your Smartstayz™ Dashboard shows you important alerts and acts as a gateway to navigating your account.

What are verifications and how do I get verified?

Verifications help you build trust within our community because they show that you have taken extra steps to prove you are a “good” person. They appear on your public profile. To add verifications to your account, go to your Dashboard > Profile & Verifications tab 

All members can verify their phone number or connect to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to add verifications to their profile. (You can only connect your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to one Smartstayz™ account.)  
Additionally, when you complete a reservation on Smartstayz™ and receive a review, you automatically gain another verification.  Other verifications such as references, ID Validation, and Background Check are excellent ways to further establish your credibilty in the commuinity.  More verifications means faster responses, more rental options, and better rental rates.

Trust & safety

Overview

Does Smartstayz™ screen users?


Smartstayz™ is commited to a socially responsible, self policing community, where all users are encouraged and incentivized to “treat people how they want to be treated.” The Smartstayz system is designed to use a multi-layered approach to screening, allowing any user to get a good sense of his host/guest using the tools available on the site. Remember, it is important to complete 100% of your verifications.  Additionally in the current version, Smartstayz™ uses performance tracking to enhance the quality of all of our users and hosts.  Hosts rate their Guests, and Guests rate their Hosts, after each stay, so a pattern of their quality can be easily interpreted over relatively short periods of time.  Reviews earned by traveling or hosting on Smartstayz™ are one of the best tools used to build long-term trust and credibility within our community.

Unlike other platforms, Smartstayz™ is designed to reward your hard work. Reviews are guaranteed to be 100% real.  Only a  Smartstayz user who is a verified guest or host are able to post reviews.  Users are encouraged to be fair and open with respect to evaluating ones efforts.  Our system produces the best possible outcomes as everyone is reviewing everyone. We also allow you to flag any user or listing you feel is suspicious. In any message thread or on any listing’s page, you will see an icon with a small flag which allows you to notify our team for further investigations.  Smartstayz™ guardian angels are constantly monitoring the interactions and activity of the community to ensure everyone is on the level.

 
Why is it necessary to keep communication and transactions inside the Smartstayz™ platform?


Communication and monetary transactions are all processed on the Smartstayz™ platform as part of the value proposition to hosts and guests.  It works out for everyone this way, providing the community with standardization, enhanced control, increased security and safety, record-keeping, and better quality in terms of guest selection.  We have learned the hard way. Alternative less “standard” or more “illegitimate” ways of transacting or communicating foster an element that we try to filter from the Smartstayz™ community on behalf of you our valued customers.  

“The convenience of having on-time and online rent payment works out perfectly for both myself and my guest Katie, which is why I only use Smartstayz™” - Julie, Tampa Host, 2013

Smartstayz provides streamlined control over the process, whereby we serve as referee or gatekeeper. The end result helps ensure quality in every component of our platform and when taken in its entirety, presents you with a turn-key one stop community to manage the entire process.. New features requested by the community include private messaging, a secure payment system, verifications, ratings and reviews, and user flagging. Each tools we provide for our guests is an important part of offering great value in terms of safety, knowledge, insight, and ultimately, rental success.

We present all of our members with an amazing community of like-minded people renting, hosting, and reviewing listings on a nightly basis.


Hosts also enjoy:

- An improved ranking in search results due to accepting reservations, which result in a greater number of inquiries for your space.

- A cancellation policy for your listing, which enables you to receive a partial or full payout in the event of a guest cancellation.

- The comfort of the Smartstayz™ Host Protect Guarantee.

Guests can count on the safety of funds (and even a coupon!) in the event of a host cancellation.
 

How do I change my password?

You can change your password by going to your Dashboard > Account  > Settings. If you don’t remember your old password, not to worry! You can request a temporary password so you can change it to one you’ll easily remember.

Is Smartstayz™ safe? What’s keeping people from abusing the service?
Incidents, while a possibility, are a rarity on Smartstayz™ because - at its core - our users believe that people are fundamentally good. For those that need reassurance, Smartstayz™ also facilitates protected interactions, rich user profiles, a secure payment system, Social Connections, security deposits, user reviews and recommendations and myriad other features to facilitate trust and reinforce security in the marketplace.
 
