School sure starts early these days – in Phoenix, anyway. Moxie Girl, the Valley’s Vacation Rental Specialists would like to take the opportunity to remind our busy vacation rental homeowners (and our own Vacation Rental Assistants) of a few safety and time-saving tips!
School Zone Speed Limits Are No Joke!
Many school zones in and around the Phoenix Metro area limit speed to 15 miles an hour and enforcement of these speeds is always more aggressive in the first few weeks that school is in session. So be safe, not sorry!
School zone speeds are considered “zero tolerance” areas, so it IS possible to be ticketed for driving 16 mph in a 15 mph speed limit zone. School zone speeding tickets also come with a fine of $100 or more, plus a few points on your driver’s license.
What Time Is It?
Never give yourself the incentive to speed in the first place. Be aware of school start dates in your areas of travel and check out your route via GPS at least an hour before you THINK you need to leave. It’s a good idea to add 10 minutes on to the GPS travel time during school hours, just to be safe. (We’re pretty sure Google Maps isn’t calculating the extra time you might need to actually get your kid into the drop off zone at school – only the time it takes to reach the address you’ve entered!)
A few quick checks on your route, while you’re preparing to leave, might allow alert you to leave earlier or adjust your route, if needed, due to current conditions.
Expect the Unexpected!
Always – but especially NOW – be on the lookout for excited kids on bikes, skateboards, scooters. Even if they are just on foot, kids can be completely unpredictable and momentarily forget any knowledge of street safety they may have.
Drive defensively and within the speed limit at all times – the safety of our community’s children depends on it!
Moxie Girl is Here to Help!
Moxie Girl leads the way in experienced cleaning and care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area. We care for over 100 vacation rental properties all over the Valley of the Sun!
CLICK HERE to find out how Moxie Girl can help you maximize the potential of your vacation rental home while helping to minimize your stress levels!
Are you fit to be a Moxie? We are rapidly growing and would love to hear from you! Our Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants enjoy flexible work hours and a supportive team environment while earning, learning and keeping fit! CLICK HEREto tell us about yourself – you could be our newest Moxie!
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!
Independence can mean different things to many people. In the context of the vacation rental home industry in the Phoenix area, Moxie Girl may just be the key to your independence. Moxie Girl is the leader in the care of vacation rental properties throughout The Valley!
Own a Vacation Rental in the Phoenix Metro Area?
Vacation rental homeowners all over the greater Phoenix area have already discovered how much easier their lives can by putting the Moxie Girl team in charge of their between-guest turns. Imagine not ever having to worry that your vacation rental isn’t guest-ready when it needs to be!
Our team of confident Moxies takes care of everything when it comes to ensuring your guests arrive at a sparkling clean, pleasantly staged and well-stocked vacation rental home! Moxie Girl also alerts our clients immediately if we discover damage or theft in your vacation rental home, giving you independence in the form of peace of mind.
No vacation rental home is too big or too small for Moxie Girl – we service everything from 1 bd/1 bath condos to vacation rental homes that sleep over 20 people. Moxie Girl is locally owned and operated (check out the AZ Central piece on Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, here) too! Find out how Moxie Girl can be YOUR vacation rental specialist – just click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
See Yourself as a Vacation Rental Assistant?
Moxie Girl is always searching for another fantastic member to join our team of vacation rental specialists. Moxie Girls (and Boys!) enjoy working independently as well as being part of a supportive team. Moxies also enjoy paid training, flexible scheduling and plenty of opportunity for growth – and all the tools and supplies necessary to do the job!
Interested? Moxie Girl would love to hear from you – CLICK HERE and tell us about yourself!
While it may not seem as popular during the summer months, there are still plenty of bookings to be had by making your vacation rental home more available to road-trippers! Phoenix is a frequent stop for those traveling to the Grand Canyon and other National parks, San Diego and lots of summer music festivals and other events in the Southwestern U.S. – even Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) Mexico.
