Time flies. It’s has been an incredible year-long ride since we officially launched our new website last year. Not only have we learned a lot, we’ve also realized that customer feedback is a huge source of inspiration. Thank you for contributing your time and efforts to becoming a valuable part of the Rentini community.
Do you remember some of these milestones and new features we’ve developed along the way?
We Are In 70+ Countries and Counting
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that a single platform could be a common marketplace for people from such diverse cultural backgrounds. We are all in the same business and our love for the vacation rental experience is without boundaries. Who wants to stay in a cookie cutter hotel with their entire family? No wonder vacation rentals are becoming more and more popular for travelers across the globe.
You Told Us, We Listened
The most exciting part of building a vacation rental platform is that all of you, our great customers, are also seasoned entrepreneurs. You are smart, experienced and full of fresh ideas about improving the business. We took many of your ideas and developed them into useful tools that will help you run your business even better. Below we listed a few features that came out of your valuable feedback. Keep pouring it on us, we do listen!
The Lowest 2.4% Credit Card Processing
I hope you don’t miss out on this one! After negotiating with our merchant bank, we secured a 2.4% credit processing rate, which is a better deal than PayPal or VRBO. Paypal charges approximately $30/month plus 2.9% – 3% per credit card transaction. VRBO charges somewhere in a range of $400-$1,000+/year and 2.5% per transaction. We are so happy to save our clients on credit card fees with a low 2.4% flat fee on Visa, Master Card and Discover credit card payments.
Calendar Synchronization Tool
This is an awesome tool we launched last year. Recently redesigned, today it is even more user-friendly. No one wants to update their calendars on the zillions of vacation rental sites manually. This tool takes the headache away from busy owners/property managers. Just copy/paste a link from HomeAway / VRBO and never worry about double booking again.
Reservation Confirmation: Accept, Reject, Discuss More
Everyone has his or her own style of running a vacation rental, but after regular feedback, we realized one thing is for sure: Homeowners and Property Managers want full control over the situation. In response, we developed a better way to handle reservation requests. When accepting or rejecting vacation requests, no word is final until homeowners or property managers say so and there is a 24-hour time frame to do so.
Automatic Damage Deposit Processing
- Two days prior to check-in, the guests’ card is automatically authorized for the amount of the damage deposit.
- The owner will then get an email confirmation and issue check-in instructions for guests.
- 48 hours after check-out, the damage deposit will be refunded to the guest’s card if no damages have been incurred.
Pro Plan: Links And Direct Contact Info
Rentini started off as a transaction-based platform on which we charged 1% commission plus a $5 reservation fee. Quickly, however, we learned that some of our users were not happy to pay a commission for each payment processed via Rentini. In order to accommodate our homeowners and property managers, we began charging a small monthly fee of $9/month and, in return, we list all their contact details in the ad. This way, homeowner & property managers are able to use their normal reservation flow. This change has been awesome for Rentini and it has also been great for the homeowner & property managers who are pleased not to have to introduce a new element to their existing business procedure.
Pro Plus Plan: No Commission And Unlimited Listings For A Single Monthly Payment.
It couldn’t get any better for property managers and homeowners who have multiple listings. List all 20 properties and pay no commission to Rentini for payment processing. Every Pro Plus subscriber gets all of this for a flat $20/month fee along with access to many exciting features on the Rentini platform not accessible under a free plan:
- Personal Website Domain Support
- Featured Listing
- No Commission Payment Processing
- Last minute Deal Promotions
Based on the research done by TripAdvisor, guests’ reviews are the second most important thing after photos that travelers rely on while making their selection. At Rentini, all reviews are verified. We also added a Testimonials feature that is an easy way for new listing owners to improve their credibility. This feature also allows homeowners and property managers to contact their previous guests or personal friends to solicit testimonials.
Last Minute Deals
This could be the most celebrated new feature of the year! Last minute gaps are not easy to fill, especially because travelers are accustomed to getting a deal on last minute bookings. At the end of the last year, we introduced a feature to promote properties with last minute availabilities on our homepage. As a result, we received a great return on new bookings and lots of happy customers.
Hints And Videos Are Added
The first few months after our official launch were tough. Many features that looked obvious to our engineers were not as user-friendly as we thought. As a result, we included a short explanation next to each entry field. If you are ever in doubt regarding what a field or sentence means, just roll your mouse over the question mark icon and the hint will pop-up. The same goes for video tutorials. After adding a video tutorial on every page, we managed to improve our conversion rate by 45%.
Custom Cancellation Policy
This was one of the most requested features in the early days. Originally, we had 4 pre-designed cancellation policies, but we learned that homeowners and property managers didn’t want to fit into cookie cutter solutions. After realizing we needed to be more flexible on this topic, we allowed homeowner & property managers to upload his or her custom policy.
Reply To Inquiry From The Email Inbox
Another thing we learned about homeowners and property managers’ business challenges is they all want to simplify the inquiry reply process.
At Rentini, we developed two ways to reply to messages from a potential guest:
- Hit the reply button in your browser
- Login to Rentini and reply via our messaging feature
Whether you reply via email or the Rentini messaging page, all communication is stored in your Rentini account. The only trick to remember is that when you reply via email, the recipients address is encrypted for privacy purposes. But, don’t fret. We know how to deliver your message to your guest. Just hit the Send button!
Craigslist Ad Generator
Many homeowners and property managers have a love /hate relationship with Craigslist. Many say that there are a lot of scams and others don’t want to deal with low-ball inquiries. Despite its issues, Craigslist can still be a very effective advertising platform for your vacation home. With 60+ mln unique visitors per month Craigslist is one of the most visited classified sites on internet. At Rentini, we developed a simple tool to generate a professional Craigslist ad in a few clicks. It’s a great way to promote your last minute availability or just improve your ad’s SEO in the long run. More visits to your ad page means more love from search engines.
We Love Our Unique Properties From All Around The World
The beauty of our vacation rental business is that all the properties are very unique. Whether it is a stunning villa in Paraty, Brazil, a private boat in Barcelona, or an agritourism villa in Tuscany, Italy, they are all inspiring…and your personal touch is what makes your guests enjoy it so much!
There are many more features being developed,which are great additions to our core functionality. Thanks again for your patronage during the last year!
Do you have a feature in mind you know could be useful for your vacation rental business? Share it with us by leaving a comment below or by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.