Guest post by Stu Frith
Tourism is driven by providing something to the consumer by way of experiences that they cannot get at home. The short term chalet and condo rental market is driven by the consumer decision on where to stay based on a number of factors. Here are the top five things YOU can do as the owner of a short term vacation rental chalet or condo to entice consumers to select your property and to enjoy their accommodations so much that they select it again and again.
The interior paint selection is vital as it is the palate for the rest of the décor in terms of its backdrop. You want to ensure that the colours appeal to the masses and not just you and you alone. We would suggest that when selecting paint colours that you employ some due diligence and study other ski resort properties across the land and see what colours they have selected. We would recommend that you also pick up a few local magazines that focus on home décor and see what the local designers and builders are selecting. Perhaps your rental property is not a million dollar product however, by utilizing the same hues as a million dollar property, you can create palate that consumers desire. Remember, it is an experience you are providing to the consumer so your final paint selections should be both welcoming and warm.
Tip Two – Furnishing and Amenities
Furnishings and amenities are very important in terms of providing a special experience for the consumer. Your selections should provide a resort and ski chalet feel and, they should also take into account quality and durability. The furniture will be well used as many guests within the property will have a special family and friends dinner during their stay so, for example, the dining room chairs should be of sound construction. This philosophy should extend to such items as the BBQ and the patio furniture as well.
In terms of where to acquire the furnishings, there are a myriad of choices out there however we would remind you that you should view your rental property as a business so we would suggest that you do overlook such options as estate sales where quality furnishings can be had for a fraction of the price and this purchasing method also often ensures you achieve that unique look. Ikea is also an option that many rental property owners also consider. The choice of where to acquire the furnishings is ultimately the owners and ensuring that uniqueness and durability are a continual consideration and theme will ultimately satisfy both the owner, the renter and the rental manager.
When renters make decisions via the Internet, they base those decisions on what they can see and what they can read about. The paint selections and furnishings are things they can see whereas certain amenities are ones they can only read about and envision as playing a role in their rental experience. Primary examples would be a blender and a wine chiller. The provision of quality cutlery, cooking tools and equipment, quality glassware and dishware are all key to the overall experience. Never forget the property owner, via their rental manager, has only 48-72 hours to create that experience so every moment counts. Simple things can often be overlooked however they play a key role, such as those fireplace tools and that wine opener. Not having such items will potentially create a negative experience which is what you do want to avoid at all costs.
The quality of the window coverings, the duvets or comforters and pillows are essential keys to facilitating a positive and memorable experience. Your rental manager can and should certainly play an active role in working with you, their valued client, in setting that palate within the property. It is in everyone’s best interest to take the time to ensure that the property is fully equipped and ready for rentals. The quality of the property and its’ overall offering will dictate the rate, the popularity, occupancy rate and the level of the guests experience.
In terms of one item that the average consumer usually doesn’t have at home which they can get here at their rental property in The Blue Mountains and Collingwood, nothing is more popular than a hot tub. When the consumer tries to imagine themselves at a base of a ski resort, they often picture themselves in a hot tub with friends or that very special someone. It is therefore the case that one of the greatest factors leading to the popularity of a rental property is the existence of a hot tub. If it is a possibility that one could be added to your property, then it should be strongly considered. It positions your property to be selected over others and it also facilitates a higher rental rate. The management costs of the tub itself can be worked into the rental rate so you do not bear those costs on a per rental basis. In the opinion of the writer, it is well worth a close look in terms of adding a hot tub to the property. One last tip on another amenity that has become almost expected. In today’s world the inclusion of wireless internet as part of a rental is almost as common as supplying a microwave. We would recommend to any rental property owner that he/she ensure that WiFi is an offered amenity.
Tip Four – Utilities
The proper and prudent management of all the utilities within the rental property are essential and a key component of the rental property business plan. There are three parties that control the utilities: the owner, the rental management service and, the renter. It is often extremely helpful if you the owner, prepare a user guide for the utilities, both heating and A/C. This step by step guide will enable the renter to easily understand and manage the heating and cooling systems within with your property. As you know, the cost of utilities is a major part of the expense budget so by taking some time and preparing a user manual, you will take huge steps toward ensuring that when you are not in the property, that those that are there, will be managing the systems as if you were there. It is also advantageous to sometimes prepare a manual for any other systems that may not be the easiest to manage such as the remote controls for your gas fireplace, your entertainment systems and even your BBQ and/or stove.
Tip Five – Cleanliness
Maintaining of the cleanliness of your property is a vital component of your rental property’s overall success. Your rental management firm should be taking a leadership role in ensuring that your property is kept up to your high standards of cleanliness. The tools of the trade when it comes to keeping those standards nice and high are essential and it is important to ensure that your property is fully equipped with all the tools and products required to keep it clean. When renters are occupying the space, they need to have the proper tools and products to clean the property both during and at the conclusion of their stay. Your rental management firm should have counseled the renters on what standards they are expected to maintain. The property will have been handed to the renter in a very clean and rental ready state so ensuring that your property is properly equipped, you do your part to ensure that your asset is kept in tip top shape and always ready for you, your family or friends or your valued rental guest.
Stu is the owner of the rental company, VisitBlueMountain and can be found online at www.visitbluemountain.com
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg