Is Your Vacation Home “Visually” Desirable?


shutterstock_86665393Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed the symptoms.  The occasional under-the-breath mutters of “football” from my husband have become random loud bursts of “footBALL,” with a noticeable increase in frequency and volume when another male is present.  Favored football t-shirts have become the preferred weekend attire and “dining out” has been narrowed down to restaurants specializing in beer, hot wings and big screen TVs.

Yep … I’m a “football widow.”  Over the next several months I’ll have plenty of time to work on my Sunday blog.  I can catch up on my reading and watch my fill of HGTV …. on my Sunday day off … and Monday evenings … and Thursday evenings.   Except for periodic whoops from the living room, I have quite time to enjoy my own pursuits.

Which brings me to YOUR vacation home;  is your vacation home “visually” ready for your sports loving guests?  Whether you are a sports enthusiast or not … odds are, many of your guests will be.  A good size flat screen HDTV is an absolute necessity in ALL vacation homes.  As I stated in several earlier blogs … if you do not have a newer flat screen HDTV in your main living area or den … you ARE losing prospective guests.  Check out the prices these days … TVs are very, very reasonable.  You don’t necessarily need a top-of-the-line TV, but it should be comparable to the quality and rating of your property.  And don’t scrimp on the size … bigger is always better!

Your property should have the most popular basic sports networks such as the ESPN series, but depending on your “season,” you may want to add in some of the sports packages to give your property a desirability edge.  Big draws during our season in the desert includes football, golf and tennis.  There are two ways of handling this issue … purchase the sports packages and advertise them on your property listing OR offer the availability to add sports packages to a guest’s reservation, at an additional cost.  We work with both scenarios at Vacation Rentals of the Desert.

One of our biggest issues … no let me change that to … one of our major problems, is working with properties that have their cable TV, Wi-Fi and phones disconnected during “off season,” the months of May through October.  The problem is not the fact that the services are turned off.    The problem lies in …. “if” the owner has told us that the services have been turned off and “when” the owner enlists us to assist in getting the services back up and running.  Too often we find out at the last minute that the service is off and the cable company must be contacted to set up an appointment.  The closer this is to season, the longer the wait for a hook-up appointment.  This past year we experienced a few close-shaves and in two cases services were activated only minutes before guest’s arrived.  Also, the closer we get to season, the longer the lines are at service centers when picking up cable boxes, DVRs and modems.   Two hour waiting lines could ultimately cost you more than setting up the services a month earlier when there were no lines!  On more than one occasion, we have waited in long lines only to find that the issued equipment did not work.  Then our employee returned only to wait again in a two hour line to exchange the equipment.  So … if you own a vacation rental home, a good rule of thumb is to set up your services a month in advance of your rental season to allow for appointment delays, avoid long lines and to make sure that equipment is in good working order.  There is no one crankier than a man who does not have TV service during “the game,” unless perhaps the sports widow without Wi-Fi during “the game.”

To sum up:  Come up with a good game plan before “season,” don’t scrimp on the team’s equipment and remember to choose the bigger players.

My husband sits on the edge of the sofa, 55” TV, remote grasped in one hand, beer in other hand, chips, sweatpants, Steeler’s t-shirt, frequent shouts of encouragement and advice …. I’m heading to the bedroom to curl up with a book and enjoy one of our rare rainy days.  Happy Sunday everyone!  Hope you are enjoying the day … whatever your passion!

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