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Any Owners here do short stay rentals thru Homeaway?
Old 01-09-2016, 08:52 PM   #1
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Any Owners here do short stay rentals thru Homeaway?

How has the experience been? Is it worth the trouble vs a straight rental on a one year lease for example?
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:14 PM   #2
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Are you talking about using as a client, or landlord?

We looked at the vacation rental model for our 1br granny flat. In our area we'd have to charge the hotel transient taxes as well as some taxes ourselves. There's also increased vacancy. I did a pretty complete analysis of what I could charge, and what the equivalent vacation occupancy would be compared to a yearly lease. In our case the rates weren't quite high enough that a 50% occupancy would break even. And there's a lot more work (cleanouts between every stay.)

We get a very decent rent and our current tenants are well into their second year... so the hassle factor is minimal.

It might have been good when my in-laws were using the cottage for half the year - rent it out the other half... but we didn't bother, back then.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments, Rodi.

I was wondering about the landlord case.

I guess the vacancy rate assumption would be powerful as a factor, and maybe the least predictable.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:53 AM   #4
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My Girlfriend uses VRBO to rent her massive Tahoe house during high-demand ski weeks / weekends. She'll get about half a month's all-in housing cost for a four day (i.e. Long weekend) rental, but the hassle of cleaning, dealing with revolving renters, ensuring no damage makes it a non-starter in my book. But she loves the extra income so I keep my mouth shut.


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Old 01-14-2016, 11:38 AM   #5
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I have a friend who bought their retirement house in the Santa Fe area last year and are using VRBO to rent it out until they retire in 2017. The first manager they had didn't work out, and the 2nd one isn't always putting the house back into proper order in between rentals, but they've had no major issues and are pretty much covering all of their expenses with a few rentals each month.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:08 PM   #6
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I've done both short and long term on a waterfront property. The advantage of the short term is you see the property on a much more frequent basis and can spot things that need attention or have been damaged much sooner. Another is the higher per-night rental amounts a specialty property can demand.

But I found the constant marketing, inquiries, guest turnover, and booking volatility to require much more of my attention than I was willing to devote.

In the end I found a decent couple who wanted to sign a two year lease and that pretty much ended my stint as a short-term rental landlord.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:19 PM   #7
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Yes. We have a number of vacation rentals. Whether we use VRBO/Homeaway depends on the market. We have 4 units at a beach location where renters normally contact local realtors for vacation rentals so we list with a realtor there. Another of our rentals is a home we bought in 2010 in a popular tourist location in the northeast. We exclusively rent the place through VRBO/Homeaway. It has worked very well for us. We have chosen not to use Airbnb. To me it helps a lot if your place is different and not run of the mill. Our place is architecturally different with a great view. Not sure we would do well if our place was the same as 20 others.

Keep in mind that you live and die by the Reviews. It is very important that you do what you can to obtain good ones. We have had more than 500 renters over the past three years and have never had a problem. We have a three day minimum but have rented for 2 months at a time. It varies. We have met some very interesting people from all over the world. It is important to be diligent, have a great cleaning crew, a good occupancy agreement and enjoy dealing with people. The return for us renting this way is more than double what an annual rental would bring, even taking into account the increased expenses (i.e. cleaning, utilities, cable, etc....) If you have further questions you can PM me. Tell me you did so publicly so I will look.
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil1ben View Post
Yes. We have a number of vacation rentals. Whether we use VRBO/Homeaway depends on the market. We have 4 units at a beach location where renters normally contact local realtors for vacation rentals so we list with a realtor there. Another of our rentals is a home we bought in 2010 in a popular tourist location in the northeast. We exclusively rent the place through VRBO/Homeaway. It has worked very well for us. We have chosen not to use Airbnb. To me it helps a lot if your place is different and not run of the mill. Our place is architecturally different with a great view. Not sure we would do well if our place was the same as 20 others.

Keep in mind that you live and die by the Reviews. It is very important that you do what you can to obtain good ones. We have had more than 500 renters over the past three years and have never had a problem. We have a three day minimum but have rented for 2 months at a time. It varies. We have met some very interesting people from all over the world. It is important to be diligent, have a great cleaning crew, a good occupancy agreement and enjoy dealing with people. The return for us renting this way is more than double what an annual rental would bring, even taking into account the increased expenses (i.e. cleaning, utilities, cable, etc....) If you have further questions you can PM me. Tell me you did so publicly so I will look.
I just sent you a PM about your beach rentals.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:45 AM   #9
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Our former neighbors (Austin TX) turned a studio into a VRBO granny flat, adding a bathroom and a couple of kitchen appliances. They take very short-term rentals only. They are making enough money to pay their entire mortgage and the wife just quit her job to stay home with their baby. She cleans the place in between renters and they never see the renters, it's all done through the internet. A number of our neighbors did the same successfully.

We just stayed at a Homeaway flat for a week. It had a bedroom, kitchen and bath. The best parts were there was a full kitchen and when there was a problem (leak under sink) the owner fixed it right away. The downside was it was an older property, not very clean, I saw a giant waterbug which freaked me out, the hot water for the shower ran out after about 3-4 minutes and there was nothing comfortable to sit on but a desk chair. Certainly not worth almost $100 a night.


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