Posted by | Sunday, October 15, 2017
Utility and maintenance expenses can be overwhelming when it owning a home. It can be particularly burdensome with a second home. Second homes or vacation homes often function very differently than full-time residential homes. There are some improvements you can make that will help you save money.
On-Demand Water Heater
Traditional tank storage water heaters use energy to heat a tank of water at all times, regardless of whether or not anyone is using the water. The thermostat can be turned down when there is no occupancy, however this is typically a manual action that cannot be done remotely. The thermostat must be turned up before guests arrive to ensure the immediate availability of hot water. An on-demand water heater only heats water when it is being used. You may have to install multiple heaters to accommodate showers and appliances, however you will save considerably, especially if your vacation home is unoccupied for days at a time. On-demand water heaters are more expensive than tank heaters, but according to Energy.gov they last 5-10 years longer than traditional water heaters and save money on your energy bill as well. They typically make up for their added expense.
It can be hard to program a thermostat for a vacation home because while you want it warm and cozy when you have guests, you do not want excessive heat when it is empty. A smart thermostat is more than just programmable. It can be controlled remotely. With a smart thermostat you can adjust accordingly without having to be physically present, saving you considerably on the off days.
The heater takes up a significant portion of your utility bill, especially in cold mountain climates. According to USNews heating can take “up to half of your energy costs.” Make sure your home isn’t letting the heat out. Have a professional check your insulation and make sure there are no leaks letting warm air out. In addition to running the heater less, you can prevent a host of other expensive problems that poor insulation causes, such as damage from ice dams.
Solar Powered Outdoor Lights
Outdoor lights are a great investment for safety and security purposes. A lit sidewalk is welcoming to guests. Lights can prevent injuries from falls on an unfamiliar walkway or porch. Lighting also signals to unwelcome guests that someone is around. Business Insider suggests solar path lights or security lights. These lights run off of a few hours of sunlight and turn on automatically when the sun goes down. This means you don’t have to be present to switch them on. The solar power feature will save you money on your electric bill.
Indoor lighting can be complicated. Guests may have a tendency to leave lights on. You can combat energy loss by installing low energy bulbs (there are a lot of different options available on the market now). You can also put lights in key areas on motion sensors or timers. Bathroom and hallway lights are great places to use motion sensors. During the night they will provide added safety for guests, but will always turn off when not in use. Entry or foyer lights can also be placed on motion sensors or timers. Guests will have light available the moment they enter the home, but won’t have to leave the light on when they leave.
Try these improvements to reduce your energy bills, while still providing a safe and welcoming home for your guests.
Prepping Your Vacation Rental in Breckenridge For Winter
Posted by admin | Friday, September 29, 2017
We love winter in Breckenridge! While all the seasons hold their charm, winter is the main reason people flock to Breckenridge. Since your rental property will be bustling throughout the winter, it’s important to prep it now for the upcoming busy season. The last thing you want is an emergency repair during Christmas week.
Here’s a few shoulder season prep items we recommend for every vacation rental in Breckenridge.
Make sure your furnace and all appliances are in great condition.
Have a technician to check the heating system, replace any filters and ensure that it is in working order for the busy season. Check all appliances for wear and tear. If any are starting to show their age, consider replacing now so you aren’t surprised with a repair at an inopportune moment. A major disaster could ruin someone’s vacation, equal income loss or poor reviews during a busy weekend.
Consider investing in a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat that you can control from your phone. Turning down the heat while you property is unoccupied will save a lot on utilities.
Clean and Inspect the Fireplace, Wood Burning Stove
If your property has a fireplace or a wood burning stove, have the chimney cleaned and inspected. Make sure the flue is in proper working order. Split and stack wood in accessible locations. A warm fire on a cold night is a big draw for many visitors. If you don’t have a fireplace or stove, you may want to install one to attract more renters. Also be sure to include thorough written instructions for use to avoid any mishaps and to make this amenity simple and easy to use.
Inspect the Roof
You should inspect your roof for any damage. Clean out gutters and remove debris. If you see any shingles that need repair, flashing that doesn’t look right, or damage to chimneys or vents, call a contractor to make the needed repairs. By taking care of your roof you will extend its life. Clean gutters and proper insulation can prevent problems caused by ice dams which are formed when heat from the house causes snow to melt. The melted snow then refreezes to make an ice dam. Water can back up behind an ice dam and seep into your home, causing damage to both your roof and your interior. Signs of water damage in the interior may indicate you have a problem with insulation or with your roof.
Hire a Snow Removal Contractor
If you’ve been through a winter here, you know you need a plan for snow removal. If you choose to hire a contractor, be sure to know what their rules are regarding parking during or after a big snowfall. Clean sidewalks and driveways will make your property pleasant for guests. However, guests whose vehicles are in the way can prohibit your contractor from doing their job. Make sure you and your guests have a clear understanding of how snow removal will work.
Winter in Breckenridge is magical. Don’t let a vacation rental that is not prepared for big snows and cold temperature hinder guests from experiencing the magic. Performing minor repairs and preparing your home for winter can save major headaches and expenses later in the year.
