a professional blog for vacation rental managers

Monday, May 27, 2013

Managing Vacation Rentals - Handling Overbookings

In a sector that is rapidly growing and with home owners going for multiple properties, the advent of over bookings and double bookings is difficult to avoid and even more difficult to handle. This article tackles this issue by giving 5 tips to vacation rental managers (or holiday letting managers in the UK)

1. Be Honest
We are all human and sometimes we commit mistakes. Nevertheless, there is nothing worse to lie to your guest, especially when you cannot honor their booking. Be honest and explain the mistake. Tell the guests how you plan to tackle the issue and in which timeframe.

2. Communicate
Communication is critical in every kind of relationship. Your guests put their trust in you as a property owner or manager but for some reason you are not able to honor that. Communicate every step of your action, stay transparent with progress and share every piece of information you might have. Your guests would not like to stay in the dark, even if what you are doing is going to resolve the issue.

3. Offer alternatives
Be prepared to offer alternatives. Perhaps the best and obvious source of alternatives are similar properties within your area. Do not think "these are competitors, they will not help" because these things happen to all of us, and we need each others' support. Competition has to remain healthy.

4. Do not charge
Even if you are going to lose some money, be careful when asking the disappointed guest for more money. If possible avoid. It is bad for your business.

5. Make up for it
Make sure that once the guest arrives at the alternative accommodation, you check on them. Ensure they are happy with what you managed to provide and if possible, welcome them with a WOW effect (read bottle of wine, fruit basket, etc).

In such business, prevention is always better than cure. Before you too go through the turmoil of an overbooking, do seek a solution to prevent it from happening. You should be looking at a property management software (PMS) or a vacation rental management system (VRMS). These are two names for the same thing.

Occupancylevel.com offers an app that does exactly this - manages multiple vacation rental properties avoiding double bookings and over bookings, scheduling housekeeping and maintenance, whilst keeping an eye on revenue and occupancy.

Owners and managers who join the beta team (before launch), will be entitled for a Free subscription to Occupancylevel.com, for ever!
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