67 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Corona Virus - Vacation Home Rental Guide for Managers and Owners EP 8
A discussion on the recent corona virus outbreak with Keith Brady of Keith Brady Law in Orlando Florida in conjunction with the Florida vacation Rental Managers Association (FVRMA) discussing the implications of the Corona Virus and how it relates to to vacation home owners and managers cover issues such as cancellations, charges and responsibility as well as how local travel bans effects the vacation home manager. Although this is specific to Florida, the concept and topics make for a fascinating listen and incite as to how this virus will impact our industry from a legal perspective. You can visit Keith at https://keithbradylaw.com/ and the FVRMA information page at https://floridavrma.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=628381&module_id=391871
22 minutes | Jan 26, 2020
Service Animals Vs Emotional Support Animals Vs. Pets & Vacation Homes EP 7
Here in the USA, there is a lot of misinformation on accepting service animals into privately owned vacation homes. We look at this from a USA / Florida perspective, and ultimately the federal level by the Americans with Disabilities of 1990 (ADA).Many countries have little or no such laws, but here in the USA the laws are clear and strictly enforced and often act as a good example for other hosts to consider around the world. Disclaimer - We are not lawyers so always consult with an attorney. Laws are different in each state and country. We are based in FloridaWe will cover the following:What is the ADA of 1990? State Statutes. State statutes What is a service animal - what does this mean?What is an emotional support animal - What does this mean?Fake documents/guests not telling the truth.Knowing the difference and how this impacts you operating your vacation home.Hypothesis:All vacation homeowners and managers need to know this subject matter. Many homeowners and property managers are not aware of the laws here in the USA and they need to be. Just take a little time and effort. Conclusion:There are laws in place to protect all humans. Vacation homeowners and property managers must know exactly their responsibilities when they decide to rent out a home for vacation purposes to the public.
22 minutes | Jan 9, 2020
Why Security Deposits are Critical in Vacation Home Rentals EP 6
As a property owner or property manager, you must create a sense of responsibility with your guest to preserve the home and prolong its life while limiting wear and tear.Disclaimer:We are not lawyers - Consult with a lawyer who is an expert in STR. Find local state VRMA and there should be able to find one or contact the bar association. Outline:The need for a comprehensive rental agreement with clearly defined rules and regulationsWhat is damage insuranceWhat is a security depositWhat is the difference between the twoWhy damage insurance can have the opposite effect of damage preventionWhy you must always secure a security depositHow much security depositThe problem we have seen with some online channels - making it difficult. Needs to be structured and automated through their channels, How to enforce a damage depositThe negative review threat and how to counter itHypothesisTo protect your home and extend its life you should ALWAYS collect a damage deposit, have an inspection protocol and promptly follow up with documentation and or the refund as necessary.ConclusionNot collecting a damage deposit from a guest staying in your home some of which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars opens can encourage problems. Collecting a security deposit can avoid this by creating a sense of guest ownership
40 minutes | Jan 2, 2020
The New Currency - Five Star Reviews & Vacation Homes EP 5
Guests’ expectations are getting higher on Vacation Home Rentals (VHRs). As markets become hyper-competitive you better have your ducks in a row. They will only book five stars reviewed homes for the most part and want plenty of reviews. Better the reviews the more $$ you can charge. Guest expectations are increasing exponentially we explain how to handle it and how to make sure your guests love their stay and their reviews reflect it accordingly. What we will cover:Why markets are so competitive and becoming more soHow you present your homeHow you communicate is criticalWhy If a guest has to ask you a question you have failed.The relationship only starts at bookingExplaining how to check-in, check out, and provide local area information is crucial Check up on your guest for any wants or needs is crucial Why and how to have your guest check out The real relationship starts when they check out. Ask for the review. Make it a relationship for a lifetime.ConclusionIf you don’t know how to set amenity expectations, communicate and nurture your guests you are doomed to failure with crappy reviews. Reviews are the currency in VHRs. There is an arms race of what to do to ensure five-star reviews from your guests and you better know how to manage your home and the process to get them. Reviews are the real vacation home currency. Your mission is to get the five-star guest reviews no matter what using all reasonable means. It is the new five-star arms race that has been created and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Failure to play the game and the business will walk you by., Volumes of five-star reviews with an overall five-star rating for your property are money in the bank. Less than five star reviews are bad, very bad for business.
