How to manage your bookings

 
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Owner advice > Managing rentals > How to manage your bookings

How to manage your bookings

Dealing with holidaymaker enquiries and subsequent bookings efficiently is in everyone's best interests.

You'll give a professional impression to holidaymakers and having an established procedure will make your life easier and save you stress as well.

From confirming the booking, to returning the security deposit, the following will help you through the whole booking process:

  1. Confirmation and contracts

    • Once a holidaymaker has expressed an interest in renting your holiday home and you are happy to accept the booking, it's good practice to reserve the dates for a short period.

    • When a definite wish to book arises, explain that to secure the booking renters will need to return a booking deposit and completed booking contract within a set time; usually three to five days.

    • The booking deposit is a proportion of the final balance due; 10-20 per cent is standard. Make it clear if this is non-refundable.

    • If you don't receive the contract and deposit when expected, then contact the holidaymaker to check there are no problems with the booking.

  2. Set a payment schedule

    • If you are dealing with a last-minute booking then it is fine to ask for the whole balance in one lump sum.

    • For normal bookings, give the option for guests to pay in installments if they wish.

    • Set a date by which the final balance should be paid. This is down to your discretion, but is typically 6-10 weeks before arrival. This will give you time to readvertise the week(s) in the event of a cancellation.

  3. Get a security deposit

    • This should cover any damage that your guests may cause at your holiday home.

    • Let renters know that any repairs, additional cleaning and major replacements will be deducted from the security deposit.

    • The exact sum depends upon the individual property and what's in it, but as a guide at least 15 per cent of the final balance is standard.

    • Ask for the deposit by a set date and cash it straight away, along with the final balance; leave yourself time to deal with the worst case scenario of a cheque bouncing.

  4. Make arrangements for keys and send directions

    • Once the final balance has cleared, send out directions to your holiday home - consider pictorial directions if it requires complicated instructions.

    • If you're posting keys to your renter, make clear when they can expect them.

    • If you have a key holder on site, then send necessary contact details to the holidaymaker and your representative.

    • Clarify any other methods of key exchange, for example if you have a key safe.

    • Remind your renters of arrival/departure procedures.

  5. Be contactable during your guests' holiday

    • If you aren't on site, then make sure your guests have the contact details for a local representative as well.

  6. Check the property and return the security deposit

    • Once your guests have left, inspect the property and refund the security deposit accordingly.

    • Don't deduct for small breakages such as glasses and plates. Either ask that guests replace them during their stay or have some spares ready for a quick changeover.

    • Refund the deposit within the agreed time frame.

    • If you do need to deduct from the deposit, keep all receipts for expenses incurred, make sure either you or your management company keep comprehensive records of problems and photograph any serious damage.