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Short Term Rental – Communication with Guests is Key!

Success in the Short Term Rental Market is dependent on a few key factors – one being communication with guests! As in any other sales market, the customer is always right. With Short Term Rental, the customer is the renter: the traveling businessman, the vacationer, or any week-to-week guest. If you want them to back for another stay, knowing what they are looking for before they sign on the dotted line is critical. Being available for them during their stay is also necessary. Assessing what worked and didn’t work – their likes and dislikes –  when they check out ensures they’ll be a repeat guest. Here are a few great ways to communicate with your guests before, during and after their stay

COMMUNICATION BEFORE THE STAY:

Let guests know all important information.

Let guests know important details, such as the number of bathrooms!

Listen, Listen, Listen! Assess their needs. What kind of a stay is this? Business or pleasure? Is there a family? How many people and what are the ages? Are they looking for constant activity? Great sights to see? Or maybe they want to relax by the pool for the weekend. This information will tell you if your property will be a fit for them. Communicate clearly all your amenities and rules through written bullet lists. Respond quickly to any calls. Anticipate potential issues before they arise. The more information about your guest the better! This J D Power Study discusses guest satisfaction, and can give you more great ideas.

Provide your potential guest with pictures, dimensions, local points of interest, as well as restaurants and shopping areas. The more the area appeals to your client, the better for you!

 KEEPING IN TOUCH DURING THE STAY:

Provide your Short Term Rental Guests with as much information about the property as possible!

Provide your Short Term Rental Guests with lots of information!

Make a great first impression! A spotlessly clean home with an immaculately cared for yard are the first thing the guest will see. Your client should arrive to a welcome basket on the counter and cold beverages in the refrigerator. Appropriate snacks and/or gifts such as small jars of local jam or honey and fresh fruit & maybe a local travel guide and a vase of flowers on the counter all say, ‘welcome to your home away from home’. A guest manual with all house information, emergency numbers and needed remotes or keys should be on the counter as well. Check in with your guest the following morning to answer any questions and to assure them that you are available if a need should arise.

 

FOLLOW-UP AFTER THE STAY:

Be sure to know the number of people in your party.

Be sure to know the number of people in yourparty.

Provide a Guest Book on the counter for comments. An exit survey is a perfect communication tool. Keep it simple with 5 appropriate and genuinely helpful questions. Ask for suggestions for improving the stay. Be sure to send a handwritten thank you note – a quaint and kind touch that is often neglected in our high-tech age. It’s always a great idea to request a picture of the family during their stay in the home, and to ask if it might be OK to use their comments in your marketing.

Communication with your Short Term Rental guests will insure success in your efforts to market your property, and keep it occupied for the long haul!

 

 

 

 

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Short Term Rental vs. Long Term Rental

Want to quickly and consistantly make an extra income? Rent out your home, or your investment property! The question that often comes to the table is: “Which is more profitable – Short term rental, or Long term rental?” Does the length of rental commitment matter to overall income? Wouldn’t a long-term renter mean less stress? Won’t there be a shortage of short term renters because of availability, seasonal fluctuations, etc.? How can you learn the pros and cons for each rental style? Let’s have a chat, shall we?

A Common Misconception

Vacationers and Business travelers love Short Term Rentals!

Short Term Rental is a great option for vacationers and business travelers.

To uncover the facts, you must look at these two options below the surface. Financially and economical focus is essential. On the surface, long term rental seems more sound. It also seems like a whole lot less work. You are bringing in one client, estimating a rental time of 5 years on average, so the idea is that you will bring in more money. Hmmm, why is this a misconception? Let’s look a little deeper into Short Term Rental to uncover the answer.

Short Term Rental – The New Normal

A short term rental is classified as a rental occupied by a single client for 6 months or less. A short term lease is especially beneficial to traveling business clients and vacationers. Short term rentals are becoming the norm – the days of a hotel as the only away-from-home option are long gone!  The quiet atmosphere and comfort of a home over the stress of a hotel can’t be beat. With today’s open source traveling websites like AirBNB, people worldwide who are looking for a place to stay for the summer, winter, or any other short holiday, can easily find short term rental options.

