Can’t Sell? – Then Reap The Benefits of Vacation Rental

 discovery_welcome The UK Times Online  has addressed the issue of second home ownership in its article Strangers in Paradise. This mirrors the difficulties cottage owners are facing here in Ontario as the demand for purchasing vacation properties falls off. This is exactly what I was talking about with Seamus O’Reagan on the Canada AM Show last month, and illustrates the challenges facing owners who are having difficulty selling.

I’m visiting two properties in Bancroft tomorrow; both have been listed for sale for over a year with minimal interest by potential buyers. They both have tremendous rental potential and if the current demand for vacation rentals continues, we will have no difficulty in renting them out for the high season providing the owners are willing to do the work to bring them up to standard.

The advice given in the Times article is spot-on which is much the same as I’ve been recommending here:

  • Hot tubs add value so if you have the room, put one in
  • Invest in contemporary furnishings – there’s such great bargains in furniture and furnishings at the moment, now’s the time to buy
  • Provide the latest in hi-tech items – flat screen TV; Ipod docking stations; hi-speed internet; Playstation
  • If you want to rent out this summer, put the property with a rental agency to get it moving quickly, unless you have the technical and marketing skills to set up a web site and create traffic. Make sure the one you choose does active low and shoulder season marketing and advertising.
  • Price it competitively and get some advice on comparable properties in your area
  • Be businesslike and don’t go this route if you are not customer focused

Just as a matter of interest, the demand for summer vacation rentals here in Ontario is at an all time high. Bookings with my agency are already 20% up on the first two months of last year with another 2 weeks to go to the end of February. A bit more on trends later this month.

If you are thinking of renting out, a great primer is my book, Renting Your Recreational Property For Profit.  It's packed with tips and ideas; checklists and recommendations for setting up a property for rental.  Pick it up from Chapters, Borders or online at Amazon.

I’m writing a longer article on this topic and would love to hear from anyone who is planning on renting out because they cannot sell.

Alison Meacham

This is an excellent idea for those who are looking for an alternative to selling in this difficult market. Demand for high standard vacation properties is increasing. 2009 is proving to be an excellent year for my rentals near Disney World. Bookings are up significantly. Quality properties will always be in demand.

Alison Meacham’s last blog post..Disney Mulan

Heather Bayer


It’s interesting to hear that bookings are up for you too. We are up 50% on last February with confirmed bookings for our managed properties. And you are right – people are definitely seeking quality, even in the smaller properties. In my view there is no reason not to provide it.

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