Coronavirus and the Finger Lakes

The safety of our guests, owners and staff has always been one of our core values.  In observance of the recommendations of the CDC, we are practicing social separation during the next 8-week Coronavirus (COVID-19) lifecycle peak, and as a company we are taking the following actions:

– Our employees are practicing safe social separation and working remotely (as appropriate).

– We continue to maintain the highest housekeeping standards so that you’ll experience a sanitized, clean, and disinfected home to enjoy. We continue to use commercial grade disinfectant, and our housekeeping staff will increase their focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc. 

– We are providing specialized advice to our customers to ensure that the anticipated post-social separation pent-up demand can be accommodated. 

For Guests with a 2020 Reservation

We are closely monitoring the local and national COVID-19 situation.  We understand the uncertainty of it all. However, our region continues to be a low-risk area. 

At this time, we are recommending our guests hold off on changing their travel plans through the next 8-week COVID-19 lifecycle peak. With vacation rentals being the prefered accommodation for practicing safe distancing, we are anticipating an increase in demand and want to ensure our guests who already have reservations are able to keep their scheduled vacation.

To ensure the safety of our staff, guests, and owners, our Housekeeping Department will continue to maintain the highest housekeeping standards so that you’ll experience a sanitized, clean, and disinfected home to enjoy. We continue to use commercial grade disinfectant, and our housekeeping staff will increase their focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc. We do not oursource any linens, towels, or cleaning supplies and have maintenance teams on hand around the clock to assure you have the best vacation possible.  

If you have any questions about your reservation, our Reservations Team are here to help you. Please feel free to call 888-414-5253 or email us at vacation@flpplake.com for assistance.  

Planning Your Next Finger Lakes Vacation

The Finger Lakes Region continues to be a favored “drive to” destination. Our vacation rentals offer open spaces, inhouse entertainment, and outdoor areas for families to practice safe distancing at a picturesque location.

In addition to the peaceful lakefronts, our region offers a variety of natural parks and recreation spots to create new experiences. Even though our vacation rentals offer fully equipped kitchens, we know our guests enjoy frequenting local restaurants. Fortunately, many are still offering takeout options. We are working on compiling these resources for your next visit. 

To ensure the safety of our staff, guests, and owners, when you stay in one of our vacation rentals you will have the piece of mind that:

– We offer keyless entry to a majority of our rentals. You will not need to check-in at our office or a front desk. We will provide you the keyless code prior to arrival so you can go directly to your vacation home and enter it at check-in time.

– Our Housekeeping Department will continue to maintain the highest housekeeping standards so that you’ll experience a sanitized, clean, and disinfected home to enjoy. We continue to use commercial grade disinfectant, and our housekeeping staff will increase their focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc between every reservation. We do not outsource any linens, towels, or cleaning supplies and have maintenance teams on hand around the clock to assure you have the best vacation possible.

– We have a 24-hour Manager on Duty to provide assistance if needed.

– We offer and recommend Travel Protection Insurance for every new reservation.

With the current situation, we anticipate an increased demand for our vacation rentals in the near future. To ensure you and your family are able to enjoy a safe and memorable vacation at the home and dates of your choice, click here to begin planning your next stay with us. 

Finger Lakes COVID-19 Resources

For up-to-date information on the COVID-19 status, please use the resources below:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Official website for New York State

Conesus Lake: Livingston County

Honeoye Lake: Ontario County

Canandaigua Lake: Ontario CountyYates County

Keuka Lake: Yates CountySteuben CountySchuyler County

Seneca Lake: Yates CountyOntario CountySchuyler CountySeneca County

Cayuga Lake: Seneca CountyCayuga CountyTompkins County

Wine Trails:

Finger Lakes Wine Country

Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Responsible Renting in the Finger Lakes

Vacation rentals are one of the fastest-growing markets for travelers in the United States. In our 27 years of managing vacation homes, we’ve never seen the amount of growth the Finger Lakes market is experiencing. With this growth, comes growing pains, but we believe Responsible Renting is the foundation to resolving short-term rental issues.