5 Tips to Maximize your Property Rental Revenues
Posted by toby | Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Are you getting the most out of your vacation rental property? These five tips will help you achieve maximum revenue so that you can enjoy your rental property even more!
1. Focus on Occupancy to Drive Revenue, Not Rates
One of the more common questions we receive about rentals is- “Should we raise rates and avoid discounting our rates to increase revenue?” Though rates are a very valuable tool in a revenue and dynamic pricing strategy, the short answer is “not really”. The math is simple: a single $300 (that could be lost by not having competitive pricing) will result in more income for you than three nights at $20 more per night. Over the course of a 100 night year, 10 extra $300 nights will equal more revenue than 100 nights at $20 more each. Always remember- Occupancy is the key to more revenue, not rates. Rates are only a tool to increase occupancy. If you want more revenue, book more nights at a lower rate! We are not saying that we should be cheap, or undersell. But we do recommend being competitive with rates, using a dynamic pricing structure based on market data and competitive analysis of similar properties on a daily basis.
2. Professional Photos Pay Off!
Your property may be impeccably clean, full of rustic charm, expensive upgrades, and stunning views, but if the photos in your listing don’t reflect those qualities, potential renters won’t be enticed. Poor lighting, bad angles and otherwise sloppy photographs might cause people to pass over your rental home. A professional photographer knows how to capture the true charm of a property, and tell its unique story through a lens. Though many people are able to capture very nice photos on point and shoot cameras, photographers use very expensive equipment to increase the color and light spectrum, and use techniques to accentuate the composition. In addition, most of the magic in photos occurs after the shot, on a computer, so editing capability is very important. Even a mid level property can look brand new and appealing with professional photography. Your photos are the first point of contact for your property- make them stand out!
3. Upgrades and Amenities- Don’t get lost in the crowd
Breckenridge is host to some 4,000 short term rental properties, and making your property stand out from the pack is fundamental to maximizing your revenues. With each purchase you make, upgrade you implement, and addition to your property keep in mind that you must focus on differentiating your property from the thousands. One way to stand out is to be creative when it comes to amenities. Every rental home will have internet and TV. Most properties will have laundry available. Many will also have a hot tub. All of these amenities are attractive to renters, but they don’t set you apart, as these have become expectations of most travelers. To capture the attention of more guests, consider adding more unique amenities such as, unique and useful kitchen appliances, a lounge area with hammocks, snowshoes and bikes and other outdoor activities equipment, an attractive fire pit, a game or theatre room, streaming movies, or even a massage chair. While these items may seem simple, they will set you apart from other rentals, driving guest interest and overall occupancy. Be sure to highlight these amenities in your description of your rental property, and build excitement when guests are looking at your property online. Remember- you only get one change to make a first impression.
4. Employ a Professional Property Manager
While renting on your own or with a limited service/cut rate company may be appealing, nothing will drive overall revenue to your property more than hiring a professional and experienced property manager. Breckenridge Resort Managers is a leader in the Breckenridge property rental market and the global vacation rental industry. In addition to our Internet marketing company that looks after our overall internet marketing bundle (SEO, SEM, SMO, email, PPC), the owners are competent marketing experts as well. They have experience as past board members of the Breckenridge Tourism Office, Breckenridge Central Reservations, Chair of the Vacation Rental Management Association Marketing Committee, and Treasurer of the VRMA. BRM’s credentials are unrivaled in Breckenridge relative to marketing, and we use that knowledge to assist our owners in outperforming the competition. We utilize a vast distribution network of many types of lead generation services and travel partners, a professionally managed internal email marketing, an in office marketing strategy, and a comprehensive SEM/SEO strategy to not only drive visitors to our site but convert them. Managing a short term vacation rental can be a time consuming endeavor and a professional property manager will take out the headache of that process for you and drive revenue to your property at levels not possible for an individual owner. Remember- just like the changes at VRBO put many owners in a difficult situation, changes in the global rental market must be watched closely to anticipate changes, react, and keep your revenue one step ahead of the competition.
5. Rent when rates are high, and enjoy when rates are low
It might be tempting to use your vacation rental during Christmas or New Year break, but in Summit County, these periods account for the highest rental rates of the year. Rental properties are in high demand during Spring break, Christmas break, and much of the summer. If you are using your home during these peak times, this will prevent you from renting it for maximum rates. To make more revenue, and avoid the traffic, come early or late in the summer, and directly following Christmas break. Late in the ski season such as the second or third week in April, is also a good time to use your home rather than rent it. Remember, when rates and occupancy are high, that is the time to cash in.
These five tips will help you get the most revenue from your vacation rental property. Contact Breckenridge Resort Managers to find out what else you can do to get more from your property.
5 Must Have Amenities for your Rental Property
Posted by admin | Friday, July 28, 2017
Are you thinking about renting your investment property in Breckenridge? Wondering how to make your property stand out from the many other properties in Breckenridge?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your short term rental desirable. But there are a few easy things that you can do to make your vacation rental inviting and entice guests to come back, year after year. A return guest and positive referrals can significantly increase the amount of days your property is rented.
Here’s a few amenities that will make your renter’s stay unique and memorable, ensuring guest satisfaction, positive reviews and repeat visitors.
