No Vacancy! 6 Hot Tips for Renting Out Your Vacation Home Long After the Vacation’s Over

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:51am

To the uninitiated, buying a vacation home in a popular destination seems like a brilliant business move. You’ve got your own special place to escape to anytime you want—and you can rent it out and make money when you’re not there. Talk about a win-win!

And during high season, it probably is: Whether you have a lakefront bungalow or a cozy ski condo five minutes from the area’s top runs, you likely have no problem getting potential renters fighting over your listing each week.

Unfortunately, as soon as the leaves begin to turn things might start to get a bit icy (or the last of the snow melts, and skiers hang up their gear). You’ve tried a price reduction, but you simply aren’t getting any bookings, even on the weekends.


All is not lost! You can still attract year-round visitors to your seasonal rental. You just have to get creative, says Hugh Barton, president of Luxury Vacation Homes Global in New York City.

“People look for deals during the offseason; a person who cannot necessarily afford a luxury home in the summer can possibly afford it during the winter,” says Barton, who rents out vacation homes year-round in 50 locations worldwide. “The key is to highlight the benefits that these locations bring during the offseason.”

Here are six ideas for how to rent out your vacation home long after the crowds have disappeared.

1. Heat things up with a hot tub (or at the very least, a game room)

During the offseason, luxury amenities are key for getting renters to bite, Barton says. If you’re struggling to make your home stand out, consider installing an indoor sauna or an outdoor hot tub. Without fail, these vacation amenities draw in the crowds, he says.

Of course, they also don’t come cheap—on average, it’ll cost you $4,500 to install a sauna and $3,500 for a hot tub—not including the costs of utilities and maintenance.

So if going luxe isn’t in your budget, don’t despair—there are some cheap(er) tricks to try: “Make a designated game room with pool tables, a huge shelf of board games, and a pingpong table,” Barton suggests. “Or create a cinema room set up with tons of movies.”

And don’t forget what’s outside, either. Stock your home with sleds, snowboards, kayaks, and other gear for renters to use.

“Make sure your amenities are of the highest caliber,” he says. “This will make any guest feel like they are on vacation, no matter the season.”

2. Market to different audiences

If you’re struggling to fill the vacancies in your vacation home, it might be time to think outside the box: “A home can be used for more than just a vacation,” Barton points out.

In the offseason, he suggests, you can offer up your luxury home as a spot for a corporate retreat. Or consider hosting a writers workshop, or rolling out the yoga mats for groups looking for a wellness weekend away.

Just make sure you bone up on the rules and regulations on using your home this way. In some markets, you might have to add the owner of the event to your insurance and/or purchase extra liability coverage.

3. Sell the location, no matter what time of year

Jennifer Nelson, an agent with Realty Executives in Phoenix, says her clients often have trouble renting out their Arizona vacation homes during the summer when temps can regularly reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, she says, there are always ways to lure renters—if you know how to market the location.

“It’s a smart idea to promote local attractions in conjunction with your rental,” she says. “For example, ‘Get the best tickets of the season for the Diamondbacks game!’ Or your town’s local auto auction, state fair, or whatever.”

While you’re at it, take the opportunity to play up any advantages of visiting the town in the offseason.

“In the winter, [you can] showcase that there are fewer crowds, easier access to high-end restaurants and local services that would ordinarily require a long wait,” she says.

4. Offer exclusive, ‘act now’ discounts

Of course, you can lower your nightly rates to draw in renters, Nelson says. Really want to be booked solid? Put some urgency behind it, and make it clear that this is a deal that’s too good to pass up.

Start by emailing renters who’ve already stayed in your home and gave it rave reviews, Nelson recommends.

“Offer them expiring, ‘act now’ pricing to attract attention so it doesn’t get lost in their email inbox,” she says. “For instance, ‘Book by the end of this week only for a special offseason rate! Extra discounts for stays of longer than seven days!’”

5. Sprinkle in a little holiday magic

Everyone dreams of a getaway somewhere far, far away from Aunt Edna around the holidays. If you can offer your beach or lake house for a bargain price that time of year, capitalize on that, Nelson says.

“If winter is your offseason, consider offering a holiday promotion and highlight your local Christmas fairs and horse-drawn carriage rides,” she says. “Tenants love to envision the whole getaway, not just the home, so the more you can expose them to, the better.”

6. Paint a pretty picture

Perhaps most important, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words—or in this case, thousands of dollars of rental income in your pocket, Nelson says.

“Update your photos to show off the season,” she urges. “For winter tenants, consider putting some cocoa and mugs on the counter, show the local Christmas lights on the rooflines, and show off how magical your town looks in winter. Show off the brilliant fall foliage in autumn and the dreamy spring sunsets over the water, too.”

Then sit back and watch as your booking calendar fills up.



The post No Vacancy! 6 Hot Tips for Renting Out Your Vacation Home Long After the Vacation’s Over appeared first on AAOA.

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How to Get Your Investment Property Ready to be Rented Out

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:48am

If you’ve got an investment property that you’d like to start renting out, there are a number of things you need to do to make sure it’s ready. Some of these tips could actually make a difference in the demand for your property and can increase how much you can charge for rent, or how easily you get tenants in the first place.

While renting out a property isn’t always straightforward, it’s still a viable investment that beats many others in the current economic climate. In the right location, a good investment property can make you between 5-8% yield each year. Not only that, but the value of the property could also go up over time.

That’s why location is important when choosing a rental property. You want somewhere that you can afford, but that also has the potential to go up in price. As well as that, you’ll want a healthy rental market so you can get your property filled with tenants reasonably quickly and get a good rental price in place. So what do you need to do to get your property on the market?

