Posts Tagged ‘vacation rental’
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!
First Impression of Your Vacation Rental
We have heard it time and time again that first impressions matter and people are always saying “try to make the best first impression that you can”. This is something that should be considered when managing a vacation rental because first impressions can greatly impact the cash flow of your property. The first impression starts long before a guest has even stepped foot into your vacation rental. Their very first impression comes from the pictures that are placed online. Potential guests will evaluate the appearance and if it looks cleaned and well kept, what the staging and décor is like, and the overall vibes that the place gives off. Have you thought about what impression your vacation rental gives?
Vacation Rental Ratings and Reviews
Along with first impressions, ratings and reviews are especially important for cash flow when managing a vacation rental. Vacation rental management is part of the Hospitality Industry. Success in the hospitality industry is driven by the rating and reviews of others. It is said that people trust reviews as much as getting a recommendation from someone and 72% of people said they would not book a place without reviews. Potential guests are going through and reading the reviews left from your previous guests before determining if they are going to book your place.
How a professional clean can improve your ratings
The upkeep for a vacation rental can be a lot of work, even more so if you are managing more than one property. Hiring a professional cleaning company can eliminate a large portion of stress and free up more time in your schedule. Your guests want to have the feeling that the place is brand new and has never been used before. A great cleaning company can not only deliver that experience to your guests, but they can also improve the ratings and reviews that your guests are providing after they check out. With the increase of positive reviews, it is likely that the demand to stay in your vacation rental will increase as well.
Why choose Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Cleaning Company
With all the different cleaning companies that are available, it can be difficult choosing between them. So, what makes a cleaning company great? There needs to be trust, professionalism, and they should be experienced. Moxie Girls’ team of professional cleaners are also organized, fairly priced, and practice secure confidentiality.
If you are looking for a team of professionals to help you increase the number of positive reviews that your vacation rental receives and are ready to relieve stress and have more free time. Click here for more information.
When decorating your vacation rental home you don’t want to do too little and you definitely don’t want to go overboard. When you don’t add those special touches to your vacation rental it can make your home feel a little less inviting. Now, when you add too much decor to your home it can feel cluttered and also allow for more dust to be collected on the little unnecessary decorations. It can be a challenge to find that perfect balance in your vacation rental home that makes your guests feel at home and welcomes them into your space. So where do you start?
Function and Feeling
You’ll want to start by deciding what kind of function you are wanting your home to have for guests and what kind of feeling you are going for. You could decide every room has a different theme in the house or that the entire house follows one theme. Have fun with your decorating journey and plan out your space before going on a decor shopping rampage!
Unless you have a certain theme in your home you are going for like a 90’s or retro theme, try to stay neutral! Staying neutral in your colors will help things last with the changing times and will be easier to redecorate when needed or when styles change. Stick with just a few colors but in varying shades that all work well together, just keep it simple. Now if you’re going with a 70’s retro-themed vacation rental this tip won’t really apply to you, but your decorating journey will still be a blast!
Lighting & other fixtures
This can be a fun part of decorating your vacation rental property! You can stick with basic lighting or add a fun touch with a cute lamp or different light fixtures. Just make sure the light bulbs you choose throughout your house are cohesive if you have yellow lighting try to keep it like that throughout the house or things and start to look a little funky. Lamps are a great addition to the living room and bedroom spaces to add that cozy feeling a home can offer. If you decide to change the fixtures in your house try to keep them all one color, you don’t want some gold fixtures, some black and some silver throughout the entire house.
Have fun with this part, but not too much fun. Adding little decor items is where a lot of us can go overboard because there are just so many cute options out there. The last thing you want in your home is to have too many things that make guests feel overwhelmed and cluttered. Baskets with blankets by the beds or couches are a fun way to add a little extra something to your home. Chunky throws can add that texture you may be missing in your home. Switch out those boring old bar stools for something a little different than you might be used to, you’ll be surprised at how one item can really transform a space! Natural wood items are a great touch to those neutral spaces as well as adding greenery. Adding greenery can really bring a space to life!
Remember this is still your space and you get to decide how you want to make it, but you are renting it out to guests and want to make them feel comfortable and at home, in your space while they are visiting. Have fun with it, take your time and plan it out. Remember to save all your receipts when buying items juts in case they don’t flow in the home like you thought they would.
Just getting started in your journey as a vacation rental owner? Give Moxie Girl a call today to see how we can help you get things up and running smoothly so you can start renting your space out as soon as possible!
