2011

Hi everyone! phone and calendar.jpg

 

Okay so I might be late to this party but I have to share my newest discovery for making my vacation rental business easier.

 

At home I have one of those one-price, bundled packages for my telephone, cable and internet. The telephone is what they refer to as “digital phone service”, also known as VOIP (voice over IP).  I recently discovered my voice mail has the capability to send me (via email) a digital version of my voice mail messages.  With my phone provider there was an extra charge of $2.95/month. 

 

When I travel, I generally have my phone forwarded to my cell phone so I don’t miss out on any bookings.  When I am in-town but otherwise just out of the house (running errands, shopping, walking the dog, etc.), I don’t forward my phone calls.  In the vacation rental business, timing is everything, especially with last-minute bookings.  When someone is looking for a place to rent at the last-minutes, they don’t have the time to wait for you to call back.  Generally speaking, if they don’t get you on the phone when they call you, they’ll just move onto the next owner.  I can’t tell you how many times over the past 15 years working in the industry I have lost a booking just because I called the person back a few minutes too late. 

 

Now when someone calls my home phone and leaves a message, I get an email sent to me with an attachment I can open and listen to on my cell phone! To remain successful in the vacation rental industry, we all have to step up our games especially as it becomes more competitive and saturated with properties (I read somewhere, I don’t remember the source, that something like 100,000 new vacation rental properties are added to the internet each year).   

 

Call your telephone service provider and see if this service is available to you.  If not, you may want to look into changing providers so you don’t miss out on any bookings! 

 

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. 

 

Christine Karpinski

howtorentbyowner.com

Grand Cayman 7 mile beach.jpgHello everyone!

 

Last week I was in Grand Cayman working for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.  So for this week’s blog post I figured I would give you insights from the “renter’s point of view”.

 

The island is a beautiful place with some of the friendliest people around.  I stayed at the Meridian on Seven Mile Beach, in a lovely beachfront condo with a large private beach.  I had to laugh because the Ritz-Carlton was just a couple doors down.  Their guests were lined up like sardines on the beach who needs the Ritz?  Our beach was so much better—I love vacation rentals! 

 

I cannot take anything away from the beautiful beachfront location or the well-appointed condo but one of the amenities that I appreciated the most while there was the phone.  I know it sounds silly but they had a Vonage phone which I could make calls to the US at no charge—so I was able to take bookings for my rentals free.  If I had used my Verizon cell phone it would have been $2.00 per minute!  While this is not necessarily an amenity that guests would look for in a rental, for a mere $25 per month, I think its worthy of having and advertising this extra touch for your guests, especially if your home is outside the US.

 

I found all the written materials inside the home about “what to do” were mainly for things in the tourism district.   While I love to see and do the things that all the tourists do, I also like to explore other parts.  The most common question I like to ask is, “tell me the best places that the locals like to hang out”.   Because I was there for a Tourism Association gig, I met owners and property managers from all parts of the island.  One property manager was gracious enough to take a day and show me the other parts of the island—where I got to experience the deep history and culture of the island.  I truly believe if I had not ventured out of the tourist district, I would have left with a different impression of the island. Thanks Bo Miller for showing me the other parts of your island!

 

So if you are looking for a great place for your next vacation, I would highly recommend The Cayman Islands. 

 

Happy Renting,

 

Christine

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