Archive for the ‘View All Posts’ Category

Taking Advantage of Rentalo’s Mobile Apps

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Sales of smartphones and tablets are on the rise, as reported by International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2009-10, more smartphones and tablets were sold than desktop computers. In September 28, 2011, Rentalo finished its initial  implementation of its mobile apps, now available in the top 3 online market places for smartphones; Apple’s iTunes, Google’s Android Market, and Blackberry App World.  With the increasing tendency of consumers going mobile, property owners have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this trend.  Below are some useful tips on how RENTalo can help owners  take advantage of this new consumer trend, and convert mobile hits into bookings.


Tip 1.  First of all, you need to become familiar with how your listing is viewed by mobile users.  Using Rentalo's mobile site or app, search for your listing from a smartphone or table device.   The best way to learn how our app work is by downloading it unto your own portable device.  If you do not own a smartphone or tablet, you can use your own PC's internet browser to become familiar with m.rentalo.com.  Even though m.rentalo.com was designed for mobile browsers, simply by using the "Search" feature to find your listing's destination will give you a pretty good idea of how your listing is viewed by mobile users.  Please note that the listing ordering in m.rentalo.com is different than on the main site at this time. 

Tip 2.  Once you are familiar with how mobile users find your listing, and understand how your listing information is viewed from these devices, you may want to update your listing at RENTalo to take full advantage of the apps.  Adding more pictures and features to your listing in Rentalo can increase the number of  inquiries you receive from mobile users.   Below is a list of the data fields that are available to mobile users:


  • - Your listing's photos (tip: review your listing pictures and update them regularly)
  • - List of amenities (tip: edit your listing's amenities checkboxes and select as many as applicable)
  • - List of activities (tip: edit your listing and check as many activities as are available in your area)
  • - Map (tip: Make sure your map is working properly in your listing.
  • - Inquire - Mobile users can send inquiries directly from their phones, so, please make sure you maintain your availability calendar up-to-date to avoid getting inquiries on dates that are booked.  Also, update your rates to make it easier for travelers to choose your property.


Tip 3. Send us your feedback.  At RENTalo, we acknowledge the valuable feedback of our clients.  We look  forward to receiving your comments about our apps, and will use it to prioritize future enhancements on our upcoming development efforts.


Related reading:  Article:  How to Ask Expert Advice on Where to Stay

Are you Covered?

Thursday, June 30th, 2011


Below you find some frequently asked questions and answers when purchasing Accidental Rental Damage Insurance (ARDI).


What is the Accidental Rental Damage Insurance Plan (ARDI)?
  • ARDI is an insurance plan that provides coverage for accidental damages to your vacation rental property during a stay as a replacement for a security deposit.
  • 
    
    Why should vacation property owners purchase ARDI?
  • - With ARDI, owners no longer have to worry about collecting security deposits from guests.
  • - With ARDI, guests do not have to lower their credit card spending balances with a hefty security deposit amount  while they are on vacation.
  • - When claims occur, the payments for repairs of the covered accidental damage will be handled directly between the rental property owner and the insurance company.
  • 
    
    What is covered by the ARDI plan?
  • - ARDI covers unintentional damage to your vacation rental property during your stay, up to $3,000. Owners commonly use ARDI to cover things like carpet spills, furniture tears, broken lamps, and other damages.
  • - When staying in a pet-friendly vacation home, ARDI can provide coverage for damages caused by pets!
  • 
    
    What is not covered by the ARDI  plan?
    
  • - Any intentional property damage.
  • - Any pet damage in a non-pet friendly vacation property.
  • 
    
    How do I include the ARDI plan?
  • Simply purchase ARDI for $45 to cover up to $1,500 in damages or $69 to cover up to $3,000.  You can purchase it online at the time the reservation is made up until 24-hours prior to check-in.
  • Please see the Description of ARDI's Coverage for full terms and conditions.
    
    
    To learn more about Accidental Rental Damage Insurance Plan, click here.
    

    Just Say “No” to Security Deposits

    Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
    
    
    Say No to Security Deposits
    
    One of the main friction points for travelers when booking a vacation rental is the high costs and logistics associated with security deposits.  As compared to the simplicity of making a hotel reservation with no security deposit and 1-day cancellation policy, security deposits are a huge friction point and may result in significant revenue losses for vacation rental businesses.
    
