31 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2012 9:02 PM by gabriel RSS

    How early do you take reservations?

    New Member


      I rent by the month only.  How early do you take reservations for the following year?  I have someone who wants to rent next Feb and March, but this year's Feb and March people aren't here yet, and one has rented before.  What if he wants to rent again?  Do you just do first come, first served?

        • Re: How early do you take reservations?
          tyann Contributor

          The farthest out I have taken a reservation is 13 months, but I will take them farther in advance - probably 18 months. Our guests can occassionally be large families that plan reunions, and we have found those are the guests that book extra early.

           

          Tyann Marcink

          www.vacationhomeinbranson.com

          • How early do you take reservations?
            tansy Active Contributor

            I have already had 1 enquiry through for a month in 2012, they have booked a week in May this year to try it out before committing... but I very often have bookings upto 18 months ahead... it's very reassuring!

            I do it on the basis that I'll honour this years prices ... I've never been let down and have always had charming folk in, plus a lot of referrals as quite often the longer ahead bookings are for longer stays and they have folk coming and going... quite often Americans invite others to stay for a few days that are also travelling in Europe at the same time, so it does take some advance planning!

            I think also, the Europeans like to plan well in advance too.

            • How early do you take reservations?
              debbie.waugh New Member

              If this year's is a regular renter - i would speak to them first and tell them the situation and ask if they are also going to book for the next year - I always give regulars first option.  If they cannot commit - go ahead with the other booking.  On these occassions I have had the prospective renter mess around and then not commit by paying a deposit.  On the regular renter - if they want it I get them to complete & sign a booking form but agree that they will not pay the deposit until after their current vacation - I usually deduct the deposit off their security deposit. Hope this helps.

              • How early do you take reservations?
                barkal New Member

                Many of our guests are parents of students at a nearby private school.  Event weekends are planned as far as 3 years in advance.  We book rentals as far as 3 years out as these are very reliable return guests and we do take deposits.  However, we protect them from unforeseen changes by entering them as "tentative" in the calendar.  If someone else inquires about the same dates, we confirm and make the reservation solid at that point. 

                • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                  New Member

                  In my case I start taking reservations in January for the summer season. I ask in the contract for their deposit and then if they do cancel they loose their deposit if I can not rent that week. Usually I can rent it and send them back their deposit.

                  • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                    tsvr Contributor

                    We  will take reservations anytime someone wants to make one. I am not going to turn down a reservation.

                    We have a large home that sleeps 19 and people that book a house that large are usually having a family affair and they need to book far in advance.

                    I am already about half-way booked up for summer 2012.

                     

                    If there are going to be rates increases for the next year, I have them ready by June of the current year.

                    • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                      New Member

                      Current guests have choice to rollover within 3 days of arrival for same time next year.  Then it's open to whomever books 1 year out. 

                      • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                        New Member

                        We take reservations a year in advance. However, all of our reservations are done on a first come first serve basis. The first person to give me a signed contract and deposit is the one who gets the booking. I have found that by being upfront with this policy has really helped there be no complaints.

                        • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                          thaxterlane Senior Contributor

                          I take reservations a year in advance as my guests often plan their travel well in advance of their visits. I always give priority for reservatios to returning guests - we have several that return from year to year.  I send an email at the close of the summer season to renters asking if they intend to return the next year and if they would like to reserve "their" week.  I write that I will open reservations to "new" guest inquries in four weeks of the date of the email (usually end of September timeline). 

                           

                          This seems fair to our current guests, many of whom have been renting from us for many years.  New guests appreciate our attention to our current guests; I haven't found anyone who feels this is unfair among our current or potential guests. 

                           

                          It involves keeping a record of potential guests which is an added layer of record keeping, but it is useful if a rental week becomes available during the year.  I am able to email potential guests that a week is available.

                          • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                            New Member

                            We're Canadians living permanently in Languedoc, southern France and we own two holiday properties.  We have a two-week minimum rental period and give incremental discounts for bookings of 3 weeks or more.  We accept reservations up to 3 years in advance, but don't ask for a deposit from returning guests until January of the year preceding the rental year, at which time guests are expected to pay the initial deposit or cancel their reservation.  We've never had a problem.

                             

                            We're completely booked in our main property this year from Feb. 19th to Nov. 5th and then from Dec. 31st through Nov. 3rd of 2012.  There are 18 weeks being held (all by returning guests) for 2013.  Those guests will be asked to pay a deposit of 25% of the rental fee in January 2012.

                             

                            Perhaps I should say that our house adjoins both properties and that we put a lot of time and effort into our rentals and into assisting our guests with their plans.

                             

                            Susan

                            • How early do you take reservations?
                              New Member

                              We always offer our guests the option to lock-in for the same week next year - with the incentive that they can lock in at the current year's publishd rate for that same week next year.  I present this offer to them in their post-visit "thank-you" letter and incent them to act now as it expires Oct 31st (about 3 months after peak season).  This can save renturning guests a few hundered dollars vs next year's rates, plus give them peace of mind that they have their preferred week.  They lock in with a signed agreement and securtity deposit + 25% or rental fee down, so as an owner I can bank that deposit and collect interest on it for the next 9 months.  I allow the guests to cancel anytime with full refund prior to Dec 31st so there is little risk on their part.

                               

                              Finally, I'd always prefer to take a reservation from a past renter at a lower rate than the risk of a new renter who's tratment of my home is still unknown.

                               

                              Hope this helps.

