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5253 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Jul 7, 2012 12:26 PM by bobbie32 RSS
New Member 3 posts since
Mar 27, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 27, 2012 10:12 AM

Property address requests

Hello everyone....though we've had experience renting properties near our home on long term basis, we're somewhat new to the short term vacation rental business on a property in another state and there's one question we've gone back & forth on.  Are there any red flags or concerns to consider by providing the exact address of the rental property before any agreements or deposits are completed.  My concern is that this info can invite someone to "case-out" a place when it's vacant...am I being too cautious?

 

Thanks for your input!

  • sophie Senior Contributor 961 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 10:33 AM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    stachmo52,

     

    There are a number of discussions on this forum on this topic. Here is one you can read and within those posts are some other links to more discussions.

     

    http://community.homeaway.com/message/7874#7874

  • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
    Nov 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2012 11:45 AM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    NEVER! NEVER!NEVER give out an address. If guests want to know where you are located give landmarks and driving time to the beach, supermarket, gas station, hospital, etc.

     

    On the few occasions that a guests wants to see the property, I still do NOT give out the address.

     

    I typically meet a guest at the Starbucks in town. I ask questions, ask to see photo I'd of the person and then take them to my home.

     

    Thieves target unoccupied homes. Thieves can see when your homes are empty thru the use of your calendar. Knowing your address really helps them.

    Marilyn

    Www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,350 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 22, 2012 12:16 PM (in response to marilyn)
      Re: Property address requests

      Yes, Marilyn is right. I never give out my address until I have received the completed rental application, confirmed the identity of the guest AND received the final payment.

       

      That said, my pet peeve is that some owners in my home's area post BIG "Vacation Rental " signs on their homes.  I really dislike like for for the following reasons:

       

      • Security Issues (enough said,as has been discussed in these forums_
      • Respect of our home's neighborhood ( My neighbors are all full time residents, not VR owners)
      • My renters/guests security. (I find most don't want to be ID's as 'vacationers", they want to stay in our home and enjoy being part of the community).

       

       

      Debj  

  • swiss-house Contributor 260 posts since
    Jul 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2012 4:21 PM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    I always try to put myself in the other person's shoes before making any of our policies.

     

    As a potential guest, if I'm spending $1000, or $2000, or $5000 for a week - the only real vacation my family is going to get this year - I really want to be sure that I'm not blowing it on some place where I have to walk through a run-down trailer park to get to the beach that is "within walking distance."  "Minutes to the waterpark" might be an understatement based on going at midnight when there is no traffic between the house I rent and the park's front door.  "Friendly nieghborhood" might mean that all the houses are 2 feet from each other.  As a guest, whether it be in a hotel or a rental home, I want to use Google Maps to find out exactly where it is and what its surroundings look like. 

     

    In most peoples' minds, if the owner won't give an address for the rental, he or she has something to hide. 

     

    So call me naive, but I gladly give the address of our rentals and even email directions as part of our response to inquiries.  Heck, one of our houses is somewhat disadvantaged since it is somewhat close to a highway, so I figure if I sent them directions and a map before they booked, there can never be any complaint that I tried to hide that fact from them!

     

    Besides - there's nothing of value in our rental houses.  Since no-one lives there, there is no safe, no stashes of jewelry, no gun cabinet.  Because we know that renters are ******* electronics and everything else, our TV's are all inexpensive rear-projection (i.e. hard to move), the DVD players are $59 Sony's, and even the DVD discs are $4.99 Kmart bargain bin buys.  We live and rent in a heavy tourist area (Poconos ski area), and all the break ins are of long-term resident homes.  Everyone knows the seasonal houses are full of second hand goods so they don't even bother. 

     

    Crime in your areas may be different.  You may fill your rental home with high end TV's and electronics.  You may have your unit empty for months on end.  So my philosophy may not be right for you.

     

    But, from my point of view, it's far better to be up front with your potential guests and reassure them that their significant investment will be well spent - even if that means you must take a relatively small risk that someone might target your home. 

    • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
      Nov 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 22, 2012 5:00 PM (in response to swiss-house)
      Re: Property address requests

      I would suppose that every home and every area is different..

       

      How could we possibly give out an address. To whom? If a good general description is not good enough, then I don't need the risk of loosing $20,000 in electronics alone. Here we do have a 42" plasma tv in every one of the 7 bedrooms. Each area requires their own sort of amenities. Perhaps a log cabin  in the mountains is a bare bones type of vacation rental. On the other hand a rental in the hamptons seems to demand luxury with all high end amenities. Our DVDs are all the latest at $20 each or more. Our furnishings are all top rated pottery barn, William Sonoma or crate and barrel.

       

      Why would a traveler be suspicious of a home owner not giving an address when they see full well what is in the home. Steps to the beach can certainly be clarified. Travelers certainly have the option of asking for a description of the area. And if a home owner is stupid enough to lie, they then deserve the bad rating and review.

       

      AND if stealing is not the issue, what about a bunch of homeless having a party or swatting in a home which might be empty.

       

      I beg to differ, giving out an address is a very risky idea.

       

      Marilyn

      Www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

      • trish Contributor 151 posts since
        Feb 24, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 19, 2012 10:48 AM (in response to marilyn)
        Re: Property address requests

        We've got a house in the mountains and we don't give out our address unless we are quite sure of the folks, where they live ( like we've called their number and have spoken to them) and there seems to be no other way to appease them. One thing I dislike is the GoogleEarth issue. The image of our house on Google Earth was taken SO long ago.......the house is open with  no trees around it and it looks like a desert area! We market the place as being tucked into it's own little forest (which we grew and nurtured for years) and that we've added a water feature, multi level decks, etc. to. When people use the old Google Earth photo version, they would think we are lying about the location and yard. Of course, some people will not take your word for it, or a million photos for the truth, they must use Google to see what your place looks like. And google earth has always sort of given me the creeps........

        just knowing that your house is that accessible.

         

        Trish

        Eagles & Antlers Retreat

        VRBO # 383021

        • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
          Nov 9, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jun 19, 2012 11:18 AM (in response to trish)
          Re: Property address requests

          Unfortunately, thieves have become very sophisticated. They know better how to access websites to check on our homes. Yes, it is also a helpful tool for potential renters, but the risks outweigh the benefits.

           

          Google maps does not update their sites on a regular basis, so having good pictures of your home and surrounding areas is your best bet. Good home pictures will help to rent your home much faster.

           

          Beware of anyone demanding to get your address. Many of our renters do not know the address of my homes until after they have paid in full, or at least a deposit of $1000. With all the skams out there, home owners need to protect themselves as best as possible. Just a little precaution on our part will go a long way in securing our homes.

           

          Marilyn

          www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

          • trish Contributor 151 posts since
            Feb 24, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jun 19, 2012 12:52 PM (in response to marilyn)
            Re: Property address requests

            We don't rely on Google at all, as I stated above, it's a few of the renters that always want to look things up on Google Earth. We have hundreds of photos on our facebook page, as well as vrbo and homeaway. I think some people are suspicious that you are still hiding something. In 9 y ears of renting, I've only given the address out twice before they have paid in full. Once when my husband was at the house doing repair and the couple wanted to see it beforehand (it was our place in San Diego) and once last night to some other renters who insist on seeing the house on Google Earth, despite the nearly 70 photos we have of the place on our other sites.

            Happily, we live right down the hill and with  motion sensing lights, we know if someone is at the house, and there is ONE way off the mountain. Past our house. :-)

            I totally agree with not giving out addresses until a deposit (or in our case, the whole payment) has been made

    • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
      Jul 27, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 4, 2012 11:43 AM (in response to swiss-house)
      Re: Property address requests

      There are a couple of reasons that you cite for giving out your address rather freely, in my opinion, that are troubling. 

       

      As a traveler, I want to feel secure.  The idea of an owner providing the address of a property to anyone that inquires, including a map or directions, would be too much.for me to feel comfortable to rent the house. 

