Aspiring’s Answers to Homeowner Questions

Aspiring’s Goal is simple.  More Revenue, Less Stress.

 

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Background on Aspiring Vacation Rentals

Q. What is Aspiring Vacation Rentals?

A. Aspiring Vacation Rentals is an online vacation rental booking agency.  We handle all reservations, marketing and revenue management for you, the homeowner.  The homeowner continues to provide exceptional service to the guest while they are on property.  Aspiring eliminates the stress and hassle of the entire booking process including:  managing your listing, marketing your home, following up with all potential leads, taking all inquiries and bookings, processing all payments and owner revenue statements.


Q. Is Aspiring a good fit for me?

A. Aspiring is an ideal fit for vacation rental owners who want to increase their vacation rental income while reducing the stress and hassle of managing the booking process.  Aspiring is a service for homeowners who want to turn the rental process over to a reservations, marketing and revenue management professional.  Aspiring can easily partner with the following types of homeowners:

  • Homeowners who would like to generate more income from their property
  • Homeowners currently overwhelmed by managing the entire vacation rental process
  • Homeowners who like to meet and greet the guest but don’t want the hassle of the booking process
  • Homeowners who want to enter the vacation rental market but lack the time or skills to be competitive

Q. How can I trust Aspiring Vacation Rentals?

A.  Paul Riddolls founded Aspiring after 10 years at the Pebble Beach Company where in his role as Director of Revenue Management he was annually responsible for $100 million of room, golf, spa and dining revenue while overseeing a call center of 30 agents.  During his tenure at the America’s #1 Golf Resort, Paul was instrumental in many key marketing and revenue decisions affecting the future of the Resort.  Paul is a Chartered Accountant from KPMG with an Honors Business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.  Paul’s vision is to help existing homeowners compete in today’s ever-evolving online booking world.  With Aspiring you will have a revenue management professional proficient in guest sales and targeted marketing managing your home.


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Revenue and Economics

Q. How does Aspiring increase my inquiry conversion rate and help guests book my home?

A.  We call it the Aspiring Advantage.  Guests call it responsive service.  Here’s how it works.  A guest finds your home on a listing site (like VRBO or HomeAway) and they submit an inquiry which comes directly to Aspiring.  At this point the listing site automatically recommends five competing homes to the guest. Before the guest has a chance to really look at the other five homes, Aspiring replies to the guest with a real time quote and a link to the Aspiring website.  Our website then helps the guest confirm that your home is right for them.  The guest can book on the website with a credit card and can complete simple click through property rental agreements, and damage and property insurance.  This whole transaction happens before the competition even knows there is a live lead.


Q. How will Aspiring sell my home and tell my story?

A. We are sales professionals who start by touring your property and taking extensive notes.  We ask a lot of questions because we want to tell your story.  We then create compelling listings to generate demand for your property.  If your home needs better images, Aspiring will cover the cost of professional photography because quality images sell.


Q. What is Aspiring’s pricing strategy?

A.  Aspiring’s strength is revenue management.  We review competing vacation rentals, relevant local hotels and overall demand metrics to assess the right rate for your home.  Unlike most property managers, Aspiring will frequently review the demand for your home and provide pricing recommendations.  We will push the rate in high seasons and bend the rate in the low season to drive incremental bookings.


Q. Can I change the price and details of my listing?

A. Yes.  Aspiring will complete a detail startup pricing review which will entail reviewing historical occupancy and rate trends with your home.  Aspiring revenue management strategy is critical to the success of booking your home and you can be as involved as you want with this process.  Aspiring prides itself on transparent business decisions and we want you to be comfortable with the pricing strategy for your home.


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Partnering with Aspiring

Q. What are the requirements to join Aspiring?

A.  The success of our partnership hinges on providing guests a seamless, world-class experience.  A professional listing, reliable sales support, real-time online booking and exceptional guest service are the keys to success.  As such, there are certain requirements we have of our homeowners to ensure we uphold these high standards:

  • Be the owner of the property or have legal rights to market and book the property
  • Contract with a reputable, reliable professional cleaning service that will prepare your property for every guest arrival
  • Honor all bookings made by Aspiring and do not offer lower rates than Aspiring
  • Conduct regular maintenance of lawn, garden, and property exterior
  • Provide a reputable, reliable local contact available 24/7 in case of emergency or issues at the property
  • If non-exclusive, ensure your inventory is always updated in OwnerBase, your password protected owner microsite (for exclusive listings, Aspiring maintains the homeowner’s inventory and acts as the inventory of record)

Q. What does it cost to join the Aspiring Vacation Rentals collection?

A. Nothing.  You sign a basic agreement detailing our respective roles which you can cancel at anytime, for any reason, without a cancellation fee. You will continue to pay the listing fees for the high-traffic listing sites, such as VRBO, HomeAway etc. Aspiring will market your home, answer all of your inquiries, manage your inventory and rates, book your guests and then send you a monthly check.  Aspiring charges a commission based on the gross revenue generated for each booking.  We share the same goal – incremental vacation rental income.  We only make money once we’ve made money for you.


