How to choose a tourist apartment in Florence and don’t get burned!
The years 2011 – 2013 have seen a real boom of web sites dedicated to apartments and rooms to let to tourists as alternatives to Hotels or to more classic Holiday Accommodation types such as B&B’s, Guesthouses, Residences etc.
Through aggressive marketing campaigns large and well funded web sites have made extremely popular and easy for everyone to list their spaces on the web and start getting inquiries and costumers for their rooms and apartments.
Provided with some basic guidelines and tips new comers in the vacation rental business are now ready to hosts guests. This is all fun, easy and exciting but keep in mind some hosts might have not yet developed the required knowledge or experience for such a delicate task!
Find yourself dealing with Italian Gestures when you’ve got serious issues isn’t what you are looking for on your holiday!
Here what to expect from your host:
Ensure your host speaks and write a good-enough English so that basic communication will not be an issue during the booking process and during your stay. You can verify this by sending out some preliminary questions and check for the replies you get: how long has the property been on the market? How many Guests have lodged in already? Will the host be available during your stay, will be provided a contact number for emergencies and so on.
Pay attention on reply timing: from a few hours to one day is average good, after that if you haven’t heard back yet move onto the next ad!
Tips for screening listings!
Right from the listing you can find some good hints if the property is worth of interest. Look for those with a good, recent set of pictures with all areas of the property photographed: pictures of the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living room, garden, terrace, hallways and all common areas must be present. Description should be synthetic, clear and well written, documenting the good and the bad of the property.
Its better to know ahead of time if the property nears a bar that opens at night or it has windows facing a noisy street: You might be ok with that and join the bar till down or start screaming out the windows at people to shut up after 10 pm!
The Point About Reviews!
Reviews don’t always hold the real truth and reviews sites have been overly used in the last few years, this includes fake accounts, reviews written from the competition in order to kill a business and so on.
They also offer a subjective point of view of the property: some liked it some other not, some one got along with host like best friends for life some others hated each other from day one.
Its personal but if TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Yelp, and friends all list freaking ugly reviews for a particular space some one is got to be right.
Please note that: wonderful properties might have just come onto the market recently, they won’t have reviews but you can be in front of a good opportunity. Examine the ad carefully and get in contact with the host to dig out more info. No reviews isn’t bad after all!
Afraid of Global? Search Local!
If you are NOT the Do It Yourself type of guy and prefer some personalized assistance you can evaluate more localized holiday rentals websites like Firenze Lodging (yes us!) ApartmentsFlorence.it, Apartmentsinflorence.net, Tuscany Accomodations.org, windows on italy just to name a few.
Managers and directors of local companies have a closer business relationship with Property Owners and Partners of the listed properties, moreover there is a far better knowledge of the city that can sure come helpful for some additional advice during your stay!
Pictures Credits: Airbnb.com (logo) Housetrip (logo) Wimdu (logo) TripAdvisors (logo) Google Reviews (logo) Yelp (logo)