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.

Top Insights for Selling Finger Lakes Waterfront Homes in 2021

If you’ve been watching the lakefront market in the Finger Lakes, you’ll notice it resembles the weather this time of year, nearly frozen. There has been little to no movement along most of the Finger Lakes since the new year. The standstill of new listings creates both opportunity and frustration depending on which side of the market you stand.

The Best Time to Sell is…

For those who are considering selling their lake home in 2021, as your lakefront experts we cannot stress enough that now is the best time to list. New listings are likely to continue selling in record time as prospective buyers have been patiently awaiting new inventory. In 2020, lakefront homes across the region sold 11.83% faster than in 2019. Some markets, such as Keuka Lake, reduced its average days on market by 48% in 2020 while increasing the average sale price by 12.45%. Click here to read the 2020 Lakefront Market Report.

These quick sales were a result of pure demand. In fact, in 2020 our agents alone experienced a 167% increase in qualified buyer inquiries specifically looking for lakefront homes. This surge combined with our 27-year database of prospective waterfront buyers allowed us to match new listings with the ideal buyer to result in fast, easy sales for both parties. With the lack of inventory in 2020, many of these home shoppers are still waiting to be matched.

As summer gets closer, these buyers will be more anxious to secure a home. Spring is typically when listings pick up for any market, especially lakefront. The key will be to list prior to this influx of new inventory for maximum exposure and highest return.


What Does Selling Look Like in 2021

When you are ready to list your lake home, we advise our clients be prepared for a quick sale. If you’re currently living in your lake home year-round, we do advise you to have housing lined up. It isn’t only the Finger Lakes market that has a lack of available listings. According to a recent Inman article, across the US, “January sales had actually declined 32 percent month over month, the greatest monthly decline since the start of the pandemic.” The nation is at an all time low for listings, which can make moving especially difficult.

For those who are ready to sell, the good news is it will likely be a quick process. Our homes can be staged, photographed, listed and sold in less than a week. Our marketing department assists clients with optimizing the spaces in their homes so in one day the photography, videography, and virtual tours are complete and ready for online walkthroughs. Once the home is listed, be prepared for our team to communicate multiple and competitive offers for your home. This will be a clear indication that we priced the home correctly and connected you with right buyers for your particular home.

Another popular option that many second homeowners are looking at is utilizing the home as a vacation rental. To many this idea seems daunting. However, demand for vacation rentals, especially in the Finger Lakes region has soared. As the leading vacation rental management company in the region, we provide exclusive insights into the rental market for the region. But here’s a clue, only six weeks into the year and we have 54% more nights sold for 2021 vacation homes than this time last year. Our full circle of management services allows homeowners to reap the financial benefits of the rental demand without managing the day-to-day activities of listing, booking, guest services, and housekeeping. For more information about our rental management services, click here.

How to List Your Home

In 2020, our real estate team put together the ultimate package for our sellers to innovatively attract the most buyers while physically reducing the number of people in their homes. Our team utilized every tool in our digital marketing toolbox from professional photography, videography, virtual tours, and live video chats and walk throughs. These all-inclusive techniques combined with our database of qualified buyers allowed us to sell lake homes 23% faster than the regional market average.

First steps to selling your lake home is to reach out to our real estate team and identify if selling your home now would achieve your goals. Many who previously purchased a second home along the lakes specifically as an investment property jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of the 2020 seller’s market. However, those who expected higher than reasonable selling price were not always rewarded. A differentiator with lakefront buyers is they are more patient to find the right home, even in the midst of a pandemic. They are savvy buyers who are not about to overpay an exorbitant price tag. Our experienced lakefront real estate team provides comparative analyses before marketing to strategically list the home at the optimum price for the desired results.

If you have any questions about the real estate or rental marketing in the Finger Lakes, our sales team would be happy to assist you. Contact us today at 855-666-7812 or at sales@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.

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

FAQ Friday: Managing the Guest Experience

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

Responsible Renting

Inexperience among property managers is leading to concerns about private vacation rentals in high tourism areas. Sometimes even causing destinations to enact complete bans on rentals in that area.

Using and renting a home out as a vacation rental has become a trendy topic in the last few years. With the rising popularity of sites like AirBNB or VRBO, it seems that anyone can become a property manager. But while these sites handle the listing and booking features, they don’t cover the actual management of the vacation rental. Few first-time rental managers fully understand the scope and time it takes to manage a property successfully from booking to check-out.

That’s why Finger Lakes Premier Properties (FLPP) is in the business of promoting and advocating for responsible property management in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. A staple in the industry for over 25 years, they are the leading experts in caring for and curating a vacation experience that benefits owners, guests, neighbors, and the broader communities that they serve.

