Owners / Managers
How does it work?
thousands of rental properties around the globe.
Most of these properties are vacation homes that
the owners are renting out to vacationers for
short or long term stays. You simply choose from
these homes and contact the owner or responsible
party representing the home directly. You and the
property owner or manager will make all the
necessary arrangements. Once you have returned
from your vacation, you can leave feedback about
the property and your experience on
HomeGetaways.com for the rest of the world
to see. You will enjoy a unique experience apart
from the standard hotel, and possibly save money
in the process.
How can I protect
that each listing sets its own refund and
cancellation policies and the rental agreement is
strictly between the owner / manager and the
renter. The following tips should make the renting
process go as smoothly as possible.
- Planning ahead and booking early guarantees
you maximum choice and access to the optimal
rental. Avoiding last minute bookings can also
save you money. Last minute renters invariably
have to settle for fewer amenities or a higher
- Research the rental carefully to make sure
it fits your needs. While some rentals provide
things like coffee and condiments, do not expect
- Ask for verifiable references. Many times
rental property managers have a relationship
with a cleaning company or maintenance company.
- Be sure to get everything down on paper
before you send any payments! This should at
least include dates of stay, the cost, if there
are any additional charges for anything and the
deposit/cancellation/refund policy. Make sure
you remember to make your deposits on time.
Missing these deadlines can cost you money,
forfeiture of your reservations or both.
- Find out if bed linens are included, some
rentals do not provide this or do for an
additional charge. Also if you need beach towels
make sure you bring some. Very rarely are they
- Ask how much cleaning are you expected to
do? Cleaning is included with some properties,
some offer it at an extra charge, and some
expect you to clean. Regardless of the policy,
you should always leave the property in decent
- Get complete instructions in advance! The
three most important things are:
complete travel information before departure
(airplane, car, bus, boat, etc.).
2. Make sure
three or more weeks ahead of your travel date
that arrangements have been made to get the
3. Be sure to
have and test the owner/managers phone number or
that of their local agent so that you have
- Once you have the address, look at a map so
you understand exactly where the property is
Q. What are
the policies when renting a
A. The terms and
conditions of each property should be clearly
outlined on the property rental listing page. If
you have any questions about the terms and
conditions of renting a particular property, be
sure to contact that property owner to get your
questions answered. HomeGetaways.com does
not participate in any part of the rental process.
For more information please see the legal
notice here on
you sell my personal information to
A. No! The
personal information collected on our site is for
our own internal use only. For more
information about our information gathering
practices and your
privacy on our site please see our
Q. How do I know the
rentals are legitimate?
online service we provide for vacationers is
comparable to that offered by a newspaper or
magazine through which vacation homes are
advertised. Because we do not personally check out
properties prior to their advertising with us, our
recommendation is that you request references and
a list of past renters from the homeowners. If
possible, it is also suggested that you visit the
property in advance.
Q. How do I contact the
A. All rental advertisements
provide the telephone number of the owners or
their booking agent. There is usually a link to
send an e-mail inquiry, and often a fax number.
However you choose to communicate, the listings
enable you to directly contact an owner or an
agent who really knows about the property and can
answer specific questions for you.
Q. How do I make a
A. Individual property
owners have their own way of conducting a rental.
When making the rental reservation, be sure and
communicate your arrival and departure dates,
number of adults and children, any pets you want
to bring along, and any special needs that you
might have.To ensure that details of the rental
are communicated, a clearly written rental
agreement or lease is recommended. A legally
binding contract, the rental agreement or lease
should include defined arrival and departure
dates, payment schedules, detailed instructions,
and terms and conditions related to cancellations
Q. What type of deposit
and payment due dates can I expect?
In most circumstances the rental agreement
will require a booking a deposit of 10% - 50% to
confirm the reservation, with full payment
received 8 weeks prior to arrival. It is important
that all payments be submitted as specified in the
rental agreement in order to avoid losing your
reservation and/or your booking deposit.In
addition to the booking deposit, you will also be
asked to provide a refundable security deposit
either at the time of booking or upon arrival.
Specifics related to the security deposit,
including property maintenance, damages and
additional fees such as telephone charges, should
be detailed in the rental agreement.
Q. Where can I find
details on check-in times, pets, etc.?
A. Within the rental agreement or lease
you can expect to find terms related to check-in
and checkout times, maximum occupancy, pet
policies, cancellation conditions, and maintenance
of the rental.