As we highlighted in our ‘Boosting Summer Vacation Rental Bookings,” you will most likely need to make some adjustments to your pricing during the hot, humid months. Most of the best resorts in the Phoenix area offer their rooms at rock-bottom prices in the summer, because, well, they figured out long ago that’s the way to drive your business in the “off” season – and something is definitely better than nothing.
Look at the competition around the location of your vacation rental home and aim to keep your prices in check, keeping in mind these fancy resorts are also probably sweetening their deals with “packages” that you just may not be able to offer. Yes, we know it seems heart-breaking to list your stunning vacation rental at less than half of it’s winter value, but again, something is definitely better than nothing – and you have expenses pertaining to your rental property all year long.
Moxie Girl works with many vacation rental homes that have a 2-night minimum stay required and don’t usually offer last minute bookings. During the busy season, when throngs of visitors are making Phoenix their vacation destination, those policies are pretty standard and certainly don’t tend to deter bookings. But summer is a different animal – especially if you want to attract those road-trippers!
When an overnight in Phoenix is just a stop on the way to Disneyland, most folks are ready to roll first thing in the morning – having no intention of being here any longer than necessary, so a 2-night minimum may indeed have your potential guest scrolling on to the next AirBnb listing. It’s a good idea to, at the very least, lift your 2-night minimum Monday-Thursday nights since this is what the road-trippers will probably be most interested in anyway.
Since one-night-only road-trippers most likely want to get on their way in the early morning, you’ll generally have a few more hours to turn your vacation rental home than you normally would, which makes taking those last-minute bookings even easier!
Need Help with Your Vacation Rental Home?
Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist! Our main focus is vacation rental properties of all sizes, throughout the Phoenix area. Our clients enjoy more stress-free living with Moxie Girl handling their between-guest turns – even same-day! Find out what we can do for you – just click for a FREE CONSULTATION.
As we hope you read in our blog “Match Made in Heaven – Part II” our Moxie team includes members from a wide range of backgrounds and points in their individual life journeys. From career changers to former stay-at-home moms, all of our Moxies have varying degrees of experience in life.
Yes, we are all here to learn and grow, but a fair number of Moxies are also college students with their own long-term goals. Our in-school Moxies get the work schedule flexibility they need to stay on top of their formal studies while earning money, staying in shape and learning real-world skills that will help them reach their goals.
By “real-world” skills, we’re not just referring to cleaning and household tasks – that’s a given. Even our Moxies with previous professional cleaning experience are schooled in the “Moxie Way” when they come aboard. We’re talking about learning effective time and home project management skills, multi-tasking and making good judgments, too!
We found one of our college student Moxies, Breona, at our on-campus job-fair booth at Arizona State University where she is enrolled full-time. She was looking to earn some money with a flexible schedule, but she found a lot more. Breona says she loves “the whole dynamic of this company, and its morals and values” and quickly advanced to a Team Lead position after joining us in the latter half of 2018!
Breona’s dream is to own and operate an in-home care-giving business to serve the needs of those who might otherwise be relegated to nursing facilities and she credits Moxie Girl with helping her gain important communication skills. “I would envy the Moxie team if I wasn’t able to be part of it.The name itself is so empowering to me, but more than that, this team feels like one giant family that continuously encourages and supports one another.”
Another of our college student Moxies is Rachel, who was also discovered at an ASU job fair. Rachel is majoring in Justice Studies and has her sights set on becoming a crime scene investigator. Flexibility in schedule was of great importance to Rachel, too, but she was also looking for a supportive team to work with while honing her time-management skills.
Working with Moxie Girl is “having a group of people to boost your positivity and help you in situations you’re not sure how to handle. Having this group to look up to is something I cherish every day.”
Many of our Moxies say one of the most important things they’ve learned is determining what’s “good enough,” because Moxie Girls all tend to want things to be perfect , and in doing so, we know we need to be reasonable. After all, we’ve got schedules to keep!
Does Moxie Girl sound like your kind of tribe? We are always looking for more of “us”, so introduce yourself, please!
Moxie Girl is always thrilled that you love our services and recommend us to your family, friends, and associates!