Tripping cites a survey that found wifi and internet was the most important amenity to travelers surveyed. Many vacationers won’t even consider a place that doesn’t have wifi available. People work on the go and almost everybody connects with friends to share their adventures. Staying connected is significant to your guests, so make sure your internet connection is fast and easy to use.
Fully Stocked Kitchen
Vacation rentals offer the advantage of being able to cook meals - something a standard hotel room cannot offer. Make your kitchen convenient by stocking items that most people wouldn’t want to buy for a weekend of meal prep. Basic spices are important, but also consider items like sugar, flour and cooking oil. Keep cereal, tea, hot cocoa, and coffee on hand. Storage containers are also a convenient touch. Small appliances, such as a slow cooker, blender, and mixer also make the kitchen easy to use for meal prep.
Outdoor Fire Pit
Everyone enjoys lounging under a starry sky around a warm bonfire. Create an inviting space with seating provided. Make sure your permits are clearly posted, as well as any important regulations such as fire regulations. If a fire pit isn’t a possibility for your location, any kind of deck or outdoor seating will be attractive. Hammocks, rocking chairs, or a porch swing also make a positive impression.
Adventuring can be messy. A great amenity to have on hand is in-unit laundry, at no additional cost. Families in particular appreciate this amenity. Go above and beyond and provide laundry soap to truly make your guests feel cared for.
Games, Sleds and Insider Info
And lastly, it’s important to do what you can to make your guests have a memorable and fun-filled vacation. Stock the house with board games and playing cards, sleds for family winter activities, brochures about various activities or recommended restaurants. Anything you can do to make your guests feel more at home in a new place and help them create memories. Some owners even choose to have a Netflix or Hulu account attached to the TV and ready for use by the guests.
The Small Touches
It is often the smaller, thoughtful touches that make the biggest impressions on guests. These six amenities will help your guests’ trips go smoothly and allow them to thoroughly enjoy your vacation rental. When you need help managing your vacation rental don’t hesitate to contact Breckenridge's professional property managers, Breckenridge Resort Managers to find out how we can help you offer the best possible stay for your guests.
5 Things You Should Do to your Rental Property in Off Season
Posted by toby | Thursday, May 4, 2017
The periods from late April until mid-June and Late September to Mid-November are often called “the shoulder” seasons in Summit County. Locals also call them as “mud season” for the mud that used to line town streets before they were paved in the 1970’s. The unpredictable weather makes winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing more challenging and summer sports, such as mountain biking not yet feasible. Outdoor sports attract visitors to Breckenridge, so the mud season is the off season for vacationers. There is typically less demand for vacation rentals during this time, as many outdoor activities are not enjoyable. As a result of the decline in rental demand, mud season is the ideal time to conduct maintenance and complete the projects that gets pushed to the side during the busy winter months.
Here are a few things you should do to your rental property during the off-season.
1) Complete Big Projects and Large Repairs on Your Property
Rental properties will typically degrade over time, both from wear and tear, and age. If there have been repairs needed during the rental season, such as a new water heater, furnace, or updating furniture, now is the perfect time. Repairing or replacing equipment that is nearing the end of its life span during the off-season will save you time and money later on. If these repairs must occur during the rental season, you could lose considerable rental income if the repair is needed mid-season.
Secondly, remodeling your kitchen or bathroom will enhance the value of your property and increase rentals, and can easily be completed during these slow months.
2) Refresh Linens and Towels
Take stock of your linens and towels to determine if they are starting to become dingy, worn or stained. Your guests feel more comfortable when your linens look fresh and clean. Linens can wear out surprisingly quickly when you have a steady stream of guests using them. The off-season is an ideal time to remove old linens and replace them with fresh items. If you have a professional company providing your linens, this will be taken care of for you normally.
3) Brighten Your Property With Fresh Paint
A new coat of paint can work wonders in any property, both covering scuffs and scratches, as well as breathing life into dull or dingy rooms. It can make a home feel cozy and clean without having to invest in major renovations, and brighten up a room to become more exciting. A steady stream in renters results in minor wear and tear over time, which dulls the ambiance of the property. Dressing up a property with a fresh look can have a wonderful impact on guest satisfaction, and provide the appearance of a well-cared for property.
4) Enhance Your Property With New Amenities
Adding strategic amenities will bring renters to your property and may even allow you to receive a higher rental rate. If you have been considering adding a hot tub, pool table, fire pit or home entertainment center, the off-season is the opportune time to make these upgrades. Be ready to entice renters in the peak season with top-notch amenities.
5) Restock and Retool Your Kitchen
Most renters really appreciate a well-stocked kitchen, even if they dine out most of their vacation. Many tourists who rent vacation homes look forward to cooking their own meals, and some take great pride in family dinners. Off season is a perfect time to make sure your kitchen is well stocked with a good variety of kitchen utensils and cookware. If any of your utensils, cookware or tableware begin to show wear and tear, consider replacing them with upgraded products. Look at providing new and functional appliances like crockpots, food processors, and blenders. Providing a well-stocked spice cabinet is also a bonus many renters really appreciate.
