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Christine's Vacation Rental Insights

2 Posts tagged with the christine tag

Hi everyone,



Hope you are all going well. Last week Punxsutawney Phil predicted that spring will come early this year. Living in the South for the last 20 years of my life, I have never given much thought to any silly groundhog predictions however this year, more than ever, I really hope he’s right!  I am so done with cold weather (yes even here in Texas). 


And my vacation rentals have suffered too!  Last month I had to pretty much close down my cabins in Tennessee because the roads were not passable. Then bookings that I had pretty much closed ended up not booking because their kids will not have a Spring Break this year because they had too many snow days. 


The only positive about all this cold weather is I do believe cabin fever has set in throughout the country. People who have been cooped up in their homes under many inches if not many feet of snow are dreaming about their summer vacations. And that has translated into summer bookings for me!


So let’s hope the snow stops and Spring comes early so we can all get our vacation homes booked!


Happy Renting,




Down a Slippery Road

Posted by christinekarpinski Jan 19, 2011

Hi everyone,



The Gulf Coast Claims Facility came out with definitions for the final claims process for anyone affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (also known as the BP oil spill). While going through the various options for claims, I came to the conclusion that since I am a multiple property owner, it is probably best if I retain an attorney. 


As you can imagine, there are hundreds of attorneys who are litigating these cases. Thankfully I didn’t have to search too far for an attorney I trust; I went with Buzbee Law firm, the same firm that has been contributing information to HomeAway's oil spill response site


With my other than Gulf Coast rentals, life has been nuts. The snow on the East Coast has made renting cabins in the Smokey Mountains all but impossible. I had a guest who waivered on whether or not to rent. I told her it’s highly unlikely that she will be able to get into our cabins (I basically refused to rent it). 


The night before the renter was scheduled to arrive she called me and said she was coming—go ahead and charge her credit card. I told her that housekeeper said the roads were only okay during the day; After dark everything turns to ice.  So the deal was I would rent but only if she would arrive during the day. But if she arrived at night, all bets were off; I could not guarantee that she would be able to access my cabin. 


I got a call the next evening and guess what? They didn’t make it there during daylight. Sure enough, the roads were all icy.  At that point, there was not much I could do. I told her I could help her find a hotel or if she was feeling adventurous, she could walk up the road to my cabin. She didn’t like either of those options. She said she would call me back. About an hour later I got a call from her saying she was in the cabin. I asked her if she walked and she said no, they went to the store and bought 20 bags of salt and salted the road! The salt on the road coupled with the extra weight of the unused bags in her car and she made it up the mountain. 


This is NOT how I like to run my vacation rental business! I should have stuck to my “no” but in the end the guests really enjoyed the cabin and their time there. I, of course, refunded her the money she spent on salt as well as some extra for her trouble.