For anyone interested, I just found out that the new FlipKey payment system they have implemented (very similar to HomeAway/VRBO's "Reservation Manager") processes initial applications through RentPayment.com whereas ReservatoinManager processes payments thru VacationRentPayment.com. Well, as it turns out, both are the same company. In fact, they are all part of "Yapstone E-Payment Solutions" http://www.yapstone.com/.
Yapstone operates under all of the following names:
No, it is not for collecting paper checks by mail. It is for accepting e-checks and credit cards (like PayPal, etc.). All the major vacation rental sites offer this now. Credit cards are important for securing the deposit in order to make the booking, and also for those who wish to pay the rental amount who are in foreign countries and can't easily send a check in USD.
So glad I came across this thread.
CHARGE CARDS ONLY BENEFIT CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND TRAVELERS TRYING TO GET OUT OF PAYING! THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO VACATION RENTAL OWNERS OTHER THAN POTENTIAL LOSS OF $$$$
We own and manage many rentals and prefer Payment by check or wire transfer. We have been renting for over 2O years and have learned a thing or two.
Almost all of our international travelers pay by wire. (over 50% of our business) Many of our U.S. customers pay by wire as well. If an international guest pays by check, it must be drawn on a US bank and in US funds.
This is the only truly Secure method for us as Vacation rental owners. We do accept limited payments by credit card via PayPal and charge a 4% convenience fee for this option. If this does not discourage them from paying by credit card, the complications of using PayPal usually do.
WARNING! ~ We did make a mistake and agree to accept payments via SQUAREUP for a while. Felt like they would be a cutting edge new company as they were founded by the same guy who founded Twitter. Recently had a partial dispute by a guest who decided to leave early. Even though we have a no refund clause in our contract,They were disputing $3000 of an $8000 rental. Even before notifying us of the dispute, Square stopped depositing our funds and then froze our account, Holding over $50,000. THEY HAVE NO PHONE and can only be contacted via e-mail with little to no response. (A 10 BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY WITH NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AND NO PHONE!) It has been 2 months and they say they will hold those funds for 120 days. Even though our guests have come and gone and have sent letters saying the charges were valid.
Over 10 years The few problems we have had has been with credit card transactions. Any dispute has been decided in favor of the card holder no matter what our contract said.
FYI ~ Our solution is to file suit in Florida court. Since most guests (almost all are from elsewhere) This forces to guest to hire an attorney in your city and travel back to appear for the case. If they have no valid case, this makes them VERY willing to settle!
We are considering only accepting Checks or Wires as this is our best option to protect us as owners. If the renter questions this, point them to the Carefree rental guarantee (which is pretty worthless) or Rental Insurance. This typically makes all of our guest feel more comfortable.
One thing I would like to point out is that HomeAway is advising guests NOT to pay by wire since they now profit $$$ big on credit card transactions. They advise traveler not to rent from owners that accept wires???? You notice how much the HomeAway moderator is promoting their service on this thread. Yet on threads where owners are having major problems they are silent.
If a guest wants to rent from you and they are respectable, they will pay by check or wire and cover themselves with inexpensive travel insurance.
Again, protecting the traveler and their own profits at the expense of us, their customers. So, as others have said, Europeans are very used to paying by wire and that is the best way to get paid by International travelers as THERE ARE NO CHARGE BACKS. Most US customers have no problem paying by check and again NO CHARGE BACKS.
No one else with a say in weather or not you get paid for your hard work! Good luck to all and hope this helps!
Thank you native for the best response. I have never taken, and will never take credit cards or PayPal as payments. In 7 years, I have only accepted checks, money orders or of course cash. When ever there has been a problem with a renter not paying the final payment on time (30 to 45 days prior to occupancy, depending of if they are returning or new) after the second notification, the property goes back on the market for rent.I always have payment by the next day when someone thinks they will loose it. When it comes to a renter leaving early, there is a clause in the rental agreement of no refunds. And as far as holding security, every thing is also spelled out in the Rental agreement, from excessive garbage to lost beach badges. They are asked to initial certain things when they sign the agreement so I know I am covered if there is a problem. And you are so right about filing suits, for the most part I find if you don't back down, they do.
At long last, two very specific posts with absolutely sound advice regarding payments by credit cards.
Native7 hits it dead on with the mention of chargebacks.
99% of the time, the credit card company come down on the side of their customer. That’s loyalty or grooming remember the credit card have more to lose if they find for you, they stand a chance of losing their cash cow customer!
Better on their part to leaving the owner, out to dry and of course, out of pocket.
We have 3 vacation homes in Florida, which we operate from the UK.
As already stated Europeans are used to paying bills via their bank (it’s Direct Debit or wire.) In the USA it seems that there are similar methods but not very well advertised by the US banks.
Invariably we request payment either by Cashiers cheque or by wire and the old everybody’s favourite, CASH.
Genuine people are never going to complain.
I'm sure that there are semi professional renters and Refund Rita’s out there and they all use the best payback scheme invented by man.
The credit card drawn on the bank of Never pay
Why leave yourself open to heartache by taking credit cards?
The palaver with PayPal is not worth the effort either these are just refugees from EBay aren’t they?.
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You are 150% correct. Only the credit card companies make the money and the scam artists and bargain hunters know how to use this to their advantage.
In 11 years of rentals, we have never lost a rental due to the fact that we do not accept credit cards. If a renter does not have the money to pay for the vacation, they should not be taking it. My homes are in the "high rent district" so this has not been a problem. For those home owners who are in middle income areas, the rental rates might be lower than mine and so tenants should be able to afford those respectively.
With another company that I own (window coverings), we do accept credit cards as this was set up many many years ago. Everytime we have an issue with a client, the cc company always, always sides with the client. We have lost thousands of dollars as a result. Even though we have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the client was wrong, we still lost. When I set up Hampton House Properties, I made a consious effort to avoid credit cards at all costs.
What really irks me is that Homeaway makes it sound like renters should be using their reservation system and paying them and that other forms of payment is suspicious.
Bottom line is that ,if you are US based you HAVE options when it comes to accepting credit cards.. Start with your own bank.
This is not rocket science, and you'll find that you have complete control over your Contratcs, payments, etc.. if you have time to manage payment yourself.
There really are no shortcuts, unless you are willing to enter into agreements with the new "online serices" that are not personlized to YOUR needs. That is why Property management companies do what they do, and stay in business in today's Real Estate market.
Best of luck