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Homeowner: Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs

 

General Information

How can you help me market and manage my rental home?

Help & Info Page: After logging in to your Homeowner Center, click on the “Help & Info” tab, where you will find a number of helpful links including advice about creating an effective listing, making use of the site’s features, extra marketing tips, management techniques, etc.

Homeowner Blog: Our Homeowner Blog provides detailed advice about every aspect of marketing and managing a vacation rental home on the Cape and Islands. The blog is searchable by key words. You can access it anytime from your Homeowner Center or the Help & Info page, or you can subscribe to the blog by email in order to receive automatic notices of new posts. And, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, let us know! We’re always looking for new topics to address.

Newsletters: Our monthly newsletters offer market insight and tips on how to maximize your exposure and results on WeNeedaVacation.com. Articles provide timely information throughout the year and links to some of our recent blog posts. See past newsletters.

Homeowner Consulting Services: In addition to our personalized customer service, our professional staff can provide in-depth, one-on-one assistance. The cost for the services is $40/half hour. To schedule a consultation, email us. See more info.

What are your photography, video, and consultation services?

We offer three services to help you face the challenges of renting your home. Our photography service includes an on-site visit by our staff photographer, who will bring props and special lighting and will take numerous photos of the interior and exterior of your home, as well as the nearby beach. We will offer recommendations for new pictures and more descriptive captions. We can also create a video for you and set it to music.

Our on-site consultation service includes a visit to your home by our consultant. She will tour your home with you, giving you on-the-spot recommendations. She will follow up the visit with a full report of suggestions to improve your listing and a price comparison analysis. More info.

Do you offer a guarantee?

If your initial listing with us results in no bookings, your subscription will be extended at no charge for the same length of time as your original, paid listing. More info.

Do you offer a refund for time not used?

We do not issue refunds for unused time. We offer flexible (3-month, 6-month, 1-year and 2-year) subscription plans to meet your short-term needs.

  How does the “Refer-a-Friend” program work?

For each lister you refer to us, we will gratefully add two months to your subscription if you are a 1- or 2-year subscriber, or one month if you are a 6-month subscriber. It’s that simple. Be sure to tell friends to mention your name on the sign-up form in response to the question, “Who referred you?” Note: Home Services and Vacation Planner business listing referrals count, too.

How many rentals can I include in my listing?

Each listing may make reference to only one rental unit. The description and photos must be of one particular unit.

Do you offer discounts for multiple property listings?

We offer attractive discounts on our multiple property fixed plans. Our main requirements are that they include at least 3 properties, that the listings start and end on the same dates, and that the plan run for a minimum of 6 months. For full details, see Multiple Property Fixed Plans.

Can I change my listing to advertise a different property?

Please do not change an existing listing to advertise a different property. Instead, create a new listing. See “How do I add another listing?” below.

How do I add another listing?

To add another listing, log on to your Homeowner Center and click on the tab “Add a new listing.” This way, you will have only one username and password and can manage all of your listings through one account.

What are the advantages of advertising year round?

Even if you rent your home for only the summer weeks, it’s important to know that vacationers are looking for rentals year round. Here are the most important reasons to advertise year round:

    Early bookings bring top dollar at your asking price. Your competition is being seen 365 days a year. An annual listing is the most cost effective plan.

See more info.

What are the terms and conditions of membership?

Our terms and conditions are set forth in our Homeowner Agreement.

How does the Power Search work?

When doing a Power Search, vacationers select a location, choosing a broad or specific area. Then they select the size of the rental, a maximum price to pay, and dates of their vacation. For weekly rentals, they can choose up to four starting dates, and they can even select a specific day of the week to start. Finally, they choose their amenities, such as Internet, cable TV, handicap accessibility, pets considered, and distance to beach. Using these criteria, the search will return a list of the available properties that meet their needs. They can view the results in a list or on a map (with nearby beaches plotted as well).

What is MyVacations?

MyVacations provides vacationer visitors to WeNeedaVacation.com with the ability to save a particular search, and the results of the search, for later review or to share with family and friends. They can come back at a later time and rerun the search to see if any newly listed properties meet their requirements. They can make notes and rate the properties as they narrow down their choices prior to booking a rental.

