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Dealing with Cancellations

Vacation rental cancellations are an unfortunate byproduct of the economic downturn.   Some people are cutting out vacations in order to save money.  You can keep your home full by handling cancellations properly. 

Payment Plans

Since the economy is to blame for a large number of cancellations, vacation rental owners can use payment plans to encourage people to continue to travel.  If someone contacts you about cancelling, find out the reason.  If the reason is related to money, offer to set up a payment plan.

Renters who are worried about money will likely respond to a payment plan.  Set them up on a monthly plan so they won’t have to pay so much at once.  You will likely avoid many cancellations by offering this service. 

Explain Your Cancellation Policy

Remind renters of your cancellation policy.  Renters should have to forfeit their deposits if they cancel.  In many cases, renters will decide it is not worth surrendering the deposit.  Thus, they will change their minds and take the vacation after all.

Avoid This Mistake

As you deal with cancellations, you will fight the urge to ask people to hold off on cancelling, especially when they cancel six months to a year in advance.  Since most cancellation policies require cancellation 60 to 90 days prior to the trip, owners tell people to get back to them with their plans.  Owners hope people will change their minds as the months go by. 

This is a mistake.  If someone still wants to cancel after you discuss payment plans and your cancellation policy, process the cancellation. That way, you will have time to fill the rental. 

The economic downturn has created a unique set of issues, but vacation rental owners can handle them.  Talk to your renters and try to avoid cancellations.  That way, you will be able to keep your calendar full.


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