Backup Email now available on Rentalo!

January 11th, 2012

Backup Email now available on Rentalo!

We know how important is for you to receive inquiry alerts from travelers.  Please take a moment to add a backup email to your account with us. We recommend you do this as a safeguard to protect yourself against potential email malfunctions, delays, and interruptions on your current email provider for (email).

Why is this important? Recently we received communication from one of the largest email providers saying “we will deliver enough of your emails, but we cannot guarantee that all your emails will be delivered.”  Well, in our opinion, ‘enough’ is not acceptable!, as you (our client) need to receive all our emails from potential guests, not just ‘enough’.

To help resolve these recurrent email problems, we created a backup email facility to be able to send duplicate emails.  Simply sign-in, and click the ‘Contact and Sign In Info’ link to add your backup email.  While you are here, you may also update your profile, upload photo, add multiple phone numbers, and even enable text messaging to your cell!

Happy new year!

Your friends at
RENTalo.com

p.s., if you don’t have an alternate email yet, we recommend you register for a free one at Gmail.com or Hotmail.com.  In our experience, these are the among the more reliable email service providers.

How to Use Rentalo’s New Multilingual Messaging Platform to Negotiating with Travelers

December 21st, 2011




 Below are some tips and recommendations when using Rentalo's new messaging platform for negotiating with travelers:

Sending Offers - Please make sure that the 'Offer Price' is for the entire stay requested by the traveler.  We often see owners submitting nightly rates, instead of a quote for the requested dates.
Sending Messages - Travelers expect offers from property managers, therefore, please try sending them offers as soon as possible.  If your property if booked, and you receive an inquiry alert for your property listing, then it is okay to reply with a 'sorry, we are booked' message.  However, if you receive an inquiry alert for the location of your property, then please do not reply with the 'sorry, we are booked' message.  Travelers sending destination-based inquiries are only interested in offers. 
Negotiating with Travelers - Our messaging platform is a great tool for negotiating with travelers.  You can send unlimited messages back and forth until you both agree to the terms. You can also take advantage of our multilingual feature to communicate with potential guests in other languages.

How to handle booking requests -  Travelers can also send 'booking requests' when they are ready to book a listing.  Owners should try to contact these travelers as soon as possible to secure the bookings.  Optionally, you may turn Rentalo's EzBookMe feature to let Rentalo collect the booking fees from the travelers.  To learn more about this feature, please click the 'EzBOokMe' tab when signed in to your account.

Free listings (or expired listings) – If you have a free listing with us, you can still send offers and messages to  travelers via Rentalo’s messaging platform, however, it’s very important to follow our ‘no direct contact’ rules when sending messages and offers to travelers.  Using  Rentalo’s messaging platform you will be able to receive booking requests from travelers, prior to choosing a paid subscription or renewing your listing.  There is no need for you to communicate outside of Rentalo to secure your first booking.  During your ‘free’ listing period, please focus on sending offers to travelers and familiarize yourself with Rentalo’s service.  We are confident that you will soon get a booking request and upgrade your listing to a paid listing subscription to enjoy the following key benefits:

  • - Unlimited private and destination lead alerts
  • - Unlimited bookings
  • - Unrestricted communications with potential guests
  • - Full web page ad with unlimited photos, video, map, and much more!
  • For additional information and FAQs on our Messaging platform, please read FAQs

    Important Changes to Owner’s Sign-in & Contact Information

    November 28th, 2011
    
    RENTalo has made some important upgrades and changes to our owner’s sign-in and contact information page.
    
    
    
    
    Backup Email - We have added a backup email address.  This new feature will allow owners to receive duplicate RENTalo’s emails to ensure delivery of traveler’s inquiries and avoid intermittent spam-related issues with some Email Service Providers (ESPs).
    
    
    
    Additional land-line telephone numbers, mobile, and fax fields – According to directory stats, a significant percent of the online reservations are completed via phone.  We added a secondary telephone field, one field for a mobile number, and a fax number.  As part of the mobile number, we added a check box to enable you to receive text messages from travelers.  You will also find a new box to add your fax number.
    
    
    
    Upload Photo & Tell Us About You Text Box – Now you can upload a personal photo or business logo.  We've also added the "Tell us about you" text box.  Here you can add some additional information about yourself and/or your business.  The more information our owners can provide about themselves and their businesses, the better travelers will feel about  booking their properties.
    
    
    
    Payment Methods (only required for owners activating our ezBookMe feature) – There are some options available for owners to receive their reservation payments from RENTalo; Paypal, Bank checks, and ACH direct deposits.
    
    
    
    Please take a few minutes to review and update your profile.  This is a very critical milestone in ensuring that potential guests have easy access to you, as well as some relevant information about you and/or your business.
    

