Vacation Rental Reservation Process - Are You Doing It All?

If you own a vacation rental property and are managing it yourself then you know how time-consuming it is to handle all of the inquiries and reservations for your property.  But each reservation is money in the bank for you so you can't skimp on this process!  If your reservations are handled in a thorough and professional manner your guests will be happy and you will increase the chances that the traveler will submit a positive review of their experience after their stay.

The professional and comprehensive management of a reservation for your vacation rental property (generally) includes the following steps. Are you performing all of these actions to ensure a professional handling of your guest reservations?

  1. Travelers search on the Internet to find the perfect vacation rental property for their holiday. When they find your property they are intrigued by the description and beautiful photos and decide to send an inquiry with their requested dates.
  2. When the inquiry is received you either phone the traveler or respond by email right away.  (Studies show that owners who call the traveler promptly will have a much higher success rate at closing the booking). Include an accurate quote tailored to the traveler's requested dates, and be sure to include all fees, taxes and security deposit amount (if applicable).
  3. The traveler, impressed by your prompt & professional response and delighted to find they can rent your vacation rental property at such a reasonable rate decides they want to book your property.  (Hooray!)
  4. You create a personalized rental agreement (contract) that contains all of the specific details pertaining to their reservation.
  5. You set up the Payment schedule and send the payment schedule and payment  request to the Traveler with instructions on how to make their payment.
  6. You send the personalized contract to the Traveler along with instructions on how they should return the signed contract to you.
  7. You edit your property's calendar to show the dates requested by the traveler as "Tentative".  (This helps to remind you that you've already sent payment instructions for those dates to an interested traveler.)
  8. When the traveler confirms his booking with a payment you send an emailed payment receipt.  
  9. The guest signs your rental agreement and returns the signed copy back to you (either by electronic signature, email, fax or mail.)
  10. You change the reservation from "Tentative" to "Booked" on the calendar so that your calendar is up-to-date.
  11. You communicate with the property's housekeeping staff to inform them of the new booking.
  12. You schedule your future communications related to the booking.
  13. A week before the final payment is due you send a payment reminder email to the guest.
  14. When the booking has been paid in full, you send all of the information the guest will need in order to access the property, check-in & check-out instructions and anything else they will need.  
  15. If you use a keyless entry system (which I HIGHLY recommend), you will generate an access code for their reservation and send the code to the guest.
  16. One week before the guest arrives, you send an email to remind the housekeeper of their arrival.  (This might seem overkill since you've already communicated about the reservation when the first payment was made, but better too much communication with the housekeeper than not enough! There's nothing worse than a guest arriving at the property after a long day of travel to discover the place had not been cleaned after the prior guest departed because of a mix-up on the housekeeper's schedule.)
  17. The day after the guest arrives you send a "Welcome!" email to them to make sure they had arrived safely and that everything was satisfactory.  (I prefer sending an email to a phone call….I don't want to intrude on their vacation, but want them to know I'm available if they need me.  The email does the trick and several of our guests have mentioned the "personal touch" in their reviews!)
  18. After whatever specified amount of time since the guest departed from their stay at your property you will send a "follow-up" letter.  This will inform them of the refund of their security deposit (if applicable).
  19. You will also send a request and instructions for them to submit a traveler review on your listing.


VRAssist can help you by handling the time-consuming process of communicating with potential guests and managing all of your property's reservations as outlined above.  You can relax and have confidence in our thorough and professional service.