How Do You Provide Damage Protection for Your Vacation Rental Property?

Robert and Karen are pleased that the new 65-inch LED Smart UHD Home Theater Display with High Dynamic Range has been a big hit with guests. Over the last four months, almost every guest has commented on it in reviews. But then, some guests got a bit out of hand, which sometimes happens, and bumped the television off the wall. Before anyone could react, it hit the floor and shattered. Robert and Karen are more than a bit distressed when they find out. How will they pay to replace it so soon? Have they considered some type of damage protection?

As privately owned vacation rental homes become more popular, the demand for hotel-quality comforts and amenities grow. Moreover, guests are no longer as careful as when staying in someone’s actual home; a rental home is more mainstream now like a hotel and people are more carefree. Accidents will happen, even with top quality guests. And, standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover damages incurred from short-term rental guests. Some additional form of damage protection is needed.

Inevitable Damages

Damaged property is part of the facts of life for vacation property owners. Under normal conditions of use, especially during heavy rental seasons, items wear out or get accidentally broken. In the overwhelming majority of cases, these are small, relatively inexpensive items like remote controls, plates, or an occasional lamp. When such inconsequential items are damaged, it’s usually not a big deal to replace them between guest departures and arrivals.

However, when the damaged item is a large, costly piece of property as in our scenario above, the circumstances are different. Such an item likely involved a substantial investment, and a similar expenditure is now required only months later. Most vacation home owners do not plan to make repeat purchases so close together. How can you plan and pay for such accidents when they occur?

Damage Protection Options

For vacation home owners who book guests through a commercial service, most services provide some sort of protection via a property damage deposit that is required in addition to the rental cost. Such deposits are usually around $250 and will cover most accidental damage. Some services add a small amount to each day of rent for built-in damage protection instead of asking for a separate damage deposit from guests.

However, a few hundred dollars from these deposits is not enough to replace large ticket items costing thousands. Those vacation home owners who handle their own bookings must charge a substantial damage deposit in addition to rent, and as a result, see much fewer bookings.

A better and affordable option is a Damage Protection insurance policy from a local commercial insurer. For example, $3,000 of coverage could be obtained by adding a few dollars per night to the cost of rental. The additional cost need not be identified as a separate security deposit. Moreover, the addition of “$3,000 damage protection is included” and “no damage deposit required” on your rental agreements are additional selling points for your vacation property.

When seeking to acquire such a policy in addition to your homeowner’s coverage, be sure to ask for ‘Damage Protection Insurance for short-term rental property.’ Simply asking for ‘Renters Insurance’ can cause a misunderstanding and the wrong type of insurance coverage.

Book by Owner – Your On the Ground Team for Resort Property Management

The scenario described at the beginning of this article can happen to any vacation property owner. By taking steps to provide Damage Protection beyond your homeowner’s insurance policy, such unexpected accidents are no longer a major setback. For more information about damage protection options contact your local Book by Owner franchise owner or call 877.713.4947.

With Book by Owner as your local, on the ground property management team, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your property is cared for and protected. We care for your home and guests 24/7/365, all for an affordable monthly fee. Contact Book by Owner for complete details and pricing for all the services available in your resort vacation area or for franchising opportunities.


Housekeeping vs. Deep Cleaning – Which Do You Need?

Every conscientious vacation property owner knows the value of having a clean home for guests. But some owners get confused about the difference between housekeeping and deep cleaning. Which do you need to protect your investment and keep your vacation property ready for guests?

The simple answer is, you need both. Busy vacation rentals need cleaning in between guests and a periodic deep cleaning to maintain a prime level of pleasing sanitary conditions. This can become quite a chore for property owners, even if they live close to their rental homes. Book by Owner is your on-the-ground team for vacation property management, and that includes housekeeping and deep cleaning services.


What is Involved in Housekeeping?

Housekeeping is different from end-of-season deep cleaning because it involves more general cleaning between guests. The time isn’t available for a deep, exhaustive cleaning, so a quick, yet thorough, cleaning process is observed. Some local or state health department codes may require certain actions between guests, such as draining, cleaning, and refilling the hot tub, or changing mattress pads and pillow protectors.

