Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit

Overview

Run a successful business renting your cottage or vacation home

A complete guide to making your cottage work for you

Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit is the definitive guide to the cottage rental business. It contains everything the cottage owner needs to know to rent a cottage professionally and profitably. The information, tips, and anecdotes in this book come from the author’s own experiences, as well as valuable contributions ...

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Overview

Run a successful business renting your cottage or vacation home

A complete guide to making your cottage work for you

Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit is the definitive guide to the cottage rental business. It contains everything the cottage owner needs to know to rent a cottage professionally and profitably. The information, tips, and anecdotes in this book come from the author’s own experiences, as well as valuable contributions from recreational-home owners and renters alike, who between them have racked up years of rental know-how. Many people begin renting out their recreational property without first researching the business. This book provides the background knowledge and additional tips they will need to make it a success. Highlights of the included CD-ROM:

Dynamic rental calculator

Rental agreement

Emergency preparedness worksheet

Changeover checklist

Guest guide template

Annual cash flow template

and much more!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551807331
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: Self-Counsel Reference Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Bayer has rented cottages in both North America and England over the last 20 years. Her website, www.cottageknowledge.com, provides valuable resources and links for buying and renting cottages.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 1
Why Should You Read This Book? 1
1 IS RENTING FOR YOU? 3
The Costs of Recreational Home Ownership 4
Is Renting for You or Not? 5
2 THE BIG QUESTIONS 11
What Do I Want to Get Out of It? 12
How Much Time Do I Want to Spend Doing This? 12
Do I Want to Market the Rentals Myself or
Use a Rental Agency? 12
Who Will Look After the Property When I’m
Not There? 13
How Will I Take Bookings? 13
iii iv Renting your recreational property for profit
Can the Cottage Be Rented Year-Round and If So,
What Are the Implications? 13
How Much Am I Willing to Spend to Increase the Rental Opportunities? 14
What Are the Tax and Insurance Implications of Renting? 14
How Will This Affect My Family? 14
3 SETTING GOALS 16
Your Vision 17
Financial Goals 18
Forecasting Expenses 19
Capital expenditures 19
Electrical costs 20
Telephone 21
Satellite TV 22
Property management and maintenance costs 23
Insurance 24
Marketing, promotion, and advertising 24
Contingency funds 24
How Many Rental Weeks Will You Have Available? 25
4 WHAT IS MY RECREATIONAL PROPERTY WORTH? 28
Location 29
Size 30
Amenities 31
Will It Rent as It Is? 34
Making Changes 34
Calculating the Bottom Line 36
5 GETTING READY FOR RENTING 38
Getting It Right from the Start 39
Property Audit 41
Furnishings and Appliances 41
Bedding 44
Personal Items 46
What to Supply? 47
Toys, Books, and Games 49
Guidebooks and maps 52
Adding Value 53
Special Occasions 54
Christmas, New Year’s, and other festive occasions 54
Theme weekends 55
6 EMERGENCIES AND CONTINGENCIES 56
The Emergency Section of Your Guest Guide 58
Medical/fire emergencies 59
System breakdowns 60
Power outage kit 61
7 BOOKING SYSTEMS 63
Frequently Asked Questions 65
Holding Period 66
Rental Periods 67
Booking Form and Rental Agreement 68
Party members 72
Rental Period: Dates and Times 73
Payments and Deposits 73
Cancellations 74
Damage/Security Deposit 75
Additional Clauses 76
8 SEASONAL RENTALS 78
The Market for Seasonal Rentals 79
Research the Competition 79
Contents v
How to Price Your Seasonal Rental 80
Security/Damage Deposit 81
Screening Renters 82
The Contract 82
Payment Schedules 83
Overholding 84
What Is the Downside of Seasonal Rentals? 84
9 MARKETING YOUR VACATION HOME 85
What Is Marketing? 86
The Power of the Internet 88
Your Own Website 88
Your web address 90
Working with a web designer 92
Site content 94
Site structure 94
Writing for your website 95
Photographs 97
Testimonials 99
Getting your site seen 100
Search engines and directories 100
Online advertising 101
Rental listing sites 104
Link popularity 105
Ease of navigation 105
Availability calendar 106
Cost 106
Print Advertising 107
Creating Your Own Literature 108
What to put in a leaflet 108
Printing your brochure 110
Distribution and mailing lists 111
vi Renting your recreational property for profit
Privacy of Information 111
Monitor Your Marketing 112
Frequent Guest Incentive 112
Newsletter 113
Open-House Weekend 114
10 RENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCIES 117
Types of Agencies and Services 117
Booking agencies 118
Full-service agencies 118
Agency rates 120
Viewing 121
Additional services 121
Smaller agencies 121
Choosing an Agency 122
The Contract 123
Duration of agreement 124
Responsibilities 124
Exclusivity 126
Agent’s fees 126
11 MANAGING YOUR PROPERTY YOURSELF 127
Pros and Cons of Self-Management 128
Management Options 130
General Maintenance 134
Meeting and Greeting 136
Cleaning 138
Cottage Security and Key Issues 139
12 GENERATING RETURN VISITS 142
Exceed Expectations 143
Accurate description of all aspects of the property 144
Contents vii
Up-to-date photos 144
Clean, clean, clean, then clean again! 144
WOW your guests from the moment they arrive 144
Stay in Contact — With Their Permission 144
Birthdays and anniversaries 145
Activity breaks 145
Ask for Their Feedback — Then Thank Them for It 145
What to Put in a Questionnaire 146
Ask for testimonials 147
Keeping in Touch 147
13 HANDLING COMPLAINTS 149
Serious Complaints 151
14 THE GUEST GUIDE 152
Contents of the Guide 154
Index 154
Welcome and introduction 154
Phone numbers 154
The local area 155
Arriving 155
Systems 156
Appliances and operating instructions 157
Outside the cottage 157
Fire pits 158
Keeping the critters at bay 159
Bugs and other flying creatures 160
Garbage disposal 161
Places to eat, and things to do and see 161
Departure 162
15 WRAPPING UP 163
viii Renting your recreational property for profit
SAMPLES
1 Creating a Vision 18
2 SWOT Analysis 35
3 Rental Calculator 37
4 Cost of Furnishings 42
5 List of Supplies 50
6 Vacation Rental Agreement 69
TABLE
1 Pros and Cons of Management Options 131
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