Homeowner Education

One of the cornerstone values of Finger Lakes Premier Properties is providing an end-to-end approach to vacation rental and property management. From the moment a homeowner signs on with FLPP, they are educated on the rental process, the value their home brings, and the broader vacation rental industry. They learn that there is more to managing a property than taking a booking and turning a profit. With FLPP, homeowners receive education and constant communication around what to expect, from start to finish. 

Day to Day Management

Additionally, homeowners in FLPP’s rental program rely on the company for their high-level of involvement in managing and running a vacation rental. On average, it can take 8-10 hours a week to manage a single property, not including regular maintenance and housekeeping. More than a listing site, Finger Lakes Premier Properties handles marketing the homes in their care, maximizing occupancy, driving visitation, managing the guest experience, and caring for the needs and expectations of the local communities. They handle home maintenance and housekeeping – even providing linens for the duration of a guest’s stay. They offer a 24-hour open line for emergency needs to handle situations that arise from guests, homeowners, and neighbors alike.

Neighbor Concerns and Care

When a guest books a Finger Lakes Premier Properties’ home, they are educated about neighbor relations and responsible restrictions within the area that they have chosen. FLPP takes care to help the guest understand that they are residing next to local neighbors and residential homes during their visit – not other tourists like at a hotel or resort.

As such, FLPP provides signage around parking, trash disposal and removal, property limitations, and sets quiet hours for each property that they manage. Guests are required to sign a license agreement outlining these terms before staying at the home and are educated on the consequences of breaking the agreement in any way.

On the other side, neighbors are also informed that they reside next to a vacation rental property and are educated on what to expect. They are provided a direct line to FLPP and encouraged to call to voice concerns, request assistance, or request enforcement of policies in the case of an unwanted guest situation.

Environmental Impact

Beyond the booking and the buildings, FLPP is focused on caring for and preserving the broader Finger Lakes Region. In high tourist areas, guests can have an impact on the ecosystem and health of the Finger Lakes. FLPP circumvents possible environmental situations by placing regulations on homeowners to keep their property and facilities up to code based on occupancy sizes and the number of guests hosted each year. By promoting environmental awareness among homeowners and guests, FLPP helps to ensure the Finger Lakes Vacation Region is around for future communities and visitors to enjoy.

Tourism Impact

Vacation rentals positively impact the tourism industry by offering more accommodation options within a single community and boosting the local economy – with more visitors branching out to area attractions, eating in local restaurants, and shopping in local stores. These properties are often able to accommodate larger groups and families than a traditional hotel unit – and offer a different type experience for those wishing to “live like a local” or plan an authentic Finger Lakes vacation.

If you have questions about responsible renting in the Finger Lakes Region, please reach out to Finger Lakes Premier Properties directly at 877-776-5532 to start the conversation.

Finger Lakes Premier Properties is a member of the national Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) and an active participant in the local community. They remain a resource and give expert insight on responsible property management practices, including continued education around the broader vacation rental industry.

Tips for lake-friendly spring cleaning

The Finger Lakes are an abundant and vital resource to our region, providing us with recreation, tourism, agriculture, and clean drinking water. It is the responsibility of lake-centric businesses, lakefront homeowners, and responsible renters to keep our Finger Lakes clean and safe for generations to come. What we do in the spring can not only increase bookings and improve home aesthetics, but also reduce pollution, algae blooms, and other harmful outbreaks that can affect the lakes during peak season.

Here are some tips from the local watershed associations to help you protect the lakes during your spring cleanup efforts.

Avoid using fertilizers

Lawn care blends contain excess nutrients that enter the lakes through rainwater and runoff this time of the year. According to the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, this results in “harmful algae blooms, increased aquatic plant growth, and the degradation of our water quality.” If your lawn or garden can’t go without, switch to a phosphorus-free fertilizer instead. The best practice for a lake friendly lawn? Replace your grass with native plants, bushes, and trees.

Change up your household chemicals

Avoid using toxic or flammable household cleaners, poisons, herbicides, and pesticides. Not only can these be picked up by runoff into the lakes, but according to the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, many chemical products are not completely removed by the biological treatment in septic systems, so they still end up in groundwater and nearby water sources. Buy and use only what you need, switch to environmentally friendly alternatives, and dispose of chemicals at designated drop-off sites. As always, make sure household chemicals are stored carefully and away from where guests can access them.

Clean up pet waste

Not only will it improve the look of your yard, but cleaning up after your pets is lake-friendly practice. Dispose of pet waste in the trash or flush it down the toilet. We encourage all guests to clean up after pets, but if you have a pet-friendly rental, we recommend stashing some baggies near any exits to the yard.

Control soil erosion

Keep the dirt where it belongs – in your yard! You can minimize storm water runoff by planting a raingarden, adding shrubs, trees, and ground covers to your landscaping, and allowing vegetation to grow along any nearby streams. These plants can help trap sediment and pollutants on their way to the water.

Join a lakeshore monitoring program!

