Posts for OWNER RESOURCES Category

Put your listing on “auto-pilot” with OwnerRez!

OWNER RESOURCES - September 29, 2023

Let’s face it. Booking directly is hard! You have to build the quote, send it to the guest, collect payment, get rental agreements signed, send them check in details, etc.

What if we told you it doesn’t have to be hard? What if you could virtually put your booking process on “auto-pilot” without any added booking fees or commissions? OwnerRez does all of that and so much more for about $40/month for the first property – that is only $10/week to have an “expert virtual assistant” taking care of the booking process so you can focus on taking care of your guests. Unleash the power of OwnerRez by connecting your AlaVHR listing. AlaVHR is an advertising site, OwnerRez is a booking platform, together, we make a great team! Here is what you get:

OwnerRez – Reservation Software

  • Instantly build quotes – if desired, you can automatically send quotes
  • Automatically collect electronic signatures on your rental agreements
  • Collect the initial payment at time of booking based on your rules – payment goes directly to you with no added fees from OwnerRez, just your credit card processing fee
  • Collect final payment from guest at the appropriate time
  • Automate email correspondence, such as check in details to go out at the appropriate time prior to their stay
  • Notify your cleaners of any changes in booking – also works with
  • Interested in dynamic pricing? OwnerRez works with PriceLabs and Beyond Pricing
  • Want to automate your lock codes? OwnerRez integrates with most smart locks
  • OwnerRez works great with AlaVHR but also integrates with VRBO and AirBnB
  • Run reports at the end of each month to assist with submitting lodging tax, etc
  • Text messaging is also available for a small monthly fee
  • Add on a fully functioning, direct book website for just a few dollars each month that automatically updates anytime you make changes to your account – update your photos or add a new listing? Instantly appears on your personal website! See an example OwnerRez hosted website here:
    OwnerRez Hosted Website: Latitude Adjustment Beach Rentals
    AlaVHR Link: KatieAnna Morton’s Listings

OwnerRez is so popular that over HALF of all the listings on AlaVHR are tied to an OwnerRez account

In fact, OwnerRez is so popular that over half of all of the listings on AlaVHR are now tied to an OwnerRez account! Find out for yourself why more owners trust OwnerRez!

Learn more about OwnerRez or start your 14 Day Free Trial by clicking the image below*

So why doesn’t everyone use OwnerRez??? As you can imagine, there are a lot of moving parts and it is a complex system. Most owners don’t have the time or energy to devote to setting it up and learning a new process. That’s where we can help! For AlaVHR members, we can set up your OwnerRez account and get you ready to start taking bookings PLUS training and follow up phone support for a low one-time fee of just $299** – and most accounts can be completed in less than one week. OwnerRez offers a similar service for $500 and they currently have a six week backlog. Our low-cost set up service is ONLY available for members using AlaVHR to advertise their rentals. BONUS! Get $50 off the setup fee if you use our referral link!

OwnerRez is among the few services that will work for owners with only one or two listings…

Get started today for only $299 set up fee** then $40/month (first property)

PLUS – Save $50 on the Setup Fee if you use our referral link!

Most reservation systems are designed for property managers with ten or more listings. OwnerRez is among the few services that will work for owners with only one or two listings as well as large property managers. You may have heard of Guesty and Hospitable which are great for automating communications, but we have not found any other site that can actually take a direct booking (process payments) and handle all the other steps, such as the rental agreement, like OwnerRez at such an afforable rate. If you are looking for a complete system, you owe it to yourself to check out OwnerRez.

Not advertising on Sign up today! No added booking fees or site commissions and all owners are verified. Earn more and have more control over YOUR bookings!

We have not found any other site that can actually take a direct booking (process payments) and handle all the other steps, such as the rental agreement, as well as OwnerRez for such an affordable rate.

Ready to get started? Contact Us

Already have an OwnerRez account? Check out these helpful videos! We also provide support to all of our AlaVHR members at no extra charge – if you have a question about OwnerRez, just ask!

