Frequently asked questions guests
How do I book?
Booking is easy. You just click the booking bottom on the house / apartment or room you want to book and fill out the booking details. Within 24 hours you will receive a booking confirmation and a link to our secure payment site where you find payment information. Later you will receive road description and practical information concerning the vacation home.
How do I pay?
There are several ways to pay depending on your preferences and the house owner.
There are two basic ways of paying for the vacation. The standard procedure is that you pay 20 percentage deposit within 48 hours after receiving the booking confirmation. The remaining 20 percentage is paid to the house owner upon arrival.
Some house owners may require a higher deposit or the full payment in advance. If that is the case you need to pay the entire amount after receiving the booking confirmation.
We accept Checks, Credit Cards, and Bank Transfers all bookings. We do not charge some booking fee like other companies do.
How do I cancel?
As a basis rule you lose your deposit in case of a cancelation. In case you have paid the full amount the cancelation policy will be listed at the property. In case the question is rescheduling your vacation do not hesitate to contact us, in many cases we can find a beneficial solution for you.
Can you assist with car rental and airport transfer ?
We want to be transparent and do not want to sell you something at a higher price so therefore car rental and airport transfer cannot be booked through us. None the less as part of our customer service we would love to help you with as well car rental and airport transfer by recommending or facilitating contact to reasonable prices local service providers. In many cases the owners offer Airport transfer.
Do you only offer the vacation homes listed on your web page?
We can offer all the houses listed on our webpage but we also have a solid network to owners who do not advertise their properties on our page. Thus you are interested in a location or a type of vacation home let us know and it is likely we can help you
What is the benefit by booking through Balkan Vacation Homes?
We are specialized in vacation homes in Serbia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria for the past four years and the vacation homes we list on our site are vacation homes we have inspected ourselves and where most of the owners have a track record.
When you book through us you buy your vacation from us. This means that you do not have to rely on various house owners concerning customer service or claims in case something should show up not to be OK. We are responsible for the vacation we have sold you and we have 24/7 hotline customer assistance if there should be issues during your stay. Most of our house owners also like to assist you with questions or help with issues before and under your stay, but most important we are always there if needed.
You save time and money booking through us we do not take provision from the owners but have negotiated low net prices that is to your benefit
Frequently asked questions house owners
What makes Balkan Vacation homes different?
Renting out your house apartment or room, can get you a good extra source of income. When you rent out with us we do not only advertise your house, we do actively work on the promotion of your vacation home and ensure satisfied customers and house owners. Some of the differences working with us compared to advertising portals are:
Qua our experience we can help you to determinate the right rental price for your vacation home. Often wrong prices are a main reason for lack of bookings. We also give you advise on improvements you can make to make your holiday home more attractive and we offer to make professional photos in order to improve the presentation.
When promote your vacation home we do not only promote it on our own website we also promote it through travel agencies and partner portals throughout Europe. We analyze travel trends and out previous booking statistics in order to ensure that your vacation home is promoted so it attracts the optimal number of potential guests.
We assist you with taking care of your guests before under and after their stay. Thus if there are things you prefer us to manage or you have issues then we are more than happy to help you.
In short when you work with us you get much more than access an advertising channel you get a partner who care about renting out your house as much as you do
Is there a commission / fee to pay to work with you?
No, we are not just a site advertising houses and it is absolutely free to work with us. Our concept is that we agree on a net price for your vacation home and then we rent it out to our customers with a margin. For you this basically means that we have a responsibility for the guests and can assist you with different issues before and under the stay.
How do I get paid ?
Standard payments (Cash in hand without any fees)
Our standard setup is that the customer pays us a deposit when they book and pay for the rental in cash upon arrival. The deposit ensure a very low cancelation rate and the cash payment makes eliminates transaction fees and ensure you have the money before you rent out the house. In case of cancelation we refund you 20 percentage of the rental price.
None the less there are other options.
Balkan Vacation Homes collect the payment.