Learn more about why our region needs Responsible Renting:

Infographic for Responsible Renting

Our goal is to develop resources that vacation rental owners, neighbors, and local townships can use to educate themselves and their communities about the benefits of short-term rentals and their economic impact on the region. We are also collaborating with advocacy groups, like VRMA and Rent Responsibly to help create a sustainable future for the vacation rental industry.

Contact Owner Services to learn more about current restrictions and to report possible regulations affecting your township.

(855) 947-0336 Ext. 4 | ownerservices@flpplake.com

2019 Lakefront Real Estate Report

Each quarter, our sales specialists analyze real estate trends across the region’s lakefront market. We compile our findings into a complimentary report to make your decision to buy or sell an easy and informed one.

Here is our analysis of the 2019 lakefront real estate market:


Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes in 2019.
Statistics aggregated from MLS.

Overview

The lakefront market experienced smaller gains in 2019, compared to 2018. This can be attributed to the average sale price for lakefront homes continuing to tick up, while the number of sales decrease.

Lakefront homeowners are holding onto properties longer, riding the wave of YOY value increases and the popularity of operating short-term rentals. Investors continue to enter the market, looking for homes not only for personal use, but for profit. Our region has seen a 25% increase in vacation rentals over the last few years.

Challenges

On lakes where the number of homes sold dropped 50%, we saw a correlating drop in total sales volume. Honeoye and Owasco Lakes were challenged by algal blooms and low inventory this year, but homes on both lakes continue to sell faster. Lower price points could transition these lakes deeper into a market that favors buyers in 2020.

HAB’s and Red Tide continue to challenge the nation’s lake and oceanfront real estate markets. Educating new homeowners on lake friendly living practices will be a focus in 2020, to ensure the health and safety of our waters for years to come.

lakefront market real estate agent

Successes

Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes saw the greatest increase in overall sales volume last year. High-end buyers are attracted to Canandaigua Lake for its luxury amenities and close proximity to the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. We expect the upward trend to continue in 2020, as transportation options, like seaplane routes, lakefront development, and amenities continue to expand.

Seneca Lake enjoyed a 33% boost in sales volume last year, with the highest overall gain in average sale price and greatest overall drop in days on market. Seneca is the largest of the Finger Lakes, and arguably the lake with the most opportunity. While Geneva revitalizes its downtown and gains national attention for its dining and tourism, Watkins Glen continues to yield some of the region’s largest events. Seneca Lake home prices still come in below the regional average, but with an 18% price gain last year, don’t expect the lakefront bargains to last. 2020 is the year to buy on Seneca!

Seneca Lake Real Estate

Market Trends to Watch

Mortgage rates are projected to continue trending downward in 2020. This is particularly great news for those looking to purchase a vacation home or income property. With low inventory and no pressure from the fed, lakefront buyers have the luxury of waiting for the right house to come on the market.

In general, the heat is off, with bidding wars at a 10 year low across the nation, but a limited inventory of starter homes is pushing first-time buyers into new territory. Rather than pour their assets into a primary residence, first-time buyers are investing in vacation homes in less expensive destinations, like the Finger Lakes. These homes have the potential to pay for themselves with vacation rental income or allow buyers to save up for their next investment.

Family saving for real estate

Focused on Lakefront in 2020

While the lakefront market flattened out in 2019, the Finger Lakes Premier Properties team experienced a 58% increase in lakefront sales. Our team led purchasing sales on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes and continues to be the leading real estate team servicing the entire region. Lakefront sales accounted for 95% of our 2019 sales, higher than any other real estate team in the Finger Lakes.

Our 2020 focus is lakefront real estate. If yours is too, call us today (888) 441-0079.

Why List Your Lakefront Home in Winter

The weather outside is frightful, so no one’s buying a home this time of the year, right? Think again. In the last 60 days, 35 lakefront homes went under contract in the region, including 33% of our available inventory. The market is trying to stay warm just like the rest of us, but lakefront homes are in short supply.

While winter may seem like a more challenging time to sell, the same rules don’t always apply for homes in a vacation destination. There are plenty of reasons to buy in winter, but here are some of the pros to selling your lakefront home in the off-season:

Higher priced homes see more action.

