The Glossbrenner Guide to
Congratulations! You've discovered the world's only thoroughly researched, regularly updated, and highly selective guide to the very best resources for vacation-rental owners. If you're serious about making money from your vacation-rental property, and providing your guests with the best possible vacation experience, you'll find lots of great stuff in our VR Resources Guide to help you meet those goals.
Many of the resources presented here are discussed in greater detail in our ever-growing collection of "How-To" articles for FullyBookedRentals members and in our Vacation Rental Secrets & Sources series. But in this guide, we've collected and organized some of our favorite products, services, and Web sites, along with tips on how they can help you advertise, rent, and manage your property more effectively.
What Makes Our Guide Different?
Every one of the resources you'll read about here has been personally selected by us. Other books and online sources promote products indiscriminately, or arrange to receive commissions, referral fees, or affiliate payments from the companies they recommend. That's not how we do things.
The VR resources presented here are included for one reason, and one reason only: because they are exceptionally good products and services that can make your "rent by owner" experience much more pleasant, effective, and profitable.
How This Excerpt is Organized
We've organized this excerpt from our VR Resources Guide into several major topics. You can scroll down the page to read each one in turn, or click on the bulleted link to go directly to a specific topic. You can also use our site's Search feature if there's a particular topic—or a product, service, or company name—that you want to zero in on.
What's In the Member-Exclusive Version?
When you sign up as member of FullyBookedRentals, you'll have access to the full-length version of our VR Resources Guide, which we update throughout the year as we discover new products and services that we feel should be brought to the attention of our members.
Here's what we cover in the member-exclusive version:
There are countless books on how to be a successful landlord or property manager. But until October 2003 when we published the first edition of our book/CD package, there was absolutely nothing designed specifically for vacation-rental owners. Now there are several. These are the ones we recommend:
Renting Your Vacation Home: A Step-by-Step Guide by Kristin W. Dorsett. This nicely organized 27-page eBook published by HomeAway provides a good introduction to vacation rentals, with sections on Getting Started, Marketing, and The Rental Process. It's available as a free download, provided you don't mind giving HomeAway your email address.
How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, Second Edition, by Christine Karpinski (Kinney Pollack, 2007). This book by the former Director of HomeAway's Owner Community goes a long way toward demystifying the whole notion of do-it-yourself vacation rentals. If you're not quite sure you're cut out to be a vacation-rental owner, reading this inexpensive guide is a low-cost way to find out. Much of the new material is also available on the HomeAway site, but if you don't have the first edition, get this one, which is available for less than $18 on Amazon. Click here for more information.
The secret to spreading the word about your vacation-rental property is to create effective listings on several of the leading vacation-rental advertising sites. We recommend that you start with three or four sites, but you may need several more if your property is in a highly competitive area, or if your objective is to book your property year-round rather than just during a few weeks in high season.
Here's our "short list" of sites that you should consider when you're just starting out. These are sites that have good reputations and a strong track record for generating bookings, regardless of where the property is located:
Note: We cover vacation-rental advertising in much more detail in the members-only version of our VR Resources Guide and in an article entitled "Fine-Tuning Your Advertising Program" in our Vacation Rental Secrets & Sources series. If you're wondering whether you need to create your own Web site to advertise your property and how to go about it, take a look at our Secrets article on "Creating a Web Site for Your Vacation-Rental Property".
So far, we've talked mostly about resources for advertising vacation rentals. But what about all the management chores?
Many homeowners cringe at the thought of "firing" their property managers and taking over responsibility for handling the myriad details associated with vacation rentals-setting rental policies and rates, responding to inquiries, arranging for cleaning and routine maintenance, confirming reservations, preparing rental agreements, getting keys to their guests, collecting and paying sales tax, and refunding damage deposits.
On the other hand, they're also not crazy about forking over 20 to 40 percent or more of their rental revenue for property-management services. The good news is that it really is possible to handle these things yourself if you follow our advice:
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