Because vacationers can save their search results, there is a better chance that a suitable property will be remembered if the visitor is not ready to make a commitment.

Can I create a link to my personal website from my WeNeedaVacation.com listing?

You may include a link on your listing to your personal website but only if the website is dedicated exclusively to the property or properties listed on our site. If your personal website advertises multiple properties, they all must also be listed on our site. (See more information on multiple property fixed plans.)

To add the link on your property listing, click on the “Contact Info” tab in your Homeowner Center, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter the website url in the appropriate field. Once you have clicked the “Submit change” button, please let us know, and we will activate the link.

  Do you have a directory of long-term winter rentals?

Yes, the long-term rental feature promotes off-season rentals for a month or longer. A link on the home page leads interested parties to a property directory of these homes. See the Long-term Rental Directory.

To add your home to the directory, log in to your Homeowner Center and select the “Description, amenities, and map options” link. Scroll down to the “Long-term rentals” field, and enter the months available, monthly price or price range, and any other relevant information. For example, “October to May for $1000-1300 a month, depending on party size and length of stay. Utilities not included.” Be sure that the information on your calendar is consistent with what you enter into this field.

Note: Renting your home for months at a time can be riskier than renting for just a week. See our blog post “Long-term Winter Rentals.”

When you find a long-term renter, please be sure to go back onto your listing and delete the information about long-term rentals. This will remove your listing from the directory.

How do I contact WeNeedaVacation.com?

Full contact information can be found on our contact us page.

We welcome your suggestions and ideas!

Joan and Jeff Talmadge, Owners
WeNeedaVacation.com

 

Creating and Maintaining Your Listing

How do I modify my listing?

    Log in to your Homeowner Center, and you will find links to every maintenance choice you might need in the section labeled “Manage Listing” You can: Modify your property information by clicking the “Description, amenities, and map options” link. Update your pricing and availability by clicking the “Calendar and pricing” link. Make changes to your pictures or their captions by clicking the “Picture Central” link. Enter a Homeowner Entered guest review or use the Request Form feature to solicit feedback from past tenants by clicking the Guest Reviews link.

How do I renew my listing?

We will email you an invoice a month or so before your listing’s expiration date. You may pay online by credit card or PayPal, or by mailing us a check. Note: If you have fewer than the 10 pictures included in each subscription, upload your remaining pictures through Picture Central. Or, if you have new pictures, feel free to upload replacement pictures. If you are reducing the number of pictures, please call or email us to identify which ones you would like removed (pictures can only be removed from our end).

If your listing has been inactive for a while, you must update your pricing and availability as well as your property information (including any new amenities).

Upon renewal, it is important to review and update your contact information. If you do not renew, we will retain all of your contact and property information for easy reactivation at a later time.

Renewing your expired listing? Don’t start over!

If you are renewing your expired listing, please keep your same property ID, and do not create a new listing! All expired listings remain just as they were when last active, so all you need to do is log in and update any information as needed per above.

Why is it important to keep my calendar up to date?

Once you have set up the calendar, you need to keep this information current. Nothing frustrates vacationers more than to get their hopes up over your “available” dream house only to find that it has been taken.

The date that you last updated your calendar is published on your listing. Even if your booking status has not changed, you can easily click the “Update Date Stamp” button at the top of your calendar page.

Vacationers can choose to see their search results according to the date when the calendars were last updated. They are likely to request this sort order as the summer season approaches, so keeping your calendar up to date will help keep your listing towards the top of the search results.

What is the pricing and availability audit?

The pricing and availability audit is designed to advise you about any missing information or discrepancies on your calendar. To see your audit, log in to your Homeowner Center and click the link “Pricing and availability audit.” In addition to any updates needed, the audit will alert you to any missing or inconsistent information (e.g., if you have a daily price that’s the same as a weekly price, or if you indicate that you rent off season by the day but have provided no daily pricing).

How do I submit or change pictures?