Aside from these mandated services, BBO housekeeping follows a detailed checklist to ensure your property and its furnishings are spotlessly clean for each new set of guests. This includes:  


  • Wipe down major and minor appliances, countertops, and cabinets
  • Scrub and sanitize sinks
  • Clean and empty garbage cans
  • Clean floor
  • Empty dishwasher and put away the dishes
  • Replenish supplies and dish hand towels


  • Change sheets on the beds
  • Vacuum floor and check for trash under beds
  • Check windows for fingerprints
  • Dust furniture and clean mirrors
  • Empty wastebaskets

Dining Room

  • Sweep/vacuum and/or clean floor
  • Wipe down dining table
  • Wipe down chairs

Living Room

  • Dust all surfaces
  • Sweep/vacuum and/or wash floor
  • Check sofa bed for dirty linens, and leave clean linens if needed
  • Empty wastebaskets


  • Clean and sanitize showers, bathtubs, toilets, faucets, and sinks
  • Clean mirrors
  • Clean floors and wall tiles
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Replenish supplies and clean towels based on occupancy


What is Involved in Deep Cleaning?

Deep cleaning after the main rental season ends involves a much more thorough cleaning indoors and out. Approximately three times as many items are included in a deep cleaning over basic between-guests housekeeping. Your BBO property management team adheres to the following deep cleaning checklist:


  • Empty cabinets and drawers, all silverware, all dishes, and pots & pans cleaned
  • Insides and outsides of cabinets and drawers are thoroughly cleaned
  • Wood cabinets are oiled
  • Refrigerator pulled; floor and walls cleaned entirely; appliances cleaned
  • All light switches and outlet covers will be cleaned
  • All small appliances cleaned and polished: toasters, microwaves, and blenders
  • Floors are scrubbed clean
  • Kitchen sink is scrubbed and sanitized
  • Garbage cans are scrubbed inside and out


  • Medicine cabinets and door tracks cleaned completely
  • Any lights are dismantled and completely cleaned
  • All light switches and outlet plates are cleaned
  • Sink, mirror, and additional cabinets cleaned out, tile and grout scrubbed
  • Shower walls and tub/shower area are scrubbed thoroughly
  • Toilets cleaned inside and out, top to bottom, and behind
  • Exhaust fans, heating fixtures in the wall and ceiling, including covers, are cleaned
  • Floor are mopped and scrubbed or vacuumed thoroughly
  • Walls around toilet are scrubbed thoroughly

Living Room, Dining Area, Bedrooms and General Cleaning

  • Fireplace area, hearth, and all outside surfaces wiped down
  • Every couch, chair, bed, or other furniture are moved and vacuumed under, and every square inch of carpet vacuumed including all room edges
  • Lamp bulbs checked and dusted
  • Any garbage in furniture picked up and furniture is vacuumed or dusted
  • All wood furniture is cleaned and properly oiled for longevity
  • Shelves emptied and cleaned; items on shelves are cleaned and re-stacked neatly
  • All areas that collect dust are swept and wiped down, cobwebs removed from ceilings, fans, windows, etc.
  • All dresser drawers pulled out and cleaned inside and out
  • Any door/bath mats and bed skirts washed
  • All mirrors are cleaned
  • Bed and sofa bed mattresses turned
  • All windows cleaned inside, blinds dusted and cleaned
  • Ceiling fans dusted and cleaned
  • All baseboards cleaned
  • All door and window frames are cleaned
  • Light switches and outlet plates are cleaned
  • Garage is swept thoroughly, hosed out if needed
  • Blankets, comforters, mattress pads, skirts, rugs are washed
  • Outdoor area and furniture is cleaned (hosed, wiped down)

Book by Owner recommends at least one deep cleaning per year, between busy rental seasons. Depending on your location and rental volume, two may be deemed necessary. Other homeowners choose to have a deep clean performed after every 5th guest stay. The goal is to keep your vacation rental property looking new and fresh for every guest, all the time.


