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I have noticed a lot of potential renters are asking if my vaction rental house has wireless internet. It does not.
Does anyone know a inexpensive way to get wireless internet? I am not sure it's even worth it when I only rent it out 10 times or so during the summer.
As a traveler, I look for wi-fi. It's nearly a must, as many people like to keep up with their emails (and Facebook) while on vacation - even if it's just to post their pictures each day so family and friends can see what they're doing.
If you're satisfied with amount of time you currently rent your place, then maybe you don't want to do it. If you are looking for more guests, you most defnitely will want to add the extra amenity.
As for cost, it is usually between $20 and $70 per month, depending on your location and what methods are available to you (cable, dsl, satellite). Even one additional guest usually covers the cost. You could also see if your neighbors would want to go in together to make a wi-fi community and split the cost. There are some condo complexes, neighborhoods, and even towns that are completely wi-fi.
Do you have wired Internet service or none? If you have Internet service already, offering wireless is inexpensive and only is the cost of the hardware. Many routers are less than $50.
If you do not have any Internet, you are hurting yourself. All ages now travel with computers. No Internet would likely wipe out a high percentage of potential guests. Check into a plan that does not require you to sign a long term contract so you can cancel during off season. Do your providers offer a vacation home package which puts your service on hold for certain months? Some areas have enough vacation homes they offer this if you ask. Offer wireless during your peak season and see if it makes a difference. It should increase your rental. I agree, one rental should recover your cost. Hopefully your area has more than one Internet provider so you can shop around.
Cosmo, we have 4 cabins...all have high speed internet except one and interestingly enough, it's our best revenue-producing cabin. We provide access to dial up because no cable, DSL or even satellite internet service is available there. I pay $7 per month for dial up so we can at least provide the bare minimum for guests. I also provide a list of area WIFI hot spots in our guests' welcome package information.
If you have a very strong property that books well for the limited number of weeks you rent out each year...you maybe be able to get by without it. Not everyone wants or needs internet on vacation--thought I'd say the number of people in that category is diminishing. Since you only rent 10X or so during the summer, it may not be financially feasible to invest in high speed internet service unless you are able disable the service during the off-season. (I believe with some you are permitted to do a service suspension for 6 months.)
If you find inquiries are down and it's harder to book, it would be worthwhile looking into high speed if your rental income can justify the investment. For example if you rent 10 weeks during the summer at $3000 a week, adding internet is a no-brainer. If your property is a little lakeside cabin that garners $850 a week, it's hard to support the additional expense.
If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely check into the cost and whether I could suspend service for the off-season. High speed internet is a valuable amenity today but you may be able to get by without it depending on your situation. Good luck whatever you end up doing!
The others have already clarified what to do and how to get it. As a traveler I would ALWAYS choose the lodging that offered Internet access over one that didn't. It's just a must and if you use the property yourself at all, you will want to use it yourself to keep up with your guests and inquiries.
"As a traveler I would ALWAYS choose the lodging that offered Internet access over one that didn't."
Indeed, given similar places to stay, I would choose the place that had WiFi over the place that did not.
I think wireless internet is a must.
Now, the question is, why have a land line?
With good broadband wireless, and all guests now have cell phones,
why put that extra $$$ in Verizon's pocket each month???
We offer WiFi at the Casita rental near the main house via satellite dish, since there is no tellephone service here at the ranch. The two rentals are deep within a canyon, far from what passes for "civilization" these days, and the only means renters have to let their friends and family know how they are doing is via email.
Most of the people who rent here at the ranch use the WiFi. But other renters, who rent the remote cabin four miles west of the main ranch, are just as happy without it.
On the whole, WiFi seems to be a "plus" in renter's opinions.
If WiFi is offered, care must be taken to regulate ports and bandwidth. We have the router secutrity turned off because we are more than 20 miles from anyone who might wish to abuse the WiFi access.
"Does anyone know a inexpensive way to get wireless internet?"
Alas, it depends on where your rental is. Is your rental near your house? If your rental is near your house and if you have internet at your house, you can put a "router" in your window (the antenna) and then an "extender" in your rental's window. That will be an "access point" for your renters. But you will need to set the security on the router to require a password.
If your rental is not near your house, dial-up / DSL is the cheapest option if your rental has telephone service. The problem with that option is, of course, renters might abuse the elephone service. They would also need to know the local phone number to call for their ISP: you do not want them using your ISP because that means you would have to change your user name and password after every renter left.
If your rental does not have telephone access, the DSL line would have to be added.
If your rental has cable TV, that is the best way to go: cable internet uses a modulator / demodulator, and you can add a WiFi router so that internet is available in every room of the rental.
Stay away from Earthlink at all cost: the business is run by the $cientology crime syndicate.
Satellite is expensive. $100 to "rent" the equipment, and from $60 to $90 a month depending on the service level desired. Satellite internet falls under "fair use policies," which means upload and download bytes are regulated in speed and quanity per 25-hour period. Hughes.net limits their basic (least expensive) service to 200,000,000 bytes per 24 hours. That means email, web briwsing, but no video and limied audio. The major problem with sattelite is that they require a 24-month commitment: that flatly just ain't worth it.
We own a sprint wi-fi card personally. It costs about $39 per month. I offer it to my renters for an additional charge. By doing this, the renters end up paying for the cost of the wi-fi card. It uses the cell phone towers so you must have good cell phone coverage which we do. Most of my guests do not use it.
