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San Francisco Bay Area Vacation Rental Tip For Property Owners: Don’t Go It Alone

It’s one of the most enticing – and challenging – vacation rental markets.

We’re referring, of course, to the San Francisco Bay Area.

AirDNA has revealed a set of extremely attractive statistics for San Francisco vacation rental owners – including, on average, a $234 daily rate, an 85% occupancy rate, and $3,863 in monthly revenue.

Earlier this year, Airbnb reported 44% year-over-year growth in guest arrivals in the five counties surrounding San Francisco, with a 43% increase in the number of nights hosted.

But with a median single-family home price in San Francisco of around $952,000 and a corresponding monthly mortgage payment of $4,254, property owners on Airbnb need to optimize every major element of the vacation rental process if they want to operate in the black.

And of course, San Francisco Bay Area property owners in the vacation rental game have competition. Airbnb has more than 7,800 listings in San Francisco alone. What’s more, the competition is by no means confined to Airbnb. Hundreds of new hotel rooms have recently been completed or are being built in the city of San Francisco.

The second most expensive U.S. city to live in also has burdensome restrictions for Airbnb short-term vacation rentals. Legal requirements cover owner residency, insurance, compliance with building codes, registration, reporting, taxes, certification, and more.

All of this points toward a recommendation from the experts: don’t go it alone. By choosing the best full-service vacation rental property manager you can find, you’ll receive invaluable advice on making the math work in the tricky San Francisco Bay Area market. In the process, you’ll discover how to obtain the competitive edge you need to stand out from the crowd. And this may be the best part: you’ll gain a resource capable of handling all the stuff most owners would rather not do themselves – from responding to inquiries on Airbnb to housekeeping, so you get more five-star reviews – while you largely sit back and collect a direct deposit each month. That’s what we do at One Fine Flat.

Schedule a complimentary consultation with a One Fine Flat Airbnb expert on short-term vacation rental management in San Francisco. If you qualify, you’ll receive a free revenue projection for your property. And you’ll learn how One Fine Flat – an innovator in Airbnb vacation rental management – makes the entire process surprisingly easy for owners.

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Short-Term Vacation Rental or Long-Term Rental: As a Property Owner, What’s Best for You?

With Airbnb’s enormous popularity, many property owners are wondering whether to rent to short-term vacationers or lease to longer-term tenants. We’ll discuss the advantages of each here.

But first, a couple of key definitions: in the Airbnb world, a short-term renter is someone renting for under 30 days (for example, a vacationer who rents a property near the beach in Santa Monica, California, for 10 days). And as you may have suspected, a long-term renter is someone who leases a property for 30 days or more (for example, an advertising pro who accepts a job in Lower Manhattan and signs a one-year lease for a condo unit across the river in Hoboken, New Jersey – which, by the way, happens to be Frank Sinatra’s hometown).

In some cases, the decision is fairly easy. If your property is located in, say, Camden, New Jersey, even with its proximity to Philadelphia, that city’s low demand level among vacationers translates into a well-below-average vacation rental opportunity. In that case, long-term rental will probably be the best bet. But if you own a residence 4,900 miles away on the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii, upon receiving a revenue projection, you may quickly conclude that renting to short-term vacationers is your best way to go.

In other cases, even where demand among vacationers is strong, regulatory issues may prevent owners from getting their property listed on Airbnb and related sites. Some city ordinances lay down specific geographic boundaries for short-term vacation rentals inside city limits. And even when no city regulation locks out vacation rentals, HOA bylaws may include a requirement that all renters sign an agreement for 30 days or more. Because the vast majority of vacationers rent on Airbnb for under 30 days, such terms all but eliminate a short-term vacation rental opportunity.

What’s more, personal preferences often tip the decision in one direction or the other. For example, if your vacation home in Asheville, North Carolina is enjoyed by you, your spouse, children, cousins, and friends for, on average, one month each year – during different times of the year – you probably aren’t going to want a renter to sign a lease for a year or more (Asheville, incidentally, is in high demand among vacationers).

Here are key advantages of each option:

LONG-TERM LEASE ADVANTAGES

Greater Revenue Consistency

A long-term lease usually runs for one year or more. This can create a highly predictable revenue stream. One key tradeoff in comparison to vacation rentals: average revenue over each day of occupancy may be considerably lower with a long-term lease. But for less risk-averse owners – including many seniors – this option is often attractive.

