Posts for Vacation Rental News Category

Vacation Rental Tips: Get Reviews

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - February 21, 2020

One of the most important and often overlooked rental element for owners is the gathering of reviews. Reviews are critical for any listing. Travelers have no better way to gauge a rental than reading a review from a previous guest.

Reviews can make or break your vacation rental. If you put enough focus on the guest experience, you’ll generate a feedback loop that will lead to more bookings and higher occupancy rates.

However, that doesn’t come without a bit of effort on the owners part. You’ll need to regularly check and respond to your Cape May rental reviews–good or bad. Responding to a negative review gives you the opportunity to address the issue and improve it for next time. Responding to a positive review shows your commitment to and engagement with the guest experience. Simply thanking your guests for staying and leaving a review is better than doing nothing.

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Keep your Availability Calendar Up to Date

Vacation Rental News - admin - February 14, 2020

One of the most important item in any vacation rental listing is the availability calendar. To often owners forget to update calendars and travelers then lack the necessary information to make a decision on a particular rental. Owners only have one shot to grab a potential renters attention and if renters can not see important information they will move on to the next listing.
The guest starts long before visitors arrive at your home. Not only is it inconvenient for guests to learn their desired dates are not, in fact, available, but it can even penalize your ranking on some sites like VRBO. On CapeMayVacationRentals.com we do not penalize an owners ranking if they do not keep their listing current. However the owner will receive fewer inquiries if a listing is lacking current availability. The better the listing in terms of quality photos, thorough descriptions, reviews, current rates and an up to date calendar the more likely an owners listing will receive quality inquiries and bookings.

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Tips for your Cape May Rental

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - February 13, 2020

Provide a Manual for your rental guests

Want to avoid late night calls from guests regarding simple issues at your rental? Create a thorough guest manual with details about your rental.

Your TVs, sound systems, kitchen appliances, and hot tubs all have the potential to thoroughly confuse guests. A manual will help familiarize your guests with that particular amenity. It’s crucial to create a book or binder that details every item or function in your home. A few examples include:

  • How to program the thermostat and suggestions for settings
  • How to use your TV.
  • How to reboot your wi-fi
  • Cable Company phone numbers
  • Condo Rules
  • Check-in and Out times
  • Emergency help number for onsite issues
  • Local hospital and emergency care facilities.
  • How to use entry systems, electronic locks, and gates
  • Which remote controls pair with which audio/visual functions
  • How to operate kitchen appliances.

This manual should also include local attractions and history, any recommendations you have, a warm welcome, and instructions for departure.

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Photography Tips For Cape May Rentals

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - February 13, 2020

Cape May Holly Suite

Photos are the key to your listing. The better the photos the more likely your listing will be viewed.
Your listing is in competition with all listings in your area. How will you differentiate your listing from others?

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Learn to employ composite lighting techniques. This is a great way to show off a room’s beautiful interior AND the amazing view out the window, all in a single picture. No washed out colors, no overexposed blocks of natural light. 
  • Show off the best features of your rental. Do you have a pool? Renters love pools. Views? Take photos of your ocean views. Highlight your listing with photos that grab travelers attention.
  • Think about how your photos will be assembled. There should be a flow that helps the potential guest understand which rooms connect where
  • Add a detailed floor plan as a photo. This helps renters visualize space and flow of your rental.
  • Use lots of photos in your listing to maximize its visibility. Studies have shown guests are 80 percent more likely to learn more about a home when there are more than 20 photos.
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The Beach Plum Farm in Cape May.

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - January 23, 2020

BBeginning as a humble farm stand in 2008, Beach Plum Farm has grown to produce over 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as chickens, turkeys, eggs and Berkshire hogs. The farm provides produce and meats to local Cape May restaurants, including the Ebbitt Room, the Blue Pig Tavern, the Rusty Nail, the Boiler Room, Louisa’s Café and more. This 62-acre farm is who you have to thank for much of the fresh produce served within Cape May. But you don’t have to enjoy the fruits of its labor at other restaurants — its own farm-to-table summer suppers have become favorites for the local foodie scene. Beach Plum Farm offers family-style meals on Wednesdays, flame-cooked seafood feasts on Friday and barbeques on Sundays. The suppers are decidedly pricey (both the Wednesday and Friday nights are more than $100 a person), so for those looking for a cheaper (but still delicious) alternative, hit up the Beach Plum Farm Kitchen where you can enjoy a la carte breakfast and food items. When you visit, be sure to bring your bike too — Beach Plum offers self guided tours of the farm which you can conduct via bicycle. You can find Beach Plum Farm at 140 Stevens St. in West Cape May. Learn more at beachplumfarmcapemay.com.

