If you have been in the Vacation rental industry during the summer months, you understand how slow our summer months can get. Not many people think of the Valley of the sun as the best summer getaway, I mean most of the residents are leaving to hit the beach or to just get out of the heat. This isn’t to say your vacation rental should sit empty all summer, we just see a different crowd of renters rolling through the valley. Some make this a pit stop in their road trip to California beaches and others are looking for a permanent home here and utilize vacation rentals until they find the home of their dreams. So how do you accommodate these guests that aren’t used to our Summer months? POOLS!
Investing in your investment Property
Investing in an investment property is a huge step in becoming a rental owner and there are a lot of questions that may follow. If you are seriously thinking about running your own vacation rental property you might want to consider whether you plan to buy a house or a condo/apartment to rent out to your future guests. If you are buying a home with a backyard pool consider all the costs that might come along with that versus buying a condo with access to a pool as well as a home with a community pool. All options have their perks as well as their downfalls, so you might want to consider the type of atmosphere you are wanting to provide for your future guests.
Investing In a property with A Pool
Here at Moxie, we see that the homes with pools in the backyard or homes that have access to pools tend to get more bookings in those summer months than the ones that don’t. I have heard so many Arizona Residents say “you can’t survive in the Valley if you don’t have a pool.” One of the first things out of town renters look for when booking a vacation rental in the valley during the summer is if they will have access to a pool. If your listing doesn’t have pool access they are most likely to skip right over your listing without even taking a second glance.
Yes, I know a pool can be a major investment from the installation if you don’t have one yet to the upkeep of the pool, but the benefits are most likely going to outweigh the risks. Not only can you charge guests a little more because you are able to offer this pool amenity, but you are more likely to get more renters during those hot summer months.
Pools in the Winter
What about the cost of my pool during the summer months, you might ask? Well, an even smarter investment is making sure your pool can be used during the cooler months by making it a heated pool. This may cost a bit more but most vacation rental owners cover the pool heat charge by charging guests who plan on using the pool and are wanting the heat turned on.
Check out the Blog with Chad Nikkel, Owner of Aquaman pools. He gives some great information on having a pool in the winter months and how to best utilize it for your vacation rental guests.
Maintaining Your Pool
It is possible to take care of your own pool from maintenance to cleaning, but that can also come with many risks if you are not familiar with pool maintenance and cleaning techniques. Doing it yourself may save you the cost of hiring a professional, but you also might be spending more money and time than it is worth to upkeep your pool. We highly recommend hiring a professional and there are many professional pool cleaning/maintenance services you can utilize here in the valley, Moxie Girl Recommends reaching out to Aqua Man pools for all your pool service needs!
With everyone’s lifestyles usually being super busy, no one ever has time to deep clean their home the right way. Your life is always on the run, everyday matters can get in the way, and that can bring down your lack of energy to do anything, especially cleaning. Even though most people try to make an effort and deep clean their homes every weekend, the amount of effort it takes, to actually do it right, is very tiring. After deep cleaning, you usually are going to be too tired to enjoy your weekend. Especially with Covid-19 going on right now, everyone is staying home which means, extra dirt and dust are being accumulated. With that being said, there is another option you can take, and that is calling a deep clean service company.
Who to call
Once you have decided that you don’t want to deep clean your own house, then you start to look up services. Once you have started to look up cleaning services, make sure you are looking at what all they are offering. Expert house cleaners’ tasks are usually your regular cleaning with a ton of extra detail. Extra details include cleaning the insides of ovens, microwaves, fridges, and drawers. We also will try to get any scuffs off the walls, clean doors, and window seals. We pay extra attention to everything in your home and do our best to make it look brand new. Our professionals will make sure that your home is cleaned from the top to the bottom. Since COVID-19 hit, everyone is scared to catch anything. But at Moxie, we use a disinfectant that is sure to keep you and your family safe. Our priorities are keeping our guests healthy and happy. If you would like your vacation rental deep cleaned you can call Moxie Girl and someone from our helpful team, will be happy to help and address any questions you may have.
