Avoiding short term rental scams is more important than every before, which is why you need to be extra careful when selecting any holiday rental listing site. Whether you are new to short term rental or you have been in this business a while, listing sites play an important role in your marketing efforts. While some listing sites such as Airbnb are safe to use, others may not be quite as safe.
Avoid These Holiday Rental Listing Site Warning Signs
Some of the top signs that a holiday rental listing website may not be legit include the following:
- Listing sites that have no track record or history. Very very wary of brand new sites that do not have any sort of history at all. While everyone has to start somewhere, a very new listing site that does not have any way for you to check its history could be a scam. A number of new sites are also fly by night, launching suddenly to great fanfare, before vanishing into thin air. If you cannot see testimonials or get a sense that the site has a real presence online, be very cautious of accepting bookings or payments through the system.
- Listing sites that charge a high rate to list your property. In an ideal world, all booking sites would be free. Some may charge a commission or a membership fee, but you should never be paying a fortune to list your property. If you are being asked to pay to list, make sure that you know exactly what is being offered. If it gives you access to exclusive features, it may be worthwhile. If, on the other hand, you have to pay a large amount even without confirmed bookings, it may be a scam. Or, at the very least, it won’t be feasible to list if you can’t afford to fork out high rates.
- Listing sites with no contact information provided. You should always be able to find contact information for any site you are listing on – whether it is the accounts department or a general point of contact. If you cannot reach the site, what would happen in the case of a dispute? How would you reach the site if you have a problem guest who has not paid, or if there are issues or listing mistakes that cannot be solved in your dashboard?
- Listing sites that have a lot of spelling and grammar errors. It can be very hard to spot a legitimate listing site from a scam site that is designed to take people’s money. Both rental owners and guests are at risk from scam sites. If the site seems to be poorly written, with errors that you would not expect to see on a supposedly high quality site, be very careful. Sometimes fake sites are copied from legal sites in a mirror that can capture credit card information.
- Listing sites that offer guests rates that are far below average. If you have a look at the listings, and notice that rates seem to be far beyond average, you should also approach the site with caution. Mirror sites often appear to offer guests a great deal to lure them in to making a payment. You should always have full control over your rates to ensure that you do not have to lose out on fake listing sites.
As a trusted, reputable short term rental management company based in Cape Town, Totalstay offers a full service approach to holiday rental management that includes everything from booking management to active marketing, day to day management and guest concierge. Contact us today to learn more about getting started with a holiday rental manager that handles everything from holiday rental listing to on site management.