What happens if I have an emergency?
If you have a medical emergency, ALWAYS call 9-1-1.  For other important situations, you can reach us at   (800) 438-4541
You can also reach us by email at urgent@Smartstayz™.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
What constitutes an Smartstayz™ emergency situation?
While every situation is important to us, we ask that you consider the magnitude of your problem prior to calling the emergency hot-line so we can provide emergency service to serious cases.
We define emergencies as the following:
                    Being unable to reach a host at move-in
                    Safety concerns
                    Discovering suspicious or illegal activity
                    Inappropriate guest/host behavior
                    Double bookings
                    Guest-host disputes
                    Security deposit claims (w/in 48 hours of checkout)
                    Misrepresented properties
What should I look for to make sure I can trust a guest?
Look for a profile with a full name, a descriptive personal bio, and a profile picture of their likeness.  In addition, guests can verify their phone number, connect their Facebook account, obtain references, and allow background checks.  Guests and hosts can only leave reviews after a confirmed reservation through the Smartstayz™ payment system.
Look for information and ask questions until you feel comfortable. Remember, you have control of who stays in your space.  Be aware and be smart, you are your own best tool for judgment. Look for information and ask questions until you feel comfortable with the booking - remember, you don’t have to book if you aren’t comfortable for any reason.
 
What should I look for to make sure I can trust a host?
Look for a profile with a full name, a descriptive personal bio, and a profile picture of their likeness.  In addition, hosts can verify their phone number, connect their Facebook account, and get friends to vouch for them through recommendations.  Guests and hosts can only leave reviews after a confirmed reservation through the Smartstayz™ payment system.
Look for information and ask questions until you feel comfortable. Remember, you have control of who stays in your space. Be aware and be smart, you are your own best tool for judgment. Look for information and ask questions until you feel comfortable with the booking - remember, you don’t have to book if you aren’t comfortable for any reason.
 
How can I be sure that a guest is who they say they are?
Start by signing in through Facebook Connect to access Smartstayz™ Social Connections and discover over 60 million users who are mutual friends, people from your alumni network, or guests your friends recommend.  Smartstayz™ releases the full names of guests to the host after a booking request is sent. Hosts do their due diligence by looking up potential guests on the Internet (Google search) and messaging mutual friends to get a sense for who they are.  We certainly encourage you to use all of the verification tools we have, including reference checks, background checks, email, phone number, and more.  Our secure communication platform provides ways to engage guests while keeping their sensitive private info, as well as your own, safe.  The multi-layered security approach is what makes Smartstayz valuable in helping you make informed rental decisions.  Always feel free to clarify with your guests the purpose of their visit and a bit about their background - as much as you feel is necessary.
 
What if I arrive and the property is unsatisfactory or misrepresented?
We hold 100% of the transaction fee until 24 hours after you move-in. This allows you time to meet your host and check out your accommodations. If you feel that the property was misrepresented, contact Smartstayz™ Support with a detailed description and a few photos to help support your claim.   If you need immediate assistance please call (800) 438-4541 and we will work to resolve issues with the host or find you suitable accommodations.
 
How does Smartstayz™ protect my property from theft or vandalism?
If you’re concerned about incidental damage to your property, we facilitate security deposits to protect from any potential mishaps. These funds are held for 48 hours after the guest checks out, so you have time to inspect your place for any losses or damages.
Also always use the Smartstayz™ payment system. If you move the transaction off-line we will not be able to hold a security deposit, and we won't have a record of your transaction.
 
How does Smartstayz™ protect me from getting scammed?
We hold your payment until 24 hours after you check in. This allows you time to meet your host and check out your accommodations. If you check in and you feel that the property was misrepresented, contact Smartstayz™ Support with a few photos to help support your claim.
If you need immediate assistance, you can reach us at  (800) 438-4541
And remember - always use the Smartstayz™ payment system. If you move the transaction off-line there is no guarantee you will be housed and Smartstayz™ won’t be able to help you get your money back.
 
What should I watch for regarding scams?
The best way to protect yourself is by asking questions and learning as much as possible about the host through reviews and recommendations. Hosts with incomplete information, missing profile photos or typos in their bio could indicate that they were rushing to create a profile.
If a host requests money prior to booking or arrival, attempts to make you pay off-site, or if they try to bait and switch the price in messaging, flag the message thread and alert the Smartstayz™ team who can step into help.  If you complete a booking and your host tries to switch properties upon arrival, you can reach us at (800) 438-4541. We’re here to assist you.
If you issue payment outside of Smartstayz™ and you feel as if you’ve been scammed, you are no longer protected under our Terms of Use. In this case, contact the FTC at 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or file a complaint form online if you are in the United States.
 