Summer months are the most stressful time for vacation rental owners. Not only is it the busiest time for owners, having to make sure that homes are restocked, pools are maintained, and rentals are kept up on, cleaning is a very important aspect during this time. This is the time of year where everyone wants to travel with their family and just have a nice gateway. Since we live in Arizona, we have nice weather year-round so vacationing here is a must. The summer months include May through September. The weather during these months can get up to 120 degrees but hey, it is a dry heat so no worries about all the humidity. This is the time of year where people use their pools the most. Pool maintenance should always be up to date during these months, so it is easy for your guest to use it with no hassle. During summer months we also have a monsoon season (June- September). The temperatures usually start dropping during the monsoon season, but not much. Temperatures usually range from 80 to 105 degrees. This is the season where our rain comes from the most. Rainfall usually averages from 0.66 inches to 2 inches of rain for the whole year. So vacationing during this, it might rain one day which doesn’t ruin your whole vacation.
Getting your pool ready for guests.
Having a private pool for your vacation rental home is a huge benefit while living in Arizona. When guests rent your property out, they want to have their vacation hassle-free, so be sure to get your pool ready for them so they can enjoy their vacation. The first step into making sure your pools are ready, is to get rid of any debris. Even if you use a pool cover, although being located in Arizona, pool covers aren’t really necessary, you will want to make sure you have all the twigs, leaves, and bugs cleared out. Next to making sure that all your pool equipment is working properly is also part of getting your pool ready. Pool equipment includes pool pumps, hoses, filters, diving boards, steps, and ladders making sure that there aren’t any damage or safety hazards. Third, you are going to want to check the water for these three things, total alkalinity, PH levels, and Chlorine levels. If any of these are too high, it will cause your pool to be uncomfortable to swim in. Finally vacuuming the pool is the last and final step to getting your pool ready. Vacuuming will remove any debris that is left at the bottom of your pool. Once you have done all four things, your pool is ready for guests to swim safely. If you arent interested in doing these things yourself we recommend reaching out to a pool company for your pool service needs, one of the companies we know and trust is Aquaman pools!
Restocking your home
Restocking your home for the summer months will help you deal with certain unexpected elements that could keep you indoors including monsoon season in Arizona. Having your home restocked will ensure that your guest won’t suffer from any inconveniences. We all know that when we go on vacation, we don’t want to go to the store right away. You will also have to consider that most guests are coming from different states, so flying makes it hard to bring certain things, so it is thoughtful to have basic amenities on hand when they check-in. Basic amenities include things such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion to get started in each bathroom.
Being a vacation rental owner most definitely has its challenges, but the more you are prepared, the more smoothly your renting season will go. As vacation rental cleaners, we are always up for new ideas to improve and make the next renter’s stay go even more smoothly. You can contact Moxie Girl or STRM to get into contact with Amanda to take about any cleaning improvements that are needed.
May Day…It’s actually a holiday – one of several celebrated each May 1st, depending on where you (and your head) are at in the world. Many of us hear the term “May Day” and think: distress call! It is, of course, that too. “Mayday”, the distress call, comes from the French term m’aidez, which translates to “help me” but has nothing to do with the holidays.
The Welcoming of Summer!
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway. (In May, the Southern Hemisphere is getting ready for winter, so May Day as a seasonal celebration is, for the most part, a Northern Hemisphere thing.) May Day was originally an ancient pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. In Gaelic traditions, it is known as Beltaine (or the Anglicized “Beltane”). Through the centuries, this celebration was adopted by different cultures and rituals modified to fit the beliefs within those cultures. Europeans and Americans most often celebrate in a secular manner, with traditions such as maypole dancing and wearing flower crowns.
International Workers’ Day
On the less-flowery, more serious side of things, May 1st has been celebrated as International Workers’ Day since the 1880s. (Think of it as sort of a world-wide Labor Day.) At the time, labor movements around the world were fighting for fair work accommodations such as eight-hour workdays and unionization. The date May 1st was chosen because it aligned with the anniversary of the Haymarket Affair in Chicago, where police killed four people at a peaceful protest after someone threw a bomb into the crowd. The Haymarket Affair had a huge impact on labor movements across the world.
Moxie Girl celebrates those who have fought – and continue to fight – for labor rights around the world. And we will wear flower crowns whenever we darn well please, because we’re Moxie like that. Looking to join a supportive, hard-working team that LOVES to have fun on a flexible schedule? Just click to APPLY!
