Worrying about the unknown won’t get us very far, and these days there is a lot of unknowns.
The Rental industry is no different than the rest of the world right now with all of the uncertainty and unknowns we are all experiencing. Nobody really knows where we will be a month from now or even a week from now at this point.
Amanda Thomas, owner of Moxie Girl decided now would be a great time to team up with Ben Ellis, broker, and owner of E&G Real Estate and Property Management, and Brent McDonald, a lender with All Western Mortgage to discuss not only the trends they are seeing in the Phoenix rental industry but also going from short term rentals to long term rentals, selling your home, refinancing, and mortgage forbearance.
Short Term Rental Industry Trends
Homes are renting out still!
Get seen on all booking sights without lowering your prices.
Long Term Rental Industry Trends & Home Buying Trends
Ben Ellis, broker, and owner of E&G Real Estate and Property Management
Securing tenants for your long term rental property
Ensuring you get your home back in the condition which you rented it out
The ups and downs of running a long term rental property
The ups and downs of doing long term rentals during a global pandemic
What has changed and how to adjust your long term rental property in the midst of COVID-19
liabilities and owner responsibilities of managing a long term rental property
Brent McDonald, a lender with All Western Mortgage discuss the trends they are seeing in the rental and home buying industry.
What does it mean to go into forbearance and is now a good time?
The pros and cons of going into forbearance and what that will mean for your credit.
Rates in the market and where they are currently at, is it a good time to buy or sell your home?
Refinancing your home, what that could mean for you, your credit, and your mortgage rate.
Click HERE for more information on these topics from experts in these fields!
The vacation rental home industry is booming in the Phoenix metro area! A quick search on AirBnB turned up over 300 properties available for rent this coming weekend alone. Realizing there is money to be made, many people (and investment companies) have been converting Valley homes to vacation rental properties in the past several years.
The increase in popularity of Valley vacation rentals has also led to the realization that the current city and state ordinances regarding this type of short-term rental property are, at best, lacking in clarity. Even vacation rental homeowners who’ve done the research before converting their properties can find themselves with legal troubles.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to Gilbert and Cassandra Cardenas of Phoenix. The couple had built an astoundingly cute “tiny house” in their backyard and had already enjoyed several years of success offering the dwelling as a vacation rental – with the blessing and support of their immediate neighbors.
Gilbert and Cassandra thought they were well within Phoenix city ordinance, since their tiny home was to be used for short-term rentals only AND it was on wheels. Due to a couple of anonymous complaints, the City of Phoenix now says the tiny home (nicknamed “The Nest”) must be “attached” to their existing house OR the Cardenases need to have their property rezoned as “multi-family” in order to continue their vacation rental endeavor.
With HB 2672 signed into law recently, the State of Arizona has already taken some steps to formally place some restrictions and reporting requirements on vacation rental home owners (read our Moxie blog on the subject!) The vacation rental home market shows no signs of slowing down, so we suspect that Phoenix and surrounding cities will become more specific with their own regulations for short-term rentals in the near future.
The owners of The Nest are examining their options – one of which may be to sell the tiny home they worked so hard to construct. It IS adorable – check it out HERE.To read the full AZ Central coverage of this story, clickHERE.
Moxie Girl is the leader in vacation rental home care, servicing over 100 beautiful vacation rentals throughout the Valley. We are just as interested as you are in making your vacation rental home a success! CLICK HEREto see what Moxie Girl can do for you.
Want to BE a Moxie? CLICK HEREto tell us why you would make a great Vacation Rental Assistant!
As the owner/operator of a successful vacation rental home, you try hard to provide an experience that will prompt your guests to leave glowing reviews – but even putting forth your best efforts doesn’t protect you against the ever-growing list of scams affecting AirBnB hosts.
A quick online search reveals numerous tales of woe from AirBnB hosts describing nefarious guests’ attempts to garner anywhere between 25% to 100% OFF their reservation total. Some hosts claim that due to AirBnB’s guest refund policies and procedures, guests are doing everything from turning wi-fi routers off and claiming the internet “isn’t working,” to staging and photographing undesirable cleaning “misses” in order to whittle down their lodging expenses.
