|Frequently Asked Questions||
VacationsFRBO.com - Vacation Rental Owners
What does it cost to list my rental property?
Why are my pictures "fuzzy"?
This is usually caused by uploading a picture that is smaller than 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels high.
If you have uploaded a "thumbnail" image, it gets stretched to the 400 x 300 size, which will cause distortion. The
solution is to delete the "fuzzy" image and re-upload a picture that is 400 x 300 pixels (or close) in size.
Why do some of the buttons not work for me?
This website requires that
for the most common browsers.
Internet Explorer: Click on Tools then Internet Options. Select the Security tab, then click the Custom Level.
Scroll down to the Binary and Script Behaviors item, then click Enable.
Netscape: Click on Edit then Preferences. Select the Advanced category, then click the
I do not see my city - can I list my property?
Yes, you can add your city. Simply login to your account, then select the link titled Add A New Vacation Rental Listing To This Account. You will be prompted to identify the property's location. When
you arrive at the city selection, if your city is not on the list of existing cities, you
may add your city to the list of cities. Be careful to spell your city correctly, as you
will not be able to reverse the operation if an error is made. If an error does occur, please contact us.
Any city added to the list must be a legitimate city. If the city is not found in MapQuest, it is subject to deletion.
How do I delete or deactivate a property listing?
From the Admin
Menu, click the link titled "Deactivate or Delete This Listing".
Deactivate: Deactivating a property listing means that all the data associated with the property
is retained in the VacationsFRBO.com database, but the property listing will not be displayed
to potential renters. Use deactivate when the unit is no longer being used as a rental, but
may possibly be offered again at some time in the future. Note that as an alternative, you may leave your property's status as
active, but mark all days on the Availability Calendar as unavailable. This option lets
potential renters view your property for possible future interest.
Delete: Deleting a property listing will permanently
remove all data associated with the deleted property. Use delete if you no longer own the unit or there
is no chance that it will ever be rented again. To delete a listing you must click both the radio button and check
the confirmation checkbox.
Note: Please do not ask us to delete your listing. Per the terms and conditions posted at
Disclaimer, the property owner is required to maintain the content of his or her listing and to delete
any unwanted listings. VacationsFRBO.com does not create or delete listings.
What is the difference between the Summary Views, Detailed Views, Featured Views & Personal Website Views?
Summary Views Counter: This is the number of times that your property has been viewed at the summary level.
In other words, when a potential renter is browsing through the listings at the Country/State/Region/City level or a general Search results where
a thumbnail picture of your listing is displayed on the left side of the screen and a summary description of your property
is shown on the right side of the screen. Click here
for an example of a Summary View.
Detailed Listing Views Counter: This is the number of times that the full, detailed listing for your property is actually viewed by
a potential renter. Anytime a summary thumbnail is clicked, which brings up your detailed property listing or anytime
your specific property ID is requested via the Search function, this counter is incremented. Click here
for an example of a Listing View.
Many vacation rental websites lump these two counters together and count them as
"Number of Property Views". By having two counters, the property owner can get a better indication of how many times
someone actually studies their detailed listing, as opposed to just browsing through all the listings for a given city,
Also, it is useful to track the ratio of detailed listing views to summary listing views. A higher ratio (something approaching 1.0)
indicates that your thumbnail picture/summary listing is clicked often by someone browsing the summary pages. For example, if
there are 100 summary listing views and 25 detailed listing views, this means that one fourth of all people browsing the city listings
where your property is located, clicked on your particular summary in order to view your detailed listing. If your ratio is
not satisfactorily high, you might try experimenting with a different primary (first) picture, or perhaps modifying your headline and summary
Featured Views Counter: You will see a Featured Views counter if you have purchased a Featured Listing for your property. This counter shows the
number of times a website visitor has actually clicked on the Featured Listing pop-up to view your Detailed Listing.
Personal Website Views: This is a counter of the number of times the link to your personal website has been
clicked from your VacationsFRBO.com listing since October 1, 2008 (the date this counter was implemented).
What are duplicate listings and how are they indicated?
A duplicate listing is a copy of an owner's primary vacation rental listing that has been placed into a city different
than the primary listing city. This is potentially applicable where a property
is located between bordering cities or towns, for example. A property may have a mailing address in one city, but actually
be physically closer to a different city or town. A small town may also be located in the suburbs or very close to a larger city.
In either of these situations, it may be helpful for a potential renter looking in a primary city
to be aware of these other rental possibilities in nearby locations.