If you’re a Phoenix-area vacation rental homeowner, find out how much easier your life can be with the Moxie Girl team working for you! Click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
If you’re a fan of the Netflix series, “Stay Here,” you’ve definitely heard the term “heads in beds” before. That’s where your income as a vacation rental homeowner comes from, so putting “heads in beds” is definitely your goal!
It stands to reason that the more “beds” your vacation rental home has, the more “heads” you can put in them. Even though your vacation rental may have only one or two traditional bedrooms, there are creative ways to increase the “sleeps” number, making it easy to increase your nightly rental rates!
Be reasonable, of course – you don’t want 10 people jamming themselves into your 2/2 condo. Many cities also have occupancy limits on residential dwellings, so always be sure to check out the specifics on your vacation rental location.
Depending on the layout and square footage, a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom vacation rental home that normally “sleeps 4 adults” could easily sleep 6 with the addition of a convertible sofa or murphy bed – and easily increase your rental rate by 15-20%.
The living room areas in vacation rental homes tend to be the least used room by most guests, so they are often a great place for “extra sleeps” by way of a sofa bed that folds out when it’s time for bed. Decorative portable privacy screens are a great option if the room feels a little too “open” for sleeping.
While you certainly may need a den/library/business office in your personal residence, unless you are specifically marketing your vacation rental home as a corporate short-term rental, these rooms are largely unnecessary by most people booking a vacation rental. Sure, that room can still function as an office – and be marketed as such – but add a set of bunk beds and you’ve just increased your heads-in-beds potential by 2!
While you’re busy figuring out how to maximize the heads-in-beds potential of your vacation rental home, you’ll also need to make sure the rest of your rental home is adequately stocked for your new “sleeps” number. An increase in heads-in-beds in your vacation rental home means you will need an additional bed and bath linens, dishes, glasses and silverware – even pool towels and personal amenities, if applicable.
Moxie Girl has extensive experience in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the greater Phoenix area – from set-up/stocking of new vacation rentals, to full, between-guest turns! Find out how Moxie Girl can help you reach your goals and secure the success of your vacation rental home – click here for a FREE CONSULTATION!
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!
Own a vacation rental home in the Phoenix area? If so, there are definitely things you should do in preparation for our monsoon season! This period of exceptionally wacky weather can start as early as June and not calm down entirely until October. Moxie Girl has a few tips to keep your guests in loop and help limit the potential for summer storm-related damages to your vacation rental home.
Professional tree-trimming done prior to monsoon season is an important step in reducing the chances of branches breaking, and possibly causing other damage to your vacation rental home during high winds.
If your vacation rental property has young trees, be sure they are properly staked. Swaying in the wind is actually helpful in growing strong trees, but if not properly staked young trees are easily uprooted!
As temperatures rise, we often think we should be giving our trees and other landscaping extra watering time, but did you know that over-watering can cause root-rot and top-heavy growth in your trees? Decaying roots, especially in combination with top-heavy growth, leave trees exceptionally vulnerable to damage from high winds.
So, water “deeply” (think of it as a nice leisurely bath, vs. a quick shower) but less frequently to keep those beautiful trees on your vacation rental property growing healthy and strong!
Patio umbrellas are a versatile source of shade, and can even make a colorful fashion statement at your vacation rental property. Even in our extreme Phoenix summer sunshine, quality patio umbrellas are capable of seeing your vacation rental property through more than a few seasons. Quality patio umbrellas can also be quite pricey, so it’s definitely in your best interest to take proper care of them.
It should be standard to keep umbrellas closed when not in use to prolong their lives and good looks – their labels even say so. Leaving patio umbrellas open during a monsoon storm can be a death sentence for your patio umbrella, especially in areas experiencing “micro-bursts.” Open umbrellas can also be easily picked up and carried by high winds, causing further damage to your vacation rental property.
Pools and Spas
Increasing the frequency of your regular professional pool service, if possible, is a great idea! But even with increased service, unexpected storms can leave the pool at your vacation rental home looking a mess. Have basic tools on hand for guests to do a little DYI cleaning, if necessary – a skimmer, at the very least! (Also, the umbrella rule should also apply to spa covers – keep it down when not in use!)
For more excellent tips on maintaining your vacation rental home pools and spas, and preparing for summer guests, check out these great Moxie Blogs:
Our Valley summers – especially the crazy monsoon storms – may come as quite a surprise to vacation rental guests new to the Phoenix area! It’s definitely a good idea to warn your guests – as well as ask for their help in preventing weather-related damages during their stay. Your guests may also need to be reminded that you have no control over the weather (sorry, but if a 500ft wall of dust just blew through, the pool may be dirty when you arrive!)