According to our listing agent, Cynthia Emerling, homes priced above $500,000 are seeing more interest. “The higher priced market starts to pick up in November, when people start evaluating their finances from the year and are motivated to take advantage of tax breaks.” Listing ahead of or during this surge of high-end buyer activity that your home sits on the market less time. “I tell high-end listings to hold out for this time of year, regardless of when they listed. This is when their buyer is in the market,” says Emerling.

Your home stays ready-to-show.

Selling in the summertime has its drawbacks. While it may be the time of year when your lakefront and landscaping look their best, it’s also the time when your lake house sees the most use. With family, friends, and guests in and out all summer, it can be difficult to ensure your home is ready-to-show when it needs to be. To maintain a staged, clean appearance, list your lakefront home in winter. As an added bonus, a light blanket of snow will cover any less-desirable features outside the home.

You’ll get the most out of your last summer on the lake.

There’s only a short window of summer weather here in the Finger Lakes. Showings can make it more difficult to schedule and enjoy your time at the lake. If your home is a vacation rental, constant showings can interfere with the guest experience. Guests who book in the peak season pay a premium for their stay and would prefer not to be interrupted by your agent.

Investment buyers have extra motivation.

On the vacation rental side, we see higher volumes of booking activity around the holidays. It makes sense – the whole family is gathered in one area, making it easy to plan their next vacation. Investment buyers don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to fill their calendars ahead of the new year. This is a huge motivator for short-term rental owners to buy ahead of the new year.


Even if you decide to hold off on listing until after the holidays, don’t wait too long. We see the spring market ramp up long before winter’s end. Lakefront buyers want to close have plenty of time to get their new home ready for summer.

Ready to list your lakefront home this winter? Start here!

Our real estate team will provide an assessment of your lakefront home and a rental analysis, free of charge, to attract buyers to the income potential of your listing. Call our lakefront listing experts today (888) 976-4981

10 Best Black Friday Purchases for Vacation Rental Homeowners

10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners

Are you wondering how you can keep your guests coming back year after year? Little touches make a big difference. Revisit your post season inspection that you had this past fall with our Owner Services Department and check some items off your list this Black Friday! Black Friday must haves for your rental below!

What most people don’t know is that vacation rentals go through more wear and tear than a standard family home. Updating these small items in your home each year will keep your rental fresh, comfortable, and convenient for your guests.

1. Bedding

Bedding, including mattress toppers, pillows, comforters, and quilts, are some of the most frequently replaced items for vacation rentals. Refreshing the linens is crucial for the aesthetics of the bedrooms. Guests value an up kept bedspread and will notice the condition in both the listing photos and upon arrival. Make sure you’re providing a great first impression!

macys bedding on sale for black friday and cyber monday
  • 65% OFF All Bedding
  • 70% OFF Memory Foam Pillows and Toppers
  • 70% OFF Charter Club Down Pillows
  • Lauren Ralph Lauren Pillows only $6.99, originally $20.00
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners
kohls bedding on sale for black friday
  • Madison Park Essentials quilt sets in all sizes $29.99, originally $119.99.
  • The Big One reversible down-alternative comforter in all sizes only $19.99, originally $79.99-$119.99.
  • Serta Mattress Makeover 1.5 in. Memory Foam Topper only $69.99, originally $159.99.
  • Hotel Suite white goose feather down comforters. All sizes on sale $59.99, originally $129.99 – $179.99.
  • The Big One standard/queen bed pillow only $2.99, originally $9.99.
walmart
  • Serta Sertapedic bed pillow standard size only $5.
  • Lucid Memory Foam Bedding Basics Bundle for sizes Full, Queen, or King only $49.
  • Mainstays 8-pc. Comforter & Quilt Set only $34.

2. Cookware

Your rental should have a good collection of pots and pans for day-to-day cooking. Remember, keep in mind your property’s maximum occupancy when stocking your kitchen. If your home can accommodate 10 people or more, you’ll want to be sure you have a set of pots and pans sized to cook for such a large party. If your property is sized for 5 or less, you may want to forego the larger pots and pans and just have a standard size set. One thing many homeowners don’t think about is providing serving bowls or platters. Most families eat together on vacation and will need platters to put their perfectly grilled chicken on and large serving bowls for that delicious salad. Black Friday must haves for your rental below!

