Posted on 28 Nov 2018

Eliminate the Guesswork. Reserve Direct!

Moving Mountains has an amazing team waiting to take care of you

Think before you click! Here are the 4 most important things to consider before you click that mouse to book your next ski vacation...

1. Who are you dealing with?

Will a "booking platform" really take care of you?: Online research is a powerful tool, and the multiple highly developed online booking sites can help you filter many options and check availability and rates.  But that’s about it.  They often don’t control the quality of what’s offered and leave it to you to do your homework.  Our recommendation?  Save on the booking fees and reserve direct.  Google will help you track the real property manager who should be in the resort community that you plan to visit.  Most have a great website and their reservations staff will have been in the home you plan to stay in.  Wouldn’t you rather make a reservation with the person that will greet you at check-in?

Individual vs Professional Management Company: There are many exceptional individuals out there in the world who are great hosts and will take care of your every need.  And there are a few who don’t or can’t, or they might be on the beach in Florida when you check in.  So do your homework and think hard about the choice to work with an individual you "met online" rather than a legal entity like a company when you are committing to a vacation experience that you want to be memorable for the right reasons.

What happens when things go wrong? Does the property manager have a 24hr emergency line for after-hours coverage, or are they out of town for the weekend with all calls going to voicemail while you try to figure out why the heat is out, or the roof is leaking? 

Is there a backup plan if there are serious issues with your home?  No-one wants to think that there will be problems, but if there are can your property manager move you to another home?  If they only manage one or two properties, probably not.

Will they care if you come back?  A professional manager will try an earn your business (and reviews) for a lifetime.  They have a greater commitment to success because it can affect all the properties that they manage.  Rogue individuals still seem able to sucker people in every year – just Google “airbnb horror stories”…

How long have they been in business? This is a tough business to survive in if you don’t do it well.  Many new brands have entered the rental marketplace – they are not hard to find (Vacasa / Turnkey / Invited Home / i-Trip) but it’s hard to figure out whether they will last.  Moving Mountains has been in business since 1998 and continues to grow each year.

2. Read the reviews! 

Third party websites like TripAdvisorFlipkey or even Google carry reviews from actual guests so you can quickly see how good they are.  

No reviews?  Dig deeper: When you can read 50 or more glowing reviews online you can feel confident that the manager you are dealing with is a pro.  It takes time, energy and a good deal of persistence to earn great reviews year after year.  Trip-Advisor and Flipkey are the kings of travel reviews so start there.  You can see the reviews of Professional Managers on Flipkey across all their properties – compare profiles between local managers to see who is the top performer.  Click here to see Moving Mountains

No bad reviews?  Dig deeper: Every manager, no matter how good, will get the occasional bad review.  Sadly it has become a habit for some unreasonable disgruntled guests to flame their hosts online without justification.  How did the manager respond, and how many other great reviews do they have?

3. Is the hot tub clean?

Enjoy your hot tubClean and fresh, or last week’s bath water?: Soaking under the stars in a private outdoor hot tub is one of the greatest experiences to enjoy when you rent a private vacation home.  That said, most property managers don’t change the water for every stay, relying on chemicals to suppress whatever lurks in the tub from the last group.  Moving Mountains changes the water for every stay – it’s the only way to guarantee your health and safety.  So check before you dip your toes.

Does the home you are renting have a hot tub? If not why would you stay there?  All of our homes and duplexes have a private hot tub.

4. Do your homework - pictures, floor plans, 3D Virtual Tours and Maps. 

Is that really the view? There should not be any guesswork in renting a luxury home or residence but it’s down to you to know what you are getting before you sign the booking form. If the property manager is doing his job then the pictures should look gorgeous, but they should also look real.  Look for the telltale signs of over adjusted HDR images – strange hues and artificial tones.

3D Tours3D Virtual Tours? Today’s technology allows us to show you every corner of the home you are going to stay in, including the closets and the laundry room.  Take the time to do the complete tour and compare to the glossy images on the listing.  If they don’t match or don’t have a 3D tour, you might ask why.

Floorplans & Bedding Configuration? Make sure that the home or residence will fit your group.  No-one wants to sleep on a couch for a week when they were hoping for a relaxing and fun luxury ski vacation.

Check the Map?  Make sure you know where your home or residence is located.  Is it close to the skiing or will you need to drive each day?  Slopeside lodging is very convenient, but it costs more.  Luxury costs a lot less when you are 3 – 5 minutes from a ski lift.  Consider a mountain area catered ski chalet where your hosts will drive you on-call every day (and feed you gourmet meals and tidy the house).  Otherwise, make sure that there is a ski shuttle and preferably with 4WD and good snow tires.

Moving Mountains has been in business since 1998.  Starting with one home we are proud to have grown to represent over 80 owners who generously rent their homes out and share "a slice of Steamboat" with our guests.  We have many great relationships with professionals in the lodging industry and many great partnerships within the travel industry as a whole who all work together to provide the very best experience for our guests.  We wish you success in your search for lodging and hope to see you in one of our luxury homes or residences in Steamboat this winter!



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