Does Smartstayz™ do background checks on users?
As a community marketplace built on trust, transparency and authenticity, we respect user privacy and do not require formal background checks on Smartstayz™ guests and hosts.  However, we do offer an opt-in background check program which many users like because it shows prospective hosts or guests that they are willing to “put themselves out there” and go that extra mile to show that they have no major criminal history.

NOTE: Smartstayz does not display or otherwise reveal any specific information from user background checks.  Rather, if no felony convictions are found, a user will receive a green "Verified" checkmark on their public profile, along with the date the background check was performed.  If a felony conviction IS found, or a user has opted not to complete the background check verification, then the verification icon on that users public profile will remain grey color and "unverified".
How do I run a background check on a Smartstayz prospect?

The Smartstayz Bacckground Check verification checks for felony convictions.  You can view any prospects public profile to see if the "Background Check" verification has been completed.  If it has, then that means the user has submitted his background check info on the "PROFILE & VERIFICATIONS" tab, and Smartstayz QA has scanned the nationwide criminal database to discover  whether or not that user has any felony convictions on their record.  If a felony conviction is found, then the "VERIFIED" checkmark on the user's public profile will remain grey and "unverified".  If no felony convictions have been found, then the user will receive a green checkmark icon and a "Verified" label for the background check category on his public profile.

Please be aware, this background check may not be 100% accurate or foolproof, as the scan is only as good as the records from which it draws.  Additionally, it should be stated that rarely are any single points of data about a person's profile representative of the quality of that person as a host or a guest. This is the purpose of Smartstayz's "multi-layered" verification approach, whereby we have found, thru years of first-hand rental experience, that the combination of these verifications along with photos, description, rental goal, reviews, and associations, provides a valuabe personality snapshot, and an excellent indication of a particular users viability as a successful host or guest.

What happens if I feel unsafe once my guest arrives?
As a host, you are always in complete control of who stays at your place. If you have accepted a reservation and you feel uncomfortable with your guest, contact customer service at (800) 438-4541 so they can assist you in canceling the reservation and finding the guest alternative accommodations.
 
What happens if I feel unsafe once I’ve checked in?
We hold your money until 24 hours after your move-in date, giving you time to meet your host and check out your accommodations. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe once you check in, contact customer service at (800) 438-4541 so they can help resolve the situation and ensure you go to sleep happy.  If you need to cancel the reservation, make sure you document the specifics so our customer service team can help cancel the reservation.
As a host, you are always in complete control of who stays at your place by accepting reservations only when you feel comfortable, and declining when you don’t.
 
What happens if someone steals my belongings or trashes my place?
First and foremost, call the police and get them involved from the get go.
Next, contact Smartstayz™ customer service at (800) 438-4541 and alert us to the situation. We will begin the process of helping you document and get through the situation, as well as provide the authorities with any information that will help them catch the criminals.
 
Does Smartstayz™ provide insurance?
Currently Smartstayz™ does not offer insurance.  Purchasing your own renters or homeowners insurance is possible in most cases, just not through the Smartstayz™ platform at this time. Every policy and provider is different though, to understand your coverage options you should check with your insurance provider, or other providers in your area.
How do I report damage and get my security deposit back?
Please take photos and write a detailed account of the damage within 48 hours after the guest(s) has checked out. Then email urgent@Smartstayz™.com with a description of the damage and the images. Our support team will mediate between you and the guest to determine the best course of action.
 
What is Smartstayz™ 2-Way Protect?
Since the beginning of our room-rental business, we made safety and striving for high-quality paramount.  We haven’t changed our philosophy on this.  The Smartstayz™ platform has a plethora of overlapping built in features that promote safety and high quality - we call this multi-layered safety web Smartstayz™ 2-Way Protect.  The safety and quality-assuring components of the Smartstayz™ platform are dynamic, continually striving to create the ultimate user rental experience with every booking - from BOTH sides of the coin - the host perspective and he guest perspective. If we can have both a host and his/her guest emerge from a rental term feeling like they either made a great friend, did great financially, provided great value to a customer, made a great business contact, or all of the above - we will feel like we are a success too.  So - the more qualiy and safety screening components that are layered into the site, the higher the chances that this kind of exceptinal result will be the norm and not the exception.  In the end, Smartstayz™ 2-Way Protect will actually help not just TWO groups - but THREE -- hosts, guests, and the entire Smartstayz™ community as a whole.
 