One way vacation rental homeowners are protecting themselves against the “discount” scammers is to snap pics of all areas of the “guest-ready” rental before their guests arrive. Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants have been providing this service to our clients for several months now – and as it turns out, that’s a really great idea!
Moxie Girl has always provided photo documentation to our clients of any theft or damage to their property should we find it. Timely evidence is crucial for vacation rental hosts hoping to charge a guest for misuse of their vacation rental home or items that have gone missing during a guest’s stay!
Providing photos of their guest-ready vacation rental gives our clients peace of mind, knowing their guests will arrive at a clean, inviting space – in addition to being pretty solid evidence against false claims by guests that the rental “wasn’t clean.” Even a screenshot of the wi-fi showing as “connected” on a smartphone proves it WAS working when we left the property.
Moxie Girl recently even used a guest-ready photo to prove that a guest (or rather the guest’s child) was responsible for breaking a large mirror in one of our clients’ vacation rentals. The guests had claimed they found mirror broken upon arrival, but our time-stamped photo of that room from earlier in the day showed an undamaged mirror! Long story, short, the kid fessed up and the guests took financial responsibility for the replacement cost.
There are plenty of other (and far more costly!) scams being perpetrated against vacation rental homeowners as well. Many of those may be avoided by knowing what to watch out for. Most rental listing platforms such as AirBnB and VRBO offer secure payment processing and warm that guests requesting to pay by any type of check or wire transfer should be a red flag.
Vacation rental homeowners are also urged to never accept more than is due for any booking, putting them in the position of being persuaded to issue a refund outside the rental platform’s refund policy and structure – and ultimately lead to identity theft as well as financial loss.
Clearly you’ve got enough to worry about as a vacation rental homeowner – why not let Moxie Girl take away the stress of between-guest cleanings? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area – and we are just as interested in helping your property get great reviews as you are. CLICK HEREfor a FREE consultation!
Interested in being a Moxie Girl? We are always on the lookout for motivated individuals to join our growing team of Vacation Rental Assistants! CLICK HERE to introduce yourself – an HR representative will reach out to you shortly!
One of the biggest “selling-points” of a Phoenix-area vacation rental home is our weather! Now, obviously, we’re not talking about summer – although there are those who claim to enjoy our extreme heat. The rest of the year though is pretty gosh-darn perfect most of the time – at least in comparison to much of the rest of the country.
That perfect – and very popular – the weather is a mere couple of months away, so now is a great time to assess the outdoor living space at your vacation rental home(s). Even if your vacation rental home’s outdoor space “looked great!” last fall, things can sure take a beating in the space of summer here. Take an honest look and ask yourself: Is it appealing to guests? Is it clean? Is everything in good repair? Is the seating comfortable? Is there anything at all that could make it better?
Visitors to the Phoenix area during our beautiful fall through spring seasons are likely to want to spend as much time as possible enjoying themselves outside. A beautiful outdoor living space can be a huge highlight on your property’s rental listing, increasing your potential for bookings and higher rental rates!
Especially if your vacation rental property boasts a pool, it’s outdoor living space is likely to become THE living area for guests much of the year. Your guests should feel as though you put just as much thought in the outdoor space as you did in the rest of your vacation rental, and upgrades will definitely be appreciated.
Comfortable, durable patio furniture with enough seating for the number of potential guests is crucial. Other amenities your guests are bound to use
and enjoy include fire pits, barbecue grills, beverage tubs – even outdoor-appropriate throws or stadium blankets in case of a chill.
Outdoor mood-lighting never hurts, either. There are probably hundreds of options for string lights, lanterns, post lights and solar-powered light features you could add to the outdoor living area of your vacation rental.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of the outdoor area of your vacation rental home are just as important as the inside! Routinely scheduled lawn care and professional pool maintenance are half the battle, but be sure your vacation rental home cleaning crew is making sure everything is guest-ready!
Need help with your vacation rental property? Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist, providing care to over 100 rental homes throughout the Phoenix area! Click here to find out how Moxie Girl can help make your vacation rental as successful as it should be!
