Policy: Last Minute Bookings

Company Position: 

Property Providers core purpose is to, “Help People Live Better” through being Sydney’s most flexible residential rental company.  This vision is driven by 3 core values: Passion, Performance and Partnership.  This policy has been created our common belief in our guiding principle that all great partnerships have a strong foundation of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment, and mutual risk.  We are always trying to do the right thing with all parties in mind. 

Document Purpose: 

The purpose of this document is to clearly communicate Property Providers’ policy, as it relates to Last Minute Bookings for Short-Term Rental Properties. 

Background: 

Some owners want to have more control and/or to save cost where they can, so they can insist that they organize the cleaning/housekeeping of their property prior to guest arrival. We cannot emphasise just how essential and critical getting a high-quality cleaning job done is. Unfortunately, cleaning is incredibly subjective as people have varying standards and expectations. The bottom line is that when cleaning is completed properly it rarely acknowledged, however when things are overlooked the situation escalates rapidly. The result is often emotionally charged and sometimes almost abusive confrontations with guests As technology continues to converge the booking to arrival time has been contracting. This is a reality, however, managing a non-centralized and premium short-term rental portfolio has significantly more complexities to running more traditional accommodation like hotels and serviced apartments.  As each property that we manage is unique there are completely different set of operational challenges for each property. Property Providers has designed and deployed the following ‘Last Minute Booking’ Policy with best practice in mind and delivering a premium guest experience as priority.   To deliver a high-quality product and service, we simply require adequate time between the booking and arrival date.  Importantly as our average length of stay is considerably longer (over 30 nights) vs shorter stays like weekends more work is required as our guests are typically living vs. visiting.  In this regard additional cleaning/housekeeping, property inspections, repairs and maintenance etc. may be required.  Frankly our position is that it is far better to be proactive and do things correctly the first-time vs. being reactive as a result of the property not being properly managed.  In this regard, we are protecting our guests, owners and staff from unnecessary stress. 

Policy Objectives:

  1. To be clear, concise, consistent, and upfront regarding the company’s position in relation to last-minute bookings.  
  1. To support the company’s guiding principal that all long-term relationships have a foundation of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment, and mutual risk. 
  1. To effectively manage the facilitation/implementation of fair and balanced solutions to all parties involved, the guest, the owner, and the agency.  

Definition of “Last Minute”:  Property Providers defines a last-minute booking as any reservation where a confirmed booking is less than 2 working days from the arrival date.  

Agency Policy:

  • Lead Time:  We are generally only able to accommodate bookings that have greater than a 2 working day lead time.  Any booking with less than 2 days will require the approval of a Senior Manger. 
  • Standard:  Unfortunately, we are unable to commit to or guarantee any special requests or variations.  For example, last minute bookings will be required to check in at our standard time of 3pm vs. early check-ins. Our standard T&C’s will apply.  We are unable to proceed with a last-minute booking that has a same day-check in and out.  In these cases, we request that the guest arrive the following day.  
  • Payment:  The entire booking value is required to be paid via credit card upfront (with funds settled into trust account) prior to arrival.  This applies irrespective of the length of stay or total booking value. 
  • Fraud:  To avoid typical fraudulent behaviour, the guest will be required to provide the agency visual confirmation of the credit card with the same name on it as their driver’s license or passport.  
  • Value:  Last minute bookings must have a minimum tariff value of $4000.00 for them to be considered. 
  • Surcharge:  A $165 surcharge will apply to all last-minute bookings in addition to our standard booking fee.  If this is not processed and communicated at the time of booking, then we reserve the right to deduct this from the guest’s security deposit or to process an additional transaction to cover this amount. 
  • Weekends:  We may be unable to accommodate last minute bookings where the booking is submitted after hours or on weekend.  A Senior Manager approval is required otherwise. 
  • Rights Reserved:  Property Providers reserves the right to cancel without penalty any instant booking from any external channel that is last minute in nature.  We recommend that it is always best to book directly with any accommodation provider to avoid confusion/conflict. 
  • Policy Consistency & Adherence:  All bookings including those that are last minute in nature need to adhere and not contravene any of our other business guest policies. 
  • Access:  We are unable to guarantee direct access from the property.  The guest may be required to pick up keys from our office in person.  The person paying for the rental must be the person picking up the keys or we require written advise from the card holder otherwise.  Keys and access will not be provided to people under the age of 18 under any circumstances. 
  • Abuse:  We understand that last minute bookings often come from a stressful situation.  Under no circumstance will Property Providers tolerate unacceptable negative or abusive attitudes or behaviours.  If this does occur, we reserve the right to terminate the booking without compensation 
  • Approval: If a last-minute booking is for a property with an owner departing (vs. an already guest ready property) the Senior Manager / Principal must speak to both arriving the departing owner and to be able to approve the booking. The business must be confident that the property can be made suitability guest ready in time.  

Rationale

 This policy allows: 

  • For the alignment of our company values while remaining commercial. 
  • For insurance that the property is in fact able to be “guest ready” and consideration that we are able to effectively manage the booking request professionally while being aligned with our property and service quality standards. 
  • A fair solution to all parties involved, the guest, the owner, and the agency. 
  • The minimization of relevant risks and time pressure that compromise quality, finance, operational delivery, disruption while not jeopardizing our guest vetting process.  
  • Adequate time to gain owner feedback/approval regarding the booking, (keeping in mind that many of our owners reside internationally and considers time zones.) 
  • Adequate time to arrange keys and/or access as well as to communicate critical information regarding the safety and risks associated with property as well as reducing/eliminating disruption to neighbours. 
  • Adequate time for tradespeople who may be booked into the property as rescheduling work can often cost money which we would like to avoid. 
  • Financial security. 
  • For the health and wellbeing of our staff/team. 
  • In some cases that were dealing with owner occupied properties, we need to make sure that there’s an adequate time between the owner leaving and making the property guest ready and to move with our processes to make sure that we’re delivering the best guest experience. 

Summary: 

Property Providers operates a business that presents an exceptional level of guest services. This is succeeded through the attention to detail that moves into each booking made. The Agency is proactive in the mutual relationship between the guests, owners, and the agency, last minute bookings place the Booking Agent and owner under immense pressure, this in turn, increases the potential of overlooking critical steps in the booking process. 

Effective Date:  August 1, 2021.

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