Frequently Asked Questions

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Pricing

VacationRentalDesk.com charges absolutely no setup fees. Zip, zero, nadda, $0. Quite frankly, we earn our living on providing vacation rental websites and reservation management software services to you, not on design fees, commissions, or other funny business!

Pricing for our Vacation Rental Desk online booking and reservation management service is shown on the pricing page.

Each rental is designated as a reservable unit and has its own vacation rental calendar of availability. All rental are managed through a single easy to use account. See all of the Features that Vacation Rental Desk provides.

Accepting online payments is safe and secure. Credit card and electronic check processing are standard included features. There are no set up fees, contracts, cancellation fees, or hidden fees.

Vacation Rental Desk service allows one calendar of availability per reservable unit. All reservable units can be easily managed through one VacationRentalDesk.com member account.

Each unit will have its own rental calendar so that you can properly track reservations, availability, and payments for each reservable unit.

For example, if you have a building such as a condominium complex or a beach house duplex/triplex (each with several individually reservable units) you will need to have a property for each unit, and your account will be considered a mutli-property account even though there is only a single physical building location.

If multiple adjacent or nearby units are rented together to a large party of guests, both availability calendars will need to be updated. Simply key-in a reservation for one of the reservable units and then mark dates for all other occupied units as unavailable.

There is no buy-out price. Vacation Rental Desk is an online service, which is provided for a monthly subscription fee.

No, there is no licensing required or available for purchase. Vacation Rental Desk is an online software service and provides online booking for your guests and simplifies reservation management through your online account. There is no software to download, install, or maintain and there is no licensing to keep track of.

Absolutely not. Vacation Rental Desk comes with free unlimited bookings and does not charge booking commissions or per-booking fees. You pay only a fixed monthly service fee so your expenses remain the same.

There is no long-term contract. When you sign up with Vacation Rental Desk you are on a month-to-month subscription. Our merchant accounts are also month-to-month and have no cancellation or termination fees.

Yes. Credit card and electronic check processing is limited to US-based vacation rental businesses only. In addition, language support is provided our vacation rental websites and secure online booking services, however, the members area and guest communication is in English only.



Getting Started

Absolutely not! Vacation Rental Desk was is designed from the start to be user friendly, intuitive, and accessible to everyone--including the computer illiterate. You do not need to have any computer skills--all you need to be able to do is use the Internet!

Vacation Rental Desk is designed for do-it-yourself owners and managers. There is no limit as to how many properties you can have with your account. We offer bulk pricing if you have over 15 properties. If you have 30+ properties we recommend that contact us so that we can evaluate any special requirements you have and determine how Vacation Rental Desk can accommodate your business.

Hosting, Downloading, Installation

Vacation Rental Desk 100% web-based (in the cloud) so there's no software to download and install. Best of all, your reservations can be accessed and managed from any computer or smart device with an Internet browser. You can even manage reservations for your vacation rental while you're on vacation!

All of your account information and reservation details are stored on our secure servers with standby systems, so that you do not have to worry about losing any data if your computer crashes (which is the case with desktop reservation management software).

VacationRentalDesk.com an online service provided & maintained exclusively by our company. We do not have a downloadable version of our online booking and reservation management systems for a hosted environment.

Instead, our service is designed to quickly and easily integrate with other websites by adding our Mobile Booking Calendar, a tool which integrates directly into any web page by copying and pasting a snippet of HTML automatically generated for you when you sign up.

If you are building your own website, embedding our calendar is easy. Just look for an "Insert Script" feature in your site builder tool. Paste our calendar snippet into your site and that's it--the Mobile Booking Calendar will automatically embed itself into your web page to show availability and rates in real time. Guests will then be able to choose a check-in and check-out date online and place their reservation securely online.

If you are a web designer who is building a website for your client, this model saves you time and makes integration as simple as a COPY-PASTE!

Learn more about our Mobile Vacation Rental Calendar.

