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Why Vacation Rental Companies Shouldn’t Rely Only on OTA Guest Verification

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Guest Verification Software

The idea of renting out a home or room to complete strangers is one of the most difficult things for vacation rental property owners and managers alike. On the bright side, however, the most popular short-term rental sites, such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com, make it possible for hosts and property managers to screen their guests. Essentially, these sites publish guest profiles and reviews that property managers and hosts can check before confirming reservations. This way, a vacation rental property management company can easily choose the right guests for the properties that it manages.

Furthermore, some OTAs also allow hosts and property managers to interact with potential guests and ask them a series of questions in order to find out more information about them. On the not-so-bright side, the questions you can ask a potential guest might not offer you all the details you need to fully trust him or her.

If you wonder what else you could do in order to select trustworthy guests for the properties you manage, the answer is: an advanced guest screening solution.

Why Should You Opt for Advanced Guest Screening?

To begin with, OTAs generally use legal names, dates of birth, and other details in order to run a background check on the guests who book vacation rental properties through them. However, most vacation rental listing sites warn users of limitations and possible errors that may occur when screening guests. In its help center, for instance, Airbnb claims that they check county criminal records of potential guests using the names and dates of birth provided by them. When a user with criminal convictions is found, his or her account is automatically suspended for further investigation.

But one of the shortcomings of these guest verification systems is that they cannot identify guests who use stolen or false IDs. Therefore, they cannot confirm the personal information provided by a guest. As well, OTAs don’t perform any credit card or bank statement checks. Not to mention that these systems conduct background checks only on the users located in the US. Although it’s possible to also check the information provided by the guests coming from other countries, the extent and validity of those investigations are often limited by the foreign laws that may apply and/or incomplete or outdated databases.

Since the background checks performed by OTAs have certain limitations that leave a margin for error, the best way to go about ensuring that the guests who book the properties you manage are trustworthy is to use reliable and comprehensive vacation rental guest screening software, like SUPERHOG.

Powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud technology, SUPERHOG has become a familiar tool for the trade. Because these types of solutions are now considered standard protocol and typically accepted as a safety precaution against fraud and problem guests, SUPERHOG can help you decide more easily and quickly whether or not to rent a vacation rental to a specific traveler. Some key benefits of using SUPERHOG are as follows:

  • Automatic guest screening – Provided as a SaaS solution that can be integrated seamlessly with different PMS solutions, like JANIIS, SUPERHOG uses hundreds of tests and data points to collect and validate guest information. If the information provided by a guest seems suspicious, SUPERHOGflags the reservation as risky, notifying you and providing suggested actions.
  • Damage protection – SUPERHOG provides one of the best ways to protect your business against liabilities. Because even a single incident could have a detrimental effect on a vacation rental management company, this screening solution comes embedded with automatic insurance coverage. This type of coverage provides protection from $500 up to $5,000,000 against any claims resulting from damage and/or injuries to property and/or people caused by guests during verified stays.
  • More revenue Renting out vacation rental properties to trustworthy guests usually translates into a higher number of positive reviews. When a vacation rental gets a high number of positive reviews, it will rank higher on vacation rental listing sites. This will eventually increase the total revenue. Another important consideration is that, when your business is protected by a reliable guest screening solution, like SUPERHOG, you can cancel any booking restrictions that you’ve previously adopted to protect your properties. As a result, you can finally accept those last-minute bookings that may increase your revenue and profit significantly. By simply using SUPERHOG, you can enjoy the highest average booking rates you’ve ever experienced.

How else can you protect your business as well as the properties you oversee? Besides using the verification processes provided by most OTAs along with a comprehensive guest screening solution, which represents a completely logical and legal way to protect your business and reputation, make sure that you also familiarize yourself with the tactics used by scammers. And since many other vacation rental business processes are as time- and resource-consuming as guest screening, we also recommend using a reliable PMS solution, such as JANIIS, to automate and streamline your operations, so you can focus more on growing your business. 


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