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Mar 05 2013

Handling Tentative Bookings

Question Mark Key on Computer KeyboardVacation rental homeowners on our site often ask us how to handle tentative bookings and, specifically, when they should reflect the booking as confirmed on their availability calendar. Tempting as it is to do so immediately upon receiving a verbal commitment from a prospective tenant, we urge you to resist until you have received a signed lease and rental deposit from the vacationer. If you block off a week as booked before receiving the lease and deposit, and the prospective tenant changes his mind, you may have lost a chance to rent it to someone else.

But what if someone else inquires for that week?

If you do receive another inquiry for the dates of the tentative booking, you can explain to the new inquirer that you are tentatively reserving that week for someone but would be happy to let them know if it should fall through. Look at every inquiry as an opportunity, if not for another week this season, then for the future. (For further information about handling payments, read our Payment Schedules blog post.)

Are you using a Booking Management system?

If you are listed with WeNeedaVacation.com, we encourage you to use our Booking Management system, accessed right from your Homeowner Center. This free feature enables you to easily record which weeks are booked, by whom, and at what price. You can also track all of your booking documents, including the date you sent out a lease, when it was returned, and when the next deposit is due.

Bookings-ViewTracking

The Booking Management feature also allows you to enter a booking as “tentative” until the signed lease and deposit have been received, at which time you can then change the status to “Booked.” And it works together with your calendar, so bookings you enter or change are automatically reflected on your calendar. Note: If you have entered a “tentative” booking in your Booking Management system, your calendar will still appear to vacationers as “available” so that you will continue to receive inquiries in case the tentative booking should fall through.

Read more advice about managing your rental bookings.

Reminder: Be sure to keep the date stamp on your calendar as current as possible. Even if you have had no changes to your pricing or availability recently, we recommend that you click on the “Update your calendar” link at least every 3-4 weeks to assure vacationers that your information is accurate. A current date also helps your listing in the search rankings.

How do you handle tentative bookings?

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About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for WeNeedaVacation.com since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and have managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation.com, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family since the 1920’s. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV.com Homeowner Support Team, I am particularly involved with our new listers, providing assistance with the sign-up process and advice about how to create the most effective listing to ensure their booking success with us. I have recently taken over our press and public relations needs. And, with owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the content on our website, our monthly newsletters, and the blog posts. My husband and I live in Wellesley where we have raised our 2 grown kids and our Black Lab, Maisie. Email Elizabeth

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