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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    I agree with PP--don't let people who haven't booked the place yet know the address or see the unit. We have never requested that before. I'm sure plenty of people want to book directly to save on fees but that's riskier to you (e.g., what if the check bounces, what if the credit card number proves to be fraudulent later).

    We regularly rent homes on vacation so I thought I'd share some tips if you definitely plan to rent your home out.

    1. AirBnB/VRBO/Homeaway are platforms that make it easy to expose your home to potential renters and provide some peace of mind. Plus, renters can then leave reviews and many of us don't rent places with zero reviews. When I read reviews, I look for comments about how quiet it is, whether there are any complaints about the way the place is stocked, whether the guest felt his/her expectations were met, etc. If you use a website, you still need to figure out who is going to handle check-in/check-out and "emergency" calls (e.g., WiFi isn't working, no hot water, leaking toilet). We've had some rentals where it's one of those digital keyless entry pads so we never meet a live person. A phone number is provided if there's a problem. At a few of our rentals, a live person actually comes to "check us out" and let us check in. This may be wise if you're in an area known for parties. All the rentals we've booked have explicitly said no parties, primary renter has to be over 25, and quiet hours 10 pm to 7 am (or something like that). A friend of ours who rents their mountain home pays a local real estate agent to handle all this (they get a % of the rental fee). That agency meets renters, oversees cleaners/maintenance, and calls the owner if there's a major issue (e.g., flooded kitchen!).

    2. That same homeowner friend still uses their mountain home a few times a year and something is ALWAYS missing. Renters break/take things so keep that in mind. Corkscrews, knives, and even chopping boards have disappeared! They keep a locked closet of stuff for owner use only (and I've seen several rentals have a closet with a lock on it). With that said, as a renter, I hate it when we get cheap dull knives, no chopping board, etc. So if you want high ratings, consider stocking your rental with equipment that is medium quality (not high-end but not cheap) housewares like knives, utensils, etc. I'm sure you can get decent quality at a TJ Maxx or HomeGoods store (or just go to Costco or Target!). Then it's not too expensive to replace but it's not so cheap as to frustrate your guests.

    3. Think about maximum capacity of guests and make sure you have enough utensils, plates, glasses, etc. for at least twice that number. I hate going into a rental and finding exactly 4 forks, which means I have to wash dishes after every meal. We tend to only eat breakfast in our rentals, but there have been times when we've done 2 meals at home. I also like it when places stock basic stuff (e.g., salt, pepper, oil for cooking, coffee, non-dairy creamer, and sugar). Most rentals have completely empty fridges when we arrive, so we always buy ketchup and we often end up buying a small bottle of olive oil in case there's no oil in the unit. Occasionally, owners have had Brita water filters in the fridge, which is nice since the taste of local water in different cities can vary widely.

    4. For the bathroom, please stock it with "good towels" (Costco has Charisma ones that don't break the bank) rather than the thin scratchy towels. You'll also need a hair dryer in there! I also think it's nice when the owner provides shampoo/conditioner/soap so I don't have to use my tiny toiletries (we travel carry-on only). Not everyone likes using the free stuff, but those of us who do appreciate it. Please also make sure you provide extra toilet paper rolls and boxes of Kleenex. I hate when there's only 1 extra roll of toilet paper and we have to go buy some while on vacation!

    5. Make a "Locals' guide"/owners' manual that shares vital info like WiFi code, phone number for emergencies, etc. plus the fun stuff like favorite local restaurants, things to do close by, etc.

    6. Be very explicit about what you expect from guests. We stayed at a lovely beachfront unit in Maui that was VERY specific (e.g., wipe down the counter after every use so there aren't any stains left on the granite, wipe the rubber seal of the front-loader after you do a load of laundry, shake off swimsuits outside the unit so sand doesn't get in the shower drain or the washing machine). I found it a bit overbearing, to be honest, but I knew that owner expected people to be VERY careful with her home and it showed because the place was immaculate.

    Good luck!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    7,440

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkmomagain View Post
    Thanks again for your thoughts. My DH listed on VRBO and Air BnB -- I believe. Maybe he needs more pics or description? Unless in my area it is more of a thing to look at the rental? (I mean most inquiries have asked to take a look or drive by????) It's not uncommon to rent in this area for a month or even several months (the season from Memorial Day to Labor Day).
    I have literally never heard of anyone providing the info on a listing prior to a completed rental nor do I know anyone who has asked to see a place first and I know tons of people who rent and who rent out their places and for weeks at a time. That is highly unusual and I could look at what your husbandís ad says and what heís posted to see if there is something that makes people think that is acceptable. It is not the usual deal at all. And Iím taking all over the USA and even Italy.


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  3. #13
    mom2binsd is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    8,626

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    Have you looked at the listing your DH has done? Have you looked at other listings for similar places nearby by superhosts?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York, USA.
    Posts
    6,273

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    Quote Originally Posted by smiles33 View Post
    I agree with PP--don't let people who haven't booked the place yet know the address or see the unit. We have never requested that before. I'm sure plenty of people want to book directly to save on fees but that's riskier to you (e.g., what if the check bounces, what if the credit card number proves to be fraudulent later).

    We regularly rent homes on vacation so I thought I'd share some tips if you definitely plan to rent your home out.

