What You Don’t Realize About Your Online Vacation Rental (And How VR Guest Can Help)

In our digital age, we do everything online. We message our friends, right swipe our dates, videoconference our colleagues, email our bosses, and add items to our digital “carts” on a daily basis. Therefore, it seems only fitting that we book our vacation rentals using the Internet, as well. Demand for online hospitality services has skyrocketed in recent years, with many major companies coming to the fore. When you can book an online vacation rental at an affordable price in a few clicks, why would you even bother to research hotels and call for a reservation? The benefits these services provide are undeniable.

However, not all online vacation rental platforms are created equal. When you book accommodations on sites like Airbnb or HomeAway, you’re likely falling prey to some of the same disadvantages you sought to avoid by eschewing hotels. VR Guest has been a leader in online accommodations for decades. From its initial iteration as Florida-Beach-Rentals, a local platform far ahead of its time, it has grown into a modern, sleek, and smart service that provides a better experience for all involved. VR Guest does so by finding and remedying the flaws in this field, committed to constant improvement in convenience and care for both renters and guests. As a valuable veteran in this industry, VR Guest is uniquely positioned to offer innovative solutions, supply a better system, and create the future of online vacation rentals.

In the following blog, we explain what you may not know about your online vacation rental and describe how booking through VR Guest can improve your experience.

How Online Vacation Rentals Work

Before we describe the details you might not have discovered about your online vacation rental, it is important to understand the basic system these platforms use, step by step. Basically, what happens is:

  1. A host signs his or her property up with the site, providing information, contact details, pictures of the space, and any other relevant data.
  2. The platform accepts this property and begins listing it for potential guests to peruse.
  3. A guest selects the property as his or her chosen accommodations.
  4. Guest and host communicate through the platform about the guest’s intended stay and finalize the booking. At this point, the guest pays the platform for the booking.
  5. On the day of the rental, the guest follows the agreed-upon procedure to gain access to the rental and stays in it for the days he or she has booked.
  6. After checking out, the guest can typically leave a review for the space on the online vacation rental platform. At this point, the host is responsible for ensuring checkout went smoothly, cleaning the space for any future guests, and determining if any damage was done. The host may also typically leave a review for the guest.
  7. This process repeats starting at step three.

This basic procedure is usually the same across online vacation rental platforms, but with some important modifications and additions that can drastically change your experience as either a host or a guest. Below, we discuss the data you should consider before booking with anyone other than VR Guest.

Communication Conundrums

Online vacation rental platforms make money by bringing together hosts and guests. They help hosts locate potential renters and guests find outstanding accommodations. Since the value sites like ours provide is primarily in making these connections, many of our competitors strictly limit how users communicate with each other. Often, before a guest books a rental, the host and guest can only talk to each other using the platform’s messaging feature. For example, as Quora explains, “Airbnb…ensures guests and hosts contact one another directly through Airbnb by ‘censoring’ certain words, pieces of contact information, and websites out of messages; These include, but are not limited to: ‘Facebook’, ‘Google’, email addresses, phone numbers, and URLS in general.”

This creates a very restricted, unnatural environment in which to discuss vacation plans, personal preferences, lifestyle habits, amenities, and many other important concerns. Staying in another person’s home, or having someone rent your space, is a very personal decision. Both hosts and guests benefit from being able to more freely discuss the accommodations and determine if they are a good fit for each other. That’s why VR Guest allows for much more open communications between hosts and guests on our platform. Rather than strictly controlling communications for fear of lost profits, our first priority is providing an exceptional experience for our users.

Uncovering Hidden Fees

One of the main reasons guests turn to online vacation rental services is because they want to avoid the concealed costs hotels are famous for (if you’ve ever booked a hotel, you’re probably familiar with added charges for WiFi, parking, etc.). Similarly, hosts choose to list their properties on online vacation rental platforms because they want to reach guests directly, rather than paying hefty sums to property management companies. Unfortunately, although both parties think they are saving by using innovative Internet-based vacation rental platforms, this often isn’t the case. Sites like Airbnb, Homeaway, and others charge hosts significant listing and booking fees, which hosts must, in turn, pass on to guests, at least in part. Adding insult to injury, these platforms also typically add surcharges to guests’ bills. Although a property’s listing price may be lower than a comparable hotel, it could end up costing more when all is said, done, and booked.

VR Guest recognizes that these furtive fees are the exact opposite experience hosts and guests want, which is why our platform requires significantly lower charges. Because we actually delivering what online vacation rental users want, VR Guest’s accommodation prices are notably lower. This is one of many reasons why we’ve built a loyal (and growing) user base.

Questionable Quality

A guest books a property based on its glamorous photos of luxurious rooms, only to find a sub-par space waiting for him or her upon arrival. A host rents a room to a guest only to find multiple pieces of furniture have been damaged and, although it had promised an insurance policy, the platform decides there is “insufficient evidence” and refuses to pay for repairs. These nightmare scenarios often become a reality on other online vacation rental sites. Since these services are relatively new, this is the virtual “wild west” of accommodations.

Although VR Guest is undoubtedly a pioneer, our platform comes with a proven track record of success. We’ve successfully served thousands of users since we first opened Florida-Beach-Rentals.com over a decade ago. But don’t take our word for it—our testimonials speak for themselves. For example, Carole from Little Sutton, GB, wrote: “the facilities at the condo were excellent and the décor was fabulous, really clean and fresh and obviously quality furnishings were greatly appreciated.” On the other side of the equation, the family staying in Harborview Grande 802 noted: “You have been wonderful and the owners of 802 are fortunate to have someone like you…You are probably quite a blessing to them.” At VR Guest, we strive to provide superb service to every user.

Enhance Your Experience with VR Guest

Are you ready to actually communicate with guests before you have them in your home? Do you want to enjoy truly affordable accommodations? Are you simply ready to become a savvier online vacation rental user? Get started with VR Guest today!

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