How many times a year do you receive requests from non-profit organizations asking you to donate time at your properties for a fundraiser? Whether it is your children’s school, your neighborhood church, or even your property owners who sit on an organization’s board, you are being asked time and time again to ‘give away the farm’ to help do some good. It’s hard to say no when your heart strings are getting tugged and every little bit makes a difference.
Non-profit organizations need an efficient way to raise money and vacations are by far the most popular items at fundraisers. Non-profit leaders may feel donating a week at one of your properties is not a big deal when it may otherwise sit empty. But to your property management company, it often means unpaid cleaning fees and added wear and tear on the property. Ironically, this does not feel good at all.
Hotels and vacation clubs (who compete for the same travelers), are constantly recognized for their efforts in the millions of dollars they have helped raise. The vacation rental industry can be a bigger part of the picture. With Geronimo, a fully integrated, free distribution site, property management companies and vacation rental owners book off season, shoulder season, and last minute vacancies, while donating a portion of the nightly rent to a non-profit organization. It is a win-win-win. Property managers cover their fees, receive their full commission, and owners get a return on their investment when their rental would otherwise sit vacant. Non-profit organizations get nice donations.
Let’s think about this and run some simple numbers. There are about 6 million personally and professionally managed vacation rentals (that rent at least 2 weeks/ year). These properties sit vacant up to 85% of the time depending on the market. There are 1.4 million non-profits in the US and most do annual fundraising events. Vacations are by far the most popular items at these events. However charitable organizations have trouble getting vacations to promote at their events. Let’s say half of the vacation rentals make part of their off-season available to non-profit organizations and book two extra weeks. You do the math. That is more than enough vacations for each event to book multiple off- season vacations. With roughly 200 million weeks sitting vacant each year and non-profits actively searching for vacations, the opportunity is there for us to “move the needle” on charitable giving while putting additional off-season revenue in our owner’s pockets.
I don’t discourage giving away time at your vacation rentals. In fact, I hope you actively support your community and favorite organizations. You might even be supporting the Short Term Rental Advocacy group (in all of our best interest). Now there is an efficient way to cover all your costs, making your full commission on each “charitable” booking while generating off-season revenue for you and your owners.
Guest Blogger: Amy Regnier, Director of Development – Geronimo Vacation Rentals