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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can I use the database to publish only my own listings?

A: Yes that is a good system and one that many real estate agents use. Often their websites have a feature to search all listings or to just view featured listings. That is a euphemism meaning only the listings from their office. The same thing can be done with VRMLS.

Q: And what's the idea behind VRIA?

A: Every Manager and Owner has needed help from time to time and had no where to turn. So we quizzed many folks and everyone agreed, an association was needed. Especially now that the industry is growing so quickly. Suppliers and website Publishers are invited to join to. See our Benefits List.

Q: How will a Vacation Rental MLS help the industry?

A: By doing what the commercial websites can not or will not. It will provide an industry wide database open to all Owners and Managers and then distribute the contents to all participants - Managers, Owners, Commercial AND Industry websites.

Q: What is the difference between Verified & Inspected Properties?

A: Owners of Verified properties provide documents which are fact checked by VRIA staff to insure that the property is owned by the member - that it is a real property. Inspected properties have been personally visited by a designated VRIA inspector. Inspection includes verification.

Q: Are housekeeper tips mandatory in Vacation Rentals?

A: Tips for housekeepers at lodging accommodations of all kinds have become the sign of considerate Guests and just plain good manners. Due to their square footage and amenities, housekeeping at Vacation Rentals is back-breaking work. Considerate Guests will leave a tip of five to ten percent of the total rent. Far less than at a restaurant, but housekeepers work far harder.

Q: How & when are deep cleans done?

A: Whether a unit receives daily cleaning or out cleans, it is necessary once or twice a year (Depending on occupancy) to perform a deep clean of the property. This includes tasks which are too time consuming to complete between Guests such as opening all light fixtures to be dusted, cleaning oven and range filters, washing walls, removing everything from cupboards to wash them thoroughly - and much more. Guests demand "Hospitality" level cleaning which is actually a higher standard than most of us maintain daily in our primary homes. Owners too appreciate visiting their second homes to find them them in great condition and nicely clean.

Q: Is Membership required for properties to be verified or inspected?

A: Yes, we require Owners and Managers to subscribe to a reasonable code of ethics. Guests deserve that. And for properties to qualify for the Blue Ribbon we want to make sure Owners also agree to treat Guests well. There are also code of ethics for Suppliers and Publishers.

Q: How do non-vacation rental websites participate?

A: Travel and lodging companies are welcome to build a complete property listing directory service of course. But we are also offering an Associate arrangement which allows them to imbed a box, banner or tower of listings as part of a page on their sites. We call them "Inserts" and they look a bit like Google Adword ads.

Q: What does VRMLS do for the Industry?

A: First Managers and Owners can greatly decrease the time spent uploading, editing and maintaining listings. Why manage dozens of hundreds when one will do? The old method is simply wasteful. Second, selecting websites will be as easy as point and click. Listing management time could be reduced by 90%.

Q: Will the big websites support an MLS?

A: Those who put the industry first will. But others who want to monopolize will fear it takes away their edge. None of them have to utilize the MLS but if they oppose it they are biting the hand that feeds them.

Q: Will there still be fees for website listings (from the Publishers)?

A: Some websites have always been free. But other commercial websites will still need income to provide the advertising, promotion and technology they provide. But with the MLS it will be easier to buy, administer and track the paid websites.

Q: What are the rules?

A: First, Owners and Managers must submit all listings to the service, and those listings must be complete and accurate. They should want to of course and the MLS fees will be insignificant. Publishers are required to use all information as it is given to them and are prohibited from changing it. For example: The Owner/Managers name and contact information must be visible on the Publishers website. If a property has a website it must be visible. Links to non MLS member websites will not be allowed. Click to See Rules

Q: So why don't you put ratings on Inspected properties?

A: Ratings are too subjective. Cozy log cabins in the mountains might be clean, well furnished and a great buy. giant villas on the shore might be well serviced and in great demand. But both are highly desirable. So we rate furnishings, cleanliness and honesty in advertising. Guests can then choose a cottage or a village or anything in between with confidence - if it has passed the Blue Ribbon Inspection.

Q: How will Guests know that a property is verified or inspected?

A: As the number of verified and inspected properties grows we continue to promote the Blue Ribbon award as a sign of quality and to set an industry standard. Plus Owners are encouraged to promote the concept with Property Logos, Icons and Inspection Links.

Q: How come Suppliers can join VRIA?

A: One of the important benefits is to help members find suppliers who can help them succeed. Suppliers are invited to join and urged to display their wares and even give Managers and Owner members special discounts and services. Supporters are asked to post a link to the VRIA Owner Logos.

Q: How much Does Publisher Membership cost?

A: Membership for Publishers is a bit higher than for Owners and Managers because Publishers stand to gain greatly by associating with advertisers. Membership includes use of the VRIA's Multiple Listing Service (www.VRMLS.org) plus setup and ongoing support. Payment can be by credit card or auto draft. Click to learn more

Q: Won’t the commercial Vacation Rental websites fight an MLS?

A: Those who want to dominate will. In every industry there are people who try to monopolize. But smart Publishers will seize the opportunity to make the industry more efficient. Plus anything that makes it easier for advertisers to buy listings will increase their sales.

Q: Do I pay a commission on bookings?

A: No. Not to VRIA or VRMLS. Many of the websites on which your properties can be listed are free. Others charge a modest annual fee. There may be websites that work on a commission basis, but posting to those websites is optional.

Q: What is the "Unlimited Distribution" checkbox for?

A: You can expect many website Publishers to be anxious to distribute VRMLS listings on their website. If there is no cost to you, we allow Publishers to pick up all listings and display them. By checking "yes" to the Unlimited Distribution checkbox you are giving those Publishers permission to put you on their website. If you don't want this to happen, just uncheck the box which prohibits the distribution of your listing to media you have not specifically selected.

Q: Do I need to know HTML or design a webpage?

A: Not all all. Submitting your listing to VRMLS only requires typing information to the appropriate forms and uploading photos from your computer to ours. Your properties information will be formatted onto each of the websites you choose and each may be created differently to fit their look and feel. You don't have to do anything else.

Q: What do you do to attract consumers to your websites?

A: VRMLS is not promoted to the general public. It does not display rental properties to the public. Members come to VRMLS as they become members of the Vacation Rental Industry Association (www.VRIA.org).

The website Publishers who distribute listings from VRMLS all promote their sites individually.

Q: What is the benefit of a local vacation rental webiste?

A: Because you'll be easy to find. Guests always say they start with the location they want to go to and on giant vacation rental websites, you are tossed in with tens of thousands of homes the Guest doesn't want to see. Local Websites get local Guests and lots of them.

Q: Are there any setup fees for VRMLS?

A: There are no setup fees. In fact, there are no additional fees to list properties on the VRMLS so long as Owners and Managers are members of the Vacation Rental Industry Association (www.VRIA.org).

Q: Should I contact Guests repeatedly?

A: Of course. If the Guest asked for information don't hesitate to contact them several times if necessary to follow up on what you proposed.

Q: Does VRMLS take reservations for me?

A: No, all Guest inquiries go directly to you except that some may be intercepted and rejected if we notice that they are abusive, fraudulent or inappropriate.

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General Info