We do not provide custom software development for hosting-capable online booking systems designed for proprietary third parties such as web design companies. Our service already integrates quickly and easily with vacation rental websites by simply copying and pasting our Universal Booking Calendar and Booking Links directly onto any web page.

Compatibility

Yes! All of our websites, including our Reservation Dashboard where you manage reservations, are mobile friendly. Support for the latest iPhones and Android phones as well as tablets is built-in.

Yes! Availability can be synchronized in both directions, both to and from Vacation Rental Desk, with third party websites including all of the top marketing channels as well as iCalendar and Google Calendar.

Absolutely. Vacation Rental Desk supports all of the top Internet browsers including Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and FireFox.

Taking and Managing Reservations

To notify your housekeeping service of reservations, Vacation Rental Desk includes a special email alert. With just one check of a box an email will automatically be generated and sent to your housekeeping service. Housekeeping emails include details like the reservation's check-in and check-out dates and the reservation order # for reference. This feature saves you time and headaches from having to call or type out emails manually to your housekeeping service.

You can also include the guest's name and telephone number if desired (by default, this information is not sent to protect the guest's privacy). This email can be sent at the time that you screen and accept the reservation order, or later once you've received full or partial payment for the order.

An additional email alert is available if you require a notification of upcoming reservations to a management service such as a community, association, or security guard company.

Yes. Your Vacation Rental Desk account comes with multi-user access. You can create separate logins for housekeepers, accountants, or staff that need to access your account on a permission basis. For example, you can limit access so that your accountant can only access particular reports and will not be able to edit reservations.

Also see the "How Is Housekeeping Notified" FAQ above to learn how housekeeping services are notified of reservations.

Damage deposits can be secured by using a guest's credit card. To secure a deposit, an "authorization" can be placed for the amount of the security deposit prior to check-in. An authorization is a partial credit card charge which essentially "freezes" the amount of the charge on the guest's credit card and instructs the card holder's issuing bank to set aside the money for you. Authorizations can be collected up to 7 days later if there are any damages to your vacation rental.

If there is no damage to your vacation rental, the authorization can simply be voided. There is no refunding process to go through since no money was collected from the guest. Another benefit to this process is that no credit card percentage processing fees will apply!

It is recommended to place authorizations for security deposits up to 7 days prior to check-in. If the guest's reservation is longer than 7 days, a new authorization may be placed when the old one expires.

If the damage to your vacation rental is less than the amount authorized, you can specify the amount to collect (this is also called the clearing amount). Another benefit to accepting credit cards is that if for any reason the damage to your vacation rental exceeds the amount collected for the damage deposit, you can run a seperate charge for the remainder--where as with personal checks you are stuck with the extra charges.

For further information, a step-by-step guide to processing credit cards using the Vacation Rental Desk is available to all members after signing up and is located under your account's "Help Section".

General Questions

VacationRentalDesk.com has been offering secure online booking solutions since 2007! We are a privately owned and operated American business based in Southern California.

Our business philosophy centers around maintaining the absolute highest level of quality of service and continually adding new features to make our online booking system more useful to you each and every day.

We invite you to learn more About Us.

Our service designed for property managers and do-it-yourself vacation rental owners alike. Read real life Testimonials from our satisfied clients.

Vacation Rental Desk provides online booking and reservation management software services only. You stay in the driver's seat and manager your own reservations.

You are responsible for screening and reviewing reservations, collecting payments, and conducting all other business operations as the owner of your own vacation rental business.

We offer service to USA and Canadian residents only at this time (your guests can of course still be from anywhere in the world). To obtain a merchant account, you must either be a U.S. citizen or have a valid U.S. business license and U.S. bank account.

If you live outside of the United States or Canada, we can provide you service if you have a credit card issued from the United States or Canada.

The billing address of the credit card to pay for your account must also match the billing address as recorded on file with the credit card's issuing bank. We perform Address Verification Matches on all transactions.

Our booking service provides no less than 9 different reports!

