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A welcome pack – the best way to welcome your guest

At Only-apartments we’ve seen very positive reactions from clients if they are welcomed… with a welcome pack. It is a very good start and they will probably feel more inclined to leave a comment saying how nice you were to them. And don’t forget: comments are the best way to attract new clients! Here’s a little interview we did to one of our owners, Joana and Francisco, who told us about what they do to keep their clients happy. You could do it too, don’t you think? First, tell us a little bit about you… We are Joana and Francisco, two siblings born and currently living in Porto, Portugal. Oportodowntown is the company we started based on the passion we share for travelling and for our home city. Having travelled around the globe and even lived outside of Portugal for some time, in São Paulo (Brazil) and London (UK) respectively, we believe Porto is one of the fantastic European cities that are worth getting to know! And how did you come up with this project? The apartments’ location, smack in the heart of the Historic Centre that was classified World Heritage by UNESCO in 1996, was also definitely a driving force behind our decision to move forward with this project. We have been advertising our DOWNTOWN ONE apartment with Only-apartments since last March and the experience has been very rewarding; it’s great to meet so many different, exciting people from such diverse backgrounds. We try to provide our guests the best experience possible, hoping to take an active part in the success of their stay! We’ve seen that you...

Four golden rules for dealing with negative comments

As we mentioned in the post How to manage your client reviews, we contributed to an article in the British magazine A Place In The Sun. We also talked about the four golden rules for dealing with negative comments: Four golden rules for dealing with negative comments640-816 certification • Don’t panic: it can be upsetting to receive criticism, but it won’t necessarily affect your sales. If you have an occasional negative review amongst generally positive feedback, this can even be a good thing if a customer expresses a strong opinion, it’s usually better not to enter into a debate with them. Not every apartment will be to everyone’s taste, all of the time, so accepting feedback in a positive way will help you to better attract the next...

How to tastefully decorate your apartment

Earlier we had mentioned that cleaning is one of the most important factors that contributes in making a guest feel at home in your apartment. The same applies for the general appearance of your apartment.  A tasteful decor can help make your guest more comfortable and therefore make them feel at home. Here is some advice to help you make your apartment more welcoming: 1. Keep things simple: Avoid overloading your apartment with too many items. Seeing too many things in one space can be visually overwhelming to the client. Compare these two apartments:      The image above shows an overdecorated living room, with objects everywhere and even hanging from the ceiling. The minimalistic decor of the apartment below helps to make it look cleaner and more spacious. Though tastes may vary from one person to another, minimalism is generally what prevails and gives a greater impression of cleanliness. Moreover, it is important to consider the quality and lighting of your pictures. The photo above is blurred and dark which decreases its rental prospects. For more tips on taking pictures, click on the following link. 2. Choose the right colours for the walls:  Avoid painting a room with intensely bright colours. If you do choose to paint a room in a bright colour, only paint one wall in that colour and keep the other walls in a softer tone of that colour or other neutral colours. The rooms where you want to paint a wall of intense colour should be quite large and be illuminated with natural light. Choose yellows, for rooms where you want more light. Greens...

The Secrets of the most rented apartments

At Only-apartments we have analyzed those with the most reservations so far this year to see which are the characteristics most sought after. Although the apartments we looked at are in different cities all through the world, they have a lot in common. We can now show you the 4 Fundamental secrets, in order of importance: 1. Reviews: These are the most important. Internet users trust more with every comment from their fellow renters. The apartments with the most number of reservations in 2013 now has more than 100 reviews from past clients (the average is 41.88 out of the most rented), and this figure will increase. It is clear that the quantity is very important, but also the quality (even though it’s quite obvious, we checked that apartments with lots of negative reviews don’t receive reservations.) Conclusion: You should motivate your clients to leave positive comments about your apartment. At Only-apartments we always send clients a satisfaction questionnaire when they leave the apartment, but you can play a very important role if you remind them to fill it in. You can see those with the best ratings from clients by following this link, where we have done a qualitative study of the comments from the most reserved apartments. 2. Price. People compare prices before making any purchase, by following this link 3. Location. Not all clients want a central location. Even though your apartment might not be in the centre of the city, there are still a lot of chances to receive reservations if you always take our suggestions on board (remember we are apartment specialists!) – If...

