Despite your home being a perfect fit for a prospective vacationer, it’s possible that you can lose the booking due to an ill-advised booking procedure. A recent email correspondence with a vacationer drove home the risks of a homeowner requiring too much of a rental deposit, too soon, and without providing the vacationer with a lease in return.
The vacationer (from the UK) emailed us to ask about a particular homeowner who lists on our site. She was looking for reassurance from us regarding the legitimacy of this owner. I told her that the owner had been listing her home with us for the past two years and that we had received no negative comments about her or her home. She went on to say that the owner had asked for 50% now and 50% as early as January 1 for a July rental, and she wondered if this was normal procedure. I told her that the payment schedule is up to each owner and asked her if she had received a lease. She said that the owner had said she would send a lease but hadn’t yet.
A day or so after this correspondence, I received another email from the vacationer saying that, despite the good report I gave her about the owner, she had decided to rent another home. This was her reasoning:
I don’t want to pay 100% six months in advance, without proper documentation or security, so we are going for another house where the owner seems more businesslike with a proper booking form and lease.
It’s a shame that the homeowner lost a booking because she was asking for payment even before she sent the lease and because of an overly aggressive payment schedule. See our advice about payment schedules. The all-important trust between homeowner and vacationer had not been established during their initial communications.
Do you use a lease? Do you send it to your vacationers either before, or at least as soon as, you receive an initial payment from them? What’s been your experience with early bookings?
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