saturday well-spent

5 Screening Tips with Vacation Rentals

There are two main differences with the occupants of a vacation rental vs. a standard rental property.

  1. Length of stay
  2. Mindset of the guest

The difference in the length of stay is pretty obvious… vacation rentals tend to be short stays where traditional tenants sign a longer lease.

What we’d like to focus on is the mindset of the vacation rental guest.

Mindset of vacation rental tenants

There’s a reason people drive more aggressively with a rental car compared to the car they lease. It’s a different mindset when it’s a short-term rental.

The same can be true of vacation rentals as well.

Why not shut the fan off for a hot shower because you like to pretend the rental has a steam room?

Knowing that your guest may have this viewpoint makes it important you screen your short-term tenants with as much vigilance as you would a standard renter.

5 Screening Tips with Vacation Rentals

Here’s a quick list of tips you can implement into your process to screen your short-term guests.

1. Try various searches parameters on social media

Social media posts can say a lot about person’s lifestyle and living conditions.

You’re looking for obvious photos that indicate someone lives an ‘Animal House’ inspired lifestyle.

However, many people will have two social profiles. Let’s use Facebook for an example.

If you have the name, email, and phone number of your applicant. Try searching all three separately in Facebook.

Some people will have an account set up using their phone number and a separate Facebook account attached to their email address.

If they have two accounts there is a good chance they created a professional looking profile for job purposes or perhaps to keep up appearances for family.

It’s the other profile that will give you a better idea of any potential red flags they might be publicly sharing.

 

2. Co-signers can be good

Having more than one person’s name on the agreement can be helpful in spreading the responsibility.

This can be achieved by requiring a co-signer for the rental. Someone else who will be responsible if repairs are needed.

Just having the understanding that someone else will be affected negatively can keep people on their toes.

 

3. Security deposits are your friend

If you’re not charging a sizable security deposit on your rental you’re asking for trouble.

A security deposit does more than just create a deposit you can withdraw from if there are damages. It will discourage people with potentially harmful plans.

The Best Man planning a ruckus bachelor party is not going to want to put up a sizable security deposit on his dime. He’s going to look for a rental that will limit his liability if the party gets out of hand.

Charge a good security deposit and you’ll scare away suspect tenants.

 

4. Ask for references

If they’re currently renting, ask if you can reach out their landlord.

A quick conversation with the landlord will help give you confidence that you’ve found a great guest for the vacation rental.

This step may take a few extra minutes but you’ll know right away if the renter is reluctant to provide this information that they may have something to hide.

 

5. Run a background check

Many times people start running background checks AFTER they’ve been burned by a bad tenant.

Our advice is to always be proactive and run a background check as your last screening measure before handing over the keys.

Has this person been evicted in the past? Do they have a history of violent crimes?

Identifying any potential red flags before you hand over the keys is crucial.

For anyone managing someone else’s asset you’ll want to run a background check because it’s not a good look when a convicted felon causes substantial damage to the property.

 

About RentPrep:

RentPrep is a tenant screening service based out of West Seneca, NY that services over 40,000 landlords and property managers nationwide. They have a team of FCRA Certified Screeners that hand-compile reports to ensure accuracy and are available by phone, email, and live chat to discuss your reports. We’re proud to be integrated into the RealTimeRental platform to keep your vacation rentals in good hands.

weather 1

Add the Weather Forecast to Your Rental Links

We are excited to announce that you can now add a weather forecast widget to your rental website free of charge.

Powered by AccuWeather , the weather forecast widget will show your rental guests current weather data for your location. Rental guests can also click to view historical weather data for the travel dates they are searching for.

weather 1

Provide your rental guests with weather information in your location. The weather forecast widget can be added to your website if you are using our standard rental links to power your website. The weather forecast widget is also available to our clients who use our API to power their rental website.

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To get started using the weather forecast widget, please contact the RealTimeRental support team.

REPORTING WIDGETS

New Feature: Reporting Widgets

We are happy to announce a new feature to RealTimeRental has been released, Reporting Widgets. Reporting Widgets allow you to customize your homepage in RealTimeRental. The widgets will show you information about your rentals at a glance. Read some descriptions of available reporting widgets below.

Lease Comparison Widget:

lease count

This bar graph shows you at a glance how many bookings were created for the current year compared to the two previous years, and how many bookings have been created so far for next year.

 

Tenant Origin Widget:

Tenant Origin

This chart shows the most common states that your rental guests come from at a glance. This can be a useful tool for marketing.

Listings By Bedroom:

listings by bedrooms

This chart displays the number of active properties in your rental inventory sorted by number of bedrooms. View at a glance how many of each type of rental property you represent.

