Vacation Rental Glossary
Regularly updated list of commonly used short term rental terms.
Learn more →
Insights and tips centered around growing your vacation rental business.
Optimize your short term rental property with templates and materials.
Our growing list of commonly used vacation rental terms to explain confusing acronyms or jargon you might encounter in your hosting journey.
A document that introduces guests to a property and provides a personal invitation into their home.
A physical book or binder that hosts create with all important information regarding a property and local attractions.
The self check-in is an option offered by some distribution platforms (Airbnb, Vrbo) that allows guests to enter your rental when you arrive without meeting directly with the property manager or owner.
A process where a property owner or managers evaluate prospective guests before allowing them to book a rental. Also called “guest screening”
The price for a reservation offered to a potential guest. A quote is offered before a formal reservation or booking.
Specified hours when guests are expected to keep noise to a minimum.
An individual or company that is hired to oversee the day-to-day operations of a property. They sometimes specialize in managing long-term or short-term rental housing.
Property management cost
The expenses incurred to manage a rental property.
Preparation Time Before Arrival (PTBA)
The minimum amount of time a booking for a property must be made before a guest arrives. This allows hosts the required time to get a rental ready for guests.
A property that allows guests to bring pets during their stay. Owners may also require a pet deposit or fee.
Locked closet or room in a property that is used to store personal items that are not available to guests.
Overbooking refers to the practice of accepting more reservations for a property than it has available rooms or units.
Empty nights in between bookings, for example when guests depart from a weekend stay, but next guests do not arrive till the following weekend.
Online Travel Agency (OTA)
Web-based marketplace that allows travelers to research and book travel services. The major agencies for short-term rentals include Airbnb and Vrbo.
When a guest fails to arrive on their reserved booking date and without cancellation their reservation.
The lowest number of nights that are required to reserve a property.
A lockbox, a key safe or key storage box, is a secure device that allows property owners to store a key or access code for their rental property. Guests can then access the property using the code or key stored in the lockbox, eliminating the need for property owners to meet guests in person to hand over keys.
Accessing a property without physical keys. Options include providing guests a pin number to enter into a smart lock, or wireless apps using a smartphone.
Key exchange solution
A process by which guests pickup or drop-off keys to a property that doesn’t require the owner to be onsite. Examples can include using a neighbor, local retail store, or cleaning service to manage key exchanges.
Key drop box
A secure box located either on the property or in a public place where guests can deposit the keys to a short-term rental as they depart.
Reservation of a property on a listing platform that doesn’t require approval from the host or owner. Similar to booking a hotel room, the guest chooses their dates, submit payment information and book the property.
A communication from a guest requesting additional information about a property or listing.
Guidelines created by the host of a property covering rules for guests to know during their stay. They usually include what a guest can and can’t do and any penalties or fees if the house rules are broken. Examples of house rules can be viewed in our resource section.
A form of insurance that covers losses and damages to a property and assets within. Homeowner’s insurance also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on the property. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy usually does not cover damage from renters of a short-term rental.
A process where a property owner or managers evaluate prospective guests before allowing them to book a rental.
The interactions with guests from before they check-in to after they depart a property.
Dates in which a rental property has no reservations.
Adjusting the price for a property to reflect differences in demand for a rental. Dynamic pricing would charge a higher nightly rate during peak tourist season, and less during periods where demand is lower.
A double booking is when two or more guests are booked for a vacation rental for the same time period. Also referred to as overbooking.
Damage waiver fee
A damage waiver fee is a prepaid, non-refundable fee included in the rental price covering accidental damages to the property during a guests stay.
A refundable amount of money that a property owner collects from their guests in addition to the total rental amount at the time of booking. The deposit is to cover any guest damages to the property. The deposit is returned at the completion of a visit if the property is in the same condition they found it. Also referred to as a breakage or security deposit.
Improvements to a property that primarily benefit the look & feel. Examples could include new flooring, painting, or lighting.
An Airbnb feature that allows an owner to assign a co-host to the account.
Closed to arrival (CTA)
Marking certain days unavailable for arrivals in a reservation system.
A fee charged by hosts for the cost of cleaning their property after guest departure.
The process where a guest’s departure from a property is recorded.
The process where a guest’s arrival is recorded for their stay.
The day(s) that current guests depart and the owner gets the property ready for the next guest at check-in time. Owners may set up specific days of the week that they would like bookings to begin and end.
Rules that describe what happens if a guest cancels their reservation. Policies normally include a certain date that guests must inform the host of their intention to cancel in order to recieve a refund.
A refundable amount of money that a property owner collects from their guests in addition to the total rental amount at the time of booking. The deposit is to cover any guest damages to the property. The deposit is returned at the completion of a visit if the property in the same condition they found it. Also referred to as a damage or security deposit.
The terms and conditions for a particular booking. This can include payment schedules, cancellation rules, and any required deposits.
A notification via email, SMS, or other means to a guest. This usually includes a specific booking reference number, time period, and rate. Additionally can include additional information such as a rental contract and house rules.
Reserving a vacation rental property for a specific time period for a particular guest.
Specific dates where property owners don’t accept any reservations. This could be due to using for personal use, blocking time for upgrades or repairs, or allowing friends or family to stay at the property free of charge.
Bookings for a property where guests check out and another set check-in on the same day.
Average Length of Stay (ALOS)
The average number of nights that guest books a particular rental property.
An online calendar that allows renters to view current availability for a particular property.
Special features of a short-term rental property such as a pool, hot tub, wifi, pool tables, or a fire pit.
A designation created by Airbnb for hosts who meet criteria of a 4.8+ overall rating, 10+ stays, and low cancellation rate over time.
Glossary terms are provided by the community to provide a quick reference for short term rental owners.
Submit a new term to the glossary
A definition not quite right? Let us know!
Enhance your business, learn with free tips and articles, find the perfect products to outfit your rental and get answers to any question on the forums.
Airbnb Cleaning Service: Costs and Figures for a Host
Navigating the Average Airbnb Cleaning Fee: A guide to understanding, calculating the right Airbnb cleaning fee.
Best Smart Thermostats for Airbnb
Thanks to technological advancements, smart thermostats have emerged as a solution for hosts to manage guest comfort and utility expenses. These devices offer both comfort...
Best Smart Locks for Airbnb
Every Airbnb host knows the importance of a smooth check-in process. With the rise of smart home technologies, discover the best smart locks that offer...
Furnished Finder vs Airbnb: Choosing the Ideal Platform
Compare Furnished Finder and Airbnb for extended and short-term furnished rentals. Discover the ideal platform based on amenities, value, and trip duration.