28 minutes | Nov 22, 2019
AIRBnB - Our Top 11 Problems and Solutions for Vacation Homes EP4
Airbnb is a great platform and can book homes and create revenue. Setting up is relatively simple and the platform can generate revenue no problem. The devil as always is in the details.We look at what you need to be aware of before you start working with the platform and what can be done to overcome these problems. Use Airbnb, but go in with your eyes wide open and the problems as a host that exist and try to manage the problems before they hit you and it is too late.Some items you may want to make sure you are aware of:-Damage Insurance is included in guests' stay by AirBNB. Why is this a problem? A guest has no incentive to look after your home other than a bad review, figure the damage insurance will take care of any damages.The claim process needs to be immediate and well documented with costs. It is a tedious process to claim for damages. You have to go through a technical dispute process and often you can be ruled against. Brings us to point 2-The solution there is no real solution to this as this is an AirBNB rule. -Damage deposits not automatically collected - should require a min of $150 per bedroom should be automatic and managed by AIRBNB. What do we mean? If the guest has in escrow $450 of their money for damages the way they treat your home will be vastly different. They may repair any minor damages and be extra clean, careful and respectful of the property. Damage insurance provides zero incentive, especially if the guest is not even fully aware of it. -The solution being put a damage deposit in your terms and conditions and make sure you manage the process. Again, check AIrBNBs rules on this as some accounts they do not allow you to collect damages deposits at all. All, of course, must strictly be done through the Airbnb platform. -Fake profiles - People can book with nothing more than an email and phone number. We think Airbnb should require 2 government forms of ID minimum, as well as at least 1 verified SS media profile or a third government ID for every guest. This, of course, would cut the number of users, but would dramatically alleviate bad or fake guests. You can set this, but you filter out a lot of guests. Airbnb should require this, but they will lose the people that don't want to. -The solution, once the guest has booked request a copy of their driver's license and verify it matches the name on the reservation. You can require a complete profile for any guest to be able to book your home (but will reduce the number of bookings. -Bad guests hard to spot. If a guest damages a home they get a bad review they can create a new profile in minutes. A host can not do this as easily as they may have other reviews. It is lopsided to the guest. Airbnb recently announced they are verifying all homes. Homes may soon be inspected and document verified with either a proof of ownership, lease or management agreement by hosts. But so should people making the reservations.-Solution - GUests with no reviews or bad reviews, make sure the guest has at least a government IDs and some for refundable damage deposit as allowed through Airbnb for your particular account. -Airbnb often sides with guests - Example - AirBNB gives full refunds for hurricanes, even if they do not directly affect the home area in question. No questions asked, even at the last minute !00% is the host loss. Totally unfair to the host. Why not offer travel insurance for these very reasons? This helps protect the guest, Airbnb and the host.Solution - There is no real solution to this other than ask AirBNB to change the policy for canceling due to weather etc to protect the host. Limited protection for hosts in scams. The newest scam is the guest to say there are cameras at home. They immediately refund guests and remove host no questions asked and no possibility to prove the claim is fraudulent. -Solution - Document, document, document and quickly send through the Airbnb platform. -No travel insurance openly offered for individual cases by case reservations - needs to be pushed. Cancel due to weather, sickness. See point Five. This should be offered aggressively to guests to protect the hosts and guests alike. And explain to the guest why they need it.Solution - you can sell this as an extra if you are permitted to offer by your stateLimited response to threats on refunds and negative reviews. If a guest threatens a bad review if they want to check out early and get a refund, it is very difficult to get Airbnb to remove said negative review once it has been done. It should be removed unless the guest can prove otherwise, not the other way round. Protect the host and the guest. And vice versa.-Solution - Document through AirBNB pannel and contact Airbnb immediately. -Limited analytical data - competitive pricing analysis unless use a paid service. Tools should now be included for free with the service. We have seen pricing companies charging as much as 5% or rental income for pricing tools. Crazy. Other platforms now have this built-in and although not yet perfect, getting better. -Solution - Use that offered by competing platforms (VRBO) or subscribe to one of the new services. A quick google search and you will see several-Younger demographic lower price point. Origins based on hipsters traveling and getting a room in a shared space. Quickly moved into whole-home hosting for $$$ VRBO. This mindset is different from traditional platforms with older more experienced travelers such as VRBO or Expedia (now the same company).-Solution use multiple platformsIt does not have built-in automation for taking care of bookings and other companies have started this. Have to go to third party vendors that do this. Surely AirBNB is now big enough to offer this which will provide better experiences for guests and hosts alike as standard. Solution - Quick google search there are paid automation services.
22 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
Cable TV-Streaming-Internet Better Solutions in Vacation Homes EP3
Does your vacation home market expect limited TV or are you are in a hyper-competitive like Orlando and limited TV means you will lose business? Even a 5% drop in revenue on $40K of vacation home revenue would be $2K loss. Simply not worth it. What is a vacation homeowner or property manager to do?Many vacation home renters can not operate streaming. Cable TV is expensive, often has bad customer service and operates in many markets as a monopoly controlling cable TV and internet. Competition amongst vacation homes is fierce. Poor TV standards can result in poor guest reviews of your vacation home and you will lose money, but some markets it does not matter. What should you do? We discuss. Be patient and watch the technology catch up.
21 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
Vacation Home Rental Ownership the Silent Killer EP2
There is a hidden expense to vacation home ownership we see nearly all vacation homeowners make. It is relatively silent, but as time goes by it quickly adds up and kills the health of your home and its finances. If it is not managed and budgeted for, this silent killer will eventually lead to bad guest reviews, loss of income and a downward financial death spiral. We will tell you not only what this killer is, but how to manage costs properly so you don’t get caught off guard. Visit us online at www.VacationHomeMasters.comSimple wear and tear is not budgeted for by 95% of vacation home owners. As a result, vacation homeowners tend to delay improvements until it becomes critical and find they often do not have the means to pay for needed improvements which make the situation even worse as rentals decline as a direct result.
36 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
Large Vacation Homes Management Unique Problems EP1
We have seen a surge of large vacation homes being constructed recently. In Orlando, Florida we see seven or more bedrooms are now common with many vacation homes now having 10 to 12 bedrooms and even as many as 14 bedrooms. We look at why would someone want to own such a large vacation home. If a large vacation home is solely for your own use and you can easily afford it is one thing, but if you are buying it and plan on renting it out then these McMansion vacation homes have unique characteristics you must be aware of before you purchase and know how to properly calculate ownership costs over the long run. In a market like Orlando, we contend it is possible to rent out such homes with some degree of success, but with time and as the home depreciates the returns can get more and more challenging if not accounted for from day one. Also, large homes can present logistical operational problems due to their sheer size.