Q. How are cancellation
and refunds handled?
cancellation policy associated with your rental
agreement or lease should clearly communicate
penalties associated with canceling your contract.
Note that cancellations due to weather conditions
are not usually permitted unless specified in the
rental agreement.Travel insurance can protect your
vacation investment if unforeseen circumstances
require you to cancel your trip.
Q. What about travel
A. The owner will be
able to advise you on your travel arrangements,
including the most convenient airports, car
rentals, and alternative transportation options.
Special parking requirements and parking passes
should be detailed in the rental agreement and
included in pre arrival instructions.
Q. What type of pre
arrival instructions should I expect?
A. In addition to directions to the
property, you should be provided with either a key
or the name of the person who will greet you at
the rental, as well as the name and telephone
number of some one at the location who you can
contact if anything goes wrong. If a security
deposit is due on arrival, the expectation is that
it will be paid in cash, local currency, check or
Q. What happens when I
arrive at the property?
owners send you a key in advance, some actually
live on site and will meet you, and some arrange
for their representative to meet you at the
property. Make sure you are given details of some
one you can contact if something goes wrong. If
you are delayed, it is courteous to inform the
Q. What if there is a
problem during my holiday?
A. It is
in your best interest and the owner's interest to
fix any problems immediately. Contact information
for the owner or their local representative should
be included in pre arrival instructions and posted
in the rental. The person you have been directed
to contact will be your best resource to quickly
resolve any issues.
Q. What happens when I
A. Check out policies should
be part of the instructions you were provided.
Since cleaning standards vary, it is important to
know how much the owners expect you to clean up
prior to departure. At minimum, the rental should
be left tidy.When you are ready to leave, the
owner or their representative should check you out
of the property, and assuming there is no damage,
will refund your security deposit, either on the
spot or within a couple of weeks.
Owners / Managers Frequently asked
anyone at HomeGetaways.com create a property
listing for me?
A. Yes, we can
certainly create a property listing on your behalf
for a small fee of $25.
here to let us Add a Property Listing for
Q. How do I
change my email address and password on my
A. 1) Login to the
Owner's Management Page.
2) Then select the
"Account" tab and simply scroll down to the
appropriate field and update your email address or
3) Save the newly
updated information by clicking on the "Submit"
tab at the bottom of the page.
Q. How do I
check if my property has been added to
type your property number in the "Quick Search"
field located at the top of http://www.homegetaways.com/
If you still can't view your listing than you need
to login to your account and make sure to click on
"Activate Now" under the 'Main Menu' page.
Q. Can I
link to my own availability calendar or do I need
use HomeGetaways.com calendar?
You can use the HomeGetaways.com
availability calendar or you can simply add a link
to another calendar (i.e. Rentors.org calendar).
You may also choose not to display a calendar for
your property. To access your calendar you need to
login to your account, click on "edit your
listing" and then click on the "calendar" tab.
Q. How do I
make changes on my listing(s)?
You can make changes at any time and as often
as you would like. Simply login to your account
and then click on "edit your listing" and choose
the appropriate blue tab at the top of the page.
Q. How do I
create more listings? Do you offer discounts for
To create new property listings simply click "Create New Listings" in your owner login page.
We offer discounts for multiple listings on HomeGetaways.com.
Please, email us with the number of properties you would like to add by sending a request at: http://www.homegetaways.com/contact_us.htm and we will send you the appropriate discount code.
Q. What is
the "Real Time e-Booking" tool?
The "Real Time e-Booking" tool allows
vacationers to book properties instantly from the
comfort of their computer without needing to
contact the property owner first. Vacationers can
submit payment using credit cards, checks or wire
depending on the options the property owner made
available on their listing. As a property owner
you have the choice to activate the "Real Time
e-Booking" feature or leave it inactive. In order
to activate this feature you need to login to your
account, click on the "Edit Book Now" tab on the
left side of the page and then choose the 'Yes'
Q. How do I
view Bookings, Inquiries, Reviews and Statistics
pertaining to my property listing?
to your account and click on the
appropriate tab located on the left side of the
Q. How do I
A. After you
to your account click "edit your listing"
and then click on the "photos" tab at the top of
the page. Then follow the following 3 steps:
1) Click the "Browse" tab to select the photo
location on your computer.
2) Select placement
3) Click the "Add Photo" tab.
add more photos simply repeat the 3 steps above.
To update/change a photo just overwrite the
existing photo with the new photo.
4 photos are included in your listing. To add
more photos click on the "Add Services" tab in
your login page ($25 for each additional set of 4
Q. How do
I optimize my property listing?