Comments are a key decision-making factor: how to make them work for you

Of course, price is one of the most important criteria when deciding which apartment to book. But the rise of social networking and user participation on the Internet means that, increasingly, customer decision becomes influenced by the comments left by other users. At Only-apartments, when a client leaves one of our apartments, we send them an email asking them to leave us a comment about their stay. The customer answers the questionnaire at their discretion and all comments we receive are 100% authentic and are reviewed by our Quality Department. We recommend that as an owner, you remember to ask tenants to fill out our questionnaire for your apartment: the more comments you have on your flat, the more reliable you will seem to users when selecting an apartment. We found that the relationship between the number of reviews and the number of bookings is directly proportional. Encourage them to comment! If you have any questions, please contact Only-apartments through property@only-apartments.com and we’ll help in any way we can. More tips: – Revise your pictures – The price is right? How to know if you’re competitive – Update your calendar and improve your rankings              ...

Update your calendar and improve your rankings

Customers need to know when they can book your apartment and when it is occupied. At Only-apartments we are well aware of the importance of having an updated calendar (both to increase the number of bookings and to avoid overbooking). Therefore we are constantly increasing the ways to automatically update: you can now update our extranet calendar with Google Calendar (free tool) and Kigo (an apartment management software). We are working to increase the number of channels that allow automatic synchronization. Do not worry: for every new active channel, all owners will be notified by e-mail. But it does not end there! As we consider keeping the calendar updated extremely important, Only-apartments rewards owners who constantly review and update their calendar. With us, the more you update your calendar the more you improve your ranking in your destination. This is another trick to improve the ranking of your apartment online and increase the number of visits and bookings. By simply clicking on “My calendar is updated“, your apartment will be among those recommended in the destination page. Worth it! If you have any questions, please contact Only-apartments through property@only-apartments.com and we’ll help in any way we can. More tips: – The price is right? How to know if you’re competitive – Comments are a key decision-making...

How to apply discounts, offers and peak seasons

On our extranet it is possible to add many offers. For periods of low occupancy or to fill gaps in a short period of time, you can use discounts and, above all, Last-minute deals. But it is important to note that prices do not necessarily have to be lowered at all times: an owner has to know what the peak seasons are and if there are special events in their destination. You can also create many seasons: This will help you when you need to adjust prices for specific dates. How to update prices. How do I create discounts? In order to create a discount you must enter the calendar on the Extranet, select the dates which you wish to apply the discounts to and then click “Apply discount”. Then you will have 2 options: If you already have a discount created: it will appear on your list of discounts and all you have to do is to select it. If this is a new discount: click the button & add the required information (name, type and value). Do not forget to put a name. ATTENTION: the value of the discount will be applied to the daily rate. Choose one of the 6 discount rates available and apply the desired value you would like. Click on “Save” and this discount will appear on your created list of discounts. Other types of discounts (Last Minute, buy in advance, discount for the week, discount for the month, prolonged stay) it will automatically be applied, as appropriate when the client makes the reservation.  Here there is an example of how the discounts stand out...

The price is right? How to know if you're competitive

In a growing market there is also increasing competition. If there are many apartments advertised in a destination, the value of bookings changes: there will be increasingly more owners interested in increasing their number of bookings, and this often leads to price declines and / or specific offers, especially in periods of low occupancy. The economic situation in recent years does not help either: more and more customers are choosing a property or even a destination for their attractive prices. To be more competitive, you must review how the apartment is ranked in the market and look into how you could improve your visibility. On Only-apartments as well as on other sites, it is possible to sort the results by price: is the fastest way to see how an apartment is ranked. While deciding your pricing, you must consider the following factors: – Number of rooms – Capacity of apartment – Location – Proximity to public transport – Services offered – Availability Deciding which prices to set in a given period of time is the result of the comparison of the above with other apartments in the same destination. Apply discounts or raise the price of your apartment On our extranet it is possible to add many offers. For periods of low occupancy or to fill gaps in a short period of time, you can use discounts and, above all, Last-minute deals. But it is important to note that prices do not necessarily have to be lowered at all times: an owner has to know what the peak seasons are and if there are special events in their destination....

How can I improve my sales?

the apartment rentals market for tourists is at its peak . Many owners decide to publish their apartments on websites specialised in Holiday rentals and the number of customers keeps growing: In fact, the tourist apartment sector is the fastest growing sector in the international tourism business. Without a doubt, the more customers, the better for the owners. However, there is an obstacle to face: the number of competitors is growing and getting clients is becoming more difficult. What can you do in order to be able to sell in a market that has become so competitive? At Only-apartments we can help you. In the following paragraph, we will analyse four simple steps that will help you improve both the ranking of your apartment and the number of views and bookings you receive. – The price is right? How to know if you’re competitive – Update your calendar and improve your rankings – Comments are a key decision-making factor – An image is worth a thousand...

