By Garin Hamburger | Travelog Very recently I was lucky enough to tie the knot with the most amazing woman! I don’t want to bore you with all of the details, so I’ll just leave it at, ‘it was a fantastic wedding’. And like many newlyweds, we knew that we wanted to go on a honeymoon right after. After some extensive research, we decided to honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The once small fishing town that was transformed into a tourist spot after Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton filmed their movie, “The Night of the Iguana”. We didn’t know that until we got there, however every cab driver in town made sure they told us about it. After a few nights exploring the city, the attractions, and the night life, we decided to have a romantic dinner on the beach. A few of our friends back home told us about this restaurant, ‘La Palapa’ and once we asked the locals about it, we knew it was the place to go. We arrived just before sunset and the hostess showed us to our table in the sand. We were showered with attention and one of the gentlemen that worked there even [...]
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By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Vacation homeowners can easily become overwhelmed by the task of figuring out how to manage a vacation rental property. So, we suggest taking it one step at a time, getting the foundational elements in place and operationalizing every aspect you can. Create a Budget The first step in our list of how to manage a vacation rental property is creation of a budget. It is important that you account for utility bills, property maintenance, housekeeping, household supplies, and the inevitable wear and tear on furniture, electronics, and appliances. Set your rates after analyzing similar houses in the market and project your income taking into account the weeks you will be using your home and the occupancy rate you believe you will achieve. House Readiness Running a successful vacation home management business is dependent upon ensuring an exceptional guest experience. So, make sure your home is ready for rental guests. Lock your personal items in a storage closet. Determine how you will stock and stage your home for each rental. Create a checklist to use prior to each guest’s visit. You want to make sure everything is in working order and fully stocked. Create a manual [...]
By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Out of all that goes into running a successful vacation home management business, nothing is more important than providing an exceptional guest experience. While it’s your home that will draw them in, it’s the experience that will bring them back and produce the rave reviews that draw others to you. Ensuring an exceptional experience is all about attention to detail and fostering a personal relationship. Vetting Guests It’s important to make sure that your home is right for the guest and that the guest is right for your home. For this reason we recommend talking to each guest on the phone at least once during the process. Are they a family with small children? If so, is your pool and patio area kid friendly? You’re not just selling them a place to sleep, you’re helping plan for a memorable vacation experience, so ensuring a good match is critical. Confirm All Details Three Times There are a lot of details involved in vacation home management. Getting a date wrong or neglecting to follow up on a special request can wreak havoc on a family’s vacation. That’s why we consider it best practice to verify all details [...]
By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Many vacation homeowners are intrigued by the prospect of entering the world of vacation rental management. The idea of developing a new revenue stream and offsetting mortgage and home maintenance costs is quite attractive. To determine if this is viable for you and your home, we have come up with the five pillars of successful vacation rental management. 1. Location, Location, Location We’ve all heard this before, but what does it truly mean? Your home may be lovely, but the marketability of it as a vacation rental is completely dependent upon the desirability of its location. If the area you are in isn’t known as a vacation destination, you are going to have a hard time renting it out. If you’re uncertain, Trip Advisor annually publishes a list of top destinations chosen by their travelers. You can also check for listings in your area on HomeAway and VRBO. Seeing full calendars is a good sign that you too can enter the vacation rental management business. 2. Proximity to Amenities & Attractions Unfortunately just being in a fantastic resort destination isn’t good enough. If you’re near the ocean, renters will be looking for a beachfront villa. [...]
By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management The vacation rental industry is growing with more travelers choosing vacation rentals over hotels than ever before (49% according to Trip Advisor.) As a result more and more homeowners are choosing to rent out their luxurious vacation homes. If you are considering this option, we have a list of vacation rental pros and cons that will help guide you to the right decision when determining how to best enter the vacation rental market. Vacation Rental Pros: There are many upsides to renting out your vacation home. 1. Leverage Unused Time For Income There are likely many days and weeks that your vacation home is left unoccupied. If you decide to start a vacation rental business you will reap the benefits of watching your home’s previously unused time turn into cold hard cash. It’s this financial upside that is clearly first on the list of vacation rental pros. 2. Offset Mortgage Expenses Turning your vacation home into a revenue stream can serve as a great way to offset your mortgage and maintenance expenses. According to HomeAway, 49% of homeowners report that their rental income covers at least three-quarters of their mortgage payments. This additional income can [...]