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Cape May Marina

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - January 9, 2020

The Fisherman’s Wharf of Cape May, Schellenger’s Landing he gives tourists a taste of the town’s seafaring past. Schellenger’s Landing has several marinas: South Jersey Marina, Utsch’s Marina, and Miss Chris Marina. This area is one of the best places to visit in Cape May for a classic seafood restaurant experience. Popular waterfront restaurants draw crowds of diners who are willing to wait.

A great spot for setting off on recreational fishing and boating adventures, the marinas at Schellenger’s Landing have many shops that sell fishing gear and rent out kayaks and paddleboards. At Utsch’s Marina and Miss Chris Marina, anglers can embark on sportfishing charters and deep-sea fishing trips. Another attraction at Utsch’s Marina is the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center. Many tourists enjoy the whale-watching trips, dolphin-watching trips, sunset cruises, and Delaware Bay lighthouse cruises, which depart from Miss Chris Marina. Birding by Boat and Wetlands Wildlife Safari tours also leave from Miss Chris Marina.

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Cape May Cottage Rentals

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - November 22, 2019

The Classic Cape May Cottage is perfect for a small family (4-5 people) or two couples. Many Features include: Off street parking, Central heat and air-conditioning throughout. Wide plank oak floors, vaulted ceilings are traditional elements of the Cape May Cottage. The front door often leads to a small enclosed porch. Tin ceilings above the kitchen and dining area reflect the Victorian era. The colored light from the stained glass shines throughout the room in the afternoon Many Cape May Cottages are located close to the white sandy beaches and boardwalk and the Washington Street Mall . Stroll through the gas lit streets of the nearby 1860’s national landmark historic district, with over 600 Victorian structures. Bike to Cape May Point and see the lighthouse, unforgettable sunsets, the dunes and seasonal migrations of birds. If your looking for the perfect Cape May rental visit capemayvacationrentals.com

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Tips for owning a vacation rental

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - September 4, 2019

One of the most important issues many vacation rental owners have to learn is how to protect and secure their rental.

Your rental is likely one of your largest assets. so if you’re going to rent it to strangers, it pays to know who your renting to and invest in security.

So what should you do?

Screen Your Guests

Take the time to screen. Use social networks to screen your potential guests. There is often a wealth of information at your fingertips to help screen. Call your potential guests before accepting a reservation. Ask the right questions.

The best way to screen any potential tenant is to talk with him or her on the phone. You should obtain at least the following information

  • what is the purpose of the trip?
  • how many adults and how many children will be staying in the rental?
  • does the guest they smoke?
  • will they have pets they’ll be bringing with them?

Use a lease

Never rent without a lease. This is the most important item on any owners checklist for a safe and secure rental.

Insurance

Make sure you are adequately covered for loss. Your policy should include content protection and personal liability protection. Owners can protect their contents if they own a condo with a H06 policy. For liability many owners choose to create an LLC or use an Umbrella policy.

Install a security system

Many owners are miles away from their rental property. It pays to invest in a security system to monitor your rental. Smart home technology now allows owners to monitor everything from door access, heat and air conditioning and lighting.

These are just a few suggestions on how to protect your vacation rental from tenant issues and loss.

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Recent Changes in the Vacation Rental Market

Cape May News, Uncategorized, Vacation Rental News - admin - August 21, 2019

Dear Cape May Vacation Rental Owners,

As many of you know there have been major changes in the vacation rental business in 2019.

Starting in January of 2019 the State of New Jersey began taxing vacation rentals. All owners of vacation rental properties in New Jersey were instructed to collect tax on their rental. This new tax law was supposed to “level” the playing field with VRBO/HomeAway, Flipkey and other national listing sites who were already collecting New Jerseys short term rental tax. The New Jersey real estate lobby was able to carve out an exception. If owners listed their rental with realtors they would not be taxed. However, they would be charged the standard 12% or less realtor fee if their rental was booked through the realtor.

Rental owners wrote countless emails and made tons of calls to local representatives and the Governor about how bad the tax was for the rental business and the local economy. It worked. The short-term rental tax was amended on August 9th to remove the tax on individual owners who market their rentals on their own and handle all payments.

