Since you are new to renting, a few things to be careful on:
- Avoid blocking in your calendar the dates until you get the deposit AND the contract signed
- You may HOLD the property for 24-48 hours after they give you a verbal or written confirmation, but be clear that it will be released if you do not receive #1
- In your communication to the guest, state your cancellation policy, check other posts on this issue
- Ensure you get the final payment according to your contract (i.e. 30 days before) or they loose their reservation (you should send them a reminder in case they forget).
- Ensure you have a deposit BEFORE they check in, and consider the damage protection offered by Homeaway.
This tentative reservation thing just stinks! In fact, I think Reservation Manager stinks. The system was much better before this "upgrade" from HomeAway. I had zero problems for eight years and now I can't even get payments to go through without failing. Now I can't change the due date for deposits, the reservation status must be set to "tentative" or the guests payment will fail, tentative reservations don't show up on the internet calendar leading to potential double-bookings and numerous inquiries for the same dates.
When I take a booking and the guest says they would like to make the payment on-line, I want to be able to 1) Block out that renter's dates immediately so our calendar is accurate for all to see 2) Generate an invoice with MY deposit and balance due dates 3) Have the system alert me when deposit or balance payments are overdue. Hey!! that sounds like the old system before this Reservation Manager garbage....