By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management The vacation rental business is growing at a rapid pace and can serve as a great way to offset a vacation homeowner’s mortgage and maintenance costs. However, homeowners may shy away because of the hours required to manage bookings and the effort needed to meet the demands of this complex industry. Good news, there are a number professionals you can partner with that will make diving into the vacation rental business much less daunting. Property Manager – Ensures Your Home is 100% Guest Ready Choosing someone to manage the maintenance of your home will be crucial to the success of your vacation rental business. Your property manager will oversee housekeeping and handle all property maintenance. They should be well connected in the area as they will be helping you hire and manage the housekeeper, pool service, exterminator, landscaper, air-conditioning service, etc., They will ensure any repairs are taken care of and that household supplies are in stock. We recommend you build a house inventory that can serve as their shopping list for getting your home set-up. Then, have the property manager use it as checklist after every guest visit to assess for damages and ensure [...]
By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Love your second home in Jackson Hole, but long to spend a week relaxing on the beaches in the Caribbean? A vacation home exchange may be in order. Vacation home exchange is exactly as it sounds. You trade a stay in your lovely home for a stay in another family’s fabulous vacation villa in the Turks and Caicos. Or Paris. Or Tuscany. You pick. Opening up your home to other like-minded families unlocks a world of possibilities. Your vacation options expand exponentially without any additional expense for accommodations. In essence, you leverage the investment you’ve already made as a way to travel the world. As a vacation homeowner you already know that staying in a home is a much more authentic way to travel and experience a foreign destination. When you stay as a guest of a homeowner you’ll get a list of their local recommendations and favorite haunts. You’ll walk the neighborhood, shop at the local market and gather in the kitchen for meals. Instead of being confined to a hotel room, you can unwind and reconnect while barbequing on the patio. Besides the economical considerations, another tangible benefit to vacation home exchange is that it truly [...]
By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management When deciding to rent out your vacation home your first question may be, “Do I need a property manager for my vacation rental?” If you are looking to generate substantial income and not looking for a second job, the simple answer is yes. In order to run a successful vacation home rental operation, you need to put your business hat on and start thinking about your second home as a revenue stream. Getting the appropriate support staff in place will be key to your rental success and will also help you protect your home as the vacation getaway you always intended it to be. Property maintenance is a constant for homeowners and maintaining a second home an airplane trip away can be both time consuming and challenging. Hiring a local property manager to handle the maintenance and upkeep of your vacation home will give you the peace of mind you desire while also ensuring your home is in tip-top shape for renters. It is critical that your home be well maintained to ensure the best possible guest experience. Positive experiences lead to positive reviews, your best form of online marketing. We recommend hiring [...]
By Marie McKay | Los Cabos, Mexico Marie and her husband Randy are fractional owners in Elite's Palmilla Retreat Family is so important to both Randy and I. Like many others, we tend to get so wrapped up in our own lives that we lose track of the people that are dearest to us. That's why we invite family and friends to join us on vacation in Cabo. I just love waking up in the morning knowing that everyone is there. Randy likes to get up around 5:30 every morning, and walk up the hill near our house, with a chair and a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. I like to sip coffee with my sisters a little later in the morning. At some point in the day we hop in our golf cart and make our way to the private Beach Club that we have privileged access to. We've made friends with most of the staff like Charlie, who works at the beach. He sets us up with paddle-boarding, sailing, snorkeling, any kind of water sport on the calmest bay in all of Cabo. Another one of our favorite things is to take Yoga classes at [...]
By Chelsea Swenson | Australia The lights of Sydney Harbor made my heart beat faster as I knew that an exciting adventure was upon me. This would be a 3 week excursion spending two weeks in Sydney, Australia and then one week on the North Island of New Zealand. While staying in Sydney with friends, we had the chance to experience the city from the local’s perspective instead of the tourists’ view. We embraced the charming hole-in-the-wall Thai food restaurant that we couldn’t get enough of and made it a point to try Panang curry everywhere we could. From the majestic Blue Mountains, to the coastal walkway on Bondi Beach, to the excitement in Sydney while the World Cup played on, everything about Australia was fascinating. Including their accents, I knew they were speaking English, but it was unlike any English I had heard in awhile. When I wasn’t in public, I would secretly try to speak as they do, unfortunately it never seemed to be quite right. Continuing our journey in New Zealand, my husband and I rented a car planned a few choice destinations and let the rest of the trip unfold during the in-betweens. Once we hopped into [...]