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Russian Roulette - Lodging Newsletter April 30, 2021
By Wm, May
Published: 04/30/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0
It was in the national news a few weeks back, maybe you read about it.
The deck of a home, on the Malibu coastline of California, overloaded with people, collapsed and sent a dozen or more occupants, crashing onto the rocks below. Emergency crews rushed to the scene, people were sent to the hospital, police reports were taken, and the media warned of overloading decks. But that was not the entire story.
Later reports revealed that the owner had rented the home for the weekend for a maximum of 6 people. When neighbors complained of too many people, the owner, living far away, telephoned the guests, "Pleading with them to leave."
For over 3 hours, she recorded the phone calls, eventually calling the police, but too late. A dozen people were hurt, some severely. She is lucky no one died, but there will undoubtedly be a lawsuit.
It seems the owner fell victim to the trap laid by AirBnB, VRBO and other websites, promising how easy managing your own home is. These websites promise owners can "Get Rich Quick" by simply listing online, finding a cheap housekeeper, and raking in the money.
The websites hide that the average home requires 500 hours a year of owner time, demands 24/7/365 monitoring, late night phone calls, and constant worries about experiences like the deck owner's.
When dealing with the public, no one can guarantee that every customer will behave. Troublesome customers are rare, but smart managers know how to train guests, before they arrive, on how to follow rules. Professional managers also know how to control guests during occupancy. Should a guest violate the rules, they know how to legally get rid of them in minutes. And the right manager will produce more income than they cost.
Amateur owners reflect poorly on the vacation rental industry, like the deck house owner who was trying to "beat a system" by failing to hire a reliable manager. These amateur owners put their homes and guests at greater risk.
This month's newsletter explains how owners can make maximum income with minimum fuss. Flip the page to read all about it.
In recent years, cities, counties and even home owner associations, have ramped up to regulate or prohibit vacation rentals, and all for a mathematically insignificant number of issues that nosey neighbors try to push on officials.
Bad Medicine: Governments hold hearings, listen to days of testimony, and dream up bandaid rules that seldom quiet critics, while stripping away rights that American property owners hold dear. Officials fail to grasp that, when issues do arise, they are almost exclusively caused by out-of-town, rent-by-owners who don't have the experience, skills, tools or proximity to responsibly manage their homes.
Hiring a kid down the street or a freelance housekeeper to "Keep an eye on the place" fails, because they lack management skills. They disappear when difficult work arises, like managing guest behavior.
Know the Ropes: Professional managers control the marketing and booking process, enabling them to qualify guests, put rules in writing, require signed contracts, and setup homes properly to educate and warn guests how to behave. This eliminates problems before they start.
The steps of establishing legally binding listings, contracts, rules and other documents are almost always skipped by rent-by-owners. Those same owners never even think about it and never commit to providing services 24/7/365, but that is the foundation of lodging management.
Full Service or A-La-Carte: The cost of hiring a manager will be easily offset by the additional income the manager will produce by securing higher occupancy and higher rates.
Companies like ours provide services a-la-carte and full service. Owners can pick and choose, so long as they setup their property to be safe and secure. Services are not free, but all pay off for owners.
Managers are not all created equal. A client switched to us recently because, when he called his current management company to report too many people at his home, the big corporate out-of-town management firm said, "Hey what do you expect me to do about it?"
"I know no one can guarantee every guest will behave," said the client, "but I expect management firms to know what they can do, how to do it, and then to do it."
Do-It-Yourself: The dream of doing things yourself runs deep. Those who would never do their own tax returns, never repair their own cars, or never fix their own plumbing, will try to manage one of their most expensive assets - their vacation home - even though they have absolutely no experience.
It is difficult to find a doctor, attorney, accountant who would consider managing their own rental home. They have done the math and find that hiring a professional manager is much cheaper than distracting from their own billable time. With us they make maximum income with minimum fuss.
Self-managing fills a need in some people to believe (incorrectly) that they are in absolute control, to be their own boss, and to own their own business. But with lack of training, sufficient staff members, and quick access to the property, do-it-yourself management is Russian Roulette. Just ask the owner of the Malibu deck home.
So if your home needs higher income, attentive management, and lower risk, call us today.
Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0813 – 04/30/21
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. – VortexManagers.com
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