The word is getting out more than ever about the convenience and value of vacation rentals. With this growing awareness, more and more people are searching the web for information and great deals. Vacation Rentals By Owner, better known as VRBO, has become a popular choice for many travelers, but take notice. Buyer beware! The money you might save by renting directly from an owner often comes with a catch, and that catch is service!
Vacation Rentals offer 2 distinct categories, those managed by professional property management companies and those rented out directly by the owner.
You might ask, “what is the difference?” The difference is simple but very important. Professional property management companies handle all reservations, maintenance issues, housekeeping and all the little things that might occur during a stay in a typical vacation rental. VRBO’s, however, do not offer this level of service. Although a small number of owners may be close enough to the property and have the time to be “hands-on” with their rental property, the majority of VRBO”s simply cannot handle all of the issues that might arise during a vacation.
As we all know, things do happen, and very rarely is anything absolutely perfect. Professional property management companies are staffed with experienced personnel, who know exactly how to handle issues that may arise. What happens if you rent a VRBO condo or beach home, and your air conditioner goes out in the middle of August? Yes, some owners who rent via VRBO may be able to handle this type of issue in a timely manner, but more often, guests are left to fend for themselves. Sometimes, guests may find themselves in the unfortunate situation of not being able to get in touch with an owner at all.
On the other hand, vacation rentals provided by professional property management companies have the staff and connections to handle any problems that may arise more efficiently and with less disruption to the guest’s vacation experience. These companies work closely with licensed vendors, who are able to handle any type of situation that may arise: loss of power, loss of AC, bugs, cleanliness issues, etc. With VRBO properties, these issues may not even be remedied during a guest’s stay.
Unfortunately, in today’s real estate market, foreclosure is the gritty reality for many property owners in vacation destinations. What happens if you book a VRBO property, pay a deposit or full rent down, and then that property has been forclosed on? Well, you might be in trouble. Good luck getting your money back. A professional property management company has the ability to move your reservation to a similar property without losing any of your payments.
Be aware, but don’t be scared!