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Recently I’ve discovered a somewhat disturbing trend in vacation rentals. I’m seeing a lot more postings from dissatisfied guests. The issues range from infestations of insects to out and out filthy properties. I think many of these issues would have been cleared up with a simple request.

I have talked about “more pictures please” at and without fail everyone agrees that recent pictures are a great way to help make a decision. I’m in the process of updating The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals for 2010 and I’m considering putting in an entirely new request in the “Before” section: “send me a video.” Thoughts?

I have no idea how this is going to be received by the owner group out there, but I think the request is reasonable and easy to accomplish. Frankly, to walk through a house with a video camera rolling will take all of about four to five minutes; transferring it to a computer another five minutes then posting it to the site only moments. So the entire process, not including commute, is less than 15 minutes.

If the property has internet access and the owner/manager has the necessary equipment, they could get the recording, transferring and posting to the site done with one visit. The additional benefit to them is that they now have a recent video to use to market the property.

Some vacation rental sites already have videos posted. I usually find them helpful, some more than others. I saw one in an area of the world I was familiar with and the video, if I were renting the place, would have sold me.

The owner did a fantastic job of not only walking through the condo but also went to the patio and did a panoramic shot describing everything I was looking at, including restaurants and other businesses she thought would be useful for the potential renter to know about. She even pointed out a few things that were new to me and I thought I knew the area like the back of my hand.

It think videos also add to the “personal touch” I like so much about vacation rentals. Remember, we are dealing, usually, with a mom and pop operation who just want to provide the best accommodation for the best price.

Make some trails!

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