  • T-Fal 20-pc. Kitchen Solution Set only $49.
  • The Pioneer Woman 24-pc. Cookware Set only $69.
  • Cuisinart 12-pc. matte black ceramic cookware set or 11-pc. chef’s classic stainless steel cookware set only $119.99 ea., originally $249.99 ea.
  • Farberware Cookstart nonstick 15-pc. cookware set only $30.99, originally $119.99.
  • Food Network cookware, bakeware, and food prep essentials only $8.49 ea., originally $29.99.

3. Dishware

A common mistake in vacation rentals is not providing enough dishes to serve all the guests your property can sleep. Ideally, you should have twice the number of plates, bowls, and water glasses to accommodate your rental’s maximum capacity (e.g. If your property sleeps 5, you should have at least 10 plates). It makes it much easier for guests if they can serve a complete meal even if a few dishes are already loaded in the dishwasher.

We recommend investing in matching dishware, silverware, and glassware from a common household goods store such as Target, Walmart, or Kohl’s. You’ll be able to easily replace broken items with matching ones, and your dinnerware will be attractive but inexpensive.

Finally, remember the needs of your guests traveling with children if you intend to attract families. Parents will be grateful if you provide, sippy cups and children’s dinnerware for their little ones.

  • Food Network 16-pc. dinnerware set service for 4 only $42.49, originally $119.99.
  • Corelle 12 pc. dinnerware set service for 4 only $49.99, originally $84.99.

4. Coffee Makers

A coffee maker is an extremely common amenity in most hotel rooms, and your guests will expect you to have one in your rental. In addition, Some homeowners also invest in a K-cup machine such as a Keurig, which requires less maintenance and is easier for renters to use.

walmart amenities on sale for black friday
  • Mr. Coffee 12-cup Coffee Maker only $9.96.
  • Keurig K-Compact Brewer Black only $40, originally $59.
amenities at kohls on sale
  • Hamilton Beach 12-cup coffee maker only $6.69.
  • Bella Single-serve Dual Brew coffee maker only $15.19.
coffee maker at kohl's

5. Storage Containers

When you host families, there are bound to be leftovers. And just like any home, you may notice there are a plethora of unmatched storage containers in the pantry. Simplify the cooking experience for your guests with new storage containers.

walmart storage container sets on sale for cyber monday
  • Anchor Hocking 30-pc. Glass Set only $20.
  • Mainstays 60-pc. Meal Prep Storage Set only $7.
  • Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Storage Set 38-pc. only $7.
kohls storage container sets on sale for black friday
  • Pyrex 22-pc. storage set only $15.49, originally $59.99.
  • Rubbermaid Flex and Seal 28-pc. storage set only $12.74, originally $39.99.

Here are more Black Friday must haves for your rental below!

Want to take it a step further than just updating the essentials? Purchase one of these items below to enhance your vacation rental listing and your guests stay! Attract new guests with new features in 2020!

6. Appliances

Most rentals already installed the essential appliances, so we’ll assume you have these in place. Be sure they’re all easy to use and that they still work properly – we’ve seen plenty of rental experiences ruined because an outdated oven runs hot and ruins someone’s family meal.
Black Friday must haves for your rental below!

lowe's amenities and appliances for vacation rentals
  • Frigidaire 34-Bottle Wine Chiller only $199, originally $399.
  • LG 48-Decibel Dishwasher only $399, originally $699.
  • Frigidaire Easy Care Stainless Steel 25.5-cu ft side by side refrigerator only $799, originally $1,299.
  • Maytag 3.8-cu ft washer and 7-cu ft Electric Dryer, only $398 ea., originally $699 ea.

7. Smart TV’s

While many people vacation in the Finger Lakes to get a break from reality and enjoy the outdoor scenery, they still appreciate the convenience technology offers. This is especially true of the millennial generation who are spending more of their disposable income on vacations.