Fun Facts about Tempe
I first moved to Arizona in July after I left Illinois, I was amazed on how pretty Arizona actually was, from the different cacti, flowers, always having mountains in the distance, and most importantly the sunsets every night are my favorite things to watch. Even though these things are important to locals, I’ve never experienced them so it was such an amazing new experience. Tempe is a city that borders Phoenix but there aren’t any actual borders that go from city to city. Once you hop on the 101 you can easily end up in another city without realizing it. The Arizona Route 101 or “loop 101” is a semi- beltway that connects much of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. It connects all of Phoenix suburbs including, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, and even extends into the West Valley including Glendale and Peoria. Loop 101 also connects with all major freeways including U.S. 60, SR 51, Interstate 17, and Interstate 10.
Tempe is also known for its youthful college town. Arizona State University is one of the largest public college universities in the United States. If you plan your visit during any ASU’s football season, you could spend the day catching a game at the Sun Devils football stadium. Another time to visit Tempe to see something that you normally wouldn’t see is the “Lantern Walk” during homecoming week. The Lantern Walk is one of the oldest traditions at ASU, and it one of the most cherished. Everyone who is associated with ASU walks through campus and follows a path up to “A” mountain to “light up” Tempe. The night is accumulated with a firework display. So having little one’s firework show is always a way to entertain them. “A” mountain which was also mentioned above also has a little bit of history behind it. There was a letter “A” installed on the slope of its south face that is visible from campus. The original “A” was destroyed but the vandals were never caught but many speculate it was their rivals from (University of Arizona.) “Whitewashing” the “A” is a tradition in which incoming freshmen paint the letter white during orientation week and is repainted gold right before the first football game of the season. “A” mountain is a perfect hike to do right before sunset. It is one of the most accessible hikes in downtown.
Tempe Town Lake
Arizona is a desert state, so finding bodies of water is very unlikely. Tempe Town Lake is located right in the heart of the city of Tempe. Tempe Town Lake is located on the northwest corner of Mill Ave, and Rio Salado Parkway. This two-mile-long lake is so much more than just something nice to look at when driving on loop 202. Tempe Lake attracts so many tourists throughout the year being the perfect spot to enjoy outdoor activities and experience tons of fun while doing it. Some of the activities include stand up paddleboarding, kayaking in which you can rent single or double kayaks, and even an electric boat that can seat up to 12 people and comes equipped with a radio and a dining table so you can enjoy your whole day on the lake with some awesome views. With Covid-19 going on right now, the rentals are only 1 person per kayak to continue to obey the CCD guidelines of being 6ft apart when out in public. If you are more of a land person, there are plenty of activities for you to do also. Land activities include walking, biking, or running along the 5-mile pathway that stretches along the lakeside.
Vacation Rentals in Tempe
Moxie Girl cleans vacation rentals all around the west valley, east valley, and central Phoenix area. Moxie Girl is very cautious when going into different vacation rentals during Covid-19. We wear masks, and gloves and use a super-powerful Isopropyl based disinfectant to ensure that your vacation rental is clean and ready upon your arrival. If any of these fun activities seem like something your family or just yourself would like to do, then book a vacation rental today. You can book directly from Moxie Girl or STRM to schedule your booking.
If you own a vacation rental already and would like to be stress-free about keeping it up to date, you can also contact Moxie Girl or STRM for a FREE CONSULTATION TODAY.
When looking for a vacation rental most look for a place that can best accommodate their needs for their stay. Depending on what you’re looking for you can almost always find the perfect fit for you and/or your family needs.. that is if you choose to take the whole family.
When choosing a vacation rental over a hotel there are a few things you might be giving up but most vacation rental owners do their best to give their guests everything they need for their relaxing stay. You might be looking for a home with a relaxing pool area, nice backyard space, cozy bedroom spaces, or whatever it may be. In some cases when booking your perfect vacation you come across a place that has met every need and more.
Avoiding Crowded Hotels.
You may be considering a stay at a vacation rental for the first time, changing it up from your typical hotel stay, and wondering what more could a vacation rental offer me that I’m not already going to get at a hotel?
Well, you’re in for a treat! This newly remodeled “resort” vacation rental in the Scottsdale area has those spa-like amenities you may feel like you’re missing out on when booking a vacation rental. From a sauna in the master bathroom to a lap pool on the backyard this home gives you that spa feeling without being surrounded by strangers in robes.