Check out our “Unofficial OwnerRez Support Group” on Facebook – over 3,000 members and growing! Ask questions and learn how to get the most out of your OwnerRez account:

How to connect your AlaVHR listing to your OwnerRez account

How to import Spot Rates from OwnerRez to your AlaVHR account – It’s fast and easy!

*One reason we can offer the set up service for such a great rate is that we also receive a small referral fee as an affiliate.

** $299 setup fee only available for owners that list on Get $50 off the setup fee when you use our referral link!

Article updated 10/6/2023 – prices subject to change without notice.

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How to Spot a Scammer – Updated for 2023


How to Spot Scammer ALAVHR Watch our video and learn how to spot scammers!

Article by Susan Forson, Owner,, first published June 29, 2018

How to Spot a Scammer

Vacation rental scams are not new, but they have recently increased in our corner of the world.  In July 2018, I received a frantic phone call from a traveler who arrived in Gulf Shores, suitcases in hand, and discovered that her family had been scammed out of their vacation rental.   She called me because we have a very active Facebook community where we help connect travelers with vacation rental owners.   I helped calm her down, and went through the scenario with her – yes, she had been scammed.   It is very difficult to prosecute these scammers but I did encourage her to contact her bank and to file a police report.   Fortunately, we were also able to help arrange a legitimate condo for her and her family to stay in.    It breaks my heart to hear such stories – and they are becoming all too frequent.

We issue many warnings and reminders in our groups about scammers, but this phone call spurred me to action.  I wanted to pull together what we have learned about scammers and make a video that you can share to educate travelers.

The bottom line is that no matter how careful you are, there is no way to prevent scammers from contacting you on Facebook or Craigslist.   The best line of defense is to learn when to be suspicious and always choose a payment option that provides fraud protection.  We cover all of these topics and even share real life examples from recent scams in our video.

Please take a few moments to learn how to spot a scammer and how to protect yourself – and please share with your friends and family.  The examples used in this video were reported to the Scammer Busters group.  Travelers may also contact us to ask whether someone has been reported or if you are not sure you are being scammed.

Facebook Profile Tips

  • Newly created accounts
  • Older accounts with very few photos or activities
  • Time stamps have been changed on photos
  • Profile and Timeline photos were BOTH recently changed, often at the same time
  • Account name does not align with URL version of account
  • Friends list not visible
  • Many foreign friends, particularly from Nigeria or other English speaking third world countries
  • If friends list is not visible, check to see who has “liked” or commented on photos – go back a month or more
  • Check which groups they belong to:
    • Are there a LOT of vacation rental groups scattered geographically?
    • Are they in mostly buy/sell groups?
  • What types of links are they sharing? Red flags are rental links from VRBO and AirBnB but the locations are literally all over the world.  Click the links – is there any consistency in who is the named owner or property manager?
  • Lately Scammers select listings that are through very large property management companies so that it is impossible for you to know whether they are telling the truth.
  • Claim to be a realtor – check the company they claim to work with.  Many scammers use the same fake company name
  • Claim to own their own property managemet company (Their Name Vacation Rentals), plus an “impressive” history of working for other vacation companies, such as AirBnB, VRBO, Vacasa, etc.  Some even claim to “work” for AlaVHR!

At Alabama Vacation Home Rentals, we are dedicated to stopping scammers.  We verify every owner that lists on our site and never charge booking fees or site commissions.    Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns before booking with one of our owners.

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AlaVHR – 2021 Year in Review


Another wild ride

Nothing about the past two years has been “normal” for the vacation rental business. Hurricane Sally beat us up pretty badly – recovery efforts took months and for some areas, they were hoping to reopen by Labor Day last year. Owning a vacation rental is not for the faint of heart and yet we saw record sales as new owners poured in. 2021 was a record year for real estate and we said goodbye to many veteran owners and made friends with the “newbies” coming into this business.

Website traffic and inquiries are all UP UP UP! Travelers are getting wise to those ridiculous booking fees and commissions charged by the “big sites” – and owners are getting fed up with all the rules being imposed on them.

