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I've been using the Villarenters system for a while now, and use it for about 12 properties I manage for the owners.
Don't be misled by the term robot secretary: that only kicks in once they've made a booking. All the usual correspondence prior to booking takes place, it's just that once they book online all the reminders for deposits and the balance are done automatically, and the directions are sent out automatically once the balance has been paid. I think the Villarenters system is brilliant and while there are sometimes glitches the team behind the system are good at responding to requests for additional features and this year a lot of new features are going to be added. Villarenters have also made it possible now for you to take manual payment for free for your own bookings, but you can still take credit cards for 3.25%. I haven't come across anything to match it so far.
Later this year Villarenters will be introducing a create your own website feature for free. I also like the automatic discounts feature, the optional or mandatory extras (for example cleaning or optional cot rental etc.).
I don't work for Villarenters, I promise!
I think it's worth pointing out that you can separate the two functions of Villarenters: that of a booking engine and that of a listings site. in a few months Villarenters will be setting up RentalSystems.com so people who don't want to generate bookings through Villarenters (and pay 10%) can just use RentalSystems and all the associated tools (live calendar, automatic bookings, discounts, add-ons, robot secretary, credit card acceptance) and it's also worth knowing that if you take manual payment by cheque, paypal or bank transfer the system is entirely free for your own bookings.

 
Villarenters is not good for me mate, didn't have any enquiries for 6 months let alone
bookings.
 
We found Villarenters  a disaster. They seem totally obsessed with their systems at the expense of actually delivering bookings. We were on Villarenters for more than a year before we got 2 supposed bookings - they turned to be enquiries which then had to be cancelled by the guests when it turned out that our property wasn't right for them. In our experience 90% of guests want to have some communications with the owner before actually booking and this site just isn't geared up for that. (Owner in Bavaria)
 
Villarenters is my prime booking engine. The site works well and is well run on the whole, but what is perfect?
very consistent and they put their money where their mouth is with advertising.
Consistently high ranked. As an an advertiser I am pretty satisfied. However as a rental system's partner (well that is another story). (Owner in Spain)
I am beginning to think the Rentalsystems platform is not good as expected. Here follow some observations:
- their rating system is only one-way: the owner cannot rank his tenants (can only answer to reviews) and these are left quite alone to comment their experience and to rate it through a 1 to 5 star score. This will affect the property listing trough a Villarenters ranking that will list only few properties in the highest posirions, leaving all the others not ranked by tenants on the bottom of the list, quite invisible.
- the customer care does not answer directly quite ever. It's almost impossible to talk directly to some of them to require some assistance online.
- they are quite expensive, taking into account that there is no human interaction during the booking process.
- even if our property is one the unique in Zanzibar using this system, we receive much more bookings by some other rental websites than by them.

In few words, the Rentalsystems website is too ambitious in comparison to the results it brings.
And, last but not least, look at their Alexa rank recently: it is slowly but dramatically falling down... Why?
 
Be careful if you use Villarenters as a property owner.  If they get you a booking they take their commission out of the deposit.  Therefore if the renter subsequently cancels, you are left with very little and may not be able re-let the week even after having reserved it for many months and possibly turned down other bookings in the meantime.  Also, if they get you a booking they charge 10% plus VAT, which is supposed to be for their commission and their credit card charges.  However, they have recently introduced a BOOKING FEE, to cover the credit card charge (they say) of 15.00 per booking, which is payable by the renter.  So they are in effect charging a credit card fee twice - firstly included in the 10% commission from the owner and secondly in the 15.00 from the renter.  They encourage you to put your own bookings through their site, but by doing this, your guests will still have to pay their 15.00 booking fee for the privilege of doing so.  And if you decide to become an affiliate (where you recommend other owners to them) they don't pay you your affiliate commission, which is supposed to be paid automatically.  When you recommend someone, you send that person a link to click on to load their property and you are supposed to get 2.5% commission on all bookings they generate for that person.  However, I recently referred a friend, who then got 2 bookings through Villarenters, but Villarenters did not recognise the fact that I had referred that person and I had to chase them up for the commission, which they eventually paid.  They are a very difficult company to contact by telephone, but I eventually found out that their telephone number is 01664 484959 or 0044 1664 484959 if calling from outside the UK.  I am not a great fan of Villarenters, but have stayed on their website and increased my prices by 10% to cover their commission.
(Owner in Paphos)
I have used villarenters for some years now. I have found that I do get plenty of bookings through them.  Yes - they do take a commission and I was not happy when they introduced fees for security deposits which either you or the renter pays. If I did not have to use an agent - I would get the renters to hand over the security deposit in cash when I handed them the keys. With my own bookings I give renters the choice of using the VR system or paying me direct. As this latter option is cheaper for them and more profitable for me most go for paying me direct.
 
 
 

 

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