Homeowner FAQs

How long does it take to set up a new listing?

If you already have an active listing on select major listing sites, you may be able to take advantage of our listing JumpStart program which captures 70-90% of listing details in just seconds.  With the JumpStart program, most listings take 15-30 minutes to complete.  If you need any assistance getting started, please contact us - we are here to help!

How will an interested renter contact me?

Renters will contact you directly by telephone or email through your listing. All rental advertisements provide the owner's contact information, however, your email address will be hidden from visitors. You may opt not to post your telephone number, which will leave any contacts going through the website inquiry form to you.

How do I add photos to my listing?

If you would like photos posted with your listing, simply login, got to edit your listing, then click on Manage Photos. There you can select the photos from your local computer you wish to upload and store with your listing. You can change the photos any time you wish, as often as you wish.

What size do my photos need to be?

Potential guests want to see large, high-quality photos. It helps them trust the property description and greatly improves the performance of the listing. The uploaded images should be at least 1132 pixels wide and 768 pixels high.

I'm having difficulty uploading my photos?

If you are currently trying to upload your photos, this is where you select photos that reside on your computer to be transferred to our web site. This part should NOT be filled in with a web address.

Try loading one photo at a time for larger photos or 4-5 smaller photos at once.  This will automatically open the edit box for cropping or rotating the photo and allow you to enter a caption. 

Once you are on the Photos tab for your listing, click on the Browse button for a dialog box and navigate until you find the image file you want to upload. Click on the file, then click Open. This will set the path to your image file in the text box. Next, click Upload Photo and wait while the file is uploaded from your computer to our web site. The screen will not change until the transfer is complete. If the file is large or your connection is slow, this step could take several minutes.

After photos have been added, you may easily edit the caption, delete photos and drag/drop to rearrange the order.  Be sure to choose an eye-catching, quality photo as your lead photo.

We do not restrict watermarking on our site. Watermarking can reduce your risk of having your photos used by scammers.  Watermarking is available directly from your dashboard - contact us if you would like assistance watermarking your photos.

What if my photos are already somewhere out on the Internet?

If you have no photos on your local computer, but have some on the Internet you will have to go fetch them first. You can download them to your local computer and then upload them to our site. To download photos, use your browser to view the photos, and place the mouse pointer over the photo itself. Click the right mouse button. A menu will appear. Select "Save Picture As" on the menu. This will bring up a dialog box that will give you a choice of where to save the photo and under what name. The original name of the photo will appear. You should change it to something simple using only letters, numbers and dashes. This can be done by clicking in the area with the filename and changing it. Photos should be saved somewhere on your computer that you will remember, like on your desktop. Click the "Save" button to transfer the photo. Once downloaded to your local computer you can upload them to our site using the instructions above.

Important note about thumbnail photos: Often when viewing a web site that contains your photos, a smaller photo will be displayed and when you click it, a larger copy of the photo will be displayed. The smaller photo is called a thumbnail. When taking photos from the internet, make sure you do not save the thumbnail. Click the thumbnail and save the larger photo, as described above. If you submit the thumbnail to us, it will show up as small and/or blurry on your listing.

How do I modify my listing?

You have full access to your listing 24 hours a day. You can modify any portion of your listing at any time, including the pictures. To make changes simply click on the "Owner Login" link. Once logged in, click "Edit Listing" and then use the tabs on top to navigate to the appropriate section of your listing.

How do I change my email address, password and contact information?

Go to the "Owner Login" link. Once logged in, click on "My Profile" - you can make all changes from a single page. If necessary, each listing can have separate contact information by clicking on "Edit Listing".

How do I request a new city or location be added?

If you are posting your property and do not see your city or location, just contact us. We will research your request and get back to you. Until a decision is made, we suggest you place your listing in the closest listed region.

What is the cost to list a vacation rental?

You may get started for free to evaluate whether our site works for you - No Credit Card Needed. See pricing for annual subscriptions. There are no additional fees or commissions charged on any bookings generated from the website.

Why am I getting plenty of visits/inquiries but no bookings?

Perhaps your rental rate is too high. Compare it with other owners in your area and bedroom size, just as the vacationers do. Our belief is that if you take any given ten rentals in an area, 3 will get 50% of the inquiries, 6 will split the remaining 50% and one will get very few. The main determinant? Price.

Do you process payments for reservations?

No. We do not have payment processing in place for reservations.  Many of the large advertising sites now require owners to use their payment systems.  They are also holding owner's payments - sometimes until after the guest checks in.  We feel it is best to leave it up to the individual homeowner to determine the best way to accept payments for reservations.

Options for accepting payments for reservations include checks, of course. For accepting payments online, some options include using any of the following:

  • PayPal: There is a 2.9% + 30¢ Credit Card Transaction Fee. We recommend having a Business Standard Account for greater flexibility. There is no monthly fee with a Business Standard Account. You can easily send invoices for payments and you can transfer money to your bank account free. With the Business Standard account you can also get a credit card reader that works on tablets and smart phones.
  • Square: Invoices are free to send. Pay 2.9% + 30¢ per invoice when customers pay with credit or debit online. Pay just 3.5% + 15¢ to charge customers instantly when they authorize you to keep a card on file. See funds from paid invoices deposited directly into your bank account in one to two business days.

Of course, you are free to use whatever payment processing option you wish. We do not restrict you ability to choose whatever works best for you. You may also consider using a reservation software service, such as OwnerRez, which allows you to connect your own payment system.  Find out more about OwnerRez and qualify for a special discount as a member of ALAVHR.com by using this link.

Can you list or modify my home for me?

We offer a concierge service for those who would like assistance setting up a new listing.  Please contact us if you are interested.  If you require modifications, please use the "Owner Login" link to modify your listing. If you require help with changes or photos, please see other questions in this FAQ or contact us for assistance.  We provide more detailed instructions when you log into your account.

Can I include a second or third rental unit on my property listing?

Yes. Homeowners can multiple properties. We offer a tiered pricing schedule multiple properties. See pricing for annual subscriptions.  We now offer Gold and Silver plans with higher ranking and added features at an affordable rate.  There are no additional fees or commissions charged on any bookings generated from the website.

I received a suspicious email, what do I do?

Usually emails with poor grammar, spelling, odd use of capital letters and/or asking you to wire money or participate in an unusual bank transaction is a scam. The sender is usually attempting to obtain money, personal information or your email address. We recommend that you let us know you received this through our service and delete the message without responding. For further information about internet fraud and fake check scams, see fraud.org

How can I protect myself from potential fraud?

Be sure to provide a property lease/legal agreement, and insist on exact payment. One popular scam is the "Renter Overpayment Scam" where a renter will send you an inquiry which may seem legitimate and suggest he sends you more than your rental fees and ask you wire back the difference. The check that he will send is fake (the bank takes several weeks to catch it) and by then you have sent the difference back and will be unable to recover it. We suggest you insist on exact payment or if you do accept an overpayment wait at least 30 days before returning any funds. See fraud.org for more information.

To protect you listing, note that we do not restrict watermarking on our site. Watermarking can reduce your risk of having your photos used by scammers.  We offer watermarking photos as a FREE service - contact us if you would like assistance watermarking your photos.

What should I know about vacation rental sales tax?

Start by contacting your city, county and Alabama state governments about requirements specific to your location. Ask about registering your property. Which governmental entities require registration for your area? Ask how much sales tax you should collect and how often these payments are due to the authorities.