Archive for the ‘View All Posts’ Category

New EZ Reserve videos – Understand New Powerful Rentalo Booking Engine

Friday, June 18th, 2010

ezreservevideos

Streamline your booking process with a tool that allows you to manage your reservations, invoices and payments.

We put a lot of work and thought into EZ Reserve, to come up with a tool that was easy enough for any property owner to use, yet safe and robust to manage your booking workflow.

To help property owners understand how they can take advantage of EZ Reserve we have made 3 videos.

Watch them today and start using EZ Reserve to simplify your vacation rental booking process.

EZ Reserve Tutorial 1
Configure EZ Reserve to receive online and offline payments.

Setup invoice preferences and rental agreement.
EZ Reserve Tutorial 2
Become familiar with the EZ Reserve interface.
Create and manage reservations, invoices and payments.

EZ Reserve Tutorial 3
Know the EZ Reserve reporting interface.
Export and download reports.

Introducing EZ Reserve – Powerful Online Booking Solution

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

EZ Reserve

EZ Reserve

Here at Rentalo we have been hard at work the last few months developing a new tool designed to streamline the booking process through an integrated reservation, invoicing and payment system.

Are you tired of having to keep your reservations,  invoices and payments in a spreadsheet or a notepad?  Ever had a double booking and scrambled to apologized to a traveler because of it?  You are not alone, many property owners have run into these problems over the year and many continue to struggle with the booking process even today.

EZ Reserve is a very easy to use booking engine designed with vacation rental property owners in mind.  We set out to create a tool that didn’t require a steep learning curve, but rather be intuitive so owners can start using it within just a few minutes.  With Ez Reserve owners will be able to manage their reservations, invoices and payments online, as well as print out important reports that will facilitate their book keeping process.

Reservations can be created and managed so that owners can manage their vacation rental more efficiently.  The system will warn you so that you do not create a double booking.  Owners can also send a copy of their rental agreement to travelers and a copy of the reservation for the traveler’s records.  Once there is a reservation, and owner can then generate invoices for that reservation.

Invoices are very easy to create and will make your vacation rental business look more professional.  There is plenty of flexibility within the invoice creation process.  Create a customized greeting, include line items, add a personalized signature with your photo, and much more.  The invoicing interface will keep track of status of your invoices.  Managing your invoices is as simple as clicking a button.  You can resend, mark as paid, void, refund, etc, all from the same page.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of EZ Reserve is the fact that owners can accept online or offline payments.  You can link your Paypal account with EZ Reserve so that travelers can pay you directly via the invoices you create.  Alternatively, owners can specify which forms of “offline” payments are accepted, along with the instructions on how to send the payments.

Most property owners are hands on and prefer to be involved in the entire booking process.  EZ Reserve is a tool that will help property owners keep their information and payments organized and online, allowing them more time to better serve their travelers.

With an introductory price of only $65 a year, EZ Reserve is a tool definitely worth looking into for your vacation rental business.

The Power of EZ Calling: How to Take Full Advantage of This Tool

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

EZ Calling is a powerful tool that can dramatically boost your bookings and help you communicate faster and better with potential 5renters; but are you taking full advantage of it? Here is a detailed description of all its features and how to manage them.

1. First Things First…How to Activate EZ Calling

Activating EZ Calling is very easy and only takes a few steps. Log on to your Rentalo listing and click on the EZ Calling tab at the top of the page. You will see the credit amount options $25, $50 or $100. Choose the one you wish and click on the button that says |”Activate EZ Calling Now and Get Additional Credit For Free.”

Next you will be taken to the shopping cart to finish the process. Make sure that the correct option is selected in the “New EZ Calling” section and click on the “Proceed to Check Out” option. Once the transaction is completed your EZ Calling feature will be activated in your listing with the amount of credit that you selected. Activate EZ Calling Now.

2. Configuring EZ Calling Features

Once you have activated EZ Calling the first thing you need to do is to configure your primary and secondary phone numbers. These are the numbers that will get the calls when an interested traveler clicks on the click to call button of your listing.

Next you can choose whether or not to activate all of EZ Calling features. Click to Call, Inquiry to Phone and the 800 extension.

Click to Call: This feature allows you to receive immediate calls from interested travelers that are browsing your listing.

Inquiry to Phone: You will receive inquiries directly to your phone when a traveler places an e-mail inquiry. You can choose to turn on or off this feature depending on your preferences.

800 Extension: You will get a toll free access number for potential guests to call you. This branded phone number will increase traveler’s confidence in your business.

3. Call Forwarding Schedule

You don’t want to receive calls in the middle of the night, so make sure to specify the days and times you want to receive calls and messages. This is possible with the call forwarding schedule that you will find at the bottom of the page. This feature is only available for the 800 extension and Click to Call.