Ultimately, you want to make sure that your rental property is excellent shape before a peak season hits. You can be confident and secure that your renters’ stay will be perfect when you have taken some time to prepare in the off season. When you work with Breckenridge Resort Managers, we monitor your vacation home throughout the year, as well as preform complimentary spring inspections. We will let you know what essential maintenance is required or projects that can bring value to your home. We can also connect you with trusted contractors for major repairs. Additionally, when the unforeseen does arise, we are local and available to assist you along the way.
We work hard so you and your renters have an excellent experience renting your vacation home, and you are able to focus on the needs of your primary home.
Marketing Your Breckenridge Vacation Rental Property
Posted by toby | Wednesday, March 15, 2017
You own a property in Breckenridge, investing up to $1.5m of your own money, and now you are ready to rent it out to offset some of the cost. So what’s the plan for most owners and many management companies to obtain rentals? Get a $500 listing on VRBO. In today’s travel market, a wider net needs to be cast to capture the attention of savvy guests. There are a plethora of vacation rental websites and it quickly becomes very challenging to manage them all on your own.
Secondly, potential vacation guests use a complex network of social media sites and review sites to spread messages about positive or negative experiences with vacation rental properties.
Owners with Breckenridge Resort Managers enjoy a robust and nuanced marketing plan for their properties, ensuring that more guests will rent and return to your property.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a common term that is used to describe marketing on the internet, but what does it mean? The goal is for a specific website to turn up close to the top of the search engine results page for different keywords. For example, if someone searched for “Vacation rentals in Breckenridge,” we want to be near the top of the list of websites that are suggested by the search engine. We do this by implementing important “on page” keywords, developing new content, and ensuring that our listings and our website are current and up-to-date. In addition to maintaining a healthy website, we also stay active on various social media platforms so that we can be found on all corners of the web.
E-mail and Direct Mail Marketing
We also use e-mail marketing and direct mail marketing to make personal contact with potential clients. These forms of marketing remind potential clients about our services and listings, offer incentives and ensure that the properties we manage are on the forefront of clients’ minds when they begin planning their vacations. This type of direct marketing will be tailored for the various segments of guests, to appeal to their unique type of vacation preferences.
The best way to ensure consistent revenue when renting your property is to create return guests. We provide memorable experiences and hotel-like guest services to encourage loyalty and repeat visits. We ensure that properties are impeccably clean and free from damage or items needing repair. We also provide a variety of guest amenities and information, insuring our guests receive the best possible experience. In addition to giving renters an excellent experience, we constantly reach out to former renters via email with incentives to return. A well-executed guest loyalty program encourages renters to return, and they will share their positive experience with others through word of mouth and their social network. Positive word of mouth is an excellent marketing method, and by far the most effective tool we possess.
In addition to the important strategies listed above, we also utilize banner ads on partner websites, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) direct advertising and third party travel partnerships to direct people to your property. All of these marketing efforts work together to create a vast web presence, ensuring that potential guests find your vacation rental property. We work hard and have a specific marketing plan in place so that your property is not overlooked among the vast network of property rental sites, and the thousands of rental properties in Breckenridge.
Introducing Breckenridge Happy Homes
Posted by toby | Thursday, December 22, 2016
Here at Breckenridge Resort Managers, we understand the challenges of owning and caring for a second home, particularly in the unique climate of the mountains. Frozen pipes, snowplowing, wear and tear on appliances, managing guests - all these can quickly sour your visit and make your vacation more work than relaxation.
Enter Breckenridge Happy Homes.
We created Breckenridge Happy Homes for this reason - so you can enjoy your second home, without wasting your vacation time on the ever-expanding to-do list. Toby Babich, owner and founder of Breckenridge Happy Homes and BRM says, "Breckenridge Resort Managers has been providing professional property management for vacation homes since 2008, and our experience, knowledge, and credentials are a demonstration of our dedication to our craft. To bring that dedication and professional experience to a wider audience of homeowners, we opened Breckenridge Happy Homes in 2016 to serve owners who have second homes in Breckenridge."
Whether you are looking to rent your second home or just want a watchful eye on it while you are gone, we take the chore out of second home ownership.
Here are a few of the services we offer:
without property rentals
- Wellness Inspection
- Emergency Calls
- Repair Coordination and Supervision
- Alarm Monitoring
with property rentals
- Key Service
- Post Guest Inspections
- Emergency Response
Breckenridge Happy Homes can protect your family’s investment, as well as protect your vacations. Visit our new website for a full list of the packages we offer or call to protect your home today.
Our Favorite Vacation Ski In/Ski Out Rentals in Breckenridge
Posted by toby | Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Breckenridge is truly a winter wonderland that has the potential to give you a magical once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience. The absolute best way to make the most out of your Breckenridge vacation is to relax at a nice, comfortable, and cozy ski in/ski out rental property after a long day of playing in the snow. The place you choose to rent can make or break your vacation. That’s why we put together a list of three of the very best ski in/ski out properties in Breckenridge. Even our budget friendly ski in/ski out properties offer an optimal lodging experience with a fireplace, full kitchen and a top-notch location. Our most high end property is incredibly luxurious and offers more than you could have imagined.