The vast majority of internet users in the United States check online reviews before making decisions on just about anything. In the vacation rental home game, the volume and quality of your property’s reviews can boost it closer to the “top of the list” on your rental platform, too, increasing your rental potential!
So That Happened…Don’t Panic!
The bad review…No matter how hard you try if you’re operating a vacation rental home, it’s bound to happen at some point. Bad reviews can seem like personal attacks, even if that wasn’t the intent of the reviewer. And feeling personally attacked can cause all sorts of things to come out of our mouths – or our fingertips to our keyboards – that we wouldn’t say under normal circumstances.
DO NOT IGNORE IT, but don’t panic, either. Take a breath…or six dozen. It may take a bit before you’re able to objectively look at the situation from all angles. It is important that you address the review online, but only after you’ve had a chance to compose yourself enough to compose an appropriate response.
Acknowledge and Apologize
When crafting a reply to the bad review, do your best to sound professional, but keep it real. No one likes a “canned” response to a complaint – they want a person, not a spokesperson. Simply apologize for the bad experience they had and express your desire, as the owner of the vacation rental home, to “make it right,” and offer your contact info for follow up.
Once you’ve done this, you’ve very effectively put the ball in their court – and that should be the end of any online interaction on the matter. Any further communication on the matter should be done person-to-person, not in a public forum. NO ONE wins in a cyber-fight.
What Will Make It Right?
Put yourself in the role of the disgruntled guest writing the bad review. If whatever happened to them happened to you, what would YOU be comfortable asking for, to “make it right”? If and when the guest contacts you for follow up, ask them directly what THEY feel would make it right?
Hopefully, the two of you aren’t terribly far apart in what you think is a fair resolution. By the way, it’s quite possible that your guest was a little bit hotter under the collar when they wrote the review than they will be after a little sincere and positive interaction with you. If it turns out the guest is actually demanding less than what you had in mind to “fix this,” offering a little bit more may even cause your guest to remove or edit their review in your favor – especially if they had a very valid complaint.
What Did We Learn?
Always let the experience of dealing with a bad review be a learning experience. What exactly went wrong at your vacation rental home that led to the bad review? Whatever it was, if the complaint was valid, it’s now your job to figure out how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Sure, there will always be the occasional guest who’s nit-picking or looking for way more of a settlement than seems fair. Some guests even make a habit of it, unfortunately. It’s okay to wave them off once you’ve done your part in trying to make things right by offering a reasonable solution.
Moxie Girl Can Help!
Operating a successful vacation rental home can be stressful! Putting the Moxie Girl team in charge of your between-guest turns is a great way to reclaim some of your time as a vacation rental homeowner. Click here for a FREE CONSULTATION!
Caring for over 100 vacation rental homes Valley-wide is a big job! Moxie Girl is continually striving to be the best in the industry, and our efforts start with understanding our client’s needs – and THAT starts with communication!
We know communication can be a struggle for some clients…many people just assume that their needs “go without saying” while others may be just plain uncomfortable stating their needs. Some clients may not even be sure WHAT they want. We wish we were mind-readers, but in lieu of being psychics, we work hard to be great communicators!
Ideally, our vacation rental clients will just express their “end game” right at the beginning of our relationship, but as we’ve learned over time, this doesn’t always happen. It’s Moxie Girl’s job to know exactly what our clients expect, and more often than not, that requires us to ask some questions.
Our Moxie Girls know that spending a few minutes asking the right questions (and follow-up questions if needed) can save hours of confusion – and ultimately frustration. Moxie Girl truly desires to get the job done efficiently and most importantly, to the vacation rental homeowners satisfaction (and beyond)! But we DO need to know what it takes to make that happen.
With Moxie Girl’s extensive experience in caring for vacation rental homes all over the Phoenix Metro area, we can help vacation rental homeowners new to the game as well as long-time vacation rental property operators – and it all starts with our communication skills!
It is Moxie Girl’s mission to give our clients peace of mind, knowing their guests will arrive at a property that’s looking – and smelling – its freshest and best! CLICK HERE to find out if Moxie Girl is a good fit for your vacation rental!
