In the travel and hospitality industries, time is sensitive. For vacation rental owners, one of the first questions when joining up with a new service to promote their business is, Does this service enable me to maintain control? At Rentini we wanted to provide assurances for homeowners. We received a stream of feedback from our clients…
once they got a reservation they wanted to direct it themselves and be in control before confirmation is granted to a guest. Rentini got the message. In order to prevent the scenario of the dreaded double-booking, we’ve implemented three buttons for homeowners to select from when they receive a booking at Rentini: the Accept button, to approve of a reservation; the Reject button, to disapprove of the reservation; and a Discuss Morebutton if there is more to negotiate or more details need to be shared.
In any industry where check-ins and check-outs are critical to a successful business, calendars are a big consideration; this is often framed in the specter of the dreaded “double-booking,” when the same space is reserved by different people for the same time. Double-bookings, as irritating as they can be, do not spell the end. Airlines, for example, regularly overbook their flights (they use their own algorithms to determine the threshold of tickets to be issued). That’s why we often hear offers at the boarding gate for volunteers to take a gift certificate in exchange for giving up their seat and flying another time. Airlines operate by volume and can play with numbers. Similarly, large hotels can switch rooms around and make adjustments. It makes financial sense for airlines and chain hotels and is less hassle than for a vacation rental owner. Homeowners have a single transaction per property at any given time. On the homeowners end a double booking involves canceling a reservation for one party and informing them that the property isn’t actually available when they booked it (apologies are typically required). For the traveler, it involves continuing the often arduous search for the perfect getaway. In this structure, homeowners and property managers retain control of the reservation status – a guest is not charged until the owner/manager confirms their request.
When one is maintaining various calendars on many platforms online, it is a real task to keep calendars in sync. Rentini makes this easier by offering features such as HomeAwayConnect, which integrates updates from a combined calendar of HomeAway listings. But this is not 100% seamless. And though we’ve found demand for instant bookings from homeowners confident they can keep their calendars in sync and updated (with the option to cancel the reservation should something go wrong), we’ve received a fair amount of demand to always be in control. Now, when a guest submits a request to reserve the first week of next month and the homeowners clicks Accept then the reservation is confirmed, the guests payment is processed, the guest receives an email with confirmation about payment and the reservation details. This process, initiated by the traveler, is confirmed by the acceptance of the homeowner. A vacation is borne. As a homeowner, which button do you think you’ll be using more often – Accept, Reject, or Discuss More? Share your answer below.