Vacation Rental Advertising - The Good, The Bad and the Outright ScamsAdvertising vacation rentals across the nation has changed to the property owner's advantage. Five years ago, property owners depended on their local newspaper to advertise their vacation rentals. Newspapers charged anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 to run a three-line cram-it-in ad for 30 days as a classified listing ($1200 per year). The reach was limited to the amount of papers that were printed and read on any particular day. Compare that to today's global reach and on-demand access to rental listings on the World Wide Web.
This is great news for owners wishing to advertise to the far corners of the earth. Travelers from around the world now have the ability to view listings on thousands of advertising sites with relative ease. There are risks, though: RENTER BEWARE! That vacation rental you have selected in New York, Utah or Lake Tahoe may be an empty lot upon your family's arrival at 9:30 pm after a day of traveling.
Travelers are beginning to become keen to the fact vacation rentals are a popular choice when traveling with the family, but checking to see if that perfect getaway is verified is an often overlooked step. Anyone from Hong Kong to the Idaho can post a listing for a vacation rental on the internet. Simply log on to the internet, pay your $100.00 to post your listing on a popular rental site, and field the inquiries as they arrive in your inbox. Not getting enough inquiries? Lower the price and add a few more pictures. Owners know this all too well and unfortunately so to the scammers.
Most vacation rental websites do not verify their listings. It is up to the consumer to assume the risk and do their own due diligence. Scammers are good at what they do and here is why: They spend hours scouring these properties on these listing sites to learn how to create a good attractive listing, often simply cutting and pasting from other ads to create a great presentation of a non-existent property. One vacation rentals site that offers verified vacation rentals for booking is www.reservemyhome.com/
Just looking at some these listings, even the most experienced agents would have no clue whether or not the home, condo, chalet or cottage is legitimate until it's too late. The renter has mailed the check or used an online means for payment and the money is transferred to a corner of the world we did not know existed. The email account is closed and the chase across the border will end right there.
As the vacation rental market expands by leaps and bounds, so are vacation rental listing scams. Without some due diligence, your perfect family vacation could end before it even starts.
How do you protect yourself from vacation rental scammers? Obviously, be very careful before you send your hard-earned money to a listing on a vacation rentals website. Be patient, plan ahead - it might take some time and some communication exchanges before you find the place you're looking for. Find out who the listing belongs to! If it sounds too good to be true, or if you just have a feeling that something isn't right - stop right there and ask for proof of ownership and that the house you're viewing on your computer screen actually exists.