Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

Creating an Account on BalkanBeds

In order to start listing and booking rentals, you will need to register for an account on BalkanBeds. You can do this by clicking on the ‘Register’ button at the top of the page.

You will then be prompted to select what type of account you would like to create:

  1. Guest account, purely used for booking rentals;

  2. Host account, used to list and rent your properties.

You can also login via your Facebook or Google social accounts, however, please note that you will automatically be granted a Guest account by doing so. To upgrade to a Host account, send our team an email on support@balkanbeds.com with the subject “Host account upgrade” and our team will action your request without delay.

Getting to know your Dashboard

Whether you’re a Guest or a Host, the following is a summary overview of your BalkanBeds dashboard options:

Dashboard

The dashboard page provides you with an overview of your account activity including statistics such as your total number of active listings, reservations received, and cumulative earnings as a Host. Furthermore, users will be able to view a summary of current and upcoming reservation details, in addition to recent messages received via the BalkanBeds platform.

Profile

Configure your profile with as much detail here as possible including contact information, your profile picture, social networks and any other relevant information to help create a strong profile.

Both Guests and Hosts also have the option to become officially verified by completing all of the required information fields and criteria specified within the ‘Profile > Verification’ section of your dashboard.

My Listings (Host only)

This section allows you to view and manage all of your Published and Draft listings on BalkanBeds including the ability to edit your listing, delete it, or upgrade it to ‘Featured’.

Add New Listing (Host only)

You can create and publish your BalkanBeds property listings via this menu. Hosts are presented with a series of descriptive fields that can be populated, including some that have been marked as mandatory, when creating a new listing. Just remember, the more information you provide generally equals a stronger performing listing.

Please note that new listings can take up to 4 hours to appear in search results.

Bookings (Host)

Here you’ll find a complete list of the bookings that have been made by Guests for your properties on BalkanBeds. Information in this section includes each booking’s reference number, Guest name, reservation period, payment status as well as the ability to manage and cancel a reservation if necessary.

My Reservations (Guest & Host)

Any reservations that you’ve made on BalkanBeds can be found in this section of your dashboard, including a printable view of your transaction which contains all of the relevant information associated with your reservation.

Wallet (Host)

Keep track of your earnings on BalkanBeds including your withdrawable balance (in Euro), total Net earnings, and the overall number of reservations made for your listings, in addition to a few other handy metrics to help manage your rental performance.

The Wallet section also provides you with an option to configure the preferred payout method for your account and the ability to request a payout of your earnings at your convenience.

Messages

Notifications, such as your private messages with Guests and Hosts, will appear in your messages section. You can also directly reply to messages sent by other BalkanBeds users from within this section of your dashboard.

Invoices

A complete list of your invoices can be viewed from within this section of the dashboard. Users have the ability to filter their invoices based on a number of viewing filters including dates, invoice type and status.

Favourites

If you find a property that you really like, you can simply add it to your favourites directly from the listing’s page and quickly find it again from your dashboard’s ‘Favourites’ menu.

Finding a place to stay

Searching for your perfect place of comfort is easy on BalkanBeds. Simply type in your destination city or country (and select your location from the list of suggestions given), your check-in and check-out dates, as well as how many guests will be staying with you and hit “Search”. Just remember that you can search using either Latin or Cyrillic characters.

Once on the results page, you can filter places based on amenities, property features amongst other options.

Creating your first listing

Once you have registered as a Host, you will be able to create a listing from within your dashboard by selecting the “Add New Listing” link.

Follow the prompts and fill in all required information about your property, including a fancy title, price, location, add some images and click on “Save & Publish”.
After you publish your listing, it may take up to 4 hours for it to appear in search results

Your Account

Manage your account settings, including making changes to your password, profile, and personal information under the “Profile” section of your dashboard.

Your public profile

Once you create your account with BalkanBeds, your public profile will be visible to other BalkanBeds users.
Your public profile will show the BalkanBeds community your home city, the languages you speak, a little bit about yourself (the information you fill out in the “Bio” section of your profile).

Your public profile will also show any reviews that you may have, your listings and a Verified badge if you have earned one, as well as provide the Guest with confirmation that you have also supplied additional details such as your social media profiles and other contact information (these details are not publicly visible).