Guests appreciate smart TVs with cable or a movie streaming service to relax at night, such as Roku. Besides entertainment, a TV contributes to the overall atmosphere and helps your guests feel more at home. If you already have one TV in the living room, you may consider placing additional TVs in each bedroom.

walmart amenities
  • Phillips 65″ Class 4K Android Smart TV only $278
  • OMN 50″ Class 4K Roku Smart TV only $148
  • OMN 40″ Class 2 K Roku smart TV only $98
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners
target amenities
  • 55″ Samsung Smart 4K UHD HDR TV only $329.99, originally $429.99.
  • TCL Roku TV 65″ display with 4K UHD HDR TV only $399.99, originally $749.99.
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners
best buy smart tv's for guests
  • 70″ Samsung Flat Screen TV only $549.99, originally $899.99.
  • 55″ LG LED 4K UHD with HDR Smart TV only $299.99, originally $399.99.
  • 58″ Insignia Fire TV Edition, free amazon Echo Dot with this purchase, only $199.99, originally $479.99.

8. Game Room Items

Is your rental lacking a focal point to draw visitors to stay at your rental? Are you wishing for more year-round bookings? Creating a game room or adding entertainment to a common area or empty garage could catch the eyes of a new demographic of guests. Purchase one of these inexpensive games and draw in those family reunion stays and sports junkies. Your rental could be an entertainers paradise. Black Friday must haves for your rental below!

amazon.com amenities for guests in a vacation rental
  • Foosball/Soccer Game Table only $282.14.
  • 3-in-1 7 foot Game Table only $701.23, originally $949.99.
walmart amenities
  • ESPN Table Tennis only $78.
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners
kohls amenities
  • American Vintage Corn Hole Game only $39.99, originally $99.99.
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners

9. Outdoor

If you are like the people vacationing in the Finger Lakes, you probably chose your vacation spot for the outdoor spaces to savor the scenery. If you want to increase bookings, create an enjoyable outdoor atmosphere for your guests.

One way you can do this is to provide outside furniture. However, throwing a few wooden chairs out in a yard that receives direct sunlight probably isn’t going to do the trick. Instead, you may want to invest in plush furniture that is both comfortable and decorative, but durable enough to withstand the elements. Perhaps some comfy cushions or a recliner would be appropriate so that guests can unwind and relax. It will have them craving your outdoor patio all year round!

overstock.com amenities for outdoor spaces
  • Bond Rockwell Gas Fire Table only $164.99
  • Moses 5-pc. Outdoor Sofa Set only $529.99.
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners
amazon.com amenities for outdoor patios
  • Legacy Heating Fire Pit only $170.13, originally $215.64.
  • IDS Home Patio Furniture Conversation Set only $207.00, originally $230.00.
  • Monterey 6-Burner Grill Cover only $21.19, originally $39.99.
lowes amenities
  • Char-Broil Performance 5-Burner Gas Grill only $189, originally $219.
  • Garden Treasures Gas Patio Heater only $99, originally $149.
  • Garden Treasures Deep-Bowl Fire Pit only $49, originally $99.

10. Kayaks + Paddle Boards

When it comes to amenities, do not skimp. Amenities are all those extra things that put the cherry on top. Even the smallest things can make or break a guest’s experience which can affect reviews and repeat visits.

FLPP includes the traditional amenities but you may wish to throw in additional amenities such as a universal charger and adapter to eliminate the fears of travelers who forgot their own.

However, remember that guests are vacationing in the Finger Lakes. If you want to increase bookings, consider adding lake-specific amenities such as paddleboats or kayaks as part of the vacation rental. Another amenity guests look for is a hot tub, especially our year-round renters. In addition to the extra draw, you will be able to increase rates as well. Black Friday must haves for your rental below!

dicks sporting goods amenities
  • Up to 40% OFF Kayaks and Paddle Boards.
10 Best Black Friday Purchase For Vacation Rental Homeowners
Kayaks, paddle bords, billard games, foosball, pool tables, basket ball hoops

Click below to see the complete list of all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals. If shopping in stores isn’t your thing, then purchase your items on Cyber Monday and have them shipped right to us. We will make sure they are put in your rental and ready for your next guests arriving.

Mailing Address:

Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Attn: Owner Services – (Your First and Last Name)

103 Horizon Park Drive, Penn Yan, NY 14527

Click here to learn how one of our owners increased their rate and occupancy by making some updates.

Protect Your Lake House This Winter

When it comes to winter, there are two types of lakefront homeowners – those who weather the storms and those who head for warmer water. If you own or are considering buying a lake house, but not interested in sticking around for the Finger Lakes snowfall, you’ll need to winterize your home.