       

      I guess I take an opposite view from yours - I want as few people to have the address and location as possible, especially if I am staying in a remote and unfamiliar area. 

       

      Perhaps my view is eccentric, but dispensing information as if the property is a hotel would disturb me.

       

      But, we should all do what works best for us.  This isn't an issue of right or wrong, we do what we are comfortable with and what we judge is best. 

      • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
        Aug 9, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 4, 2012 7:28 PM (in response to thaxterlane)
        Re: Property address requests

        I'm  with thaxterlane.

         

        I've been "around the block" with this issue...tried being "liberal". I did not put my address and directions on my website or in my ads with intention....it was all in place from the previous owners, to be accurate here.   This ended up being not so good--- for me, my property, my guests in  occupancy and my neighbouring residents.   The "curious types" come around....and  no matter if the website states, by appointment only....if  "the curious" people know the direction....they will "drive by"....stop....if the coast seems clear they will even get out of their car...approach...and have the gall to permit themselves to peek into windows.  I know this....I caught people more than once...more than twice....roaming around my place  peering  in windows.  I was even gardening  in front of my rental  when a car slowed,  stopped, windows down...and two faces peered ...stared....at my property....IGNORING ME --- I waved  and smiled....I was going to just say,  "aloha"...can I help.  I began approaching...their windows rolled up...and they drove off.   Imagine. I thought that was so rude.   I realized I was opening myself and everyone involved with me up an insecure, unprivate vacation experience. And, our "neighbour watch" group once mentioned that they might want to add "speed bumps" to our "little in road"....because drivers from "outside" were not respecting the low speed limit. They were afraid that their children, pets, walkers, would get hurt....after a few cars zoomed in and out...and they slowed in front  of my property before taking off.  I quickly caught on....I had to not be "the attraction".  On  my island, there is law about "sign posting" in non-commercial zoned areas.  So, what was bringing in the "traffic"....???  hmmm....maybe that "vacation rental person, someone could notice?  That opened my eyes to "neighbour strife waiting to happen".  And, "the curious" were coming  in only for "peek"...to determine if it's all  "good enough for a possible future stay"...before they'll send me an inquiry.  I want to add that the  people who stopped and peered, ignored me...did send an inquiry.  It was very polite...they were still on the island, in  fact when  the inquiry came. They said they were planning their next visit and wanted to inquire.  And... I rented to them!  I never mentioned the drive-by incident. They were actually very polite and were good guests.

         

        That's exactly what  I have experienced in the "newbie" days of my first year of renting my home.

  • sfowner Contributor 33 posts since
    May 16, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2012 3:11 AM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    We almost always wait until receiving final payment before sending our address and Google map. People who ask before sending a deposit are given the Corner Of map that is on our web site.

    The exceptions are: Foreign visitors who need the address for their visa (once I have a deposit and Rental Agreement with address, etc.). People who have already given me their address and I have Googled Them. People who I have talked to on the telephone and have decided merit our trust.

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 4, 2012 6:06 PM (in response to sfowner)
      Re: Property address requests

      I have also made exceptions,  once trust was established, and gave my address a couple of times for visa reasons.  And, one time for military reasons when  I had a high-ranking officer from the Navy with his wife stay --- they had been at a meeting on Oahu ...and came over from there for some R&R.  The  military required "coordinates" from us.  That was a first.  They were  among our best guests....we even dined together {they made us a wonderful meal in the rental}.  Very sociable,  amicable and extremely interesting couple.  Actually, it was requested a second time when we had a Navy surgeon stay....from Oahu....they wanted  coordinates in case a chopper had to come fetch him from  Oahu for an  emergency.

  • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,336 posts since
    Aug 5, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2012 10:09 AM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    I think that giving out the actual address is risky. I think it is better to wait until you are ready for them to sign a contract.

     

    If they ask for the address, I simply ask them why they need it. They usually respond that they want it so that they can see how far away it is from something. I then get the address from them and go to yahoomaps and then send them the mileage and time only. I also refer them to my reviews if they are concerned about the home itself. I also tell them that for security reasons i can't just give out the address over the phone or in an e-mail until we are ready to reserve the property.