Need Help With Your Phoenix Area Vacation Rental Home?
Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of Phoenix-are vacation rental homes, servicing nearly 200 vacation rental properties Valley-wide! See if Moxie Girl is right for your vacation rental – a FREE CONSULTATION is just a click away!
Moxie Girl is always looking for great people to join our team of vacation rental assistants, too! If working a flexible schedule in a supportive environment with opportunity for growth sounds good to you, we’d love to hear from you – APPLY HERE
Ready or not, summer is on the way! If you’re a vacation rental home owner there are definitely more than a few things to think about. Summer in the Valley of the Sun does bring some special needs…
Dry or Not, It’s Still HOT!
First and foremost on everyone’s minds in summer here in the Phoenix area is air conditioning! Most people – especially those visiting from cooler climates – would find Phoenix absolutely uninhabitable at it’s natural temperature.
If you haven’t scheduled an annual maintenance service for your vacation rental home, it should be first on your to-do list today! There are oodles of heating and cooling service companies in the Valley, but even the biggest and the best of them are booked solid days – even weeks – in advance.
Regular maintenance of your cooling unit keeps it operating at its most efficient and can identify issues before they become emergencies, extending its life, overall. Extremely important, too, is changing the air return filters in your vacation rental home at least every month. A few crazy haboobs can really gunk up a filter!
If your vacation rental property boasts a private swimming pool and/or spa, you probably realize those features have their own set of challenges, year-round. But a vacation rental home with a pool is likely to be considered much more desirable by potential guests, especially in the Phoenix summer, so that’s a plus!
As a vacation rental home owner, hiring a professional pool maintenance service can reduce your headaches tremendously. Moxie Girl recommends Aquaman Pools. Aquaman has extensive experience in all phases of pool and spa care here in the Phoenix area, and services many of the vacation rental homes owned by Moxie Girl clients!
Moxie Girl has posted a plethora of tips regarding your vacation rental home pool! Check them out here:
Summer laundry, believe it or not, can bring some special challenges as well – more so if your vacation rental home has a pool or spa, private or community property. As we’ve previously noted (see our blog, “Laundry 101 for Vacation Rental Homes”) if you’ve got a pool, you NEED pool towels! You’ll also need to make sure they are visible and convenient to your guests.
We’ve also mentioned previously that it’s a great idea to provide your vacation rental guests with disposable make-up removing wipes. Guests tend to take advantage of “amenities” and a few pennies spent making disposable wipes available can really save your linens in the long run.
Since it’s summer, you may also want to consider providing larger, disposable body wipes for your guests to remove self-tanning and bronzing products. If you think a little mascara on a pillowcaseis a problem, just wait until you see what a body or two covered with sparkly bronzer can do to a whole set of towels and sheets! I have and it’s devastating.
Changing out a few decorative items in and around your vacation rental home can really give it a fresh look for the season. Summer is also a great time to visit your own vacation rental property and see firsthand what may need updating or repair. Read our blogs for some Moxie Girl thoughts on these subjects. (Yes, we know it says refresh for spring, but you can refresh for any season!)
Could Your Vacation Rental Property Use a Vacation Rental Specialist?
Moxie Girl has a stellar reputation in Phoenix area vacation rental home care – even offering same-day turns to our valued clients! Find out how to make our caring team YOUR caring team – a FREE CONSULTATION is just a click away!
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!
Everyone knows there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip a cool, sparkling pool in the Phoenix summer! If your vacation rental home boasts one, no doubt your property will be in higher demand during the summer months than those that without a pool. Moxie Girl is ready with some tips to help prepare your vacation rental home for summer swimming fun!
1. First Things First
With your pool being a highlight of your summer vacation rental, you MUST make certain it’s properly maintained. To keep your pool looking its best, Moxie Girl recommends regularly scheduled professional service. Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, recently sat down with Chad Nikkel , owner of Aquaman Pools, to discuss caring for your vacation rental home pool. Chad shared some important points to remember:
A vacation rental home pool should be treated more like a public pool, both chemically and with regard to safety and liability issues.
