Instant Book essentially means that anyone can book your holiday rental at any time of the day. That you put your trust in the holiday rental booking portal review or reputation management system to send highly reliable and respectable guests to stay in your property.
Yes some very loyal members of booking portal “communities” will say that the review system takes care of this and that if you chose verified guests then you will be ok. That rogue operators and guests will be exposed through the review process. I have however heard whispers of mistaken identity.
I’ve heard threats over bad reviews – even black mail! Could it be that a whole lot of hosts and holiday rental managers provide good reviews because they think the favor will be returned on the understanding that if a negative review eventuates that OMG stop traffic it might affect the holiday rental listing ranking algorithm.
Call me old fashioned but I prefer to have an actual conversation (digital sometimes is ok) with my prospective holiday rental guest up front, present the House Rules and Terms & Conditions and request ID verification. You have to wonder where the manager is located and why they are not interested in protecting neighbourhood amenity.
My guess is those who opt for Instant Book;
- are managing holiday rentals remotely,
- are definitely not living on the premises or next door (ie I think hosted accommodation is an exception to this argument),
- have no relationship with their neighbours
- have no plans to move into the community in the future.
Sure I might have a look at guest reviews. They may be an entertaining read. They sort of remind me of the old personal referees you would call when you wanted to ask about a prospective employee. I mean will you really hand out a phone number of a referee who is likely to give you a bad review?
Reviews may reveal red flags but they will never replace a thorough screening process to find the perfect guest match for holiday rental accommodation.
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