 

To view all available widgets, Log into your RealTimeRental account. From the main menu, click the TOOLS tab, then click WIDGET MANAGEMENT. This screen will allow you to activate the widgets for your individual login or for all users in your office. For users to activate the reporting widgets, you must have manager level access and above.

 

 

 

 

Beach home construction Florida

The Importance of Brand Loyalty for Vacation Rental Managers

We recently came across a great article about the importance of creating and maintaining a brand for Vacation Rental Managers. In “Vacation Rental Managers: Why Your Brand Matters” by Vince Perez , he states that in the Vacation Rental Industry brands are defined by four basic characteristics.

Web Presence 

Social Presence 

Community Presence

Guest Services

In order for a Vacation Rental Management Company to have a successful brand image, they need to pay attention to all of the basic characteristics. An attractive mobile friendly website, active social media profiles, involvement in your local community, and striving to leave rental guests with positive experiences go a long way in helping your brand be more memorable.

In the article Perez states that “There should always be an ‘ask’ at the front end and back end of any booking.  On the front end: “how did you find us” –   This very basic question can help you build a better understanding of where and how the traveler is finding you.   Having this data will allow you to know where you should be increasing and decreasing your marketing efforts. Back end:  “How was your stay” – positive or negative this allows for an excellent opportunity to define your Brand.

Asking Rental Guests these questions allows the Vacation Rental Manager to get useful data and focus on areas of their rental business that need improvement. Perez states that the goal of these questions should be

a) repeat booking

b) referral

c) an “ask” to share their experience, in the form of a review or Social Media mention.

 

Read the full article here

 

 

 

 

The dream house 60

RealTimeRental Turns NFC Chip Technology into New Real Estate Marketing Opportunity

The internet has already reshaped the way the Real Estate industry conducts business. In order to remain competitive in today’s Real Estate market, it is imperative that Real Estate professionals take the steps to make their business model mobile friendly.

Keeping the current technological trends in mind, RealTimeRental developed Tap Tags™ as a simple way for real estate professionals to embrace mobile technology.

“With just a simple tap of a phone on the Tap Tag™, your clients will be looking at your message right on their NFC capable smartphone,” said Joseph Testa, co-founder RealTimeRental.

Tap tags™ have an adhesive backing, and can be programmed to open a URL to any website, bring up contact information or digital business cards, make phone calls, send emails, and direct people to social media profiles. For offices that use RealTimeRental as their vacation rental software, Tap Tags™ can be programmed to pull property information directly from the software.

Using the same technology that is becoming common in credit cards, Tap Tags™ contain top of the line NFC (near field communication) chips that facilitate the communication between the tag and the smartphone.

“Tap tags™ eliminate the need for real estate agents to print out physical copies of property sheets for interested buyers. Simply place a Tap Tag™ inside of a property, and interested parties can immediately get access to property information and photos right on their Smartphone,” said Testa.

In addition to placing Tap Tags™ inside to virtually anywhere, water proof Tap Tags™ are also available to put outside a property or on listing signs.

Along with their ability to display property information, Tap Tags™ have multiple uses that are relevant to today’s real estate market.

About RealTimeRental.com

RealTimeRental.com is the premier vacation rental software solution for 200+ rental offices in the United States, Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica. As the first web based vacation rental system on the market in the year 2000, RealTimeRental has consistently provided a comprehensive reservation and accounting system for the past 15 years. As a cloud based application, RealTimeRental vacation rental software clients have the peace of mind that their reservation management system can be accessed 24/7 via the cloud. Additionally, RealTimeRental offers a fully integrated trust accounting package and marketing options for property managers, including a proprietary distribution portal, http://www.rentalretreat.com

RealTimeRental clients consistently provide outstanding testimonials about our level of support, the dynamic nature of our system, and our accurate fully integrated trust accounting package which handled approximately 325,000 reservations in 2015, with a gross revenue of over $700 million dollars generated on behalf of our clients.

Want to start utilizing the latest technology in your marketing? For more information on Tap Tags™ please visit http://www.realtimerental.com or call 888-828-2303.

Beach House

RealTimeRental Announces Official Launch of New Vacation Rental Distribution Channel

RealTimeRental’s new vacation rental distribution channel, Rental Retreat, expertly combines the modern online travel experience with the protection and reliability of booking a rental through a traditional real estate or property management company.

“Rental Retreat fills a void in today’s vacation rental market. Travelers love the experience of searching for vacation rental properties online, but very frequently travelers were apprehensive about booking a rental home sight unseen directly though the property owner.

