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Has anyone ever run into the situation where you have two inquries for the same time frame from 2 guests who are not yet ready to commit to a booking? In this situation, both asked me to let them know if I get any inquiries for the same time frame they were considering. I did that and they both wanted to finalize a reservation. How do you establish who gets the reservation without upsetting the guest who loses out on the booking? One of these inquiries was for 5 weeks and the other for 2 weeks. The guest for the 2 weeks is a returning client with the potential of many more future bookings. I decided to book with the returning client given the loyalty and potential of future business. Getting back to my policy, in the future when asked to get back to the client if a conflicting inquiry comes through, I will not agree to do that. They will just have to take their chances that the dates are still available when they are ready to commit or they will have to commit now and not risk losing the desired dates. My policy has always been that the first person to commit to a reservation (signed contract and first payment), gets the booking. Does anyone else have any feedback as to how they have handled this situation?
I agree with this philosophy. I've struggled over this dilemma for the past 5 years of my rental inquiries. I tell those renters that are hedging their bet that until I get a check and a signed contract, they are not officially confirmed for their requested dates. That way, they have to make a decision one way or the other.
Hi! I've had this problem and what I have done is tell them that the property is available currently and is considered booked when the signed lease and deposit are received. Tell both of them that and this way whoever gets the check in the mail first to you secures the reservation. Hope it helps.
I agree with your approach. First come first serve.
I feel very strongly about this. I would take the repeater in a heartbeat, no question about it. I always interview my prospective renters by phone to determine if I think they are the kind of folks I want in my house. I have turned down probably 2 of every 3 inquiries for several reasons: more people in the house than I'm comfortable with (this usually means they're out for a super cheap vacation), they're in town for a wedding (more likely to have young people from other houses partying in my house, and wedding parties are known for raucus parties), they're in town for a reunion involving multiple houses (same reason as wedding parties), large groups of singles. Our cottage is small, 4 BR and 2.5 baths, but it has an extremely well equipped kitchen complete with herbs and spices and top of the line cookware and a huge dining room table that easily seats a dozen people. Before we went VRBO, our rental agency rented to a wedding party, and they did all their eating and partying at our place. The filth was astonishing, and they had so many people sleeping there that some had to sleep on the floor of the screen porch.
A known loyal repeat renter that has in the past taken good care of the property is worth way more than 3 unknowns. I believe we are fortunate to be in a community (Outer Banks of NC) that caters to families, and our cottage caters to small families. We know from discussions with house cleaners and rental managers that the larger homes that can accomodate 20 people and more get far more abuse than the small single/two family cottages. So my procedure for choosing renters is, I'm sure, not suitable for many of the people here on the forums. However, I should think that preference for known caring renters would be universal.