Renting your vacation home is a wonderful way to maximize the return on your investment. Though it may seem easy enough, there are many essential moving parts that must work in sync in order for this to happen. These can include:
- Advertising the home
- Responding to inquiries politely and promptly
- Taking reservations and preparing for the arrival of guests
- Collecting rent and other fees and remitting sales tax
- Handling guest complaints and requests
- Hiring necessary service providers (housekeepers, handymen, etc.)
- Managing any maintenance issues
- Scheduling housekeeping between guest reservations
If you’ve got a busy schedule (like most of us do), adding this onslaught of tasks to your week (and weekend) can become a physical and emotional burden.
For most of us, our property is considered a “vacation home” because it’s a good distance from our normal residence. This alone creates stress because the home can’t be easily watched or inspected. Additionally, it takes time and experience to effectively market the property and manage reservations, especially during peak vacation times.
A mind at ease …
A trusted vacation rental management company will not only manage and protect your investment, but create the ideal conditions necessary to obtain the highest possible revenue. Independent, locally-owned firms often have much more control and tend to offer a higher level of individualized service.
Here are a few of the important areas they oversee:
These days, digital marketing is absolutely essential for any business and the best way to market your home. If you’re trying to do it on your own, this may prove to be a challenge.
An effective rental management company will do all the work for you, including maintaining strong online presence and visibility so your home gets found. Many firms also market collectively with major state and regional tourism organizations and use paid advertising and multimedia channels, such as radio and TV ads, mailers, postcards, magazines, and more.
Reservations and Rental Rates
This is a huge one. An effective rental management company will know exactly how to sustain a high level of rental activity in your home. Cascara Vacation Rentals, for example, uses specialized software that allows them to maximize earnings with yield management and rate rule logic, which changes nightly rates in real time.
- Yield management is the process of examining and factoring in consumer behavior to achieve the maximum amount of profit possible by setting the correct rental amount.
- Rate rule logic involves knowing how much to charge based upon factors such as the law of supply and demand, what the renter is likely to pay, the cost of upkeep, etc.
They will also manage reservations and the many issues that may arise: renters often want to change their dates, extend their stay, or cancel their reservation. If you’re busy, it’s easy to get buried with these requests — and the last thing you want is to create a bad reputation by providing slow service.
Typically, potential renters are also screened by the company, which may include:
- Accessing character
- Checking histories of past stays
- Making sure your home meets their needs
In the busy months, this process can be extremely time consuming, but it is essential for protecting your investment long term.
Rental management contracts offer many included amenities and if the company is flexible enough, should provide additional specialized services.
Maybe the renter has been locked out of the home, finds an issue with cleanliness, or discovers an urgent issue that needs repair. Having someone who can attend to their needs right away is the best way to ensure they’ll be a repeat customer.
Many vacation home owners choose not to rent out their vacation home at all because of security concerns. A professional management company will check your home regularly, even when it’s vacant, to make sure everything is secure and well maintained.
No matter what time of the year it is, carpets get dirty: mud during the rainy season, snow in the winter, and general household traffic. Professional carpet cleaners keep carpets looking fresh and new. Rental management firms have partnerships with these services to meet the needs of clients in a timely fashion.
An essential part of any vacation rental experience, a vacation rental management company makes sure your home is ready for every new arrival. Independently-owned firms often have the advantage of hiring full-time, screened staff members instead of contractors, which ensures your home stays protected. Linen service is also typically included, placing professionally laundered, inspected, high-thread-count linens in your home at each cleaning.
One of the most important aspects of successful home management is availability. The renter has to know that they come first, and have a quality experience if you expect them to become a repeat customer.
A quality rental management team is available seven days a week and trained to handle a multitude of situations, making it possible for them to provide the highest level of service. It’s a great feeling to know your home is providing an excellent vacation experience to others, just as it does when you take advantage of it. Look for a company like Cascara, with local, permanent employees committed to offering the best experience possible.
Owning a vacation home should not be a burden. Much goes into effective vacation rental management; it has many essential parts that must all work in unison. If you’re frustrated with managing your vacation home on your own or are thinking of renting your home for the first time, consider speaking with a vacation rental management company that can maximize your home’s utmost potential.