We received a call recently from a friend telling us she had recommended Moxie to a friend of hers who was converting his Paradise Valley home to a vacation rental and may need our help stocking the home for guests. As it turned out, he REALLY needed help!
We got a call at 11 am from the property owner and found out that the “cart” was actually well ahead of the “horses.” The owner had already booked the home for the holiday weekend and there were five guys on their way – TODAY!
Moxie to the Rescue!
Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, rose to the challenge and went to the home immediately for a walk-through. Although the homeowner had pillaged a few scant items from his other properties, the house still needed, oh…just about EVERYTHING!
Making her long list of “must-haves” based on her vast experience in the vacation rental industry, Amanda told the owner she’d be back in a few hours with everything he’d need. Have you ever really thought about the things you might need to use in the course of even a weekend? Here’s a partial list of what was purchased that day:
Basic Necessities – Hand soap, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, CORKSCREW (Gasp! Imagine settling in and not being able to open the wine!)
Done and Done!
Like a pink tornado, Amanda was off, scooping up all the items on her list and was back to the home, unpacked and made the vacation rental guest-ready by 4 pm! Just in time for the guys to start enjoying the holiday weekend!
While we don’t encourage waiting until the very last minute to stock your vacation rental home, you can be confident that with our extensive vacation rental know-how, Moxie Girl is always the best choice, no matter when you call! Click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
The business of operating vacation rental homes has skyrocketed in the past five years, with these short-term rentals increasing in number by well over 500% since late 2014 – and occupancy rates for these vacation rental properties are at an all-time high! Business is definitely booming if you’re the owner of a vacation rental home.
Vacation rental properties – or their guests, rather – also provide a steady influx of new visitors to businesses in the areas surrounding these rentals. That equals greater success to those business -and more money into city and state sales tax coffers! There are even business (Moxie Girl, for example) dedicated to serving the vacation rental industry, boosting employment opportunity in the Valley!
Other Side-Effects of this Boom?
Yes…Complaints, unfortunately. Many permanent residents of nearby vacation rental properties – especially larger ones – tell tales of woe. Noise, trash and increased traffic have been among the most common complaints. To those living next to “party houses,” short-term rentals have become a nuisance – and residents have not been quiet in making their feelings known to officials.
New Law Affecting Vacation Rentals Signed by Gov. Ducey on May 21, 2019
As the operator of a vacation rental home in Arizona, you need to be aware of the new legal requirements that apply, state-wide. Most importantly, regardless of what city statutes and license regulations may apply, anyone in the vacation rental game in our state must have an Arizona sales tax license to operate legally.
The new law also states that rentals may not be used for weddings, banquets or other special events that would otherwise require a permit. Certain occupancy specifics are also affected by the new legislation. Rep. John Kavanaugh, R-Fountain Hills, sponsor of HB 2672, says this measure addresses and aims to eliminate the “party house” issues at the root of many complaints.
There are also a number of new rules regarding providing vacation rental home owner contact info to cities and towns, as well as changes to violation process policies. With fines for violations ranging from $250 to $1,500+, you’ll definitely want to stay on top of your admin (and enforcement) duties as the owner of your vacation rental!
But is the New Law Enough?
Many Valley residents say the new law, which goes into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session ends, doesn’t go far enough in curbing the disruptions they have been experiencing due to neighboring vacation rental properties. When the bill was first introduced, it included a much longer list of restrictions than the final version, signed into law this week. Rep. Kavanaugh was concerned that if included in the final bill, it would either not get enough votes to pas – or face a veto by Gov. Doug Ducey. Ducey, in signing the bill stated “In Arizona, we respect the right to do what we want with our property without undue government interference. I am open to corrective action if this bill is applied too broadly.”
Most cities already have noise, parking and littering ordinances, but officials say these rules are tough to enforce in many cases – especially in the case of vacation rental properties. Many are hopeful, though, that the new law will at least help take care of the worst violators.
Moxie Girl focuses on caring for vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix Metro area, even offering same-day turns for our valued clients. Just click for a FREE CONSULTATIONand find out how Moxie Girl can be YOUR vacation rental specialist!