    
    
    According to recent survey stats, “security deposit” related complaints are among the most common complaints received from travelers after their vacation rental stay.  On one side, travelers complaining about not getting their security deposits back on time, or not getting it back at all.  On the other hand, it’s common to see property owners having to withhold deposits due to a wide variety of property damages done by the guests during their stay. Also, many times owners incur in larger repair costs than the money collected from security deposits.
    
    
    
    In general, security deposits, although they provide certain “peace of mind” for property owners when renting their second homes to strangers, they can also result in loss of business revenues and unnecessary complaints on both sides.
    
    
    
    One alternative to security deposits is for owners to consider purchasing accidental rental damage (ARD) insurance; an inexpensive way for property owners to protect their properties up to $3,000 for accidental property damages by renters during their stay.  In the past, these types of insurances were not available for vacation rentals, however, last year RENTalo partnered with TravelGuard, a leading travel insurance company.  TravelGuard offers vacation rental property owners the opportunity to purchase ARD insurance for as little as $45 to $69, and protect their homes for $1,500 to $3,000 from any accidental damages caused by guests during their stay.  This fee is usually paid by the owner and added to the rental fees paid by the traveler as part of the reservation.  Here are some key reasons why you should consider replacing the old-fashion “security deposits” business practice with the purchase of the ARD insurance:
    
    
    -  When given the choice, 99% of the travelers prefer to pay a non-refundable fee of $45 or $69 instead of a refundable fee $1,500 or $3,000 as a security deposit.  You can still offer ADR insurance as an option, although most owners prefer to bundle it as part of the rental cost in order to secure a reservation.
    
    
    
    - Generally, vacation rental businesses get less than $1,500 in security deposit, and when “accidents” happen, they end up paying a lot more out-of-pocket.
    
    
    - Each accidental rental damage insurance fee can cover up to 6 months of rental.
    
    
    - According to recently TravelGuard’s stats, insurance claims are processed immediately and payments are usually sent within 30 days from the date of the original claim.
    
    Click here to learn more about Accidental Rental Damage Insurance.

    RentALO Reaches Travelers with iTunes Appl, iPhones & More!

    Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
    
    
    
    
    According to industry trends, mobile internet usage is excelling faster than desktop PCs. With this fact in hand, on December 31, 2010, Rentalo.com announced its strategy to launch apps for mobile users via smartphones such as AT&T's iPhones and Verizon's Droid phones. A few months later, Rentalo.com launches its RENTalo app in iTunes to reach millions od iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. Please click here to learn more details and download Rentalo's app.
    
    
    
    
    
    With millions of travel planners using smartphones to plan their next vacation, Rentalo plans are to continue expanding its reach by investing in mobile technologies in 2011 and beyond. In just a few more weeks, we will be launching our app in Google's market for droids, and also for backberry phones. Rentalo will conitnue to focusing in the development of new user friendly applications to facilitate comparison shopping and vacation planning for millions of travelers in years to come.
    
    
    
    Mobile gadgets provide easy access to the Internet. Rentalo's marketing strategy is to penetrate the mobile industry is part of our commitment to the travel industry in making the vacation planning experience as pleasant as possible, to as many people as possible.
    Also read:  RentALO Mobile Appl Now in iTunes - Try it Today!

    Rentalo Makes it Easier for Owners to Manage Rates

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
    
    
    On April 5, 2011, Rentalo released a new and improved interface for owners to enter their property rates.  In this new interface owners are given 2 options:
    
    
    
    Option 1 (Default - also referred as our new rates table) - This is a new convenient option to allow owners to enter nightly, weekly and/or monthly rates that do not expire.  Now owners can simply enter their rates without having to worry about dates, and update their rates only when their rates change.  The rates entered in this table can also be used in addition to the seasonal rates entered.  Rentalo will give preference to the seasonal rates but will use these rates for future dates when requested by the travelers.
    

    Option 1 - New Rates - No Dates Required

    
    
    Option 2 - Seasonal Rates -- In this form (as shown below), owners can continue to specify rates that are  subjected to specific date range(s).  The rates entered in this table (also referred as our existing rates table), take priority over the rates entered under option 1 above.  In other words, the rates specified in this table will be quoted to travelers for the specified dates.  Only when travelers request dates that are not available in this seasonal rates table, the rates on option 1 above will be used.
    
