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The unexpected problems you might find with vacation rental agencies
(when it is too late)

The vast majority of vacation rental agencies will try to impress you boasting that they handle a large number of properties: 100, 200, 400 etc. Many customers however will then report that they were not satisfied with the property, and also with the service, as they were badly assisted, let alone if some problem showed-up. Side services? Forget them, they had to contact other service agencies.

This frequent picture occurs for many reasons:

- The agencies want to include as many properties in their listings to impress you on one hand, and to have as many rentable units on the other hand. However by doing so they just achieve a mere "collection" of properties.
- They consequently don't know well the properties or the proprietors, and they find it very difficult if not impossible to prepare adequately the units (furniture, equipment, linen, towels etc.). They only trust (or hope) that the proprietors will possibly do their job well. Sometimes they don't know the properties at all.

- They don't assist directly or personally customers at check-in and check-out, or during their stay, or they do it quickly, superficially.
- Many agencies, especially the ones in the USA and in the UK, will just "pass" their customers to their Italian co-operating agencies or proprietors, yet they will not know exactly what will happen after, during their stay. Also the Italian agencies follow the same trend: they frequently pass customers, their needs (and all the work it implies) to the proprietors of the units.

As a consequence of the all the above reasons, the vacation rental agencies cannot have leverage on the proprietors to ameliorate the property in all its aspects. The owners will do it only when they realize that the agents follow attentively the customers and their property.

Roman Homes kitchen quality
Roman Homes appliances
Attention to detail. The games in one apartment
Same apartment: some of the appliances in the kitchen

You will realize now a worldwide trend of agencies in the vacation rental business: it is *more profitable* to collect as many properties as possible, and to be just "intermediary" dealers, ideally like some huge portals you will find in the internet. They make their profit only by marketing and brokering vacation rentals, ideally without leaving their office (!). They just make the proprietors or their local agents do the work. However, of course in the large majority of cases the proprietors are unaware of how preparing the property and the service for a demanding international clientele, with all the countless aspects involved. In most cases they also do not speak your language, and they will not supply any sort of tourist assistance. Last but not least, in this negligent picture, you can forget about side services. The only one possibly prepared for you is the car service.

The large majority of customers is unaware of this reality, and usually considers only such simple factors as some nice photos, or attractive low prices (often deceiving, as additional entries are marked on top later: cleaning fees, taxes, commissions etc.). They are unaware of a blatant reality: the large majority of vacation apartments in Italy don't even have a normal telephone (let alone internet connectivity), a colour TV, a washing machine, or an iron! At Roman Homes we require that they must all be part of the equipment even in the less expensive units, and most properties also have air conditioning, satellite dish to watch international programs etc.

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