Pool chemicals should be always be safely stored out of the sight of guests, and an automatic tab feeder is a much better and safer choice than floating chlorinator for a vacation rental home pool.
Reduce your liability by posting pool safety signs – No Diving, No Glass, No Running on Pool Deck! Sure, your guests may not always heed the warnings, but at least you (and your insurance company) will know you’ve done your part as a responsible vacation rental home owner to discourage mishaps!
Watch our fireside chat with Chad in its entirety,Aquaman fireside chat. Moxie Girl also recommends letting your guests know the days and times of regularly scheduled pool maintenance to avoid any awkward situations!
2. About that Glass…
Broken glass in the pool will definitely ruin everyone’s day. Not only will the pool be unsafe for use, but glass shard removal from pools is time-consuming and costly!
Encourage your guests to follow the “No Glass” rule by hitting up your nearest dollar store and stocking your vacation rental home with pool-safe, colorful plastic drink ware! Shatter-proof tumblers, wine, beer and even margarita drink-ware is usually available in a rainbow of colors, and designs can range from solid colors to patterns and tiki and cactus themes. So have some fun and while you’re at it, a plastic pitcher for poolside pours is a great idea, as well as a supply of can koozies! Most of these plastics are completely dishwasher-safe, but always be sure to check the labels before purchasing.
3. Throwing in the Towel
Nothing will prematurely age your bath towels like using them out at the pool. Moxie Girl recommends stocking your vacation rental home with at least one beach towel per potential guest, plus a few extras – and make sure they’re placed in an obvious location so your guests see and use them. An appropriately-sized basket by the main door leading to the pool makes a tidy container for neatly rolled and attractively arranged pool towels.
If your towels (beach OR bath) have fallen victim to mildew, an unpleasant odor is usually the first clue…and that odor actually the smell of breeding bacteria – ewwwww! Take the steps below as soon as possible and chances are you can kill the bacteria and save your towels.
Place mildewed towels in washer, set water temperature to HOT, and add a cup of white vinegar (no detergent for this step). Manually stop the washer once it’s filled and let the towels soak for an hour. At the end of the hour, restart the washer and allow the cycle to complete.
Now, repeat the complete wash cycle, adding your regular laundry detergent and another cup of white vinegar. If the mildew odor is gone at the end of the cycle – hooray! High-five yourself and transfer those towels to the dryer and dry thoroughly. If you’ve read Moxie Girl’s “Laundry 101”, you already know to skip the dryer sheets as they reduce the absorbency of your towels!
4. Drip Dry
It doesn’t take long for mold and mildew to lay down roots in wet laundry! By providing a place for your guests to hang items wet from the pool, you’ll discourage mildew and prolong the life of your pool towels. Hooks or a retractable clothesline outside will discourage pool towels and other items from being brought into the house sopping wet.
Do be aware that prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can quickly fade colorful towels, so keep that in mind when considering locations for your outdoor drip-dry area! Moxie Girl also recommends an absorbent floor mat outside all doors leading to the pool to help keep your interior floors safe and dry.
5. That’s a Nice Touch – Summer Update
If you’ve smartly stocked your vacation rental home with a basic first-aid kit, consider updating it for the summer season to include high spf sunscreen, aloe vera gel and a topical spray for bug bites, in “trial” sizes. You may even consider bundling up these summer items in a vinyl mini tote bag to make a sweet little welcome gift for arriving guests.
Summer humidity tends to bring the mosquitoes, so consider some citronella candles in the pool area. Look for candles in non-glass containers only, of course – we’ve seen some cute metal and terra cotta versions for sale.
“Pool noodles” are colorful, inexpensive and give your guests a little something to float around with in the pool. You can pick them at the dollar store while you’re buying your fun plastic drink-ware. Be sure to check out Moxie Girls tips for adding a first-aid kit as well as other thoughtful touches your guests will appreciate, “That’s a Nice Touch”
Moxie Girl is your vacation rental specialist, all year round! We’re always sharing helpful hints to make your life easier and keep your guests happy, so check back often for more from Moxie!
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.
Definitely the most traveled time of year, summer freedom brings vacation thoughts!! Among those thoughts are, “Where should we go? How should we get there? and last but not least – What should I pack?”. Miss MOXIE to the rescue! Here are 15 Smart Packing Tips you can bank on to get everything you need to your summer vacation destination!