Q. Can I tailor my rental agreement?

A. Yes.  As part of the initial setup process, Aspiring will review our standard rental agreement with you and at that time, we can tailor the agreement to your specifications.  This is a partnership, you need to feel comfortable with all the terms.


Q. Can Aspiring arrange for my home to be professionally photographed?

A. Absolutely.  Quality images are a huge interest driver for guests surfing through hundreds of listings on the various listing sites.  Aspiring wants to show your home in the best light possible.  If your photography needs improving, Aspiring will pay for it.


Q. How do I join Aspiring or what if i still have questions?

A. Contact Aspiring CEO Paul Riddolls:

  • 831.293.4496
  • paul@aspiringvacationrentals.com

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Aspiring’s Marketing Plan

Q. Where will my property be listed?

A. In addition to the Aspiring website, the Aspiring marketing team will market your property on the high-traffic listing sites necessary to drive increased rental income.  Aspiring understands you want the most for your listings dollars.  The primary listing sites that receive over 95% of vacation rental traffic in your area are:

• VRBO
• HomeAway
• FlipKey
• TripAdvisor


Q.  Does Aspiring run a Google Adword campaign for my home?

A.  Yes.  Google Adwords are critical to capturing online guests who are looking to travel to California.  Aspiring writes the copy and manages all of the keywords that drive travelers to your home’s destination.


Q.  Do you run a past guest email campaign?

A.  Yes.  We will target past guests and encourage them to travel again. Aspiring promotes California travel through Facebook,  Pinterest, Google+ and Craigslist.

Q.  Can we capitalize on international visitors?

A.  Yes.  There has been a significant increase in international visitors to the U.S. in the last five years.  Few homeowners know it, but there are ways to list on HomeAway’s international sites in 14+ countries.  This will capture all of the key international markets that are traveling to California.


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Guest Communication

Q. After the booking, does Aspiring communicate with the guest?

A.   Yes.  We send a pre-arrival email to your guests 15 days prior to their arrival.  We provide them with all of the necessary details they need, including your address, information on how to get the keys, etc.  We will take care of all correspondence up to the arrival date; however, you are free to communicate with your guests at any time.


Q. Does Aspiring request reviews from guests after their stay?

A. Yes.  Reviews are an integral component of a future guest’s buying decision.  Aspiring will follow up with guests and encourage a review.


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Terms / Payment Details

Q. How do I receive payment from the guest?

A. Aspiring sends you the net revenue from your booking via a bank transfer.  No more invoicing or managing your merchant account.  All guest bookings are processed via our industry-leading PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant credit card processor, VacationRentPayment, and deposited into Aspiring’s account. This system allows you to avoid the cumbersome merchant account application process and reduces the steps required for you to get your money.  Aspiring covers the merchant account startup and monthly fees and you continue to cover the 2.49% credit card fees associated with each booking. With a login and password, you will always have access to your account so you can monitor all bookings and corresponding payments.


Q. How does Aspiring handle security or property damage deposits?

A. All Aspiring bookings require guests to purchase a Rental Guardian Accidental Rental Damage Insurance (ARDI) policy, which protects you – the owner – for up to $1,500 worth of accidental damage in the unlikely event something happens to your home.  Aspiring reviewed the insurance options and selected Rental Guardian because replacement value is based on actual cash value and the company is backed by Lloyds and MunichRe.  This provides great security for both you and the guest.


Q. Can Aspiring provide trip insurance to guests?

A. Yes.  Trip insurance is optional to all guests and is provided by Rental Guardian.  This is a great benefit to the guest in case the unexpected happens.  The benefit to the homeowner is that if a guest has a covered issue and needs to cancel or reduce their stay – Rental Guardian reimburses the guests and you keep your revenue.  Aspiring will encourage guests take the coverage which is priced at 7% of the total rental cost.


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Owner Access and Use

Q. What is OwnerBase?

A. OwnerBase is a password protected online site where you can watch your bookings grow and monitor as much or as little as you want.  You can view occupancy reports, upcoming arrivals reports, total revenue generated and many more reports to make you comfortable with the transparency of Aspiring’s management of your home.


Q. When I partner with Aspiring, can I use my home?

A. Absolutely.  Aspiring understands that this is why you own the home.  Enjoy it.  We just ask that you always go to OwnerBase and enter an “Owner Booking” or you can email or call us and tell us what dates you want to stay in your home.  Both methods will update the live inventory and ensure there are no double bookings.


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