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How to handle future bookings in a sale

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Much is written about how to manage a vacation rental property but not so much on how to successfully execute the transition during a sale. AirBnB and VRBO offer very little guidance on how to negotiate and transfer future bookings during a sale yet it is an important part of any transaction.

Here are a few tips and best practices that will help you with a smooth transition when selling a vacation rental property.

Determine your strategy.

A sale can be time consuming, exhausting and frustrating. Save yourself headaches down the road by taking certain steps at the start. Let’s consider a few best practices once you decide to sell. 

Most vacation rental booking platforms, like VRBO and AirBnB, do not allow you to transfer bookings to another party. You will have to plan for how you intend to handle future bookings that occur after the sale date. 

Pull together a portfolio of items pertaining to your listing, like the house guide, listing details, vendors, website and any other digital assets that make your property special. This information is valuable to a potential buyer. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Having a checklist and maintaining clear communication with all involved parties can help avoid any unnecessary challenges as you move through the process. 

  • If you have a property manager or management company notify them of your intentions to sell. HighFlyRE tip:  Once you’ve found a buyer it’s good practice to provide the property manager information. The buyers may choose to keep the same management in place, at least during the transition. 
  • Create an outline of which future bookings will be affected by the sale. You’ll need to discuss how you wish to handle these bookings with your property manager, if applicable, and with the buyers. 
  • Consider drafting a short message to any future guests to explain the situation and provide them with options such as re-booking with new owners, rescheduling or cancelling. HighFlyRE tip: If you are purchasing a new vacation rental, this is a great opportunity to share that info so they may search you out in the future.

In summary, approach selling your vacation rental as you would a small business. The more prepared you are prior to listing with data and details of your property the better!

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