Friday, May 9, 2008

2008 Vacation Rental By owner Season


Well, the 2008 rental season is in full swing. We had tons of questions about how this season would turn out. Here is what we are seeing. The owners that are "working" the business correctly are doing better than ever. Our units and most of the owners we work directly with, that are using all of the tools available to them, online booking, advertising, running specials, photo albums, these owners are having record years.

They are all beating the 2007 numbers they posted last season. WHY? They are working harder than most other owners. The rental market is still very strong. With gas at almost $4 a gallon, people still want to take a vacation. So it is tougher on many, but with the proper tools, you can do very well in the toughest of times.

We are seeing some higher than usual cancellations. We feel this is due to many factors. They may have booked a few months ago, put a deposit down and when the full payment comes due, the funds may not be there for some families. This is another reason to be taking credit cards for your rent payments. Some guest who may not have the funds today, will put the final payment on a credit card, to make sure they can take the family on vacation. So it is another way to get business you may have lost.

We are also seeing new owners enter the market and doing VERY well. All for the same reasons. If they buy a desirable unit, they advertise properly, use the online vacation rental software from to complete bookings as fast as possible, they are filling up the calendar as soon as the start marketing.

REAL ESTATE MARKET. This is a totally different animal from the rental market. Real Estate markets are having a very tough time. Some prices continue to drop and some have leveled off. Buying a unit now is a great idea. Prices have not been this low in 4-5 years. But do not confuse a tough real estate market with a tough rental market. They are 2 different animals. Rentals are strong. You may have to work a little harder, but to the victor goes the spoils. Update your photos, take credit cards online, price your property correctly and you will have your share of business.

The bottom line is always been and always will be, you get out what you put in. Do the work to make your rental business a success and you will be successful. Do nothing and nothing will happen.

Stay tuned. We all hope the real estate market and the economy will swing back to the top soon.

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