Whole house rentals

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Morticia

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We are considering changing our model from nightly rentals to weekly, whole house, self catering where all we do is clean when the guests leave.
Does anyone have a policy that covers this? The guests would use the kitchen to cook for themselves. We’d provide a ‘starter’ pack of coffee, tea, sugar, milk, cold cereal, but then they’d have to do their own shopping.
I’m looking, I guess, for vacation rental contracts. TIA
 

Morticia

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And where’s a good place to list? VRBO?
 

Arks

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Hope it goes well! Yes, Air and VRBO are your best choices. There are other lists, but probably too few users to bother with.
 

witthuus

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we do vacation rentals in Florida and Georgia.
VRBO ist the best place to list 90% of my business goes through them. AirBnb the remaining 10%
 

Momma Smurf

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In your market, is this feasible? Just wondering, pondering.
 

Morticia

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In your market, is this feasible? Just wondering, pondering..
Momma Smurf said:
In your market, is this feasible? Just wondering, pondering.
There is no market right now. We’re trying to create one. What we’re getting for rentals are all one nighters who are getting off the plane, stopping for the night, then heading somewhere they don’t have to spend time with anyone else.
It will not be easy that’s for sure. But we might try it for June.
 

Arks

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Worth a try, though probably needs more than a 1 month trial to really get the word out. But once it goes live on VRBO and Air, people will start to find it without you having to market much. Have you looked at VRBO and Air to see what's already available in your town? That can help with seeing how others price things, how they describe things, policies they list, etc.
One month will give a hint of how much less work it would be for you, as far as no meals to prepare, diets to worry about, and only cleaning when they leave.
It would be much like my own model, which is wonderful, especially if you can make it self-check-in after paying online.
It's not good for needy guests who can't do for themselves, but if you clearly market it as "you're on you own" you'll likely find you get a different crowd, more independent people who need less care. That sort of people are going elsewhere right now, because they are not B&B people.
I used to get calls, please bring us more Keurig pods, please bring us this and that. I finally got out of that by putting up a sign, "Self-Catering means, if you need food, more coffee, etc., you do what you would do if you ran out of something at home. You go to the store and get more." I rarely hear from anybody now.
It will be a big change for you, from catering to guests' every need to leaving them on their own. But a LOT of people these days PREFER to stay somewhere where they're left alone and don't see other guests. This change can make it possible for you to continue making income from your property well into old age. Good luck!
 

seashanty

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Hi Mortician
A whole house rental with a two or three night minimum stay?
You may not want to and would have to incorporate a damages policy into the rate, but if you allowed pets, I can see this being a boon for you.
 

Morticia

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Hi Mortician
A whole house rental with a two or three night minimum stay?
You may not want to and would have to incorporate a damages policy into the rate, but if you allowed pets, I can see this being a boon for you..
seashanty said:
Hi Mortician
A whole house rental with a two or three night minimum stay?
You may not want to and would have to incorporate a damages policy into the rate, but if you allowed pets, I can see this being a boon for you.
Weekly, no shorter than that. Yes, definitely looking for the policies that everyone has for this type of rental. There would need to be strict fees for damages as we’d only have one day to clean up.
No pets. BTDT. People are too sloppy about their pets.
 

seashanty

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I am thinking that after the virus settles down people may want to vacation with their families. Might work out well for you.
 

Morticia

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I am thinking that after the virus settles down people may want to vacation with their families. Might work out well for you..
Just looked at vrbo for my area. We definitely have more bathrooms than any other place, so that might be a plus. I saw rentals sleeping 28 with 4 total bathrooms!
Looks like we can tack on fees for cleaning. And, surprise, surprise, Expedia collects an additional 15% from the guest on top of the 15% they get from the host. (And they had the nerve to complain when they had to handle all those cancellations this month!)
 

Country Girl

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We would love to consider this option too, at least for the next year, but we live in our B&B and only have one kitchen. Are your living quarters set up so you would not have to interact with the guests?
 

Morticia

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We would love to consider this option too, at least for the next year, but we live in our B&B and only have one kitchen. Are your living quarters set up so you would not have to interact with the guests?.
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
 

Arks

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I am thinking that after the virus settles down people may want to vacation with their families. Might work out well for you..
Just looked at vrbo for my area. We definitely have more bathrooms than any other place, so that might be a plus. I saw rentals sleeping 28 with 4 total bathrooms!
Looks like we can tack on fees for cleaning. And, surprise, surprise, Expedia collects an additional 15% from the guest on top of the 15% they get from the host. (And they had the nerve to complain when they had to handle all those cancellations this month!)
.
Morticia said:
Looks like we can tack on fees for cleaning.
Absolutely! It's the norm with Air and VRBO and their customers expect it.
I came up with a cleaning fee that matches the norm of others in the area, and that let me reduce my nightly rate a bit so it looks less expensive.
 

