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Survey: What travelers need to know before booking summer vacation rental

Mar 29, 2016

PARSIPPANY, NJ - The arrival of spring kicks summer vacation planning into high gear – for many that means finding a vacation rental. Before booking that dream vacation home, travelers need to think twice about who they rent from as it makes a big difference when it comes to safety, service and peace-of-mind according to a new survey.

Nearly 90 percent of do-it-yourself hosts secretly dread doing the things needed to deliver a great vacation experience – dealing with guests, handling inspections and cleaning the house. As a result, nearly 70 percent of travelers who have tried both would prefer to rent from a professional management company as opposed to an owner during their next stay.

Stranger Danger: Rental Guests Book with Caution

The private space and home-like amenities of vacation rentals have strong appeal - 89 percent of those who never tried a rental would consider doing so - but tales of vacation rentals gone bad when booking directly with a homeowner weigh on renters' minds.

• Unmet expectations. 62 percent of all vacationers worry about not being able to get problems solved quickly and nearly half (46 percent) are not confident that they'll get what they anticipate when renting directly from an owner.

• Unsafe rentals. Nearly half (45 percent) of all vacationers worry about the safety of an owner-managed property.

• Guests want to vacation with confidence. Nearly half (49 percent) of all vacationers look for a name they can trust when booking accommodations.

"The survey underscores that travelers want to know their vacation is in the hands of someone they can trust," said Gail Mandel, CEO, Wyndham Vacation Rentals. "Being a homeowner doesn't necessarily make you qualified nor interested in running a bed and breakfast. The reality is most homeowners don't have the time to adequately meet guest expectations when it comes to safety, cleanliness and assistance, and as a result they find the tasks daunting."

Who You Rent From Matters

Nearly seven in 10 guests (68 percent) who have stayed in a professionally managed vacation rental and one managed by the owner prefer the managed option.

• No Complaints. Virtually all guests (99 percent) who stayed in a professionally managed home had a positive experience during their last visit.

• At Your Service. 95 percent of vacationers can think of at least one reason why they would choose to rent from a management company over the owner. Top reasons included the company resolving issues quickly and providing a 24/7 contact.

• Peace of Mind. Nearly half of all vacationers would choose a professionally managed rental over owner-managed because it provides greater peace of mind.

• Safety. Guests who have experience with both options are two and half times as likely to feel extremely confident in the safety of a home rented through a management company as opposed to one rented directly from the owner.

While peer-to-peer listings may dominate the headlines, professionally managed properties account for nearly half of all transactions annually in the U.S. In fact, many of today's most popular vacation rental listings are peppered with professionally managed properties.

Unlike direct-from-homeowner rentals, vacation rental managers oversee the process from start to finish ensuring a great guest experience. Vacation rental managers have established standards for quality, service and security for their properties whereas peer-to-peer rentals leave the standards up to each individual homeowner.

Mandel adds, "Guests should know they do not have to go it alone. But if they do, they should keep in mind important tips, like renting from a reputable source, watching for signs of fraud and only using secure payment methods. If they have any hesitations at all, they should consider a professional manager who will keep their concerns top of mind."

Survey: What travelers need to know before booking summer vacation rental

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