VRS193 – Mid Summer Madness – A Diary of A Vacation Rental Property Manager

This week’s solo episode reflects on how this business has changed over the past twenty years, as I deal with numerous issues at properties through the first 6 weeks of the summer.

Back in the good old days we dealt directly with our guests, often took their cash when they arrived, trusted they would clean up before they left, and hoped they’d let us know if something broke down and needed fixing. It was an easier relationship with guests who were far more tolerant and forgiving of human error. They took more responsibility and showed greater self-reliance when things went wrong.

When the power went out, they saw it as an adventure; if something broke they fixed it as best they could and soldiered on until it was repaired; if it rained, they played board games and rummy, and spent hours on jigsaws even when they knew there were pieces missing.

OK – that’s enough of reminiscing the good old times.

Now we deal with a completely different perspective on our rental business and for those of us who have been in the business for a lot of years, we have to be attentive to this and stop bemoaning the changes and begin to recognise we are in a new era of the business of being accommodation providers. We have to stop clinging to the old ways of doing things and embrace new technology, appreciate the expectations of a new market and adapt accordingly, and learn how to market better in an increasingly competitive environment.

I share some of the problems that have been raised this season so far and talk about:

• How we have to deal with increased drama and occasionally group hysteria
• Why an appliance breakdown can lead to a ‘disaster’ scenario
• Power outages and what happens when the wifi goes down
• The importance of an emergency plan – be prepared for every situation
• When guest forget to leave or arrive a day early
• When to be tolerant and the cost of doing this business
• Emergency planning and being proactive
• Why some people should not be in this business
• Tinfoil hat neighbours and coping with the oddballs
• How we are planning for a new season

Terry Whyte

Thank you Heather. Very informative. It is always nice to hear others challenges and what the do to overcome them.

Jan Ferry-Axman

Absolutely love your podcast! Just when I’m shaking my head thinking (what were your (real) complaints) for the last guests in One of the cottages I rent. They called me asking for a refund after giving me what amounted to one of the strangest drama critiques of the property I had ever heard! “With the refund we will agree to write no review ” was kind of how it ended! Very heartening to hear your drama stories …as I thought it was just me ! Even just labeling it a drama story has helped me tremendously. Thanks again !


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