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Owners FAQ

Owners FAQ's

 

Steps to setup an advertisement

Follow these simple steps in our tutorial video:

How to make your advertisement stand out from the crowd

From the outset you need a very eye catching and trustworthy advert. Please consider the fact that you are asking a complete stranger to part with their hard earned cash. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what you would expect to see.

Information that needs to be in your advertisement:

  • Contact person ideally with a photo of yourself, don’t use a company or nick name.

  • Telephone number, the renter may like to call you before they confirm the booking. Make sure to write the country code (like 0044) as they might be from abroad.

  • Keep your booking calendar up to date, this has two benefits first of all it gives confidence to the renter that other people have booked your property and secondly it doesn’t waste their's or your time replying to people saying the property is already booked.

After contact has been established with a potential renter:

  • Send a formal booking agreement, we have one Here if you need one? You must include all travel, payment and contact information.

  • Be fast in replying to e-mails – being efficient inspires confidence in you and the booking. ↑Top

Photos - your best friend

Good photos are the best tools at your disposal. We can’t emphasise enough how important your photos are. Ensure your photos are of the best quality, maybe even consider getting them done professionally; it’s that important. If you do decide to do these yourself we recommend you do the following:

  • Take your photographs on a clear sunny day with blue skies.

  • Morning or afternoon sun can sometimes give your photographs the best results.

  • Make sure to keep the sun in your back when taking your photographs.

  • Your best photo should always be photo number 1 as this is used as a thumbnail photo in the listings.

  • Try not to mix up horizontal and vertical photos, as it’s not pleasing to the eye.

  • When taking any indoor photos, make sure you have as much light as possible or use a flash.

  • Try to take as many photos as possible showing off your property to its full potential. When taking photos of outside eating areas, take some time and dress the table, it looks far nicer that just taking a picture of a plain wooden table. Make sure to include other areas like swimming pool, gardens, beach etc. ↑Top

Property descriptions

All property descriptions must be entered in English, on the default page, however you have the option to enter 4 other languages from other entry boxes selected by clicking on the appropriate country flag. You can write as much as you like about your holiday home and area.  All we ask is that you write it yourself and do not copy from another adverts.  Try to be upbeat and positive when writing about your home, give as much information as possible, try to point out all the key features of the property. ↑Top

Check list to ensure you have a successful advertisement

Here is a quick guide to some of the most important features to include in your advert.

  • PHOTOS - Your number one best friend.

  • THE BOOKING CALENDAR - We strongly recommend you to use the availability calendar and keep it updated.

  • TRANSLATE YOUR ADVERTISEMENT - Our database system offers the possibility for you to write your advertisement in many languages. Renters often feel more comfortable if they rent from a person of their own nationality.

  • REPLY FAST – This inspires confidence in you and the booking.

  • GOOGLE MAPS - This is a great tool and helps strengthen your advertisement. We have had feedback from previous renters saying that they do not trust an owner that does not show a map of where the property is located.

  • YOUR BUSINESS - If a renter can see that you communicate fast and have been informative and you have thought about everything, they are more likely to trust you and book your holiday home.

  • LAST MINUTE - If your property has availability in the near future, you may set up a free last minute advertisement to increase your chances of getting it booked for that period.

  • FREE SMS - We can send you a free SMS every time someone sends you an enquiry. This can be easily setup from within your account administration area. ↑Top

What payment options should you offer?

International bank transfers can be expensive, with a transfer fee and currency exchange rate not very good. so you may want to consider an alternative payment options. These are the options we know other homeowners use.

  • Cash payment on arrival.

  • moneycorpAlternative money transfer company. We have used Moneycorp and have been very pleased with the way they do business and has worked out a much better deal than the bank for more information click here

 

  • Credit card merchant sagepay offers an account which enables you to accept payments online where you can process payments securely through your own website or home computer using their secure payment gateway. You also have the option to accept phone payment over the phone using a virtual terminal. Both of these options are quick and simple to use and offer your clients piece of mind knowing that they are covered by the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    sagepayHowever, this service is not free and they charge a small monthly fee which you could pass on to your clients wishing to use this service.  If you would like to know more simply click the banner below.↑Top

Should you ask for a deposit and a reservation fee?

This is not a requirement of gecko.villas, but would like you to consider the following points.

  • SECURITY DEPOSIT – This can be a difficult one as it can cause extra stresses and steps in the booking process. It really depends on how many things you have in your property with a significant value. From past experience we find that only cups and glasses tend to get damaged and these are really just wear and tear items, and you should really expect that these things tend to get damaged or go missing. If you really want to take a deposit we suggest you take it on arrival and give it back at the end of the holiday.

  • RESERVATION FEE - You should consider asking for a reservation fee of around 30% to avoid losing any rental income, in case of no shows. The remaining should be paid either, four weeks prior to arrival, or upon arrival. Avoid asking for 100% in advance as this normally triggers alarm bells and make people suspicious about the validity of the reservation. ↑Top

Should I use a booking form?

gecko.villas do not require you to use a booking form. However, we do recommend you make a formal agreement between you and the renter to avoid any misunderstandings. This can be done very easily via a standard e-mail or an attached word/pdf document.

For your convenience we have made a standard form you can either use or modify to suit your own needs. Please click on the flag below to select the form in your language.

If you chose to make your own booking form please remember to include the follow fields.

  • A link to the advertisement so the renter always can enter to see the home which they have reserved.

  • Property ID

  • Booking date

  • Arrival date

  • Departure date

  • Total price

  • Reservation fee

  • Balance to be paid

  • Date of which the balance is paid (On arrival or 4 weeks before etc)

  • Your contact information

  • Phone number to a contact person on site

  • Your bank information including BIC/SWIFT and IBAN

  • Property address

  • Renters name and e-mail address ↑Top

How do you know if an enquiry is genuine?

Some homeowners in the past have been contacted by fraud renters trying to trick money from them. gecko.villas closely monitor all enquiries from potential renters and if we find something suspicious, we will notify you. Generally you should be alerted to any of the following events.

  • If the enquiry is very formal, and the English is very poor.

  • You receive a cheque for more money than you asked for.

  • If the renter wishes to pay you via "Western Union".

  • If the renter is from any of these countries. Nigeria, Sudan, The Ivory Coast or any other country from central Africa.

  • If the story sounds too good to be true. ↑Top

How to ensure that you never miss an enquiry we have sent to you.

If you using a web based e-mail client like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, BTinternet or Telefonica, we recommend you add support@gecko.villas to your contact list to avoid enquiries ending up in your spam folder. You can also do the following in your account section.

  • Log into your account my account > edit my account and make sure you have a mobile number listed and have ticked the box receive SMS enquiries.

  • Under view enquires you can see a complete history of all enquires made since you listed the property. ↑Top

Do I have to create the advertisement myself - or can gecko.villas do it?

Since you know your property and your local area best, you are probably the best person to create your advertisement.  However, we are always here to help.  If you need assistance uploading any photos or documents then our friendly support team are always here to help and guide you through the simple process. ↑Top

How long time does it take before your advertisement goes online?

It normally takes anywhere from 1-2 business days for your advertisement to appear online.  Once your listing has been approved by our staff and we have received all the relevant documentation (proof of ownership documents) and your payment has been received, your advertisement will go online. However, you can edit and modify your advertisement at any time. ↑Top

How do potential renters locate my advertisement?

The landing page for our website gives users the option to search for properties in three different ways they can either click directly on the map to select a region, select from a list of regions or provinces or type an area directly into a search box. Your advertisement will also be picked up by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, & MSN the more time your property is listed. ↑Top