10 Frequently Asked Questions Orlando Vacation Home Owners Should Consider
The idea of owning an Orlando vacation home that produces high monthly returns, free family vacations, and gives investors a place to park their cash may be just what you are looking for. All of this just minutes from Disney and the attractions located in a fantastic community with resort-like amenities and worldwide appeal. It stands to reason this will be the perfect investment since Orlando is the most visited place in the United States. According to Orlando Weekley, Orlando Internation Airport or MCO was the busiest airport in the state. It’s easy to see why when we have hosted a record-setting 72 million tourists in 2017. If you are considering purchasing an Orlando vacation home there are some critical bits of information you should consider and ensure you understand what exactly your property manager will do for you. Perhaps you currently own a vacation home near Disney and have been contemplating changing management companies or not seeing the returns you had hoped for. We recently sat down with Dan Wachter the owner of Itrip here in Florida and asked him what the most frequently asked questions he fields for current and future vacation homeowners. Check out what Dan says about, 10 Frequently Asked Questions Orlando Vacation Home Owners Should Consider.
Who are iTrip Vacations?
iTrip Vacations was started in 2008 by vacation property owners for property owners. Since then, the company has grown from one destination to more than 65 across North America and still growing. Each iTrip Vacations destination is owned and managed by a local property management team that receives corporate support from experts in software, technology, content, marketing, social media, SEO and more. They utilize proprietary systems and processes, provide boutique-level services, and receive support from a national leader in vacation rental management.
1. How does iTrip Vacations promote and market my property?
- Each property has their own customized web page on 80-plus online listing sites. All inquiries are property specific, ensuring the owner that they receive all intended bookings. In the event that a requested property is booked, similar properties will be offered using unit-specific criteria such as availability, pricing, location and number of bedrooms/bathrooms.
- iTrip Vacations partners with Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Expedia and dozens more. Utilizing weekly updated statistical analysis of daily visits, we contract with the most searched websites.
- iTrip also uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to run our digital marketing campaigns. This allows them to make hundreds of micro adjustments to their marketing campaigns throughout every day. These small adjustments may only increase the rentals by small percentages but added up over weeks and months- we are able to provide smarter marketing that adds up to major results. Their competitors at virtually any level simply cannot compete with this level of sophistication.
- iTrip spends millions a year on advertising. Additionally, advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning processes market and remarket to potential guests. The iTrip brand stays front and center through ads on Google, Facebook, and Twitter to name a few.
- Additionally, they employ smart follow-up marketing by continually offering potential travelers a chance to come back and book with iTrip. These smart follow-up campaigns target their marketing at visitors who are already looking to book in your market and continues to keep the iTrip brand and their properties front and center until the customer is ready to book.
- iTrip Vacations also has a strong social media presence on major sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Linkedin. Through their social media and online marketing efforts, more than 100 million people visit the iTrip Vacations site each year (as of 1Q 2017). They also write blogs and send out a newsletter twice a month to more than 300,000 people that showcase deals, destinations and more.
- Each guest also receives a follow-up letter from iTrip property managers with instructions on how to leave an online review. In addition, owners are encouraged to email their iTrip property manager with comments and feedback, so they can ensure the best experience possible. iTrip managers have a detailed database of renters so they can reach out periodically and encourage repeat bookings.
2. Can I promote and rent my own property?
Yes. iTrip Vacations encourages owners to promote their rental property to friends, relatives and business associates. With iTrip, you receive a custom Web page and link on iTrip.net in order for you to promote your property. For information on special discounts and commission discounts on properties, you refer.
3. How are rates established?
iTrip Vacations works with property owners to establish rental rates and terms. It is in all parties best interests to maximize your rental income and ensure your property rents for the maximum amount obtainable.
iTrip performs a market analysis of current comparable properties to determine competitive rental rates. Due to competitive market conditions, tourist fluctuations and demand, iTrip Vacations reserves the right to alter rates and terms and make special rates and terms at its discretion in order to maximize owner rental income and occupancy percentage. Their dynamic pricing model and data processes allows them to keep pricing competitive and increase bookings.