As a vacation rental home owner, you know that bad reviews of your property can be expensive. Seeing anything less than a positive review (especially if it’s recent) will cause many potential guests to keep on scrolling! No matter how fantastic your vacation rental is there will always be complaints, but here are some common ones that can quite easily be avoided.
“Property Not as Described”
No one likes unpleasant surprises! When listing (and photographing) your vacation rental, be honest about all aspects of your property. Of course you’ll want to showcase the fabulous – whether it’s the view, the pool, a grand garden bathtub…even nearby attractions! But you’ll also want to be sure your guests are prepared for other, not-so-great realities, if they do indeed exist.
Be thoughtful with your descriptions. Even some flaws may be turned into selling points for the right crowd. For example…let’s say you have a gorgeous vacation rental with loads of amenities…but it’s down the street from an outdoor motorcycle testing facility that “revs up” at the crack of dawn five days a week.
You can play up every single amazing feature on your property, but neglect to mention the fact that the motorcycle testing facility WILL be your alarm clock on the weekdays, and you’re definitely going to garner some guest complaints – and many of those WILL turn into bad reviews on your rental platform. But, if accurately described…
“Early rising thrill-seekers – this is for you! A stunning 2Bed/2Bath condo, beautifully decorated and upgraded to absolute luxury, in a gorgeous Arizona desert setting! Monday through Friday, start your day with the thrilling sounds of the world’s most technologically advanced motorcycles being tested at the nearby Xtreme Wheels facility. (The facility also offers free public tours and test rides, 7 days a week!) Evenings are quiet and minimal light in the area makes it perfect for sunsets and stargazing from the relaxing hot tub overlooking the Valley!”
When you are charging people to stay overnight, they will absolutely expect a comfortable sleep! Don’t go cheap on beds and bedding. In fact, if you’re going to “splurge” on anything in your vacation rental home, make it the mattresses and linens!
Quality bedding will not only leave your guests feeling pampered, but it also makes financial sense. Higher-end linens tend to be more durable. Linens used in vacation rentals are going to be laundered considerably more often than in your average household. Do you really want to be replacing sheets every two months?
“Amenities/Expected Provisions Lacking”
Competitiveness in the vacation rental home market (especially in the Phoenix area) has led to increased expectations. Many guests may just assume they’ll find the same type of amenities they’d find in a hotel – body-care products, tissues, etc.- PLUS the basics they’d find at home, such as dishes, cookware…you know, “the basics”.
Your vacation rental listing should clearly state what is provided for guests and make sure the property is adequately stocked for the duration of your guests’ stay. Especially important: toilet paper and trash bags! Moxie Girl has published some great tips for stocking your vacation rental home in our blogs “How to Set Up A Vacation Rental Home Kitchen” and “Laundry 101 for Vacation Rental Homes” too!
Imagine arriving for your stay at a vacation rental home having eagerly anticipated a nice visit to the hot tub with a nice pinot noir, only to find that the hot tub “with the relaxing, spectacular view” OBVIOUSLY hasn’t been maintained or tested any time in recent history. Sad face. Then ANGRY face. Then, aggressive dialing of the phone. You really don’t want THAT phone call on a Friday night, do you?
Regular testing and maintenance of all home systems and appliances is a must if you expect your vacation rental property to be a success. Issues you might just ignore or “work around” in your own home aren’t acceptable for a paying guest to deal with. A great way to stay in touch with the condition of your vacation rental property is to actually stay there yourself. Use our blog “Visiting Your Own Vacation Rental Home?” as a guide!
One of the most frustrating things a guest can experience is difficulty accessing the vacation rental home and associated amenities. After each guest departure, all keypad and lock boxes should be checked for function, and any keys accounted for. Be sure your guests have current codes to access anything they’ve been made to understand is available to them – including WiFi, community pools and laundry rooms!
