Ask Your Agent: Purchasing an Investment Property

Lakefront living has its perks – gorgeous views, a place to cool off, an escape from everyday life – but it can come at a cost. As a result, many homeowners are looking to short-term renting to pay taxes or generate extra income.

If you’re in the market to purchase a lakefront home and are interested in making it an investment property, here are a few questions you should be asking your agent:

Has this home been rented before?

This is a great place to start. Homes with vacation rental history have the advantage of past and repeat guests, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Knowing a home’s rental history will also give you a better understanding of rates to set and revenue generated by the home, helping you know if this is a solid investment.

What are the local vacation rental regulations?

Working with a real estate agent that’s also in property management is a huge advantage. They will be up-to-date on any local vacation rental laws in place that might limit the return on your investment. For example, you could purchase a 6 bedroom house with a potential occupancy of 14 people, but a local law may limit you to renting out only 4 of those rooms. That effects your rental rate and your bottom line.

How close is this home to attractions?

The Finger Lakes region is a tourism destination, host to numerous festivals, graduations, weddings, and well-known events. The demand and rate for your vacation rental is directly impacted by your proximity to attractions and venues. While some guests may come to spend time on the lake, most are here for a specific experience and will pay more to be close to the action.

Can this home be used year-round?

Many lakefront homes are seasonal – they may lack heat or have a driveway that’s impassible in winter. While demand and rates peak in the summer months, there is still potential to profit during the off-season. Consider a location near a popular winter festival or ski resort, or transition to long-term renting to college students or professionals outside of peak season.

Do you have property management experience?

Work with a real estate team that has property management experience and leverage that expertise! Our Owner Services team works closely with our real estate agents to provide an analysis based on the criteria we use for homes in our vacation rental program. This helps you to compare properties and make the best financial decision. Plus, you have already have a team in place to help you manage your investment.

Our Real Estate team has over 25 years of experience in vacation rental and lakefront property management. Call (877) 211-5917 today to discuss your revenue goals and real estate investment options with our team!

What is the Time Investment of Owning a Vacation Rental?

When purchasing a second home for rental income, the first investment you think about is the financial cost of purchasing, owning, and maintaining a vacation rental. But have you considered the time you’ll invest in the process?

On average, it costs the owner 10 hours per week to maintain a vacation rental and provide a stellar experience for their guests. Time constraints are a common reason why homeowners contact Finger Lakes Premier Properties (FLPP) every day about managing their second home for both short and long-term rentals. At FLPP, we can manage the entire process by providing our owners with the following time-saving services:

Property Website & Profiles

Congratulations you have purchased a home to rent to vacationers coming to the Finger Lakes! Now how are you going to list it? You may choose to use one or a variety of third-party booking sites, each with its own calendar to update, description to maintain, and reviews to respond to. At FLPP, we manage all of your listings. From taking the professional photos to managing the profiles on each site, in addition to listing your property our top-ranked website attracting over 300,000 unique visitors each year, we’ll manage this cumbersome process for you.

Online & Onsite Reservation Agents

No need to worry about checking your email frequently for new inquiries. Our highly skilled reservation agents will follow-up, book, process payments, and secure a guest license agreement for each reservation. Between the virtual tours and knowledge of our agents, your prospective guests will have all of their questions answered about your home before their arrival. Our mobile-friendly website also provides guests the ease of booking and paying online.

24/7 Guest Services

We have a manager on duty 24/7 to answer any guest calls, eliminating your need to be available during their stay. If there is an urgent need to visit the home, FLPP will dispatch a member of their team to respond to your guest’s concerns.

Professional Housekeeping

The cleanliness of a house makes not only the first impression but a lasting impression. Cleanliness is an extremely high priority. We have professionally trained Zone Leaders and Housekeepers who are skilled and work diligently to prepare for all arrivals. All of our housekeepers are trained and scheduled to clean the entire house and switch out the linens between each reservation, at no cost to you! Depending on the size of your home, this could take up to 8 hours of your time alone! For more about our housekeeping services, click here.

Maintenance & Landscaping

Our Maintenance Department can provide repairs and home improvements for you at competitive rates. Each Maintenance Technician on our team is qualified to handle everyday issues that a renter might have while in your home, and we also work closely with preferred local vendors who meet our qualifications to offer services to our owners at the best rates possible. Our team also provides year-round services to homes throughout the region, including winterizations, snow-removal, and seasonal upkeep to further save you time on maintaining your home. For more information about our maintenance services, click here.

Yield Management

Some homeowners will set one rate for their home for the entire year, missing out on potential income based on local supply and demand. At FLPP we have a Yield Management team who monitors booking trends, consumer behavior, and the competition to present the right price for your rental to the right customer at the right time to maximize your earnings.


When you list your home with FLPP you have the competitive advantage of being included in the diverse marketing strategies of FLPP’s team. From professional photography and virtual tours to instant exposure to FLPP’s establish digital networks and guest database, your home will be viewed by thousands of potential visitors almost instantly.

Book Keeping & Tax Filing

The experienced staff at FLPP does not stop with the front line. Members of our Accounting Department have been pro­viding timely owner statements and payments for 25 years. All financial transactions are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. You will receive automatic payment each month for your reservations and our team will prepare your annual tax documents for your vacation home.

Find Out More!

If you are considering renting your home or purchasing a home as an income property, keep all of these points in mind when calculating the time investment of maintaining a vacation rental. For more information about the property management services offered at FLPP, contact our Owner Services Department today at or 888-414-5253, option 3.