Short Term Rental Consumer Suggestions / Vacation Rentals

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Aug 28, 2015
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#1
Rent only well established properties. Determine how long the property has been a short term rental.

- An owner-managed property should have at least 10 diverse reviews establishing the authenticity and history of the rental, or at least a 2 year positive history of other owned rentals by the same owner.

- A property rental management company should demonstrate positive reviews through a minimum of 2 years of positive history within it's rental portfolio of all it's managed properties.

- The bottom of the listing site may show the first listing date of the property.


Read every review

- Reviews will have additional details about the property from past guests point of view.

- Pay attention to the owner or manager response to guest feedback and input. You want to know how guest criticism is handled.


Pay only by Credit Card.

- Never wire money.


Call the owner and/or property manager before making a decision from VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, or other major sites. Discuss if the property is a good fit. Use only established listing sites.

- Nothing substitutes for a real phone conversation.

- Do not rent or send money without a phone call.***(Note: airbnb does not allow phone calls prior to renting.)

- Never rent from Craigslist.


Require a Written Contract

- Read and understand all contract terms. Adhere to all terms on pets, # of guests, parties, and all other details.

- Understand the cancellation policy before you place a deposit.

- Meet all payment requirements in a timely manner.

- You may be agreeing to an online contract by placing a payment. Pay attention. Slow down and read the terms prior to proceeding.


Obtain the actual property address and Google it.

- Check to see if the property is currently listed for sale. Avoid for sale properties.

- Reconfirm the owner name. Make sure it matches your information.


Make sure that you understand the type of Rental you are viewing. Read the listing details thoroughly. The rental could be one of many kinds:

· Shared Space

· Private room in a house

· Guest house on property / Casita

· Condominium

· Townhouse

· Free Standing Home


Read the terms of each individual listing site, before committing money or a credit card.

- Every site has distinct rules and regulations. Pay attention.

Purchase insurance coverage if you feel you need it.
 
#2
Upon arrival video tape the unit as well as take time stamped photos. While taking the video note anything that does not appear to be correct based on the vacation rental description.
If video and/or photographs suggest an impending problem, contact the owner, rental company, website, etc. immediately. Attach any photographic documentation.
 
Oct 14, 2015
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#3
slightly off topic but have found recently that booking some USA accommodation offshore can be much cheaper. AM particularly talking about ski resorts. It seems non U.S. citizens are offered much better deals, such as massive long stay discounts. UK, Canadian, New Zealand or Australian wholesalers get great deals + if you can pay by eg. Paypal, there's no credit card surcharge by your bank (some credit cards apparently don't charge a surcharge for foreign transactions).

Guess resorts figure out what foreign guests average stay is & then offer deals for them to stay longer at their resort, rather than move to another resort + they might figure that foreigners spend a lot more getting to U.S. resorts, by way of airfares etc.

Hard part might be finding the wholesaler in the different country, who deals with where you want to go.

In terms of ski resorts, the lift tickets deals are often tied into the accommodation deals.
 
Mar 25, 2015
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#4
- Understand the cancellation policy before you place a deposit.
this is where most people mess up. they don't realize this is NOT a hotel so it will not be 100 perfect, and on top of that if it's a horrible experience getting any resolution is going to be more difficult since you are dealing with a single property owner, not a major corporation.
 
#5
this is where most people mess up. they don't realize this is NOT a hotel so it will not be 100 perfect, and on top of that if it's a horrible experience getting any resolution is going to be more difficult since you are dealing with a single property owner, not a major corporation.
This is not entirely accurate. If I could I would post a link to our VR. It's absolutely perfect. Absolutely. And so are most VRs that are managed by the owner who has them for their Personal vacation home.
Many of these homes are managed by property managers. Most of them take very bad care of the homes.
Some are made available by people who are flipping them. They don't care about the property or the traveler.
But most like ours are lovingly maintained. We have commissioned art, designer furnishings, travertine floors, appliances that each cost more than a car, fine crystal and on and on. We care for our home because it is a home.
A point that is important. Visit the owners personal website. See if they have great pride in their home. Then book, and do so directly with the owner to save the ridiculous (and sometimes hidden) commissions. FlipKey charges 15% hidden in the price, homeaway in February will start charging 10% commission.
Vacation rental Owners (not house renters) take pride in their homes, and you can save a lot of money booking directly with them.
 
Likes: LaurieB
Oct 14, 2015
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#6
catch with using the likes of VRBO & the like in ski resorts, is you end up paying a lot more for lift tickets.

If you book a trip to a U.S. ski resort thru a non-U.S. wholesaler, it can actually work out much cheaper.

You can pay with your U.S. credit card (no surcharge) direct to resort.

Only catch is many have a 7 night minimum.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#7
This is not entirely accurate. If I could I would post a link to our VR. It's absolutely perfect. Absolutely. And so are most VRs that are managed by the owner who has them for their Personal vacation home.
Many of these homes are managed by property managers. Most of them take very bad care of the homes.
Some are made available by people who are flipping them. They don't care about the property or the traveler.
But most like ours are lovingly maintained. We have commissioned art, designer furnishings, travertine floors, appliances that each cost more than a car, fine crystal and on and on. We care for our home because it is a home.
A point that is important. Visit the owners personal website. See if they have great pride in their home. Then book, and do so directly with the owner to save the ridiculous (and sometimes hidden) commissions. FlipKey charges 15% hidden in the price, homeaway in February will start charging 10% commission.
Vacation rental Owners (not house renters) take pride in their homes, and you can save a lot of money booking directly with them.
How many owners actually have a personal website though? I think you and Laurie sound like exceptions to the rule from many property owners.
 
Likes: VoR61
#8
How many owners actually have a personal website though? I think you and Laurie sound like exceptions to the rule from many property owners.

Actually many more owners are creating web presences these days.
Its becoming much easier to do so with the advent of wordpress. There are actually sites that can get an owner up and running in a few hours.

But having a site is one thing, making that site be able to be found is another and that is hard and can become expensive.

But places like homeaway are great places to post your web site because they get great traffic.

One value to a personal website is that you can then send invitations out to your traveler mail list with updates, new construction fresh pictures local activities and developments etc. This keep then engaged with you and likely to book with you on their return trip.
 
Jun 17, 2016
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#9
There are about 1,001 steps to get a Vacation Rental started depending on how serious you are about it. I can't even remember everything we had to do but most of it you find out by starting and the pieces start to fit together. It's not easy at all and the upfront costs can be pretty large depending on what kind of rental you are trying to create.
 
Likes: Neil Maley