The National Board of Realtors (NAR) on August 3rd provided some new purchasing statistics comparing people who are purchasing investment property compared to vacation rental property. There are some great statistics in this short article in particular the vacation rental buyer average distance from their vacation home is 375 miles, which is a drop from the last few years. This may be because of increased fuel prices, but I think it has to do more with people taking shorter vacations and long weekends and that is just about the edge what I would consider what one will drive for a long weekend. Most important about this number is in reference to those who are considering doing for rent by owner. If the home is rented on a daily or weekly basis this number is significant.
-If a cleaner does not show up on a swap out day it is impossible for the owner to jump in a car and deal with it before the next tenant arrives. While many of you in the professionally managed side of the business may say great, that is why they should work with a professional, regardless, the incoming tenant has a bad experience and that affects us all in vacation rentals.
-The owner at least in New England and many of the Mid Altlantic states is in a different state, which makes it more difficult to stay up to date on the laws for that specific state. We are seeing a lot of towns looking at putting up vacation rental restrictions. We are also seeing a lot of states fighting to get lodging tax revenue from owners.
-As a renter comes into the home and there is an access issue or there is a problem with the home that a professional needs to get in to resolve the owner must rely on someone local with a key and their schedule. Of course you could always use Kaba locks to address this, but not everyone is willing to invest in those products.
I guess my whole point to this is that you property management companies need to keep up to date on these statistics, make sure your local press knows this information and find examples of for rent by owner going bad in your market. Let me emphasize something, there is nothing a matter with a for rent by owner, but these owners need you. These are million dollar homes. Once an owner has one bad experience they realize the importance of the company on the ground, they will come to you. But your traditional model of let me handle it and don’t include the owner is out the door. You need to come up with strategies that allow the owner to participate. We at Barefoot have led the industry in this functionality with our vacation rental system-Barefoot Agent. Recently we had a client provide us this quote regarding one of the tools.
“We had an owner use Barefoot’s owner access tool and book $250,000 in rentals for our resort, without making a phone call to a tenant or to us. Now that is social media and innovative, that is Barefoot.” -Myrtle Beach Resort
We are happy to talk with anyone about this and the other functionality we offer, that can make you a winning strategy for the new world order of vacation rentals.