Are you a GSD (Get Stuff Done) type? Moxie Girl is always looking for those who share our work ethic and GSD personality to join our growing team of Vacation Rental Assistants! Moxie Girls (and boys) enjoy flexible scheduling, learn new skills and have plenty of opportunity for professional and personal growth. CLICK HERE to tell us about yourself – we look forward to hearing from you!
Many Phoenix-area school districts start the school year as early as the beginning of August, but in other places across the country, classes don’t start until the day after Labor Day! This leaves August open for impromptu family vacations, and many of those families find it less expensive – and more convenient – to find a suitable vacation rental home for their family travels.
If you own a vacation rental in the Valley and have read up on the subject, you already know the benefits of keeping your property operating through our brutal summer – even though it might seem “easier” and “cheaper” to cease operations during these months.
If you AREN’T in-the-know, here are a couple of blogs full of good information on the topic!
It’s true, staying in the summer vacation rental game not only helps offset the year-round expenses associated with your vacation rental property, but keeping your vacation rental home active during the “off” months – with good reviews – will also help boost your rental to the top of your vacation rental platform’s listings. And THAT can only increase your bookings during peak season!
Need some help avoiding complaints and bad reviews? Check out these Moxie blogs!
Late summer is famous for last-minute vacation rental home bookings, so stay in close communication with your vacation rental cleaning team. You’d never want to give your guests the feeling they’re receiving last-minute treatment!
Need Help With Your Vacation Rental Home?
Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist, providing excellent service to 100+ vacation rental homes in the Phoenix Metro area. Find out if Moxie Girl is right for you – CLICK here for a free consultation!
Is Moxie Life for You?
Our Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants enjoy flexible schedules, a supportive team environment, and opportunities for advancement. Tell us about yourself and we’ll be in touch soon!
Even if you’ve never considered operating a vacation rental home, if you plan on selling your existing home this year, it may interest you now – at least temporarily. Phoenix is currently enjoying a robust housing market, but even “robust” can have its highs and lows. Historically, more homes in the Phoenix area are sold in the spring and summer months than in the fall or winter. Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, believes that if your home has been on the market for a while, but hasn’t sold by October, temporarily converting it to a vacation rental home while it remains on the market may make a lot of sense.
The idea of temporarily operating the home as a vacation rental makes even more sense if the home you have on the market is considered “luxury.” Instead of sitting vacant while still requiring regular maintenance to keep the home tour-ready, your home could be bringing you income instead of just expense allowing you a bump in cash flow!
“Fall and winter months here in Phoenix are booming in terms of vacation rental home bookings, but sales of luxury homes are less during those months than the rest of the year,” says Amanda, “so it may be much more profitable to put off your sales listing for a few months and let the income from temporarily operating the home as a vacation rental cover the expenses you’d be incurring anyway, even if the home sat empty.” Bonus: Having regular guest activity on your property can also help deter break-ins, as well as help you keep an eye on home systems that could malfunction and go unnoticed on a vacant property.
Moxie Girl has previously explained the benefits of continuing to operate your vacation rental home through our brutal summer months, vs. “shutting it down.” You can easily apply some of this information to the subject of temporarily operating your for-sale home as a vacation rental vs. leaving it vacant while it sits on a slower market. Pay special attention to Myth #3 in our blog “Summer Vacation Rental- Moxie Girl Debunks the Myths.”
We’ve also got some useful information about setting up a vacation rental home in the best and most efficient way! Check out these blogs:
In an attempt to crack down on short term rental properties acting as “party houses” Governor Doug Ducey recently signed HB2672 into law which affects the licensing and reporting requirements necessary to operate a vacation rental anywhere in the State of Arizona. Get the details HERE!
From vacation rental home conversions to regular, between-guest care of established vacation rental, Moxie Girl has vast experience in the Phoenix area vacation rental home industry! CLICK HERE to see how Moxie Girl can become your vacation rental specialist!
We are always looking to add the newest member to our Moxie Girl team, too! Moxie Girls (and Boys!) enjoy flexible scheduling and physically active work in a fun, supportive environment, with plenty of opportunity for growth! CLICK HERE to introduce yourself and learn more about becoming a Moxie!
