When you choose to own a vacation home there may be some things that you may overlook when getting the property ready to welcome guests. Here we will talk about the top 10 things that can be easily overlooked.
1. Taking professional photos
I see many owners who spend a great deal of money setting up the property with love and care only to shortchange it by putting up photos that don’t properly represent the home. Hire a professional real estate photographer. Having great photos will make your rental stand out in the crowd. It’s important to put your best foot forward, You’ve only got one shot to make a good impression.
2. No AC shut off when the patio door is open
It’s a good idea to install a switch to turn off the AC when the patio door is open. It’s very important that renters understand that in the climate of Orlando when the door is open the AC will not operate. An air conditioner that is forced to overwork can freeze. It’s also important to limit the temperature that the air conditioner can be set to. In Florida setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees and locking the controls will prevent the AC from freezing up and save money in repairs.
3. No emergency key at the front door
Most rentals operate with a keypad on the door and a code unique to that door for each customer. However, mistakes can be made or the battery may need replacing. It is good for the owner to keep one extra key in a mounted lockbox to be used in case the electronic keypad is not working that day.
4. No candles
I can’t say this enough, you don’t want to encourage people to light fires in your home. Leaving a candle can suggest that it is appropriate for them to light. If you’ve purchased this Home from another owner, remove all candles even decorative ones.
5. Locks on the pool access doors
Make sure the locks on your pool doors are 54 inches off the ground, so the kids cannot reach them. Since sliding glass door locks can be difficult for the novice to operate, I suggest using a cal-bolt. It’s easy to install and difficult for a child to operate while being easy for an adult and prevents break-ins.
6. Keep your front door clean!
First impressions mean everything in this business. Make them feel welcome with a nice clean, yearly painted, front door. When guests see fingerprints, scratches, dents and dirt it suggests that the home is not well cared for. Don’t invite a poor impression of your home before the guest has even entered.
7. Using mixed colored linens
Though you may want nice decorative linens, I strongly suggest that you don’t. When the cleaners come, they have 4 to 5 hours to clean all linens in the house which means they have to be washed together. Even pool towels should be white. A uniform color is easier also because it would be challenging for them to remember what color sheets went with what room. Some rental agencies bring clean linens and remove the dirty ones for washing. In that case, the management company will tell you if you need to purchase linens. But they will once again be white.
8. Ceiling fans operated by chain cords
Don’t do this. You don’t want a guest, child or adult standing on the bed pulling on the chain cord. The ceiling fans should be operated strictly by a labeled light switch. Don’t invite a liability you can avoid.
9. Do not rent the grill as an additional payment to the renters
It’s either got to be included in the rental fee at no charge or an outside service (recommended) will deliver a fully gassed, fully cleaned grilled upon request. If you decide to provide a grill for free most cleaners will not clean them. If you want to charge an additional fee for use or cleaning then please check with your insurance company first, because you may not be covered if there is an issue.
10. No glass by the pool
PERIOD! Very often I will sell homes that have been rented through another owner and I will see several glasses in the cabinet. Remove them. Do not buy glassware and here’s why: broken glass in a house or the pool that isn’t picked up could cause severe injury especially to people walking barefoot. If broken glass gets into the pool, the pool needs to be drained and cleaned at a cost of several hundred dollars. If there is broken glass most renters are not going to tell you. Personally, I removed all glassware from the rental and request guests to not purchase any glass during their stay.
While these items individually are not major, they are meant to prepare you to prevent any issues and allow you to give that all-important good first impression.