1. Trails End
455 Village Road / Breckenridge, CO
1-bedroom condo, starting at $109/night
Why we love this property: Even though the unit at Trails End is ridiculously affordable, it still offers more bang for the buck than usual. For only $109 - $239 a night (depending on the time of the year), you get enough bedding for 4, a full kitchen, a fireplace, a private deck, and access to indoor and outdoor hot tubs. Did we mention that the unit is only a block from Main Street and the Quicksilver chair lift is right in its backyard? Click here to book this rental property.
2. Tyra Summit
800 Four O’Clock Road / Breckenridge, CO
2-bedroom condo, starting at $139/night
Why we love this ski-in/ski-out property: A walking distance from the Snowflake chair lift and downtown Breckenridge, the 1124 square-foot unit at Tyra Summit boasts an oversized foyer for degearing (an absolute must, given how wet and dirty skiing gear can get), comfortable leather couches, a full updated kitchen, a laundry room, and a large rear deck. On the premises you can find underground parking, an indoor pool, hot tubs, and a clubhouse. Click here to book this rental property.
3. Crystal Peak Lodge
1891 Ski Hill Rd / Breckenridge, CO
4-bedroom condo, starting at $425/night
Why we love this property: If you’re going all out on your vacation, we highly recommend this luxurious 2060 square-foot unit. It comes with all the bells and whistles, including (but definitely not limited to) a full high-end kitchen with all the appliances and supplies, windows with majestic views, the richest linens, and plenty of plush oversized seating. Not only that, but also the complex is located right next to the Independence chair lift at the base of Peak 7. It’s also next to the Breck Connect Gondola, which will take you right downtown in a matter of 10 minutes. The unit is luxurious and high-end, but it doesn’t stop there. The complex, which is just as luxurious, also has plenty to offer, including onsite hot tubs, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a steam room, a fitness center, fire pits, and various recreation areas. Click here to book this rental property.
Why Use a Vacation Rental Manager?
Posted by toby | Thursday, November 10, 2016
At some point after acquiring a vacation rental property, every landlord asks himself this question: Why use a Vacation Rental manager? What can a Property manager do that I cannot do myself?
It's a really good question, and we're here to answer it. Here are five good reasons to hire a property manager for your vacation rental property:
1. Industry Knowledge
VRBO and AirBnB are not the whole of the vacation rental industry; they are an important part of it, but small part of a very large industry. A professional Vacation Rental Manager will study and harness vacation rental trends, best practices, inside information, and emerging technology to elevate the success ofthe properties they manage.
Do you know the daily occupancy rate in your market? Are you aware of the timing of local tourism marketing efforts and the reach of those efforts so you can capitalize? Do you shop competitive rates weekly to ensure you are positioned well within the competitive set of properties in your market? Do you know the overall demographic profile of your potential guests, and how that translates into their ideal vacation experience? What technology do you use to manage the guest lifecycle, and what is the uptake percentage of that technology? How widely distributed is your property across the OTA, wholesale, and transactional third party booking partner sites that make up a large and fragmented online travel market?
A professional Vacation Rental Manager will have a quick and educated answer to all of these questions, as well as dozens more building blocks that formulate an effective management strategy. Our goal is to be students, experts, and leaders in a very complex industry, providing our owners and effective and professional resource to maximize the management and revenue of vacation rental properties.
A true professional Vacation Rental Manager will ensure you never question why you partner with them, and will be far more valuable than any commission percentage you may pay them.
2. Less stress for you
Managing your vacation rental property can be extremely time-consuming and challenging, no matter if you live close by, or many miles away. Providing quality management and guest services requires instant and rapid response times before, during, and after a guest stays in a property. To manage properly, it must be a full time job and not a hobby or weekend activity.
You have to stay on top of multiple important property managing duties, such as handling bookings, scheduling and managing housekeeping, ensuring pre arrival readiness, stocking consumables and amenities, providing guest services and communications, and being on-call to handle any issues that may arise
during a guest's stay. Managing a vacation rental property is a full-time job, and if it gets too stressful for you, the quality of your guests' stay might suffer, which brings us to the next point...
3. Better online reviews
A happy guest is a five-star review. On the reverse, an unhappy guest is a potential one-star
review. In addition, an unhappy guest is far more likely to leave a review than a happy guest. Vacationers expect a high quality “hotel experience”, and full satisfaction with their vacation. If you're unable to provide an optimal lodging experience to your guests due to not being locally present, your own full time job, being too busy with your everyday life, or any other reason, you need to use a property manager.
A qualified property manager will make it his job to be wholly dedicated to your property and guests. He/she will be on call to handle any issues that may arise with the property or your guests. Such attentive customer service can lead to glowing reviews of your property, which in turn leads to more bookings.
4. Constant supervision of the property
In addition to being on call every time a guest stays at your property, a professional property manager also keeps an eye on your property and ensures that everything is in working order for the next booking. He also takes care of repairs right away, manages housekeeping, and stays on top of cosmetic
improvements.Not only does having your property so well-maintained please your guests, but it also can have a huge positive impact on its real estate value. Professional managers manage your revenue, but more importantly, they manage a large and complex investment asset- your vacation rental property. Ensuring your property is enhanced and appreciating in value over time is just as important as your yearly gross revenue.