We wanted to create a place online, where travelers could easily connect with multiple professional vacation rental companies across the country. Travelers can have peace of mind knowing that all of the vacation rental listings on Rental Retreat have been inspected and approved by professional real estate or property management companies,” said Joe Testa, co-founder of RealTimeRental vacation rental software.

The 50,000+ rental properties hosted onRental Retreat are updated frequently and have availability calendars that are updated in real time by the property management companies using RealTimeRental vacation rental software. Travelers can be assured that the listings on Rental Retreat contain the most up to date information available.

“Rental Retreat was designed with real estate and property management companies in mind. We wanted to make a simple, easy, and affordable way for professionals in the vacation rental market to increase the online presence of their rental properties,” said Sherry Tomasso, co-founder of RealTimeRental vacation rental software.

Rental Retreat, powered by RealTimeRental, gives real estate offices and property management companies a way to seamlessly increase their rental properties online visibility.

“We are very proud of the performance of Rental Retreat so far. The average booking amount is $2,780 and the lead conversion rate is well above the industry standard at 29%,” said Tomasso.

RealTimeRental has been working closely with web developers, social media consultants and top SEO professionals to ensure the success of the new distribution portal.

Real Estate offices and professional property management companies interested in hosting their rental inventory on Rental Retreat can contact RealTimeRental for more information.

http://www.RealTimeRental.com is the premier vacation rental software solution for 200+ rental offices in the US, Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica. As a cloud based software, RealTimeRental clients have peace of mind that their reservation management system can be accessed 24/7 via the cloud. Additionally, RealTimeRental offers a fully integrated trust accounting package and marketing options for rental property managers, including the vacation rental website http://www.RentalRetreat.com. For more information on RealTimeRental vacation rental software or Rental Retreat please visit the website or call 888-828-2303.

Soldeu. Andorra

RealTimeRental Preferred Vacation Rental Software Provider of LuxuryRealEstate.com

RealTimeRental announced today that they are now a preferred vacation rental software provider ofLuxuryRealEstate.com, the largest online network of elite luxury real estate brokerages.

“We are very proud of our new partnership status with LuxuryRealEstate.com. Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate is very well regarded in the Real Estate industry, and we think that this will be a good fit with RealTimeRental clients, many of whom deal exclusively in luxury vacation rental properties” said Joe Testa, Co-Founder of RealTimeRental.

Members of LuxuryRealEstate.com must consistently list and sell in the top ten percent of their market, and have proven experience with the sales of multi-million dollar properties.

“For the past 15 years RealTimeRental has catered to the software needs of the luxury vacation rental market. LuxuryRealEstate.com is an active leader in the luxury real estate industry and we’re thrilled to be a preferred vacation rental software provider” said Sherry Tomasso, Co-Founder of RealTimeRental. “We have always catered to the higher end market and are thrilled to be chosen to continue to do so.”

About LuxuryRealEstate.com

LuxuryRealEstate.com, frequently ranked ‘Best Website’ in consumer and industry surveys, has been recognized for excellence by the WMA Awards and the Webby Awards and has been voted ‘Best of the Web’ by Forbes magazine multiple times. Since its debut in 1995, LuxuryRealEstate.com has remained the #1 portal for luxury properties on the internet and has several times more $1,000,000+ content of any near-peer.

Known in the industry since 1986 as the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network, a global collection of the finest luxury real estate brokers in the world, this group of more than 130,000 professionals with properties in more than 70 countries, collectively sells in excess of $190 billion of real estate annually. Members are selected by Chairman/Publisher John Brian Losh, one of REALTOR Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate and broker of fine properties through his Seattle-based brokerage firm, Ewing & Clark, Inc.

The company has also been recognized by the Maggie Awards, received an ADDY Award for excellence in Web Design, ranked in the Inc. 5000 List and named as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

About RealTimeRental.com
RealTimeRental.com is the premier vacation rental software solution for 200+ rental offices in the United States, Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica. As the first web based vacation rental system on the market in the year 2000, RealTimeRental has consistently provided a comprehensive reservation and accounting system for the past 15 years. As a cloud based application, RealTimeRental vacation rental software clients have the peace of mind that their reservation management system can be accessed 24/7 via the cloud. Additionally, RealTimeRental offers a fully integrated trust accounting package and marketing options for property managers, including a proprietary distribution portal, http://www.rentalretreat.com

RealTimeRental clients consistently provide outstanding testimonials about our level of support, the dynamic nature of our system, and our accurate fully integrated trust accounting package which handled approximately 325,000 reservations in 2015, with a gross revenue of over $700 million dollars generated on behalf of our clients. For more information on RealTimeRental vacation rental software, please visithttp://realtimerental.com or call 888-828-2303.