I'm basically done with inquiries and screening. Our summer is full, and we have a few spring and fall weeks booked. Any more is just gravy, and we like to have the cottage to ourselves in the good weather in order to do our continual upgrading. I answer all inquiries: by phone if I like the looks of the inquiry, by email if I don't. So here's my first educational response:
"Thank you for your interest in our cottage In Duck. Unfortunately, as is stated at the top of our listing, there are no more summer weeks available. That is also made clear by our availability calendar. In fact, the week in which you are interested was reserved in October of 2011 by a family that has vacationed at our cottage for two weeks every year since 2007. In addition to that, our listing states that our Chatterbox Too can accommodate no more than 8 people, and your party consists of 9. This is according to local law with respect to septic system size and number of bedrooms. In addition to that, we personally feel that any more than 8 residents would be uncomfortably crowded.
I am responding to your inquiry because I feel it is polite to respond to every inquiry. My time is valuable to me as I am certain yours is to you, so I hope that this small piece of advice will be helpful to you as well as to other vacation rental owners: Each vacation home is unique. Some will just suit your needs, some will not, and a few will afford you and your family a memorable and comfortable vacation. Your time would be well spent by carefully reading all information listed about a cottage that catches your eye. Before submitting an inquiry, it would save everyone time and frustration if you would, at the very least, check the availability calendar and occupancy for each cottage.
I hope this has not offended you. That is not my intent. VRBO’s relatively new “scattergun” inquiry policy which allows prospective guests to simply hit the Submit button and send the same inquiry to many owners is very frustrating to us owners. Over half of my inquiries have been for dates or other circumstances that would make our cottage obviously unsuitable for the inquirers and would never have been submitted had the inquirers simply read the information in the listing.
I hope you find the perfect house and that you and your family have a wonderful vacation on the Outer Banks.
Keep on Duckin’,
Go ahead and beat me up for this, but I'm in the middle of prepping and filing tax returns for my mother, father-in-law, and myself, and I'm fed up with these ridiculous inquiries. This inquirer will never ask about our cottage again, may tell her friends not to, but I don't care, don't need them. I consider inquiries like this disrespectful. I am a VR owner, I love my cottage, and I don't care to rent to people who don't even know what they're inquiring about. Maybe the response above will save some other VR owner a little time and frustration.