Winterization protects your lakefront asset and forces you to understand your home, inside and out. Plus, you’ll return to fewer maintenance issues, so you can jump right into summer.

Properly prepare for winter and check these items off your to-do list:

Continue reading Protect Your Lake House This Winter

How the Finger Lakes Benefit from Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals may feel like a new trend, but the short-term rental industry has been around for decades in destinations worldwide, including the Finger Lakes. With third party booking sites, like VRBO and AirBnb making vacation rentals more popular and plentiful than ever before, its important to explore what responsible renting looks like and how short-term rentals can continue to add value to our region.

Here are just a few of the ways that the Finger Lakes benefit from vacation rentals:

Vacation rentals uphold the lake culture of our communities.

The Finger Lakes are a traditional summer vacation destination. Our shorelines are lined with seasonal homes and cottages, where families have experienced lake life together for generations. Short-term rentals support the culture of our lake communities, extended stays in the region, and the need for more property tax revenue.

Vacation rentals supplement hotel room supply.

Local hotels book up fast for peak season. Short-term rentals not only supplement hotel room supply, but can better accommodate larger groups and niche travelers. Finger Lakes Premier Properties has hosted over 80,000 guests since 2015. The more tourists our region can lodge, the more we encourage economic growth for local businesses and communities.

Booking and packing for a vacation

Vacation rentals keep family homes in the family.

Short-term rental income makes it possible for families to afford the increasing costs associated with owning a lake house. This allows the tradition of gathering at the lake to continue for years to come.

Vacation rentals support property values.

In 2018, 32% of investment property owners planned on renting their home as a short-term rental, up 24% from 2017. The demand for lakefront homes is growing because of increased demand for short-term rentals.

keys to a house

Vacation rentals create opportunity.

Short-term rentals make the lakefront experience affordable and accessible to everyone. Families have private, recreational access to the water, regardless of whether they have the means to live on the lake. In addition, the vacation rental industry creates a variety of skilled and unskilled jobs throughout the region.

Family by the lake at a vacation rental

What does Responsible Renting look like?

Vacation rentals managed by professional property managers add significant value to the community by expanding the tax base and attracting direct and indirect spending in our area. Unfortunately, popular listing sites have portrayed the ease of owning a vacation rental without highlighting the importance of managing the experience for the guest, owner, and local community. Read more about what responsible renting looks like here.

To learn more about professional property management services for your short-term rental, visit our website.

5 Key Takeaways from the Seneca Lake Water Quality Forum

On Wednesday, October 23, our team attended the Water Quality Forum at Hobart and William Smith Colleges to review research collected in 2019 and discuss water quality issues important to Seneca Lake. While harmful algae blooms (HAB’s) continue to be a serious issue facing the region, there are a number of state and local organizations collecting valuable data and funding projects to fight HAB’s in the Finger Lakes.

Each year, more is understood about blue green algae and what we can do to reduce bloom frequency and toxicity. Here are 5 takeaways from the forum and the research conducted during the 2019 HAB season: :

Suspected Blue Green Algae Bloom in Seneca Lake

85% of HAB’s sent out for testing this year came back positive for high toxin levels.

Over 100 samples from suspicious algae blooms were collected this year, and of those samples, 40 were budgeted to be sent out for toxin level measurement.  34 were positive for high toxins, driving home the point that if you see or suspect a bloom, stay out of the water.

HAB’s are most toxic at 20⁰ C, the water temperature we see most often in September. In 2018, the last algae bloom was reported toward the end of September, but this year, blooms have been confirmed late into October, a result of extra sunshine and warmer water temps. Generally, HAB’s are not an issue until late August on the majority of the lakes.

It cannot be determined if HAB’s are increasing year over year.

While the data presented since 2012 indicates that HAB’s are not only increasing in frequency, but also in toxicity, the DEC cannot conclude that this is the case. In 2018, there were 120 shoreline volunteers photographing blooms and collecting samples. Just 5 years earlier, a hotline was the only public initiative and no training was conducted to identify blue green algae. Aimee Clinkhammer, researcher with NYS DEC, concluded that the trend could be heavily influenced by the increase in education and conversation surrounding HAB’s.

