Our Blog Has Moved!

Erin Colbert —  November 28, 2012

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Tax CollectionSimilar to a hotel room, your vacation rental is subject to state, county and local taxes. What the tax is called – sales, lodger’s, hotel, use, tourist or transient occupancy tax, for example – and what you must charge, if anything, varies by location.

Here are the steps to licensing and collecting taxes for your vacation rental:

Confirm What City Your Rental Home Is In

Even if it seems obvious, it’s a good idea to double check what city your rental home falls in and if this is in the incorporated or unincorporated part of the town. You can contact your city’s planning and zoning office to find out. From there, you’ll be able to proceed with determining the relevant city, county and state licensing and tax laws. Continue Reading…

Thanksgiving PorchHappy Thanksgiving from all of us at MyVR! We hope you’re enjoying the day with your family and friends, giving thanks for all of the wonderful things in your life, including a booked vacation rental.

Wait, you haven’t booked your vacation rental yet? Well, what are you waiting for? It’s not too late to book up this holiday season at your rental.

If you’ve still got availability for 2012, here’s some tips to fill up your calendar:

1. Offer a promotion

While it may be too late for some travelers to book flights for a long holiday vacation, it’s not too late for local or nearby guests to take a last-minute getaway. At this point, it’s time to decide whether you’d rather offer a discount on your rental, or risk that it goes unoccupied for the holiday season. Continue Reading…

You know you should have a website for your vacation rental. What that means, however, is a little vague. What kind of content do you actually need to pull your website together?

Your website is, in most cases, your first and only chance to make a good impression. It’s also a critical way to communicate essential information to both potential guests and those who’ve already made reservations.

Try to get inside your guests’ heads and anticipate what they will want to know by considering the following content checklists. It will likely take at least a few hours to pull this information together, but ultimately this investment of effort is worth it; if you don’t make it easy to find essential information through your website, travelers will turn to a competitor who does.

There are three main areas people will have questions about:

  • Your vacation rental property,
  • The community they’re visiting, and
  • The business details of the vacation rental.

Continue Reading…

Pet Policy to ConsiderThoughtful policies and procedures for your vacation rental are your first line of defence against disagreements with renters and other awkward or upsetting situations.

A real estate lawyer will walk you through the contractual basics, like your reservation policies, and ensure any legal requirements are covered.

However, the essentials can vary depending on your preferences, and other guidelines outline your processes and expectations. Here’s an overview of policies and procedures you should consider. Continue Reading…

Writing Property DescriptionsIn this do-it-yourself world of how-to articles and handy YouTube clips, when and why should you consider spending part of your limited budget to get hands-on help with your vacation rental marketing?

You have an Internet full of options when it comes to marketing solutions:

  • Do it all on your own,
  • Use guided DIY solutions like MyVR,
  • Hire someone to do everything for you, or
  • Hire pros to do some things while doing others on your own.

Whatever your budget and personal marketing talents, there are three main types of work you’ll need to consider as you get started: photography, writing and design. Continue Reading…

MyVR Rate CalendarAre your rates the right fit for your vacation rental? As noted in our earlier post about setting your rates, pricing your property is subjective — more of a best educated guess than an absolute calculation. It’s possible for you to miss the mark and price too high or low. If your rates are off, how can you adjust?

Is There A Problem?

The average vacation home is rented for 17.4 weeks a year. Before you get too anxious about what you may or may not be doing right, do some research and consider: Continue Reading…

MyVR WebinarIn case you missed the recent HomeAway Community webinar I hosted on how to give your listings more firepower with a website for your vacation rental, you can watch the recording here. As promised, there were a couple of questions asked that I have answered here.

How do I generate more links to my website?

I’ve written a few articles on link building for your website here on the MyVR blog. The first is what to do after you’ve launched your website and the other is 10 free vacation rental listing sites to boost your SEO. You can also get a few easy links by posting your website on all of your social media profiles (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and getting listed on local directories like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Continue Reading…

7x More Likely BookingsTo a vacation home renter, your home is one in a million. According to FlipKey, the average traveler will search through numerous property listings across four different websites before finally selecting seven properties to send inquiries to.

Let’s say you’ve got the great photos and relevant information included in your listings to garner one of those requests. Are you ready?

What happens next can make all the difference between a dead-end and a confirmed booking – if not on this trip, then perhaps sometime down the road. How can you create the best chance for a successful inquiry-to-booking conversion? Continue Reading…

Lockitron Remote Keyless Entry

As a vacation rental owner, I’ve come across some pretty awesome high-tech gadgets to help manage my property remotely. In some cases I’m spending a little extra for the peace of mind, but in others I save in the long run. More importantly, I’m chipping away at that distracting “what if they forgot/what if I forgot” feeling. And in a lot of ways it’s making things easier for my renters.

Here are some things I either use, can’t wait to try, or have heard about from other vacation rental owners:

Keyless Entry With Cell Phone

Cool, no? Lockitron lets your guests lock and unlock the door with their cell phones. You can add or revoke access instantly, so it’s great for a multi-user situation like vacation rentals. Continue Reading…