  • Website Traffic up – nearly 2,000,000 Page Views in 2021
  • Inquiries up – over 16,000 Inquiries in 2021
  • Listings up 12% – We now have over 430 Active Listings – we are the LARGEST “no booking fee” website serving Alabama. We have TWICE as many Alabama Listings as our nearest competitor.
  • We sent out over 600,000 emails in 2021 and our email database has grown 25% to over 20,000 traveler emails.
  • We have over 21,000 followers on Social Media, including an extremely active Owner Support Group that is open to anyone who owns or manages a vacation rental in Alabama.

While we are growing, our competition is shrinking. What sets us apart? We pride ourselves in giving exceptional customer service, routinely going above and beyond. We have helped many new owners learn the ropes to set them up for success in this business. We continue to focus primarily on supporting individual owners and small scale property managers. We guarantee that your listing will be seen, not buried under major property management companies or hotels.

We truly believe that this will be an amazing year for our AlaVHR family – and when you join AlaVHR, it really is like being part of the family. Most importantly, we want to thank every owner who treats US like family and continues to put their faith in us. We will continue to work very hard for you in 2022!

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Using PayPal Invoices for Vacation Rental Owners

OWNER RESOURCES - March 18, 2020

At, we do not collect payments from travelers so you get paid directly. Many owners use PayPal for Business to manage their reservation invoices. It’s actually very easy to set up and use with a few simple steps.

We created a series of three short videos to get you started.

Part 1: Create a Template in PayPal

Part 2: Create an Invoice in PayPal

Part 3: Manage Invoices in PayPal

We are dedicated to helping owners succeed – if you have any questions or need assistance with your listing, please contact us.

Thank you for choosing Alabama Vacation Home Rentals!

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How to Sync Your Vacation Rental Calendars on AlaVHR

OWNER RESOURCES - March 11, 2020

Syncing your vacation rentals calendar with Alabama Vacation Home Rentals is quick and easy. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to monitor all your booked dates in one place so you can manage them easily and efficiently. This article will show you how to sync your VRBO, HomeAway, and Airbnb calendars with AlaVHR.

How to Sync Your VRBO/HomeAway or Airbnb Calendar with AlaVHR

Step 1: Open Your AlaVHR Calendar Inside the Owner Dashboard

  1. Log into your account on
  2. If you are already logged in, click “My Panel” at the upper right corner of the page to open the Dashboard.
  3. Select “Vacation Rentals” on the left menu
  4. Then click “Manage Listings/Calendar” to view your listings
  5. Find the property you would like to sync calendars and click “Calendar”

6. On the “Availability” tab, select “iCal Import” – this is where you will paste the iCal Link from VRBO or AirBnB later

Step 2: Copy Your Calendar Link from the VRBO/HomeAway or Airbnb Owner Dashboard

VRBO/HomeAway Instructions

  1. Open another tab on your browser and log into your VRBO or HomeAway Owner Dashboard
  2. Find the property that corresponds to your AlaVHR listing and click “Manage”
  3. On the drop down menu under Manage, select “Calendar” to see your Reservations Calendar

4. On your Reservations Calendar, click “Import/Export”

5. Choose “Export Calendar” – a window containing the calendar link will appear.

6. Copy the entire link and go back to the corresponding listing inside the AlaVHR Owner Dashboard

Airbnb Instructions

(NOTE: If you have both VRBO and Airbnb calendars, import from the first calendar before starting the second)

  1. Open another tab on your browser and log into your AirBnB Owner Dashboard
  2. Find the property that corresponds to your AlaVHR listing and click “Calendar”
  3. Select “Availability Settings”

4. Scroll down until you see “Sync Calendars” and then choose “Export Calendar” to view your iCal Link

5. Copy the entire link and return to the corresponding Availability tab in the AlaVHR dashboard

Step 3: Sync Your Calendar

  1. Return to the corresponding listing inside the AlaVHR dashboard, Availability Tab/iCal Import
  2. Paste your iCal link to the first available “iCal URL” textbox on your AlaVHR Availability dashboard
  3. Click “iCal Import”
  4. Calendar will automatically update once per hour
  5. IMPORTANT: Verify any cancellations or modified reservations update correctly. Contact us if you need assistance.

