People buy cottages for many reasons and they have different types of perceptions and expectations. Many buyers are now considering rental as part of their investment plan, so it’s important to be able to present them with appropriate and comprehensive detail so they can make informed decisions on their cottage purchase.
Having this information to hand will also stand you out from the bulk of your competitors – something we all want to achieve.
Here are five basic pieces of information that will position you as a cottage rental sales expert.
Buyers need to know….
…that they can rent at all
Although the vacation rental industry is valued at around $23 billion worldwide and is becoming more main-stream, many investors don’t know or understand the income potential that short term rentals can offer. They may have considered residential rental as an option, but the possibilities offered by the vacation rental industry may need to be explained to them.
….the cottage rental business in Ontario has changed
Years ago it was OK to rent just about anything – as long as it had a roof and indoor plumbing. Today’s rental demographic have higher expectations. They want Wifi, large flat-screen TVs with satellite service, high-end mattresses and bed linens, and cleaning included as standard. The days of asking rental guests to clean the place at the end of their vacation are all but over. Buyers need to know, when they start renting out their cottage, they become part of the travel and tourism industry and there are responsibilities that come with it.
…if there are any rental restrictions
Whether a buyer knows about cottage rentals or not, your presentation of every property should be accompanied by information on the legality of short-term rentals in case you are asked. Some cottage country areas are creating regulations that may result in an outright ban, or limit the amount of a rental period to 30 days or more. In other areas, there may be municipal zoning restrictions buried in by-laws that have lain dormant for years. However, it only takes one complaint from a neighbor for that by-law to be activated again and then cottage owners are embroiled in a legislation fight.
…..the potential rental income
“What will this property rent for?” may be the first question your buyer will ask, and you will need to know the answer. Not only for a week in high season, but also for low and shoulder seasons, special events and premium weekends. You’ll need knowledge of comparable rental properties, their occupancy levels, seasonal variations, discount strategies and the rate differences between various types of cottages and locations.
….how they can find a property manager
The nature of second home ownership means that the buyer is likely to live some distance from the property. Issues of property management in their absence is going to be at the forefront of the buyer’s mind so you will need to be prepared to offer assistance with finding an appropriate service provider. It’s better to have several tried and tested rental agencies in your portfolio, to ensure a good match with your purchaser’s specific needs.
Creating a niche as a cottage rental expert can bring a significant increase in your business, and deliver what buyers need before they ask, along with growing your reputation as the realtor of choice.