More to offer than your typical hotel room
Not only are you getting that spa-like feeling in this vacation rental there is also a great outdoor space for relaxing, grilling, and just hanging out. There is a cozy living room space for you to enjoy your favorite shows, movies and so much more. One of our favorite parts is the bar area where you can make your favorite mixed drink to enjoy by the pool or maybe playing pool all in one place. If you enjoy socializing, you won’t have to go far for a nice night out on the town with this home being just a few minutes away from Old Town Scottsdale.
If this vacation rental sparks your interest take a look HERE at what all this place has to offer and plan your vacation today!
Are you currently running a Vacation Rental property of your own and looking for a cleaning service that can take care of all your vacation rental needs? Click HERE for a free consultation. Moxie Girl will take care of your Vacation Rental Cleaning needs and make sure your guests walk into a clean and welcoming home.
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!
As the owner/operator of a successful vacation rental home, you try hard to provide an experience that will prompt your guests to leave glowing reviews – but even putting forth your best efforts doesn’t protect you against the ever-growing list of scams affecting AirBnB hosts.
A quick online search reveals numerous tales of woe from AirBnB hosts describing nefarious guests’ attempts to garner anywhere between 25% to 100% OFF their reservation total. Some hosts claim that due to AirBnB’s guest refund policies and procedures, guests are doing everything from turning wi-fi routers off and claiming the internet “isn’t working,” to staging and photographing undesirable cleaning “misses” in order to whittle down their lodging expenses.
One way vacation rental homeowners are protecting themselves against the “discount” scammers is to snap pics of all areas of the “guest-ready” rental before their guests arrive. Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants have been providing this service to our clients for several months now – and as it turns out, that’s a really great idea!
Moxie Girl has always provided photo documentation to our clients of any theft or damage to their property should we find it. Timely evidence is crucial for vacation rental hosts hoping to charge a guest for misuse of their vacation rental home or items that have gone missing during a guest’s stay!
Providing photos of their guest-ready vacation rental gives our clients peace of mind, knowing their guests will arrive at a clean, inviting space – in addition to being pretty solid evidence against false claims by guests that the rental “wasn’t clean.” Even a screenshot of the wi-fi showing as “connected” on a smartphone proves it WAS working when we left the property.
Moxie Girl recently even used a guest-ready photo to prove that a guest (or rather the guest’s child) was responsible for breaking a large mirror in one of our clients’ vacation rentals. The guests had claimed they found mirror broken upon arrival, but our time-stamped photo of that room from earlier in the day showed an undamaged mirror! Long story, short, the kid fessed up and the guests took financial responsibility for the replacement cost.
There are plenty of other (and far more costly!) scams being perpetrated against vacation rental homeowners as well. Many of those may be avoided by knowing what to watch out for. Most rental listing platforms such as AirBnB and VRBO offer secure payment processing and warm that guests requesting to pay by any type of check or wire transfer should be a red flag.
Vacation rental homeowners are also urged to never accept more than is due for any booking, putting them in the position of being persuaded to issue a refund outside the rental platform’s refund policy and structure – and ultimately lead to identity theft as well as financial loss.
Clearly you’ve got enough to worry about as a vacation rental homeowner – why not let Moxie Girl take away the stress of between-guest cleanings? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area – and we are just as interested in helping your property get great reviews as you are. CLICK HERE for a FREE consultation!
Interested in being a Moxie Girl? We are always on the lookout for motivated individuals to join our growing team of Vacation Rental Assistants! CLICK HERE to introduce yourself – an HR representative will reach out to you shortly!
It’s that time of year again…we wait with great anticipation for the monsoon season here in the Valley! Monsoon storms often bring us much needed (and heat-relieving) rain, as well as spectacular displays of lightning, high winds and blowing dust. Okay, maybe we don’t look forward to the crazy wind and walls of dust so much…
If you’ve ever owned a home in Phoenix – especially one with a pool – you already know that monsoon storm clean-up can be a huge chore. While you might postpone clean-up for a few days at your personal residence, vacation rental homeowners don’t enjoy the luxury of procrastination if guests are due to arrive.
Because these storms can develop rather quickly, it may not always be possible for the vacation rental homeowner – no matter how well-intentioned – to guarantee that the outdoor areas of their rental property are going to look exactly as pictured when guests arrive. Vacation rental home hosts should always make their guests aware of the storms that can occur in this area of Arizona, and the effect they may have on the appearance of the outside of the property.
