Vacation rentals are the most popular form of travel today among tourists. With thousands of property management companies worldwide, travelers have easy access to addresses of Airbnbs and short-term rentals of their destination. Many times fraudulent bookings occur causing a loss of profit to the property manager and damage to the property. If you are located in one of the biggest cities in the world, like London, fraudulent bookings can be a regular occurrence if you do not have the correct policies and measures in place.
With an increase in fraudulent booking and identity theft, property management companies need to take a higher precaution when booking guests. Anthony Nesgos from WinwInnKeeper , is going to explain how to avoid potential fraudulent bookings that can be placed on popular OTAs, and how to identify a fraudulent act.
1. Create policies in OTAs (Booking.com, HomeAway, Agoda etc.)
Protect you and your property. Set up policies and do not allow guests to book without submitting their credit card details especially the CVC code.
2. Be careful with Last Minute Bookings
If someone is booking last minute, you can reserve the right to refuse confirmation if the policies you have in place are not followed.
3. Secure Payment Processing
Pre-authorize all bookings and charge the submitted credit card linked with the reservation through payment processing. You can do this using Stripe, or other similar payment methods. If there is a problem with the pre-authorization or payment, the guest needs to update the card details on the OTA. If they do not do this by 6pm on the same day you can cancel the reservation.
4. Verify Guests
If the guest is successfully charged, have an automatic message scheduled to be sent to the guest and let them know that there will be a self-check-in process. Ask them to provide you with the guests’ contact info. You can then use the contact info to verify this is not a fraudulent booking.
5. Approve & Review Documents
If everything including the payment and contact info is confirmed you have no need to worry. Make sure that you have copies of your guests’ passports for security reasons and if the reservation is last minute, we suggest increasing the deposit value(which should be stated as part of your policy). If you have pictures of their documents and have increased the deposit amount it is less likely that they will misbehave and cause damage to the property.
In order for all of the above to go smoothly and have the OTAs on your side, it’s essential and imperative for you to have the right policy in place on all the OTAs.
Having Guesty as a PMS has tremendously helped us at WinwInnKeeper to keep the communication in one place and make sure that we have the information at our fingertips. Even if we are away from the office we can utilize Guesty’s staff management app to see all of the information in one place and also take photos of the guest identification for evidence and safety reasons. We have utilized Guesty to secure proper guests for our properties and as we grow we are taking advantage of all of the many features that Guesty continues to offer and develop.