Roomorama.com Review

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5
reviewed April 9, 2015

Roomorama is a secure platform that connects property owners and renters online. The company is maintaining listings for over 200,000 rooms in an incalculable number of cities, towns, and resorts around the world.

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While we certainly admire the services and convenience offered by hotels, for travelers willing to try something a bit different, Roomorama offers to match you up with an individual property owner who will hand you the key to his or her property for a short-term rental. If you want to feel what it’s like to actually live in a particular city, why not actually live there during your stay? The company enables you, during your travels, to wake up in a bedroom, cook your meals in a full-service kitchen, and stretch out in a home-away-from-home that has true home-sized dimensions.

The firm’s founders, Jia En Teo and Federico Folcia, used to rent their New York apartments to a few friendly folks who had this same desire to live like the locals. Teo and Folcia used the proceeds from those rentals to support their own travel habits, and they used classified ads to find a similar deal in the cities they visited. In doing so, they saw a need, and built a service that is secure, and that avoids the risks that the old classified ad system involved, to meet that need.

The result was Roomorama, a secure platform that matches property owners, called hosts on the company’s website, and renters, who are of course called guests. The firm’s service maximizes efficiency and minimizes risk, and permits guests to spend time in a desired locale, whether foreign or domestic, economically, and in a totally secure manner.

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

Featured Products

Well, what they are selling is access to all of the homes, both freestanding houses and apartments, that have been listed on the site. And how many such properties are there? Roomorama is maintaining listings for over 200,000 rooms in an incalculable number of cities, towns, and resorts around the world. But the offerings don’t stop there. The firm has gone the extra mile in preparing its Perks Program, which allows Roomaorama members to obtain special rates with partnering retailers, which can allow you to snag a cheaper bottle of wine or restaurant dinner, or discounts on laundry services, language classes (a nice touch for international travelers), or even car rentals.

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

And if you operate a trendy travel or lifestyle website, the company would like to invite you to join its affiliate program, permitting you to profit each time your site visitors book a stay with Roomorama after linking from your site. By the way, they offer a whopping 30% commission share of Roomorama’s booking fee on all qualifying bookings. That what we call sharing the love.

Prices

If you are a property-owning host, you will not need to pay anything to the firm to list your property. There is no listing fee, and hosts are similarly not charged a commission. You can also post as many listings as you like, in each case for free. And after you have confirmed a booking with a guest, you will have the assurance of knowing that the guest has paid in advance, and has been supplied with a secure payment code to hand over to you at check-in. That measure assures you that the person you are handing your keys over to is the same person who booked through the company, and who was carefully vetted before being allowed to work within the company’s website.

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

Guests are charged a booking fee, which includes all credit card processing costs, and this amount is calculated automatically depending on the length of the stay. You will be able to determine the fee when you proceed with an actual booking, but the resulting total is still well below the cost of a stay at a comparable hotel. That is, if you can even make the apples-to-oranges comparison between enjoying an actual home (and one you can peruse photographically before selecting) and a hotel room.

Customer Service

The website supports guests by presenting the full panorama of the properties that are listed, with detailed descriptions and photographs. Once a guest chooses their accommodation, the site accepts and processes payment, and then a brief period follows during which the host accepts the booking (rejected bookings, which are rare, result in a full refund). After that, both the host and the guest receive a six-digit payment code.

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

When the guest “checks in,” (really, meets the host either in front of the home or in some agreed convivial setting nearby, the guest shows the host the code, and that provides the host with the security of knowing that he or she is handing over the keys to the right person. Both guests and hosts are fully vetted, of course, before they are permitted to operate on the site.

The service that the site offers to hosts and guests alike eliminates the risks that were inherent in the old system that existed in the era of classified ads. Moreover, the company’s customer service staff boasts that they check their messages “obsessively,” in order to ensure that no guests or hosts are being left unattended. For urgent problems, such as a cancellation or a check-in issue, they ask that you describe the problem thoroughly and leave a callback number, and they will jump on the problem as quickly as possible.

Their customer service staff is available around the clock, which indicates that they are willing to devote the resources necessary to ensure that their system works and that all parties remain satisfied. The site supports guest testimonials, which newcomers can use to gauge the accommodations they are thinking about renting.

The firm has even devised a means for hosts to send a “shout out” to potential guests, advertising the particular benefits, and availability, of their property or properties.

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

Complaints

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

They overall impression we got from listening in (well, reading in) on commenters is one of deep satisfaction. There was some griping about the firm’s obsession with prohibiting the exchange of contact information between hosts and guests prior to the confirmation of a booking. Clearly, however, the firm is concerned that once willing guests finds the home of their dreams, if they are able to contact the host directly, a certain number of them would cut out the middleman, and Roomorama, after acting as matchmaker and midwife, would go uncompensated for the critical service it is providing.

The firm’s website freely admits that its staff “constantly patrols communication among users and will remove information that is not in compliance,” including email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and external URLs. Further violation will result in suspension of your account. We don’t see the problem with this, given that the possibility of external host-guest contact is an inherent risk of their business model.

Final Thoughts

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals

It’s nice to see that individual home renting is being brought into the 21st century, and guests and hosts alike can count themselves lucky that one of the major players in this space is providing this service in such a careful, responsible, and customer-responsive manner. In the past, the unavoidable uncertainty that attended any kind of person-to-person commerce of this type caused it to remain a small-scale type of transaction.

But with the emergence of a neutral platform that can act as matchmaker to willing individual guests and hosts, the entire hotel industry may find itself facing a new form of competition from an entirely unexpected quarter, namely, individual home or apartment owners who prefer to rent their properties out on a short-term basis, and individual travelers who want to live like the locals, and bring back home memories that are all the richer for it.

Roomorama.com - Short term rentals, rooms, appartments and vacation rentals
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