Imagine being in your own private, luxurious home overlooking the Gulf or a remote, peaceful section of the bay on the Emerald Coast. Imagine not having to deal with other people – other than the friends and loved ones you want to be around? Imagine living like a billionaire in your own private coastal retreat. Well, you can realize this fantasy!
Are luxury vacation rentals the new “hotels” for vacationers? They can accommodate up to 30 people, are very private and luxurious, and families or groups can pitch in to rent the entire home. Luxury vacation rentals definitely sound like the future. And the present! Here are some advantages of renting a home over a traditional hotel.
· You will feel more like a local on your vacation and get the “inside scoop” on what coast life is really like.
· It will give you as a family or a group more luxury, space, and privacy for your money than rooms at a hotel.
· You can see what it will be like to live in the area and might consider buying a home to live near the water permanently.
· Home-apartment rentals is a growing segment of the vacation industry; be on the cutting edge.
· You are more likely to have a kitchen or washer/dryer while renting a home than in a hotel.
· Most of the time, you will have more privacy and money left to spend on other things during your trip.
· The check-in and check-out times in rental homes are more likely to be flexible than in hotels.
· You will usually get more space for your dollar.
· You can live like a king or queen by renting a palatial place, even if you have to return to the “real world” after vacation.
· On the downside: Rentals homes are often not as easy to rent for a quick weekend getaway, so you will need to plan in advance in most cases.
· Sharing a house lets families spend more quality time together.
· By not being in a hotel, you can pad around in comfortable clothes or pajamas.
· Being alone in a home can be romantic for a group of couples — but at the same time allow for socializing.
Here’s a typical day in a hotel: check in after waiting for room service to finish and worry about checking out early the morning you have to leave; put on clothes to go in the hall or out in the lobby; put up with noise in the next room; feel like you are only hanging out with other tourists; complain about the price of the room and the problems with the decor; feel like an “outsider” on vacation.
Here’s a typical day in a private rented home: check in at your leisure and out at your leisure, no one is watching; walk around in your shorts and shoes since no one can see you; admire all the space and luxury that you are getting for your money; enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones rather than faking friendly with strangers in a hotel; feel at home as if you are the king of your castle on vacation.
Now which one will you choose?
Vacations are meant be fun! Time for family and friends to get together for parties or relaxation, time for sports and adventure, time for personal reflection and meditation. There are many reasons for vacation. One reason, however, is NOT to work and worry. Managing vacation property, however, can be a big worry! What a stressful job it is at times with careless vacationers, rental upkeep, legal matters, and everyday problems. Why fret over vacation rentals! Have some down time with the tourist on our beaches. Leave vacation rental management to the professionals.
Did you know that there is an association for vacation rental managers? Founded in 1985, the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) states on their official website that they are “an international, professional trade association of the vacation rental property management and hospitality industries. Membership includes hundreds of professional vacation rental manager and supplier members around the globe.” VRMA “advances the vacation rental industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the vacation rental experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth in the industry.” This is a solid, respected association and shows how important a professional property manager can be.
When people know how to maximize your management property, why try to do it yourself? Leave vacation rental management to the professionals! So what exactly does a property manager in general do? According to Micah Berg a property manager for Destinresorts.net, property manager knows more than you might think, for example:
- They are responsible for maintenance/management of a physical property, residential or commercial.
- They may have completed post-secondary classes in architecture, business, or property management.
- They are sometimes trained to make decisions about long-term care of a property.
- They have solid communication skills, often augmented through courses or seminars.
- They have on-call hours in order to respond to emergencies.
Vacation property managers, in addition to these characteristic, also deal with specific vacation-related issues:
- They supervise on-site staff for vacation activities.
- The arrange service contracts with outside vendors for such activities.
- They conduct property inspections necessary for vacation rentals.
- They respond to resident complaints about seasonal problems.
- They hire on-site staff & maintenance workers for rental upkeep.
- They ensure turnover resident compliance with rules and regulations.
- They facilitate the efficient turnover of vacation rental units.
- They coordinate advertising for available units.
- They review rental applications, ongoing during high season.
