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Wednesday, March 5th, 20145 MLB Spring Training Destinations that Offer Way More than... »
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Monday, March 3rd, 201417 Funniest Tweets About Travel »
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Thursday, February 27th, 2014How to get more guest reviews on your vacation rental... »
A dose of reality: outside of location and price - reviews...
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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008Blizzard Internet Marketing Interviews FlipKey’s TJ Mahony »
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Today we are featuring Michelle Teillon, an avid traveler...
Monday, May 12th, 2008Vacation Rental Guest Reviews - FlipKey Negative Review... »
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Advice for Owners and Managers
A dose of reality: outside of location and price – reviews are the single most important part of your vacation rental listing. Sometimes, people will go the extra mile for price if the reviews are stellar. There will always be a negative review here or there for reasons beyond your control, but what you can control is earning your listing a steady stream of positive reviews that push your vacation rental over the top. Here are a few suggestions to accomplish this important task:
Identify your Advocates
If you’ve taken great care in taking great care of your visitors from Day 1 – you likely have a handful of advocates already. These are the travelers that have “told their friends and family” about their amazing time at your place. Reach back out to them for one more favor, to kick start your online reviews. If you can get a few high-quality, 5-star reviews right from the start, you’ll be in good shape.
Keep a guest book in the vacation rental. Encourage visitors to keep a diary or itinerary of their stay listing their favorite attributes. Ask your guests afterwards if you can include their messages as a review on your vacation rental listing. Most will be more than happy to permit you to do this. Keeping a guest book is also a great way for travelers to give each other tips on what to do in the area, or little quirks about the home. Win-win for everyone.
Here’s your guide to response rates:
How it’s calculated
- It’s based on the number of inquiries and booking requests responded to out of the last 20 inquiries, and will not appear on your listing page until you’ve received at least 4 inquiries
- You must respond within 48 hours in order to receive credit for it
How to get credit
- Hit “reply” to new inquiry emails
- Sign in to get your guest’s contact information
- Reply from the FlipKey mobile app
Check out our Help Center for more information on your specific plan.
How to stay on top of inquiries
- Sign up for text alerts
- Set up filters to automatically screen inquiries that don’t meet your requirements
- Use the FlipKey mobile app to respond on-the-go
We cannot stress enough how important it is to respond quickly to all inquiries, and in order to create a better experience for travelers we’ve started to deactivate listings with poor response rates. This creates more refined search results and more visibility for your listing.
There is a lot involved when it comes to owning your own vacation rental and what makes all of the effort worth it are real, simple, and secure bookings. Now that we’ve come into a new year, make it a goal for yourself to book more inquiries and help more happy travelers in 2014. Need help getting a game plan together? We’ll get you started! Here is a list of our best suggestions for turning more inquiries into more bookings this year.
Accept Online Payments
Allowing online payments is a great way to avoid fraud and to also boost your overall bookings. Travelers are much more apt to book a rental with a credit card over the web rather than send a check in the mail. If you want to increase your bookings, the way that you accept online payments is also important. Using FlipKey Payments is, of course, our best suggestion because travelers may feel more comfortable using our Peace of Mind Guarantee, which covers bookings up to $10,000 should it necessitate refund. If a traveler sees that you do not accept FlipKey secure payments, they may become suspicious and decide not to book your rental.
By: Matt Landau
Vacation rentals are taking the travel industry by storm of late with a new PhoCusWright study proclaiming that they will account for up to 30% of the entire US travel market before the end of 2014.
But with so much growth and success, and many new owners rushing to cash in on this booming trend, experienced veterans of the industry are taking advantage of their time-tested efforts to capitalize on monthly bookings.
Here are 10 signs that you’re operating your vacation rental business like a savvy pro:
If you shuffle around bookings, offer special discounts/upgrades, or are successful in convincing guests to reserve specific nights – all in search of the almighty flush booked calendar – you’re probably a savvy vacation rental pro.
2. You are suspicious of any renter under the age of 25
If you raise an eyebrow when a potential guest asks about the minimum age requirement or inquires about staying with “their colleagues” during Spring Break-like vacation weeks, you’re probably a savvy vacation rental pro.
The Florida Legislature is discussing changes concerning short term rentals you may want to be aware of. The proposed legislation, HB307 and SB356, could potentially have a significant impact on your rental operation and it is important you understand the implications of these changes being discussed:
To read the proposed legislation, please click these links:
An online resource for owners and managers in the short term rental industry has been formed to provide best practices and helpful information. To start a local chapter visit:
FlipKey does not have independent knowledge of these regulations or any proposed or actual changes to existing regulations. FlipKey encourages all managers and owners to understand and comply with the regulations governing short term rentals in their individual municipalities.
The FlipKey Team