You have successfully sycned your calendars!

When you receive a booking through AlaVHR, just go to either your VRBO or AirBnB calendar and manually block the dates – it will automatically transfer to the AlaVHR calendar.

If a reservation is not importing correctly, first try to delete the reservation on your AlaVHR calendar, then click “iCal Import” to refresh. If you still experience issues, please contact us and we will be happy to look at it for you.

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Exclusive Deal for Flora-Bama Border Owners!!!

Do you own vacation rental property in communities near the Alabama-Florida state line?  We realize that many guests search this entire area when choosing a vacation rental and we want to make it easier for them to find YOU!  That’s why we have teamed up with our sister site in Florida to offer you this EXCLUSIVE deal!

Get double the exposure and all the benefits of being on both sites – for a special low rate!

First, set up your subscription on the regional site for your property.

Alabama Properties – Click Here to Get Started              

Florida Properties – Click Here to Get Started  

Once you have set up your paid subscription, you will automatically be eligible for a 50% discount on the border site!  It’s that simple!

You will also be eligible for all rights and privileges awarded to subscribers on both sites – including social media groups, newsletter exposure and other promotional opportunities.

Properties located in the following areas are currently eligible to participate.   If you would like your area to be considered for this special program, please contact the main site for your property.

Orange Beach Area, Alabama
Lillian Area, Alabama

Pensacola Area, Florida
Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach Area, Florida
Perdido Key Area, Florida 

On the Alabama site, all listings will be available under our Gulf Coast Region.

On the Florida site, all listings will be available under their North West Region.


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Owner Testimonials



Hear what fellow owners say about listing with Alabama Vacation Home Rentals – we are owners like YOU, first and foremost.  We are the only locally owned and operated regional site that serves the entire state of Alabama!  We will work very hard for you – give us a chance to earn your business with a FREE trial listing!   Get started today


“We listed our Orange Beach condo, Silver Beach 803 as a vacation rental about 9 months ago.  We have had a great response with inquiries and bookings and will continue to list our property here.  They are heavily marketing in the Alabama region and promoting in multiple areas.  Susan is very responsive to questions and issues.”  – Brenda B., September 25, 2018  See Brenda’s Listing Here


Some of my nicest guests have reserved through ALAVHR. This site is great for them as they don’t have to pay a reservation fee and for me because it lets me correspond with them without having to go through a “middle man.” I believe ALAVHR is doing a great job and look forward to a long and successful relationship with them.”  Linda G.  July 5, 2018  See Linda’s Listings Here


Kathy G., Owner

I am enjoying using your site with its ease of use and no booking fees for guest. With the Industry adding more and more fees (on both sides) and forgetting how they got so large, ie us owners, its refreshing to have a platform to advertise where they keep us in mind. I have gotten several reservations for our condos and know it will continue to grow thru word of mouth. As an owner myself, I really appreciate the enhancement to watermark our photos. Very simple to do and if you are unsure, Susan will assist you to get it done. I had my photos stolen off another site and created a new listing to scam guests on Craigs list of all places. I will use every tool I can find to prevent this again. The watermark does not hinder the ability to see the photo but because my name is front and center, no one will want to right click and save. After asking, Susan was also able to disable the right click and save from a computer (doesn’t work on a tablet or mobile device though) . Thank you for all you are doing to help all rental property owners in the area maximize our earning potential. Being such a young business I have high hopes this can become a games changer for all of us in the future.”  – Kathy G., June 24, 2018   See Kathy’s Listings Here


“I love that I can offer guests a legitimate website and have complete control over the booking and deposits! Other companies charge a fee for this, a fee for that, oh and don’t honor your wishes for a refundable damage deposit. It’s like banging your head to get anything from that company of anything happens!! This website saves the GUESTS AND Owners all those crazy fees!! Susan had been amazing to work with as well! Are you an owner!? STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY using those other sites! Guest looking to book- don’t go anywhere else!!!!”  – Jami B.  July 31, 2018   See Jami’s Listings Here


We are a very new website – launched in September 2017.  ALAVHR-Roy-Susan-ForsonIn that short time, we have become the FASTEST GROWING regional site in Alabama!  Join our team and let us start promoting YOUR vacation rental!

