Barefoot Technologies Blog- Vacation Rental Industry News

How Vacation Rental Management Companies Prevent Fraud

Posted by Claiborne Yarbrough on Oct 31, 2014 10:15:00 AM

The Franchise Herald reported last week that in a study conducted by the New York Attorney General’s office, 72 percent of rentals under Airbnb between early 2010 and June 2014 were illegal.  Citing that they many local and state laws, one of the stand out violations was that “an estimated 200 units were booked as short-term rentals for more than 365 days in a year, meaning multiple transients rented the space at the same night.”

Booking vacation rentals online via an online travel sites like Airbnb and others can be risky as everything is done online.  It is essential to remind property owners about the advantages of working with authentic, brick and mortar vacation rental management companies rather than a company on a cloud. 

Vacation rental management companies offer the best and safest options when booking vacation rentals for a myriad of reasons.  Because of the immense amount of fraud that occurs in this industry when booking online through virtually anonymous sources, here is how vacation rental management companies help prevent fraud:

Inspect Properties.  There is an old adage that says “what you see is what you get.”  That is exactly the stance that vacation rental management companies take with their vacation rentals but in a positive way.  Prior to accepting any property into their rental programs, reputable rental companies inspect each and every potential property to ensure that what their guests see is what they get.  On top of this, prior to each new arrival, they typically re-inspect to make sure that everything is as it should be.

Request Owner Verification.  During initial interviews with prospective property owners, rental managers request owner verification of every property to ensure they are the actual owners of the property.  This prevents any discrepancies that can arise.  When renting a property through an online vacation rental portal, there is the chance that this issue may arise (and it has). 

Maintain Attention to Details.  Probably one of the most important responsibilities with vacation rental management is the necessity to maintain attention to detail – especially when it comes to accounting. Many vacation management software programs automatically place funds in different accounts allowing managers to keep track of their distribution in a much more efficient and accurate manner. 

Abide by Guidelines.  No matter how the properties are managed and booked, property owners are required to abide by guidelines set forth by local, state and national regulations.  The main take away from this is that these regulations change on a dime especially the local ones.  Any trustworthy, locally-owned rental company understands the importance and stays on top of the regulations so that their property owners’ interests are not jeopardized.  In the aforementioned article, it seems that this was the bugaboo with Airbnb. 

Offer Protection.  Lastly, if property owners allow friends and family to make use of a vacation rental, it is essential that there be a plan in place so that the management company is notified.   While it rarely happens, the fall back is that the rental company offer protection like a backup property in which their guests can stay sometimes in the form of an upgrade.  When renting a property on a travel or rental website, the property is the only one and there is no way to be protected from this issue.

Remind Property Owners

Be sure to remind property owners about these benefits especially when they want to renegotiate their contract with you or begin to complain about the fee they have to pay.  It is typically a smooth ride and worth every penny  to enlist your assistance knowing that there is virtually no chance of anything being considered fraudulent.

Happy Renting!

Tags: Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rental Industry, vacation rental trends