A natural disaster can be disastrous to your vacation rental management business. So can a wild party thrown by a guest. In either case, the property owner can endure hefty repair costs and lose revenue. A good insurance policy will compensate for some or all of the damages, but it's hard to replace time lost resulting from the inconvenience, especially if pursuing legal action against the renter.
Damage from a hurricane or tornado often can't be avoided, and skirting the destruction from an all-night bash can be a risk that property managers ultimately take with renters long before they set foot on the property. While they have the confidence of renting because they are often dealing with large, credible companies, guests are typically faceless to property owners and managers. In some cases, property managers can deny a rental if they suspect that their property may get trashed, if they know who's trying to rent the property.
That can be a big "if." It's important to have all of your bases covered.
Understanding and knowing your customer
Benjamin McGee, who heads sales in North America for Kigo, says the vacation rental management industry has very real and well-founded angst about knowing their customer. Fears of property damage and fraudulent chargebacks sometimes keep owners and property managers up at night.
"There is definitely a 'KYC' concern - know your customer," McGee said. "It's more on the property management side. On the consumer side, they are coming to a reputable website like Airbnb or HomeAway. They're not so concerned about that because they're going through channels that are well known, household names. It's more on property manager side of things, about who is this guest."
Guest screening technology ensures every booking is secure. The topic is part of a recipe for vacation rental managers to simply the leasing and property management process through a single platform.
With its evolution and growing diversity, the vacation rental industry is facing a new set of challenges. Increasing demands for high-quality stays, unpredictable new strategies and regulations from online travel agencies, complexities in payment processing, technology waves and a constant flood of new properties arriving on the market can be more than a handful.
Kigo Marketplace offers a screening solution that verifies an applicant’s identity during booking that eases some of the anxiety. McGee likens the online process to that of a soft apartment rental agreement.
"When someone makes a booking, you have to go through steps to prove who they are," he said. "That can be credit card authorization or sending an email. Just imagine a very light version to apply for a rental agreement that gives you access to a vacation rental for a couple of weeks."
The solution builds trust and prevents fraudulent transactions and unjustified chargebacks that harm vacation rental profits.
Eliminating the anxiety through streamlining the rental process
It's important to know how to cope with changing rules and regulations of online travel agencies and providing consumers a sense of security when making transactions with other countries. McGee said automation is playing a role in the way that vacation rental providers can manage changing requirements and legislation. He added that it's also helping renters better understand transaction charges when dealing with foreign currencies.
The ultimate answer is a single vacation rental management solution that streamlines all phases of the rental process so that stress and anxiety goes away.
"The idea," says McGee, "is to reduce the number of companies that you work with and focus on growing your business by having one provider that gives you all the technologies rather than several providers from several companies, adding a lot of complexity to the way you operate. It's reducing your technology debt by working with a single source provider."
And potentially the expense of recovering from an unruly guest.
Cover your bases with Kigo Marketplace. Get a free demo today!