    Taking Advantage of Rentalo’s Mobile Apps

    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
    
    

    Introducing EZ BookMe to Owners

    September 1st, 2011
    
    
    EZ BookMe is an intuitive, multi-lingual, message-based online booking facility for travelers and property owners.  EZ BookMe streamlines the booking process via an intuitive and friendly messaging service that allows travelers and owners to easily communicate back and forth prior to booking.  Owners can post unlimited number of offers or quotes during negotiations with potential guests via RENTalo. When ready, travelers can book online securely and receive the value-added of a $5,000 anti-fraud lodging protection; a guarantee designed to protect travelers booking a property via RENTalo from possible scams or frauds.  Owners receive full rental booking payments within 3 business days from traveler’s arrival dates, saving 100% of credit cards and merchant fees.
    
    
    “Our mission for the past 12 years serving the travel lodging  industry has been to facilitate transactions between travelers and  property owners.  EZ BookMe is a powerful and easy to use booking  platform designed to help property owners and travelers to do business  online” says Alfredo Purrinos, former NASA engineer and CEO/founder of RENTalo.com.
    
    
    
    
    By activating EZ BookMe, property owners benefit from more online bookings by allowing travelers to book online, while retaining the “final say” for confirming reservations and/or doing pre-screening on their potential guests prior to accepting reservations.  Property owners can also save on per-booking credit card fees and monthly merchant service fees.  There are no setup fees and no transaction fees for owners, and only a 10% service fee charged to travelers who also receive $5,000 anti-fraud lodging protection guarantee.
    
    
    
    
    - To learn more about EZ BookMe, please see EZ BookME faqs 
    
    
    
    
    - Read article: Introducing EZ BookME to Travelers
    
    
    
    
    - Read press release & watch intro video

    List of Scam-related Email Addresses

    September 1st, 2011

    Below is a list of emails that have been connected to scam activities, or unverified listing postings or payments in Rentalo.com. We post this information with the intention to help our community of travelers and property owners avoid or stop future scams.
    If you recognize any of these emails, we suggest that you pay special attention to our tips for avoiding scams.

    marshalldavisrentals@netzero.com
    john.borucki50@yahoo.com
    wllsrob9@hotmail.com
    williambreits@aol.com
    rchprytula@yahoo.ca
    info@crystalcityrentals.com
    jmodell8@aol.com
    newsmyrnabeach10@aol.com
    eliapts@aol.com
    marksongood@aol.com
    Augusto_tromben@yahoo.com
    iplatzky@yahoo.com
    info@nautilusresidencial.net
    craigmeyervrentals@live.com
    janehomes06@yahoo.com
    borrishill@gmail.com
    tchristel@bebtorre.com
    hmrvc9@live.com
    salvatore_raffelo@mail.com
    mike_gibbs@accountant.com
    ratnerron@aol.com
    destinwaterfront@att.net
    nyreserves@aol.com
    twobedroomflats@gmail.com
    rolandrents@yahoo.co.uk
    destinsearentalss@gmail.com
    nicholas.welling@live.com
    myrtlebeachblvdrentals@gmail.com
    harrywillet@gmail.com
    cozyheartpla@hotmail.com
    mwseal@live.com
    bettyjbrogdon@yahoo.com
    nicholas.welling@yahoo.com
    richstay@live.com
    vacationrental.barber@gmail.com
    plantationstyle009@gmail.com
    Bmiami20@yahoo.com
    georgi1atanasov1@gmail.com
    mevra71@msn.com
    anthony.magnoli@hotmail.com
    andy.properties40@yahoo.com
    orlandolakesvacations@hotmail.com
    DavidMckinneyVacationApartment@consultant.com
    simplesmiles116@gmail.com
    robertandersonrentals@gmail.com
    hbsj1145@gmail.com
    jeffers.landrup@yahoo.com
    d_apartment@aol.com
    swingaspls@yahoo.com
    chepe2468@yahoo.com
    davidlan31@hotmail.com
    harrison_powell2009@hotmail.co.uk
    oceanwblvdrental@netzero.net
    pierrehomevacation@yahoo.com
    lesley3000@nyhabibtant.us
    davidorr@hotmail.com
    divinechoice61@live.com
    cdapartment11@gmail.com
    homerentals1314@gmail.com

    Please feel free to bookmark this page (Crtl-Shift-B). We will continue to post scam related emails in the future.

    Also, refer to List of Scam-related Telephone Numbers

    RENTalo Team

    P.s. If your email is showing in this list, please contact us.

    List of Scam-related Telephone Numbers

    September 1st, 2011

    Below is a list of telephone numbers that have been connected to scam activities, or unverified listing postings or payments in Rentalo.com
    We post this information with the main intention to help our community of travelers and property owners avoid or stop future scams.
    If you recognize any of these numbers, we suggest that you pay special attention to our tips for avoiding scams.