Fewer Financial Responsibilities

Long-term leases often enable owners to hold renters responsible for utility bills. In areas with high heating and air conditioning bills in the winter and summer, that can translate into substantial savings.

Reduced Number of Variables

When renting to long-term tenants, owners don’t have to list their property, respond to inquiries, stock basic supplies, ensure housekeeping is taken care of, and so on. One outstanding tenant may stick with you for years.

SHORT-TERM VACATION RENTAL ADVANTAGES

Higher Net Income

Your daily rate for vacation rentals from Airbnb may be MUCH higher than your rate from a long-term renter. How much more? Lots of factors contribute to the difference, but you could net 50% or even well over 100% greater income by renting to short-term vacationers.

Lower Degradation Rate

In many cases, vacation rentals earn owners more income while reducing wear and tear on the property in comparison to long-term tenants. That’s because unlike long-term rentals that are generally used every day, even under the best of circumstances, vacation rentals aren’t occupied 100% of the time.

More Fulfilling Interactions

In Airbnb listings, you have the option of renting your entire property or a private room/area. Fact is, many owners love the company and thoroughly enjoy meeting new people regularly. Others who rent their entire place derive considerable joy by reading reviews from vacationers who had an amazing time.

Greater Property Availability

Many owners of vacation homes want their property available for personal use. Very often, it’s the main reason they made the purchase in the first place. With short-term vacation rentals on Airbnb, you’re able to block out days, weeks, or even a full month for personal use of your property, while enjoying the income advantages of short-term vacation rentals.

Improved Scalability Opportunities

Yes, it’s possible for an ambitious property owner to scale a business consisting entirely of long-term leases. But lots of entrepreneurs have started with a single property on the Airbnb platform, and in a relatively short amount of time, grew a substantial property portfolio. Very often, these Airbnb moguls found the best Airbnb property manager available to maximize their income while minimizing stress.

On that note, a recommendation: schedule a complimentary consultation with a One Fine Flat Airbnb expert. If you qualify, you’ll receive a free revenue projection for your property. And you’ll learn how One Fine Flat – an innovator in Airbnb vacation rental management – makes the entire process surprisingly easy. So you mainly sit back and collect a direct deposit each month.

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Texas Property Owners Go Gaga (No, NotThat Gaga) Over Airbnb Vacation Rentals

The Lone Star State is having a full-blown love affair with short-term vacation rentals. Thanks in part to popular vacation destinations like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi, this booming industry poured more than $3 billion into the Texas economy last year.

In “The 150 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental Property in 2018,” a total of nine Texas cities appeared in the ranking, including San Antonio (#12), Corpus Christi (#18), Galveston (#23), Port Aransas (#49), El Paso (#68), Austin (#82), Fort Worth (#86), Dallas (#95), and Houston (#101).

A big driver of the passion for short-term vacation rentals on sites like Airbnb among Texas property owners is (no surprise) good old-fashioned greenbacks.

A vivid example of the added income advantage is found in the Cockrell Hill area of Dallas. A peek at its 75211 zip code from 8/18-7/19 revealed median annual revenue for short-term rentals of $30,120 vs. $16,740 for long-term leases – a $13,380 difference and 80% improvement in revenue.

Texas tourists choose short-term rentals on Airbnb over hotel rooms for a variety of reasons beyond the obvious ability to prepare one’s own food, sleep more people, and very often, save money. For example, Austin, a festival mecca with world-class entertainment, offers vacation rentals where owners encourage guests to enjoy their records and books; play the piano; and bang away on the pinball machine.

Throughout America’s second most populous state, property owners with small and substantial investment portfolios are catching vacation rental fever. One well-known Waco couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame, offer “Magnolia Stays” for fans. These include the historic Hillcrest Estate that commands a $995 daily rate; the Magnolia House at $795 per day; and the Carriage House, with a $545 weekday rate.

Of course, most vacation rental owners lack the Gaines’ market knowledge and other advantages. With a wide variety of factors contributing to success when renting to vacationers on Airbnb and other sites, many Texas property owners are relying on a full-service Airbnb vacation rental management company.

By working with the best Airbnb vacation rental manager you can find in the state of Texas, you’ll be rewarded with enhanced listings, wider exposure, greater turnover, higher revenue, consistent cleanliness, better reviews, full compliance with regulations, and more.

One Fine Flat is a Texas vacation rental property management service that optimizes every aspect of the process on Airbnb and many other sites, from daily pricing to communication with guests at every phase and housekeeping that enables you to offer hotel-quality cleanliness.