As the Valley’s vacation rental home experts, Moxie Girl is well aware of the difference a professional cleaning can make in terms of, among other things, guest satisfaction. Guests may cut you some slack on a few things, but cleanliness isn’t one of them. As we recently explored in our Moxie Blog, “Review Killers,” a good guest experience may turn into a good – or even great – review, but a bad guest experience almost always translates to a bad review.
As a vacation rental homeowner, you basically have three options when it comes to cleaning your property: DYI, hire an independent cleaning person or contract with a professional cleaning company. Of course, there are pros and cons to each. It’s up to you as the property owner to decide what each of those individual pros and cons actually weigh in relation to your particular situation. Read on as Moxie Girl delivers important points you should take into consideration when making your selection.
“I’ll Do It Myself, Thanks”
Do you own one, or maybe a small handful of vacation rental properties? Do you consider the operation of your vacation rental properties to be your full-time job? Do you love to clean and do laundry? If you shouted a resounding “YES!” in answer to all three of these questions, then perhaps the do-it-yourself option really IS for you! After all, the #1 “pro” for DIY cleaning is more money in your pocket. Plus, you’ll have total control – you know the job will be done YOUR way since YOU will be doing the job!
Turning your own properties does have multiple downsides though. What happens should you have an illness or injury that would keep you from cleaning? What if an emergency required you to be out-of-town that day? And what if you had a “same day” turn scheduled – with only a few short hours between departing guests and new arrivals? A DIY vacation rental homeowner better have a “Plan B” that won’t leave guests hanging. Even a “Plan C” shouldn’t be considered overkill if you’re doing this on your own!
One more question…Would you yourself be interested in taking a vacation of your very own, ever again? Assuming your answer is “yes!” how will you make that happen without affecting your vacation rental home operation? It sure would be a shame to have all that extra money you saved by DIY cleaning – even after purchasing your own supplies – there in your pocket and no time to relax and spend it. Just sayin’.
“I Know a Guy” – Adventures in Independent Contracting
Since commencing operation of your vacation rental home(s) – even if it was just last week – you’ve probably received all sorts of solicitation for rental home services, including independent cleaners. There certainly are a lot of them in the Valley, and their prices may seem very attractive, especially when compared to the price of a professional cleaning company. You may have yourself almost convinced that using an independent is the way to go. Think of all the extra time you’ll have for other things when you don’t have to spend your day at a property or two, getting ready for your next check-ins.
More free time is certainly at the top of the “pro” list here. And since you’ll still be “the boss” you’ll still be in control of how and when the job gets done – or at least you’d like to think so. Independent cleaners often work for a variety of clients. So what’s to keep your cleaner from being busy elsewhere on a day you need them? Or worse yet – what if they bail on you last minute? Just as with the DIY option, Moxie Girl advises you keep a “Plan B” at the ready if you’re choosing an independent cleaner.
But, your “indy” is still less expensive than a hiring a professional cleaning company, right? Probably – and there are reasons why that could be…First, a large percentage of freelancers carry no liability insurance and are not covered by a worker’s compensation policy. This means that if he or she has an accident or incurs an injury while on your job, you (and YOUR insurance) are likely to be held responsible. Yikes! Before hiring any independent contractors, it’s definitely a good idea to ask about – and verify – their coverage, if any. If they are legitimately covered, great! Ask for a copy of current insurance certificates for your files.
In addition to insurance matters, there are also tax implications should you choose to go the independent route and end up paying any one individual over the (current) IRS threshold of $2,100 during the year. Moxie Girl won’t bore you with the details, because…taxes. Snore. But trust us, you won’t want the IRS to have to explain it to you either.
If you’re the seasoned, business-savvy operator of a multiple vacation rental homes and already have your own tax and insurance ducks in a row, an individual cleaner may still be a good option for you – as long as you are willing to keep your Plan B (and possibly a Plan C) at the ready.
We’ll start out with what must be the most common “con” we hear: “Professional cleaning is so expensive.” But is it, really? Let’s take a look at what you get when you put Moxie Girl in charge of turning your vacation rental…
No training or supply burdens! Because we are a professional cleaning company, our team members are professionally trained. Moxie Girl comes equipped with our own tools and supplies – and the knowledge and experience to make your vacation rental home look, feel and SMELL its guest-ready best! We use eco-friendly products and we’re happy to customize our services to best fit your needs.
