Screening Guests for Your Vacation Rental in Wilmington: Dos and Don'ts

Screening Guests for Your Vacation Rental in Wilmington: Dos and Don'ts

Tourists in New Hanover County spend about one billion dollars every year. As an owner of a vacation property in Wilmington, you're well-positioned to get a slice of this pie. Although hotels and resorts are still a popular choice for travelers, short-term rentals aren't far behind in terms of bookings.

If you've been in the business for a while, you probably know that vacation guests aren't created equal. Some leave behind a trail of damage that sets you back a few thousand dollars. Screening guests for vacation rentals is an effective way to keep such people off your property.

Here are some dos and don'ts for screening guests:

Do: ID Verification

For a short-term rental, you might not see the need to verify your guest's identity. After all, they're going to be there for only a few days, sometimes even one night.

Big mistake!

Verifying a guest's ID ensures the person renting the property is who they say they are. If something happens (Airbnb murders aren't uncommon, for instance) and the guest vanishes, the authorities will have solid identification information to work with.

Even if it isn't something that involves law enforcement, at least you can blacklist the guest in your database and deny them admission if they return in the future.

Do: Gather Additional Information

Guest screening shouldn't end with identity verification. Ask them about the purpose of their visit and whether they're coming with anyone.

With this information, you'll be in a better position to tailor your services to their needs. If a guest is coming along with a pet dog, for instance, you can make the rental more pet-friendly by adding a feeding tray.

This is how you'll cultivate a strong relationship with guests.

Don't: Rely on Your Gut Feeling

Screening guests can quickly become overwhelming, especially if your short-term rental property is busy. You may let your guard down as you focus on curating great guest experiences.

However, guest screening should never be overlooked. Don't rely on your gut feeling whenever you want to accept a booking from a guest who's raising red flags, such as saying they lost their ID.

Don't: Infringe on Guest's Privacy

You have a right to screen all types of guests, but there's a limit to how much personal information you can ask for.

For instance, it's against the law to ask a guest about protected characteristics like their race, nation of origin, religion, or sexual orientation. If you do, you could face a discrimination lawsuit.

Screening Guests for Vacation Rentals: Do It Right

Screening guests for vacation rentals can feel like another extra task in your busy life as a vacation host, but it's necessary. To protect your investment and avoid issues with law enforcement, you have to ensure you're accepting bookings from guests who fit the bill.

If screening is still a lot of work for you, a short-term rental management company will do the job for you. PMI Wilmington, led by highly experienced and licensed real estate pros and property managers, offers vacation property management services.

Let's talk about how we can transform your vacation hosting!