Whether you’re in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, or another great Texas city, One Fine Flat enables you to maximize your income – and peace of mind. Schedule a free consultation with an Airbnb vacation rental property management expert – and request our complimentary guide, Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success: 

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Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Continue To Do Well In A Changing Legal Landscape

We’ll start with several fascinating facts: a recent ranking of the best places in America to buy a vacation home listed two Hawaii destinations – Kihei in South Maui and Waikoloa on the Big Island – among the top 25.

A report by the Hawaii Tourism Authority indicated the number of vacation rental units on the Hawaiian islands mushroomed from 17,000 in 2015 to 23,000 in 2017 – a 35% increase in just two years.

In 2018, Hawaii Appleseed revealed that 1 in 24 homes in Hawaii was a vacation rental property. In Kauai alone, that number dropped to 1 in 10. And in Lahaina, it was 1 in 3.

Combine all that with a quick scan of Airbnb listings in Maui, Oahu, and Kauai running as high as $3,000+ per night, and it’s understandable why interest in short-term vacation rentals is intense among many Hawaii property owners.

But with legislation like Ordinance 19-18 for Oahu short-term vacation rentals – and related fines for violators of up to $10,000 per day – property owners from Waikiki to Waikapu have become concerned about the regulatory side of what’s been an outstanding economic opportunity.

Not surprisingly, owners are seeking out the advice of the best Hawaii vacation rental managers. As a full-service vacation rental management company serving the state of Hawaii – including Maui, Oahu, and Kauai – our focus is on optimizing the experience for owners and renters.

One Fine Flat – our Hawaii vacation rental property management service – ensures you’re always compliant with regulations. We handle everything from optimizing vacation rental pricing on a daily basis to communicating with renters throughout the process and keeping your property squeaky clean – even as your turnover rate rises higher and higher from improved occupancy rates. While you largely sit back and collect a direct deposit each month.

Want to talk about your opportunity in Hawaii vacation rentals? Schedule a free consultation with a One Fine Flat vacation rental property management expert – and request our complimentary guide, Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success:

Hawaii vacation rental company

 

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Miami Vacation Rental Management: Yep, The Local Market Is Booming – But Be Careful

Realtor.com recently listed Miami as America’s fourth most profitable city for vacation rentals. It’s no mystery why.

Miami beaches are, of course, gorgeous. And they sit in an urban setting with something for almost everyone … throughout every season. For owners of vacation rentals, that’s a significant advantage. Unlike other tourist spots, visitors flock to Miami in the winter and in other seasons.

Vacation rental experts consider the city a year-round opportunity. And the best vacation rental managers in Miami know how to make the most of that opportunity. But we’ll get to that in a moment after we cover the caveats.

Miami-Dade County regulations governing short-term vacation rentals are … well, fairly lengthy. And for some, they’re confusing. Truth be told, the county ordinance is considered one massive pain in the butt by a good number of Miami property owners. But ignore them at your own peril: penalties have run in the thousands of dollars for some violators.

And this may come as no surprise: many Miami owners, like you, want to capitalize on the excellent opportunity in short-term vacation rentals. So, it’s fair to say this is one hotly competitive market.

Success in the Miami vacation rental market means all major elements must be nailed – from regulatory compliance to daily pricing … cleaning services to listings on Airbnb and other sites.

A small percentage of owners have the desire, time, and skill to handle everything on their own – and do it well. Many others have found success by turning to one of the few high-quality and highly-economical services focusing on Airbnb property management. That’s us. At One Fine Flat, you mainly sit back and receive a direct deposit for your Miami vacation rental property each month. While we do the work.

Find out more by getting our complimentary guide, Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success.

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How Las Vegas Property Owners Make the Most of Their Vacation Rental Opportunity …

… On and Off Airbnb.

Let’s start with the financial opportunity for Las Vegas homeowners currently renting to vacationers – or planning to. Statistically, your property sits in one of the world’s most in-demand locations. We’ll share what some of those statistics look like.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), 2018 Sin City visitor volume added up to a staggering 42,116,800 visits. The city’s available room inventory to serve those guests came to 147,238. And those visitors brought money: gaming revenues on the Strip and Downtown alone amounted to a cool $7.2 billion. That didn’t include food, drinks, shopping, entertainment, and other stuff.

As Las Vegas Airbnb property management professionals, we consider these figures a mixed blessing – because while the opportunity for homeowners is excellent, the competition is fierce.