Financial Benefits of Short Term Rental Uncovered

Short Term Rentals are more comfortable than a hotel!

Short Term Rentals are more comfortable than a hotel!

So, using your property as a short term rental as opposed to a long term rental usually IS more profitable! Why? First, owners can charge a higher nightly rate (translating to a higher monthly rate) than they would with a long term rental. It is likely that a single 3-day weekend could bring in the equivilent of an entire month’s rent in the ‘in season’ in any given city. Renting property can be compared to shopping at Costco: a customer who buys nights in bulk gets a discount, ( as in a 2 -year tenant ) but a customer who buys only a few nights, ( the short term renter ) pays a higher price. The long-term tenant will expect a lower monthly rent charge because he is committing. He is offering a sense of security to the property owners. A tenant who is renting a home for the summer, however, will pay more for the same exact property. He is paying for comfort, convenience and atmosphere, and because it’s short term, it’s only making a dent in his pocket. Additionally, if rent prices are on the rise in the economy, short term rentals can charge a higher rent price with each new lease. All these factors added together insure that the short term rental provides the homeowner with the highest income potential.

So then, back to our initial question: Want to quickly and consistantly make an extra income? It looks like Short Term Rental is the way to go!

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Booking Your Short Term Rental in 3 Easy Steps

Booking Your Short Term Rental in 3 Easy Steps

You’ve discovered you have a GREAT cash cow – a.k.a. a condo! You’ve decided Short Term Rental is the route for you to take to generate a side income. Now what? How do you rent out your space? Do you advertise? Where do you find guests? Here are 3 easy steps for booking your Short Term Rental.

Step 1 – Consult with a Property Manager

Booking your Short Term Rental is our specialty!

Book your Short Term Rental easily – we can show you how!

Want to be a hands-off owner? A property manager can take over and do all the ‘dirty work’ for you from A-Z, and just send you a check each month. If you are the quintessential ‘do-it-yourselfer’, a property manager can be your personal consultant, giving you support and guidance along the way. They teach you to market, manage and wrap up with each guest. You decide on the property manager’s level of involvement. Whether you want all or none, you WILL want at least a consultation. It’s a big, involved process to get started in, and although it can be very profitable, if done incorrectly Short Term Rental could be a huge expense.

Step 2 – Create a Marketing Management Plan

A Great Marketing Management Plan Includes:

  • Prepare the home
  • Photograph the home
  • Create a Listing
  • Connect your listing to listing websites
  • Monitor, optimize, and improve your listings as necessary
  • Respond to guest inquiries in a timely manner across all marketing platforms
  • Supervise and synchronize listing calendars
  • Continually adjust listing price dependent on seasons and special events
  • Screen potential guests to stay in accommodation
  • Provide off-site guest support as needed
  • Schedule necessary vendors (i.e. cleaning, repairs, etc.)
  • Monthly accounting records (i.e. income, expenses, and profit)

Step 3 – Welcome Your Guest!

Book your Short Term Rental with a pool easily!

A Short Term Rental with a pool is a hot commodity!

Is welcoming your guest really a part of the booking process? YES! If your guest gets a big happy welcome, chances are he will enjoy his stay all the more. A great start promotes a great stay, and a great stay promotes a return guest! Whether you greet your guest personally with pleasant conversation and a home tour, or have a gift basket on the counter and flowers on the table, making sure his first impression is a good one is essential!

Perhaps in ticking off items on our list, you are thinking, ‘just wait one cotton-pickin’ over-worked minute!’. If that’s the case, know that Short Term Rental Manager specializes in taking your property from step 1, to cash in your hand!

Read more abuot why Short Term Rental Manager might be a great shoice in this New York Times article discussing Property Managers.

Easy a pie for us, and no sweat for you! Let’s get started today!

 

 

 

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Investing in a Short Term Rental Property – How to Start

  • That leap into the wonderful world of investment property is a big one! Spending your cash for a Short Term Rental that will succeed as a part-time business is an art. If you are deciding it’s the route you want to travel, there are some purchase points where you will want to set your sights.

