Blog 31 of 93

Want the Money? - Lodging Newsletter December 31st, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/24/18 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Vacation Rentals and specialty lodging are the fastest growing segments of the lodging industry. Fueled by the internet; the number of cabins, condos, houses and inns have been growing rapidly for two decades.

There are books and blogs and forums all tempting property owners to jump into the rental market. Online travel agents like VRBO, TripAdvisor, and, along with hundreds of others can expose any kind of lodging, anywhere in the world, to travelers who are searching out interesting, unique and unusual destinations and properties that would been difficult to find years ago.

We love taking care of guests and owners and properties, but must admit there is a another side of the vacation rental business that every property owner should consider before they make the plunge into renting.

That question is - do you want the money? Do you really?

In surprising ways, being a vacation rental owner is different than new owners presume. Diligent and professional managers help owners avoid significant issues. But when a home becomes a rental, some things change.

So in this letter I am attaching a short outline of questions every owner should ask before starting to rent.


DO YOU WANT THE MONEY? If getting the money is not your goal, you may find even the smallest aspects of landlording might make you uncomfortable

CAN YOU SCHEDULE? Like all comprehensive management firms, our system allows owners to easily block out dates for their own use. They can be unblocked later, but having to schedule use of your own home is a new requirement.

ARE YOU PATIENT? Ramping up requires lots of information and double-checking. Ramping down (when you want to stop renting) takes months because guests book far in advance and because we invest time and money to give you maximum success.

CAN YOU TAKE CRITICISM? With the advent of online reviews, some consumers decide to criticize even the smallest detail of wonderful homes. Of course legitimate issues must be dealt with quickly, but be prepared for those few guests who are ill mannered as they espouse their errant opinions on the world.

CAN YOU BEAR WEAR AND TEAR? We provide $3,000 incidental damage insurance (which guests pay for) but you may find wall scuffs, deep cleans and some increase in utility bills. Appliances wear out over the years, flatware, plateware and pots and pans disappear (very slowly) with it being impossible to blame the guests. The cost is small compared to the rental income.

WILL YOU ACCEPT THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS? "Online Travel Agents" (OTA's) such as Expedia,, and VRBO spend lavishly to dominate internet and even television advertising. We offset those costs by charging higher rates on those websites. But OTA's insert themselves in guest policies and add a cost of business that can not be ignored which some owners dislike.

WILL YOU APPRECIATE MANAGEMENT? Engaging a manager gives owners far wider advertising, reliable onsite staff and personable guests services. Managers provide 24-7-365 services but need the authority and autonomy to provide the best results. Significant occurrences are reported, but managers perform routine duties most efficiently by not having excessive owner intervention.

ARE YOU UNDERSTANDING? Managers work overtime to clean, maintain and care for homes. Cleans must be done quickly and with limitations. Maintenance must be quick and cost effective. Staff are dispatched to re-clean, repair or provide guest services as soon as practical. No matter the situation, staff are treated with courtesy and respect for undertaking what is a difficult and demanding job.

ARE YOU RESPECTFUL? If something is missed or special effort is needed, a call to the manager will bring results. But expecting housekeepers and staff to be perfect in every case would be like expecting a great football receiver to catch every pass. Everyone on the staff must be treated with respect and dignity even when there are minor oversights.

In summary, operating rentals in a business like manner is the key to success. Schedule your use, be prepared for guest critiques, and understand there will be minor wear and tear. Allow your manager to spend most of their time managing for you and less of their time talking about it.

If you want the money this is the surefire way to make it happen. You get maximum income with minimum fuss.

Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0629 – 12/24/18
Sponsor: Vortex Organization – We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rental Management companies, in an industry that has been a webby net of technology combined with good old fashioned property, guest and owner services. –

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