BBO – Your Property Management Team

With Book by Owner as your local, on the ground property management team, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your guests will enjoy a clean, refreshing vacation rental and your property investment is protected. We care for your home and guests 24/7/365, all for an affordable monthly fee. Contact your local Book by Owner for complete details and pricing for all the services available in your resort vacation area.


BBO Property Management vs. Traditional Property Management

With all the options available today in vacation property management, you may assume that all management companies are the same. If so, you would be wrong. Book by Owner is a pioneer in professional property management and guest services. Our promise, “You book the guest, we do the rest” accurately describes our service to you.

What makes BBO property management different from traditional property management? There are several vital advantages to having BBO as your property management team. Let’s explore a bit about each one.

Fee-based Service

Book by Owner pioneered fee-based resort property management and continues to lead the industry. We provide professional, reliable management services to you and your guests 24/7/365 without the steep commission costs of traditional property management programs. This fee remains the same, no matter how many bookings you have.

We provide:

  • Cleaning and Laundry
  • Inspections between guests
  • 24/7 guest communication
  • General maintenance
  • Stocking supplies
  • Deep cleaning between seasons
  • Installation and programming of keyless entry locks
  • Secure access for guests and service partners

No surprise costs and no percentage commissions. Ever.

24-7-365 Property Management

One of the main concerns of guests who book vacation rental properties is whether or not there will be an emergency contact available if something goes wrong. BBO is available 24/7/365 to assist your guests before their arrival, during their stay, and even after they depart. And we mean 365 days of the year, even on weekends and holidays.

We’ll take that call when guests or service partners:

  • Can’t log into the wifi
  • Can’t find the light switch to the hot-tub area
  • Need access or have questions
  • Arrival plans change
  • Need directions
  • Want local recommendations
  • Have a complaint

Local Franchise Owners

Our local offices are owned and operated by a local franchisee who has a vested interest in providing excellent guest services and property management. These local entrepreneurs are our front-line personnel to handle guests and service partners alike. Other national companies have quickly realized how difficult it is to hire and retain local managers — we are local business owners; so we can adapt to the unique needs of each town.

These are the folks who show up when you need a real person to handle:

  • Cleaning and Laundry
  • Inspections between guests
  • Complete guest communication
  • General maintenance
  • Stocking supplies
  • Deep cleaning between seasons
  • Installing and programming keyless entry locks
  • Providing secure access for guests and service partners

In addition, our innovative access control solutions and web-based property inspection system will instantly update you on the condition and security of your property.

Corporate Support

BBO is also available 24/7/365 to assist our franchise owners. In addition to being your ever-ready partner, we also provide regular updates from the vacation rental industry to keep you informed on the newest advances in technology, latest marketing strategies, and vacation rental best practices.

We provide:

  • Exclusive Territory
  • Low Cost to Enter
  • Low Overhead
  • Year-round, Recurring Revenue
  • Training & Support
  • Proven Processes & Proprietary Software
  • National Partners, Suppliers, and Advertising
  • Additional Income Streams
  • Exit Strategy (When you’re ready to sell your business)

BBO Property Management – The Right Solution for You

Enjoy peace of mind knowing you have a local, professional partner caring for your home and your guests 24/7/365, all for an affordable monthly fee. Contact your local Book by Owner for complete details and pricing on all the services available in your resort area. Interested in opening your own BBO location? Visit our franchising page for more information.


Meet Mike Cushing and the New BBO Arizona Office

Book by Owner has been your on the ground team for resort property maintenance since 2003. They seek to help you create great guest experiences while saving you money and protecting your investment by providing a host of on-site services for your vacation rental property. As the demand for vacation rentals continues to grow, BBO continues to open franchise locations to better serve you, including our newest location, BBO Arizona. 

I recently talked with Mike Cushing about Book by Owner’s new Arizona location.

BBO Beginnings

Interviewer: Mike, tell me a little about yourself and how you got started with Book by Owner.

Mike: My wife Kerry and I originally founded Book by Owner in 2003 in Dillon, CO. That was and is ski resort country, with a large number of resort properties. With the growth of internet-based vacation rental listing services like VRBO and Airbnb, we saw an opportunity to provide resort property management for those property owners who lived some distance away from their properties. The owners could easily handle the booking process themselves over the internet. What they couldn’t handle was property management, including cleaning, inspections, maintenance, and dealing with guests in person.  