If you reside in the Finger Lakes year round, you can volunteer to monitor shoreline with any of the local watershed associations. Keeping your eyes on the lake can help these organizations monitor algae blooms and cyanobacteria build ups that tend to proliferate during the late summer months.

Doing your part to keep the lakes clean this spring and monitoring shorelines for harmful plant and bacteria growths can have a huge impact on the health of the Finger Lakes. Best of all, improved water quality during peak season translates to higher guest satisfaction and increased reservations for your vacation rental! For more lake-friendly spring clean-up tips, visit www.flrwa.org.

Need help getting your lakefront home ready for peak season reservations? Our owner services and housekeeping teams can assist with your lake-friendly cleanup efforts. Call 844-404-1059 today!

Increase Bookings With Four Easy Upgrades

Comfortable Outdoor Atmosphere

When you vacation in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee or the white sandy beaches of Pensacola, what do you do? Do you lounge around inside or enjoy the view outdoors? 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 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.

Another way to create an enjoyable outdoor atmosphere that will really make your vacation rental stand out is outdoor décor and shaded spaces. With some art, statues, and area rugs, you can increase the ambience of your outdoor living area. Potted plants that don’t require much watering would also add a nice touch. Above all, make sure your vacation rental’s outdoor space provides enough shade. Not everyone likes to be in direct sunlight all day.

Central Air and Ceiling Fans

Although vacation rentals are on the cool waters of the lakes, summers can get hot and humid. Nothing feels better than walking into a cool, air-conditioned house to recuperate from the day’s activity. It also happens to be one of the main complaints our guest services department handles during peak months.

If your vacation rental home does not have central air and/or ceiling fans, you will want to install these as soon as possible. Doing so will boost your home’s search results, improve your guest’s experience dramatically, and ultimately lead to return bookings.

Technological Home Improvements

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 beginning to enter into the vacation rental industry as consumers.

Installing a reliable Wi-Fi network will definitely please your guests. If guests have complained in the past about limited Wi-Fi, you may consider upgrading to accommodate a greater number of devices.

Guests also 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.

Another technological improvement that is becoming popular in the vacation rental industry is virtual home assistants such as Amazon’s Echo products. Like Siri, a virtual home assistant will talk back and act on voice command. Guests can ask for information, the weather forecast, music playback, and more. This can be especially useful for guests who want to look up things to do or places to eat in the area.

Amenities

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 such as towels, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and maps of the area. You may wish to throw in additional amenities such as a universal charger and adapter to assuage 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.

Benefits of Home Renovations – A Case Study

At Finger Lakes Premier Properties, we strive to meet both guest and owner expectations. Guests expect an enjoyable experience while owners expect to receive a return on investment. One way we help our owners maximize their revenue is by suggesting home renovations that cater to guests. Through our reservation software, website analytics, and guest reviews, we are able to determine what amenities guests desire and drive revenue.

New Renovations

One of our owners decided to act on our renovation recommendations to a newly purchased home that had been in our vacation rental program. Before the rental season began this year, they made some improvements to Seneca Shores. They started simple by adding new bedding and paint throughout the house. In the kitchen, they installed new wood floors, marble countertops, and white cabinets which have given it a nice modern flair. The largest project was turning the basement into a furnished game room so guests have something to do at night or during rainy days. Outside there was more emphasis on the guest experience by adding a lake view fire pit area and additional lounge chairs on the deck. After the renovations were completed, here’s what one guest had to say:

“This was our 2nd time staying at Seneca Shores and everything was magnificent. We really enjoyed the new updates & bedding along with the game room and hot tub. Excellent job. We hope to stay again in the future.”  – Kimberly S. from Pittston, NY, 04/25/2018

BeforeKitchen Before RenovationAfterKitchen After Renovation

Renovations Results

After we examined the numbers, we found these renovations improved bookings and revenue significantly. The following table illustrates the increase in 2018 bookings compared to 2017 year to date.

Year Nights Reservations
2017 92 21
2018 113 29

With the improvements to the home, we found that guests booked more nights and we charged a higher rate. To see the average rate per night, check out the figure below.

Not only did these renovations meet owner expectations with increased revenue, they met guest expectations as well.

In addition to Seneca Shores, we performed case studies on two other rentals that were renovated late this spring. However, these rentals opened their calendars late in the summer. This makes it difficult to compare year-over-year data. However, based on their booking patterns so far this summer, the potential for increased revenue is high for 2019.

Get Recommendations to Renovate Your Rental Home

Investing money to renovate your rental home can be risky. Let us help you make an informed decision. If you would like recommendations for renovating your rental home, contact Owner Services. With over twelve years of experience, our Owner Services Department knows what guests want and how owners can meet those expectations. We always include recommendations for our owners in their post-season inspection. If you would like more information about joining our property management program, contact Owner Services today.