You may upload new or replacement photos at any time through “Picture Central,” which is a link in your Homeowner Center. You may also rearrange the order of your photos or edit their captions. See complete instructions on using Picture Central.

How can videos help me in my advertising?

A video can add a new and important dimension to your listing by bringing your property to life. It can evoke an emotional reaction and allow vacationers to experience more of what your property has to offer. Learn more about videos. We do not charge extra for you to post a video.

How do vacationers contact me?

Vacationers may choose to contact you by phone or by email. Vacationers often inquire about several properties simultaneously, so you should faithfully check your email and respond promptly to inquiries. If you don’t, others probably will! Our system passes on to you as much information as the vacationer gives us in order to save you time and to give you as much information about your prospective tenants as possible before you respond to them.

The emails you receive come to you through our service. Our automatic email feature makes it easier both for you, who receive the detailed email with all the criteria that the vacationer provided to us, and for the vacationers, who often send several emails at once. This way we are able to retain records of the inquiries for you, and your email address is not made public until you choose to respond to a specific inquirer.

For your convenience, you can see all of the email inquiries you have received by clicking on the link “Email inquiry history” in your Homeowner Center. By changing the date at the top of the list, you can see every email you have ever received since you first listed your home on the site.

How do I change my contact information?

You may change your contact information directly online in your Homeowner Center. Click on the “Contact Info” tab, and make the changes. Be sure to scroll to the bottom and click “Submit” to save all changes.

You can change the name, phone numbers, or email addresses to whom you would like your inquiries sent. You can also change your username and/or password. If you add or change a URL to a personal website, you must email us to approve your link in order for it to go live on your listing.

What is Booking Management?

Booking Management provides an easy and efficient way to file, manage, and track all of your bookings each season. After entering your bookings, you can view at a glance which weeks are booked, by whom, and at what price. You can also track all of your booking documents and receive weekly Booking Management Update emails or Overdue Booking Item Alerts if a booking tracking item is overdue. See more info.

What are Owner Specials?

The Owner Special is a free feature intended to highlight a price reduction, special weekend rate, cancellation, or special offer. An Owner Special is displayed in the property directory, on the property summary list from a search, and on the listing itself. You must use a calendar and keep it up to date in order to post an Owner Special on your listing.

To add an Owner Special to your listing, log on to your Homeowner Center and click on the “Owner Special” link. See more info.

What are Last-Minute Availability Alerts?

A Last-Minute Availability Alert is a paid feature used to highlight an available week within the next four weeks. Purchasing an Alert increases your listing’s exposure by featuring it on a separate Last-Minute Availability and Deals page. See more info and price.

How do I add guest reviews?

By clicking on the “Guest Review” link in your Homeowner Center, you can use the Request Form to solicit reviews from your tenants. These vacationer-entered reviews will be posted on your listing along with star ratings. Alternatively, you can enter reviews on behalf of your tenants by clicking on the “Enter new guest review” link to post comments taken from notes, emails, or a guest book. These reviews will be posted as “homeowner entered” and will not have a star rating. See more info.

What is the zoom function on my listing’s Google map?

Vacationers can choose to view the results of their Power Search as pinpoints on a map. They can zoom in and out of any area (from the entire region to within a few blocks), viewing each listing relative to such landmarks as the beaches, the center of town, or other points of interest to them. If you have enabled the zoom function, the pin for your listing will continue to appear even when the map is zoomed in closely. If you would prefer not to disclose the exact location of your home, however, disabling the zoom capability will cause your listing to disappear from vacationers’ search results when they zoom in at a close level. See more info.

How can I find or reset my hit count?

Your “hit count” is the number of times your property has been viewed since it was first listed, or since you last reset the counter. Many owners reset their hit counter at the beginning of a new rental season.

To see the count, log on to your Homeowner Center. To reset it, click on the “Reset it” button.

What are your Homeowner Forums?

Every fall we host complimentary Homeowner Forums. The Forums are a wonderful opportunity for you to meet with other homeowners and our staff, engage in lively conversation concerning the vacation rental market, and share ideas.