Great Property Management – Even on Christmas Day

It’s Christmas Day and your vacation rental is filled with a large, happy family celebrating the holiday together. After numerous conversations, cooking a vast meal, and plenty of coffee and holiday drinks, some guests decide to try out a new gift – a cappuccino machine. Upon plugging in the machine and turning it on, the unexpected happens – several other electrical devices suddenly die, including some lights. The property management arrangements you have in place will now prove their value or utterly fail. Which will it be?

DIY Vacation Rental Management

There are some property owners who choose to manage all their property management issues themselves. Cleanings between guests, lawn care, pool and hot tub care, routine maintenance, dealing with clients, and any emergency phone calls are all handled by the owners. This can work for property owners who perhaps own several properties in the same locale, and live nearby. All their time can be devoted to managing and maintaining their vacation rental homes.

Unfortunately, most property owners do not live close to their properties. And those who do may not have all the equipment, essential tools, or skills to perform their own maintenance. Or the time to do so. And who wants to be bothered with emergencies late at night, on weekends, or on major holidays?

Common Property Management Services

Other vacation property owners choose to contract management services with a property management firm. Most of these firms handle common rental property tasks like cleaning, routine maintenance, lawn care, and dealing with emergencies for a percentage of the overall property rental fee. This is great for property owners who live some distance away and cannot handle these chores themselves, but it is quite expensive, often 30 – 50 percent of the rental income.  

Reliable Guest Services from BBO

With Book by Owner as your property management service, you get great vacation rental property management on weekends and throughout the holidays, even if issues arise on Christmas or New Year’s Day. BBO guarantees professional, reliable management services available to you and your guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, all for a set monthly fee and without the costly commissions of other property management firms.

In the scenario at the beginning of this article, the local BBO franchisee was a simple phone call away and was able to guide a guest to the main electrical box and walk them through the steps of resetting a breaker to restore power to the outlets and lights in question. They were also able to advise the guest on the best place to plug in their new machine in order to not overload a particular electrical circuit.

BBO’s prompt and efficient service was appreciated by the guests and was reflected in the guest review. How would that emergency have been handled under your current vacation property management arrangement? For more information about our 24/7/365 quality property management services, contact BBO online or call us at 877-218-0139.


Preparing Your Rental Home for Holiday Cooking

Holiday cooking is a major part of most family traditions and, all too often, the extended family has outgrown a normal sized home. Consequently, holiday renters are often seeking a large place for family gatherings that include a large meal. How you prepare for guests and their holiday cooking is important. It can mean the difference between repeat business or bad reviews.

Preparing your rental home for holiday cooking is not a major seasonal undertaking. In fact, you should already provide the necessary amenities for cooking as part of your basic furnishings. But, certain aspects of your rental home are absolutely vital for those guests with holiday cooking on their agenda. Think of your own home during these occasions to anticipate the needs of your guests.

A Fully Furnished Kitchen

When thinking about how to furnish your kitchen, remember that guests appreciate convenience. Your kitchen should be equipped with enough plates, tableware, and glasses, for at least double the number of people that your home can sleep. In addition, some colorful and durable kid-friendly plates and cups would be a plus for families with young children. Ensure that everything is dishwasher safe. Everything – pots and pans, dishes, glassware, etc. – will be put into the dishwasher, so make sure it CAN be put in there safely.

You should provide plenty of cookware and baking ware in various sizes. Nothing disappoints a guest more than arriving with holiday grocery items and discovering only a few pots and pans in the cabinets. Don’t break the bank on high-end cookware, but everything you do provide should be of good quality and spotlessly clean. Any chipped or cracked items should be discarded and replaced.

Clean, functional kitchen appliances are a must for guests doing holiday cooking. A large stove and refrigerator are only the beginning. Mixers, coffee makers, can openers, toasters or toaster ovens, and crock pots are added bonuses that are sure to contribute to a positive cooking experience. Again, these items should be of good quality and easily cleaned. Any non-functioning units should be discarded and replaced, not simply shoved to the back of the cabinet.

Adequate Serving / Dining Space

Guests will appreciate a large dining room table if your property layout allows. In addition, plenty of counter space is a plus for serving. As with serving ware, you should seek to provide dining space for at least double the number your home can sleep. If one or two large tables is not practical, consider a table that fits the available space with additional places along the counter or bar area.