Profile Verification

We want to ensure that our community of users take confidence in knowing that people on BalkanBeds are exactly who they say they are.

One way that helps us validate your identity is by becoming a ‘Verified’ user. In order to become verified, the following information must be provided within the ‘Profile’ section of your dashboard, and the specified conditions met:

Profile information (all users)

  • Email address

  • Current profile photo

  • Mobile Number

  • Social media profile

 

Host Condition

  • 3 fulfilled bookings completed

(a ‘fulfilled’ booking means that a Guest has booked your listing, successfully checked-in, and checked-out of the property, without any issues reported)

Guest Condition

  • 3 five-star reviews received

(as a Guest, this means that you have successfully received a total of 3 five-star reviews based on your previously fulfilled bookings)

If the Guest or Host account has a “Verified” badge, it means that this person has successfully had their identification validated. This helps us keep BalkanBeds secure, fight fraud, and ensures that we maintain a foundation built on trust within the BalkanBeds community.

How do I upgrade my account from Guest to Host?

If you have previously created a Guest account and would like to upgrade your account to become a Host, simply send us an email on support@balkanbeds.com with “Host account upgrade” in the subject line and one of our team members will action your request accordingly.

How do I delete my account?

No one likes goodbyes, but we understand that they’re sometimes a part of life! If you would like to delete your account, simply send us an email on support@balkanbeds.com with the subject “Delete my account” and our support team will action your request accordingly. Just remember, your account data and any listed properties will be deleted. This means that you will no longer be able to login to your dashboard and access your account information. Please note that this operation cannot be reversed.

Account Security

It’s always best practice to ensure that you setup a strong password to secure your account. A strong password should contain at least 8 characters, using a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and should be changed approximately every 90 days.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your account is kept secure with a strong password. If you have reason to believe that your account may have been compromised, contact our support team immediately on support@balkanbeds.com or via Facebook Messenger.

How do I report an issue with my Host or Guest?

We like to think that both our Guests and Hosts are always well-behaved, and represent themselves honestly, with absolute decency and integrity. As a Guest, if you feel as though your Host is conducting themselves in a dishonest or offensive manner, or is in breach of our security rules by asking you for direct payment for your booking, or requesting your personal payment details, you have the right to report them via the ‘Report this Host’ form located within the Host’s profile page. You can access their profile page by selecting the ‘View Profile’ button found within the ‘Hosted by…’ section of the Host’s property listing page.

As a Host, you have the same right to report a poorly-behaved Guest via the ‘Report this Guest’ form located on the Guest’s profile page.

Behavioural issues that compromise the health, safety and security of our community of members are taken seriously at BalkanBeds, with no exceptions, which is why we encourage members to report severe issues immediately to the local law enforcement authorities, and appropriate action will be taken on the offenders account, to the extent outlined in the Anti-Harassment Policy (article 10), and the Prohibited Activities and Solicitation (article 11) sections of our Terms & Conditions.

Becoming a ‘Super Host’

Recognition of doing a great job is always a rewarding feeling, so we like to ensure that our Hosts who have gone that extra mile to deliver a pleasurable, end-to-end experience for their Guests, are recognised by earning a ‘Super Host’ badge which can be seen on their public profile.

The criteria for earning a super host badge requires a minimum of 10 five-star Guest reviews, a polished history of complaint-free Guest experiences, and a fully-verified BalkanBeds profile. Sound easy? Well for a great Host it should be! However, the key is maintaining this status once you’ve earned it, so, it’s important that you preserve your shining track record. A poor Guest experience can reflect negatively on your public profile and even lead to a loss of your ‘Super Host’ badge.

So, make sure you that you strive to continuously create unforgettable experiences for your Guests and you’ll be a Super Host in no time!

Hosts: Managing Your Listings

Specifying your Room Type

When creating a listing, you have an option to select from one of three room types for your rental. Here’s a brief explanation of what each room type means:

Entire Place:

This means that Guests will be booking your entire home or dwelling, with no other residents or occupants located within the dwelling for the total duration of their stay.