Now, this is not an excuse to not TRY to make sure everything at your vacation rental home is as perfect as it can be. In fact, there’s a lot you can do prior to these storms that will help keep your vacation rental looking its best, while at the same time ridding yourself of additional potential problems during the monsoon season.
Work With Your Guests
Aside from alerting your vacation rental guests to the possibility of intense storms during their visit, it’s also a great idea to ask for their help in keeping your property and equipment safe from storm damage.
Outdoor umbrellas should always be closed when not in use. Leaving an umbrella open during a monsoon says, “Goodbye and good luck, umbrella! I’ll be replacing you tomorrow.” Ask your guests to be sure to close your umbrellas unless they are sitting under them (which they shouldn’t be, during a monsoon!)
Landscaping and pool umbrellas aren’t the only casualties of monsoon winds – downed power lines also become a thing during this season. If your guests see downed power lines on or around your property, advise them to call 911 immediately. Oh, and DON’T TOUCH the downed power lines! (Astounding to think a guest might decide to pick up a live power line, but you never know.)
Guests should also be reminded that any floating items for the pool (toys, loungers, etc.) should be stored securely when not in use.
For more great information on Phoenix-area monsoon weather, check out these other Moxie blogs:
Monsoon Season and Your Vacation Rental Home
Wildlife and Wild Weather- Things You Should Know About Summer in Phoenix
Attention to Landscaping
A professional landscaper will always advise thinning large trees and removing any tree branches that appear unstable – and this is particularly important before and during the monsoon season.
The winds created by the monsoon storms can be severe, easily breaking branches and even uprooting entire trees, so it’s crucial you be proactive in keeping your vacation rental’s landscaping as least vulnerable as possible to wind damage.
Also keep in mind that anything picked up by the wind has a really great chance of coming down in your pool, creating additional clean-up!
And Speaking of Pools…
Summer in Phoenix is the best time to have a pool – but it can also seem like the worst! Moxie Girl recommends a reputable professional pool service such as Aquaman Pools to take care of the pool at your vacation rental home.
If left unattended, foliage and other debris are blown into your pool can cause your pool pump and filter to work overtime, affecting their efficiency and lifespan – trash and leaves can also permanently stain some pool surfaces. So it’s best to “get the big stuff” out right away, if possible. Your guests may be of some help here – especially if they want to swim after a storm – if you provide a skimmer and a brush for them to use.
Check out our conversation with Chad Nikkel, owner of Aquaman Pools, for more summer tips for vacation rental homes with pools!
Don’t Forget the A/C Filters!
They should be changed monthly anyway, but during the monsoon season changing the filter in your vacation rental home’s cooling unit is an absolute must. Dirty filters negatively affect your unit’s performance – and summer is definitely NOT the time to have sub-standard cooling in your vacation rental!
Moxie Girl Leads the Way in Valley Vacation Rental Care
Find out how putting Moxie Girl in charge at your vacation rental home can help you reclaim your time! Moxie Girl services over 100 vacation rental properties throughout the Phoenix area. CLICK HERE for a free consultation.
Moxie Girl is growing! If becoming a Vacation Rental Assistant and caring for some of the most beautiful vacation rental properties in the Valley sounds like your type of gig, we’d love to hear from you. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!
One of the biggest “selling-points” of a Phoenix-area vacation rental home is our weather! Now, obviously, we’re not talking about summer – although there are those who claim to enjoy our extreme heat. The rest of the year though is pretty gosh-darn perfect most of the time – at least in comparison to much of the rest of the country.
That perfect – and very popular – the weather is a mere couple of months away, so now is a great time to assess the outdoor living space at your vacation rental home(s). Even if your vacation rental home’s outdoor space “looked great!” last fall, things can sure take a beating in the space of summer here. Take an honest look and ask yourself: Is it appealing to guests? Is it clean? Is everything in good repair? Is the seating comfortable? Is there anything at all that could make it better?
Visitors to the Phoenix area during our beautiful fall through spring seasons are likely to want to spend as much time as possible enjoying themselves outside. A beautiful outdoor living space can be a huge highlight on your property’s rental listing, increasing your potential for bookings and higher rental rates!
Especially if your vacation rental property boasts a pool, it’s outdoor living space is likely to become THE living area for guests much of the year. Your guests should feel as though you put just as much thought in the outdoor space as you did in the rest of your vacation rental, and upgrades will definitely be appreciated.