    

    Option 2 - Seasonal Rates

    
    
    To make it easier for many of our clients, during the release on April 5th, whenever possible we copied the rates from the existing rate tables into the new rates tables, therefore making the existing rates available to travelers beyond the specified dates.  We were able to do this for listings that had only one set of rates entered. If your listing has multiple seasonal rates specified, we highly recommend you take advantage of this new feature and enter rates that will never expire!
    
    
    
    
    Please take a minute to sign-in and review your rates to make sure they are update.
    
    

    Vacation Rentals That Feel Like Luxury Boutique Hotels

    Thursday, March 10th, 2011
    
    
    
    
    First, lets start with some interesting industry facts and predictions:
    
    
    
    Arthur Frommer's #1 travel prediction for 2011 was that "A Greatly Increased Use of Apartments and Vacation Homes in Place of Standard Hotels". (ref. Arthur Frommer's Blog, Dec 2010)
    
    
    
    
    New York Times foresees vacation rentals piling up on luxuries and advertising as "hotels" (ref. New York Times - Travel, Dec 2010).
    
    
    
    
    So, how can vacation rental businesses take advantage of this magnificent moment in the history of vacation rentals and convert their business into luxury boutique hotels?  Please read below to find some tips and recommendations from Rentalo.com; the leading site for travelers to find short term accommodations. Ideally, the goal of every vacation rental business owner who wants to have their rental booked 52 weeks is to make their guests feel like they are staying in a luxurious hotel rather than a rental place where they have to bring their own pillows and toothbrushes.
    
    
    
    "Going beyond the ordinary and paying attention to the small details is what makes the difference"says Natalia Richards, co-owner of Casa Castellana, a luxurious bed and breakfast in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "Travelers like to be pampered, and feel like they are totally taken care of".
    
    In practical terms, here are some affordable tips and ideas to help you go the extra mile and make your guests feel special:
    
    
    
    #1 - Make yourself available to your guests 24x7.  From the time they pay the deposit, throughout their  stay, and until their departure, be available.  You may not be able to afford paying your staff to provide 24x7 concierge services to your guests, but consider this as a "cost of being in the hospitality business".
    
    
    
    #2 - Think about perks you can offer that would be meaningful to your guests.  Sometimes it takes a $5 dollar bottle of wine to create a life-lasting impression on your guests.  Maybe you can afford more elaborate perks such as a red phone line to a concierge service desk.
    
    
    
    
    #3 - Expand on amenities - Some businesses go around and team up with local restaurants and gyms to facilitate discounts and special services to their guests.  Remember, you are not limited to what your specific property has to offer, you can think out-of-the-box.
    
    
    
    
    #4 - Suggest places to visit and eat - Build a list of your favorite things to do in the area where your rental property is located, print a few copies, and leave them in your unit(s).   You may also offer special tips e.g. If you go to x restaurant, ask for "x" dish, it's my favorite!
    
    
    
    
    #5 - Build a list of local businesses & discounts -- For example, in ski destinations, guests need to rent ski equipment, so  why not go around some shops and get some special deals and  discounts for your guests?  You can do the same with local restaurants, museums, parks, etc. .
    
    
    
    
    The key to providing first-class service in the hospitality business lies in applying a very old yet important principle:  to serve your guests as you would like to be served.  Some business owners excel at this and their guests reviews show it.   Others may need to make some changes to take advantage of 2011's predictions and consumer's expectations.  At Rentalo, we hope that our listing owners can apply these helpful tips to their businesses and contribute to this great year for the hospitality business.  As a service provider in this industry, Rentalo is looking forward to see its clients take their business to a higher level of service and make them successful.
    
    

    Taking Advantage of Where U R!

    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

    Welcome to snowy, cold February! We want to send a warm hello to all our family of Rentalo owners and property managers from Breckenridge and Copper Mt. out West, to Mt. Snow in beautiful Vermont, Beech Mt. in wonderful N.C., and everywhere else.

    We are in the process of sending out our February Travelers Newsletter, and it is packed with great information for our travelers on what places to visit and where to stay during their next getaway or vacation.  One thing we’ve learned over the years is that travelers tastes on accommodations vary as much as the weather in February.  Some love the cold and the snow, others prefer warm places, therefore we have included a great assortment of destinations and places to visit during this time of the year in our Traveler Newsletters.

    Some travelers want to escape the cold weather and just go to the sun and fun of the beach.  They would like to go close to those warm latitudes in the Caribbean. With them in mind, we tried to include some great warm weather location links, such as Western Puerto Rico, in our February Newsletter.

