Posts Tagged ‘vrbo’
As a vacation rental cleaner, you never know what you are going to walk into once the guests have checked out. Your first impression of the guest can go one of two ways. The first way you are going to walk into the house and the guests have completed the checkout list that the owner has provided. If this is the way that you walk in, your clean is going to go great and you normally won’t have problems. The second way is that you are going to walk in, the rental is going to be completely used, and nothing is done on the checkout list. If you walk into a super used rental, your clean is going to be tougher, and you are usually going to be there longer than intended.
Having Checkout Suggestions
When guests check out of a vacation rental, Moxie Girl leaves a complimentary checklist for the guest to follow to make our clean and arrival so much easier. Some of our suggestions include stripping the beds or starting towels in the washer, starting the dishwasher, and taking out the trash. Just by doing one of these simple tasks can make a Moxie Girl’s cleaning go so much smoother. When we walk into a vacation rental, and the guests have left the place without doing any of the checklists, then the cleaner stresses once they get there debating on how the cleaning is going to take them.
Not using Checkout Suggestions
When guests check out of a vacation rental and don’t use any of the checklist suggestions, it can make our job so much more stressful. I’ll give an example, here at Moxie Girl, when cleaning a vacation rental we sometimes encounter a same day turn, which means the cleanings need to take place in between a guest checking out that day and new guests arriving the same day. When cleaning a home that is same day flip you’re on a time crunch. So, when guests leave a bunch of towels, and bedding used then we are responsible to clean all of the laundries, but with guests starting a load of laundry it makes our cleaning go a little smoother and can cut an hour or so off the cleaning time. Another suggestion for guests is picking up and taking all their trash out, by doing this it doesn’t take up our cleaning time, and we have more time to focus on the resetting of the home and getting the vacation rental ready for their next guest. So next time you stay at a vacation rental, keep your cleaners in mind and partake in the check out suggestions.
Looking for a cleaning company to service your vacation rental needs? Contact us today for a FREE Consultation!!
Is anyone starting to feel that cabin fever kick in after being inside for so long? With CDC( Centers for Disease Control) basically restricting any travel for everyone throughout the US. All governors have started closing unessential business and putting restrictions on staying at home and going out only when needed. With all the guidelines and restrictions in place, people are scared to travel or even leave their houses. This pandemic has caused everyone to go into a panic and has everyone worried about doing any sort of travel causing the travel lines to reduce air travel and take extra precautions.
The Effects of Covid-19
So you may be asking, what has the Covid-19 pandemic caused in the Vacation Rental Industry. Well for starters, the decrease in travel has caused multiple properties to lose travelers and causing most property managers to lose future travelers as well as seeing their current travelers canceling or departing earlier than intended. Even with travel violations, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your staycations whether they are at home or at a local Vacation rental. There are tons of pros of staying at a vacation rental, especially when you’re keeping it local.
Traveling During a Pandemic
Vacation rental properties are places to travel during this pandemic while staying close to home and getting out of your house, but still maintaining social distancing. They provide quick getaways while being stuck at home without having to worry about being in close quarters with others like you would be staying in a hotel room. Some vacation rental homes provide private pools which is a huge advantage during this time, especially living in the Arizona heat when all public pools are being shut down for precautionary reasons due to Covid-19
Clean & Sanitary Staycations
Vacation Rentals also provide a clean and comfortable environment for your family during your stay. Moxie Girl is one of the vacation rental cleaning businesses located in Arizona. Moxie girl employees use disinfectant every time we clean a vacation rental to ensure that you and your family are well taken care of during your stay, focusing on those high-touch areas like Remotes, light plate switches, door handles, etc. Moxie girl’s first priority is the safety of all guests and the cleanliness of every vacation rental property we service. Short term rental properties are great for all types of families no matter how big or small they are. They can accommodate your families needs to sleep pretty much as many people as you want or need. So if you want to support Vacation Rentals, there are multiple ways to book your staycations. To get directly what you are looking for in a vacation home with certain amenities you can contact Moxie Girl or STRM about booking directly instead of booking through a third-party booking website, avoiding those third party booking fees.