Comfortable, durable patio furniture with enough seating for the number of potential guests is crucial. Other amenities your guests are bound to use
and enjoy include fire pits, barbecue grills, beverage tubs – even outdoor-appropriate throws or stadium blankets in case of a chill.
Outdoor mood-lighting never hurts, either. There are probably hundreds of options for string lights, lanterns, post lights and solar-powered light features you could add to the outdoor living area of your vacation rental.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of the outdoor area of your vacation rental home are just as important as the inside! Routinely scheduled lawn care and professional pool maintenance are half the battle, but be sure your vacation rental home cleaning crew is making sure everything is guest-ready!
Need help with your vacation rental property? Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist, providing care to over 100 rental homes throughout the Phoenix area! Click here to find out how Moxie Girl can help make your vacation rental as successful as it should be!
The vast majority of internet users in the United States check online reviews before making decisions on just about anything. In the vacation rental home game, the volume and quality of your property’s reviews can boost it closer to the “top of the list” on your rental platform, too, increasing your rental potential!
So That Happened…Don’t Panic!
The bad review…No matter how hard you try if you’re operating a vacation rental home, it’s bound to happen at some point. Bad reviews can seem like personal attacks, even if that wasn’t the intent of the reviewer. And feeling personally attacked can cause all sorts of things to come out of our mouths – or our fingertips to our keyboards – that we wouldn’t say under normal circumstances.
DO NOT IGNORE IT, but don’t panic, either. Take a breath…or six dozen. It may take a bit before you’re able to objectively look at the situation from all angles. It is important that you address the review online, but only after you’ve had a chance to compose yourself enough to compose an appropriate response.
Acknowledge and Apologize
When crafting a reply to the bad review, do your best to sound professional, but keep it real. No one likes a “canned” response to a complaint – they want a person, not a spokesperson. Simply apologize for the bad experience they had and express your desire, as the owner of the vacation rental home, to “make it right,” and offer your contact info for follow up.
Once you’ve done this, you’ve very effectively put the ball in their court – and that should be the end of any online interaction on the matter. Any further communication on the matter should be done person-to-person, not in a public forum. NO ONE wins in a cyber-fight.
What Will Make It Right?
Put yourself in the role of the disgruntled guest writing the bad review. If whatever happened to them happened to you, what would YOU be comfortable asking for, to “make it right”? If and when the guest contacts you for follow up, ask them directly what THEY feel would make it right?
Hopefully, the two of you aren’t terribly far apart in what you think is a fair resolution. By the way, it’s quite possible that your guest was a little bit hotter under the collar when they wrote the review than they will be after a little sincere and positive interaction with you. If it turns out the guest is actually demanding less than what you had in mind to “fix this,” offering a little bit more may even cause your guest to remove or edit their review in your favor – especially if they had a very valid complaint.
What Did We Learn?
Always let the experience of dealing with a bad review be a learning experience. What exactly went wrong at your vacation rental home that led to the bad review? Whatever it was, if the complaint was valid, it’s now your job to figure out how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Sure, there will always be the occasional guest who’s nit-picking or looking for way more of a settlement than seems fair. Some guests even make a habit of it, unfortunately. It’s okay to wave them off once you’ve done your part in trying to make things right by offering a reasonable solution.
Moxie Girl Can Help!
Operating a successful vacation rental home can be stressful! Putting the Moxie Girl team in charge of your between-guest turns is a great way to reclaim some of your time as a vacation rental homeowner. Click here for a FREE CONSULTATION!
A (Very) Brief History of Labor Day
Many of us are conditioned to know we get the day off, but what IS Labor Day, anyway? According to the official U.S. Department of Labor website, Labor Day has been celebrated as a National holiday each first Monday in September, since 1894! Labor Day is the creation of the labor movement and is intended to be an annual tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Labor unions, which first appeared in the late 18th century, grew prominent and vocal, organizing strikes and rallies to protest the horrific working conditions which existed for both adults and children at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, many of these events turned violent, but the protests DID lead to change and for that, we can all be thankful to those who fought.
Labor Day, aka The End of Summer
Living in Phoenix the thermometer clearly tells us that summer’s end is NOT Labor Day, but we’ll still celebrate of course! Labor Day has become synonymous with swim parties and barbeques with family and friends – even long-weekend road-trips!
And those road-trippers will need places to stay…we’re looking at you, vacation rental homeowners! Increase your chances of picking up those end-of-summer bookings – check out our Moxie blog, “Road Trips and Your Vacation Rental Home”!