This change in the New Jersey Short term rental tax did not include VRBO/HomeAway, and other national listing services. If an owner continues to list with VRBO/HomeAway, Flipkey or any national listing service guests will still be taxed and charged service fees if they book through them. VRBO/HomeAway, Flipkey or any national listing service collects payments and under New Jerseys Law that makes it a taxable transaction.

As of today, 8/21, VRBO and HomeAway announced that any listings with them will no longer be eligible for advanced payments. Owners will not receive rental payments until after your guests check- in. Your rental payments will be held until check-in. This “holding” of rental payments will make it very difficult for many owners to fund operation of their rental. A typical owner who does most of their renting in the summer would now have to wait until the guest checks in during their summer week to get paid.

VRBO, HomeAway, Flipkey and other national listing sites can also do chargebacks on your rental if a guest complains about the simplest of issues. Owners have no recourse. 

All of these national listing services appear to be doing nothing but a money grab directed at owners and renters. 

So why list with CapeMayVacationRentals.com?

We believe every owner has the right to know what we are doing to market your rental.

It’s all about traffic. We get website traffic. A lot of traffic. The more traffic the more travelers will see your listing. For the last quarter (90 days) we had well over 110000 visitors to our site. This is well defined, specific traffic to the Cape May area market and this number will continue to grow. The people clicking on our search engine links and social media ads are looking for a Cape May area rental. A typical renter can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by booking directly with the owner. That is why we are seeing large traffic numbers. Renters are looking to avoid service fees and taxes to save money. 

We rank very high on Google Search for many of the keywords people type in when searching for a rental in the Cape May area. 90% of all searching is done through Google. We also dominate local listings on maps. We rank higher than many rental related websites in the Cape May area on both mobile devices and desktops

Our website is built for both the mobile (phone) user and desktop user. 70 % of all of our traffic comes from renters using their phones to search for a rental. 

Our listings are non-taxable. Owners handle all payments making the transaction non-taxable.

We do not charge service fees

Owners get paid according to their rental agreement and payment schedule. They are not subjected to any withholding of payments

With CapeMayVacationRentals.com owners have complete control over how funds are collected and complete control of any refund process if needed.

We do not block communications. It’s your rental and you should be able to communicate openly with someone who wants to rent your property. This helps every owner screen renters to make sure they are the right fit for your rental. VRBO, HomeAway, Flipkey do not screen.

We offer calendar sync with VRBO, HomeAway and Airbnb. To automatically sync your calendars just follow the instructions in your admin area. We also offer a utility that imports your reviews from VRBO and HomeAway. This utility is also located in your admin area on our website. Renters want to see up to date availability calendars are read reviews. The more information you provide to someone looking at your property the more likely they will inquire.

Please note our best performing listings are the most complete listings. These listings offer very good photographs, detailed descriptions, reviews, rates and most importantly an updated calendar. Renters looking for a property are more likely to inquire about a rental if the listing has all of the information needed to make the decision to book.

So, like every rental transaction it all comes down to affordability for renters and fees for owners. We believe CapeMayVacationRentals.com provides the most affordable and best solution for both.

We look forward to continue to market your rental. If you should have any questions please call or email us at any time. 

Thank you and Happy Renting!

Tom Froschle

CapeMayVacationRentals.com

609-400-2240

We help fill availability calendars every day. 

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Tips to Advertise your Cape May Vacation Rental

Cape May News, Vacation Rental News - admin - June 18, 2019

Keep your listing description updated

Make sure your Cape May listing is updated with the latest information about your rental. Your availability calendar should be updated and correct. Photos should be recent. Renters who review listings want complete information or they will move on to the next listing. Our best performing rentals have listings that are complete and accurate.

Respond to inquiries quickly.

Owners who respond quickly to inquiries are more likely to book their Cape May rental. Why? Renters have already viewed your property and are interested. The faster the response the less likely renters will look elsewhere for a rental.

Photos, Photos, Photo

Photos are the most important element to any listing.

Think about how your photos will be displayed. There should be a flow that helps the potential guest understand which rooms connect where. 

Consider including a detailed floor plan as a photo. 

Use plenty of photos in your listing to maximize its visibility. Studies have shown guests are 80 percent more likely to learn more about a Cape May home when there are more than 20 photos. 

Get reviews

Potential guest read reviews. They want to see what others are saying about your Cape May rental. Reviews can make or break your vacation rental. If you put enough focus on the guest experience, you’ll generate a positive feedback loop that leads to more bookings, and higher occupancy rates. 

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