Policy: Last Minute Bookings
Property Providers’ core purpose is to “Help People Live Better” be being Sydney’s most flexible residential rental company. This vision is driven by three core values: Passion, Performance and Partnership. This policy has been created based on 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.
The purpose of this document is to clearly communicate Property Providers’ policy as it relates to Last Minute Bookings for Short-Term Rental Properties.
Some owners want to have more control and/or to save costs, so they insist that they organize the cleaning/housekeeping of their property before a 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 is 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 compared to running more traditional accommodations like hotels and serviced apartments. As each property that we manage is unique, there are completely different sets of operational challenges for each property. Property Providers has designed and deployed the following ‘Last Minute Booking’ Policy with best practices in mind and delivering a premium guest experience as a priority. To deliver a high-quality product and service, we require adequate time between the booking and arrival date. Importantly, as our average length of stay is considerably longer (over 30 nights) versus shorter stays like weekends, more work is required as our guests are typically living versus visiting. In this regard, additional cleaning/housekeeping, property inspections, repairs and maintenance, etc. may be required. Our position is that it is far better to be proactive and do things correctly the first time versus 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.
- To be clear, concise, consistent, and upfront regarding the company’s position in relation to last-minute bookings.
- To support the company’s guiding principle that all long-term relationships have a foundation of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment, and mutual risk.
- 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 two working days from the arrival date.
- Lead Time: We are generally only able to accommodate bookings that have greater than a two working day lead time. Any booking with less than two days will require the approval of a Senior Manager.
- 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 3:00 pm versus early check-ins. Our standard Terms and Conditions apply. We are unable to proceed with a last-minute booking that has the same day-check in and out. In these cases, we request that the guest arrive the following day.
- Contact Details: For reservations made at the last minute, the guest must provide their complete permanent address. The reservation must be made using an email address associated with a business domain. Email addresses from commonly used providers (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail) will not be accepted for security purposes.
- Local References: Depending upon the circumstances, a local reference may be requested or required for the booking to be accepted and fulfilled.
- Identity Verification: To mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity, guests will be required to provide the agency with visual confirmation of a credit card bearing the same name as that on their driver’s license or passport. The agency reserves the right to request that the guest visit our office in person to present this information.
- Payment: The total value of the booking must be paid in advance via credit card, with funds settled into the trust account, prior to arrival. This requirement applies regardless of the length of stay or total booking value. Note: Direct deposits are not an acceptable payment method for last-minute bookings.
- Value: Last-minute bookings must have a minimum tariff value of $4000.00 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 weekends. Senior Manager approval is required otherwise.
- Rights Reserved: Property Providers reserve 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 to and not contravene any of our other business guest policies.
- Access: We are unable to guarantee direct access to 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 advice from the cardholder 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 stressful situations. 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 (versus an already guest-ready property) the Senior Manager / Principal must speak to both arriving the departing owner to be able to approve the booking. The business must be confident that the property can be made suitable and guest-ready in time.
This policy allows:
- For the alignment of our company values while remaining commercial.
- For insurance that the property is able to be “guest ready” and consideration that we can 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 and 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 consider 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 well being of our staff/team.
- In some cases where we’re 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 moving with our processes to make sure that we’re delivering the best guest experience.
Property Providers operates a business that provides an exceptional level of guest service. 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.