We collect the entire amount upon the booking or we collect the rent one week prior to arrival. Those options are a bit more complicated as the solutions require that you make an invoice to Balkan Vacation Homes. Moreover we charge 15 € for the administration and transfer of the money to your bank besides we need to pay 3.4 percentage for we have to pay for processing the payment.
You collect the net rent yourself.
You collect the entire net rent one month or one week prior to arrival. This solution require that you invoice the customer and as our policy is that booking through Balkan Vacation Home should be easy for our guests, we require that you are able to receive credit card payments. You sign up for credit card processing service providers such as PayPal, stripe, or Transferwise. (Such services typically free to sign up for but they charge around 3–4 percentage for processing a payment).
Please note that
- It is our experience that instant payment of the entire amount leads to fewer bookings and it may limit the presentation of your property through some of our external partners.
- In case of last minute bookings where the payment terms above cannot be met the payment terms automatically becomes standard.
- In some cases bookings made through external partners such as travel agencies and external webpages makes it impossible to practice the “cash in hand“ principle in our standard payment scheme. In such cases the entire amount will paid by Balkan Vacation Homes, latest 24 hours after the guests have checked in.
- That the fee for credit card processing often is a cheaper solution compared with the fees for a bank transfer from abroad. The question to consider is who is paying for the transfer. For bank transfers it typically is the customer who pays for the bank transfer and thus this cost is something the customer has to pay in addition to the rental price. In most cases your bank also charge you a fee for receiving the money on your account. In case you / we receive credit card payments it is you who pay for the processing. In short that means that you either should add this cost to the rental price or accept that there will be a 3.4 percentage reduction.
Summarized the options are.
STD: Deposit to Balkan Vacation Homes and full rent paid upon arrival. NO invoicing and fees.
PB1: Net rental paid to Balkan Vacation Homes upon booking. Upon receiving invoice from you we transfer the money to your bank account. (3.4 % for credit card processing plus a 15 € fee)
PB1: Net rental paid to Balkan Vacation Homes one week before arrival. Upon receiving invoice from you we transfer the money to your bank account. (3.4 % for credit card processing plus a 15 € fee)
PH1: Net rental paid to you one week before arrival (you invoice customer for the net payment and 3-4 % for credit card processing)
PH2: Net rental paid to you one month before arrival (you invoice customer for the net payment and 3-4 % for credit card processing)
In case you have questions or special requests fell free to contact us
Do you care for my customers ?
Yes, we do assist you we also pride ourselves on taking care of our guests and providing excellent customer service, ensuring that they have a positive holiday experience and will return. We will also field any questions and handle any requests from guests.
What are my obligations?
Your main obligation is that you close the calendar if you use the vacation home for own use or rent it out through other channels. We know that it sometimes can be hard to stay 100 percentage up to date in the high season, so we actually call you when you have a booking to confirm that everything is OK before we send the booking confirmation to the customer. In this way we avoid problematic relocations.
None the less this service from our side does not mean that bookings per se is on request. If you several times forget to close the calendar we may terminate the contract.
Best prices. We want our prices to be competitive so we require that you do not give lower net prices elsewhere that is including what you charge if you rent directly out to guests
Can everyone work with you?
If you have a self-catered vacation home in Serbia, Macedonia or Bulgaria we are interested, but as we are responsible for what we are renting out to our guests and a close relationship to our house owners is important, we reserve the right to inspect the vacation home and in some case make our own photos for promotion use. It is also important that the vacation home fits into our concept as this is in the interest of both parties so in rare cases we may refuse to work with a vacation home.
Can I rent out the house myself?
Yes you can as long as you remember to block the calendar and on request inform us on which channels you use. The reason we encourage you to inform us where you rent the house if asked is that we work actively with promotion of your vacation home. This means that besides advertising your vacation on our webpage we also promote it through travel agencies and external portals. Thus it helps us to know what sites your house already is listed on so we do not use the same channels for our promotion
Can I get support?
Yes our local team is always there to assist you with a wide range of things such as servicing the guests, managing claims, giving you advice on how to improve the potential of your vacation home etc. We believe that we as vacation rental company and you as an owner has a mutual interest in maximizing the profits from renting out your vacation home, and this interest is best achieved if we work as a team.