Improve your sales on Only-apartments!

Reaching a higher number of customers and considerably improving your sales is easier than it appears to be. It is like planting a tree: in order to reap the fruits you need to give it a lot of care and wait for the sun and the rain to show their goodness. The same happen with your apartment. Give it enough attention and you will obtain more visibility and more bookings: – Revise your pictures – Control your prices – Update your calendar – Take every comment into account With these four steps you will see your bookings increasing and your property becoming one of the most outstanding on our website. Click on the following link and find out: How can I improve my sales?...


I want to publish my property in Only-apartments. What are the conditions?

Working with Only-apartments has no cost for the property owner. Our commission is always added to the price that you indicate for your property. Besides, you do not have to be exclusively working with our company: you will have a calendar where you will manage the availability of your property.

You must know that we do not work on request (by demand) and for this reason it is vital to always maintain the calendar updated, as reservations are direct reservations and you should accept them all: at the moment you start to advertise your property in Only-apartments you should maintain your calendar and prices updated and block any dates that are not available (if you use other calendars or Channel Manager, we provide the tools to synchronize the calendar you use to our calendar).

We normally receive reservations for short-term stays (days or weeks), rarely for a month, therefore it takes one person to take care of the check-ins and cleanings. We do not offer these services, but depending on the town perhaps we can refer you to another company or person to do so.

If you are interested in publishing your property in Only-apartments, please access the page for property owners and create a new account to be able to enlist your property. If you have any doubts about the conditions for cooperation, you can write us at property@only-apartments.com.

Do I have to accept all reservations of Only-apartments?

Yes. In Only-apartments we work with a system of direct bookings, with no requests. We do it like this because with the years of experience we have found it beneficial for the customer (who does not have to make a request to obtain a property) and the property owner (who avoids exchanging emails and knows that when he or she receives a reservation, it is confirmed). This way, we avoid frustrations on both sides.

This system is very beneficial for everyone. But we have noticed that the most important complaint from our customers comes precisely when they make a reservation that has been subsequently canceled by the property owner. A cancellation has a huge management and reputational cost.

In case you do not accept a reservation, you should take a look at our Overbookings Policy.

What happens if I do not accept a reservation?

As property owner in Only-apartments, you can’t cancel any reservations. In case you decided not to accept a reservation from Only-apartments, you should immediately get in contact with us sending an email at info@only-apartments.com or calling by telephone. In any case, you must not get in contact with the customer. These are the consequences of not accepting a reservation (also specified in ourOverbookings policy):

  • Once an owner advises us that they are not accepting the booking, Only-apartments will temporarily remove their apartment/s and will look for alternative accommodation for the client. The owner must pay 100 Euros to cover the cost of administration, by providing us with his or her card details.
  • If the owner helps Only-apartments to find alternative accommodation for the client and they accept it, the amount to pay will be 50 Euros only. However, if the client does not accept any of the alternatives suggested, the full 100 Euros will be payable by the owner, and Only-apartments will refund the reservation fee to the client
  • If the owner gets in touch with the client and not with Only-apartments, he or she will be in breach of this policy and will face a penalty of 100 Euros.
  • In any case, not accepting a reservation will result in the owners’ apartments being penalized in terms of their position in Only-apartments’ search results, whereas regularly updating the calendar will result in them being rewarded
  • When the owner has paid the corresponding fee, Only-apartments will publish their apartment once more

In the event of not accepting a reservation or cancelling a booking a second time, Only-apartmentsreserves the right to remove an apartment indefinitely and all those associated with the owner. If the reason for not accepting a reservation is due to major incident, and evidence is provided of this (building works, fire, etc.), Only-apartments will review the case carefully and the owner may be exempt from any penalty. Only-apartments reserves the right to terminate its association with an owner at any time, requiring in any case that any pending bookings are fulfilled.

I have a question on a reservation I have received. What do I do?

If you have any doubts on any reservations received, write us at info@only-apartments.com.

I need to modify the information of my property

You can modify the information, the conditions, or the status of your property directly from your extranet. If you need our help, you can write us at  property@only-apartments.com.

What does the rent amount include?

The rent amount, in other words the total amount that the client needs to pay directly to the owner, needs to include the VAT, if applicable. This means that this tax cannot be charged separately should the client ask for an invoice.

In the event that there are other taxes or expenses that apply (e.g. the tourist tax or supplies), these must be specified in the conditions of the apartment. Otherwise, they cannot be charged to the client.