Feature Your Listing: Featured listings
receive many more inquiries than standard
listings. From the owner login page you can
feature your listing at the top of several search
pages in HomeGetaways.com.
Photos: Pictures are the most important part
of your listing. Add as many good quality photos
as possible. Your listing should display at least
Write Detailed Description:
Be sure to write a detailed and accurate
description of your home. Describe what makes your
Post Policies: Post your
rental, deposit and refund policies. Potential
renters feel more comfortable renting from
listings that don't appear to be hiding anything.
Update Calendar: Updated availability
calendars show that you are active and have
already booked other visitors. It allows you to
receive also more qualified leads.
Credit Cards: Vacationers feel much safer
booking properties using their credit cards.
Offer Competitive Rates: Make sure your
rates are competitive with other homes in your
Q. Why am
I not getting calls?
A. There are
many possibilities. If your listing does not have
photos or if your listing displays bad pictures
you may be losing up to 90% of potential renters.
Similarly, if your property description is not
detailed you may also be losing potential
Q. Why am
I getting plenty of calls but no bookings?
A. Most likely your rental rates
are too high. Compare your home rates with other
homes in your area and make sure to provide
should I know about vacation rental sales tax?
A. Start by contacting your city,
county and state governments about requirements
specific to your location. Ask about registering
your property. Which government entities require
registration for your area? How much sales tax you
should collect and how often these payments are
due to the authorities. Sales taxes usually range
from 5% to 15% of the total rent charges.
Q. How can
I contact someone at HomeGetaways.com?
A. Please, visit our Contact Page.
ALERT - Vacation Rental Owners Beware!
A. The following guide is to
caution property owners of the types of
correspondence that have been linked to fraudulent
1. Potential indicators of suspicious
Telling signs of a fraudulent
email include poor grammar, irregular usage of
capitalization, over earnest attempts to guarantee
that the payment method is legitimate, use of
title or profession to indicate or act as a
guarantee of financial status (e.g. government
official, doctor or similar) along with other
attempts to provide superfluous or irrelevant
information as a means to impress the exigent or
'out of the ordinary' rational behind a delayed or
overpayment.It is important to note that initial
correspondence may initially appear to be
legitimate; however, as correspondence begins to
focus upon means of payment, indicators of
suspicious activity may become more apparent.
Significantly, fraudsters can work as a network,
hence when one or more parties are referred these
too may be part of the fraudulent network. Lastly,
fraudulent parties will endeavor to use the most
effective and 'naturalistic' method to extort
money from property owners, and will inevitably
have access to the below information, as such it
is important to be as vigilant as possible if you
ever become suspicious of correspondence from a
2. Types of Fraudulent Activity
fraudulent party makes an initial payment in
excess of the requested total for the
accommodation by a payment method which can take
several days or longer to clear into the
property rental owner's account. In the meantime
the fraudulent party requests for the excess to
be repaid by direct bank/wire transfer. By the
time the excess has been paid, it becomes
apparent that the initial payment was a
fraudulent transaction which will not clear. We
recommend that property owners always endeavor
to avoid collecting excess payments for agreed
accommodation. In the event that they choose to
make a return payment, always ensure that the
original payment has completely cleared into
your account by contacting your bank. Please
note that depending upon where the transaction
has originated and the skill of the fraudster
that it may take more than a month before
payments such as cashier checks, travelers
checks, certified checks, personal checks or
otherwise are identified as forgeries. Whether
fraudulent of not, please be wary of
transactions from non-Western nations where
payment may take longer to process than usual
payment types. Please consult your local bank
for confirmation of typical payment clearing
schedules. Please be aware that many banks may
show a payment as credited to an account before
the payment has fully cleared. If in doubt,
always clarify with your bank that the payment
has completely cleared before accepting any
payment.A preferable solution to the situation
is to cancel the initial transaction and request
a replacement payment for the correct amount
Variations of the above scam
include attempts alternative attempts to send an
overpayment to the property owner. This may take
a number of guises, and as outlined above,
property owners should be very cautious of ever
accepted any form of overpayment. Common methods
of overpayment include requests to accept
payment for the fraudulent party's car hire,
tour excursions, wedding gift, honeymoon
surprise or similar - either directly from the
fraudulent party or a third party relation, i.e.
spouse, employer, parent etc. The fraudulent
party makes payment by delayed payment process
such as a check and then follows up with
correspondence that the excess payment is no
longer needed and requests that the excess
payments are refunded immediately, before the
initial payment by the fraudulent party has
cleared. The fraudulent party may also proceed
to become aggressive or threatening in nature,
requesting immediate repayment and even
threatening legal action. Again, a preferable
solution to the situation is to cancel the
initial transaction and request a replacement
payment for the correct amount due. Inform the
renter that you will only accept payment for the
exact amount due that all payments must clear
prior to renting your property.
