Short-term rental occupancy in 2022 remains 15-25% higher than 2019 levels. But this positive news comes with the realization that the extra footfall of guests and frequent turnovers inevitably lead to property damage. 

This damage will generally be accidental and fall under normal wear and tear (think: a broken glass, a marked table, an appliance that has stopped working after years). Even so, you must also consider the likelihood of more serious damages to your properties and how you can protect your assets beyond what tailored insurance provides. 

The key to security is proactive action. Here are 3 simple preventative steps for protecting short-term rental properties from costly risks and damage. 

3 ways to protect your vacation rentals during peak season

1. Security deposits 

It’s difficult to have peace of mind when your rentals are continuously hosting new guests. Guests who you know little about. Guests who hold your assets in the palm of their hands for the duration of their stay. 

What if we told you there’s another way? With automated security deposit collection (that works with listings on, Vrbo, and direct booking websites), you’ll no longer have to worry about what could go wrong. Instead, you’ll have a security deposit to fall back on should a guest cause accidental or malicious damage to your property. 

Here’s how it works… Let’s say “John” has placed a booking for one of your rentals through 

  • After 1 minute your Uplisting dashboard will recognize the reservation. Within 5 minutes John will be sent his booking confirmation. By the 1 hour mark, John will have received a follow-up email informing him that a security deposit is required. 
  • John can then enter his payment details on a secure page. The deposit will be collected 24 hours before John checks in. It will be a pre-authorized payment (meaning you won’t be charged transaction fees) if he’s staying for less than 6 days. 
  • Once John checks out, if all is ok, the deposit will be automatically refunded. However, the funds are also immediately available should you find any damages. 

The benefits are endless. Not only will you have peace of mind, but security deposits can instill a higher sense of responsibility in your guests (and even deter less reliable people from booking). Little involvement is required from you (unless a stay is longer than 6 days as charged deposits will need to be refunded). Guests will receive three reminders to complete the process (notifying you 24 hours after the third notification if incomplete). You can even set different deposit limits for each of your properties and have a default charge for new listings. 

But most importantly, unless you resolve or cancel a booking, guests who have failed to pay a deposit will not receive check-in details, meaning your properties are fully covered. 

2. eSign Rental agreements

To add another layer of protection to your properties, property managers can ask guests to sign rental agreements prior to their stay. Again, this instills a sense of responsibility in your guests and deters those with less than good intentions. Plus, it’s super easy for guests to navigate with digitized eSigning technology. 

Going back to John’s booking, let’s take a look at what the rental agreement process would look like:

  • When receiving booking confirmation, John will be directed to an all-in-one landing page
  • At the bottom of this page will be the rental agreement for the property
  • The rental agreement will outline all of your property specific terms, including check in and check out times
  • John can easily sign this agreement on his desktop or phone
  • Once signed, the property manager is able to download an official date stamped and signed agreement 

It’s both simple and quick, and automatically boosts the protection of your vacation rentals by holding guests accountable for their actions.

3. Identity verification 

Our final tip for maximizing the security of your vacation rental business is to verify the identity of your guests during the booking process. 

Earlier we mentioned that uncomfortable feeling when you don’t know who is staying in your properties. Well, what if you could? 

Using the power of guest verification, you can easily and securely check the identity of guests. How does it work? Identification documentation is automatically collected and then verified for authenticity against over 4,000 document types from 100+ countries. This process ensures maximum control and reassurance over who you let into your rental properties, so you don’t have to worry about those worse case scenarios.

Automating your short-term rental business allows you to set and forget repetitive (but necessary) checks and processes, so you can focus on scaling your business, while still ensuring your assets are completely protected against accidental or malicious damage. 

Uplisting is a vacation rental channel manager built specifically for helping property managers scale and streamline their businesses as sustainably as possible, through automated communication technology.

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