Booking vacation rentals directly from an owner via directories and various rent-by-owner websites has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. And while this provides prospective customers with perceived savings and more options than ever before, the potential savings are not without risk. Uncertainty that accompanies renting from an owner can end up spoiling, if not drastically ruining entire vacations. Professionally managed vacation rentals come with a promise that a guest’s hard-earned vacation won’t be hindered by unforeseen mishaps like appliance failures, ceiling leaks, bed bugs, dirty linens or shabby furniture. Professional managers, like Park City Lodging, Inc. are trained to rectify these situations quickly, where as a private owner can take hours or days to resolve their guest’s problems, if at all.
A guest of a rental-by-owner in Silverado, California shared her story with us. “Our group booked a 4-bedroom home from someone we thought to be a reputable management company. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the property’s hot tub, although advertised on the website, had not been maintained at all and looked like it was filled with green slime. There was leftover food in the fridge with a note that read ‘help yourself but stay out of the freezer.’ I called the maintenance number given at check-in to ask for the spa to be drained and cleaned. The owner of the property returned my call three hours later and proceeded to give me instructions on how to drain the hot tub, stating that he was a few hours away and really didn’t want to come out on a Friday. i handed the phone over to my husband, knowing nothing about hot tubs, and after about a minute into the conversation I heard my husband angrily retort ‘Hey! I weigh 250 pounds and I am not climbing down that hill!’ The owner reluctantly agreed to come out. We left for dinner later that evening and upon our return found a note from the owner asking us not to use the decorative towels hanging in the bathroom. What!?! His note also reminded us to stay out of the freezer and to be sure to strip the beds, take out the garbage and broom-clean the home. What a joke! This was never represented to us prior to renting. I learned my lesson, though. I’ll be sure never to rent from a private owner again.”
Not only do vacation-goers risk inconveniences like green hot tubs and slow response time when renting from a non-accredited source, but they also run the risk of being duped into renting fraudulent properties. The recent explosion of scammers and hackers in the vacation rental industry has caused professional companies to respond by ramping up efforts to ensure guests staying in their properties feel secure and pampered from the time a reservation is made until the guests check out. We offer legitimate reservation booking services and trip insurance over the phone and online, and rental and refund policies are made very clear. When renting through a professional company guests are reassured that their hard-earned dollars are going to a credible source and that damage deposits will be refunded, a major hazard encountered by guests who have rented directly from “owners” through inscrutable and unregulated websites.
“Having been in the lodging industry for 30 years, it’s important to recognize and realize that our guests have chosen to spend their vacation with us, often times planned a year in advance, and it is our duty to ensure their vacation is everything they imagine it will be,” says Rhonda Sideris, owner of Park City Lodging, Inc.
The difference between an amateur and a professional should not be overlooked. It can mean the difference between a vacation of a lifetime and a disaster waiting to happen. “In the hospitality industry, our occupations revolve around service and making sure guests have the best possible vacation. This is our number one priority, and not just a side-project for someone with a second home in a tourist destination, says Jaclyn Buckingham, marketing director at Park City Lodging, Inc. We do everything they can to ensure that guests want to come back to our company every year to book lodging in Park City. If there is a problem, guests can rest assured that we will make it right. We have assistance available 24/7 and will respond quickly to both inquiries and emergencies. In the rare event in which a guest must be relocated, a professional company has the ability to make that happen with little disruption to the guest’s vacation.
We also offer personalized concierge services, housekeeping and other amenities. If a guests wants restaurant recommendations or reservations, transportation to and from the airport, babysitting services, grocery delivery, etc. they have access to our knowledgeable reservation and concierge personnel who are trained specifically to help with every vacation need. The value we give to guests in unmatched, and we make it our priority to see that visitors will return again and again by exceeding your expectations.