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Vacation Rental Homeowner Blog

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Use Local Festivals and Events to Help Fill Vacancies. Still have availability for the summer or fall season? Consider promoting a local festival, fair or other fun event close to your home’s location! We’ve compiled an extensive list of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket events for download. Cape Cod Events – 2014 Summer and Fall Marthas Vineyard Events – 2014 Summer and Fall Nantucket Events – 2014 Summer and Fall Here are a few examples of how you might use a local event to fill vacancies with an Owner Special: Offer an exclusive dealOwner Special: OysterFest, Oct 18 and 19th. Consult the Events pages of our Vacation Planner for up-to-date event listings for your area. Did you like this? Household Supplies: What to Provide for your Guests. Homeowners often ask us for guidance about what household supplies they are expected to leave for their guests, such as cleaning products, paper products, seasonings, condiments, etc. There is no hard-and-fast rule about what should be provided, and the choice is completely up to the discretion of the owner.

But, as in ALL aspects of managing a vacation rental, the happiness of the vacationer’s experience is vital to the homeowner’s success. And it is often those “little extras” that can make a world of difference in guaranteeing your guests’ happiness – which, in turn, increases the likelihood of their returning next season as well as posting a glowing guest review to your listing for others to see. So, when in doubt, provide all you can! The supplies you provide significantly depend on the size and quality of your home: the expectations of a simple, rustic cottage, for example, would be less than of a larger, more upscale home. Basic recommended provisions: Did you like this? What's YOUR Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket beach? Next to your home and property, what is it that draws you to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket year after year?

What calls to you when you are away? And, what compelled you to take on a home here in the first place? My bets are all in on the beach. From wide expanses of warm sand, to grass-spotted paths through the dunes, to mudflats as far as the eye can see, we’d like to hear about your favorites! Visit our beaches page and choose your area or town from the drop down menu. Scroll down the page to locate your favorite beach or the beach closest to your home, and click “Write a Review.” You can even reference your Property ID in your review with a note about how close you are to that beach. Encourage your booked guests to use our beach directory while planning their vacation before their arrival and then once they’re here in your home.

So, tell us. Did you like this? Decking Out Your Deck - Tips for Creating a Fabulous Outdoor Living Space. The deck, porch, or patio of your home on Cape Cod, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard is actually much more than you think: it should really be considered another room of your home – and a valuable one at that.

So much of what makes Cape and Islands vacations spectacular is being able to spend copious amounts of time outdoors. And visitors choose to stay in a vacation rental because of access to private outdoor spaces, which provide fun opportunities to dine or just hang out together with family and/or friends. So it’s a good idea to take the time and resources to enhance your deck, porch or patio and make it as lovely as your living room. Here are a few tips to create a welcoming and comfortable outdoor space for your guests.

Add some color and comfort to your outdoor furniture by adorning your chairs, chaises, or couches with cushions. Sunbrella fabric is a good choice for outdoor cushions as it is resistant to UV rays, mildew, stains and mold. Looking for some inspiration? 100 Years, 100 Posts, and 100 Ways to Say "Thank You!" Get Your Vacation Rental Ready for the Summer Season - Spring Post Roundup. We’ve listed the best of our past posts on preparing your rental for the summer season in one place! Find a variety of tips – from ideas for improving curb appeal, to checklists for a thorough spring cleaning, to smart updates you can implement now and save on utility bills later (without spoiling your vacationers’ stay!). Spring Cleaning Clean Sweep – Will your home pass the white glove test?

Joan Talmadge talks with the owners of Cape Cod Multi-Services on the most important aspects of spring cleaning your home, including a comprehensive checklist. It’s That Time of Year Again…Spring Clean-up TimeGuest blogger Lee Bowman, Jr. at Joyce Landscaping in Marstons Mills provides a sytematic approach to tackling spring yard cleanup. Battling Dampness and Mold in Your Vacation Rental HomeWe all know the challenges of maintaining an inviting and comfortable home in the middle of an oppressively humid summer on the Cod, the Vineyard or Nantucket. Curb Appeal Energy and Efficiency Updates. Are you social? Easy and Powerful Ways to Promote your Property Listing. It is important to know that Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+ have become even more powerful and popular ways to share content than email.

