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:
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
Mr. Coffee 12-cup Coffee Maker only $9.96.
Keurig K-Compact Brewer Black only $40, originally $59.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Foosball/Soccer Game Table only $282.14.
3-in-1 7 foot Game Table only $701.23, originally $949.99.
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!
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!
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.
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:
When you own a vacation rental, you aren’t just responsible
for maintaining a home. You become the key person that oversees reservations,
housekeeping, laundry, maintenance calls, marketing – everything that when
combined, creates the guest experience. When you host a family or group looking
to make memories on vacation, you take ownership of their experience before, during,
and after their stay in your home.
The bottom line: owning a vacation rental is WORK. And if you’re not interested in being the Director of Hospitality for your own home, working with a vacation rental management company may be the best option for you.
Here we’ve answered some frequently asked questions on how
we manage the guest experience for you:
Q: What type of communication do you have with guests leading up to their stay?
A: We have a team of local reservation agents that are constantly responding to inquiries coming in from booking platforms, our website, social media, email, and phone calls. Our team is available to answer any questions a guest has leading up to and throughout their stay. In addition, we send out pre-stay email communications that provide quests with information about their upcoming trip and a key-less entry code to enter the home.
Q: What happens if there is a guest emergency?
A: Our team is available and responsive to guest needs 24/7. During office hours, our centrally located team of professionals should be able to dispatch and resolve the issue quickly. After hours, guests are provided an emergency contact number, where they will reach a manager on duty.
Q: Do you provide the guests with any supplies for their stay?
A: Yes, we stock homes with clean bed linens, bath towels, and a starter kit containing 2 rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, sponge, garbage bag, and a dishwasher tab, if needed. Our pet-friendly rentals are provided with waste bags. In addition, we include small touches throughout the home to welcome guests, from bed-made cards introducing the home’s housekeeper to locally sourced gifts for our returning guests. We also provide a spice jar for all guests to use during their stay and to take home.
And this is just the minimum provided! Our team will work
with you to customize the level of hospitality you want your guests to receive,
whether it’s a bottle of wine with every stay or a list of professional chefs
that service the home.
Q: What if my neighbors are uncomfortable with a guest during their stay?
A: We make it a priority to ensure that the communities we manage vacation rentals in feel safe, respected, and heard. All neighbors are notified that the home next door will be used as a short-term rental and we provide them with a magnet containing our contact information, so that they can reach out any time with concerns.
We’ve built a courtesy to neighbors section into our rental
agreement, so that guests know not to enter neighboring properties without
permission and that quiet hours are to be observed between 10:00pm and 9:00am. However,
we receive few complaints, as we maintain a family atmosphere at our rentals
and all guests are vetted before arrival.
Q: How do you gather feedback from guests regarding their stay?
A: We encourage guests to provide us with feedback regarding their stay! We send out a guest satisfaction survey via email and constantly request 3rd party reviews from guests on Google, Facebook, Yelp, The Knot, and VRBO. We compile this feedback, so that owners are always aware of how their rental is perceived and performing. Owners are also welcome to leave their own review cards and surveys in their homes for guests to fill out.
If you need help with managing the guest experience or simply want to work less and enjoy your lakefront home more, call our Owner Services team today! (866) 317-2109
…and how Finger Lakes Premier Properties can help!
On the surface, jumping into the vacation rental business seems like a no-brainer for open-minded homeowners. Fluff the pillows, snap a few photos, list on a booking site, and collect the cash… done. At Finger Lakes Premier Properties (FLPP), we often hear about the frustrations homeowners have with maintaining their vacation rental themselves. The good news, we are here to help! We’ve outlined the top 6 frustrations below to inform prospective vacation rental owners, and to reaffirm current owners that they are not alone.
Problem #1: How do I determine my rental rates? Do they need to change? If so, how often and by how much?
FLPP has the solution: FLPP offers a Yield Management program at no cost to you! This optional program provides a systematic adjustment of pricing and length of stay designed to drive occupancy and revenue based on your home’s characteristics and demand. When a new reservation is secured you will receive a confirmation. Each confirmation includes the rate the guest was charged for their stay. FLPP offers an online Owner Portal for all the need-to-know information about your home! For example, it provides access to your year to date income, a dashboard of income and expenses for a given time period, and access to the rental calendar. Making an Owner Reservation from this portal is quick and easy!
Problem #2: I am no longer able to complete a screening process through third-party booking sites.
FLPP has the solution: FLPP’s screening process ensures that the guest’s expectations are met/exceeded. This screening communicates our policies and procedures with prospective guests who must sign a rental agreement to complete the booking. FLPP speaks to all of our guests by phone to ensure age limits are met, pet policies are understood, and that parking and occupancy requirements are understood.
Problem #3: I am spending hours cleaning, maintaining, and completing maintenance tasks at the property on turn over day.
FLPP has the solution: We can help! We offer a turn-key full-service option. Our services ensure our owner’s properties are well cared for at all times. We take pride in the quality and consistency of our cleaning and maintenance services. Our services are tailored to ensure our owners and vacationing guests achieve their goals.
Problem #4: I have had untimely payments after a guest has stayed.
FLPP has the solution: FLPP provides owners with monthly statements by the 10th of each month, or the bank’s next business day. Statements provide a summary of your rental proceeds along with any expenses or charges from the previous month.
Problem #5: The third-party booking sites are not always responsive in answering my questions.
FLPP has the solution: FLPP has a dedicated team in the Owner Services Department. They are here as your advocate! They can answer questions, accept any feedback or comments related to your home, reservations, or guests. We respond within 24 – 48hrs, 7 days a week to all questions.
Problem #6: Third-party booking sites do not provide a 24/7 helpdesk to my guests.
FLPP has the solution: For your convenience, we provide 24/7 guest services year-round by phone. You will no longer need to be available to answer guest calls during their stay. Our Penn Yan office is staffed 7 days a week. During the summer we are open 9:00 am – 8:00 pm (all week) and 9:00 am – 5:00 pm during the off-season (Monday – Friday).
There are millions of successful vacation rental homeowners around the globe, and not all of them use a property management company. Your level of knowledge and effort determines your success. As the leading vacation rental company in the region, we want to ensure the demands of entering the industry are understood by every homeowner, whether or not they partner with us.
Ultimately, you’re responsible for a family’s lodging and become the backbone of their entire vacation. This is a huge responsibility. At FLPP, we have full-time employees for housekeeping, maintenance, guest services, reservations. Anything a guest could possibly need is a phone call away, and we’re always happy to help.
Finger Lakes Premier Properties has been in the vacation rental business for 25 years. Contact us today at (877-386-6022), or via email at email@example.com, for information about our property management program.