No tax or insurance worries! Moxie Girl is a registered employer in good standing with the state of Arizona. In addition to being in compliance with all tax and insurance requirements, we are also quite choosy when growing our team. All Moxies are subject to a thorough background check!
Total peace of mind! Imagine simply linking your vacation rental home platform calendar to the Moxie Girl schedule and never worrying about turning your property again. You can also count on Moxie Girl to immediately alert you to any damages or other unpleasantness we may find on the job, allowing for the quickest remedy possible. We even monitor your guest and property supplies – from dish soap to toilet paper – to make sure you never run out!
Wow! These, of course, are just the top 3 “pros” of choosing a professional cleaning company for your vacation rental home. How much are they worth to you? And what about your guests – what benefit do they receive from a professionally cleaned rental? Well, we’re confident that a Moxie Girl cleaning will make your guests feel as though special care was taken to provide them with a sparkling clean and beautifully staged place to spend their time. And who doesn’t love special care?
Cleaning Fees – To Charge, or Not to Charge
You care enough to choose a professional cleaning company to service your vacation rental home – so don’t be afraid to highlight this selling point in your listing. If you’re one of the many vacation rental homeowners charging a cleaning fee in addition to rental rates, mentioning that your property is professionally cleaned between each booking may make that cleaning fee a little easier to swallow for a prospective guest.
Some vacation rental homeowners don’t charge a separate cleaning fee, choosing instead to “bake it in” the rental rate. This can make your rates seem higher than comparable properties in your area, but highlighting the fact that your property is professionally cleaned – especially in the absence of charging a separate cleaning fee – will definitely be seen as a classy upgrade!
Moxie Girl really IS the Valley’s vacation rental home specialist! Contact us for a FREE consultation and find out just how quickly and easily we can resolve your vacation rental home worries. From set-up to between-guest cleanings, Moxie Girl does it all!
Moxie Girl saw our busiest spring season ever in 2018 and with the Phoenix area growing in popularity as a vacation destination, we expect 2019 to be HUGE!
Read on to find out how to better prepare yourself and your vacation rental home to maximize bookings and profitability for the coming spring.
Mark Your Calendars!
Events such as the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament and the Cactus League spring training games draw thousands of visitors to the Phoenix area each year and 2019 should be no exception. The Phoenix Open runs from January 28th to February 3rd. Spring training dates for 2019 aren’t scheduled as of this writing, but if we have to “ballpark” it (see what we did there?) Moxie Girl says plan for the last week of February through the first few days in April, for now.
Also, the month of March – ALL of it – seems to be the most popular month for vacationing in Phoenix – and it’s no wonder since our weather is usually perfect!
Review your vacation rental home rates for all spring dates, NOW. Lodging rates during these high-traffic months can be 2 1/2 to 3 times higher than summer months, so do a little comparison shopping for vacation rental and hotel rates in your area to determine what you should be charging and update your rental calendar accordingly.
Accentuate Your Positives!
If your property listing could use a little punching up, spring is a great time for doing just that! Does your property boast a swimming pool or a spa? If so, be sure to highlight those features in your listings. Some updated photos may be in order, especially if you’ve made any improvements or decorative changes to your vacation rental home. Show it off!
Accurate and appealing descriptions are always a must – and don’t forget to stress the desirability of your vacation rental home(s) location! Many guests are willing to pay more to enjoy the convenience of being within walking distance or a short Uber ride to event venues.
Shut Up Liver, You’re Fine!
Vacation rental homeowners beware; alcohol is likely to play a huge part in guest activities in the first quarter of the year – it seems to be a tradition. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption has a bad habit of increasing the chance of mishaps during your guests stay. Now is the time to do a thorough walk-through of your vacation rental property, take care of any maintenance issues and remove any decorative items which may be easily broken or are not-so-easily cleaned.
Moxie Girl has walked in to ‘party aftermath’ on cleaning day enough times to know that you don’t want to waste any time checking the condition of your vacation rental home after your guests depart. It’s important to remember, too, that most vacation rental home platforms have a limited window for you to charge your guests for any damages that may have occurred, so time is certainly of the essence!