We provide shared DSL to our guests that is wired from our main house. We also share the DISH network for TV. By sharing the utilitites, it saves money for all. I do have to check the network quite frequently, so there is a little bit of work.
I would not rent your home unless it has internet access.
I wouldn't mind wired access as long as there is a cable in the house. In fact, although we offer wireless in our rental, we do keep a cable in the house in case of connection issues.
You state that you only rent your home out 10 or so times during the summer. Would it perhaps rent more often if you offered internet?
People expect internet access. That is how they find things to do, restaurant reviews, etc.
I agree, I would choose a property with WiFi over one without but there are work arounds! I have been able to list WiFi as an amenity without incuring the costs of a year round obligation to the phone/cable company. I have a Virgin Mobile Broadband 2 Go USB device (about $90 at Best Buy) in the unit. Virgin Mobile picks up the Sprint signal. The device is as fast and as my at home high speed cable. I upload unlimited 30 day access for $40, which I can do from my computer from home. This way I only have to pay for months that are busy or when I am there for a long stay. I no longer have a home phone active as everyone uses their cell phone these days and Sugarbush gets full reception to all carriers. Visio has a TV set that allows people to put their USB device into it and access their Facebook, Netflics etc through their USB into the TV.
Technology is changing so rapidly today that it doesn't warrant the off season contract monthly costs. Most people who really need continuous access use a Blackberry, Droid, G3 or G4 phone device when they are on the road.
We have just bundled the internet, cable and phone through Comcast. The phone may seem a bit of overkill, but all calls in Nth America are free PLUS we can call back to Australia when we are there for 9c a minute.......... bargain!
" I have a Virgin Mobile Broadband 2 Go USB device (about $90 at Best Buy) in the unit. Virgin Mobile picks up the Sprint signal. The device is as fast and as my at home high speed cable. I upload unlimited 30 day access for $40, which I can do from my computer from home."
Question: Can you give me the details on the $40/30 day option? Is it from Sprint or Virgin Mobile? Do you have a link I can use to check it out? Thanks very much.
I'm sure by now you've received, perhaps, more advice than you bargained for. We elected to have Wireless added by our phone company. It costs about $45/per month including tax. We use it ourselves, when we are here, so obviously this impacted our decision to add it. One bit of advice that you may not have received yet would be to add the following paragraph to your rental agreement "Cable TV and wireless internet is provided and the service level has been chosen by the landlord. No refund of rents shall be given for outages, content, lack of content, or personal preferences with regard to cable TV or wireless internet service."
This is a must have in any rental property. Although families take vacations, away from it all, we are never really away. We all stay connected 24/7, and Internet is now a necessity, no longer a luxury. 99% of all potential renters ask if we provide wi fi. From the mom or dad in the family to kids on social network sites, Internet is a must.
We just added wireless internet to our unit along with a long distance service that is free to Canada. My question is how on Vacation Rentals does everyone put this into your listing. I wasn't able to add it as an amenity but only in the description. Is there a way to do this so travelers can sort on "internet".
Internet is so important that I have it as part of my headline. A few things to keep in mind:
1) Anyone booking a rental through VRBO, HA, etc. uses the internet. So it's likely they want internet available during their vacation.
2) Sadly, the only way some people can take a vacation is to stay connected to their job.
3) Would you book a vacation rental without internet? I wouldn't!
I'm not asking if you should offer internet. I'm asking why VRBO doesn't make this important amenity a sort option?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Chelin, well, then your should be directing that question to HA/VRBO. As much as we hope their moderators look at these forums, they often do not.
It's a good suggestion to HA/VRBO. But most OWNERS who provide internet include that in our amenities ( and hope that potential guests actually READ our lisitng descriptions in full- though, we know most don't).
99.5% of all inquiries ask if we have Internet.
75% of all inquiries ask if we have premium cable tv.
20% of all inquiries ask how many tv do we have.
25% of all inquiries as what outdoor activities do we have.
Cosmo, according to a Trip Advisor survey canvasing 1000 travelers and 600 hotel representatives, the five most important amenities are:
2. Breakfast Included
3. Loyalty Points
5. Shuttle Service to Local Attractions/ Airport
The least important amenities are:
1. Turndown Service
2. Pets Allowed
5. Room Service
This is to say Cosmo, internet is king (some more of their stats):
· 88% of travelers expect Wi-Fi Internet access to be free of charge in all lodging types
· 41% of travelers have never paid for Wi-Fi Internet access.
· 65% said they have used free Wi-Fi Internet in an accommodation's lobby or common areas to avoid paying for in-room access.
· 93% of accommodations report offering some form of free Wi-Fi Internet access to their guests.
Keep in mind these stats apply mostly to hotels, but vacation rental owners can benefit from their conclusions.
Matt is the stat-obsessed author of the http://www.vacationrentalmarketingblog.com
I agree with the majority here. WiFi has become more the standard rather than the exception. We have 3 cabins and installed WiFi in all of them. Since we also vacation within our own cabins/invite friends up, it makes sense to do this both for the guests and for when we are up here. Also, this allows me to do some work/business when I'm up in the cabins (like right now for example)
Although everybody is different, I think most folks, except the elderly are interested in WiFi at a VRBO rental.
I stayed one night in a hotel, a major chain, this week and was quite surprised to find there was a fee for WiFi. The cost was $12.95 per day, which is astronomical. What are they thinking? WiFi should be included as it is at almost all hotels and rental properties. These days everyone expects and assumes free WiFi.