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!
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!
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!
With the vacation rental business booming in the Phoenix metro area, Moxie Girl has made vacation rental home care our specialty! Moxie Girl and its founder Amanda Thomas were featured in the December 8 2018 Arizona Republic, in which one of our clients is quoted as saying, “They are very good at understanding the short term rental market and being able to accommodate a weird cleaning schedule.” No lies there! Moxie Girl even handle same day turns.
But we’re not known as your vacation rental home specialist based only on our understanding of the business and our accommodating nature. Being a vacation rental home owner herself, Amanda Thomas knows from her own experience how to best set up and stock your vacation rental home, too. And that’s not all… Amanda and the Moxie team can go even further than that in helping you achieve your goal of a owning a beautiful – and beautifully operating – vacation rental home.
One Such Project…
Moxie Girl recently helped one of our existing clients, who lives out of state, take a newly purchased a condo from “as- is” to “guest ready.” The two bedroom two bath condo had formally been a long-term rental and there was much to be done to bring it to the desired condition.
Amanda advised the client on just about every aspect of the transformation. She also became the owner’s eyes and ears through all of the painting, flooring, lighting and mirror installation by contractors. Amanda regularly reported on and provided photos of the remodeling progress to the owner and alerted him to any potential issues.
Once the interior was ready, the owner furnished the home to sleep five adults, maximizing potential rental income on the two bedroom condo. Moxie Girl ordered all of the “essentials,” bath and bed linens, dishes etc. from Amazon.com and filled in the “soft touches.”
And Just Like That…
As always Moxie Girl took care of the cleaning and staging, making the home look its absolute best. And just like that, this vacation rental home was ready for its photo shoot and listing on AirBnB!
We can help you, too! Whether you’re looking for a reliable vacation rental home cleaning team, or need help in converting a property to a vacation rental home, let Moxie Girl be YOUR vacation rental specialist. Get a FREE CONSULTATION!
You may know by now that Moxie Girl has made vacation rental home care our main focus. And we should clarify, when we say “vacation rental homes” we mean homes with a short-term rental of anywhere from a day to several weeks. Alas, it’s true…Moxie Girl no longer services 30-day+ rentals.
Well, it’s that focus we mentioned earlier…With our extensive experience in the vacation rental home business, we know exactly what it takes to be able to promise our clients SAME DAY service if necessary.
We also have very high standards regarding that service. Moxie Girl wants your vacation rental home the best it can be for each and every guest. By limiting our vacation rental service to short-term (as in, less than 30 day) properties, we can properly set our team schedules, allowing us to deliver what we promise.
The Special Needs of 30-day+ Rental Properties
30-day+ rental properties are different from what we consider vacation rental homes first and foremost in that the rental terms almost always start on the 1st of the month and end on the last day of the month.
Also, guests usually spend at least a month in a 30-day+ rental property. “Well, duh,” you may say, but consider that folks tend to get really comfy after about day 3 and this leads to the need for a much deeper clean than a 2 or 3 day stay would require. (Many vacation rental homeowners limit the number of nights in a stay for this very reason – it IS a thing.)
So, basically, you’ve got at least a “semi” deep clean AND a same day/overnight turn since there’s another 30-day renter waiting to get in on the first.
We Keep Our Promises
One of the most important promises we make to our vacation rental clients is that they can count on Moxie Girl to accommodate their bookings – even if that means a same day turn. With The Valley’s booming vacation rental industry, same day turns happen a lot – and it’s not unusual for Moxie Girl to have multiple “same-days” on our calendar on the first AND last days of any given month.
Sure, another company might contract a team of “extras” to handle the overflow at the beginning and end of the month and try to squeeze in those 30-day+ rentals, too, but that’s just not how Moxie Girl works. We prefer to use only our own meticulously selected and professionally trained team members to meet the goals and high standards we’ve set for ourselves. (We’re also very picky about the cleaning products we use, but that’s a whole other story.)
That Being Said…
A few months ago, when we initially announced our shift of focus to vacation rental care, we introduced you to our friends at Going Greenhouse for all your residential cleaning needs. (Fun blog – read it HERE!) Since 30-day+ rentals require attention more similar to a residence, Going Greenhouse may be your answer – please give them a call and tell them Moxie Girl sent you!
Back to Our Focus, Vacation Rental Home Care
If you’re a vacation rental home owner and would like to find out how Moxie Girl can make your life easier, give us a click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
Think you might be a fit with our team of Moxies enjoying flexible schedules in a supportive environment? We’d love to hear from you – please APPLY HERE!
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!