Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why take credit cards for Vacation Rentals by Owner.

This is a subject I feel passionate about. We work with owners everyday. Most owners have not run a business before, so opening a merchant account is something new and can be intimidating.

Most if not all businesses in general see the benefit in taking credit cards. It is what the market demands. Imagine going to a department store to buy some clothes to find out at the check out counter, they do not take any credit cards. What would you do? Would you still buy there? Would you ever shop there again? Think about it.

The majority of the people in the world today do a very high percentage of business, especially online with credit cards. They are fast, easy and provide a level of security for both the buyer and seller.

So why has the Vacation Rental By Owner market struggled so long to take credit cards? My answer is just a lack of knowledge on how they work, what the benefits are and what the REAL cost are.

If you want to compete online and maximize your vacation rental business, start taking credit cards. Why not? The cost has drastically come down. Everyone has one or two or more! We have negotiated one of the lowest cost out there with Now having a full blown merchant service is VERY reasonable. Here is the rate structure we have negotiated for owners:

You can apply online here: ONLINE APPLICATION

Here are some more thoughts. Let's say you rent by the week. So you have a product to sell. It happens to be 52 items (your weeks). So you have limited inventory. One week may run $995, for example. If you are not 100% booked, could you improve your bookings with taking credit cards? My answer is YES! I have done just that. One more booking a year will more than pay for your $13 a month fee. If you have more than one unit, it is a no brainer. What if you get 3 more booking a year, the math will start to add up in your favor quickly!

Guests may not tell you that they didn't book with you because you do not take credit cards, but I have guest every year tell me they did book with me because I do take them. This is one of the ways I can out book my competition.

Now for the real life stuff. The merchant service with Securepay lets me take online bookings thru our online vacation rental software at

This provides me a way to be on the phone with a guest, walk them through my listing and have them book it online, while I am talking to them and the transaction is complete. PERIOD. No pending weeks, no waiting on WORD documents and emails. The deal is done. To me that has great value. And the guest love it. They want less work, not more. If they can do it online and pay with a credit card quickly, they will. That is why I can beat some of my competition. Speed an ease. I make it easy, other owners make it hard. I win!

As time goes on, more and more owners are moving to online booking and taking credit cards. Why not get with the trend instead of behind it. Try taking credit cards and online booking. If you don't like it or it is not profitable, go back to emailing WORD documents back and forth.

You are running a business. There is always a cost to doing business, advertising, taxes, cleaning fees and your merchant service, are just a few. Don't try to skimp when you are trying to compete. It is time you have all the business tools you need to be successful! Good luck and let us know how you are doing!

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