Rentini provides useful and exciting travel insights. From adventures to marketing tips for vacation rental owners, we want to help you travel as it's meant to be – easy, refreshing, & fun!

You know you’re doing something right when you fall asleep like a baby and bounce out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning (or the first day of Hanukkah).  Indeed, day-in/day-out, at Rentini we look forward to developing fresh new ideas, creating solutions, and making a difference.  The energy we get from building up our website feeds off our interactions here at the office.  Everyday, things happen. And every week, more gets done.  

Last week, we touched on new features found in the dashboard.  So what’s up this week? We’re staying true to ourselves, that’s what.  Even before Rentini, LLC, was a business plan in portable document format, a great deal of thought went into our–at that time remote–“review system”.

As you probably know, customer reviews are in the news these days.  Phony reviewers have been taking advantage of review systems to author negative reviews against their competition and/or favorable reviews for themselves.  Travelers and guests, on the other hand, are often disgruntled when they realize they’ve been duped by inaccurate reviews.  Making allegations that the reviews that had led them to book a particular accommodation were faked frequently lead nowhere.  The guests then become exacerbated by what they see as the unresponsiveness and bureaucracy of big-business.  Representing the “wild west” of user-generated content, reviews on the sites in question can be written by anybody regardless of whether or not they’ve actually experienced the accommodation.  Of course, writing a review of a product or service without actually having experienced it is a criminal offense.  Yet the openness and anonymity of sites like these have provided fertile grounds for this activity.  People violate the law of “falsely representing themselves as a consumer” as often as they violate laws around cross-walks.  And these platforms are often unable to verify the veracity of a review.

In the office, we just discussed an article by travel industry expert, Robert K Cole, about what he terms “Fake Review Optimization,” or the manipulation of review ratings and review fraud.  Like Mr. Cole, we’ve been mulling over this problem for a very long time as we stay informed of the latest black-hat tricks.

We hope that by only having transaction-based reviews–reviews written by individuals who have used our service to pay and book their rental–we hope that by doing this we can prevent this crime wave from tainting our reviews and affecting our community.  We’re in the process of adding other–algorithmic–measures that will alert us of suspicious and fraudulent activity.  While no online review system is 100% full-proof, we aim to make it as difficult as possible to cheat the system.  Your protection as a consumer is our priority; preventing abuse–our mission.

So now, if you complete a rental transaction via our website, you will be able to write a review.  We’ll add a stamp of approval indicating your review has been verified.  

What else is new?  Our developers have successfully set-up our internal messaging system!  This may not seem like a big deal, but it is.  In other words, a messaging system has been enabled for guests to send inquiries to homeowners, for owners and managers to communicate with one another within the platform, etc.  You might ask, Hmm…is it like Hotmail?  No–not quite.  Rentini is not an email provider. The feature I am talking about basically enables customers to make inquiries to homeowners about booking their rentals.  It includes the options for sharing contact information–email and phone number. We recognize how important it is for guests to be confident about their choice of accommodation, and for owners to be reassured by a responsible renter.  By the time a booking is imminent or confirmed, this info will be on hand for both parties to communicate freely and finalize a deal. The message system will also include details provided by the person making the inquiry, such as who is going and their prospective check-in/check-out dates.  Each time you receive a “new message” on Rentini you will be sent an email notification.  We call all this our “Conversation” feature.

Sometimes when completing forms such as profiles or property descriptions it is useful to have a prompt or explanation.  At Rentini, we’ve added “hints” to help with tasks such as Listing Your Property and creating your Profile.  These hints clarify what a given call to action is as you fill out necessary info on interactive pages.  You will find these hints throughout the site in the form of a semi-transparent question-mark icon.  By scrolling over the icon, the hint will appear.

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