Posts Tagged ‘rental home’
As a vacation rental home owner, you know there are a lot of things that need attention in order to make your vacation rental business a success. One of most important things on your list is being certain your vacation rental home is made guest-ready between bookings. Many vacation rental home owners depend on an outside service to attend to those “turns” on their behalf, and guests definitely pay attention to cleanliness – as well as presentation ( or “staging” as we like to call it.)
Now, if you’re working with an established team of vacation rental specialists (such as Moxie Girl) chances are you are completely satisfied with your service and feel you’re getting the most bang for your buck. But what if the team or individual you’ve hired to take care of this crucial task just isn’t performing to your standards?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of continuing to use a service we’re not completely satisfied with, for many reasons. We tend to be discomforted by “being the boss” – or we haven’t gotten around to finding a replacement. Lots of people don’t even like the thought of confrontation, much less having to fire someone. So we “live with it” – and grow resentful.
Moxie Girl is here to tell you that you shouldn’t “settle” when it comes to the care of your vacation rental home. Business is business and your rental home IS your business, so that makes you the boss, whether you like it or not. Rather than let your resentment build, here’s a cut-and-dried method to rectifying the situation in a professional manner.
Step 1 – Communicate
We assume you did, at the beginning of your relationship with your vacation rental cleaner, agree on the services that the cleaner would provide and how things should look and feel in your vacation rental when they’ve done their job. Perhaps your needs changed somewhere along the way and the info didn’t reach the cleaner? Or maybe your vacation rental cleaner is just “missing” some things that are turning up via bad reviews on your AirBnB or other vacation rental platform.
You must clearly communicate your requirements and be sure to highlight those things that are particular “sticking points” to you. If you’re one of the many people who would prefer to avoid a face-to-face confrontation, email works! (And you’ll have documentation for future reference – either in letting your current vacation rental home cleaner go and/or in hiring a new one – BONUS!)
With all of your needs clearly communicated, asks your vacation rental home cleaner the big question: Going forward, will you meet these requirements? If the answer is “yes” – great! But do make it clear that these things are “musts” and that you’ll be keeping an eye on the situation and if the agreement isn’t kept, you’ll be forced to hire a different vacation rental home cleaner.
Now, it IS possible that your vacation rental cleaner can’t or won’t agree they can come through for you, so you really should have a back-up plan ready. We won’t lie, Moxie Girl has turned away a few clients with VERY detailed and specifically-detailed needs. (Hey, we’re a team currently responsible for well over 150 vacation rental homes Valley-wide AND we offer same-day turns. We just can’t GUARANTEE that the throw pillows on your sofa are going to be exactly 1.5” apart, with the smaller points of the triangle print facing north, dude.)
So, if your vacation rental cleaner says “no,” they’ve basically just fired themselves and now you don’t have to. You do, however, need to get your back-up plan into action. If you have a vacation rental in the Phoenix metro area, Moxie Girl would love to talk to you! Just click for a FREE CONSULTATION.)
Step 2 – Set an Agreement (They Said Yes)
So the answer was “yes, we will do that.” Great! Now you’ve both got a renewed understanding as to how things will be done at your vacation rental home and everything should be smooth sailing from here on out.
As part of this agreement, you might require that pics of the vacation rental home be sent to you, showing that everything has been completed according to your requirements. This is not uncommon, especially in cases where the vacation rental home owner resides out of state.
If going forward you find that vacation rental cleaner isn’t keeping their end of the agreement, all you need is present them with the documentation and again, they’ve just fired themselves. Next!
Well THAT Was Easy!
Easier, anyway. We repeat: It’s crucial to have a Plan B when it comes to firing your vacation rental cleaner – you definitely don’t want to interrupt your booking calendar simply because there’s no one to turn it for you in between guests. Chances are that if you were unhappy, you probably did at least a little bit of searching for alternatives.
When interviewing a new vacation rental cleaner, you can pull out that list of requirements from Step 1 and let it be Step 1 in your interviewing process as well. It may also be helpful to think back to when you hired that last vacation rental cleaner – the one that just fired themselves. In retrospect, was there anything you feel you should’ve asked (or handled differently) during that process? Here’s your chance to improve your communication and make sure your NEW vacation rental cleaning company is on the same page.
Moxie Girl leads the way in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area. Not only have we made vacation rental home care our priority, we guarantee our work and we guarantee same-day turns for our valued clients! CLICK here to see how we can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your vacation rental home.
P.S. We are always looking for the next Moxie Girl (or boy!) to join our team. If making money while staying active and fit on a flexible schedule sounds good to you, we’d love to meet you – CLICK HERE to apply!
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!
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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!
Summer Vacation Rentals – Moxie Girl Debunks the Myths
Tips for a Successful Summer as a Vacation Rental Home Owner
Poolside Perfection – Chat with Chad Nikkel of Aquaman Pools
5 Sizzling Summer Tips for Vacation Rentals with Pools
Moxie Girl would love to be YOUR vacation rental specialist – just click for a FREE CONSULTATION!