    1. AirBnB/VRBO/Homeaway are platforms that make it easy to expose your home to potential renters and provide some peace of mind. Plus, renters can then leave reviews and many of us don't rent places with zero reviews. When I read reviews, I look for comments about how quiet it is, whether there are any complaints about the way the place is stocked, whether the guest felt his/her expectations were met, etc. If you use a website, you still need to figure out who is going to handle check-in/check-out and "emergency" calls (e.g., WiFi isn't working, no hot water, leaking toilet). We've had some rentals where it's one of those digital keyless entry pads so we never meet a live person. A phone number is provided if there's a problem. At a few of our rentals, a live person actually comes to "check us out" and let us check in. This may be wise if you're in an area known for parties. All the rentals we've booked have explicitly said no parties, primary renter has to be over 25, and quiet hours 10 pm to 7 am (or something like that). A friend of ours who rents their mountain home pays a local real estate agent to handle all this (they get a % of the rental fee). That agency meets renters, oversees cleaners/maintenance, and calls the owner if there's a major issue (e.g., flooded kitchen!).

    2. That same homeowner friend still uses their mountain home a few times a year and something is ALWAYS missing. Renters break/take things so keep that in mind. Corkscrews, knives, and even chopping boards have disappeared! They keep a locked closet of stuff for owner use only (and I've seen several rentals have a closet with a lock on it). With that said, as a renter, I hate it when we get cheap dull knives, no chopping board, etc. So if you want high ratings, consider stocking your rental with equipment that is medium quality (not high-end but not cheap) housewares like knives, utensils, etc. I'm sure you can get decent quality at a TJ Maxx or HomeGoods store (or just go to Costco or Target!). Then it's not too expensive to replace but it's not so cheap as to frustrate your guests.

    3. Think about maximum capacity of guests and make sure you have enough utensils, plates, glasses, etc. for at least twice that number. I hate going into a rental and finding exactly 4 forks, which means I have to wash dishes after every meal. We tend to only eat breakfast in our rentals, but there have been times when we've done 2 meals at home. I also like it when places stock basic stuff (e.g., salt, pepper, oil for cooking, coffee, non-dairy creamer, and sugar). Most rentals have completely empty fridges when we arrive, so we always buy ketchup and we often end up buying a small bottle of olive oil in case there's no oil in the unit. Occasionally, owners have had Brita water filters in the fridge, which is nice since the taste of local water in different cities can vary widely.

    4. For the bathroom, please stock it with "good towels" (Costco has Charisma ones that don't break the bank) rather than the thin scratchy towels. You'll also need a hair dryer in there! I also think it's nice when the owner provides shampoo/conditioner/soap so I don't have to use my tiny toiletries (we travel carry-on only). Not everyone likes using the free stuff, but those of us who do appreciate it. Please also make sure you provide extra toilet paper rolls and boxes of Kleenex. I hate when there's only 1 extra roll of toilet paper and we have to go buy some while on vacation!

    5. Make a "Locals' guide"/owners' manual that shares vital info like WiFi code, phone number for emergencies, etc. plus the fun stuff like favorite local restaurants, things to do close by, etc.

    6. Be very explicit about what you expect from guests. We stayed at a lovely beachfront unit in Maui that was VERY specific (e.g., wipe down the counter after every use so there aren't any stains left on the granite, wipe the rubber seal of the front-loader after you do a load of laundry, shake off swimsuits outside the unit so sand doesn't get in the shower drain or the washing machine). I found it a bit overbearing, to be honest, but I knew that owner expected people to be VERY careful with her home and it showed because the place was immaculate.

    Good luck!
    Thanks so much for this detailed response, Smiles! I really appreciate it and will use definitely use all of this great info!!!
    DD1 - 1996
    DD2 - 1999
    DD3 - 2005

    Surfaces are for working, not for storing. - Peter Walsh

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York, USA.
    Posts
    6,273

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    Quote Originally Posted by mom2binsd View Post
    Have you looked at the listing your DH has done? Have you looked at other listings for similar places nearby by superhosts?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    I just took a look at it. 12 photos posted. I don't think it's horrible but it probably needs more detailed copy looking at others. He basically just picked up the copy from our sales listing (we did try to sell at some point) but I think a vacation rental requires something different.
    DD1 - 1996
    DD2 - 1999
    DD3 - 2005

    Surfaces are for working, not for storing. - Peter Walsh

  6. #16
    mom2binsd is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    8,626

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    Yes, renters want to know what size the beds are, what the bathroom vanity/shower situation is, what appliances and kitchen stuff is available, what patio furniture and other things like beach chairs etc. Sounds like you need to revamp it from a rental perspective. Also use as many pics as possible and they should look exactly as it will rent.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  7. #17
    erosenst is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    We rent out our condo in Florida. Minimum rental is a month (standard in the area we're in) and we've had a few ask to come see it and have accommodated - but do not bend over backwards to do so.

    If you don't have professional pictures posted, pay to have some taken - it will pay back easily. (Search through listings in your area - you'll see the difference immediately.) We bought ours turnkey - meaning the prior owners could and did leave whatever they wanted. I had to get a fair amount to make it rentable at the quality (read: price point) we wanted. Most renters have left specific feedback on how much they liked the quality of sheets ($25 for a king set on Amazon but highly rated and what we use at home), towels, and kitchen stuff. We are in an area where most fly so we have 'nice' beach towels (Costco), beach bags, etc.

    We have not rented outside of VRBO because we want the ratings - as a PP pointed out, most who rent often only rent from places with at least a few. We did rent to one returning couple 'offline' because it saved so much $$ for each of us, and they were model renters the first year.

    Feel free to PM, or respond here, if there are specific questions that I can answer - good luck!

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