                              • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                                New Member

                                We have only been renting for two Summers, and take reservations as soon as we can.  Most folks reserve around the Winter holidays.  I think families start planning Summer vacations while spending Thanksgiving together and then get the job done in January after family meals during December help to 'seal' the deal.  We have had requests from last years' renters, but we were already booked.  Since we sleep 15 and are a few houses from the beach, we get abit worried if we aren't full by April....but knock wood, we've had a full season this year, and only got a weekend for ourselves!  And some of our August weeks didn't book until last month (June.)

                                • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                                  karla.kujat New Member

                                  We take reservations 12 to 18 months in advance.  Our property caters to large groups of people up to 22 (family reunions/weddings/corporate retreats).  As a result our guests normally co-ordinate travel plans and dates well in advance.  If I get a request for the holiday seasons, I always check in with the previous guests to offer them first dibs.  We have one family who returns each Christmas.  All other times of year are a first come first serve basis.  I have found a trend that people seem to think about vacations for the coming year in January, September and March.

                                  La Villita, Puerto Vallarta, MX

                                  • How early do you take reservations?
                                    New Member

                                    I had that same situation last year (our first year).  In Late 2010, people were requesting reservations for Jan, Feb, Mar & April 2012.  I contacted the people with reservations for Jan, Feb, March and April 2011 and explained that people are requesting reservations for 2012.  And while I couldn't ask them to commit to a second year without even staying once, If they knew they wouldn't be back in 2012 to let me know now.  If they were considering renting again in 2012, I would appreciate if they could let me know within a few days of their arrival. 

                                     

                                    My Jan renters said it was going to be a one time rental and not to count on them for 2012,  The renters for Feb - April all signed up for 2012 within a few days of arrival.  Subsequently Jan also was rented.

                                     

                                    David

                                    • How early do you take reservations?
                                      seasideretreat New Member

                                      I take bookings on a first come first serve basis unless I have a repeat renter. For eg. there are groups of people that come every year at the same time to my home. I know them trust them and they are the best type of renter so I will always call them first if an inquiry comes through for the same time period. I always give my repeat renters first dibs!

                                      • How early do you take reservations?
                                        New Member

                                        Do you request the same deposit amount for a booking that is more than 12 months away? I usually ask for 50% down payment plus a security deposit upon booking, but this seems like a lot when its 12 months+ out. Thoughts?

                                          • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                                            New Member

                                            Lou Recantou  &  L'Ancien Pressoir

                                            Susan & Tim Wallis    19 Route de Mailhac   34210 Oupia     FRANCE

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                                            Hi - no, it's a little more complicated than that.  I never ask for more

                                            than a 25% initial deposit.  For any booking in the following year (e.g.

                                            2012), that's what I ask for.  For 2013, returning guests (only) who want to

                                            hold dates don't have to pay the deposit until January 2012.  If it's

                                            someone we don't know (i.e. hasn't stayed with us previously), we ask for

                                            the 25% deposit up front.

                                             

                                            We've never had a problem, so I wouldn't consider changing our policy.  We

                                            have great guests, almost without exception, and many have become good

                                            friends over the 12 years we've been doing this.   You didn't ask but, just

                                            in case it makes any difference to you, most of our guests are Canadian and

                                            almost all of the rest are American or British.

                                             

                                            Kind regards,

                                             

                                            Susan

                                          • How early do you take reservations?
                                            tsvr Contributor

                                            We always make reservations on a first come-first served basis. What if this years renter does not decide to rent again next year...you have held a date for them and lost a potential booking. Our repeat renters take whatever is available. If it sounds like they might paln to rent on a regular basis and would like to have the same dates each year...I let them know that they will need to make the reservation right away.

                                             

                                            We do not turn away reservations just because someone wants to book 18 or 24 months in advance...the early bird gets the worm and if the renter is is smart enough to make a reservation that far in advance they will get the current rate.

                                            We set up the following years rates in June of the current year...so if someone books in advance before June they will get the current years rates (as long as we have a signed contract before the rate changes are made).

                                             

                                            Our reservation deposit is 50% of the rental rate. We do not collect the security deposit, usuage tax, or any additional fees until 30 days prior to arrival. That way we do not have to keep track of additional monies for a long period of time and if they cancel (30 days prior to arrival) all I have to return is the reservation deposit.

                                            • How early do you take reservations?
                                              New Member

                                              We have taken reservations as far out as one year. However, I always make at least two courtesy calls during the year as a reminder/just checking in with them guest. I also make one last courtesy call about 10 days prior to arrival.

                                              It's worked for me so far.

                                              • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                                                marilyn Active Contributor

                                                We start taking reservations at the end of the summer for the following summer. We also require a $1000 deposit to secure the home for this reservation.

                                                 

                                                Marilyn

                                                www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

                                                • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                                                  iopbeachhouse Community All-Star

                                                  We take bookings whenever people want to make them. I've got 14 bookings in 2013 as of today and most of those are for a full week. Some people are booking more than a year in advance. We require 1/2 of the total amount plus a $500 reservation deposit which becomes a security deposit after they arrive.

                                                   

                                                  I never turn down a booking as long as the guest passes our screenings and pays what is required to secure it. If we don't have a rate for that time, we use the previous year rate. The only draw back is that our housekeeper increased her cleaning fee significantly and we had several weeks already booked in 2013. We will just eat the cost for those guests.

                                                  • Re: How early do you take reservations?
                                                    gabriel Active Contributor

                                                    I take them as early as the guest wants, I have no plans to sell the house. If they prepay the 50% now, I honor this year's rate, otherwise I define a future rate increase (3% to 5% annually) and take the $500 non refundable reservation deposit.

                                                     

                                                    It is difficult for someone to give you a non refundable $2,000 advance 2 years before, most prefer to hold it for $500 and the rest 90-60-30 days before.