In my blog post last week, I wrote about deal breakers when choosing a vacation rental. I ranted about two aspects of a property that turned me off and prevented me from recommending it to our Midwest cousins who will be coming to the Cape this summer. Here is the rest of the story….
Our cousin Steve browsed through our recommended homes and started contacting homeowners via email to confirm availability. In an email to me, he wrote, “Not having much luck thus far. Even though the calendars show availability on the website, when I call the owners, I find that they are already rented.” This happened five times to poor Steve. The calendar showed availability, but the house was not available. Argh.
This leads to my third Deal Breaker – an outdated calendar. On every listing on our site, there is a “date stamp” that tells the world when the calendar was last updated. Homeowners control this date stamp, as they are the managers of their calendar.
When I notice that a calendar has not been updated in over a month, I hold out little hope that it will work out and reluctantly move on to the next property.
We urge homeowners to update their calendars every few weeks in the winter and spring months when the site traffic is strong. Yes, even if there is no change in your availability.
- Login to your Homeowner Center, click the “Calendar and Pricing” link.
- At the top of the calendar page, click the blue “Update Date Stamp” button.
- Feel confident that vacationers (and their cousins who are helping them plan a vacation) trust that the calendar on your listing is accurate and that contacting you will not be a waste of their time.
Planning a vacation for eight people takes a lot of time, emails, and logistics. Thank you to the majority of homeowners who maintain an accurate calendar and return email inquiries within 24 hours. My cousin Steve, who finally found a fabulous rental in Brewster, and I appreciate your efforts!