Every duplicate listing is clearly marked as being a duplicate of a primary listing. On the summary listings page, a red house icon
is used to indicate that the listing is a duplicate. On the detailed view page, a duplicate listing is indicated in a prominent red
text box beneath the listing pictures.
Duplicate listings are not counted in the VacationsFRBO.com Total Listings count displayed on the Home Page.
What can I do to protect myself from fraud or surprises as either a renter or owner?
Unfortunately, given the prevalence of fraud on the internet in this day and age, one should probably start from a position that
every transaction is potentially fraudulent, then take steps to satisfy oneself that it is indeed legitimate. Too often we hear of
cases in the news where innocent people are victimized by just assuming that all is well and being too trusting.
Take positive steps to establish the legitimacy of the other party and walk away from any transaction that does not pass your tests.
Below are some general guidelines and ideas for establishing a satisfactory comfort level.
The general advice we have for renting parties is to try to make payment via a credit card or PayPal.
Electronic payment gives both parties some assurance of legitimacy and some dispute recourse.
Many owners, though, do not have a merchant account to collect by credit card, but every owner can use PayPal.
Using PayPal, though, requires some setup time, as the account needs to be verified. There is also a 4% fee charged
to the person who receives the money.
But even payment made electronically is not a guarantee. We have heard of some scam cases where a renter will pay via a credit
card or PayPal, will stay at the property, then will subsequently file a fraudulent claim for a refund. This can leave the owner
having to defend a dispute that he or she may not win. For an owner, probably the safest payment method is via a check that has
plenty of time to clear. When accepting payment by check, do not ever refund any "excess payments", as this is a common scam.
When a renter pays by check, make sure it is for the correct amount and that you allow at least several weeks for the
check to be cleared by your bank. Also, be wary of request for payment through Western Union. Western Union is used by some
scam artists who will try to convince you that it is safer than wiring money to a bank account.
We do recommend that renters ask the owner for references of tenants who have rented from him/her in the past. Contact the renters
(preferably by phone) and satisfy yourself that they legitimately rented the unit and are not just a "front" for a scam artist. Another
simple check is whether or not the owner has a free email account such as Hotmail or Yahoo as opposed to a paid account such as
Comcast or Verizon. While all free accounts are obviously not fraudulent, a paid account is an indication that an owner has established
an account with an internet service provider where some level of authentication has presumably occurred.
Another check that can be made by either party is
to "Google" the owner's or renter's phone number. While every number is not listed, if the number that has been given by the owner
or renter matches the published name and number, that adds to the credibility. Renters should also check sites such as
Vacation Rentals Watchdog for any negative information.
Owners wishing to do a credit check or a criminal background check on prospective renters have access to numerous online resources.
Searching Google for "landlord credit checks", for instance, will return multiple websites that charge roughly $10 to $20 for basic
Owners and renters should insist on a written contract that is clear and contains the names, addresses and phone numbers of both parties.
We recommend proceeding with caution where either party insists on payment via a money order, bank transfer or cashier's check that cannot be verified or
traced and the time horizon is short. While all transactions involving a cashier's check are not fraudulent, the potential exists. Do not ever accept a
cashier's check in excess of the required amount where the "excess funds" are requested to be sent to the payer, as this is a
common scam. In the case of a bank transfer request, we recommend trying to get the name and phone number of the bank receiving
the funds, so that you can call them to verify the identity of the account holder. We recommend that you investigate any request to
wire money to the owner's accountant or agent, as they can also be fronts for a scam artist. We recommend that you be extremely cautious when transferring
money out of the country, as your recourse is severely limited for foreign transactions. If you are not comfortable with the transaction, or
it does not feel right for any reason, we recommend that you do not proceed. Better to walk away from a legitimate rental and rent another,
than to give your money to a scam artist and arrive at the vacation destination with no place to stay.
Other signs that you may getting involved in a questionable situation are if the property owner accepts your deposit, then
switches units or tells you the unit is no longer available for the dates you requested. Our experience is that this just leads to
further complications and you are better off terminating the agreement. Be on the alert for negative signs, like the address
of the unit published on the website does not match that of the unit in the rental agreement, the owner never answers the phone
at the number supplied or the phone always goes to voicemail. Keep your "common sense" radar alert.
In this day and age, one can never be too careful. While the evidence supports the fact that the overwhelming majority of vacation rentals are
very positive for both the owner and the renter, there is always the potential for fraud. And always keep in mind the old adage
that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
How can I warn other renters about a bad rental experience?