“Tired and Worn-Looking”
Many things contribute to the overall appearance of your vacation rental home, including everything from like linens and cookware, to larger items such as furniture and window coverings. Replacing items costs less in the long run than bad reviews. Consider updating and replacing items BEFORE they start to look shabby. (Use our blog, “Refresh Your Vacation Rental Home for Spring” for some quick tips – they can be applied to any time of year!)
Cleanliness in a vacation rental should never be an option. Your guests should feel as though they are entering a space which has been prepared with them in mind. NO ONE is expecting any “ewwwww” moments – especially when they should’ve been easily caught by the cleaning crew well before check-in time. Our blog “Review Killers” points out some common cleaning “misses” you should definitely be aware of!
There’s a lot you, as the vacation rental home owner, can do to not only avoid complaints but garner great reviews! Being proactive in maintenance, seasonal “refreshes” and cleanings keeps your property continually looking and feeling its most appealing to your guests.
If you’re a vacation rental home owner in the Phoenix Metro area and interested to know how Moxie Girl can help your property shine, click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
Think you might want to BE a Moxie? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to APPLY!
It’s spring time! Oh, what a wonderful time to experience flowers, Easter, warm sunshine, and for many, a long-awaited graduation!
There are two major colleges in the Phoenix area: Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. ASU will be holding Spring graduations in May, and GCU will also be holding several graduations for nearby high schools and community colleges. For those of you travelling to the Phoenix area this month here are some important dates and details you need to know…
ASU: Commencement 05/06/2019 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe at 7:30 p.m
Estrella Mountain Community College and Glendale CC and Phoenix College: Commencement 05/10/2019 at GCU
Gateway and South Mountain CC: Commencement 05/09/2019 at GCU
Grand Canyon University is located off the I-17 on Camelback Road and 35th Ave. So, if you plan on travelling this way during the graduation times, be prepared for some heavy traffic. Moxie Girl wishes you a great stay in Arizona at this most gorgeous time of year – and congratulations, graduates!
Phoenix vacation rental home owners often think it’s a good idea to just shutter their property and wait out the summer season – who wants to come to Phoenix in the summer, anyway? Actually lots of people DO come to Phoenix in the summer, even if they are just passing through on their way to cooler temps than we have to offer.
With our vast experience in the Phoenix area vacation rental home market, Moxie Girl can always be counted on for excellent tips for vacation rental home owners. We recently received an email from one of our valued clients, asking for tips to help her boost the summer bookings for her Valley vacation rental home – and we are happy to share our advice with you, too!
Here are a few things we’ve heard from our clients (vacation rental homeowners and professional property managers) whose properties in the Valley stay busy during the summer:
Use Multiple Rental Platforms
List your vacation rental home on multiple sites! Summer tends to have more road tripping guests and they use AirBNB a bit more than VRBO, so using at least both of these platforms to list your property “widens your net” for potential bookings.
Implement Active Tweaking
Rental platform sites all have algorithms that keep a secret eye on your listing activity and will boost more active properties to the top of relevant search results. Simply tweaking your prices on a weekly basis will help show the sites that you want your vacation rental to be listed higher than those of your competition!
Speaking of competition, keep an eye on prices of your competitors – both vacation rental homes AND hotels/resorts in your area. One of the biggest mistakes we see vacation rental home owners make is to refuse to drop their prices in the summer.
Yes, offering your $199-a-night-during-peak-season vacation rental home for $89/night during the summer sounds painful, but if the nearby five-star resort with an amazing water park is offering $99/night, and a competitor’s vacation rental home down the street is listed at $89/night, then your home, listed at $199/night will most likely sit vacant.
It’s also important to think about what a potential guest sees when they look at a vacation rental home listing with a WIDE OPEN calendar – they may second guess if they should book with you based on that empty calendar alone (trust us, it’s a whole social validity/psychology thing.) Consider taking a couple reservations each month at deep discounts to get SOMETHING on your calendar. Having at least a couple bookings a bit in advance should help you attract more bookings, at regular summer prices.
Another thing you may consider doing is to take “last minute” reservations – anything is better than nothing! If your vacation rental home calendar for an upcoming week is empty, drop the price and you may snag the budget road trippers!