Private Room:

A private room is typically one that a Guest would book such as a private bedroom that’s located within a larger residential or commercial property. An example might be a spare bedroom within a Host’s home that provides a private area for sleeping although amenities such as the bathroom or kitchen may be shared. Alternatively, this could also be a self-contained room within a commercial hotel or bed and breakfast.

Shared Room:

A shared room is one that accommodates more than one Guest for sleeping and dwelling purposes. An example of a shared room might be a hostel room with a fixed number of beds capable of accommodating many Guests in a single room.

Instant Booking

When adding a new property listing, the Host has the option to enable ‘Allow Instant booking’ from the ‘Description’ page of the listing editor (see below image). If this option is selected, Guests will have the ability to instantly book a property without the Host’s review and approval of the booking. This also means that a Host cannot reject a booking request (the Host can however cancel the booking if necessary from their dashboard).

If this option is deselected, then all booking requests for a listing will need to be reviewed and approved by the Host before the booking is officially confirmed.

Featured Listings

Hosts have the ability to upgrade their listings to ‘Featured’ either after they’ve created it or via the ‘My Listings’ section of their dashboard, which entitles them to promote their property as a featured listing across various BalkanBeds channels including our homepage, at the top of search results, social networks and email marketing avenues.

Just remember that featured listings gain higher public visibility and generally perform much better than standard listings, especially during peak travel periods.

Uploading Photos

It’s very important to have great quality photos when promoting your little slice of paradise on BalkanBeds, so hiring a seasoned photographer with a wide-angle camera lens might just be the best investment you could make! However, it’s just as important to make sure that you’ve optimised your photos before uploading them to your listing, so they’re not unnecessarily bigger than they should be. In fact, large photos can adversely impact the performance of your listing because it can take a while for them to load in a Guest’s web browser.

In order to help us deliver an optimal visual experience to our users, we’ve implemented some recommendations and restrictions on uploaded images. To keep it simple, your photos should be a minimum pixel size of 1400 x 900px, and no larger than 2MB in file size. Furthermore, try to have at least 6 quality photos, with no more than 10, uploaded for each of your listings. With good compression, each photo should be no more than a few hundred kilobytes in size.

Thankfully, there are some great tools available that can optimise the size of your images without impacting on their quality, and most of them can be found online. If you don’t have your own preferred image optimisation software, then we recommend using an online tool such as ‘Optimizilla’ (https://imagecompressor.com/), which can help massively reduce the file size of your images, and best of all, it’s free!

Extra Services

Hosts have the ability to add additional services to their listings, which Guests can opt to purchase while making their reservation on BalkanBeds. When creating a new listing, Hosts can specify these additional services including the name, price and cost type, from within the ‘Pricing’ section and under the ‘Add Extra Services’ heading of the dashboard.

An example of an extra service could be the cost of a gourmet breakfast, a guided city tour, or even a hire car! If it’s of value to the Guest, then don’t hesitate to include it within your listing.

Guest’s Identification document is required on check-in

When creating a listing, Hosts are required to specify whether the Guest’s identification document needs to be supplied to the Host upon check-in to the property.

If specifying ‘Yes’, Guest’s must provide their identification document to the Host for viewing, which may be copied/photographed and used for security purposes. In the event that the Guest is in breach of property rules, are deemed to be conducting themselves in an unruly or unlawful manner, or have inflicted physical damage to the property, Hosts are instructed to contact their local law enforcement authority to report the issue, and to provide them with a copy of the Guest’s identification document for processing.

BalkanBeds requests that a copy of the police report and the Guest’s details be supplied to us for further assessment, and note that appropriate action will be taken on the Guest’s account, limited to the conditions outlined in article 11 of the Terms and Conditions policy.

Furthermore, as a Host on the BalkanBeds platform, please ensure that you’ve taken the necessary steps to conform with article 14 of our Terms and Conditions, confirming that the appropriate insurance policies are established and in place to help safeguard against such incidents to your personal property.

Taxes

Users are advised that taxes are always considered to be as ‘included’ within the final price for each of the published listings available on BalkanBeds.

