Traveler Vetting and Instant Book: What You Need to Know

Nov 9, 2018 | Listing 101

It makes sense that you want to know who’s staying in your rental. You want to make sure guests will respect your property and leave the place the way they found it. In the past, travelers might expect to communicate with you directly before they booked. But the fact is, traveler booking preferences are changing.

40% of our travelers now expect to be able to book a rental instantly. And we all know that number will continue to rise in the coming years. Assuming that you don’t want to leave 40% of your booking revenue on the table, we’ve made it easier to enable Instant Book and protect your rental properties.

Why would I want to enable Instant Book, anyway? What’s in it for me?

The proof is in the pudding (so to speak). Instant Book comes with a variety of benefits:

Saves time by automating your listings

You don’t have to manually accept instant bookings and you never have to worry about booking requests expiring. And as one of our property managers, Jeffery Hill, who enabled Instant puts it:

Gives your guests what they want

The fact is, travelers don’t want to wait to find out if their booking has been accepted. While they’re waiting on you, they’ll be shopping around for other rentals. We asked one of our power travelers, James S., his thoughts on Instant Book:

“One of the things I really like about TripAdvisor is you book it right there and then you pay your deposit and it’s done. I’m not so keen on when you have to contact the owner separately and arrange everything yourself.”


Better search ranking

Instant Bookings are automatically accepted on your behalf. Because of that, your Acceptance Rate will be pristine, which will boost you higher up in our sort results.

“Now I have realized that Instant Book made my life easy. I don’t have to do anything to get the bookings to come in.” Jeffery Hill

Vacation rental owner and manager

Vetting the traveler and protecting my rental properties

No parties? No pets? No one under the age of 25? No problem! You can set House Rules and guest requirements very easily from your TripAdvisor Rentals dashboard. Before submitting a booking request, the traveler must agree to and accept your house rules and guest requirements.

“We don’t get to vet the guest directly, but we get to do that with the rental agreement post-reservation.” Matt Kill

VacayHome Connect

“I want to communicate with my guests beforehand”

We long for the days of direct communication. But we also know that more and more travelers prefer not to communicate back and forth – and that isn’t something owners or managers should take personally!

With Instant Book, guests can always send you an inquiry before they book. However, we’d like to think you have the answers to frequently asked questions covered on your listing. And, at the end of the day, we bet you have better things to do with your precious free time than answering traveler inquiries. Are we right?

Protecting your rental properties

We always recommend that you set a damage deposit for the very rare occasions that a guest damages your rental property. We especially recommend that you have the damage deposit deferred*, meaning that the traveler only pays the damage deposit should a claim be raised and we find that the traveler is at fault. Previously, damage deposits were charged up front and refunded after check-out (if applicable). Now, travelers won’t be scared away by having to pay out more cash up front.

Should your property be damaged by a traveler, you’ll raise a claim in your TripAdvisor Rentals dashboard. Because their credit card details are saved when they book, the traveler will be charged should we find that they’re at fault for the damage.

*Note: only damage deposits under $1000 can be deferred. If the damage deposit is more than $1000, then this will be paid by the traveler at time of booking. Learn more about deferred damage deposits here.


VacayHome Connect Case Study: Instant Book

VacayHome Connect had a goal of 100% instantly bookable inventory. To do this, they had to invest in improved technology. The technological investment was worth it, as VacayHome Connect saw their bookings more than double.

Meet Tracy, Your Next Vacation Rental Guest From TripAdvisor

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what type of traveler is staying in your rental property? Or better yet, have an understanding of who that person is as soon as they send an inquiry? At TripAdvisorRentals, we want to provide our owners and managers with valuable insights into our traveler community—the world’s largest—so you feel confident in their stay.

How Instant Book helped Jeffery quadruple his bookings

As an attentive property manager, Jeffery noticed that the vacation rental industry was changing, moving more towards an Instant Book model. At first, he was hesitant to make his properties instantly bookable, citing the inability to vet guests before a confirmed booking as a top reason. But as the industry changed, so did his opinions. In 2017, Jeffery made the decision to enable Instant Book on his TripAdvisor listings

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