Questions?  Feel free to Contact Us anytime, or Call Us during regular business hours at (251) 333-6500.  We are here to help!


Roy and Susan Forson, Owners


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Book Direct with ALAVHR and Avoid Booking Fees on Your Next Alabama Vacation Rental!


It’s no secret – the vacation rental industry has changed dramatically over the last few years and not for the better.  These changes negatively impacted both the traveler and vacation rental owners alike.  As a result, more and more owners are leaving the online travel agencies (“OTA’s”) and listing their properties on regional sites like Alabama Vacation Home Rentals, where there are no booking fees and no commissions.   Most regional websites charge owners much less to list their properties and travelers pay absolutely nothing!    This is how the OTA industry actually started – before they got greedy!

Alabama Vacation Home Rentals (ALAVHR) is a pure and simple listing site that connects travelers and vacation rental owners. We believe in open and direct communication between owners and travelers before, during and after the booking.  In contrast, OTA’s want to control the process by making the rules to their benefit, at the expense of the traveler and owner.   The reason that OTA’s block communication between owner and guest is simple, they want their money.

On February 7, 2018, we participated in the first ever “Book Direct” day. Vacation rental owners, hoteliers and industry related websites are coming together as one common voice to educate travelers and guests to inform them that there is an alternative to the OTA’s.  Looking for tips on how to #BookDirect safely?  Read our article here.

BookDirect to Save Hundreds of Dollars On Your Next Vacation Rental!

So say NO to VRBO!  Other OTA’s that will gladly take you hard earned money are: AirBnb, Flipkey, HomeAway, Booking, etc. All of these websites will charge both the owner and traveler very high fees. Buyer beware!  Ask questions and read the website!   Some sites, like Booking .com, try to hide their fees as commissions tacked on to the owner cost.  In the end, the traveler pays more for the same vacation and often times, the owner makes much less on their own property that the OTA’s.

Why pay more for the same vacation rentals?

Booking a vacation rental on a no fee-listing site can save you money, sometimes hundreds of dollars! Yes, hundreds of dollars!  At Alabama Vacation Home Rentals:     Our pledge to you:  We do not charge a traveler fee and never will!

Receive personalized service.

Vacation rentals are not hotels.  Each one is unique.  In fact, not every vacation rental is for everyone. Booking direct with an owner or property manager allows for open communication so that you can ask important questions before you book.

Want the inside scoop?  Owners are local experts who know their destination the best, the attractions,, the restaurants, the vendors, the happy hours the discounts, etc., and are more than happy to share with you their insider local tips.  Remember, owners genuinely want your repeat business and will go the extra mile to ensure you are happy and enthusiastic enough to come back and tell your friends.   Many owners appreciate returning guests so much that they offer special perks or discounts.

Receive the best possible price.

The cost for an owner to list their property on the OTA’s has become increasingly more expensive.   While many of these OTA’s want you to think that they are offering you the best possible price, the fact is they are not.   Owners have no choice but to pass the increase on to travelers.   Your cost goes up!    Speaking directly with the owner guarantees you the best possible rental price, access to special offers and/or last minute cancellations deals.

No fee regional listing sites are gaining in popularity.  Alabama Vacation Home Rentals  (a member of Vacation Home Rental Network) is one of them.  Owners and travelers can make a difference by spreading the word that there is an alternative to VRBO, HomeAway, AirBnb, Booking etc.

You have saved all year for your vacation, so save some of those hard earned dollars for enjoying your vacation and not lining the pockets of a big OTA.  Make sure it is your perfect vacation rental BEFORE you book.

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