4. Viewing and Understanding Call Tracking Reports

Reports are one of the most useful features of EZ Calling. By clicking on the view call tracking reports button of the EZ Calling configuring page you will be able to generate reports based on dates and properties; if you have more than one property.

You will see records of the calling number, the call type (whether it was
Click to Call or an 800 extension call), the date and time of the call, which number it was connected to (which will be one of the numbers you initially set us forwarding numbers), the call duration and the cost. You will also see the call result, whether the call was successful, the phone was busy or the call was not answered. You will not miss any detail of the calls you receive! And you can keep track of which properties are receiving more calls.

If you want to you can download the reports to a csv file or print them.

By incorporating this easy, cost-effective means to connect with prospective travelers you will be able to answer their questions immediately, beat your competition and guide them through a successful booking experience. Activate EZ Calling Now.

Introducing EZ Calling: Getting Vacation Rental Seekers From the Web To Your Phone

Friday, November 13th, 2009

EZ Calling: Gets Vacation Rental Seekers From the Web to Your PhoneRentalo is pleased to introduce EZ Calling, our new cutting edge phone technology service that will get vacation rental seekers from the web to your phone in just one click! You will not only get more calls from vacationers interested on your vacation rental; you will also be able to track these calls and receive automated messages that will guarantee a better service and boost your conversions. Sign Up Here.

Closing the Gap between Property Owners and Travelers

The idea behind EZ Calling is to increase online conversions by closing the communication gap between property owners and travelers. This is possible thanks to EZ Calling’s three powerful tools, Click-to-Call, Inquiry-to-Phone and the Toll Free and Tracking feature.

Click-to-Call: With this tool travelers interested in your vacation rental will have the opportunity to directly connect with you through the click of a button embedded on your property listing. You will:

• Receive INSTANT calls from travelers browsing your listing.
• Get more calls from interested travelers. (Calls from travelers convert 47% more than e-mail inquiries).
• Track your click to call activity. Sign Up Here.

Inquiry-to-Phone: The Inquiry-to-Phone is an optional tool that allows you to receive automated phone messages each time your vacation rental gets an inquiry. Inquiry-to-Phone will allow you to:

• Receive INSTANT automated phone messages each time your property gets an inquiry.
• Reply immediately with an offer to the interested traveler.
• Track your inquiry to phone activity. Sign Up Here.

Toll Free and Call Tracking: This tool makes it easier for travelers to contact you by providing a toll free number. It will allow you to:

• Keep your number private. EZ Calling: Cutting Edge Phone Technology
• Get detailed call activity reports. (Call tracking captures data on missed calls. If a prospective renter calls after hours or hangs up before the call is completed, why let this lead get away? Receive an e-mail with the caller’s phone number and generate additional bookings by returning these calls).

According to a study by TMP Directional Marketing and comScore, the two most common activities following an online local search are a visit or a phone call to a local store; and calls from travelers result in more bookings than e-mail inquiries. By incorporating this easy, cost-effective means to connect with vacation rental seekers you will be able to answer their questions immediately, beat your competition and guide them through a successful booking experience. Don’t miss this opportunity to dramatically increase your online bookings! Sign up now at: http://rentalo.com/ezcalling.html.

How about a Movie-Like Vacation? Check out our Oscar-Winning Vacation Rentals!

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

This year’s glamorous Oscar gala is over and the Academy chose its winners for the 81st time. I especially enjoyed the Broadway musical spirit in the Hollywood version and was excited about the big winner of that night, Danny Boyle’s master piece, Slumdog Millionaire. Beautiful photography and excellent story!

Talking about the movies, one of the things that always capture our attention is the location. Just imagining those breathtaking ocean views of Greece in “Mamma Mia” or quaint little streets of Paris in “Amelie” makes me want to drop everything and go there immediately!

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, so why not to stop for a moment and look at movie-like destinations in Rentalo? As the Academy chose its winners, I selected our vacation rental candidates in the following categories:

1.    Best Tropical Getaway

Who doesn’t like waking up by the ocean, just steps to pristine white sand beach? How about a private vacation villa with a waterfront deck, fresh fruits for breakfast and breathtaking sunsets for dinner? All that is possible if you stay in one of those properties:

Our Candidate number one – Tiare Breeze Luxury Bungalow – is nestled on a hill overlooking the crystal blue waters of the South Pacific. With the heavenly smells of vanilla and Tiare flowers, you can be a part of the peace and tranquility this beautiful island offers. This luxury bungalow boasts extensive decks with open coastal views and access to the surrounding lagoons. You can enjoy sunset with French pastries and fresh exotic fruits delivered to your doorstep every morning. If you wish to relax, you can take a mid afternoon nap in a comfortable king size bed. You will also be just steps away from snorkeling, dolphin watching and some of the best surfing in French Polynesia.

