Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do You Respond To Rental Enquiries in 24 Hours? Your Rental Listing Site Cares!

Get the best value for the money with no commission or booking fees - keep your rental income!

It has been well documented that those who respond most quickly to vacation rental enquiries are most likely to earn the booking. This is true particularly when it is possible for a potential renter to send the same request to many owners, as it the case on many of the vacation rental listing sites.

Interestingly, both Flipkey and Holidaylettings.co.uk are now planning to use the speed of response of owners on their systems to manage booking requests.

Both Flipkey and Holidaylettings.co.uk recently introduced the ability for renters to request a booking for an available property: all the owner has to do is respond to either confirm or reject the booking.

This is actually a really nice feature. From the renter's point of view, it means that, once they find a vacation rental property that they like, they can make a booking request quickly and easily. From the Owner's point of view, it also reduces the back-and-forth responding to requests and means that the owner can simply accept the booking with a single click (at the "list price").

(It also works well for Holidaylettings.co.uk and Flipkey, since they get a commission on all of these bookings!)

When originally launched a few months ago, Owners had 48 hours to respond to these booking requests. However, both Holiday Lettings and Flipkey have announced that they are reducing this time to 24 hours. They argue that most requests are answered in this time and I assume don't want to lose the booking because of a slow response from the owner. It's also not clear whether they will proactively suggest alternate vacation rental properties once a booking request has expired, although that would be a logical thing to do.

In a similar vein, Flipkey have indicated that they routinely remove "commission only" listings from their systems once the enquiry response rates fall below a certain value. The rationale is that they want to "reward" owners who respond quickly by channelling the enquiry traffic to them and away from those owners who are not active on the system.

The clear message from all of this is that, particularly with the move to "commission" based listings, those who respond quickly will get favoured treatment by the vacation rental listings sites.