Guests Are Guests
In our experience, lower prices do NOT equal lesser quality guests. The interactions that vacation rental homeowners or managers have with guests prior to arrival have far more impact than the nightly amount the guest will pay. Moxie Girl actually sees the most damage to homes when guests stay over 30 days because they really start to LIVE in the home.
Something is Definitely Better than Nothing!
To illustrate what busy vacation rental homes in the Phoenix area CAN do in the summer, let’s look at the 2018 summer season stats for three properties belonging to Moxie Girl clients. Please note that all three properties are professionally managed by local property managers – it really helps to specifically “tuned-in” to Phoenix summer vacation rental market.
Remember, NO bookings equals ZERO income for your vacation rental property. So, even if your rental home is only booked for close to half of the days in each summer month – and even at summer rental rates – that income will go a long way in covering the regular, monthly expenses that come with rental ownership. (Mortgage payments, HOA fees and utilities don’t go away, even if you do “close” your rental for the summer!)
Check out the number of nights BOOKED for each of these vacation rentals:
Be sure to check out our other blogs filled with even more helpful tips for a successful summer rental season!
It’s February, and love is in the air! A perfect time for Moxie Girl to share a “match made in heaven.” We like to call it a “Pro-Mance.” It’s the PROfessional roMANCE between Moxie Girl and our valued vacation rental home clients!
Why DO Our Clients Love Us?
First of all, Moxie Girl believes in building relationships, not just “business.” We take the time to get to know you and your properties, so we can be sure we’re always doing our best to keep that relationship strong!
We know clear communication is crucial in our mission to provide our clients with the best service possible – not just with our clients, but between our team members entrusted with caring for your property.
Because Moxie Girl has extensive experience in the care of vacation rental homes, our clients know they can trust us to meet the specialized demands these homes present. We are just as concerned with guest satisfaction as they are – and we know what it takes to garner great reviews!
With Moxie Girl in charge of the “dirty” end of things, our clients can use their time to focus on filling their booking calendars and maximizing the return on their investment!
Of Course the Feeling is Mutual…
We love our clients, too! Moxie Girl clients KNOW we know our stuff and they’re willing to allow us to do what we do best, because they’re just chill like that. And why shouldn’t they be? Moxie Girl IS The Valley’s Vacation Rental Care Specialist!
Our clients also understand the need to “do their part” in keeping their vacation rental home and all its systems and contents properly maintained. As powerful as we are, Moxie Girl is just one facet of a profitable, well-functioning vacation rental!
Moxie Girl is always grateful for the referrals our appreciative clients give to their associates and we are especially excited when our clients thrive to the point of adding multiple properties to their portfolios (and ours!)
Looking for Pro-Mance?
Operating a vacation rental in the Phoenix area? You could be our next match made in heaven! Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATIONtoday!
Summer is here and you’ve booked a fantastic vacation rental home in the Phoenix area – how exciting! If you’ve never visited Phoenix in the summer before, here are a few pointers to help you stay safe and enjoy your desert adventure.
Hot Enough for Ya?
Yes, it’s hot! And it’s not always a very dry heat. While the humidity level in Phoenix is generally far below much of the rest of the US, even 30% humidity, when combined with our high temperatures can seem pretty extreme. Moxie Girl cannot emphasize enough the importance of staying hydrated. Always carry plenty of fresh drinking water with you, especially when walking or driving in the desert. Drink water before – yes before – you feel thirsty. That thirsty feeling is a sign that you are already on your way to dehydration.
Hats and sunglasses offer protection from the sun, and sunscreen is a MUST! The higher the SPF, the more protection the sunscreen will provide, but even a waterproof sunscreen should be reapplied periodically to ensure sun safety. The desert sun is most damaging between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, so limited exposure during those hours is best. Try taking advantage of cooler early morning temperatures for recreational walking, hiking or biking!
Holy Haboobs, Batman!
Summer weather in the Valley often goes from “beautiful, hot and sunny” to dangerous, in short order! Monsoon season can start as early as June and last well into September – and is capable of bringing massive dust storms (called haboobs – really, you can Google it!) heavy rains, crazy wind and flash flooding.