If you happen to be on the planning end of a Labor Day party, Moxie Girl is here to help with our “Fun and Functional Summer Party Tips” blog, too!
Join Our “Labor Party”
Life as a Vacation Rental Assistant with Moxie Girl offers flexible hours, a supportive team environment and plenty of opportunity for growth, both as a Moxie AND as a person! Interested in joining us? Click here to tell us a bit about yourself and we’ll be in touch very soon!
Need a Moxie?
Moxie Girl has become a leader in the vacation rental home care industry in Phoenix, servicing well over 100 vacation rental properties of all sizes, Valley-wide. With our vast experience, Moxie Girl knows what it takes to make your vacation rental home the very best it can be and we are just as interested in the success of your property as you are! Click here for a FREE CONSULTATION!
As we’ve noted in previous blogs, most recently “Vacation Rental Homes Only!” vacation rental home guests tend to get super-comfy after about day 3 of their stay – and this usually results in the need for a much deeper between-guest cleaning than a 2-3 day booking would require.
What We Know
With our vast experience caring for vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area, Moxie Girl also sees more damage done to rental properties by longer-term guests than shorter-term vacation rental guests.
These are two of the big reasons many vacation rental homeowners are reluctant to allow long-term stays on their properties. However, summer does tend to be the season where guests are seeking more lengthy stays. Especially here in Phoenix, a multi-week or even longer occupancy is tempting to the vacation rental owner, since summer tends to be brutal and rental activity takes a hit.
The Benefits of Mid-Stay Vacation Rental Cleaning
One thing vacation rental homeowners allowing longer-term bookings this summer are doing to alleviate their concerns is scheduling “mid-stay” cleanings. Long-term guests really settle in and begin treating the vacation rental home as they would their own home…and since you probably don’t know what THEIR home looks like, it’s best just to expect that they may not clean the vacation rental at all during their stay.
A mid-stay cleaning will not only make the cleaning after the guests departure (hopefully) much easier and quicker, but it also allows the vacation rental homeowner to become aware of any suspicious activity, theft of or damage to the vacation rental or its contents while the guests are still there.
Many long-term vacation rental guests see mid-stay cleanings as a perk! Just because a guest is messy doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a clean space. Also knowing that professional cleaning is scheduled during their stay may prompt guests to live a little neater than they normally might.
Need a Moxie (or Want to BE One)?
If you’re a vacation rental homeowner in the Phoenix area CLICK HERE to find out how Moxie Girl’s team of vacation rental specialists can make your life easier. Moxie Girl currently cares for over 100 vacation rental homes throughout the Valley and we pride ourselves on our reputation for client satisfaction!
Moxie Girl’s vacation rental assistants enjoy flexible schedules, a supportive team environment and plenty of opportunities to grow! Interested in becoming a Moxie? CLICK HERE to tell us about yourself – we’ll be in touch soon!
With the vacation rental industry booming all over the U.S. – and the world – you may be wondering which vacation rental sites offer the most ‘bang for the buck’ for you, the vacation rental homeowner. New short-term rental platforms are popping up frequently nowadays, with many marketing to “niche” demographics such as the LGBTQ community, guests traveling with pets, and family vacationers.
But since you may be just starting out as a vacation rental homeowner, we’ll take a look at what is considered to be three of the most popular vacation rental home listing platforms and what they have to offer in relation to their fees.
Airbnb has become synonymous with vacation rental bookings – kind of like the “Kleenex” of facial tissues. (No one says, “I need a facial tissue,” do they?) Founded in 2008, Airbnb currently has over 100 million users and over 640,000 hosts! According to data from SimliarWeb.com, Airbnb is ranked second only to travel giant Booking.com.
Airbnb has no fee to join or list entire properties, private and shared rooms. Guests booking on Airbnb pay 6-20% of the total booking fee, which keeps the AirBnB site up and running. Hosts (that’s you, vacation rental homeowner) pays 3-5% of the total booking fee to cover transaction costs (credit card fees).
HomeAway and its umbrella of companies (which includes VRBO and vacationrentals.com) boasts over 1 million listings in over 190 countries, giving vacation rental homeowners and managers the opportunity to expose their properties to over 44 million travelers each month!
Guests booking vacation rentals through HomeAway can expect to pay a service fee of 6-12% of the total booking. As host of a HomeAway vacation rental, you have the option of paying a fee of 8% per booking total or you can become a subscriber for an annual fee of $499 and enjoy fee-free bookings all year! A subscription makes loads of sense if you expect your vacation rental to gross over $10k in bookings annually!