If you currently own a vacation rental home here in the Phoenix metropolitan area and are looking to take some things off your plate, Moxie Girl can help you relieve some of the stress of running your rental property.
Contact us today 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:
“Laundry 101 for Vacation Rental Homes”
“How to Set Up a Vacation Rental Home Kitchen”
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!
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!
Phoenix vacation rental home owners often think it’s a good idea to just shutter their property and wait out the summer season – who wants to come to Phoenix in the summer, anyway? Actually lots of people DO come to Phoenix in the summer, even if they are just passing through on their way to cooler temps than we have to offer.
With our vast experience in the Phoenix area vacation rental home market, Moxie Girl can always be counted on for excellent tips for vacation rental home owners. We recently received an email from one of our valued clients, asking for tips to help her boost the summer bookings for her Valley vacation rental home – and we are happy to share our advice with you, too!
Here are a few things we’ve heard from our clients (vacation rental homeowners and professional property managers) whose properties in the Valley stay busy during the summer:
Use Multiple Rental Platforms
List your vacation rental home on multiple sites! Summer tends to have more road tripping guests and they use AirBNB a bit more than VRBO, so using at least both of these platforms to list your property “widens your net” for potential bookings.
Implement Active Tweaking
Rental platform sites all have algorithms that keep a secret eye on your listing activity and will boost more active properties to the top of relevant search results. Simply tweaking your prices on a weekly basis will help show the sites that you want your vacation rental to be listed higher than those of your competition!
Speaking of competition, keep an eye on prices of your competitors – both vacation rental homes AND hotels/resorts in your area. One of the biggest mistakes we see vacation rental home owners make is to refuse to drop their prices in the summer.
Yes, offering your $199-a-night-during-peak-season vacation rental home for $89/night during the summer sounds painful, but if the nearby five-star resort with an amazing water park is offering $99/night, and a competitor’s vacation rental home down the street is listed at $89/night, then your home, listed at $199/night will most likely sit vacant.
It’s also important to think about what a potential guest sees when they look at a vacation rental home listing with a WIDE OPEN calendar – they may second guess if they should book with you based on that empty calendar alone (trust us, it’s a whole social validity/psychology thing.) Consider taking a couple reservations each month at deep discounts to get SOMETHING on your calendar. Having at least a couple bookings a bit in advance should help you attract more bookings, at regular summer prices.
Another thing you may consider doing is to take “last minute” reservations – anything is better than nothing! If your vacation rental home calendar for an upcoming week is empty, drop the price and you may snag the budget road trippers!
Guests Are Guests
In our experience, lower prices do NOT equal lesser quality guests. The interactions that vacation rental homeowners or managers have with guests prior to arrival have far more impact than the nightly amount the guest will pay. Moxie Girl actually sees the most damage to homes when guests stay over 30 days because they really start to LIVE in the home.
Something is Definitely Better than Nothing!
To illustrate what busy vacation rental homes in the Phoenix area CAN do in the summer, let’s look at the 2018 summer season stats for three properties belonging to Moxie Girl clients. Please note that all three properties are professionally managed by local property managers – it really helps to specifically “tuned-in” to Phoenix summer vacation rental market.
Remember, NO bookings equals ZERO income for your vacation rental property. So, even if your rental home is only booked for close to half of the days in each summer month – and even at summer rental rates – that income will go a long way in covering the regular, monthly expenses that come with rental ownership. (Mortgage payments, HOA fees and utilities don’t go away, even if you do “close” your rental for the summer!)
Check out the number of nights BOOKED for each of these vacation rentals:
Be sure to check out our other blogs filled with even more helpful tips for a successful summer rental season!
Summer Vacation Rentals – Moxie Girl Debunks the Myths
Tips for a Successful Summer as a Vacation Rental Home Owner
Poolside Perfection – Chat with Chad Nikkel of Aquaman Pools
5 Sizzling Summer Tips for Vacation Rentals with Pools
Moxie Girl would love to be YOUR vacation rental specialist – just click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
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!