Decide on Your Focusvacation rental real estate invesotors

Will you aim for the traveling businessman? Then your location might be a condo by the airport. Are you family-focused? Perhaps a 4 bedroom investment property in the suburbs would be your choice. Is your goal to rent out your property for special events in your busy city? A centrally located option might best serve you. There are specifics you’ll want to look for in each of these scenarios. Each choice poses a variety of property options, prices, and locations. Setting your goals and desires down on paper is critical. There is research coming, but first, narrow your catagory so you can focus on what you want to buy and where you want to buy it.

Do Your Investment Property Research!

Single Family Homes make great Short Term Rentals

A single family home is a great option for a Short Term Rental Investment Property

Now is the time for number crunching. What is your income? How many discretionary dollars do you have? Can you swing a second mortgage in the event your rental goes dormant? How much house can you afford to buy in your desired neighborhood? Can you qualify for the mortgage? Will you need an investor to back you? You’ll need all your financial ducks in a row before you hire your realtor. Don’t fall in love with that modern updated condo on the 15th floor before you know it’s $ 50,000.00 more than your top dollar.

Although you can start your search on a do-it-yourself real estate website such as ZILLOW , you will want to enlist a trusted agent who knows the area; preferably one who has dealt frequently with investors. Your agent will go to bat for you and take you through all the red tape and technicalities involved with the purchase.

Go to ‘Landlord School’!

A great landlord translates to great income for your property! Don’t just ‘wing it’! Here at STRM, we specialize in training you to succeed at property management. Our goal is to empower you to master the skills required to manage your property well, such as:

Take great photos to help you sell your Short Term Rental

Great photos will help to sell your Short Term Rental

  • Deciphering the optimum pricing for the location and the property
  • Creating interest in your property through specialized marketing techniques
  • Staging, enhancing, and photogragraphing your property to create it’s ‘best face’
  • Keeping your home occupied
  • Navigating the perilous income tax regulation waters safely…..and much more!

Not quite up to the task yet? We can manage your property for you while you grow your management knowledge and polish your skills.

Investing in a Short Term Rental Property can be a daunting task. We are here to help you to manage the task and set you up for success! Feel free to email us with any questions.

 

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3 Good Reasons to Buy a Short Term Rental Property

3 Good Reasons to buy a Short Term Rental Property

In the current economy, many are looking for a way to earn a side income with the least amount of ‘side work’. Who can actually work a solid 40 hours plus per week and find the time and energy for a second job? Not many. Real estate investment in a rental property is one way to maximize your income with less than a ‘second job time investment. Here are three good reasons to consider purchasing a property for short term rental.

Increase Your Worth

Condos make a great Short Term Rental choice.

A condo in a great area makes a great choice for a Short Term Rental

Owning a home immediately increases your net worth, even though you haven’t paid for it yet. *The Median Net Worth of a homeowner is $ 174,500.00, as opposed to the non-homeowner – $ 5,100.00. Each month, instead of burning your cash on the rent payment, you are socking away an investment, aka a mortgage payment.

 

A Short Term Rental Business Can Bring in Good Income

Purchasing a home expressly for the purpose of renting is common. What may be uncommon is the decison towards Short Term Rental vs. Long Term Rental. Renting by night, weekend, week, or longer creates more income.  The length of stay dictates the charge (think hotels). A home in a prime location, say near a national sporting venue or a nationally known theme park, can command upwards of $2,000.00 on a given weekend. Compare this to a $3,000.00 per month mortgage for the same home with a long term renter.  This creates more cash flow with less property usage. You are likely to create at least twice as much income with a short term rental.

You are Creating a Second Business, not just a Second Job

A Short Term Rental in a great location can command a great income.

A home in a great area can command at least twice as much income per month as a Short Term Rental

Once you have created your property to be a short term rental property you have essentially created it as its own business. Therefore, it can be sold that way when you are done owning it. In other words, you can sell the property for more value than just ‘a house on a lot’, as you have created additional assets around the property to run it like a business. Rather then the additional hours that a second job would consume, a short term rental property run by a property manager brings in a residual income with minimal effort.