Interviewer: That’s a great idea, Mike. And it appears you were successful.

Mike: Yes, we were very successful. As the business grew we began offering franchise locations in 2009. We opened several franchises in and around the local CO ski country, and Kerry and I continued to manage day-to-day operations supporting our franchisees.

From Owner/Manager to Franchise Operator at BBO Arizona

Interviewer: Your story has an interesting twist. Tell us about it.

Mike: Yes, it does. Kerry and I love the mountains, but with our daughter leaving for college, we were ready for a warmer climate and a return to our true passion for property management. So, in 2016 we sold the majority of BBO franchising to current owner Bill Scott. We remain actively involved with BBO as active board members and help with franchising however we can.

Interviewer: And now, you are back where you started, managing a new franchise location. Tell us more about that.

Mike: We opened the first BBO Arizona franchise in Phoenix on October 1, 2017. Arizona is home to warmer climes, plus mountainous ski country, so the potential is there to manage a vast number of rental properties, as well as expand with new franchise locations. We are seeking to open new franchises in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Sedona in the next year or two.

Interviewer: How many properties are currently under management through the BBO Arizona franchise in Phoenix?

Mike: We just opened in October, so currently we only manage five properties, but we have several owners interested in coming onboard. We are predicting to have 15 to 20 properties under management within the next year and anticipate growing 100% year over year.  

Interviewer: Just how many properties can a local BBO franchise effectively manage?

Mike: There is really no limit to how many properties each franchise location can manage. When looking for possible franchise locations, we require a minimum of 5000 rental homes available in the area. That provides plenty of opportunities for a franchise to be successful.

What Can Book by Owner Do for You?

Interviewer: What does BBO do differently than other property management companies?

Mike: We developed a fee-based business model that provides fixed costs for our owners. This way, the more they book, the more they make. This is very different from traditional property managers who take a percentage of the rental income. In that model, the more you make, the more you pay. We also do not rely on our service partners, such as housekeepers and handymen, to inspect properties before and after each guest. Our franchise owners or their direct employees perform each inspection, which is customized to the property. Once the inspection is completed, a customized report is submitted onsite and emailed instantly to the owner, sharing photos and details about the condition of their property.

Interviewer: What is the biggest benefit to contracting a property management company for your vacation rental?

Mike: Hiring a professional to help you manage your vacation rental eliminates enormous headaches. This industry has experienced explosive growth in recent years and travelers’ expectations are higher than ever. With easy options for booking online, they now expect a perfect place, with hotel-like service. Most owners live great distances from their rental properties, and it is impossible for them to provide effective management and personalized guest service. We enable them to do that.

Interviewer: How vital is excellent guest service in this industry?

Mike: Guest service is crucial to the success of any vacation rental. Great guest service leads to great reviews, and travelers read those reviews when choosing a vacation rental. Great reviews attract new guests and maintain repeat business; a single bad review can significantly impact the ability to book a property and cost an owner much more than what they invest in effective property management.

Interviewer: What would you say to property owners in Arizona seeking to rent their property?

Mike: At BBO Arizona we have flexible and affordable options for property owners seeking to rent short-term. If they want to do their own marketing and booking, we can help them create their advertising and get their properties rental-ready. If they don’t have the time or desire to do the marketing and booking, we can connect them to a booking partner we have who can assist them with those processes. Every property is unique, with unique needs. We can tailor a package to provide what they need for a surprisingly affordable price.

Interviewer: Mike, how can property owners in and around the Phoenix, Arizona area contact you at BBO Arizona?

Mike: Property owners can contact us through our website at, call us at (480) 744-5929, or email us at

Contact BBO Today!

Are you interested in renting out your property yourself on VRBO or AirBnB, but still need someone local to take care of the home and guests? Book by Owner (BBO) pioneered fee-based resort property management and continues to be the industry leader. With BBO you have professional, reliable management services available to you and your guests 24/7/365 without the costly commissions of traditional property management programs. Contact BBO and get started today!