With the Phoenix summer upon us, a sparkling clean swimming pool is at the top of “must-have” list for many vacation home rental guests. As a vacation rental home owner, you’ll want to be sure your pool is maintained with excellence. You’ll also want protect yourself against potential liabilities!
Amanda Thomas of Moxie Girl recently had opportunity to chat with Chad Nikkel, owner of Aquaman Pools about some simple steps you can take to ensure a great vacation rental experience for your guests – and yourself – this summer.
AT: Hi there – this is Amanda Thomas with Moxie Girl, your vacation rental cleaning specialists! I’m here with Chad Nikkel, the owner of Aquaman Pools. He’s here today to give us some tips on caring for your vacation rental pools. Thanks for joining us today.
CN: You bet! Good to be here.
AT: Yeah! Thank you! So, when we were talking earlier, you had mentioned that vacation rental pools are more like commercial pools than residential pools. What did you mean by that?
CN: Yeah, in a residential pool you might have, you know, two or three people in the pool during the week. At a vacation rental pool, people are paying for use of the property for a vacation, so quite often there may be 10 people in the house. Since they are paying for the use of the pool, they are using that pool much more. In this situation there might be 5, 6, 8, 10 people – maybe more – in the pool every day. Pools run and consume chemicals based on how many people are in them and how much organic matter is in the pool. So you might have 10 or 15 times the amount of people in that pool than you would normally have in a residential pool. And that’s why we treat it like a commercial pool, much like an HOA for condo complex or a hotel.
AT: So, it would need more chemicals? Or just different chemicals, or…?
CN: Yeah, so it would a chemical feeder on the pool, like a tab feeder that’s back at the equipment, essentially so that it is continually feeding chlorine to that pool. So it is staying in front of those issues so that it doesn’t get murky, etc.
But then also maybe some other chemicals like enzymes and that type of thing that we wouldn’t always use in a residential setting. So for instance, with sunscreen and things like that on the body, chlorine is fighting to get rid of that and it’s consuming a lot of chlorine to do that, so if there’s more and more people in the pool, things like enzymes and other types of algaecides can help get rid of those things so that the chlorine can actually do its job correctly and keep the water clear.
AT: OK, so that’s why one time we stayed in a vacation rental and there were eight of us in a hot tub. The next morning it was like a scummy soup. Right, so you don’t want that happening with your vacation rental guests. That’s not good reviews!
Cool! So any other tips you would give vacation rental owners to make sure they are protected, they are safe and that they are getting good reviews?
CN: Yes! One of the things is to make sure it’s not just a chlorine floater in the pool. In a residential situation there’s a little pop-up feeder that has chlorine in it that’s floating around the pool. In a vacation rental pool, it’s better to have that back at the equipment because somebody’s kid could take that chlorine tablet out of that floater and it could hurt them. That’s a potential liability and something that could be easily solved with a simple tablet feeder that’s located back at the pool equipment, so that it is away from the environment that the guests are swimming in.
All commercial pools have that as a requirement – it’s code. So, even though it’s not an “inspected” pool, that’s the best way to do it. And from a liability perspective, that eliminates some concerns so it may be a situation where you could reduce some insurance costs if you can do some of these things, like putting “No Diving” signs around, and doing your part as a vacation rental home owner in saying, hey, the signs were there, you know if somebody – god forbid – hurts themselves diving in your pool.
AT: Yeah, try to protect yourself from the silly decisions your guests could make. Sounds good! So, it sounds like it’s important to have signs posted and also make sure that your pool guy knows that this is a vacation rental so he can have the chemicals set up correctly for that.
CN: Exactly! Yep!
AT: Perfect! And if any of you owners out there don’t have pool service yet or are looking to change, Aquaman Pools services the Valley, and they are fantastic! This is Chad, he’s the owner. If you have any questions please reach out to them. They would be happy to help you with your pool. Thanks so much and we’ll see you next time!
For all your pool service needs, contact Aquaman Pools at 480-243 POOL (480-243-7665) or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
With our vast experience, Moxie Girl can help with all your vacation rental home needs – and we’ve found some of the best local products and services in The Valley. Watch for more Moxie Girl fireside chats coming soon!