 

There are definitely great reasons to explore ownership of a short term rental! The Motley Fool has some great financial information you’ll want to know regarding buying vs. renting a property.

 

*SOURCE: THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD’S SURVEY OF CONSUMER FINANCES FOR 2010.         The Motly Fool – Investment and Real Estate Information – see link above.

 

 

 

 

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Rent YOUR Spare Room on Airbnb? Maybe…

You have heard about it – maybe used it…  Airbnb has become a phenom, there is no denying! An easy and inexpensive way to travel, Airbnb allows you to go online and find a room at a great price in someone’s home at your destination, rather than stay in a hotel. Maybe this isn’t your first rodeo and you are the Airbnb pro. Now, you want to take a stab at renting out YOUR spare room! Before you host, here are the top 5 things you should know:

1 – Familiarize yourself with Airbnb!

A no-brainer, right? There’s really quite a bit to know and quite a few great perks and protections from the website that you will want to study before putting your home in the mix. Learn what you as the host are required to provide your guest. Will you need a home insurance umbrella? Check out other host sites and see how they promote their spaces. Above all, if you are using Airbnb, STICK with Airbnb! Don’t be steered off the site to make ‘side deals’. You are safe sticking with the site. There is danger in murky water. Be informed before you dive in.

2 – Take Hot Shots!

Do you have a room you could rent to visitors?

Do you have a room you could rent to visitors?

It’s not just cliche’ – a picture really does speak 1000 words! Take a variety of shots from different vantage points in great light. Make sure ‘THE ROOM’ is clean, decorated, and has a few special touches in the photos. Have a rockin’ back yard? A swimming pool to-die-for? Grapefruit and lemon trees with ripe fruit? Be sure to promote it! Here’s a video to help you in taking great shots.Will the guest be able to park in your garage? Pimp that feature too!

3 – Be Clear About Amenities!

Be as descriptive as possible about your home. What size is the bed? Is there a bathroom attached? Are  there kitchen use priviledges? Is there laundry room access? Will the swimming pool be available? Is there wifi and NETFLIX? The more you promote your amenities, the better.

4 – They Expect What They Pay For!

Be sure to promote your home's finer points!

Be sure to promote your home’s finer points!

Be clear about the money. Do some research and comparison with others on the site. If you are a room rental virgin, you won’t have any reviews to back up what you claim, so a great listing price might be to your advantage. You might check out hotel rates in your area to see the competition… never a bad thing, right? And be clear! Be clear about your noisy neighbors, your street that gets 4 inches of water when it rains, and the loud garbage pickup at 6AM on Saturdays. You don’t want any nasty little surprises that ruin your guest’s stay – you want them to come back and bring friends!

5 – Note the ‘bnb’ part of Airbnb!

Bn’B implies hotel-style amenities in a home-like experience. So add some special touches! Include arrival snacks on a tray in the guest’s room with a carafe’ of Ice Water w/lemon. Add a magazine and a small stack of area menus, and attraction brochures on the nightstand. How about a few pool towels folded on the bed? Maybe a beautiful pitcher of flowers from your garden would be a nice surprise on the bathroom counter. In the morning, have a basket of muffins and some juices and water on ice in a little bucket on the kitchen counter. Keep a list of your favorite go-to local shops and restaurants in a plastic sleeve in a handy spot. The little things make the biggest difference!

Besides the perk of puttng a little extra cash in your pocket, you can have a terrific experience meeting people from interesting backgrounds when you share your home on Airbnb!

 

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3 Reasons Your Short Term Rental Needs a Property Manager!

You’ve DONE it! You have decided to use your home for Short Term Rental! It’s just the technicalities that are left now…finding some renters, deciding what to charge, and getting your home ready! Your entrepreneurial side says, “I can DO THIS MYSELF!”. On the other hand, there’s a voice in your ear saying, “There goes your LIFE! You’ll have NO free time! Think of the headaches! Hire someone to do it for you!”. What to do? Well, here are 3 reasons your Short Term Rental needs a Property Manager!

