How to List Your Property on Plum Guide
If you want to try your luck at being in the top 3% of homes in your area, then follow these steps to get your property listed on the Michelin Guide of vacation rentals. The signup and listing process is fairly similar to other OTAs, so follow along and make sure to have your property details at hand.
Setting up your account
From the Plum Guide home page, navigate over to the “Become a host” button in the top corner. You will be redirected to another page where you will select the “apply now” button to begin the application process.
In this part, all you need to do is enter your first and last name, email address, phone number, URL to your existing listing, website, or any other link that displays your home’s photos, and finally your property address. You will then receive an email confirmation about the setup of your account.
When you have your account set up, you will provide information about any rules or regulations you have, the services you provide, and essential tips about your home. It is also where you will be required to sign the Host/Plum Agreement. Once all of your photos and information are entered, your property will be up for review by the home critics at Plum Guide. Be sure to add the information as follows.
Booking, cancellation and contact details
Once you state your contact details, such as email and phone number, you will be asked to set your booking preference to either Instant Booking or Request to Book. Instant Booking is the recommended option because it is linked to getting more reservations, higher profit and Plum Guide will share your listing with partner sites to boost visibility. If you choose Request to Book, then you will only have 24 hours to respond to a guest’s request before the concierge will find the guest another place to stay.
The cancelation policies are as follows:
- Relaxed or premium relaxed: Guests receive a full refund of the total booking value if the cancelation is made at least 24 hours before the local check-in date and time. No refund for cancellations is requested within the 24-hour window.
- Reasonable or premium reasonable: Guests receive a full refund of the total booking for cancelations made at least 5 days before the local check-in date and time. No refund for cancelations requested within 5 days prior.
- Moderate: Guests will receive a full refund of the total booking for cancelations made at least 30 days before check-in. Guests receive a 50% refund for cancelations made at least 7 days before check-in. No refund for cancelations within 7 days of check-in.
- Firm: Guests receive a 50% refund for cancelations made at least 7 days before local check-in time and date. No refund for cancelations is requested within 7 days prior to check-in.
- SuperFirm: Guests receive a 50% refund for cancelations made at least 14 days before the local check-in date and time. No refund for cancellations made within the 14 days.
- SuperFirm30:Guests receive a 50% refund of the total booking value for cancellations made at least 30 days before check-in. No refund for cancellations is requested within 30 days.
- SuperFirm 60: Guests receive a 50% refund of the total booking for cancellations made at least 60 days before the local check-in date and time. No refunds within 60 days.
Choose whichever policy you feel is correct for your listing, but keep in mind that 96% of bookings are set to the Relaxed or Reasonable policies.
You get to choose how you want to set your nightly rate for your listings on Plum Guide. You may set any rate and fees as long as they are not higher than your pricing on any other platform or website. Plum Guide lists the nicest places on the market, not the most expensive. That being said, your chosen prices should be accurate to the location, features, amenities, and attributes of your property.
You can also set up discounts for multi-weekly and monthly stays. Promoting longer stays means fewer vacancies and fewer random days left unbooked in between two stays. The consistent guests are also easier to manage and are less likely to leave damage to a place where they will be living for an extended period of time.
Plum Guide provides synchronization across channels using iCal. If you want to have your listing on other OTAs or on your own website, then you must provide your iCal link on your profile. This way, your calendars will be synched to avoid double bookings and to make management easier. Your Plum Guide calendar will automatically block out dates that get booked from your other listing sites and vice versa.
In this step, you have to input your bank details in order to receive payments from your stays. If your home is located in the UK or anywhere else where you need a VAT number, be sure to include it in this section. If your home is in the US, then be sure to specify if your property is personal or commercial.
Criteria to list your property on Plum Guide
Plum Guide will analyze over 500 data points and 150 different criteria in order to decide if your property fits its profile. Some of these criteria are as follows:
- Wifi speed
- Pillow and mattress quality
- Noise levels in each room
- Water pressure
- Quality of provided toiletries and linens
- Kitchen and pantry furnishings
- Host responsiveness
They will analyze the photos provided, amenities, services and anything else you mentioned and compare it to their set entry criteria. Plum Guide claims to have screened over 500,000 properties, and only 12,000 are currently listed, so it’s a big deal even to make it past this initial screening test.
The Plum Guide critics will contact you for an interview as a host if your property catches their attention. After talking with you, then your listing will be created. It’s important to note that Plum Guide will create the listing for you from the information provided, which includes photographs and floorplans. They may choose to send a photographer to your accommodation if they feel better photos would benefit your listing. Once the listing is prepared, they will send it to you to check and validate that everything is accurate. If it is, you can proceed to the next step.
The final step is hosting a guest in a mock test. This step is to see how your property and hospitality are from a guest’s perspective. Before the test, Plum critics will brief you on how to prepare your home. This also helps Plum Guide build a profile to better match your property to guests in the future. Passing this final step makes you a Plum-approved host. Your listing will go live, and you can start to welcome guests or apply for the Plum Award.
The Plum Award
In an attempt to make a globally recognized quality mark for vacation rentals, Plum Guide has created the Plum Award for people who list on their website. The Plum Award is a badge, similar to the Airbnb Superhost badge that the listing giant awards, that only homes that have been meticulously selected and are the best of the best can display. This badge can be shown on your Plum Guide listing, your website, or other listings. It ensures guests that your home is guaranteed to provide a memorable stay.
There are four steps that must be met to receive the Plum Award.
- A database of all homes available is created whenever Plum Guide launches in a new destination.
- The critics at Plum Guide then systematically review every home and shortlist the ones with outstanding design, reviews, and location.
- An interview with the host is then conducted, and the top contenders are nominated for the Plum Award. These are considered the up-and-coming homes.
- In order to win the award, the home then needs to delight a Plum Guide guest and pass the Plum Home Test, conducted by a Home Critic.
Homes that have passed 3 of the 4 stages are considered nominated homes and will receive recognition for such. Homes that have passed all 4 stages will win the Plum Award to display on their profiles.
Earning this distinction allows hosts to understand the strength and weaknesses of their homes so they can continue improving to meet world-class standards. It also makes your home stand out from the crowd and gain recognition. More bookings are likely to follow from this added merit as guests are almost guaranteed that their stay will be one for the books.
What happens if you don’t get approved for Plum Guide?
97% of hosts do not make the cut to have a listing on Plum Guide, so no worries; you’re not alone. One of the benefits of submitting your home to their listing test is that you will learn the strengths and weaknesses of your rental and as a host. If having your property on Plum Guide is your goal as a vacation rental owner, then you can always listen to your shortcomings and improve your property in order to have another go at the screening process.
If you still don’t meet their tough criteria of approval, then maybe Plum Guide is not the online listing site for you. Don’t let this discourage you from building your vacation rental business. Part of the appeal of Plum Guide is the exclusivity aspect, so it’s only natural that most people will not make the cut. However, there are plenty of other OTAs out there, such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia and Travelocity, that will welcome your property with open arms. If you find the right vacation rental platform for you and your property, then you are guaranteed to succeed.