    2063509757
    3478093313
    5166921981
    5616355701
    7863295532
    9402382563
    12062022158
    12392475632
    13053969093
    13054248871
    13236524315
    13472931796
    13863084263
    14156895763
    16032670617
    16467559772
    17084434839
    17186184809
    17898890011
    18434915806
    19173025706
    19208542633
    114042469939
    343216974175
    393483410364
    447024055507
    447024072234
    447035988259
    4401484662583
    4470240687517020000000
    44 0207 286 63333372 or 0-753-124-9930
    +44 208 133 4679
    011-31-642-688-884
    011-49-162-4262-712
    100-341-4356
    1-116-084-69001
    1-138-647-84126
    1-201-654-4347
    1206250-8543
    1209-386-8155
    1-209-730-6639
    1305-457-6712
    1305647-4712
    1-340-643-3705
    1-386-478-4098
    386-478-7741
    1-443-552-0784
    1-456-745-8459
    1786378-9655
    1818-287-8460
    1829-571-0310
    1-843-224-7343
    1850502-2129
    1-850-588-1546
    1-850-588-4633
    1-908-955-0838
    1917725-5036
    203-111-23245
    234-813-4514963
    303-838-7653
    321-332-7456
    352-503-4630
    786-468-7545
    361-516-0731
    415-617-5728
    44-798-219-0751
    504-400-1066
    520 336 9516
    561-574-5009
    575-770-0918, or 0868
    646-820-4358

    7862176747
    800-707-2137
    510 689 1744
    829-461-3393
    849-290-2956
    843-445-5936
    850-225-7951
    907-279-3264
    (907) 770-2380
    (888) 375-5569
    907-895-1884
    925-708-4952
    941-358-9916
    954-639-6199
    13475578144

    We will continue to update this page with new scam related phone numbers as we become aware.
    Please feel free to bookmark this page (Crtl-Shift-B).

    Also, please refer to List of Scam-related Email Addresses.

    RENTalo.com Anti-Scam Team

    P.s. If your telephone is showing in this list, please contact us.

    Prevent Vacation Rental Scams

    August 10th, 2011
    
    
    It is not a secret that 99.99% vacation rental owners and managers are some of the  most honest and friendly people you will ever do business with.  That said, as  in any industry, you will find that 0.01% of unethical people (i.e. scam artists) affect everyone's reputation.  In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission reported 18,836 fraud incidents  involving travel, vacations, and timeshares.  It's  also known that the actual number of fraud incidents could be 99% higher than those reported.
    
    
    
    
    The first step in fighting scams is learning what it is and how they work.  Below we attempt to answer these basic questions in order to better equip vacation rental  property owners to fight this disease that it is affecting us all.
    
    
    
    
    How scams occur?
    
    
    
    
    Some scams occur when travelers are asked to send money upfront to illegitimate owners.  Money means any form of cash such as wire transfers, checks, money grams, etc. Upfront means before arriving at the property. In the vacation rental industry, many owners require travelers to pay a security deposit or partial rental payment at the time of the reservation and/or before arrival, in order to secure the place. This particular feature is the main reason scam artists are attracted to this industry since they know that travelers are expected to pay some money prior to arriving.
    
    
    
    
    Other scams occur via cashier checks sent by illegitimate "travelers" who send over payments.  These scam artists take advantage of the delays required by banks to steal from owners by asking them to wire the difference back (e.g. Opss! I made a mistake and sent you more money, please wire the difference back).  Then, by the time the owners get notified by their banks that the checks are  no good, it's usually too late to stop the wire transfers.
    
    
    
    
    What can owners do to prevent scams? 
    
    
    
    
    As a reputable vacation rental or hospitality business, it is your responsibility to understand how these scam artists operate so you can help fight against these practices.  Below are some tips to help fight scams:
    
    
    
    
  • - Report possible scams.  Keep in mind that the same people who are posting fake properties are also doing check scams.  As a property owner, you will get inquiries from scam artists trying to to send you counterfeit checks.   Please forward to abuse@rentalo.com any suspicious inquiry so our team and look further into it.
  • - When possible, suggest your first time clients to register their booking in Rentalo in order to receive a $5,000 anti-scam protection.  This program is absolutely free for travelers and sponsored by Rentalo to help owners overcome fearful travelers.
  • - If possible, comply with the reservations and cancellation policies used by most hotels.  Most hotels require a credit card authorization at the time of the reservation, and have a 1-day cancellation policy.
  • - If you require some form of upfront payment, comply with the anti-scam recommendations by not accepting wire transfers from travelers, specially if they are first time clients. Instead, accept credit cards, PayPal, or any other secure payment method that protect both your clients and you.
  • 
    
    Also check these scam related videos:
    
    
    
  • - Top 10 online scams - Anatomy of a scam
  • - Watch a craigslist rental scam
  • - Rental Scams On the Rise - Check scam warning video
  • Are you Covered?

    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

    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.