How do I add a security deposit requirement to my property?
Adding a security deposit to your listing is easy. Just go to DASHBOARD>YOUR LISTINGS> EDIT LISTING>EDIT ROOM or ENTIRE PLACE (If you are renting an entire home, apartment, etc).  Find the security deposit field and simply change to your desired amount.
 
How long will it take for my deposit withholding payment request to be processed?

The length of the process will vary depending on the severity of the case, the quality of documentation, and the cooperation of the host and guest, but we hope to resolve most cases within a week of when they are submitted.
 

Verifications

What Are Verifications and How Do I Get Verified?

Verifications help you build trust within our community because they show that you have taken extra steps to prove you are a “good” person. They appear on your public profile as validated, but all of your sensitive personal info is hidden. To add verifications to your account, go to your Dashboard > Verifications.

 

How does the Background Check Verification work?

Users submit basic information on the "PROFILE & VERIFICATIONS" tab, and Smartstayz QA department performs a criminal background check.  The Background Check report is not posted on user profiles, and no members can review them.  Rather, if a user has submitted the background check verification, and passes with no felony convictions, that user will receive a "Verified" checkmark on their public profile. The date the criminal background check was performed is also displayed.

I never got a verification code. What now?

1. When you opt-in via our website, we will send you an SMS message to confirm your signup.
2. You can cancel at any time. Just text "STOP" to 247262. After you send the SMS message "STOP" to us, we will send you an SMS message to confirm that you have been unsubscribed. After this, you will no longer receive SMS messages from us. If you want to join again, just sign up as you did the first time and we will start sending SMS messages to you again.
3. If at any time you forget what keywords are supported, just text "HELP" to 247262. After you send the SMS message "HELP" to us, we will respond with instructions on how to use our service as well as how to unsubscribe.
4. Participating carriers: AT&T, CBW, nTelos, Sprint, Nextel, Boost, Virgin Mobile, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile® and Alltel.
5. As always, standard message and data rates may apply for any messages sent to you from us and to us from you. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, it is best to contact your wireless provider. For all questions about the services provided by this short code, you can send an email to contact@Smartstayz™.com .
6. If you have any questions regarding privacy, please read our privacy policy.

 

What are references, and how do I get them?
References help you jump-start your reputation on Smartstayz™ by having friends, family, and colleagues you know vouch for you. Simply go to DASHBOARD>VERIFICATIONS>ADD REFERENCES.  This will send a very brief survey (30 secs to 1 minute to complete) to the person of your choosing. Once the reference comes back, you will receive a green "THUMBS UP" icon on your reference list, which appears on your profile.  Your references can also select an option to allow HOTS to call them for a more in-depth reference, much like all standard rental lease backround checks.  Like reviews, references are publicly displayed on your profile, so make sure you know who should leave a reference for you.  
 
How does Smartstayz™ verify user information?
While we provide profile tools for you to make a decision that fits your comfort level, we do not formally screen or verify users.  Start by signing in through Facebook Connect to access Smartstayz™ Social Connections and discover over 60 million users who are mutual friends, people from your alumni network, or hosts your friends recommend.
If a user is missing information, you can request that they complete their profile with a picture, ask for more bio information, connect their Facebook accounts, or add a verified phone number.
Following a stay through Smartstayz™, guests and hosts are prompted to leave feedback for each other. These reviews are transaction-based and can only be earned through the Smartstayz™ Wallet payment system.
If you have an experience that doesn’t feel quite right, you feel someone is not playing by the rules, you can flag users, message threads, and listings to alert the security team so they can have a look. Flagging is not revealed to the opposite party.
 
What tools are on the site to verify properties?
First, valid physical addresses are verified using the Google Maps Platform.  Video and photos of properties are used extensively and primarily to give guests the best picture possible of where they will be living.  Users are encouraged to post as many photos as possible, along with video of both the host and the property, so that a user can feel like they’ve seen the place in depth before booking the room.  And, don’t forget - there are a few big aspects to our system that work in your favor.  Our verifications, flexible move-out policy, and review system forces high-quality hosts and guests to the forefront of the search listings, and hosts/guests that do not have high ratings back and out.  So the structure of the platform is constantly “self-learning”, and working to provide you with the best rental experiences possible over the long term.
 
What is the Smartstayz ID verification?

Smartstayz takes safety and security very seriously.  Although typically no one particular verification is 100% tamper-proof, we have found that a multi-layered approach serves to provide an ample safety buffer for our members against undesirable prospects.  The Smartstayz ID Verification is one such layer. 