While this website ranks #1 as an overall online travel agency, Booking.com doesn’t specialize in vacation rental homes, but this portion of their business is rapidly growing making it an exciting option for listing your vacation rental. Booking.com is already hugely international, with 5 million+ short-term lodging rentals in over 225 countries!
Hosting fees are definitely higher than Airbnb or HomeAway – expect to pay in the range of 10-25% per booking, depending on the location of your vacation rental. However, there are no sign-up or subscription fees for hosts. Also, guests booking through this site pay NO booking fees for your vacation rental, making this platform very popular with travelers!
Multiple Platforms = Maximum Exposure
Yes, you can use more than one platform to list your vacation rental property. There are even some services you can join that make it possible to have your listing(s) posted simultaneously on multiple sites of your choosing, decreasing your “admin” time and increasing your exposure to potential guests.
Many vacation rental homeowners will initially list the properties on multiple sites and “pare them down” later if they start seeing the majority of their bookings consistently coming through only one or two sites.
Do Your Due Diligence!
Of course, there is much to consider beyond the fees when deciding on a vacation rental listing website. It’s up to you, the vacation rental homeowner, to read the details provided on any rental platform to make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to when listing your property.
Let Moxie Girl Help!
With everything you have to accomplish in running a successful vacation rental property, wouldn’t it be nice to have a between-guest cleaning team you can count on? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental properties of all sizes throughout the Phoenix area. Click HERE to find out how Moxie Girl can help you reclaim your time by letting us handle your turns!
Many Phoenix-area school districts start the school year as early as the beginning of August, but in other places across the country, classes don’t start until the day after Labor Day! This leaves August open for impromptu family vacations, and many of those families find it less expensive – and more convenient – to find a suitable vacation rental home for their family travels.
If you own a vacation rental in the Valley and have read up on the subject, you already know the benefits of keeping your property operating through our brutal summer – even though it might seem “easier” and “cheaper” to cease operations during these months.
If you AREN’T in-the-know, here are a couple of blogs full of good information on the topic!
Boosting Your Summer Vacation Rental Bookings
Summer Vacation Rentals- Moxie Girl Debunks The Myths
It’s true, staying in the summer vacation rental game not only helps offset the year-round expenses associated with your vacation rental property, but keeping your vacation rental home active during the “off” months – with good reviews – will also help boost your rental to the top of your vacation rental platform’s listings. And THAT can only increase your bookings during peak season!
Need some help avoiding complaints and bad reviews? Check out these Moxie blogs!
Avoiding Complaints From Your Vacation Rental Guests
Vacation Rental Review Killers
Late summer is famous for last-minute vacation rental home bookings, so stay in close communication with your vacation rental cleaning team. You’d never want to give your guests the feeling they’re receiving last-minute treatment!
Need Help With Your Vacation Rental Home?
Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist, providing excellent service to 100+ vacation rental homes in the Phoenix Metro area. Find out if Moxie Girl is right for you – CLICK here for a free consultation!
Is Moxie Life for You?
Our Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants enjoy flexible schedules, a supportive team environment, and opportunities for advancement. Tell us about yourself and we’ll be in touch soon!
Since traditional schools are on a three-month break, summer months are often the first choice in seasons for family vacations. Vacation rental homes are very popular for those traveling with children. Let’s face it, taking the whole family on the road can be expensive, especially when it comes to mealtimes. Staying in a vacation rental – with a KITCHEN – not only keeps the family unit together while providing everyone privacy but preparing family meals costs a fraction of the expense of dining out 2 or 3 times a day!
Moxie Girl is always enthusiastic about making your guests experience is great. On top of being certain your vacation rental home is well-maintained and sparkling clean upon their arrival, there are dozens of “little ways” to add to your guests comfort and make them feel cared for! Today, we’re focusing on kid-friendly items, but check out our blog “That’s a Nice Touch!” for adding general awesomeness all around your vacation rental home!
There’s Always Room Under a Bed
Unless you specifically market your vacation rental home to families with children, you may not want to have any ‘kid stuff’ visible on a regular basis and parents are generally going to pack up and bring whatever they deem necessary to care for the kids. But the good news is there are lots of small items that you can have on hand in your vacation rental home that can make a positive impression on the whole family.