A Property Manager Finds Renters

One specialty of Property Managers is Finding the perfect tenant for your home!

One specialty of Property Managers is Finding the perfect tenant for your home!

Where would you find a trusted renter for your home? On Craig’s List? Yikes! A Short Term Rental Property Manager has resources that you don’t have, which will ensure that you find quality tenants. Most Managers collaborate with other companies to help you get exactly the right tenant for your own little “Bed and Breakfast”, and when he is discovered, we help you take care of the paperwork too!

How DO you decide what to charge?

A Short Term Property Manager will analyze your home. He will take into account your square footage, special features and details, local area rental rates, and other neighborhood variables. He will give you the best price to charge for your home depending on the season, local amenities and other important factors. Likewise, he will also be honest and tell you if your expectations are way out of range.

Preparing your home inside and out for Short Term Rental is key!

Preparing your home inside and out for Short Term Rental is key!

What do I do to prepare my home?

Do you have property that you want to make a short term rental but not quite sure how to get it rolling? A Short Term Rental Property Manager has Setup Services to get you on the right track. At STRM, we give you information on what to do with your personal property while renting out your home. We also provide you with a suggested checklist of items that will ensure your rental has what your guests need to have a fabulous stay. We can even stage the home for you, and take professional photos for the most appealing first impression!

These are just a few of the many benefits Short Term Rental Property Managers provide to guarantee you a successful experience renting out your home. Check out this additional article from Zillow to help you make your decision!

 

Want to rent just a room of your home? Be sure to join us next time when we will explore the single room rental option!

 

 

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Why Short Term Rentals?

Why Short Term Rentals?

Owning a rental property has many advantages. Short Term Rental, as opposed to traditional long term rental, is a way of maximizing your property to bring in the most return for your dollar. Here are three compelling reasons to check out Why Short Term Rentals are a great option.

Higher Rental Revenue 

Your 'home away from home'.

Why Short Term Rentals? They are a great ‘home away from home’!

Renting your home for a short period of time – usually less than 6 months – creates higher average nightly rates than long-term rental. Higher nightly rates equal higher monthly rates. A tenant paying for a summer rental will pay a higher 1 month fee, as compared to a long-term renter. It’s one month! Vacations are special! It’s not for the next 10 years. Read about a great short term rental experiment here.

Why Short Term Rentals Allow More Income with Less Use 

Book your home solid for 6 months and make as much as a year of long term renting! Also on the plus side, Short Term Rental is less wear and tear on the home. These renters are out and about more. Additionally, you have the breaks in between renters to clean and check the home, make small repairs, and notice little issues before they become big problems!

You Still Have an Option to Use Your Own Property 

Have a condo on the beach? You can schedule yourself in between clients, and squeeze in a week of sun and surf! Maybe you travel for work, and want to have a home base one week out of the month. You can schedule that in as a reservation at your property, keep a locked closet with your things in it, and have the convenience of a home away from home! That’s a great perk!

With the higher rental rates you’ll command, the lesser wear and tear on your home, and the option to benefit by using your property when wanted or needed, the advantages of Short Term Rental are definately worth looking into!

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7 Pros and Cons of Owning a Short Term Rental

So you are considering turning your home into a Short Term Rental? I can think of some GREAT reasons to test the water…and I have also tossed around a few disadvantages in my mind. Let’s just get it all on the table. What are the Pros and Cons?

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One of our beautiful Short Term Rental options.

Some Compelling Advantages Are:

  1.  Flexibility –  You choose the days, weeks or months to rent. Rent as much or as little as you choose. There’s also the option to travel at the drop of a hat, and make money while you are gone!
  2. You are giving guests more privacy / more space than traditional Hotels – Short Term Rentals are perfect for families.
  3. Brings in more cash than a Long-Term Rental –  It’s easy to do the math: 1 vacation week at $1500 vs. $1500 a month to rent for a year.
  4. Great Deductions –  There are lots of common deductions for Rental Owners. Cleaning and Maintanance, Insurance, Management Fees, and Utilities are just a few. With enough deductions, you could record a loss and avoid taxes altogether.
  5. Tax Breaks –  The best home related tax breaks go to Short Term Rental Owners. Be sure to know the tax laws of your state. Go IRS Tax Topics-renting your home to learn more.
  6. Less Wear and Tear on the Property –  With renters going in and out frequently, you can keep up on small repairs before they turn into big problems!
  7. Social Benefits –  There are quite a few interesting people out there, and lots of them travel! Your next Short Term Rental aquaintences could turn into life-long friendships!
A Short Term Rental Swimming Pool

Many of our Short Term Rentals have swimming pools.