On Airbnb, your Las Vegas vacation rental property obviously competes with other rental properties. But the competition doesn’t end there. Many Airbnb users compare private vacation rentals to hotel-owned properties. So, if your property is located within walking distance of, say, the Vdara, among many prospects, you may be competing against that hotel brand. But nail Airbnb property management and you’ll not only compete against the best of the best – you’ll win more than your share of business.

We’ll reveal what’s needed to make that happen and beat your competition at every level – including top hotel brands. But before we do the big reveal, we need you to promise not to become unsettled when you see everything involved. At the end of this post, we’ll reveal how to get it all done with minimal effort. Promise? OK, here goes.

For starters, optimal Airbnb property management means optimizing your property’s exposure. That means not simply relying on Airbnb to get the word out on your property’s availability. Yes, Airbnb is a vital tool in your vacation rental property management mix. But it’s by no means your only tool. Your property should be listed on 50+ sites. Each listing needs to be expertly written and take advantage of each site’s characteristics, to attract the maximum number of prospects. Photography should be shot by a professional experienced in making properties like yours look inviting.

But successful Airbnb property managers know vacation rental optimization doesn’t end there. Inquiries from prospects and requests from renters need to be handled promptly, accurately, and completely. If not, your ratings take a hit.

Rates you charge renters shouldn’t be static and should be optimized daily. Your property must stay consistently stocked with basic necessities. And it should be very clean – because thorough Airbnb cleaning with every turnover is a key contributor to high ratings. Renters expect cleanliness of vacation rentals to exceed their efforts at home and be on par with cleanliness found in well-run hotels. You also need to know when to make the right improvements to that existing vacation rental property. And if you’re in the market to buy another vacation rental, you should have a clear understanding of your potential return on investment before you buy.

Now, if all this seems beyond your own capabilities, we have good news. Many owners of Las Vegas vacation rentals find it highly cost-effective to use a full-service Airbnb property management company. We’re One Fine Flat, a leading Airbnb property management service headquartered in Las Vegas. We make it surprisingly easy for property owners to optimize earnings while avoiding common (and costly) mistakes.

Everything we’ve listed in this post can be handled by us, so you largely sit back and collect an electronic deposit each month. In short, we make it a breeze for you to relax and enjoy the owner’s life. Get more details on optimizing your vacation rental opportunity by downloading our guide, Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success.

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12 Keys to Selecting the Best Service for Outsourced Airbnb Property Management

Airbnb can be very lucrative for owners of investment properties and second homes – especially with full-service Airbnb property management by an outstanding team.

Outsourced Airbnb Property Management

Here are a dozen keys to optimized management for owners who prefer to outsource Airbnb property management:

1. THINK BEYOND AIRBNB – Promoting your property on Airbnb is a “must,” but limiting your exposure to a single site is less than optimal. Your property should be visible on 50+ online destinations. The best Airbnb management companies think beyond Airbnb.

2. EMPLOY THE “SECRET WEAPON” OF AIRBNB LISTINGS – Remember two words: “professional photography.” Your ideal full-service vacation rental property management company won’t have a staffer walk around your unit shooting photos with an iPhone; they’ll invest in first-rate photography to show off your property’s unique characteristics and make it look irresistible on Airbnb and other relevant sites. What’s more, they’ll write listings that go beyond the basics and rock people emotionally.

3. SEE THEIR AIRBNB LISTINGS IN ACTION – Ask the vacation rental property manager you’re considering to share actual listings they’ve created for clients on sites like Airbnb. See if you find the words and pictures enticing. Pay particular attention to comments from guests and ratings – including whether clients have achieved coveted Superhost status.

4. DEMAND YOUR PROSPECTS AND GUESTS RECEIVE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE – “Prospects” are people thinking about becoming your guests. Before booking, they often send inquiries via sites like Airbnb. Each inquiry has value that diminishes as each minute rolls by without an answer. “Guests” are, of course, people who book a stay in your property. When they have questions or issues, the quality of service they receive will directly impact whether they give you a good review and ultimately return. You should expect both groups to receive responses that aren’t just prompt but are clear, complete, and courteous.

5. OPTIMIZE YOUR RATES, EVERY SINGLE DAY – Vacation rental rates on sites like Airbnb are more science than art. If a property manager responds to your question on price optimization with something like, “We’re experienced and know what we’re doing,” it’s a good idea to look carefully at other options. The right vacation rental property management service will provide specifics on price optimization, which should be a daily occurrence. If your prices aren’t optimized each day, you’re leaving money on the table.