We encourage you to share with your friends, followers, and social circles the link to your property listing. The 5 most prominent social sites – Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter – are all very accessible for you to link to right from your listing. Choose the social site that feels most comfortable to you, and get social! Here is information on the three social sites I think are most suited for vacation rental homeowners: Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. For Pinterest users: There are 2 ways to share your listing using Pinterest. Go to your listing, and click on the “Pin it” button on the social widget – fancy name for the rectangular box on the right hand side of your listing. Once you click on the “Pin it” button, the screen will show every picture of your listing. I could write for hours on all this social media stuff… A Quick Update on the Proposed Vacation Rental Lodging Tax Issue.

A recent article in the Worcester Telegram prompted me to look into the current status of any proposed legislation regarding the extension of the lodging tax to private home rentals. For the past ten years or so, local state legislators (primarily from the Cape) have proposed extending this tax to include vacation rental homes. Currently hotels, motels, and inns in MA pay an 11.7% tax: 5.7% goes to the state and 6% to the individual towns.

If this tax were to be imposed on vacation rental homes, rental homeowners would be faced with the decision of absorbing the tax themselves or passing it on to their tenants. Governor Patrick’s 2015 budget did include a measure to extend the lodging tax to private homes. When I communicated with Rep. Alice Peisch of Wellesley last week, however, she indicated that the House Ways and Means budget, released on April 9, did not include any changes to the lodging tax. Bloomberg Real Estate Report - Radio Interview with Jeff Talmadge. The Birth of Co-owners and Founders,Joan and Jeff Talmadge The year was 1997, and we were entering our second season of renting out our vacation home in East Orleans.

Jeff was burning the midnight oil as he created an interactive website for vacation rentals. This was a time, mind you, when many people were totally unfamiliar with the Internet, never mind advertising vacation rentals through this vehicle. Five-line newspaper ads were more the norm! The next step was thinking of a name for our website. Our first idea was to call our company “Journey’s End.” In fact, we even had stationery printed.

The next name we conceived of was “All Seasons Vacation Rental Network.” Now we needed a website URL. Why List Your Property on Find a Rental Did you like this? Considering Pets in Vacation Rentals - Part 2 - Yes, Fido can come, too! In our previous post, Considering Pets in Vacation Rentals, we mainly discussed the risks involved in accepting pets into your vacation rental home. But here’s some advice for those of you who, like me, are willing to consider allowing pets. Before we start, though, here’s something to consider when you’re making the “Do I/ or Don’t I?” Decision. The “Pets considered” option is fairly popular with vacationers, ranking 5th in popularity of non-location-related amenities (after washer/dryer, A/C, porch/deck/patio, cable TV, and Internet).

The end result is that the supply vs. demand ratio is definitely greater from vacationers for pet friendly homes than there is a supply of them. Thus, offering a “pet friendly” home definitely increases its marketability. If you are willing to accept pets, these are some of the options for you to consider: Charge a refundable deposit: The amount tends to be anywhere between $50 and $200. That’s why I opt for the third choice. Did you like this? Getting Started: Listing Your Property on Should I provide linens in my vacation rental? Homeowners frequently ask us, “Should I provide linens?” Although there’s no right answer, I have to say that linens and towels are a very popular amenity, particularly for vacationers who are traveling long distances.

Generally, those who rent the larger and more expensive homes expect to be provided with this amenity. Today’s vacationers like to arrive at their vacation home and start…well, start vacationing. But the benefits to vacationers of your providing linens must be weighed against the added time and expense it can create for you, the homeowner. One of the biggest problems is finding someone to do the laundering after the tenants depart. If you use a cleaning company, their time is limited, and linen laundering is sometimes not included in their services. Linens and towels also get stained easily, and it’s very important to provide clean, fresh-looking linens for your next guests. One popular option is to provide all bed linens but ask tenants to bring their own towels. Homeower Blog > Set yourself up for success with the Ideal Listing eBook!

