Thursday, October 11, 2012

Owning Vacation Properties In Different Areas.

The vacation rental business is sometimes a odd creature. For many owners the ebb and flow of peak seasons are like clock work. The Panhandle of Florida starts to heat up just as the north does, and follows the college spring breaks year after year. May tends to be slower and as soon as Memorial weekend hits it is hard to answer all of the calls.

It may seem strange to others the summer is the peak season in northern Florida, but it is a big family vacation destination. That said southern Florida has a bit of a different peak season, even though they enjoy a vibrant summer vacation rental season, winter is a very busy season for them with many northerners escaping the cold. Canadians love Florida and marketing to their cities is a good way to get renters.

Often vacation rental owners that hold several properties often have them in the same general vicinity. There is merit to this decision, but having properties with different peak seasons is not a bad idea as well. The Smoky Mountains has a big fall travel season and runs all the way to New Years. They of course do well all summer long.

 A home in southern climates can keep you cash register ringing all winter long with snowbirds, and any beach property does well during the summer.

Certainly there are difficulties with having properties in different locations, such as having to use different cleaning companies, different maintenance people. There are also benefits, remember there are tax deductions available when you have to travel to your property to inspected, clean, and repair.

Of course always check with your tax adviser about deductions, and call to set up your properties. Through their online system you can automate the cleaning crew so that they are notified of each cleaning, You can store your list of service providers in their system so that you or your on site manager can contact them in short notice.

Monday, October 1, 2012

VRBO, Homeaway, Vacation Rentals. Rentalo, When Is It Enough Advertising.

Are You  Spending Too Much On VRBO, and Homeaway ?

If you are running a successful vacation rental business or have a vacation house or condo that you rent out, you have un-doubtably heard of one or all of these websites. You may actually be using one or all of them. Some of these websites can be expensive but combine the cost of several of these and you could be spending a small fortune on listings for your property. One key factor to decide when you have reached a tipping point is when you return is no longer worth the investment.

When starting out renting your vacation property or properties you need a lot of exposure, but if you have been renting your property for a while and have taken advantage of ivacationonline's website offer you have most likely built up some repeat customers. Not only have you built repeat customers but you most likely have some ranking on the search engines. Ivacationonline even offers a service to help get your website ranked. Back to the point at hand, do I need all of the listing I'm paying for? Here is the first thing I would ask. Are your properties booked as much as you feel they can be? Are you turning away potential renters for the same weeks over and over again. Do you have multiple properties?

If you answered yes to these then most likely you could start scaling down some of your ads. You may want to just lower you subscription level on some, or get rid of 1 or 2 all together. 1 thing about having multiple properties is that you can refer inquiries from a property that is already booked to another property. Another tactic to save money is to build a network of other owners in your area. When all of your properties are booked start referring them to other owners and ask them to do likewise. This is free and a referral is good way to build confidence with the renter.

So lets say you do stop a few of your listing and you feel your bookings are not what they used to be, you can always turn your listing back on and typically the website has all the information saved so that you don't have to build the listing all over again.

Give reducing your listing a try if you feel confident that your bookings can be maintained. It could mean the savings of thousands of dollars each year for advertising your properties.