While there may be many reasons for unanticipated late checkouts, alcohol consumption will probably also be to blame for at least a few during the spring season. Be sure your policies regarding the use of your property as well as fees for damage and late checkouts are clearly stated and understood by your guests. You may also want to consider increasing the deposit you require on your vacation rental property during this time.
We’re not saying females can’t be messy – or unruly – but as the old saying goes, “Boys will be boys.” With spring weddings so popular in the Phoenix area, you may notice an increase in the booking of bachelor party stays, especially if you vacation rental home is in a prime nightlife spot (think Old Town Scottsdale, ASU Tempe, and downtown Phoenix.)
It’s been Moxie Girl’s experience that if anything is going to get broken or thrown up on, it’s like to happen during a “Bro Bash.” So plan to get in there quickly after checkout and schedule a little extra time for cleaning if possible, just in case!
As you might imagine all this spring partying tends to create mountains of trash and even bigger mountains of recyclables. Expect a lot of empty bottles, cans, and cartons during this time. Clearly labeling your recycle bins – indoor and outdoor – with the specifics of your vacation rental homes recycling service will make it easier for your guests to properly dispose of their refuse and keep you out of trouble with your service provider. Know your scheduled pick-up days and make sure your bins are out on time!
So, try to ignore the heat for now and get busy with planning for a busy and profitable 2019 spring season! From set-up to clean-up, Moxie Girl is an expert in caring for vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area. Check out our other blogs for more great tips on preparing and maintaining your vacation rental property. If you’d rather enjoy more of your free time than be bothered with all these details, give us a call! Moxie Girl would love to be YOUR vacation rental home specialist, too!
If you own and operate a vacation rental home, Moxie Girl knows you already have plenty to think about – and that can lead to important details falling through the cracks. Heaven forbid something unfortunate happens on your property during a guest’s stay, but accidents do happen. Moxie Girl has a few tips – don’t we always? – to help protect yourself and your vacation rental home.
Proper Insurance is Essential!
Make an appointment with your insurance agent to discuss what the appropriate coverage is for your vacation rental property. Be sure to accurately disclose all details of your property and provide historical data if it is available regarding guest activity – such as the number of days rented per month, the average number of guests per stay, etc. – as all of this may affect coverage and rates.
Have an Air-tight Rental Agreement
All details regarding the terms of rental of your vacation home – check-in and check-out times, deposit requirements, late stay and extended-stay procedures, fees for damages and so forth – should all be stated clearly and concisely in your rental agreement.
Unless you are willing and prepared to deal with the aftermath, you should also make it clear that parties or events during guest stay(s), beyond reasonable and size-appropriate get-togethers with in- town friends or family, are prohibited, as well as any illegal activity.
By ensuring your guests understand what’s expected of them and what to expect of you, should there be an incident, you greatly increase the probability of your guests being more respectful of the rules and of your vacation rental home in general. If they aren’t, or just happen to have an accident, at least you’ll have some legal recourse or protection against liability.
What’s Your Sign?
We know you don’t want to overload guests with written instructions once they arrive – they are there on vacation after all, not for a reading assignment. But as we discussed in our fireside chat with Chad from Aquaman Pools, we strongly recommend posting a “pool rules” sign as close to the pool as possible. You can read our chat with Chad here
“No Diving, No Unattended Children or Pets, No Running on Pool Deck and NO GLASS in Pool Area” should always be included on your pool rules sign. Our blog, “Five Sizzling Tips for Vacation Rental Homes with Pools” has some suggestions for encouraging your guests to adhere to the No glass rule in particular! Posting pool rules may not only get you a break in premiums but may even be required by your insurance company or local statutes regarding vacation rental homes. At minimum, you will have peace of mind knowing you did your part to promote a safe experience for your guests.
While not required of course, posting simple, easy-to-follow instructions near any appliances that aren’t particularly user-friendly may be helpful to both you and your guests. A guest who can figure out how to start your fancy dishwasher, probably will – saving you time and effort in preparing for your next guests.