     

    I haven't had any problems.

     

    the other thing that you can do is, like someone else said....use a landmark....like, my home is just a few miles behind the "blank" grocery store, etc.

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 4, 2012 7:24 PM (in response to twobitrentals)
      Re: Property address requests

      I have a similar response and "mapping" to respond to such requests.  The landmark(s) have also been a way for me to handle it.

       

      I do understand all the valid reasons people want an address before going ahead with a booking. So, I handle the requests, and their concerns, carefully and respectfully ....but I ask for mutual respect.  I have a "inquiry guage" that automatically signals a possible "PITA"....and it's the  very first contact that sets it off.  But, still, I'm reserved,  before I judge wrongly....I give some  of these requests the benefit of the doubt and try with one  of my responses to answer all concerns that they may have.  And,  yet....I sometimes just "tune out" if they do not approach "politely".

       

      On occasion, I get blunt "pre-inquiries" from people who are planning a visit....they read my reviews already....seen my website...images, etc...  but want my full address so they can THEN  "decide whether to inquire or not".  {I often  wonder what they think about our reviews, our published guest book comments, our own efforts to help with information....have not revealed to them?}  I have asked....and the few times that I did, I wasn't  getting helpful remarks back.  They just want to "see" and "know" everything.  Recently, a woman sent an unbelieveable inquiry...including the year my place was built + style of architecture...water  quality... distance from other properties {feet}....distance {mileage} to ALL "interesting destinations" from our place....over-the-top details...on and on and on...and she did conclude that a Google Earth search was important ...so any "info" I provide to help her with "researching" would be appreciated...la-de-da.....for a possible stay of our minimum of 5 nights -- ONE YEAR from now.  Absurd.  I would not deal with this.

       

      All the "evidence" presented in guest reviews and images uploaded are not "helpful enough" for some people. ....someone might have forgotten to mention something  "bad" ....thus not revealing the whole TRUTH about the place or the owner.......maybe they forgot to notice a flaw  in the surroundings {aren't any near me....I offer surrounding images}....or a neighbour property that's trashy {nix...I include surrounding images without imposing on privacy of my neighbours} ....well, .I just don't know....and I will not give up my full address especially for the honour of entering into the that person's competition to win her 5 nights, one year from now.    I don't deal with the extreme "researchers"--- I just tell them that my property is not "available"  {for them -- wink wink}!

  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2012 11:33 AM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    The address of my property is on the contract a guest signs when reserving their stay.  Prior to signing the contract I will provide the name of the street on which my property is located.  I've found that prospective guests are very particular about the exact locaction of a property when it is a beach house - distance to the beach being of extraordinary importance. 

     

    My property is not in an area where crime has been a problem.  In the many years I have been renting I have never had a guest remove electronics or furnishings, and I have never had a problem over the winter when the house is visited infrequently, usually over holiday periods, by my family. 

     

    It's likely someone could figure out the exact address since their are only a handful of houses on the street and my exterior photographs match up easily to google earth.

     

    But, I agree with those that do not give out their address for security reasons.  Unless an owner feels it is necessary to provide this information to finalize rental it is best to cite, a.s someone already wrote, a nearby cross road, landmark, or distances to town center, beach, and attractions.

     

    I do not have many requests for "drive bys".  My property is a seasonal rental on an island.  Prospective guests are usually familiar with my general location from previous vacations and are unlikely to make a special off seasaon  trip (stays are finalized months in advance of the season) to view the house.

  • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
    May 21, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2012 12:26 PM (in response to satchmo52)
    Re: Property address requests

    We have been in this business for over 15 years.  We have a website that gives the address and directions.  We have never had a problem. But we live on our property and greet each and every guest.  We are not absent owners. Many people like to view our location via Google Earth, which is indeed a good thing, since are in the middle of nowhere.  It the 15 years we have only had 2 cars show up unexpected.   

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