Our latest Press Release: Vacation rental prices increasing across Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Announcing our new map search feature! » Homeowner Blog. The Psychology Factor: Damage Insurance vs Security Deposits. At first glance, vacation rental damage insurance can seem like a great prospect: homeowners can provide guests with a convenient and easy way to cover themselves in the event they or someone in their party accidentally damages your property, and homeowners can save time collecting, managing and returning a myriad of deposits.

But is damage insurance all that it’s cracked up to be? And can it effectually replace the psychological impact of a security deposit? Money Talks When I speak of the “psychological impact” of a security deposit, I refer to the fact that a deposit, by its definition, is a sum of money that potentially will be returned. That promise of the imminent return of all of their money creates an incentive for vacationers to take extra special care of a property. Some homeowners feel that there’s just no better deterrent to bad vacationer behavior than the threat of losing real $$$.

Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about offering damage insurance: Vacation Rental Photography – Saying “cheese” and “thank you” to the bunnies in your yard » Homeowner Blog. The most enjoyable aspect of my job with is meeting homeowners at their rental homes, photographing their house, and coaching them to better market their vacation rental.

While it is not necessary for the homeowner to meet me during the photography shoot, it is much more fun and worthwhile. Over the past 7 years, I have met hundreds of homeowners while walking their halls, seeing their yards, and learning what is most special about their homes. Experiencing your homes has been incredibly interesting, especially when the value of a visit reaches beyond the bright lights and camera. Often, a photography session will lead a homeowner to discover some of their property’s most overlooked gems, like the family of bunnies that gather by the back shrubs every morning, or the golden slivers of sun that blanket the kitchen in the afternoon.

Owning a vacation house and sharing it with strangers is not easy, right? Here are a few more ideas on how to personalize your listing: Curbing "Vacation Waste" Mentality: How to Cut Down on Utility Costs without Spoiling Your Vacationers' Stays. Guest post by Chris Long at Home Depot: At some point, we’ve all done it – we’ve gone on vacation and said “forget about it!”

When it comes to being careful about indulging in everyday luxuries. We’ve cranked the thermostat as far as it would go, we’ve taken extra-long showers, and we’ve left the lights on in every room even when we’re not there. Because, heck, we’ve already paid for the rental, so we might as well use it, right? This “vacation waste” mentality is the bane of most vacation home owners’ existence.

And not only does this attitude drive up the cost of renting the home for future vacationers, it’s also a strain on the local environment and your own pocket. But how do you curb this mentality without impinging on your renters’ stays? Curbing Electrical Usage The biggest wastes in terms of electricity in a vacation home are lights, electronics and temperature.

Lights On, Lights Off Hot Water on Demand Perfect Temperature, Every Time Curbing Water Usage. Mastering your Niche: How to Get the Most Value from Niche Marketing. Guest post by Matt Landau: In my previous post, “The Future of Vacation Rental Marketing: It’s All about the Niche,” I wrote about the superior value of niche vacation rental sites like over their major, “big-box” competitors, HomeAway/VRBO and FlipKey. The more targeted Power Search of, for example, allows its rental homeowner to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, preventing listers from having to pay the site extra to improve their search result rankings. And the locally-operated niche site is also able to provide information specific to the area (such as its beaches, activities, shops, restaurants, etc.), which is of great value to vacationers and, in turn, benefits the homeowner.

Yet to be fully implemented by the vacation rental community is the bevy of impactful techniques that a niche site can help you employ. Here are 3 that can help get you started: Did you like this? The Future of Vacation Rental Marketing: It’s All about the Niche. Guest post by Matt Landau: The key to a successful vacation rental website lies in its ability to make a perfect match between its homeowners’ properties and its vacationers’ needs. There is no question that niche vacation rental sites are better designed to accomplish this goal than their larger, globally-oriented, “big box” competitors. But, according to a 2012 industry survey, more than half (51 percent) of all vacation rental owners use major listing sites (VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey) as their sole form of marketing. This is a staggering number, especially considering that competition on these listing sites has increased exponentially over the past five years.

For a single vacation rental owner on Cape Cod, for instance, the odds are 1 in 3,247 that their property stands out on Using, those odds diminish to 1 in 5,279. And via, the opportunity is reduced to a paltry 1 in 6,172.