Getting the right vacation rental is so much more than booking a hotel room, or stopping overnight in a B & B. It’s more like a dating game. Both guests and owners start out with criteria on their ideal match and through a process of elimination, a relationship develops until both parties are happy with the outcome. At least that’s the way I think it should be and it’s why I’m not overly happy with the idea of online booking processes that don’t give owners the chance to talk with potential guests before they sign an agreement and pay their money.
Over the past twenty years I’ve owned many vacation homes and have also been a rental guest in scores of properties. Where I’ve rented a place I usually have high expectations and don’t want to be presented with any surprises on arrival, so I start out with some very clear criteria. Speaking with, or at least emailing the owners with questions is a major part of the selection process. When we’ve rented with an agency, I want to speak with the person who actually viewed the property, and look for a candid and honest opinion.
Here’s some questions for both owners and guests to ask to help ensure the match is the right one:
5 Questions owners should ask potential guests:
- Have you ever rented a vacation home before?
- What is most important to you in your choice of a vacation rental?
- Are you expecting to have any day or overnight guests during your stay?
- Do you have any special requirements such as needing a peanut or pet free environment?
- Are you planning on bringing (or renting) any recreational toys i.e seadoos, dirt bikes, ATVs etc?
5 Questions potential guests should ask home owners
- Are the listing photographs up to date, and do they reflect the property as it is now?
- Is the property professionally cleaned between rentals?
- What activity options are there locally for bad weather entertainment?
- Are there download limits on the hi-speed internet we should know about?
- How close is the nearest grocery store?
Collecting this sort of information is useful to both parties to a rental agreement, and the process of doing so can build a climate of trust and confidence. Matchmaking like this can result in a relationship that goes beyond a single date – it’s the stuff repeat rentals are made of.