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How fast can a guest book? Let’s talk about that!!

Added: Jul 07, 2016
Category: For Vacation Home Owners

How fast can a guest book? Let’s talk about that!!!

The vacation rental industry is under a major shake up with advertising listings switching to a pay per booking model and a huge focus on the speed in which the guest can book. AirBnB, Expedia, VRBO, TripAdisor and Booking.com being the major players in this market right now. While this might be great for traditional forms of accommodation for travellers, is it really what we want for vacation rentals?

 

We, meaning owners and property managers of vacation rentals, all have a complete understanding of running vacation homes for the long term.  

1.       Its hard to make money and any money made by the owner is typically sunk right back into the property for maintenance and repair.

2.       In normal towns with a large residential population, vacation rentals are not welcome by neighbours

3.       There is a huge risk letting stranger’s stay, unsupervised, in your property.

 

OK, let’s address how booking fast on line with no guest screening impacts these 3 fundamentals that are common to most vacation rentals.

1.        Fast on line booking with quick confirmation is great for maximizing the number of nights booked.  If the booking system allows parameters like minimum stays, costs, taxes, security deposits and the ever difficult to explain currency conversion for travelers from out of country.

2.       Increasingly communities are introducing regulations and licensing, not screening guests makes it difficult to ensure compliance with local by-laws and fire codes.  Especially concerning the maximum occupancy because who reads that on line, and if the traveller does, do they abide by it?  Noise is often an issue.  Also lots of regions have fire codes that govern how many people can stay in a house.  Being offside on occupancy will violate your insurance, by-laws etc and potentially create liabilities for the home owner and property manager because of fines and possible jail time for violation.

3.       Over the years we’ve turned down lots of travellers whose behaviour is not what would fit with our local community and frankly not what a home owner or property manager would want to deal with.   From guests having open pit fires in the back yard, to large celebration activities including tents and caterers, to all sorts of strange creatures of all shapes, sizes and quantity, to pop up food retailers, to parents renting for their teenagers, I could go on and on but I think I made my point.  For a couple of night’s worth of rental income your house can be left in a condition that could take a week or longer to fix or repair.  So that means the next set of guests don’t get to check in.  Not only is this a financial loss, it’s devastating spiritually and your local community will hate you!

 

So, do I care how fast you can book a house on line?   You bet my sweet bippy I don’t!  Don’t cause me long term pain for short term gain!!!  I am in this for the long haul.  Just give me back my guest information, give me back my policies and give me back my control over who gets to stay in the house.   This gives me the most protection to make sure that I am in this industry for the long haul.

 

If the home owner has too much risk or can’t make money, then they close up and we don’t have as many vacation rentals.  The fundamental difference between a vacation rentals and other forms of bricks and mortar accommodation is that a vacation rental home is just as easily closed as it is to open.  So we must weather this current environment where there is way to much focus on the guest booking experience and getting bookings fast.

I’ll see you in a year or so and we’ll talk about who is still around!



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