Property owners are advised to
never release confidential payment information
to any third party requests no matter what.
There is never a justifiable reason for a
property owner to release confidential payment
information, and in the event that a transaction
needs to be identified for whatever reason a
payment reference will always suffice. Following
from the above indirect overpayment scam, the
fraudulent party may claim that they are
uncomfortable releasing their payment details to
the second party service provider from overseas
as they are not 100% certain of their
reliability/ would feel happier only releasing
their payment details to one party, and as such
would feel more comfortable if the property
owner proceeded to pay the service provider on
their behalf.In order for the second party
service provider to identify their payment (as
it will be coming from a different source) the
fraudulent party may ask for the property owners
payment details - allegedly to help the service
provider identify the fraudulent party's
transaction.Alternatively the fraudulent party
may request to wire the money directly into the
property owners account, however, request excess
confidential payment information such as account
numbers, social security numbers of otherwise.
If you are ever in doubt as to what information
is legitimately required to complete a wire or
bank transfer into your account, always consult
with your local bank directly for further
In the event that
you receive suspicious correspondence, we advise
against entering into any further correspondence.
If the fraudulent party has already made payment
and you are uncomfortable proceeding for whatever
reason, cancel the payment immediately and avoid
further correspondence. If you believe that you
have received a fraudulent payment, we recommend
reporting the transaction to your local crime
prevention unit who will be able to take the
necessary procedures to follow up the transaction.
Q. Why I
am not receiving inquiries to my email
A. Spam-filtering software
can block you from receiving inquiries. Check the
spam filter settings on your e-mail account. They
may be set too high. Check your junk mail folders
for any emails from HomeGetaways.com. You
may need to contact your e-mail service provider
to request that any emails from
HomeGetaways.com not be blocked. All the
inquiries can be viewed by accessing your login
see if you've been receiving all of your
inquiries, compare the inquiries on this page to
the inquiries in your email inbox.
To minimize the risk of not
receiving email inquiries, check with your email
service provider your options. Some email service
providers like AOL allow you to manipulate your
Spam filter settings, while others like Gmail do
Advice: Regardless of your
email provider, We recommend that you log into the
owner's login section regularly to view your
listing and check for inquiries. All inquiries are
saved in the home owner login area, even when you
don't see them in your email account.
Be aware that your emails to inquirers
may also be blocked: If you are emailing
potential renters and never hearing back from them
(especially AOL emails), your emails may be
blocked by their Spam filters. It would be a good
idea to give the renter a follow up phone call.
This will make sure that the renter hears from you
and could also motivate them to choose your
property over others.
· Click the "Mail Options" button at
the top left hand corner of your screen.
Select "Block Unwanted Mail" from the menu.
On the Mail and Spam Controls menu, click the
radio button that says "Allow mail from all
senders" and make sure that blocked mail be
diverted to your Spam folder and not deleted.
If you're still noticing that inquiries are being
routed to your Spam folder, uncheck the "Mail
filtered by AOL's Advanced Spam Filter box." This
will mean that more Spam makes it into your inbox,
but so will your inquiries.
· When an inquiry is
filtered into your Spam folder, click "Not Spam"
to notify your email service of the error.
Add the @HomeGetaways.com domain to your
safe senders list.
· Check your bulk or junk
mail folders periodically.
· Contact your email
service. Sure, it might be a pain, but if you're
not getting your inquiries, you're missing out on
Another option: Consider setting up an
email account that's designated for your incoming
Q. How can
I increase my bookings?
Every 10 inquiries you get, you should expect
one booking. So if you are getting inquiries but
haven't booked, the following tips might help:
· Reply immediately to inquiries with all the
details, rate and policies.
· Contact the
potential renter by phone. Owners who call rather
than email have a significantly higher conversion
rate than those who simply email. If a renter puts
a phone number on the inquiry, they expect or do
not mind a call back.
· Check your email
often. Some renters are looking to rent right away
or may set their mind on the property of the first
· Return calls and emails immediately.
Make this a priority.
· Follow up. Give your
inquirers a follow-up call. If they are choosing
between properties, your call could close the