5. Local connections
Your property manager should also be a well-connected local who can provide you efficient and effective housekeeping, repairs, property maintenance, and more. If you don’t live in the area, you might benefit greatly from your property manager’s local connections, and internal staff.
Once you’ve got an expert looking after your vacation rental property, you can finally kick back and relax with a glass of wine while the rent checks roll in, comfortable in the knowledge that you have a professional looking after your investment.
How to Rent Your Second Home for Extra Income
Posted by toby | Thursday, September 1, 2016
If you own a second home in a popular vacation destination like Breckenridge, there are many benefits above and beyond just having a vacation retreat. Of the many different advantages that come with owning a second home in a popular area, one in particular is very exciting- rental income. Renting your second home can help offset many costs of holding the property and provide extra income to you, including:
- Renting your home can help cover your mortgage payments, insurance, and property taxes.
- You may have the ability to deduct your rental expenses on your taxes.
- Rental revenue can help pay for your HOA fees and assessments.
- You have the possibility of your property appreciating in value.
- Property maintenance costs can be offset with rental revenues, which increase your property’s value in the long run.
- Rental revenues can be applied to property upgrades and remodels, increasing your rental revenues and home value.
The average rental property brings in about $28,000 a year and including cleaning, repairs, guest relations, check in and out, and other assorted communication and preparation can take about fifteen hours a week to manage. This figure is higher than average here in Summit County, especially during our very busy winter season. Increasingly, guests are looking for a hotel experience and professional communications during their vacation, which can be a challenge for many homeowners to do well. When a guest is not provided with that experience, they will likely not rent the property again, or worse, leave a scathing review online to prevent others from renting the property. To succeed in renting your property, time and resources must be invested to provide the type of experience todays traveler demands.
Renting your property is a very challenging time commitment. If you’re interested in renting your second home for extra profit, here are some tips to ensure you are positioned for success:
1. Learn the laws and restrictions for rental homes in your state and town.
A good place to start would be to Google “[Your town] rental regulations”. You can also try calling your town’s community or tax office. You may have to apply for a rental permit, business license, pay taxes, and remit forms on a monthly basis to state and local authorities. Many towns restrict or outright ban rental activity. For those that allow rentals, regulations and tax remission are common, so don’t get yourself in trouble by not understanding the legal requirements. A professional management company is set up to take care of all these things for you, and keep in in legal compliance.
2. Read your mortgage agreement
Ensure rental activity is allowed on your property, and your insurance will not be at risk of being voided by the rental activity. Some mortgage agreements include restrictions on renting out the property. You want to ensure that yours allows it. If you’re part of a homeowners’ association, it’s always a good idea to find out if they allow vacation rentals, too. A professional manager will be aware of local HOA restrictions, and can help with ensuring you are compliant.
3. Find a Property Manager
Renting the property on your own is attractive for financial reasons, as there is no commission to pay. However, hiring a professional property manager can eaisly pay for iteself. Some property managers will request a percentage of the monthly rent as compensation. In the end, you will make more money. The professional property manager will pay for itself by reducing your time spent and burden, increasing rentals and decreasing vacancies, better guest service, and the convenience of having a valued manager just a phone call away. Most owners eventually come to learn that a professional property manager is worth much more than the 30-40% they charge.
4. Keep detailed records of your income and expenses for all rental activity.
Keeping a detailed record of every expense associated with the rental property so that you can potentially deduct them when tax season comes around. Most repairs and improvements can be deducted from your personal taxes, but asking your accountant is a good practice to ensure tax compliance. A professional manager can not only keep track of these costs for you, but also account for other items, and prepare reports for your tax professional.
5. Ensure your insurance is the correct type and level for rentals.
You likely have casualty insurance for your home, but ensuring you have rental and liability insurance will ensure coverage for you in the event of any sort of guest related issue. Guests can become injured, or sometimes injure your property, and being properly covered for that can protect you from a financial loss.
6. Prepare the property ready for guests, by providing the first class hotel experience they are looking for.
Removing your personal belongings is a good idea, for both their protection as well as the comfort of the guest. They want to feel like they are in a home, but not your home. Ensuring that the property has enough comfortable furniture will provide a relaxing and pleasurable gathering space for the guest during their time in your home. Stocking the property with a compliment of necessities and amenities will enable guests to relax comfortably, and will provide the type of experience that they desire. Fixing any hazards and deep cleaning the property will give the guest the first impression of an owner that takes pride in their home. A professional management company can take care of all these things for you, and do it at a high level to promote happy return guests.
7. Draft up a list of house rules for your guests to read.
Such rules may include no smoking, no pets, no loud music after 10:00 PM, and no big parties. Don’t forget to include local emergency phone numbers and your property manager’s contact information. Print out the list and put it in an obvious place where you know your renters will see it.
8. Ge ready for your first booking!
Good luck! You are on your way to increased revenue as well as helping other families make vacation memories!
