Can You Trust What You See/Read When Choosing a Vacation Rental Property?
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
I recently had a poor experience renting an AirBNB property and it made me stop and think about the expectations my guests have when they rent CeCe’s Beach House.
We rented a property in Philadelphia that had 30+ 5* reviews and beautiful pictures highlighting the features of the property. Every message I received from the “owner”was automated so I suspected it belonged to a professional management group rather than an individual. I read the reviews, I studied the description and pictures, I thought I knew what I was getting. I didn’t. The listing described three beds, one queen, one full, and one twin. It did not mention that the queen and twin were on platforms and only the full bed was at ground level. Nor did it mention there was no room for suitcases in the bedroom, no TV in the unit, or that the light bulbs in the hall and bedroom were burned out. When I complained about the light bulbs in response to their automated welcome message they did not reply. When I complained after our stay, again, no acknowledgement of my complaint, only a request to write a review. I didn’t. There is so much pressure by the major listing sites to have all 5* reviews on your property that you drop to the very bottom of the listings, sometimes on the 30th or 40th page of listings with one poor review, never to be seen or booked again!
This is just not fair to owners or guests! What one guest thinks is a five star experience is another guest’s 3*. About the best we can do as owners is try to depict our property honestly. I will admit, I do not have pictures of my third bathroom on my websites because it badly needs an upgrade (which it is getting this month👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻.) And, my pictures are of beautiful beach days because no one wants to take pictures of the ugly ones ( and you very well might experience one of those!).
So, my best advise to those considering a vacation rental property is read between the lines of the description. A TV was not listed as an amenity on our poor experience rental but I just assumed it would have one—my mistake. Renting a vacation property is an investment. Most people I know have a limited number of vacation days and they want to make the most of them. When you stay in a hotel be it the Hilton or Days Inn, you generally know what to expect but with vacation rental properties there are no standards and, unfortunately, you can not depend on the reviews being honest. Do not hesitate to call the owner or manager and ask questions! The better informed you are, the more realistic your expectations will be and the greater chance that you will have a terrific vacation! And, don’t forget to consider CeCe’s Beach House! 😉. I promise to honestly answer your questions and concerns because making sure you know what to expect is paramount to you enjoying your vacation.