11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 13, 2012 4:42 PM by anja RSS

    Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?

    New Member

      I have recieved about 6 emails from a guest who is trying to see our VRBO house on July 1 or July 4 while she is in the area.  She says she wants to book 2 weeks in 2013 including Memorial Day.  I've told her we don't give out the address without a booking and we don't want to disturb guests staying at the house - we can arrange something on change out day, but not while we have guests in the house.  I'm afraid if I give her the address she'll just show up and disturb the current guests.  We currently don't have a reservation for July 4th, so I'll have to pay the caretaker to show up and walk her through (no way am I giving her a door code till she's paid). 


      Should I try to accomodate her or am I going to just wind up with a potential picky PITA guest I'll have to deal with for a year until her reservation?  Or is this a safety risk allowing her to have the address/meet the housecleaner/caretaker without the guest info that comes along with a booking?


      Do you show your house to future guests prior to booking?  


      Thanks for your input!


        • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
          anja Senior Contributor
          I do not do this.   I never give out my exact address until we've reached the stage of confirming a booking....or at least a very serious person who I've been in good dialogue with along the way. But, then we've already reached the 'trust' with each other, by that stage.
          One thing:  If you have guests there you're violating their privacy if she pops around. You should be concerned about that, first, because they already paid for their stay...they have a contract with you...they are your first priority.
          But, if you don't want to lose the opportunity, can you in any way ask the booked guests if they'd mind if someone comes around with your caretaker...then, maybe you can work it out so no one  is offended?  I'm always thinking first about my "in house guests".....and my own privacy. {I had people who found my address trespass on my property a few times...to take a "peek for a possible future visit"....and there were guests staying !! ....that was back when I was a newbie.}
          So, ..I would not be doiing this. And...if this person is a "pushy" inquirer...not respecting how I run my business, I'm not renting to her,  anyway. I've had people get pushy with me on the phone ...trying  to push "their terms and conditions...have demands...ask for "exceptions"...instead of respecting my rental terms.  You might want to speak more with her {phone} about her plans for the stay in your house...to decide if you want her as a guest, at all.
          Me...I never worry about a booking a year out.

          That's my personal short answer.

          But there are other owners in the Community who do, in fact, feel fine with showing their place to potential future guests. And, some of them, if they chime in here, will  give you good tips on how to handle this situation, gracefully and safely.
          Do you usually book so far in advance? Not that there's anything wrong with that...some owners do.....but I do not....especially when I know that the season is a busy one, anyway.   If the season that she wants your place for usually in demand.....what's the rush to book her a year in advance?
            • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
              New Member

              Thanks for your reply.  I don't mind showing her, but am already put off by her pushiness.  I could use some help in handling it gracefully. 

              This is our first year renting, so have not booked this far in advance before - though we did book Memorial Day in December last year. Chances are we will get multiple requests for the dates she's asking for & it's my understanding that other places in our area book up to a year ahead for certain summer dates. 

                • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                  mike-dfv CommunityAmbassador

                  Her being pushy would be a problem for me. I don't react well to pushy. In any case, I would never, under any circumstances allow someone to see my place if it was currently occupied. I have personally shown it to a couple who were snowbirds (we're in Florida, they're from Canada) and we had a great chat while there. They loved the place and booked it for two months next year. Being that they're very nice folks and we go along so well, I couldn't be happier. We were fortunate (or not, depending on your point of view) that the place was empty when they had time to see it. I already feel that allowing them to see it was beneficial, but my real hope is that they continue to book for two months out of every year.



              • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                Active Contributor

                We never show the house while there are guests staying.  Otherwise, we don't mind showing prospective renters if they are already on island, and our manager takes them through.  However, you will have to decide on your policy and if you want to tell them where the house is and arrange for your cleaner to meet them there.  You might still get a July booking so wait until the last minute to give out the info or they may show up when guests are there.


                We would just say, don't panic or be too anxious to book the house this far out.  And if this person continues to send up red flags, you may want to pass on them.

                  • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                    Senior Contributor

                    MP, you've gotten a lot of good advice already. I just want to add that we also never show our home when we have guests in residence. We also never give out our home's address until I have received a signed contract with verified ID and payment.


                    My main reason is one of security, for both our guests in residence and our home's general security. I made ONE exception, and I did require the prospective renter to show their identification to my property caretaker. (I based that on a suggestion from a Realtor friend). They ended up not renting because we did not have a  large enough reclining chair in front of the TV. I was glad to lose that rental since she went though every drawer and cabinet, and had even wanted to unmake the beds to see the linens.


                    I've made a detailed video clip of our home showing many views of each room, outdoor areas, etc. that I will email to a serious inquiry that I've had conversations with, and it seems to have helped closed many a booking


                    I know other owners who do show their homes so I guess you have to trust your own instincts. 


                    Happy and safe renting!


                  • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                    carol Premier Contributor

                    I suppose I'm in the minority here -- I do occasionally show my house to snag a booking.  However, I agree with the others that I wouldn't do that when we have guests in the house -- not only does it disrupt the guests, but it's usually messy when the house is full so it doesn't show as well.  


                    Security and safety are important though.  I'd probably not feel comfortable showing the house alone to an unknown man (sorry guys!).  I've not had to deal with that, it's always the women who want to "shop" for a house.   And I will have taken the time to get to know them ahead of time and make sure they seem to be a good "fit" for my house before we do a walk through. 


                    Most owners do not want to release the address of their house without a contract for security reasons.  My town is so small and my house distinctive enough that anyone could find it in 10 minutes with the picture from the HA/VRBO ad, so I don't take extra steps to conceal my address.  


                    However, this inquirer of yours does indeed sound pushier than most and I think you already knew instinctively that she was out of bounds in her request.  

                    • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                      New Member

                      Thanks everyone!  I will have the caretaker show her the house on the 4th if it's not rented.  I won't let her unmake the beds though! 

                        • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                          amyg Active Contributor

                          Good luck, Michelle!  I am nervous about this lady, though.  Whenever I feel pushed around by a potential guest, I do everything I can to steer them away.  I actually had someone say to me "why are you trying to send me to your competitor's property?"  LOL  Well...I didn't like the way he was treating me on the phone and if he's like that now, how will he be when he's in my cabin for a week?  Heaven forbid anything malfunctions or the recliner isn't big enough or the weather is crappy

                          • Re: Pushy potential guest demands to see house prior to booking.  What to do?
                            anja Senior Contributor

                            Hi  mpearson29,

                            It would be interesting to know what happens.  Would you "report back" here to let us know, please? How does the "walk through" go?  Does she book one year in advance? Or, was she just "tire kicking"?


                            The benefit of such a Community as this is that even experienced owners who've been through this situation, dealing with different "types" of people.... can learn something from the experiences of others. That's why we come here....to ask...to share....to learn.