4. What are some of the normal expenses for the rental program?
iTrip Vacations property managers try to keep expenses to a minimum. As vacation rental owners, they too have seen the nitpicking expenses charged by other rental programs. There are no hidden charges to property owners.
5. What about cleaning services and maintenance?
Happy customers equal repeat business. A clean, well-maintained property is one the owner prides, and the rental guests request when they plan their next vacation. Everyday property maintenance also prolongs its life and increases its value.
iTrip Vacations works with local cleaning services and maintenance companies. Our staff inspects each property during the process to ensure the rental is ready for the next guest. Additional program perks include free light maintenance.
6. What about maintenance?
iTrip Vacations provides light maintenance (e.g. replacing light bulbs, remote batteries, smoke detector batteries and furnace filters) at no charge. They also manage all major repairs and bill you for the actual cost as part of their complete system. When non-emergency major repairs are required, you will receive an estimate before repairs are made.
7. What about linens, furnishings, and housewares?
After a property assessment, iTrip property managers will provide a recommended list of what owners should stock in their home. Suggestions vary per location and are included in your enrollment package.
8. What type of rental tenant will be allowed in my unit?
While most owners want to maximize their rental property, they do not want to rent to irresponsible guests who may cause damage to your property. iTrip Vacations adheres to owner preferences and also has a policy designed to promote family-oriented rentals.
They know one top concern is property security, and their aggressive pursuance of rentals will not be at the property’s expense. The entire iTrip Vacations team is thoroughly trained in screening prospective rental guests to assure they meet the required quality standards.
No unchaperoned vacationing students or single groups under the age of 25 are allowed to rent iTrip Vacations properties.
9. What if damages are caused by a guest?
iTrip Vacations ensures each guest signs a rental agreement which informs the guest that they may be responsible for any damages occurred during their stay. Their team will inspect the property, determine if any damages were caused by guest and act appropriately on behalf of the owner. If it is determined there are damages.
They offer the option of a refundable damage deposit or nonrefundable limited damage waiver insurance from each guest reservation. At each departure, iTrip staff inspects each property for damages. If it is determined there are damages, the repair cost is charged and deducted from the rental guest’s deposit or the damage insurance is applied.
10. How do we receive our rental proceeds?
Each month, iTrip Vacations property managers supply each owner a detailed statement of the previous month’s rental activity. The statement itemizes all income and expense items. They also send a net proceeds check with this monthly statement. This statement should serve as verification of your income and expenses for tax purposes.
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What about owner and owner’s free guest use?
iTrip Vacations allows each owner unlimited use of their property at any time. Owners must, however, reserve their property through the iTrip Vacations booking system to ensure availability and calendars are kept current at all times. No fees other than departure cleaning services apply.
Do iTrip Members accept credit cards and who pays for the fees?
iTrip Vacations accept all major credit cards for reservations, rentals and security deposits. Credit cards have become the No. 1 payment option. They are not only needed as a courtesy to rental guests but also provide guaranteed up-front funds for the owner with no worries about a collection, particularly with short-notice rentals.
Credit card fees are determined by the iTrip Vacations. The fees associated with credit card use are an expense to the owner.
These are just some of the questions you should consider when choosing a property manager for your Orlando Vacation home. As with any investment, you should perform your due diligence and interview multiple property managers. If you’re interested in learning more about owning an Orlando vacation home we would love to chat with you. Check out some resort communities near Disney and the attractions that we recommend Here.
Here at Lineage Real Estate, we are often asked who we recommend for property management. We get this questions when touring buyers around Orlando vacation homes and resort communities and also from owners who have previously purchased a vacation home. We are constantly receiving feedback from current and past clients along with meeting new property managers every month. My best advice that I can share with you is there is no secret sauce, and no easy button to finding the perfect property manager. Each client will have different goals and hot buttons, and each property manager will have their marketing tactics and claim to fame. Use these questions above and interview 3-5 property managers when looking for the best company to manage your Orlando vacation home.