Arks

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We would love to consider this option too, at least for the next year, but we live in our B&B and only have one kitchen. Are your living quarters set up so you would not have to interact with the guests?.
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
.
Morticia said:
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
Looking down the road, is there a way to fix things with some locked doors so you could split the house up into 2 or 3 rentals with separate entry doors? The flexibility to do that could help a lot if you don't have luck with whole house rentals (because your house is huge).
 

seashanty

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If you were to split up the house for say two big rentals, could they share the kitchen? The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of you trying it. I don't like to use the dreaded 'air' word ... but isn't that their model for many of these rentals?
Back before air, family owned a cottage out on Nantucket. Listed it on vrbo as one-week rentals. It's so close to a beach, it was idyllic. Check out time allowed for a cleaning crew to come in and clean in between rentals. If someone rented it for two weeks, the crew still went in to clean, remove trash, and check the place was okay. Everything was provided in terms of linens and towels, it had a stacking washer and dryer, small but adequate kitchen with dishes, pots and pans, television.
Is there a room that could be used as a living room?
 

Arks

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If you were to split up the house for say two big rentals, could they share the kitchen? The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of you trying it. I don't like to use the dreaded 'air' word ... but isn't that their model for many of these rentals?
Back before air, family owned a cottage out on Nantucket. Listed it on vrbo as one-week rentals. It's so close to a beach, it was idyllic. Check out time allowed for a cleaning crew to come in and clean in between rentals. If someone rented it for two weeks, the crew still went in to clean, remove trash, and check the place was okay. Everything was provided in terms of linens and towels, it had a stacking washer and dryer, small but adequate kitchen with dishes, pots and pans, television.
Is there a room that could be used as a living room?.
seashanty said:
If you were to split up the house for say two big rentals, could they share the kitchen?
Everybody doesn't have to have a full kitchen. Three of my 5 units have just minifridge, microwave, Keurig coffeemaker, and ice maker (they are about the size of a Mr. Coffee and make the first batch of ice 8 minutes after being turned on. Mine have worked perfectly for years). I rent these units for a week or so often, and people do fine with carry out and reheating from the minifridge.
 

Morticia

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We would love to consider this option too, at least for the next year, but we live in our B&B and only have one kitchen. Are your living quarters set up so you would not have to interact with the guests?.
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
.
Morticia said:
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
Looking down the road, is there a way to fix things with some locked doors so you could split the house up into 2 or 3 rentals with separate entry doors? The flexibility to do that could help a lot if you don't have luck with whole house rentals (because your house is huge).
.
Arks said:
Morticia said:
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
Looking down the road, is there a way to fix things with some locked doors so you could split the house up into 2 or 3 rentals with separate entry doors? The flexibility to do that could help a lot if you don't have luck with whole house rentals (because your house is huge).
later on, yes. right now I’m pursuing the guest who wants to not interact in any way with other guests. not sharing the grounds, the lawn chairs, nothing.
We’d tell them there is an attached apartment but they would not need to interact with those people (us). We have our own deck out back. We’d have to figure out how to get the mail, tho. The mailbox is on the front of the building. We might be able to install a box on the lawn instead.

our house is not really that big compared with what I saw on vrbo today. It’s actually quite a bit smaller even tho we have more bedrooms and bathrooms. The guests renting the inn would get about 2500 sq ft to themselves.
 

Morticia

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If you were to split up the house for say two big rentals, could they share the kitchen? The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of you trying it. I don't like to use the dreaded 'air' word ... but isn't that their model for many of these rentals?
Back before air, family owned a cottage out on Nantucket. Listed it on vrbo as one-week rentals. It's so close to a beach, it was idyllic. Check out time allowed for a cleaning crew to come in and clean in between rentals. If someone rented it for two weeks, the crew still went in to clean, remove trash, and check the place was okay. Everything was provided in terms of linens and towels, it had a stacking washer and dryer, small but adequate kitchen with dishes, pots and pans, television.
Is there a room that could be used as a living room?.
I’m looking for those people who want to get away from other people. So, no shared spaces.
Air is now requiring a full day between rentals to air the place out and really sanitize it in order to get their seal of approval. They are also hosting classes on how to clean in order to get that special approval.

that won’t work for week to week rentals. not sure if other ota’s are going to require that.
 

Silverspoon

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We would love to consider this option too, at least for the next year, but we live in our B&B and only have one kitchen. Are your living quarters set up so you would not have to interact with the guests?.
We have a separate apartment. We would not interact with guests.
.
Your model sounds pretty much like ours currently is. We have accepted a couple of reservations beginning in June on a weekly basis for our ocean-view cottage and a few for less than a week by offering a nightly rate that is high enough to make it worth giving up a couple of nights. We do not offer a lease but all of our guests are returning guests so there is a relationship of trust built in. Even if we do book "strangers" we will continue along the B+B model....we will put a few breakfast items in the cottage to get them started, and a few goodies like cookies. But we will not be going in to freshen up, will ask them to put towels that need to be refreshed in a laundry basket outside the cottage, and it will be their responsibility to do their own dishes after a meal. We have used this model for a few years for those looking for a reduced rate which we called A GUEST HOUSE RATE and it worked well...for them and for us.
 
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