Reservation Charges Report
The Reservation Charges report is helpful for tax calculation and revenue reporting. It allows you to create a report for line-item reservation order charges including: rent, service fees, booking fees, security deposits, coupons, and tax. Subtotals, grand totals, and order balances are also shown so that the total amount of rent charged, fees charged, security deposits required, coupons applied, and tax charged can be determined.

This report can be customized by showing all reservations made within a specific date range, or all reservations that fall within a specific check-in and check-out date range. In addition, the report can be filtered by order status, including "Accepted" and "Paid in Full" orders. Accepted orders differ from Paid-In-Full orders because they have an outstanding order balance, where a Paid-In-Full order has a balance of zero.

Occupancy Report
Check occupancy statistics for one or more properties by date range. Helpful for end-of-year analysis.

Payment Report
The Payment report is helpful for end-of-year tax reporting and period cash-flow analysis. It will show you all payments made (cash, checks, credit cards, bank transfers, cashier's checks) for a property during a specific time period, such as Jan 1-Dec 31. This report can show both payments (inflow) from guests to the owner, such as rent payments, and or refunds (outflow) from the owner to the guest, such as damage deposit refunds. The net inflow/outflow can be reported to your investors.

Credit Card Transaction Report
This report is available for clients processing credit cards. It summarizes all credit card transactions run through your account's built-in virtual terminal, and can be customized on a per-property basis, or by date.

Guest Report
The Guest Report can be filtered by check-in and check-out date and includes the name of the guest and their contact information which you can download and import into your customer relationship management software, such as Goldmine.

Check-in and Check-out Reports
Quickly view all of your check-ins for a date range side by side. For example, this report is helpful to see who is checking in this week across all of your properties. It is also useful for service companies such as housekeeping or security.

Reserved Dates Report
Visually check reservations for all of your properties at one time side-by-side.

Reservation Income Report
A consolidated report to check reservation income based on check-outs for a given period. Useful for closing out your books at month end.

Absolutely not. Vacation Rental Desk respects your privacy. We will not give out or sell email addresses, reservation information, or personal information collected from website visitors or registered members to third parties.

See our complete Privacy Policy.

Credit Card Processing

Please see Accepting Credit Cards for current credit card per-transaction rates, and see Accepting Electronic Checks for current per-transaction eCheck rates.

Accepting online payments is 100% safe and secure. There are no hidden fees, long-term commitments or cancellation fees.

You can learn more about accepting credit cards and how credit card processing works by reading The Guide to Accepting Credit Cards for Do It Yourself Vacation Rental Owners.

After we receive your merchant application, set up generally takes 3-5 business days to submit your application to underwriting and have your virtual terminal ready for charging credit cards.

You can learn more about accepting credit cards and how credit card processing works by reading The Guide to Accepting Credit Cards for Do It Yourself Vacation Rental Owners.

PayPal

Payments must be sent and received through PayPal's website at PayPal.com. PayPal cannot be used to process credit cards through Vacation Rental Desk. The reason for this is that PayPal accounts only allow you to send and receive money (credit card or electronic bank transfers) to and from other PayPal members. This limits the number of people that will be able to pay for your vacation rental's reservations.

In order to accept credit cards from the public and process them using Vacation Rental Desk's built-in Virtual Terminal, you will need to apply for a merchant account through our merchant services partner, at which point you will be able to accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American express credit cards from guests.

Guest PayPal account information is collected during the online booking process so you can match PayPal payments with reservations. After a reservation is screened and accepted, the guest is emailed your PayPal account information so they can send you PayPal payments.

After you receive a payment for a reservation from PayPal, you will need to enter a receipt of the transaction receipt in your VacationRentalDesk.com account. A copy of the payment receipt can be automatically emailed to the guest, saving you time and informing the guest that their payment has been received.

PayPal electronic payments and invoices are not integrated into the VacationRentalDesk.com online booking and reservation management system at this time. The PayPal payment option is provided for organizational and tracking purposes only, indicating to the vacation rental owner or manager that the guest will be paying for their reservation by PayPal.