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‘Big Brother’ Fire: Britney’s Home Burns

There are a number of factors coming together that have vacation rental owners looking at the ways they promote their properties with the utmost scrutiny. The soft economy is hitting owners on both the revenue and cost side of the VR—what ever locale it is in geographically—prompting careful evaluation of where to spend time and money in getting visibility.

Repairs: In many cases, renting a house is rented as an apartment. Usually, the only difference is that you are renting the entire house, not just flat. This means that the landlord should be responsible for all repairs and maintenance. However, it is important to verify this information in advance. As for seasonal maintenance, it is often your responsibility because you are renting homes and property that comes with it. This means that you will normally be responsible for lawn mowing and snow removal.

When a great tenant applies for a property, it is imperative to let them know that you want them. You need them. You will treat them like gold if they would just sign with you (on the lease). Text and call them every hour (there are no contact restrictions in business, only the weirdness factor of over-communication). Add incentives. Buy them the pony they always wanted, as long as it is munching the grass in your rental home’s yard! Let them know your love will never end if they can out down a deposit today.

Try to leave the vacation home in the same condition as received. You are on vacation and not expected to do a lot of work; however, if you have several dirty towels, you may want to help the cleaning person out and start the laundry. This is particularly important if there is a turn-around guest (another guest arriving later that day), because it is the laundry that takes the most time for them. If you are at the beach all day, make sure you hose off the sand outside before tracking it in. Try not to get food or drink stains on the carpet or the living room furniture. If tipping is customary at your vacation place, or if you feel your housekeeper or Caretaker did an excellent job, feel free to leave them a tip for a job well done.

While we were there, a woman approached, asking if this had been our home. We nodded but just couldn’t speak. She said she owned a rental in Lake Arrowhead and wondered if we would like to live there until we figured out what we were going to do. Amazing. An angel (and many more angels) would come to our aid that day. When we arrived at the rental home Sherman TX, someone we didn’t even know had already gone from neighborhood to neighborhood asking if they would be willing to clean out their garages and give us anything we might need. That evening a huge moving van pulled up full of new everything: clothes, dishes, bedding, beds, more than we could have ever needed. Phone calls came from people with gift cards to grocery stores and clothing stores. It was truly incredible, the kindness that was offered us.

All three of these functions, Facebook, Twitter and blogging, are best used together but any one of them alone can be effective. All three are free, easy and high impact over time. None will work overnight.

At the time of publication, Yvetta Howard’s rental home had yet to be repaired. It was also unknown what, if anything, Property Management Services would be doing to correct the problems.