- They monitor performance to budget, always a hassle.
- And they handle property emergencies, frequent during tourist seasons.
And the list goes on! Doesn’t that sound like a lot of work? Why would you want to do it yourself? Property management is difficult enough; vacation property rental is TWICE as complicated. Do yourself a favor and make money off your property; don’t be a slave to it. Don’t manage your own vacation rental property. Leave vacation rental management to the professionals!
Things to do before an Open House
Time to show off your home! The Open House event is for anyone interested in buying a house or apartment, so welcome all possible buyers inside to look around. While having an Open House can be exciting and interesting, meeting people and bragging about the features of your real estate, it can also be stressful. Don’t give yourself reason to worry; make sure to do these three things to make sure your Open House goes smooth as silk. Take care of the cosmetic issues and the safety issues, and get your sales materials ready.
ONE — First are the cosmetic issues. Make sure your home is as clean as it’s ever been! People notice small spots of dirt and grime that you may overlook. You see the place every day, so small “off kilter” problems might not be immediately noticeable to you. After all, they are considering buying your home–soon to be their home!–so give guests a good reason to look CLOSELY:
Put up all your junk; get rid of personal photos and children’s art.
Make sure all counters are clutter-free.
Scrub all the surfaces; clean the floors and consider carpet cleaning.
Use scented candles or oils to make the air appealing.
Mow the yard; prune the hedges.
Get a new doormat.
TWO — Next are the safety issues. Make sure your personal items are put up. After all, you don’t know what sort of person you’re inviting into your home; they could be thieves looking for your valuables. Make a list of all the safety factors that make your home secure: Make sure loose mail is secure; also lock the mailbox if possible. Lock up all personal items such as small electronics. Make sure computers and phones are locked. Check for any loose cash or jewelry. Lock up valuable decorative items. Check windows to make sure they are locked.
Make sure all doors are closed and locked. Check automatic garage openers. Make sure any alarm system is off–but ready to be turned on.
Also make sure to account for your personal safety. Call the local police department and request they have a squad car drive by during open-house hours. Check the strength and signal of your cell phone’s before opening the doors. Are emergency numbers programmed on speed dial? Look for multiple “escape routes” in case of an emergency. Make sure all deadbolt locks work properly to help with a fast escape. Turn on the lights and open the curtains. These are both good safety measures and great marketing tips. Can you escape through the back door. Often backyard fences have swimming pools or hot tubs. Write down car descriptions, license numbers and physical descriptions of buyers when they enter. But don’t let them see you do it. Always walk behind the prospect when showing the house. Don’t leave your back to anyone. Let them enter doors before you do. Tell a good friend or a relative that you will them every hour on the hour and to notify the police if you don’t call. Tell a neighbor that you are showing the house; ask them to look and listen for anything odd.
THREE — Finally, get your sales materials ready. It’s easy to think that you are ready for customers, but have forgotten the important things at the last minute: sales materials! Your Open House guests must have information about their possible new home. Here are some information items to check off your “done” list: Detailed information on the home. It should be organized and attractive with good graphic design. The listing sheet is a must. Leave your business card. Make sure there are enough for all who need one. A sign-in sheet so you can account for who looked at the house, even if they don’t take a card or call you.
Goodies are always the way to a buyer’s heart. Leave some freshly baked cookies or brownies, coffee or hot chocolate. Always have water at hand. Don’t forget paper cups and napkins.
Turn on ALL of the lights! A dark house is anything but inviting.
Put fresh logs in the fireplace. Make sure all plants are healthy and happy. Dead plants and a dirty fireplace are a sign of bad energy in a home.
In most communities, Sunday afternoon is best time to have an Open House.
Two hours is usually the minimum time for one, but many agents hold it up to four house; 1:00 to 5:00 PM is common.
Often agents trade off shifts and hold homes from early in the morning to late in the evening.
Schedule the Open House so that it doesn’t conflict with holidays, local celebrations or special events like the Super Bowl.
Check the weather forecast! Very cold or rainy days often make people stay at their homes rather than visiting yours.
Time to sell that beautiful home! Be friendly and work hard!