There’s something in the soil on Seneca.

In an experiment performed by John Halfman, researcher for the Finger Lakes Institute, mud was collected in various locations along the Seneca Lake shoreline. Geneva tap water was added to the samples. They were left undisturbed and received daily sun, replicating favorable HAB conditions. Over time, every sample developed a blue green algae bloom.

John Halfman’s soil experiment presentation slide

It’s known that HAB’s need nitrogen and phosphorus to proliferate. These nutrients enter the lake in greater quantities after storms through stream runoff. Another nutrient source could be decaying macrophytes along the shore, like dried up seaweed and tree branches. To reduce the amount of shoreline debris settling in the water, Halfman urged attendees to perform routine beach clean up, especially after storms.

The uniqueness of each lake may impact how and when HAB’s form.

While the forum focused on Seneca Lake, the other Finger Lakes were not ignored. In comparing trends found on Seneca to the other 10 lakes, there were few parallels. Some lakes had higher levels of phosphorus with some bloom activity, like Seneca. Other lakes had very low levels of phosphorus and high bloom activity, like Skaneateles Lake. This indicates that different Finger Lakes may be able to handle different nutrient levels and, therefore, be impacted by HAB’s in unique ways.

New York is a leader in the national effort to address HAB’s.

HAB’s are not exclusive to the Finger Lakes, and are an even greater issue downstate and across the country. We are not alone, but we are the model. Clinkhammer commented that other state agencies have looked to the NYS DEC for guidance in forming their own HAB’s initiatives and programs.


While more research is needed to fully understand and address HAB’s in our region, the Water Quality Forum provided insight into the fight and hope for the future of our lakes.

A huge thank you to the Seneca Pure Waters Association for holding this important and well attended event! We look forward strengthening our partnership and keeping our homeowners and guests informed.

For more information about harmful algae blooms, please visit the NYHABS website.

How to Buy a Lake House

Maybe you’ve had the dream to buy a lake house for a long time. Maybe you’ve heard success stories about owning a vacation rental. Regardless, you’re ready to own your very own slice of lake life, but where do you start?

We caught up with our buyer specialist, Dave Lucchesi, to answer this question and to learn more about the steps his clients take to buy their lakefront home in the Finger Lakes. He broke it down for us in 5 easy steps:

Continue reading How to Buy a Lake House

Why Rental Owners Should Consider Fall Upgrades

Fall is the perfect time for vacation rental homeowners to consider upgrades for next summer. It’s the sweet spot between peak season bookings and winterization, where you can actually slow down and take a look at how your home fared during its busiest months.

While our housekeeping and maintenance teams provide routine care for your home, there are always items that experience wear and tear, requiring repair or replacement. Taking a look things in the fall can help you prioritize investments that will increase your bookings for next year.

Here are a few tips for making autumnal upgrades to your vacation rental:

  • Shop summer clearance sales to save on big ticket items like BBQ’s and patio furniture. Simply updating seat cushions and outdoor pillows can make all the difference – repeat guests will notice the small upgrades and appreciate your attentiveness to their comfort.
  • Take a good look at guest feedback from the summer. If multiple guests address a problem area, it might be in your best interest to focus on that part of the home. This can be a huge task, as there are many different ways to receive reviews. Our Owner Services team can sort through the feedback and make helpful recommendations. Plus, we’ll be sure to follow up with guests and update listings to reflect your efforts.Consider scheduling a complimentary post-season inspection, where we provide a list of suggestions to increase bookings for next year.
  • When it comes to larger projects or renovations, start planning early! Do your research, source reliable contractors, and develop a timeline for the work now, so construction doesn’t interfere with next year’s calendar.

Ultimately, our goal is to maximize the income potential of your vacation rental. The best – and easiest – way to increase bookings and demand a higher weekly rate is to make regular updates and improvements to your home. Here are a few more resources to get the ball rolling:

Secure booking for 2020 now by becoming a Premier Partner! Learn more.


If you’re an independent rental owner, we want to know how your peak season went! What were your challenges with guest turnover? Did your home see more wear and tear than you expected?

We’re your local partner in vacation rental management. Call us today to learn more about what we can do to help! 844-573-7255 | Opt. 4