You can also find a little piece of heaven in the Colonial Mexican Villa in Puerto Vallarta. This luxury 8,000 square foot home combines beautiful Mexican antiques with regional folk and boasts spectacular views of the Banderas Bay.  A large living room and dining room open to the infinity pool with breathtaking water views and if you take a stone path from courtyard, it will lead you to a gorgeous tropical garden below. Full staff including maid, cook and a gardener will be at your disposition. Feeling like a celebrity already?

2.    Best Luxury Ski Spot

How about a pampering vacation with gorgeous mountain views in a luxury Breckenridge condo? Sounds good too, right?

Our first candidate in this category is located just steps from the lifts, premier ski areas and trendy boutiques. You can even view the lift line from the large wraparound deck and prepare delicious steaks on your own barbeque. This spacious ski in/ski out Breckenridge condo is beautifully furnished with luxurious new leather sofas and gourmet kitchen. You will also find indoor and outdoor hot tubs, indoor swimming pool, steam and sauna room and exercise facility within the building. In the evening you can warm up by the fireplace and enjoy excellent views of Maggie Pond.

Second nominee is a five-bedroom ski in/ski out Breckenridge vacation home. This charming rental has everything you need to feel truly special and relaxed. It features four entertainment areas with pool table, ping pong and foosball and offers easy access to slopes and two lifts. After the whole day of skiing, you can relax in a large outdoor hot tub or warm up in front of a fireplace. High speed Internet and barbecue are also available.

3.    Best Unique Vacation

Have you ever felt like strolling the streets of Montmartre in Paris like Amelie Poulain? Or maybe you would like to sit by the fountain in a charming medieval hill town in Tuscany? Choose between a luxury Paris studio and a Siena castle. Here are the nominees:

A luxury studio in Paris is located in a lively neighborhood out of the tourist area, yet within a five-minute walk of Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. It has been designed by a Parisian artist and boasts a huge round bathtub, electrical adjustable king-size bed, flat plasma panoramic TV with DVD and professional built-in espresso maker. You will also be just a 10-15 minute walk to the Galeries Lafayette, Opera Garnier and Café de la Paix.

My second choice is a medieval Italian castle situated in the beautiful Tuscan countryside near Siena. Very centrally located for art touring, winery visits and exploring back roads, this charming castle offers apartments or a villa for rent with a swimming pool and tennis courts. There are also thermal spas, golf and polo available nearby.

“What about the prices?” you might ask. Well, you may think that for a movie-like getaway you would need a celebrity-like salary. Some of those places, however, sleep large parties, so if you divide the costs, it’s not always that bad. Still, we were just day-dreaming…

So, the Vacation Rental Oscar goes to… What do YOU think?

Marta

Rentalo.com Sponsored the Monthly Meeting of Central Florida Vacation Rental Association

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Some months ago we decided to join the CFVRMA (Central Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association) to develop our communication channel with property owners and managers from this area of the country and to stay tuned for the industry events and news. The CFVRMA is the biggest association of this type in Central Florida which unites the vacation rental industry by providing valuable information to property managers and by improving travelers’ experience as well.

Once a month CFVRMA organizes a meeting for members and vendors where property managers and owners can share their experience, discuss new industry trends and get advice on how to market their properties more efficiently. Last month we were invited to Sponsor the monthly meeting and on October 16th we had the chance to present Rentalo to CFVRMA members.

The meeting was held in Orlando, Florida where we drove the day before to be able to attend the meeting early in the morning the next day. We received a very warm welcome from the host Jeff Chase, who is the Executive director of CFVRMA and an extremely positive and dynamic person! He also helped us out with all the technical aspects and had our presentation ready for us to run upon our arrival. Great host indeed!

There were about ninety people present on the meeting most of which were property management companies as well as some vendors. During our speech we talked briefly about Rentalo’s history and presented our value proposition for property managers. Our presentation was very well taken and it was such a positive surprise to find out that half of the room already knew Rentalo!

One of the most exciting aspects of the meeting was definitely meeting face to face with some of the property owners we have been working with for many years. Finally we could meet our loyal clients personally, which is always a very positive experience. At the end of the presentation we were able to answer some questions and share tips with property owners looking for ways to increase their bookings this year.

We also had the opportunity to learn about struggles property management companies go through regarding city permits for repairing their units. It seems that the process is quite overwhelming since the city not only requires permits for every small change but also the execution by licensed and bonded contractors. Not very encouraging for property owners!

Overall however, we were happy to learn that most property management companies in Central Florida seem to be doing better this year (in terms of occupancy) comparing to previous years. It is mostly caused by the increasing popularity of vacation rentals which have proven to be an excellent way for cost –effective family getaways!