Smartstayz checks each submitted ID at the DMV on record to verify that the license is valid and associated with the user information provided.  Once this all checks out, the user receives a a green "verified" checkmark on their profile.

What happens to the pic of my ID once I submit it? Will it be safe?

After submission and verification, the digital copy of your ID is destroyed.  Smartstayz keeps no copies of these IDs online or linked to any networks where they might be hijacked by hackers or other internet pirates.

Best Practices

General Best Practices

Best Practice: Verifications

Best Practice: Complete 100% of your profile and verifications for optimal trust and performance within the community. Obtain SmartStayz™ Certification (3 postively reviewed stays) to let all prospects know that your place is as good as you say it is and worth every penny.

Best Practice: Responsiveness to requests and messages

Best Practice: Quick Response - By responding as soon as booking requests arrives, you will impress your guest, be more likely to obtain the booking and improve your long-term rank.

 
Best Practice: Expectations

Best Practice: SmartStayz™ helps hosts and tenants align expectations with an agreement to maximize the experience for both parties.

 
Best Practice: Notifications

Best Practice: Smartstayz™ Text - Be certain to get notifications on-the-go by signing up for text message alerts in DASHBOARD>ACOUNT>NOTIFICATIONS

Best Practice: Profile

Best Practice: If the prospect’s profile is incomplete, feel free to send a message to request that they complete specific profile verifications before booking with you.

Best Practice: House Rules

Best Practice: Complete your house rules. House rules are incorporated into the standard SmartStayz™ rental agreement.   

Best Practice: Build credentials and trust


Best Practice: Build your credentials  and trust. With Smartstayz™ - all of your hard work and hospitality will be up for review.  And your reputation will be used as a real source for ongoing business. What does this mean - Treat people how you would want to be treated.  Treat people like the "VIPs" they are and you will be rewarded handsomely with a steady stream of new clientele.

Best Practice: Transparency

The more open and honest you are the more and better quality guests/hosts will present themselves.  So complete as many verifications as you can.  It will go a long way toward creating into a better experience for all.

 

Best Practice: Rental Agreement


The rental agreement goes a long way to assuring a great living experience for everyone by setting expectations straight away, explicitly.  With Smartstayz, you can create your own rules, add your own agreement line items, use the Smartstayz Recommended Rental Agreement, or any combination of these. Smartstayz Rental Agreement is simple and fast, and all automated on the fly to save you time and money when adding a new listing or editing an existing listing.
 

Smartstayz Monthly Homestays

How it works

How is Smartstayz Monthlets different from roommate sites?
Smartstayz Monthlets is much more than a "roommate finding" website. Its a streamlined platform for reducing the effort, time, stress, and risk involved with not only finding a roommate, but managing it. Smartstayz Monthlets takes the hassle and guesswork out of securing a terrific accommodation you'll love.
Can I meet my host before booking?
Some hosts will require meeting you first, others may not be available. This is where Smartstayz verification's and reviews comes in. Each host and guest profile lists verification's, reviews from prior stays, self-descriptions, references, social media presence, and more. We've found that user profile information is an excellent way to help make rental choices. Remember - You're never forced to stay anywhere you don't like or feel uncomfortable. If you aren't happy with your accommodations, let us know! We'll help you find a superb alternative.
As a "guest", can I physically view a 'place' before I book it?

Its up to the individual host. Some allow guests to physically preview their place, and others do not. This should not be a concern, however. Smartstayz works hard to verify each host accommodation to make sure you will love every stay!

Can I pay my rent with cash or check?
You can pay rent anyway you like, according to Host Policies. This said, its always better to make payments through the Guetnest system with a credit or debit card, bank account, or Paypal (coming soon). By paying through Smartstayz, we can step in should there happen to be any concerns, and you're protected by our $1,000,000 host/guest guarantee. If payments are made outside of the system, there is little to nothing we can do to help, and no coverage should anything go wrong.
How much does it cost?
Smartstayz is free for hosts. We charge a small service fee to guests, 1% to 3% of the monthly rent amount.
What if there is a problem with the home or host?
Part of the Smartstayz value proposition is that it helps ensure that the whole process of renting - from finding a perfect nest, to check out, is a great experience. Of course, various issues always have a way of popping up - but we're here to help when they do. As long as you are making payments through the Smartstayz system, Smartstayz can assist you in resolving issues, and even help you find new accommodations if you are you are uncomfortable in your current place for any reason. **Smartstayz does not provide legal advice, and any legal matter should be discussed with a licensed legal practitioner.