Owner FAQs

Index:
Creating a Listing: Photos: Amenities: Increasing Inquiries and Bookings: Policies: Other:
Contact GreatRentals
 
Q.   "Can I make changes to my listing?"
A.   You can make changes at any time. Simply sign in to your Owner home page and click "Edit Listing". Each section of your listing is represented by the tabs across the top of the page. Remember to click "Save Changes" before leaving a tab you have updated and going to the next tab. Within one to two business days, you will see your changes appear on the live site.
 
Q.   "Can I make changes to basic page set-up?"
A.   No, our templates are set up the way they are intentionally. We hope to present each property's information in a consistent way for the ease of the traveler. Descriptions, rates, headings and photos appear in the same place for every listing, so travelers can access the info quickly and conveniently.
 
Q.   "How quickly can my listing be put online?"
A.   Once you have paid and entered the minimum required fields (noted by required), our staff will complete a review of your listing. This usually takes one to two business days, and then your listing is made live on the site.
 
Q.   "Why do some photos on the Web look excellent, while others do not?"
A.   Most owners find that the photo was poor due to diminished light or bad exposure levels. Polaroids, copies of photos, houses obscured by trees and shots taken at bad angles can all can look poor on the Web. Photos submitted from a brochure, due to the 4-color printing process, result in cross-hatching or moire patterns. In these cases, we ask that you shoot a better photo and resubmit it. Best results come from 3 1/2" x 5" or 4" x 6" 35mm photos. Sunny days with plenty of blue sky in the background are great times for taking photos. We urge owners to constantly rephotograph their rental homes. The small amount of time in taking pictures pays big dividends in number of rentals.
 
Q.   "Why does it say "Pending" on my photos?"
A.   Once you have uploaded a photo to your listing, make sure you have also transferred it from your photo library to your listing. Once you have done so, GreatRentals Support will approve your photo(s) within one to two business days. This will remove the "Pending" message and make your photo(s) live on the site. See Guide to Uploading Photos for more details.
 
Q.   "How do I change my property thumbnail photo?"
A.   Sign in to your Owner Home page and click "Edit Listing". Go to the Photos tab and scroll to the bottom of the page. (You must have at least one approved photo on your listing in order to have a thumbnail photo.) Click the small thumbnail image and a popup box will display your options. Click "choose this photo" under your choice and click "Save Changes" on the Photos tab. The photo you have chosen as your thumbnail will display on the search results page for your property.
 
Q.   "What is considered a half or a full bathroom?"
A.   On GreatRentals, half bathrooms include a toilet but no shower or bath tub. Full bathrooms include a toilet and a shower, a toilet and a bath tub, or a toilet and a combination shower/bath tub. We do not use "3/4 bathroom" as a description. Be specific when choosing a bathroom type in the Amenities section of your listing to avoid confusion with travelers. Take advantage of the bathroom notes section if you need to provide more details.
 
Q.   "Why do you ask if we have an outside shower?"
A.   The outside shower option is one that many beach houses have (for washing off sand). If your property has an outside shower, it is important to add this amenity to your listing.
 
Q.   "How can I maximize the effectiveness of my listing?"
A.   There are a number of things you can do to stimulate bookings.

1) Add more photos and/or update your photos. Using a digital camera, take updated photos of your property and the surrounding views. Properties with more photos do significantly better than properties with only a few.

2) Refine your property title and description; take advantage of all the amenities checkboxes available to better communicate what your property offers.

3) Promote a Special Offer to catch last minute travelers or to highlight your property during slow periods. To learn more, see GreatRentals’s Guide to Special Offers.

4) Increase online exposure for your property with a Featured Listing. To learn more, see GreatRentals’s Guide to Featured Listings.

5) Check your Availability Calendar. Make sure all available and booked days are marked as such. Do not leave any days marked as unknown that could be marked otherwise.

6) Keep your rental rates current and enter all rental rates at least 12 months in advance.
 
Q.   "Why am I getting plenty of calls but no bookings?"
A.   Perhaps your rental rate is too high. Compare with other owners in your area and bedroom size, just as the vacationers do. Our belief is that if you take any given ten rentals in an area, 3 will get 50% of the calls, 6 will split the remaining 50% and one will get very few. The main determinant? Price.
 
Q.   "Can I include my personal Web site as a link in my listing?"
A.   Yes, you may include a link to a personal Web site on your listing. However, the Web site must not include links to other lodging, accommodations or rental units not listed with GreatRentals. Links can only be added by GreatRentals Support, so please contact us at http://support.homeaway.com and include the URL for your personal link.
 
Q.   "Can I include a second or third rental unit on my property listing?"
A.   No. We ask that each listing advertise no more than one rental unit. This is so that travelers visiting the site can sort search results based on number of bedrooms and bathrooms and be able to accurately compare rental prices from one listing to another.
 
Q.   "Can I change my listing information to advertise a different rental property?"
A.   No. We do not permit owners to switch out their listing information for another property. This can confuse travelers who are looking for a certain property based on its listing number. To maintain consistency on the site, we ask that you purchase a new listing for each additional rental unit or property you wish to advertise.
 
Q.   "How do I move the map marker so that it accurately depicts my property’s location?"
A.   For listings where the map marker has already been placed, please contact us at http://support.homeaway.com/ for assistance. If a map has not previously been placed on your listing, sign in to your Owner Home page. Click "Edit Listing" and go to the Location tab. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click the "Click here to choose a map" link. Click your cursor where the map marker should go and finish by clicking "Save Map".
 
Q.   "I forgot my password; what should I do?"
A.   On the Owner Sign In page, click "Forgot Password". You will be asked to enter your e-mail address so that we may send your information.
 
Q.   "What should I know about vacation rental sales tax?"
A.   Start by contacting your city, county and state governments about requirements specific to your location. Ask about registering your property. Which governmental entities require registration for your area? Ask how much sales tax you should collect and how often these payments are due to the authorities. Generally, these taxes range from 5% to 15% tax on the total rent charges.

GreatRentals has partnered with HotSpot Sales Tax Services, a company solely dedicated to helping vacation property owners with tax compliance. Visit www.hotspottax.com for more information.
 
Q.   "How is search results order determined?"
A.   In no particular order, the primary factors that influence the order of search results are:
  • Updated Calendars: Users prefer listings with calendars that are kept up to date.
  • Number of Photos: Users prefer listings with more photographs. HomeAway Network subscribers have the opportunity to include all 12 photos at no additional charge.
  • Special Offers: Listings which are running a current Special Offer provide additional benefits to renters.
  • Structured Rates: Users prefer complete, detailed information about the rental rates of properties they are considering. Use the rental rates table provided on your listing.
 
Q.   "How can I get through to a real person?"
A.   Contact us at http://support.homeaway.com.