Please do not get offended or misunderstand my editorial message. I am in sales and love to negotiate with the best bargain hunters on the planet. Heck I’m a Bargain Hunter myself! When my hubby and I travel around Canada and stay in various spots, we usually rent a cottage to accommodate our family. Hotels and motels are too expensive and we are picky eaters. We like and even LOVE to cook our own meals. And we try to negotiate with the owners of those cottage rentals. And with our own from time to time, we will give promos and breaks sometimes as well to families. We do our homework and know what things cost in the area we are renting from, or in our own area of where the cottage rental exists.
But my frustration gets the better of me in dealing with the typical “Cheapskate”. By definition, “a person/s that do not wish to pay more than a few pennies for something that is worth a considerable amount more in value.” And you know who I am speaking of, those cottage renters that do not appreciate value, or have any idea as to what things cost: hydro consumption, quality of amenities or the maintenance of the dwelling or property, location, cleaning, the view etc. I have hosted a few of these kinds of personalities in the years I have been a cottage rental owner, and I try to stay far away from them now. There are signs that I can see in advance and disconnect the call or discussion early on. In the end, they are not the kind of personality that I prefer to deal with, as they have a way of turning something that should be fun into something unpleasant.
“Well the same cottage is being offered for half your price, with everything included and twice the amount of time!” Yeah, okay. Great, then by all means, rent from them. If you’ve done your market research right, you know you are fair with asking price. Ask them to provide the quote or the ad to justify the comment. I’ve never had someone actually provide it when asked.
“We always get to leave whenever we want. We never have to agree to a departure time.” My time is money, simply put. I make it a rule to see every family off whenever they rent from us. It’s the only chance I get to hand back the damage deposit. Most hotels, resorts, and campsites have a very set check out time. Just because you are an independent owner does not mean you cannot have a departure policy. Do not be bullied.
“I know we agreed to your quote in writing, but we don’t want to pay that much. We want to pay this much.” The last minute negotiator who waits until you’ve driven 45 minutes to meet him and his wife and his kids. While they are all sitting there, he/she tries to guilt you into making the fee less. I’ve had that happen to me as well. Be polite but firm,
Perhaps we can cut the time-frame from one week to 4 days then to fit it better into your budget.
Or maybe next year when your situation is different we can accommodate your vacation.
I have a waiting list for this week, and because you were first, I have given you the first option to book.
Now I will go back to my list to the second family on it and they can pursue it. No harm done.”
I don’t change my pricing and make it higher in that last minute, so I do not appreciate the same tactic by a cottage renter either, especially when they’ve approved your quote in writing via email correspondence.
“We don’t know how many people are coming. Why do we have to pay the full rate?” Be careful, these are the types of families that will jam 30 people into a space meant for 6. I’ve had this happen to me as well. They do not want to confirm occupancy. As soon as that comes up, I make absolutely certain that I am there VERY early in the morning and count cars and occupants, coming and going from the outside. I have busted more than one family trying to do that. Say good-bye to your damage deposit of $1000.00. You agreed to my terms and occupancy dictates pricing at the time of booking. If your occupancy changes you must declare the increase. If it goes down, you had people cancel on you and you can make the adjustment with me prior to arrival, but not after. In most instances if they do not confirm occupancy in writing I walk away from the booking.
“You are too expensive. We don’t want to pay more than $75.00 per day.” My rate in peak season is based on a 210.00 per day rate, and families under 4 receive a reduced fee of 147.00 per day. That is based on hydro, view, location, size and quality of dwelling, property offerings, extras, and the seasonality of the demand. Where our cottage rental is located, in the Muskokas, a motel for two people will cost you a minimum of $115.00 per night with just a bathroom and basic television. There is no kitchen, bbq, lakefront, campfire, complete kitchen, laundry on site, acre of private property, enough sleeping beds for 12. So, when you don’t have any of these other hydro-sucking and tourist loving extras, why should you expect to pay a fraction of the cost? Average cost of a campsite in the same area is around 35.00 per night, and you get a 10×20 foot space of dirt, clustered with about 1000 other people within spitting distance of you. You could opt for two spaces of dirt for $70 per night and have a bit more space of dirt! And nothing else….
“Why can’t we use your motor boat? We paid all this money, why can’t we use it? We promise we’ll be very careful.” Yeah, right. Anyone pressuring you to use your motor boat obviously does not know the law. It is hard to rent one without the right paperwork, so why would you lend one out to a complete stranger? The same people, who bug me for extras like this, are the ones who end up taking anything that is not bolted down. I had one couple take every single light bulb, bag, toiletry item, all the toilet paper and paper towels, kitchen and bath lines, my outdoor mat, my books, games, and even the house phone. YUP, say good bye to your damage deposit for your 3 day stay.
So I say to the Cheapos and people looking to get a whole lotta something for just about nothing in return, “GO AWAY.” Go rent from a dirty and scummy motel and leave the independent cottage rental owners alone. You have no idea what true value and quality means with cottage rentals. Do your research and figure it out.