Marta

Why to Encourage Guest Comments for your Vacation Rental

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Trial and Error or Advice

Recently I was booking a hostel in Barcelona for one weekend of November. I visited many websites, saw countless hostels but after a while they all seemed exactly the same and I still had no idea which one to choose. All I wanted was a clean place in a central location, but all of them stated they were close to the center and extra clean. So which one to choose? Then I noticed one great feature of one of the websites – guest comments! According to others, a hostel I was thinking of choosing was not very clean and located near a very noisy street! Of course, I ended up booking the one which had the highest number of positive guest comments.

They Judge, we Buy

Opinions, comments and reviews have become omnipresent elements of the purchasing process. We prefer to buy products with high ratings and recommendations, the ones other people used and had experience with. It eliminates disappointment and gives us guarantee that a product we just bought will be working perfectly, just like it did for others. What’s more, we don’t need trusted experts to tell us their opinion anymore. We can simply listen to other consumers, real people just like us.

Guest Comments and Vacation Rentals

Today’s marketplace is full of well educated customers, who enjoy comparing products and make informed buying decisions. That’s why opinions and guest comments are essential also in a vacation rental industry. Travelers want to trust property owners when they say their house is perfect, but to be really able to book with confidence, they obviously prefer to relate to experience of others.

Being a Good Listener

So how can you encourage your guests to write a review of your vacation rental? I think there is only one recipe. If you provide your guests with an excellent service and go the extra mile to make them feel at home, you will surely hear about it.  Also, let your guests know that you always strive to meet their needs and value their opinions. It only shows you care and are committed to maintaining high standards. Where can guests write their reviews? Here are some examples:

- Guestbooks. Keep a guestbook book in a visible place in your vacation rental and ask travelers to write about their favorite experiences. If they do so, ask them for a permission to include those on your website or Rentalo listing.

- Internet. Encourage your guests to post comments and feedback on your private website or Rentalo listing. Such real testimonials are very valuable for travelers.

- Welcome letters. Leaving your guests a welcome letter is a nice detail and at the end of such letter you can have a space for comments and feedback.

Two Sides of the Coin – You Always Win

However you gather comments about your vacation home, always listen to what guests have to say and value their feedback. Whether the review you received is positive or negative, either way you can only learn. Good reviews are like a reward for you and only assure you, you are doing your job the best you can. Bad reviews though, are even more useful than the positive ones because a constructive criticism can only help you become a master. If you are afraid of bad reviews, it means there is probably something you should improve.

I really encourage you to gather feedback and include travelers’ comments in your property descriptions in Rentalo. After all, it can only complete information about your rental and create more trust of your potential clients.

Marta Olszewska

Rentalo Launches the Newest Version of its Website!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

After couple of months of hard work of our development and marketing team, we have successfully launched the newest version of our website! When you visit our site, you will notice that a wide (1024 pixel resolution) and new attractive interface has taken over our entire website including our Home Page as well as the SmartSearch. We haven’t finished with that! You will also experience a richer content and new design of Property Listing Pages and State and Regional Pages, which will now be much easier to navigate for all our users!

These major changes don’t only make travelers’ jobs easier. They also help you, our property owners to showcase your property in more appealing way and to increase your bookings.

Log on to your Property Listing Page which is now more user-friendly and clearer than ever. It displays all the necessary information about your place including detailed descriptions, an attractive and eye-catching photo gallery, easy-to-use quick inquiry form and a new property map among others. In addition travelers are now able to add your vacation rental to their favorites and forward it to friends. That’s a whole lot of a great exposure for you!

As a result of all those changes, travelers will inquire about your property easily and immediately without having to leave the page and what is the most essential for you, new pages will help you generate quality traveler leads and get more bookings.

To take advantage of these features, don’t forget to complete your property listing page. Remember, the more details you include, the more attractive it will be in the eyes of prospective travelers. Upload unlimited pictures, add your video if you still haven’t done so and update your availability calendar.

Happy Editing,
Rentalo Team

USA Today interviews Rentalo owners

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Recently Gary Stoller from USA Today wrote an article about the vacation rental industry.  Impressed by Rentalo and its large inventory of properties and ease of use, Gary decided to use Rentalo as the starting point for his article.  He interviewed several of our property owners in order to grasp a better understanding of the industry.  Bob Singer, a Rentalo customer, goes on to say that “the internet is the only way I can make a buck”.  Singer invest most of his advertising dollars in Rentalo.com because of the great success that he has had with it over the years.   All his properties are Sponsor properties, which maximize his return on investment due to its many benefits.

To read more about the article click here

Rentalo.com in Budget Travel

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Once again Budget Travel has taken note of the incredible rates that property owners offer travelers through Rentalo.com. 

 Kudos to our property owners!

 Budget Travel is seen by millions of travelers each year and it is a great way for Rentalo to be branded among travelers.  This will also help to bring more targeted traffic directly to the site which can convert into bookings.

 The read the posting on Budget Travel click here