How to Prepare Your Second Home for Vacation Renters
Posted by toby | Thursday, August 25, 2016
So your second home has been given the green light to be rented out to vacationers. Now what?
It's time to whip your home into tip-top shape for your first group of vacation renters.
If you're not sure where to start, we have you covered. Here are five steps to take to prepare your home for vacation renters:
1. Remove your personal items.
The first reason for doing this is to reduce clutter, and make the home comfortable and welcoming for your guests. You don't want your guests to feel like they're staying at somebody else's house. They want to feel like it's their home away from home. Reducing clutter involves removing any personal items or objects, such as picture frames and your favorite art fair sourced stuffed mountain squirrel, which will only cause discomfort to your potential guests.
Secondly, removing your personal items is a good idea because you don't want to leave behind anything that's precious and irreplaceable. Make sure everything you leave behind would not be noticed if it was lost. Everything in the home should have no personal attachment for you, just in case any accidents happen. We suggest keeping your personal and valuable items in an owners closet, so you can display them when you come out to visit.
2. Make sure all of the furniture is clean, comfortable, and presentable.
Todays vacationers have high standards, and expect the 5 star hotel experiences, even on a three star budget. It will be a financial and operational benefit to offer your guests new and comfortable furniture and high-quality bedding. Cleanliness and comfort should be your top priorities. The more comfortable the guest, the more he or she will enjoy the experience and return to your home year after year.
3. Repair any potential hazard.
Homes are full of failures waiting to happen, and accidents just around the corner. The last thing you want is for the water heater to quit working in the middle of a guest's stay, or a rip in the carpet to trip up a guest. Have a professional property management company thoroughly inspect your home prior to guests staying to make sure all the appliances, steps, wiring, and plug outlets are in working order. If they find a potential hazard, they are capable of getting it repaired as soon as possible, and saving you any headaches down the road. A good property management company will inspect prior to every guest, and will act quickly to anticipate and remedy potential issues for you.
4. Have your home deep cleaned.
Cleanliness is the #1 factor in the satisfaction of guests to your home, and is the one thing that can turn a vacation into a trip from hell for many travelers. Your best bet would be to hire a property management company that has an experienced and capable cleaning service. You want your home to start as a clean slate in order to give your guests the perfect experience. You also want your management company to preform 1-2 deep cleans per year, to detail your home, and clean all the areas that are difficult to budget in on a back to back vacation rental clean.
5. Stock your home with the basic necessities.
To ensure that your guests are happy and comfortable, follow this checklist while stocking your home (remember, this is just a start. A good management company will customize a list for you and your home):
|____ Plates, bowls, glasses, and flatware (double the number of guests you sleep)||____ Comfortable seating (enough for the number of guests you sleep)||____ High-quality sheets (two sets per bed)||____ High-quality bath towels (two per guest)|
|____ Coffee maker||____ Large TV||____ Pillows with pillow protectors (four per bed)||____ High-quality washcloths (four per guest)|
|____ Pots and pans||____ Basic cable||____ Extra blankets||____ High-quality hand towels (two per guest)|
|____ Cooking utensils||____ DVD player||____ Mattress pads||____ Hair dryer|
|____ Napkins & paper towels||____ Cards and board games||____ Alarm clocks||____ First Aid Kit|
|____ Dish towels||____ Coffee table||____ Reading lamps||____ Travel-sized toiletries|
|____ Knife set||____ Throw pillows and blankets||____ Feminine sanitary products|
|____ Condiments||____ DVDs|
What to Look for in a Professional Property Management Company
Posted by toby | Thursday, June 30, 2016
Your property is an asset and you've worked hard for it. But does your property work hard for you? A professional property management company can help you get the best return for your investment property.
Here at Breckenridge Resort Managers, we believe that the key to getting the best return on your property are professional property management and guest satisfaction. If your guests are happy, they will return, recommend their friends, and tell others about their experience online. The key to guest satisfaction is no mystery. You need a quality property management company.
But how do you choose a property management company? If you choose solely cut rate commission, the guests will suffer, your revenue will suffer, and your service will suffer. (Don't even get us started on extra fees!) Over the years, we've learned a few things about quality property management, and even introduced some new concepts. To be successful in renting your home short term, here are some strengths you should look for in a professional property management firm.
When choosing a property management company, it's important to find a company that knows their area well and has a solid backing of experience in the vacation rental industry. Each tourist destination has its own unique features and its guests will as well. A professional PM company should have professional credentials, industry leadership, and nuanced expertise in their market and industry.
Ask a prospective company how many years have they been in business, what certifications they hold, what boards are they active in, what leadership experience do they have, what is their staff to property ratio, how long have their employees and housekeepers been with them.
Vacationers expect a lifetime of memories to come from their vacation. They want a smooth and seamless "hotel experience", a prompt and polite communication process throughout the vacation, and the extra touches only a professional property management company can provide. A good company values and respects this guest experience, understanding how crucial it is to success and how to provide it to each and every guest.
Ask a prospective property management company how many and what type of staff is employed full time. What is the staff to guest ratio? Do they have their own maintenance crew or do they use contractors? What are their office hours? Average response time for client requests? What technology do they use for guest communications? How are their employees trained to provide an experience of a lifetime to each guest?