Hosts are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate provisions have been made to cater for their domicile tax rate when specifying a price for their listings, and are furthermore responsible for ensuring that payments of collected taxes are made to their respective domicile tax authority.

Syncing your calendar with 3rd party sites

Hosts are able to sync their property booking calendars with any 3rd party booking sites that they might be advertising on through our integrated iCalendar feeds feature.

For example, if you have existing published properties being advertised on another 3rd party website, but also want to list them on BalkanBeds without having to manually block out booked dates from both websites, you can simply add your 3rd party site iCal feed to your BalkanBeds listing AND add your BalkanBeds iCal feed to your 3rd party site listing. You can add and sync these calendars when Adding or Editing a property listing by navigating to the “Calendar” section in the top editing menu. Here you can paste the external iCalendar feed (URL) and hit “Save”.

Alternatively, you can export the BalkanBeds iCal feed of your property listing by copying the unique URL (also found in this section) and pasting it to your 3rd party site listing or booking manager solution.

Manually Reserving a Period

Hosts have the ability to block out individual dates or periods from being reserved and booked by Guests for each property listing. This can be done on the Calendar tab when creating or editing a listing using one of the following methods:

  1. By clicking on each individual date via the on-screen calendar that you would like to make unavailable.
    Once saved, these dates will appear as unavailable to Guests when browsing the listing.

  2. By selecting the ‘Reserve a Period’ button located above the on-screen calendar. This will provide the ability to select a date range and to add a personal note only visible to the Host. These dates will appear as ‘reserved’ to Guests when browsing the listing.

Please note that when using the second method, an automatically generated invoice will appear in the Invoices section of the Host’s dashboard. The invoice will reflect the regular price associated with the reserved date and is purely for information purposes only.

Hosts: Getting your Place Ready

General Cleanliness

Having a clean and safe environment for Guests to enjoy is an important part of being a Host. No one likes to feel like they’re lodging in an unsanitary environment which is why it’s extremely important to ensure that you have fresh towels, bed sheets, pillows and blankets ready for each new Guest that arrives, in addition to a well-maintained living area free from dirt and unsafe obstacles.

If you’re ever unsure, just ask yourself “If I were the Guest, what would make my experience great?”

Bare Essentials

Although most items may seem obvious, it can be easy to forget about some of the bare essentials that you should be providing your Guests with during their stay. Here are just some of the essential items that we believe should be made available to your Guests: Clean bedding, towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, clean drinking glasses/plates/cutlery.

Payments and Currencies

Service and Host Fees

As a BalkanBeds Host, a flat host fee of 3% is deducted from the grand total of your specified nightly price per listing, based on the overall duration of the booking. So for example, if your property has been listed for 30€ per night, and booked for a total of 5 nights (150€), a host fee of 4.50€ will be deducted from your earnings for that booking.

We also include a service fee in the final price on our website which does not make part of a Host’s earnings. This fee is automatically added which helps support our ongoing development and growth!

Making Payments

BalkanBeds only accepts and issues payments in Euro. Payments can be either made via PayPal or by using a Credit or Debit card upon checkout. All payments made via BalkanBeds are processed by either the PayPal or Stripe payment gateways, and if using a credit or debit card, your payment details are never stored or seen by our systems.

Host Payouts

Hosts have the option to be paid out their booking entitlements (less any service and host fees) through a PayPal transfer or via direct Bank Deposit (including their TransferWise or Payoneer banking accounts). You can specify your preferred payout option from within the ‘Wallet’ section of the Host dashboard.

Hosts can request a payout of their wallet balance at their leisure by clicking on the ‘Request a Payout’ button found within the ‘Wallet’ section of their dashboard. Once a payout request has been initiated, our team will typically process the payment within 48 hours and the Host can track the status of their payout from within their dashboard. Hosts are advised that payouts for new reservations will only be processed no less that 48 hours after Guest check-in.

Hosts are advised that if their payout request is for an amount less that 100€, an additional processing fee of 2€ will be deducted from the payout total.

All payments are made in Euro. If the recipient’s account is in a different currency, any foreign exchange/currency conversions will be handled by the recipient’s bank or financial institution’s own policy and applied foreign exchange rates.