Washes, natural water overflow passes, are abundant in the Arizona desert. You may notice the “Do Not Cross When Flooded” signs posted at many of these washes – and these warnings are not without good reason. Abrupt and heavy rain can cause the washes to flood within minutes, turning a dry desert into a rapidly moving river. A wash you may think doesn’t look “that” flooded, may actually be far deeper and faster moving than you would imagine. Enough people have tried to drive through flooded washes, necessitating emergency rescues that Arizona now has a “stupid motorist law” and may charge the stranded motorist up to $2000 to cover the cost of the rescue. And you don’t want to make your television debut from the roof of your vehicle on the 6 o’clock news, do you?
It is likely you may see an approaching haboob in time to get inside or, if you are driving, find a safe spot to pull off the road as far as possible. These massive dust storms can bring visibility to zero in a matter of seconds! The Arizona Department of Transportation advises pulling off the paved road as far as safely possible and turning off all your lights, so as not to confuse traffic that may be approaching from behind. Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on and wait for the dust storm to pass.
Urban Desert is Still Desert
Perhaps your vacation rental home is in the center of town with lots of nearby bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, but please remember you are still in the desert. Our wildlife may visit even heavily populated areas in search of food. Moxie Girl knows how exciting it can be to spot a javelina or a coyote – especially if you have never seen one in real life! And generally speaking, javelinas and coyotes are non-aggressive towards humans – unless they feel threatened.
But, consider that what may feel non-threatening to YOU could seem quite the opposite to the animal involved, especially if it has young ones nearby. Yes, a selfie with a wild desert boar WOULD be awesome but consider the potential consequences. (Have you noticed the teeth and tusks on those things?) It’s always advisable to observe any wild creature from a safe distance. Never provoke, get close to, or attempt to handle any of the creatures you may encounter. Think how silly you would feel if you died trying to pet something you shouldn’t – and on vacation, no less!
Vacationers with pets, especially small dogs, should never leave their pets outside unattended – even in a fenced yard – since the desert is home to some large birds of prey as well.
Ouch, That Hurt!
They are unique – and many are quite beautiful – but treat any unfamiliar desert plant the way you would a wild animal and keep your distance. Moxie Girl knows you wouldn’t deliberately stick your hand in a cactus but we even have some cactus that “jumps.” Trust us when we say you do not want to add “cactus spine removal” to your summer vacation itinerary. It is also wise to note that even though they may not be cactus or even a spiny succulent, many desert plants sport sharp points and the other unpleasantness. So your best bet is simply to DO NOT TOUCH.
What IS That?
In addition to our native plants, birds, and mammals, the Arizona desert is also home to a variety of things you may NOT want to encounter…such as scorpions. They love to get comfy in those hiking boots you left outside! Best not to give them the opportunity in the first place, but always be sure to give any items left outside, such as towels or shoes, a good shake before putting them on or taking them in the house, to make sure there are no surprises! Seek medical treatment immediately should you fall victim to a scorpion’s sting.
It’s likely you may see other creepy crawlies, especially during our summer monsoon season. Yes, they are horrifying to look at, but giant desert roaches really won’t hurt you. Put the bravest person in your party in charge of a heavy shoe and inform them they are also in charge of disposing of that squashed scorpion or desert roach.
If you’re visiting in June or July you’ll be here for Palo Verde Beetle season. The Palo Verdi Borer Beetle is very interesting…and scary looking! With a limited lifespan of approximately 30 days, they are often mistaken for the desert roaches we mentioned above. They are quite the sight, 3 to 4 inches long with a bulky, segmented body. They are terribly clumsy, not at all speedy and agile like the desert roach. The Palo Verde Beetle is built like a tank, but they are indeed harmless to humans. Their entire 30-day existence is spent lumbering about in search of a mate and once mated, it dies.
You Still In?
Of course, you are – a little wildlife and wild weather is nothing to fear now that you’re armed with desert safety tips and know what to expect. So go get packing for your Arizona summer vacation rental adventure!