And the GREAT news is that all these things can be corralled under a bed when not in use! Just be sure to let your guests know where to find this trove of treasures for their little ones. If you’re feeling really creative, you could even turn the experience into a treasure hunt game!
What’s in the Box?
A plastic ‘sweater storage’ box (these are usually large-ish and rectangular, about 6” deep) with a lid makes for a perfect fit under most beds and can hold a lot of kid-friendly fun! Most, if not all of these things are readily available at your favorite dollar store:
Drawing Paper Pads
Board Games/Playing Cards
Small Inflatable Pool Toys (new in package, please!)
Soap Bubbles/Bubble-Blowing Tools
A Night-lite, if your vacation rental doesn’t already have them in the bedrooms
And let’s not forget about personal amenities. Yes, we did say parents are likely to bring whatever products they require for the kids but show us a 5-year-old who wouldn’t love an unexpected bubble bath using that little bottle of bubble bath liquid and rubber ducky they found in the box? There’s a kid-version of most things – tissues, lotions, shampoo, and soaps – that will make the little ones feel treated just as special as the adults!
These, Too, Shall Fit Under a Bed
Two small pieces of very helpful (and often left at home) equipment when it comes to dealing with kids are a booster seat and a step stool – and they’ll fit under the bed with your ‘kid box’, too! Parents are resourceful – do you WANT toddlers propped up on your fancy throw pillows
while eating tomato soup? Didn’t think so…but it could definitely happen “in a pinch.”)
A step stool for the kiddies can help in the bathroom for sure. It’s HARD not to make a mess brushing your teeth if you’re shorter than the sink! Young ones may also find a step stool to be a fun way to climb into the adult-sized bed they may be sleeping in while at your vacation rental.
If your vacation rental home has a pool, Moxie Girl has posted a number of blogs that could be helpful to you. Be sure to check out our Moxie Blog, “5 Sizzling Summer Tips for Vacation Rental Homes with Pools”!
We mentioned perhaps providing some small, inflatable pool toys in the ‘kid box’. Providing these items, new in-the-packaging, is best. Not only is someone going to have to put them to their lips to blow them up, but there are also pre-printed consumer warnings already on the packaging…such as ‘This is not a life-saving device!”…in case there was ANY question about whether or not it’s safe to leave a 4 year old in the pool alone with this beach ball mom is about to inflate.
Don’t forget about the “No Glass Near the Pool” rule you SHOULD have posted at your vacation rental! The dollar store is again your friend here. There are dozens of choices for colorful, pool-safe drinkware for everyone – and some, especially for kids!
Be sure your guests know where to find the kid-goods! The ‘kid-box’ effort is pointless if no one knows where it is. A card left with the box could contain a special welcome note to the kids as well as any simple ‘rules’ you may have regarding the contents of the box. You know, “please return all puzzle pieces, crayons, games pieces, etc. to the box for our next mini guests to enjoy!”
It should go without saying that this little box of treasures – and any kid-equipment – should be inspected, replenished and sanitized between guests, just as you would with any adult guest amenities. (Okay, maybe EXTRA sanitation on the kid stuff. Just sayin’.)
Moxie Girl is Your Phoenix-Area Vacation Rental Specialist!
Whether you own a vacation rental home or are looking to be a Vacation Rental Assistant, Moxie Girl may be the answer for you. We specialize in the care of over 100 vacation rental homes, Valley-wide!
For vacation rental homeowners, Moxie Girl takes the worry out of between-guest turns, giving them more time to spend in other areas of their lives! Our vast experience with vacation rentals and our reliable service can give you the peace of mind you crave while ensuring your guests are enjoying the best experience possible in your vacation rental. (Great experiences = great reviews = more bookings = more profit for you!) Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION!
Our Moxies (boys AND girls) stay in shape making our client’s vacation rentals fresh, clean and guest-ready while enjoying a flexible schedule and a supportive team environment! If Moxie life sounds like a fit for you, please CLICK HERE and tell us about yourself! We are always looking to welcome our newest team member!
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!
For more tips on making your vacation rental home and systems safer and more efficient, check out our blog, “How to Prepare Your Phoenix Vacation Rental for Summer.”
Your Vacation Rental Home Oasis
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:
5 Sizzling Summer Tips for Vacation Rental Home with Pools
Pool Perfection – Fireside Chat with Chad Nikkel of Aquaman Pools
Pool Maintenance 101 (for you DIYers!)
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!)
Visiting Your Own Vacation Rental Home?
Refresh Your Vacation Rental for Spring
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!
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 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!