    As a property owner, the goal is to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHERE YOUR PROPERTY IS LOCATED. Understanding that travelers’ tastes vary, it is important for owners to always find a way to promote their great locations, no matter what time of year it is.

    Rentalo wants to highlight and promote different locations every month in our Newsletters to give our family of property owners that extra advertizing push for their properties free of charge.   We have received many calls from property owners expressing their gratitude for advertising their property in our Travelers Newsletter publications.  They share with us that they have received more inquires for their area and specific property as a result of this extra and free advertising.

    We look forward to a wonderful and successful year.  Take advantage and promote your location.   During the winter, if it snows in your area, put up winter pictures on your listing.   During the summer, add some summer shots and tailor your description to include season specific activities.  Just like you have different pricing for summer and winter, consider having something special to offer your clients anytime of the year,and we will make sure our travelers know that! Remember that the Rentalo staff is always available to help you be successful.  Let’s do it together!.

    Rentalo.com Targets Mobile Users in 2011

    Friday, December 31st, 2010

    According to industry trends, mobile internet usage is excelling faster than desktop PCs. USA Today reported that 16% of shoppers will use their smart phones to do holiday shopping this year, and 39% of people ages 18 to 29 reported using their phones to do all of their online shopping.  These are clear indications that smart phones and other mobile devices are changing the way the world is surfing the net, shop, and do business.

    In 2011, mobile marketing will expand far beyond mobile messaging, now with 300K Apple’s applications available in iTunes and 200K in the Google’s Android market.   Rentalo.com’s marketing goal for 2111 is to continue expanding its reach by investing in mobile technologies, focusing in the development of new user friendly applications to facilitate comparison shopping for lodging.

    “Mobile gadgets provide easy access to the Internet. Similarly, Rentalo.com provides easy access to compare lodging options” says Alfredo Purrinos, “Rentalo’s strategy to penetrate the mobile industry is part of our commitment to the travel industry in making the vacation planning experience as pleasant as possible, to as many people as possible.”

    Related Reading(s):
    - PRWeb/Vocus Press Release: Rentalo.com Reaches Mobile Users to Facilitate Comparison Shopping for Vacation Rentals and Hotels
    - SF Gate/ San Francisco’s Chronicles

    Make Vacation Dreams Come True … Create Your SPECIAL OFFER Today!

    Monday, December 20th, 2010

    2010 has been a tough year for many people in the US and abroad!   For some who may be dreaming of a family vacation, renting the movie Cast Away may be the closest they “think” they can get this year to spending time in the warm Caribbean sun or a favorite ski resort.  At Rentalo we are working hard to change that and give as many travelers as possible the opportunity to live their vacation dream!

    Rentalo is giving a special incentive to inventory clients for adding SPECIAL OFFERS on their listings.

    SPECIAL OFFERS are a complimentary feature that allow owners to proactively post discounts consisting of 10% or greater.  These SPECIAL OFFERS are automatically posted in several travel sites and travel blogs, and even social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

    As a special incentive, for every traveler that registers a booking through a SPECIAL OFFER via Rentalo during the month of January 2011,  Rentalo is giving each owner one (1) free month of advertising added to their subscription.  Also, the top 3 listings that get the most bookings registered will be featured in one of our upcoming Traveler’s Newsletters sent monthly to 1.3 Million opted-in travelers, worldwide.

    Activating a SPECIAL OFFER is free and easy, the only catch is the SPECIAL OFFER must be truly special — which means that you must offer at least 10% off the published rates for those dates.  To learn how to activate your SPECIAL OFFER today, click here to watch a step by step tutorial.

    You must hurry and activate your SPECIAL OFFER today to be ready for our upcoming January 2011 Traveler’s Newsletter publication.  In this publication we will be promoting SPECIAL OFFERS to 1.3 Million opted-in travelers, worldwide.  Also, as soon as a SPECIAL OFFER becomes active, Rentalo will automatically post it in several travel sites and also in Rentalo’s index page for SPECIAL OFFERS at http://rentalo.com/Special-Offers.html, now featuring more than 500 offers.

    So, what are you waiting for?  POST YOUR SPECIAL OFFER today!  > Sign-in

    .

    Related article:  Traveler’s Blog > Make Your Vacation Dream a Reality with Rentalo’s Special Offers

    Happy Holidays Message from Rentalo.com

    Wednesday, December 15th, 2010