Make Cents?

Piggy Bank Savings Female Half FilledThis week we finally got out our Vacation Rentals of the Desert Summer Newsletter.  Thank goodness that’s done and in the mail.  A surprising amount of work goes into these newsletters. There is so much to say in so little space … review of the past rental season, forecast of the upcoming season, the politics and news of the vacation rental industry and a few helpful money saving tips for our vacation rental owners.  In this week’s post I have shared some of the newsletter with you!

 

Please consider the following tips and how they may help you save $$$$ ………

 

Internet: These days all vacation rentals should offer Wi-Fi internet. Tablets, iPads, and book readers such as Nooks and Kindles require Wi-Fi since they cannot be plugged into an Ethernet system. Most internet providers will include a Wi-Fi modem … for a fee. Did you know you can save yourself the monthly rental fee by requesting only internet service than purchasing your own Wi-Fi modem? The cost of a modem is about $50 to $60. If you are uncertain about what you need I have found that Best Buy has sales staff that can help you chose the correct modem and explain the simple installation.
Save monthly rental fees by purchasing your own Wi-Fi modem.

Cable, Internet & Telephones: Many cable services offer a “vacation” hold on their services, predominately in “seasonal” areas. If your vacation rental home is typically unoccupied for months at a time then you may want to see if your cable provider gives you the option to temporarily turn off your services or put them on a vacation hold. You will want to ask if there is a disconnect/re-connect charge or any other restrictions.
Reduce or eliminate cable, internet and telephone bills when unoccupied.

BBQ: A natural gas BBQ is always the least expensive in the long run. Many BBQs come set up for propane, but did you know that many can be easily and inexpensively converted to natural gas. Propane tanks will run out. This always happens in the middle of cooking and your guests will not be happy. Even if you have a spare tank of propane, it is an added hassle for your guest. Many times the guest will change the tank but not let anyone know, so the next guest will be very upset when they change an empty tank for another empty tank.  Believe me, I’ve received many angry after hours calls from guests whose dinners have been ruined due to the propane running out in the middle of cooking their dinner. If your property is with a vacation rental company you are looking at a charge for someone to pick-up, exchange, deliver and hook-up a full propane tank. This takes time and usually results in very cranky guests. Would you like to be the one who delivers the propane tank to the guest with the spoiled steaks? It is almost impossible to distinguish a full or empty tank. Also consider the time and cost of repeatedly changing the propane tank. If you have charcoal consider this: beer, cocktails and lighter fluid. To my mind it’s not worth the risk.  Propane is better than charcoal but natural gas is your best choice.
Save the time and cost of replacing empty propane tanks.

Pillow & Mattress Covers: Protect your bedding and your guests … cover, cover, cover! Open mouth sleepers can destroy a pillow in one night! People drink coffee in bed … and breakfast in bed is a wonderful treat … but accidental spills, not so wonderful. It’s pretty gross when changing the sheets to find stains on the pillows or mattress … your imagination will go wild. So your guests go to change the sheets and …. ewww! Short of replacing all pillows between guests, owners should cover bed pillows with quality pillow protectors … even the extra pillows stored in your closet. When purchasing the pillow protectors you want to look for “water resistant,” NOT plastic covers. Plastic is very uncomfortable, hot and noisy. Also a good quality mattress cover will protect and extend the life of your mattress. I suggest washing pillow and mattress protectors between guests AND since you have protection for your pillows purchase quality pillows. You don’t need to spend a fortune on pillows and certainly I would never recommend feather pillows (many people are allergic), but nice, comfortable pillows will be appreciated by your guests. We have noticed that guests are more apt to book a return trip to a property that has comfortable beds.
Save the cost of constant pillow replacement.

shut off valveWater Shut-Off Valves: Many homes are equipped with water shut-off valves on the exterior of the property. The valve is installed to turn off only the water inside the home leaving the exterior landscape sprinkler systems to operate normally. Shutting off the water inside your home when unoccupied will give you added protection against leaks and floods. A water shut-off valve can be installed on most properties. A handyman or plumber can assess your property to see if this feature can be added.
Save the cost of possible flood damage.

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