A Few Noteworthy Disadvantages:

  1. Less consistency in payments –  If you are banking on a steady income, a yearly renter is much more of a sure thing. There is a possibility that you may go weeks or months without a Short Term Renter.
  2. Must pay the utilities –  Long-term renters generally pay utility bills. Short Term Renters don’t.
  3. More risk involved – Because of the sheer volume of people passing through your doors, there is more liklihood of theft, breakage or problem renters.
  4. It takes more effort to run a Short Term Rental –  Generally, YOU become the innkeeper. You’ll be collecting payments, scheduling clients, and doing all the work to bring in renters. Instead of doing this once every 5 years or so, you’ll be doing it weekly!
  5. There are more Maintainance costs associated with Short Term Rental –  As the landlord, housekeeping, yardwork, pool mainainence and general upkeep fall to you. Not usually so with a long-term renter.
  6. Some Neighborhoods with HOA’s make it difficult and complicated to Rent Short Term – Let’s face it, your neighbors might get mad at you. They want quiet, comfortable surroundings where they feel safe and know everyone, and ‘here you go again’ having miscellaneous strangers in and out at all hours. They might file complaints, and some HOA’s sue homeowners who are Short Term Rental Owners

What to do? Weigh the pros and cons for yourself and make your decision. All in all, we think Short Term Rental is a pretty great deal, and we think you will too!

Join us again to hear the answer to the question: “Why Short Term Rentals?”

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Is A Short Term Rental Right For You?

If you have the asset of a home, a rental house, or an investment property, a Short Term Rental might be just the ticket you need to supplement your income! With the popularity of home sharing on the rise, your spare bedroom could become your bag of gold! This week, The Wall Street Journal published an article on financing your home through Short Term Rental.

Ginas Front DoorOne benefit, obviously, is the income! If you have a great location (near a National Park, Large Theme Park, Body of Water, etc.), and are willing to put forth some effort, you could charge enough to profit from the endeavor.

Another benefit of a Short Term Rental is that there is less wear and tear on the home. Upkeep is easy when you are able to quickly assess any issues and repair things in a speedy manner.

A third plus is a personal one – meeting new and interesting people from all walks of life! More than learning what it takes to be a great Short Term Rental host, you’ll benefit from making possible lifelong friends.

TELL ME THE TRUTH – IS SHORT TERM RENTAL REALLY ALL IT CLAMS TO BE?

Of course it wouldn’t be an honest portrayal of a Short Term Rental unless I share disadvantages also. You may incur a little bit more of a risk just because of the sheer numbers of people going through the home, as opposed to one 5 year rental. Success at being a Short Term Rental Manager will require more effort on your part. Depending on how you set it up, it can be like operating a hotel.  If you want guests to return, they had better enjoy their accommodations as well as their host! What rules and guidelines will govern your guests? What special touches will you provide for a more enjoyable stay? Welcome baskets? A meal or two?

Vacation Rental Ritter 2There are also legal issues to be aware of. What does your mortgage holder say about renting your home? How about your homeowner’s insurance? Do you have an HOA to take into consideration?  Familiarize yourself with tax laws, zoning regulations, and licensing requirements.

You can choose from well over a million home-share style accommodations available when you go out of town on business or for pleasure. All in all, the Short Term Rental Market appears to be here to stay, and is definitely worth tapping into. If you have the property to rent, willingness to work, and are willing to take minimal risk, you may just have a great supplemental income at your fingertips!

 

COMING SOON….7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Your Property a Short Term Rental