Use multiple realtors

Make sure you use multiple realtors to try and promote your property unless they can offer you an excellent deal to go exclusive.

Find the right price

Every property sells or gets let out at the right price eventually. So if you’re struggling to get enough interest, you might want to consider lowering it.

The right investment property strategy normally matches a growing property market with a healthy rental yield. Make sure you’ve got your property sorted so you can start earning on your investment.

Get professional photos

Almost everyone checks for properties online these days, or at the very least, in property magazines or realtor windows. That means the most important factor in getting high demand for your property is good quality photos. So many great properties go un-visited (and therefore un-rented) because the landlord put up poor quality photos that don’t do the place justice.

If you want to get a lot of interest in your property – get professional photos.

Make sure your gas and electric are sorted

You don’t want to start encountering problems AFTER you’ve rented out your property. Make sure you fix your gas and electric so that you don’t have to be called out at additional cost.

Fix any minor issues with the property

Fix every minor issue with your property. Again, if something breaks and you have to be called out, it’s going to cost you more. Not only that, but a property that’s in good shape will demand more on the market.


Even if it’s just a new lick of paint, make sure your property is in reasonably good health. This’ll make it worth more and increase demand from renters.

Install a quality boiler and appliances

You don’t want things that break so you have to keep buying new ones. Make sure your boiler is of good quality and is built to last, along with any other appliances you’re providing.

Get good-quality furniture

Not only will high-quality furniture make the property more popular with potential renters, it’ll also last longer and suffer less from wear and tear.



The post How to Get Your Investment Property Ready to be Rented Out appeared first on AAOA.

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‘It’s like buying a first-class ticket’: Opendoor’s acquisition of Open Listings met with mixed reaction

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 9:45am
News that Opendoor, the San Francisco-based iBuyer, acquired discount brokerage Open Listings was met with concern and cautious optimism as some agents called the move a "wake-up call."
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Keller Williams partnership aims to create an AI ‘factory’ for its Kelle virtual assistant

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 7:00am
The partnership with software company CognitiveScale will allow Keller Williams to speed its development of new "skills" for its agent-facing mobile assistant Kelle.
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Mortgage fraud risk is at its highest level since the recession

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 6:41am
Regionally, the same states remained at the top for mortgage application fraud risk: New York, New Jersey and Florida. The top 10 states all showed increased in risk year-over-year, with New Mexico, Mississippi, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas seeing the greatest rise.
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Zillow testing referral platform to compete with Opcity and Rocket Homes

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 6:13am
Zillow is testing a new referral service in Florida that would put it in competition with Move Inc.’s recently acquired Opcity and Rocket Homes.
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Homesnap launches search-by-commute tool for homebuyers

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 5:50am
Homesnap has developed a free "Search by Commute" feature that allows users to filter their property searches by commute time for up to five destinations.
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3 digital marketing tips for getting your own real estate leads

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 2:27am
Using digital marketing tips for real estate is easier than you might think. In this guide, you'll learn exactly what to do.
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Need help increasing your real estate sales? Try exercising

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 2:12am
Have you recently started slipping, dropping deals or becoming more irritable with your colleagues and clients. Are you unable to concentrate or cope with stress at work? The cause of your malaise might be something quite simple — lack of exercise.
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How to be on point with your luxury client experience

Inmannews - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 2:00am
The key to giving luxury clientele what they want is knowing what they are looking for in a real estate agent as well as getting ahead of their expectations. Here’s what you should know.
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US home loan originations have dropped to a 4-year low

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 9:00pm
Weakening mortgage demand caused by rising mortgage rates has slowed loan originations to its lowest level since Q1 2014, according to Attom Data Solutions' latest report.
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Agent faces up to 5 years in prison for bankruptcy fraud

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 3:13pm
A real estate agent based in the Tampa, Florida, area faces up to five years in federal prison for attempting to stop Fannie Mae from foreclosing on a property so that he could sell it himself, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
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Should Realtor ethics violations be posted? Agents sound off

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 2:11pm
The Realtor community is split about whether or not to publicize the names of Realtors who violate the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Realtor Code of Ethics.
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Figuring out financing is the first step for 73.5% of buyers

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 1:20pm
In a loanDepot and mellohome survey of 1,000 buyers, 73.5 percent said they researched financing options before they began looking for a home.
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Tom Ferry to Headline Luxury Connect in October

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 12:02pm
Tom will take the stage at Luxury Connect on Thursday October 18th, where he'll present a dynamic session on 'The 4 Biggest Mistakes Luxury Agents Make'
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Alain Pinel Realtors to acquire Hill & Co.

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 12:00pm
Two San Francisco indie giants are joining forces in an effort to double market share and fend-off the likes of Compass.
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Corcoran teams up with Amazon to recommend trendy home add-ons

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 11:41am
New York City-based brokerage The Corcoran Group has unveiled an agent-curated collection of smart and stylish home accessories available to purchase through the first real estate partnership with’s associate affiliate program.
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Knock expands into Dallas-Ft. Worth to take on Opendoor

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 10:38am
According to Black, the launch in Texas was in part fueled by Dallas' booming housing market  -- home prices are up 5.2 percent year-over-year and, due to an influx of jobs, many people are looking to move to the area.
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Identity theft is rising, but Realtors feel safer than ever

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 9:15am
Despite the illusion of more safety, the reality is, that slightly more Realtors – six percent in 2018, compared to five percent in 2017 – were victims of a crime last year.
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Luxury Connect: Diane Ramirez on what it takes to advise luxury clients about wealth

Inmannews - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 8:17am
“Wealthy clients aren’t buying their one and only home,” notes Diane Ramirez, a luxury real estate pro in New York. “Sometimes it’s the fifth or sixth.”
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