Top Tips for Successful Rental Management

For the busiest rental season EVER!

Ready or not, rental season is upon us! Here in the Finger Lakes we are seeing a 134% increase in bookings compared to 2020 with many summer weeks completely sold out. There is no better time to talk about responsible renting for vacation rental owners.

What are the biggest complaints about vacation rentals?

According to the Rent Responsibly, a national advocacy organization, the biggest complaints of short term rentals nationwide are:

1. Noise

2. Parking

3. Trash

Additionally, with vacation rentals surpassing hotels as the preferred accommodations in our region, the attention on management comes to forefront.

Other rental issues we frequently hear about in the Finger Lakes Region include septic systems and mismanagement.

Many homes in our region reside in rural areas where public water and sewage are not available. Before renting your home, you should always check the capacities of your septic system. Many were systems were installed for smaller families who would not be using the home as frequently. It is likely you will either have to schedule frequent pumps or install a larger system. Also, check with your local Code Officer to see if your township has requirements. There is no bigger damper on your guests experience than having a septic issue mid-stay resulting in refunds, future cancellations, and an overall 1-star experience.

Mismanagement of vacation rentals affects owners, guests, neighbors, and entire communities. This often occurs when a homeowner lists the home on a booking site, rents it, collects the cash, and is unavailable through the booking process. Sometimes guests will take advantage of the situation which then results in the three top concerns noted above. Neighbors are left with an uncomfortable situation, sometimes resulting in a call to authorities. If these situations remain unresolved, it may lead to further investigation by the local town board to then impose restrictions or regulations on all rental homes within the township.

As you begin to consider becoming a vacation rental owner it is crucial to understand how managing the home and guests are the most important factors for having a successful rental business.

How do you overcome these rental issue (and more)?

1. Communication – If you are renting, ensure you are setting the expectations for your guests. Let them know they are staying in a family community, not a resort destination. There will be quiet hours, there is limited space for parking and guests, and there is an expectation for caring for the property during their stay. This should be outlined in your contract with your guests.

There should always be a legal contract with your guests. This contract outlines the expectations, is agreed upon by both parties, and outlines all consequences of infringements of the contract.

2. Management – Ensure you are set up for success for this summer for both you and your guests. Make sure your neighbors know you are renting and provide them with your contact information in case there are any issues.

Make sure your trash pickup is scheduled and communicate the trash days with your guests. Housekeeping, lawncare, and septic pumps are other vendors who are in high demand this summer who will

3. Establish a 24/7 Contact Person – While it is helpful to have your neighbors keeping an eye on your property, they are not responsible for your guests. Do not rely on your neighbors to be the resource for your guests and do not give your guests their contact information. Unless you have a property manager, you should be the contact person before, during, and after their stay.

Some townships also require you to register your rental property to ensure they have a point of contact. Whether or not they require this, it is helpful for you to provide them with your contact information should they ever need it.

4. Welcome to the Hospitality Industry! When you become a rental owner, you are entering the world of hospitality. Keys to your success will be customer service, cleanliness, and did we mention customer service?

Envision your last vacation and the expectations you had. You expected to be welcomed into a clean space with all of the amenities advertised. Was something not working, who did you call and how did they respond? Were they prompt and were you able to enjoy the remainder of your stay? These (and more) will become the expectations of your guests.

With any vacation you likely wanted an understanding of the places to eat, visit, and experience during your stay. Providing your guests with local resources from grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, and attractions will assist them with having a memorable stay and more likely to book with you again.

Want more resources about managing a vacation rental?

As the leading vacation rental management company in the region, we have established national and local partnerships with organizations that assist short term rental owners. Here are some more resources for you to visit:

Finger Lakes Vacation Rental Association

Rent Responsibly

Vacation Rental Management Association

Our local team of experienced vacation rental professionals is also- available to answer questions you may have about renting your home. If you are interested in learning more about our all inclusive services for vacation rental homeowners, you can reach us at 888-414-5253 Option 4 or NewOwners@FLPPlake.com.

3 Reasons Why You Should Prepare Your Vacation Rental NOW for 2021

Finger Lakes travel trends for 2020 showed a significant shift in accommodation preferences. Demand for private vacation rentals has soared above traditional hotel stay by travelers. As the year progressed and our reservations inquiries swelled by 61% year-over-year, one thing was clear, people still want to vacation.

What is the outlook for vacation rental demand in 2021?

Demand for Finger Lakes vacation rentals continues to soar. In fact, our bookings for next year (2021) are up 56% compared to this time last year! Our private rentals have become the preferred choice of accommodations for travelers seeking comfortable, clean, and dependable lakeside spaces.

