VRS012 – Buying a Vacation Home with Confidence to Succeed – Erica Muller of The Flamingo Group

Orlando based realtor and vacation rental specialist, Erica Muller, is a powerhouse in the Florida real estate market. Her new e-course “Everything you wish you knew about buying a vacation rental home” is a comprehensive and content packed guide for anyone considering buying a property from a distance.

tweetTweet: Find a #realtor that understands the #vacationrental market @cottageguru @RealEstateFL http://ctt.ec/c6Lxo+ pic.twitter.com/pWUIlBqcN4

In Episode 4 of Vacation Rental Success I talked to Lisa Presley Sedore, a  Canadian who had bought a villa in Orlando and in a short space of time had achieved near-maximum occupancy.  Lisa since bought a second property in the same area to which she’s applying the same success strategies.  She credited much of her initial success to her good choice of property and the relationship she had with Erica, her realtor. I wanted to find out what makes this dynamic mom the go-to person for potential near-Disney buyers.

Since I’m looking at property to buy in the Bahamas, I found a lot of the information in the ebook useful for my purchase plans so I wanted to explore some general issues relating to buying property from a distance.  In this episode we cover:

  • The state of the vacation rental market in Florida and the impact of the growth of tourism  on the realty sector
  • What questions buyers need to ask about location before they search for property
  • The costly mistakes potential buyers can make
  • Short term rental restrictions and how to find out if they will affect an area of interest
  • The benefits of an HOA
  • How to find a realtor that understand the vacation rental market
  • Why ‘running the numbers’ is the most important part of the buying process
  • What time of year is best to take a viewing trip
  • Why it’s important to find a good property management company
  • What new elements are making floor plans attractive to the vacation rental market

We again have a great chance to get an amazing resource for our listeners for free!

Erica mentions a planning tool that takes all the numbers on outgoings and potential rental income and delivers a bottom line figure so you can get a good idea of your projected return on investment.  She will send this to anyone who emails me at heather@vacationrentalformula.com  and includes the keyword I mention at the end of the episode.


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My comment is rather late, but just wanted to say the podcast was excellent! I live in the US and am looking to buy rental property in Orlando. The Q&A and information Erica & Heather provided was a wealth of info! Thanks again!

Janet Bartoli

Great podcast! Learned tons from this podcast, thanks Heather!

Heather Bayer

Hi Janet – Thanks for your feedback – I’m glad you found it beneficial

Heather Bayer

So pleased you liked it. I think the information Erica shared was golden – so many little nuggets I would not have thought of. I hope you are now in touch with Erica and she’s helping you out.

The Pink Flamingo

I’m glad you enjoyed it!! I hope you got a lot out of it and of course thank you Heather for having me on!


Thanks so much Heather and Erica, I am just starting out and your podcast and other resources are just exactly what I need to hear! I am trying to learn as much as possible as many owners seem to be struggling to cover costs in renting out a holiday home let alone make a profit.
I am hoping to buy a house in Umbria, Italy soon, for both personal use and for short term holiday rental income. I am interested in what adds real value to a rental home. I found your suggestion about looking at your competition online in your specific area really valuable, this helped me compare occupancy rates with amenities/service level on offer.
Although I plan on keeping it at least 5 years to avoid Capital Gains Tax in Italy, I see that there are many lovely properties for sale there which have been on the market since 2011, whilst this is great as a buyer I worry about what would happen if I did need to suddenly sell. I do plan to negotiate as much as possible on purchasing price!
This first year I plan to maybe advertise on a high search engine ranking site and VRBO to see what level of bookings this generates. In the winter do some work to the house ie upgrade kitchen and bathrooms, some redecoration etc then if bookings low, year two consider investing in professional styling and photography and a high quality website. I am not sure about exposing the property to the market whilst it is not so high end, do I need to worry about my brand??
I would be very grateful for any advice or comments you may have!
Best wishes


Angelo Mauri

Great Podcast! I can confirm that Erica and the PinkFlamingo Group are very professional: they helped me a lot when I bought my townhome in Orlando for vacation rental purpose and I am very satisfied of how I invested my money!

Heather Bayer

Congratulations Angelo. You have won a copy of Erica’s eBook. Please email me at mike@vacationrentalformula.com and I will pass on your details to Erica.

Heather Bayer

Congratulations Jo. You have won a copy of Erica’s eBook. Please email me at mike@vacationrentalformula.com and I will pass on your details to Erica.

Heather Bayer

Congratulations DL. You have won a copy of Erica’s eBook. Please email me at mike@vacationrentalformula.com and I will pass on your details to Erica.


That is great news, thank you so much! I have emailed you and really look forward to reading it, I’m sure it will be excellent.

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