The use of what is known as 'Platforms' is one of the ways that Technology solves problems on many aspects of our everyday lives.
Your mobile phone is working on a platform; the platform interacts between you and the mobile phone to make you collaborate together nicely so that you can use it with ease - iPhone has a very user friendly platform making the use of the phone a breeze for many everyday jobs that otherwise are difficult to organize and keep together.
The same happens with Windows Operating System for PCs. It is very ease to work on your computer because the platform-Windows in this case-makes it simle to do so
The ‘Platform’ concept is seeing a very big expansion into other uses of everyday work, simply because Technology penetrates deeper on important tasks in our lives, for many reasons, from Advertising (Google Adwords) to Entertainment (Nintendo Wii) and Surgery (Da Vinci Robots). It appears that all this ‘Platform’ expansion gets a big helping hand from the Web too, enhancing the use of Technology further in order to make difficult and repetitive tasks less complicated , and by spreading the word around quicker about their existence.
So in order to try and alleviate most of our day-to-day hassles in Vacation Rentals, we will need one such ‘platform’ to work for us and:
-Save information on property and the availability of bookings in aarea that we can access quickly and easily. The amendment of this information should take place in minutes anytime during the day or night every day of the week, and the updated information must appear to others immediately. By ‘Information’ we mean our property description, photographs and video clips / 360 video clips of the villa, possibly floor plans too
-Allow us to openly share property information & availability with others in the form of a simple Web link; also, allow us to create our availability calendar, showing prices and availability about the property, to share with others upon request. There will be one central place where we will be able to access and control all this information, and anyone interested will see the latest update of this information with a simple click of a mouse no matter their geographic location
-Provide easy tools to help us with the pricing; no matter what pricing scheme you use to get paid for your rentals, you should be able to reproduce it and make it work time and time again, for every booking enquiry that comes in. Calculations are automatic, taking into account special pricing conditions, time periods with different pricing each, special discounts for late or early bookings etc. All these will work automatically for you
-Provide flexibility to set up payment terms and conditions (when to collect the deposit from the customer and when the remaining balance) breakage terms and cancellation terms. Again, all these should work automatically for you
-Provide resources to completely automate communication with the customer; arrival instructions on how to get to the home, key holder details, their phone numbers will be entered once, and then for every new booking an email will be sent a few days prior to check in to let them now - you should be allowed to specify the exact time when all these will be sent
-Provide resources to promote your property like for example the ability to create a Web site, add reviews of your past guests to improve your booking rate, show your property to hundreds of Web sites around the world, use tools like automatic banner creation to display special discounts, etc.
-Reward good performance of your property with more exposure and ultimately more bookings.
A ‘platform’ that can handle all these pieces and glue them together efficiently will allow you to save time, focusing on other things that you like doing best; thankfully, such platform for a vacation rentalexists and as far as I know and to the very best of my knowledge there is only one such platform that provides all this automation for rentals. I use it for 2 years now and I have to say that Rental Systems makes the work of renting vacation properties for you or for others so much easier.
Author's Resource Box
Kostas Papahatzis is a Full-Time Vacation Rentals property manager with many yars experience on Product Marketing and Project Management. One of his latest projects was the authoring of a new book on the subject titled: >vacation rentals by owner properties: More exposure, bookings and revenues without the hassle and pain which is available at the Amazon bookstore.
Author : Stephen Angelini
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