If your prices aren’t optimized each day, you’re leaving money on the table.

6. THINK STRATEGICALLY – A good vacation rental property management service will handle all the basics, including marketing, inquiries from prospects, questions from guests, housekeeping, feedback solicitation, and more. A great one will be a strategic resource and serve as your trusted advisor on big decisions like potential property improvements – and even help you choose your next investment property and city, whether it’s Portland, Orlando, Houston, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, or somewhere else.

7. USE A TECH-SAVVY MANAGER – The best vacation rental property management companies are using smart technology to give property owners a competitive edge. They use advanced technology in price optimization, call tracking, email systems, guest history, housekeeping metrics relating to cleaning services, and more. Technology helps ensure your turnover speed (interval between guests departing and arriving) is optimized, to help maximize your bottom line.

8. KEEP PROPERTY DAMAGE FROM EATING INTO YOUR PROFITS – Fact is, some Airbnb users are far more likely to cause damage to property than the vast majority. That’s why all of your guests should be screened. Cleaning services hired by your vacation rental property management service should inspect your unit between each guest stay to identify guests responsible for any damage and electronically document evidence. When a deposit isn’t collected by a website, guests should submit a credit card and sign a rental agreement with your manager to ensure you aren’t financially responsible for damage caused by a guest. Successful vacation rental carries costs, but property damage caused by a guest shouldn’t be one of them.

9. AVOID “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” MANAGEMENT – In vacation rental property management, a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t fit all cases. The right manager will customize a package that fits your situation perfectly. But they’ll also have standard operating procedures designed to ensure a consistently high-quality experience for guests. For example, because guests typically expect housekeeping that exceeds their cleaning standards at home, we always use professional cleaning services. And while we want new clients to give us ample time to demonstrate the value we bring, we don’t insist on locking new clients into lengthy agreements.

10. PAY YOUR MANAGER BASED ON PERFORMANCE, BUT DON’T OVERPAY – Vacation rental property managers typically receive all or most of their pay on a percentage-of-revenue basis. So, the more you earn from guests, the more they earn. As one might expect, some managers charge a lower percentage than others (One Fine Flat charges as little as half the percentage of some competitors). Very often, the service charging the highest rate isn’t the one providing the most services. On that note, it’s crucial to get a clear idea of what is and isn’t included in a potential manager’s monthly percentage-based fee, so you’re able to compare your options on an apples-to-apples basis.

It’s crucial to get a clear idea of what is and isn’t included in a potential manager’s monthly percentage-based fee, so you’re able to compare your options on an apples-to-apples basis.

11. ASK ABOUT A GUARANTEE – Traditional property managers haven’t generally offered a performance guarantee. In fairness to our competitors, very often, a guarantee of success is impossible to make in advance. But we’re proud to say One Fine Flat was, to the best of our knowledge, the first in the industry to offer guaranteed rental income to select clients.

12. CHOOSE THE AIRBNB MANAGEMENT OPTION THAT ENSURES YOU GET PLENTY OF R&R – An essential part of a property manager’s job is to make your life easier. After everything is in place, your ideal full-service vacation rental property management company will enable you to largely sit back and collect a check each month. That’s precisely what we do for clients at One Fine Flat. Intrigued? Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with us on your Airbnb vacation rental opportunity here.

 

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The Best Vacation Rental Property Managers Are Strategic

As we pointed out in our last post, when managing vacation rentals promoted on Airbnb and elsewhere, the devil is indeed in the details.

But there’s more to the art and science of vacation rentals than optimizing tactical elements like listings, pricing, cleanliness, customer service, and use of the latest technology.

There’s the strategic side. For example, determining if it’ll be cost-effective to make a major furniture investment in a Palms Place Hotel and Spa vacation rental in Las Vegas. Or whether that next vacation rental property purchase should be in the Mondrian South Beach condo hotel on Miami Beach or in Fort Lauderdale’s Conrad hotel.

Best Vacation Rental Property Manager

Most owners of second homes and investment properties who go into vacation rentals lack the skill to make the right strategic moves entirely on their own. That’s’ where a full-service vacation rental property management service comes in.

When deciding on the Big Stuff, your property management company should be a key resource. After all, they’ve repeatedly seen what produces the best return on property investment for owners. Strategic advice is a value-added service you should expect from your manager.

Find out more about acting strategically and optimizing all major elements of vacation rentals, on Airbnb and everywhere else. Download Capitalizing on the Vacation Rental Boom: 8 Keys to Success.