1 – Make a Packing list thinking: HEAD TO TOE. Once for clothing – once for toiletries/sundries. This is how I taught my kids to pack efficiently. Start with your head; floppy sun hat. Trunk; swim-suits, lingerie, tanks, light sweater…etc. For the toiletries/sundries; Head: shampoo, conditioner, curling iron, brush, earrings, facewash, makeup, sunglasses etc. Either write EVERYTHING down, or take everything out and lay it on the bed. (And ALWAYS pack extra underwear! ) Easy and thorough!
2 – Wash, Dryclean, and Prepare. Do the laundry, and set your favorite vacation clothes aside. Dryclean that rain jacket you want to take, and buy Billy those new shoelaces and baseball hat you’ve been meaning to get. If you spend a day preparing your belongings, you’re vacation shopping time will be for souvenirs instead of extra socks!
3 – Consider Monochromatic Color Choices! A color scheme like black/white/khaki allows for mixing and matching everything – clothes, shoes, jewelry and outerwear, therefore you can pack less of everything!
4 – Check your Luggage for Damage! Whether you will be backpacking across Europe, or lying on a Southern California beach, you will have to lug your stuff there! A broken suitcase wheel or a torn backpack zipper will make you crazy!
5 – Savvy Carry-On Prep: BRING: Water bottle – (empty before security, you can fill it afterwards), a light snack, a book or magazine, your phone charger, any prescription meds, any expensive (or sentimental) jewelry, minimal make-up, a toothbrush, and a change of underwear (in case they lose your suitcase – because, sorry, it happens!), and mini-tissue packs for an un-stocked restroom. I always pack my handbag in my suitcase and take my wallet in my carry-on. Your documents: Insurance card, passport, driver’s license.
The Nuts and Bolts
6 – TRY to go Easy on the Shoes! (I’m talking to myself here!) One pair for walking, one for the beach, one dressy.
7 – ZIPLOCS save the day! You can scrunch all your underwear into a ZIPLOC bag and squish-flat the air out! Use it later for dirties or wet swimsuits. Use them for all your toiletries, or anything that can leak.
8 – ROLL as much as you can. Roll your pants and shorts, shirts and socks. stuff socks into your shoes. Rolling takes up much less space.
9 – DON’T take Brand New Shoes! Can you say BLISTERS?
10 – Condense Toiletries or Buy Travel Sizes! While you may be tempted to take the full sized shampoo, conditioner or hairspray, unless you have six kids and are traveling the whole USA, you won’t need them! Buy travel containers in the $1 section at TARGET, along with travel-sized body wash, deoderant, contact lense solution, toothpaste, etc. If you travel often, grab a toiletry bag too and keep it fully loaded in your closet for next time. Remember: The TSA liquids carry-on rule is still in effect! Here are the TSA Guidelines. If you don’t want your expensive bottle of perfume tossed in the trash, think SMALL!
Stuff you don’t want to forget…
11 – Pack the chargers! What electronics are you taking? Pack all your chargers: phone, laptop, tablet, iPod, KINDLE device, and camera. Use a 1 qt. Freezer ZIPLOC bag – they are sturdy. OR – LIVE DANGEROUSLY and leave the electronics at home and focus on each other!
12 – Don’t forget your important documents: Passport, Driver’s license, Insurance Card, etc. Here is a super helpful checklist for you to use before you go.
13 – Avoid junk-food en route. Yes, it’s your summer vacation. Yes, chips and candy can be fun, nevertheless, these treats might also cause energy spikes and stomach trouble. Stick with grain or protein snacks like cheese sticks or nuts, granola bars and dried fruit or apples.
14 – Pack info. about your destination. Yes, an iPhone can do all things, but I’m a book girl! I love my “walking tour of Manhattan” book! I found the best out-of-the-way restaurant once from a picture in a travel book. Just a thought…
15 – Pack extra plastic grocery bags. You know, the cheap kind? They are great for packing dirty clothes, sandy shoes, collecting trash, wet swim suits, and take up almost no room in your suitcase.
Remember: DON’T take what you won’t need! I know- sounds like a no-brainer, but go through everything one more time and take out the extra stuff..you won’t need that blow-dryer, or 3 extra pairs of shoes, ‘just in case’. Take it from Miss MOXIE – these tried and true tips will turn ANYONE into a worldclass smart summer vacation packer!