Please note that BalkanBeds will not be liable for any losses incurred through foreign exchange, or international settlement fees of any nature charged by the recipient’s bank or financial institution, for the provisioning of a foreign exchange/currency conversion transaction.

Payoneer

If the Host requests to be paid into their Payoneer account, they will need to follow the Payoneer guidelines in order to issue a ‘payment request’ from their account.

We require the Host’s Payoneer payment account details in order to process their entitlement via a bank transfer made from our EU banking institution.

TransferWise

If the Host requests to be paid into their TransferWise account, then no additional steps are required other than providing their EU IBAN account details.

BalkanBeds highly recommends TransferWise as the best and most effective method for receiving cross-border payments due to their extremely low fees and ease of use. For more information about signing up for a TransferWise account, please visit https://www.balkanbeds.com/transferwise and follow the link to get started.

Currency Conversion

The currency converter available on the website is updated once every 24 hours and should be used for informational purposes only. It should not be relied upon as an accurate and real time conversion rate; actual rates may vary based on regular market fluctuation and the conversion rates applied by your bank or financial institution for foreign transactions made with credit and debit cards.

We use the mid-market currency conversion rate with no additional margins added.

Payment Security

For security reasons, never provide your personal payment details directly to another individual or party, whether it’s via our platform, or through an alternative means bypassing our systems. This will ensure that your financial details are kept private and minimise the risk of becoming victim to fraudulent activity.

Users found to be in breach of this clause may have their account suspended or even cancelled.

Bookings & Cancellations

Booking and Hosting Requirements

In order to use the BalkanBeds website including associated products and services, you must be 18 years or older and holistically accept our Terms & Conditions to create an account for booking or hosting on our platform.

Making changes to a Reservation

If you need to make a change or cancel a confirmed reservation, you can submit a change request to your Host by messaging them through the BalkanBeds messaging platform. Simply navigate to the property listing, or to the Host’s profile page and click on the ‘Contact the Host’ button to send them a message. A complete history of your sent and received messages including the ability to reply to your messages can be accessed via the ‘Messages’ section of your dashboard.

What happens if the Host cancels my reservation?

If your reservation is cancelled by your Host, please send our team an email on bookings@balkanbeds.com advising that the Host has cancelled your reservation and include your invoice number. We will then issue you a full refund of your reservation.

Cancellation Policies

We provide Hosts with the option to choose from three different cancellation policies when adding a new property listing, which we enforce in order to protect both our Hosts and Guests.

  1. Flexible – Cancel within 48 hours of booking and at least 24 hours before local check-in and get a full refund, including all fees

  2. Moderate – Cancel within 48 hours of booking and at least 7 days before local check-in, and get a full refund, including all fees

  3. Strict – Cancel within 48 hours of booking and at least 14 days before local check-in and get a full refund, including all fees

A Host’s cancellation policy can be found in the ‘Details’ > ‘Cancellation Policy’ section of their listing’s page. Guests agree to accept the Host’s cancellation policy upon confirmation of the booking

Should a Guest seek to cancel their reservation outside of the applied ‘Cancellation Policy’ period, then BalkanBeds reserves the right to partially refund the Guest their booking fee as per the following policy:

  • Flexible: Guests will be refunded, less 15% of their booking fee

  • Moderate: Guests will be refunded, less 25% of their booking fee

  • Strict: Guests will be refunded, less 50% of their booking fee

The retained portion of the refund will be received by the Host to compensate for any losses incurred (less our nominal Host fee).

In the event that the Guest is a no-show, or attempts to cancel their reservation after the confirmed check-in date, no refunds will be issued by BalkanBeds, and all payments associated with that reservation will be forfeited.

Leaving a Review

Quality experiences deserve quality reviews so we encourage our Guests to leave an honest review of their stay once they’ve checked-out of their booking.

Guests have an ability to rate the property from 1 to 5 stars (5 being Excellent) in addition to leaving a few honest words about their experience for future travellers to see.

In addition, Hosts also have the ability to rate their Guests after each stay with a star rating (1 to 5) and an honest comment about their experience with the Guest.

Don’t forget that reviews and ratings are public so be honest and, most importantly, respectful.

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