Moxie Girl is your vacation rental expert! Vacation rental homeowners and guests, please check out our other blogs and videos for more ways to maximize and enjoy your vacation rental experience.
As a vacation rental home owner in the Phoenix area, Moxie Girl knows you face a lot of competition for bookings. With hundreds of choices, potential guests are not only looking at pricing and availability – they are also looking for a great experience. We’ve all heard the saying “Little things mean a lot,” and it’s true – those “little things” can really enhance a vacation stay. With minor effort and little to no extra expense, here are some things you can do to let your guests know you have them in mind!
A nice and concise printed welcome letter with vital information is always useful. The property WI-FI password should always be prominent. Other points to include: Property address (in case of emergency), door/lockbox codes and instructions, any info needed to operate cable or satellite television/entertainment systems and check- in/check-out times. Consider laminating your letter or placing it in a tabletop display stand to protect it for re-use, and don’t forget to update information as necessary!
Especially if they are new to the area, your vacation rental home guests may also appreciate a small, orderly display of promo material from nearby restaurants or attractions. Moxie Girl has clients who also place bottled water and/or a bottle of wine, and packaged snacks to welcome guests.
2.Pillows, Bedding and Towels…Oh, My!
Attractive placement of decorative pillows and throws in your vacation rental home help to make a great first impression, but be sure to check ALL fabric surfaces for lint, hair and other debris! A lint roller from the dollar store will make quick work of this task.
Bedding and decorative pillow arrangement options are nearly endless! Here are pics of a few looks we love here at Moxie Girl:
There are also a variety of ways to fold (and hang) your bathroom linens – different folds may just “fit better” on the towel rack or in the cabinet. It’s important that you pick a fold that looks nice and works with your space, and it’s even more important to BE CONSISTENT to maintain an orderly and attractive appearance.
3.Tissue Flowers and Paper Points
To give your bathrooms a crisp and professional finish, fold the end square of your spindled toilet tissue into a point. Also, a full (or at least almost full) roll of toilet tissue on the spindle makes a considerably nicer presentation than a half-empty (or less) roll. You can always take partial rolls home for your personal use. Take this idea into the kitchen and use a nice, clean fold-over on your paper towel roll, too!
If you provide tissues for your guests – which is already a nice touch – add an even nicer touch by using 3-5 tissues layered together to make a flower to tuck into the top each box. Fancy!
4.Houston, We Have a Problem!
Your guest’s “emergency” may be your opportunity to shine. Think how thankful you’d be as a guest, if you needed any of the following items and actually found it, easily, in the vacation home you’ve rented!
A basic first-aid kit is ALWAYS a good idea – store it where it will be easily found if needed. A bathroom cabinet that holds extra rolls of toilet paper may be a good choice.
On one trip or another, we’ve all experienced the realization that we forgot to pack a true necessity. Often it’s a toothbrush, toothpaste or tampons – so why not have a (very) small supply tucked away to tide your guests over until they can get to the store? A mini sewing kit could save the day for the guest who just lost a button while getting ready to go out on the town.
Always check these items between guests to ensure they are clean and complete for your next arrival.
Implementing any or all of the ideas we’ve suggested so far will help impress your guests and let them know you care. If you’re willing to go a little bit further, you might consider placing mints on bed pillows for your guests’ first night. How about providing hotel-style bath amenities to make your guests feel special? Shampoo, conditioner and body wash may be purchased by the case, and sets of product can be attractively arranged between guest stays to provide a more hotel-like experience. Individually packaged make-up remover wipes are popular with the ladies and can certainly help you avoid laundry problems!
If you haven’t already, get busy adding the little things that will let your guests know you care! At Moxie Girl, we are experts in the vacation rental home field. We want your guests not only to return, but also recommend your vacation rental home to others.
Keep an eye on our Moxie blog for more helpful tips about setting up, cleaning and operating your vacation rental home and give us a call if you’d rather let Moxie handle the job for you! If you have a vacation rental that you’d like some help with, contact us today to get a quote for vacation rental cleaning services in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.