Keep in mind that those guests who are not accommodated at the dining table or counter will eat in the living room. Therefore, your furniture and flooring should be durable and easily cleaned in the event of accidental spills. Providing a few small card tables or TV trays is an added bonus to add friendly seating for children.

Cleaning Supplies

Plenty of guests and lots of cooking means a great deal of cleaning up. But, your guests don’t want to spend their holiday vacation cleaning. Make it easy for them to care for your property by providing everything they need to do it quickly and efficiently. Dishwasher detergent, dishwashing soap, scrub pads, dish cloths and towels, spot cleaner, a vacuum, and plenty of extra garbage bags will help ensure your guests clean up after themselves.

Don’t forget that large groups of guests will all cycle through the bathrooms at some time through each day of their stay. This means providing plenty of toilet tissue, bathroom cleaning supplies, extra bath and toiletry amenities, and a plunger in each bathroom. Guests will appreciate your thinking ahead of their comfort.

Holiday Property Management Can Get Busy – BBO is Your Partner

What are some other items needing attention to prepare your property for holiday rentals? Book by Owner (BBO) is an experienced and professional property management company that assists homeowners who like to do their own bookings. We can assist you with everything necessary to prepare your property for holiday gatherings. Call BBO today at 877.713.4947 or go online for a quote. You book the guest. We do the rest.


What to Look for in a Holiday Vacation Rental

Singer Andy Williams captured the essence of this season in his 1963 hit It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The holidays are when families get together, meals are shared, and memories are made. If you and your loved ones have “parties for hosting” you will want to select the perfect holiday vacation rental. But, what amenities should be top on your list? Here’s a selection of holiday rental must-haves.

Large Gathering Spaces

No matter your location, you must have plenty of space for the family to mingle, eat, play, and laugh. Popular estimates range between 50 to 70 square feet per person for comfortable living. While you may only plan to occupy your holiday vacation rental for a few days, be sure to consider the space needs of every family member. Small children generally require more space for toys and activities than do the elderly. However, no one will enjoy the holiday if forced to exist in tight surroundings. Be sure there are adequate sleeping arrangements as well as plenty of room for relaxation and enjoying one another’s company.

Fully Equipped Kitchens

Sharing a sumptuous meal with your family is a highlight of any holiday gathering. Whether each segment of the family is tasked with providing a part of the meal or you are cooking together, a fully equipped kitchen is a definite must. Be sure to consider the size of your family cooking team when selecting a holiday vacation rental. How many cooks will be active at one time? How many ovens will be needed? Will a single refrigerator adequately hold all the necessary ingredients and/or leftovers? Give thought to appliances, counter space, preparation space, cooking capacity, and various implements and utensils that may be needed.

Functional Fireplaces

Nothing creates a warm, inviting ambiance like a softly crackling fireplace. And nothing ruins a holiday vacation experience like a fireplace that doesn’t work. Be sure to inquire about the fireplace or fireplaces in your proposed holiday vacation home. Have they undergone the necessary seasonal inspections for safety? If the fireplace burns wood, is there an adequate supply of wood nearby? How close? If you would rather not face the chores of hauling wood and shoveling ashes, be sure to look for a rental with a gas fireplace. Is there sufficient gas for extended use throughout your stay? Asking such questions ahead of time can prevent disappointments later.

Clean and Safe Hot Tubs

Hot tubs provide a luxuriating way to relax after a long day of cooking and family time. Conversely, they can also be a source of bacteria and disease. Due to warmer water temperatures, hot tubs are much harder to disinfect than swimming pools. When choosing a holiday vacation rental home with a hot tub, always ask about cleaning procedures and schedules. Hot tubs need regular maintenance and cleaning between rentals to maintain peak cleanliness and safety. Upon arrival, inspect the hot tub and water. Both should be clean, clear, and without any strong disinfectant smells. Recirculation systems should run constantly. If you suspect anything is amiss, call the property owner or manager immediately.

Easy Access to Sports/Entertainment Venues

Although families will want to spend time together eating and relaxing, you will also want to create memories enjoying fun experiences. Consider your family makeup and choose a holiday rental close to suitable sports or entertainment venues. Both indoor and outdoor opportunities exist for the athletic and those who choose to sit and watch. Select a rental property with easy access to such activities for quick travel and return times. Some rentals include package deals or discounts on nearby venues. Be sure to inquire when you call about the property.

Are you interested in renting out your property yourself, 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. We provide the peace-of-mind you need and a high-quality guest experience that will continue to get you great reviews and more bookings. 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!