Our guests and owners value the services included with their premier property. Such services include our 24/7 guest services, professional housekeeping standards, keyless check-ins, and travel planning assistance by our local agents. As we continue to accommodate inquires for our short term rentals, we want to ensure our owners and prospective rental homeowners are optimizing our partnership for the 2021 season.

Why list your home for rent now? Isn’t the season slowing down?

Many assume this is the time when we are winding down for the year. Not true. Yes the rush of peak season is behind us, but with arrivals still 88% higher this fall than last, the momentum continues. Plus, our inquiries for 2021 bookings are flowing in! Now is the time we work with our owners in preparation for next year with optimizing their home, online listing, and rates for the next year.

If you are interested in joining for the 2021 season, now is the best time to get the most out of our partnership for three reasons:

  1. It’s all about the photos! Joining now will allow us to optimize your listing with premier photography before the leaves fall. We will send our staff photographer to your home to get interior and exterior photos PLUS a virtual tour. Photos are one of the most important assets to your listing and will help generate demand for your home.
  2. Take advantage of expert recommendations. Our partnering owners have full access to our team of industry experts. When you join, talk to our Owner Services team about possible upgrades. From remodels, furniture upgrades, to bonus amenities, these will help secure bookings, enhance your guest’s experience, and capture more revenue. If you join this fall, you’ll have more time to make these enhancements before your first guest checks in.
  3. Secure 2021 revenue now! With demand up 56% for 2021 vacation rentals, joining now will get more traffic to your listing and secure more bookings for next year. Secure revenue now for 2021 at the best rates possible.

Want to learn more about partnering with us?

Whether you are currently renting your home, looking to purchase an investment home, or are just starting to explore what it means to be a vacation rental owner, we’re here to help.

We have a dedicated Owner Services Team ready to answer any questions you may have about renting your lake home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties. Contact us today for more information by calling 855-585-5877 Option 4 or by inquiring here.

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

How to Maximize Your Finger Lakes Vacation Rental: 5 Tips You Need to Know

Want to know how to maximize your Finger Lakes vacation rental? Read on to learn our best tips and tricks to help you keep your VR booked all-year-round!

How to Maximize Your Finger Lakes Vacation Rental

1. Be Hospitable

Hospitality is a major part of the guest experience. That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile and created a complimentary Vacation Guide for all of our guests to use. It includes the best FLX attractions such as the Finger Lakes wine trails, state parks, restaurants, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. This handy guide is useful and helps our guests plan out their entire trip with ease! We strive for all of our visitors to have the absolute best guest experience while renting your vacation home!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

2. Quality Photos Are Everything

Would you want to stay in a vacation rental with blurry, low-quality pictures? The answer is probably not. Photos are one of the first things a potential guest looks for, and you do not want to disappoint. The truth is, people are probably not going to read about your property unless they like what they see.

We highly recommend getting a professional photographer, but if that’s not possible, make sure you take your photos with good natural lighting. Also, make sure you have plenty of updated photos to show off just how amazing your property is! Don’t forget to include pictures of your unique amenities like the fire pit, hot tub, and gorgeous lake view.

3. Know What Potential Guests Really Need

Imagine staying in a vacation home with a full kitchen, stocking up on groceries, and getting ready to cook a gourmet meal, only to find out there are no kitchen utensils or supplies in the house!

Make sure your home is equipped with all the necessities like kitchen supplies, clean linens, toilet paper, soap, and towels to make it easier for anyone staying in your vacation rental.

4. Create The Best Guest Experience

Maximizing your vacation home means creating the best guest experience. Make your visitors feel at home by showing that you care! By providing all of the material items they may need during their trip, Finger Lakes recommendations, and a clean vacation home, you can expect to see your guests return year after year.

Not only does an amazing vacation experience create returning guests, but you can also expect fantastic reviews. And, excellent reviews lead to more bookings and more income!

5. Choose Finger Lakes Premier Properties as Your Vacation Rental Management Company

We’re more than just marketing tips. We’ll talk the talk as well as walk the walk. Your rental property will be in great hands when you let Finger Lakes Premier Properties manage your home.

finger lakes vacation rental with waterfront view
070213Mandi

We understand the frustrations of taking care of a home, and we know you have other things to do with your time. Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers a turn-key full-service housekeeping option. We’ll also make sure to use the best marketing practices to reach potential guests, including social media and email.

We can also determine and update rental rates on your home to drive revenue and occupancy. We want to make your home rental experience as stress-free as possible!

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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.