Many vacation rental homeowners keep a professional-looking binder prominently displayed in the home, which contains house rules, emergency numbers, Wi-Fi passwords and other pertinent info, and direct their guests in advance to check the binder for anything they may need to know. The binder is also a great place to keep any keys required for pool gates or laundry rooms. See our Moxie blog “That’s a Nice Touch!” for more ways to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Technology: Good and Good for You!
From keyless entry systems to lockable thermostats, technology is at the ready to help protect your vacation rental home investment. Old-fashioned lockboxes can be tricky and if the code isn’t scrambled after opening or closing, the keys inside are vulnerable and may be used to gain an authorized entry by anyone. You also give your guests one less thing to keep track of by installing a keyless entry system on your property.
Many keyless systems can have multiple entry codes (for example one for your guests, and one for your cleaning crew or other service crews) and can be accessed, monitored and controlled from your smartphone.
Many of us work around “issues” in our personal residences for a variety of reasons. We know to step over that loose tile at the top of the stairs, or maybe we’ve just been too busy to take a hammer to that carpet tack that has made its way to the surface of the bedroom threshold. However, those little issues should not go unattended when it comes to your vacation rental home!
Conduct a thorough walk-through of your property on a regular basis and take care of any issues that may have come up. Those walk-throughs are also a great time to do monthly maintenance like changing AC or water filters in the home. By keeping your vacation rental home meticulously maintained, you lower the chances of any incidents or injuries on your property – and increase the probability of a great guest review!
Need help with your vacation rental home? From expert set-up to professional cleaning, Moxie Girl leads the way in quality, reliable care for your vacation rental property. Contact us for a free consultation and see what Moxie Girl can do for you!
If you own a vacation rental home in the Phoenix area, you may be thinking “the season” is over…but summer vacation rentals are actually a lot more popular than most people know. While summer bookings are undoubtedly fewer than the rest of the year, you can still make this season a success! Here are a few tips that will help you have a “no sweat” summer vacation rental season.
Know Your Summer Bookings!
Summer guests fall largely into three categories:
Last-Minute Bookings – Often work-related or emergency travel, but summer is also the time for spontaneous road trips!
Stay-cations – These will usually be weekend visits. A requirement for many stay-cationers is a swimming pool, so ALWAYS make your sparkling pool a highlight in your summer listings!
Longer-term Renters – With the kids out of school, summer is a popular time to move and some find it necessary to secure a temporary home while their new one is being made ready, or while waiting for escrow to close. Especially if your rental doesn’t have a pool, consider monthly pricing to attract the longer-term bookings.
The Price is Right! Or is it?
If your vacation rental is empty in the summer, you’re doing it wrong! Check out hotel pricing in the area. What was a $300/night room in March is easily $99/night during the summer months. Even local resorts offer $99 rooms in the summer.
We often see vacation rental homeowners catch on to “summer pricing” in their second year. So if this is your first year, don’t waste these months! Remember, the more activity on your listing, the more attractive your vacation rental home becomes – both to prospective guests and site algorithms.
Protect Your Vacation Rental Home!
No one wants a sky-high electric bill, or worse, to have to replace a $10k A/C system prematurely. A lockable thermostat is a worthwhile investment. Just lock it at 72 degrees and you can relax knowing your system is safely operating at maximum efficiency.
If you have long breaks between guests, consider having Moxie Girl check on your vacation rental home just to make sure everything is safe and in order. That’s considerable peace of mind for only $35!
Communication is Key!
Summer is notorious for last-minute bookings and changes. You may notice more guests extending their
stays because summer in Phoenix is actually pretty nice when you have time to relax by a pool! Always communicate with Moxie Girl regarding any scheduling changes within 24 hours.
No one likes unpleasant surprises – especially guests. Be sure your guests are aware of any fees for extending their stay, late check-outs, damages, etc. Also, it never hurts to prepare guests – especially those not familiar with the desert – for things such the occasional scorpion and our crazy monsoon storms.
Don’t ignore it for the summer when you can keep your vacation rental home working for you, year-round! Moxie Girl is always here to help – from setting up your vacation rental home to ensuring on-time, quality cleaning between guests! Check our other Moxie blogs for more information to make the most of your summer vacation rental bookings.