An abundance of quality renters are essential to turning a profit on your investment. Ask a prospective property manager what their tenant selection process is like. What sort of marketing do they do in order to find quality renters? How do they increase their closing ratio? How do they remarket to past guests? What other channels do they use to procure guests? How quickly do they respond to guest leads? What is their average occupancy?
The Relationship between Owner and Property Manager
Lastly, the relationship with your management company must be open, honest, and collaborative to ensure complete confidence that your home is being managed properly. You should get a clear definition of the responsibility of the owner and the responsibility of the property management firm before you sign anything. You should review a proposed management agreement, along with the fee structure and what is included in those fees. Most importantly, ask them who you will be dealing with on a daily basis (owner, manager, and employee). Remember, this is a business RELATIONSHIP. Be careful who you select, and make sure it will be a positive experience.
We know that renting your second home can potentially be stressful and time consuming. The wrong renter, long vacancies or general mismanagement can drastically reduce your profits and enjoyment of your property. A professional property management company will minimize your stress and give you more freedom to do the things you love.
Breckenridge Property Management- I own a Breckenridge property, do I need help?
Posted by toby | Monday, January 25, 2010
Breckenridge Property Management and Vacation Rental Management, do you need help?
I own or am looking to purchase a home in Breckenridge and want to know what are the benefits and pitfalls of Short term renting it? How does Resort Managers Breckenridge Property Management work for me, the homeowner?
If you currently own, or are looking to purchase a home in Breckenridge, you may be considering short term renting your property. Here is the short list of advantages and disadvantages of Short term renting your Breckenridge Property.
Advantages of Breckenridge Vacation Rental Management
-Pay your bills- Short term renting your property allows the ability to generate income and to potentially offset a large portion of the expense of owning a home in Breckenridge, without giving up the ability to use the home yourself.
-Protect your home- By utilizing Breckenridge Property Management services; you have someone watching over your home while you are away. A good Breckenridge Property Management company will do frequent checks on your property ensuring your home is well cared for and mitigation any sort of damage that could occur.
- Build your equity- Upon resale of your home a solid rental history can make it more appealing to prospective purchasers. If a potential buyer knows that can generate revenue based on past performance your home will generally secure a better resale price.
Disadvantages of Breckenridge Vacation Rental Management
-NONE! “But wait, there have to be pitfalls. My friend told me it is a nightmare.”
Common Misconceptions about short term Breckenridge Property Management
-“I can’t use it when I want.” Wrong, you can blackout your property for you own use at any time and for how ever long you like. Owners always have first choice to use their own property. Rentals are booked around the owner’s dates, not the other way around.
-“Renters will destroy my property.” Wrong. While accidents will happen from time to time, we make a point to have no less than two inspections done prior to and after each guest rental. This ensures if an accident were to happen, the guest would be held accountable for it and the problem would be remedied without any involvement or expense to the owner. However, most guests leave the property in better condition that they found it and we make it a point to inform each guest of this expectation.
- “My property will be fine without management.” Maybe. Your property should be fine unmanaged. But what happens when it gets broken in to, when the power or gas go out and the pipes freeze, when it floods, when an ice dam causes water to leak through the roof, or when someone needs to be there to address any of these type of emergencies?
The long and short of Breckenridge Property Management services is this- They cannot hurt, they can only help. Breckenridge Resort Managers is here to help you. More informarion on our Breckenridge Property Management sercices here.
IS Breckenridge property management the same as Vacation rental management?
Posted by toby | Monday, June 15, 2009
Let's explore the less complicated of the two, Breckenridge Property Management. In essence, this type of management boils down to making sure a home is taken care of and maintained for an out of town owner. This type of management does not involve renting the property, only caring for it.
Duties of a Breckenridge property manager include-Weekly checks of the home, reporting any maintenance issues, assisting to correct any maintenance issues, cleaning of the home as requested, maintaining utilities, and responding to any emergency calls.
Breckenridge Vacation Rental Management is a totally different type of management. This type of management revolves around short term renting an owners property to generate income for the owner. This is done with most second homes in Breckenridge and usually offsets some of the expense of owning a second home.
Breckenridge vacation rental management consists of the following- Marketing a property for rent, responding to potential guest inquiries, booking nights in the home, collecting payment, checking in/out guests, ensuring guests do not cause any damage or loss to the property, providing guest services to enhance vacations, scheduling housekeeping following guest vacations, reporting maintenance issues, correcting maintenance issues, billing owners for expenses, disbursing payment of revenue to owners, accounting for all revenue and preparing financial documents for tax purposes.
As you can see, Breckenridge property management and Breckenridge Vacation rental management are very different. The vacation rental part is much more complicated and labor intensive than the plain property management. However, they do share some of the same responsibilities, for instance- Maintaining the property, checking for maintenance issues, repairing maintenance issues, cleaning.
Most owners that rent their property through a rental agency get both Breckenridge property management as well as vacation rental management. Every time a guest vacations at an owners property, all the responsibilities of a property manager are carried out as part of the vacation rental.
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