Tag: rental

La Quinta council to consider changes to its vacation rental ordinance on Tuesday

The La Quinta City Council will be considering some changes to its short-term vacation rental ordinance when it meets today at City Hall.

a sign on a pole: La Quinta is a city in the eastern Coachella Valley.

© Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun
La Quinta is a city in the eastern Coachella Valley.

Staff is recommending some code amendments to streamline the permit process while also toughening the city’s enforcement efforts, Code Compliance Supervisor Kevin Meredith wrote in the report to the council.

Proposed changes to the current ordinance include:

  • Hosting platforms, such as Airbnb, must verify property listings have an active short-term vacation rental permit with city before booking rental transactions through their sites.
  • Short-term vacation rental permit renewal applications must be submitted no more than 60 and no later than 30 days before the permit expires; this would remove the current allowance for permits to be renewed up to 30 days after they expire.
  • The person(s) listed as the local contact person for the rental property must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the ability to respond to the location within 45 minutes to address complaints.
  • Bedroom additions or conversions must be verified and approved by the by the city to ensure compliance with city codes; the short-term vacation rental permit will be reissued to reflect the approved number of bedrooms allowed; a permit will not be renewed if a short-term vacation rental host advertises the number of bedrooms inaccurately.
  • Short-term vacation rental permit applications for properties within homeowners associations must submit a letter from the HOA stating that STVRs are allowed in the community; permits will not be issued for communities that do not allow the short-term rentals.
  • The city must be notified immediately upon a short-term vacation rental property ownership change, which will terminate the existing permit. The new owner will have to apply for a new short-term vacation rental permit, if that will be the continued use for the property.

La Quinta, like other cities in the Coachella Valley and elsewhere, is seeing an increase in short-term rentals — which brought a 267% rise in complaints from neighboring residents from May through July —  prompting the City Council to approve a moratorium on any new permits.

The moratorium is in place until Feb. 2 to allow an ad-hoc committee of residents and property owners and managers on both sides of the issue to study the problems and draft some recommended solutions. The committee is continuing to work on those solutions, but in October presented suggestions during a study session with the council that include stiffer penalties and fines, a two-strike rule and required workshop for potential short-term vacation owners.

The committee is expected to present a full report with recommendations to the council on Dec. 15.

La Quinta currently has 1,295 permitted short-term vacation rentals. While the moratorium is in place, current short-term property owners can renew their permits, if their properties are in good standing.

Council members have said they would like to find a balance between the short-term vacation rentals, which last year

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Airbnb, Vrbo, more vs. vacation rental agencies: What to know

Ed Perkins, FamilyVacationist.com
Published 7:00 a.m. ET Dec. 1, 2020


Airbnb has implemented an Enhanced Cleaning Protocol for hosts and they have over a million hosts using their new system. Buzz60’s Keri Lumm has more.


Families and vacation homes are, in many ways, made for each other – often with more space, privacy, flexibility and facilities than a conventional hotel room or suite.

But when it’s time to reserve, it’s important to understand the difference between the many available booking options.

Should you opt for a vacation rental agency or a booking platform for vacation rentals?

Though they’re often grouped together, vacation rental companies and vacation rental booking platforms work differently and provide different levels of assistance and coverage if something goes wrong.

FamilyVacationist.com has rounded up what travelers need to know as they’re booking trips to stay in a vacation rental: 

How does a vacation rental agency work?

A managed vacation home rental agency is a principal in your rental contract.

Your booking contract is with the vacation rental agency, not the owner of the property. You pay the booking agency, not the owner, and the agency is responsible for addressing any problems you encounter before, during or after the rental. Any financial dispute that arises is with the agency; you don’t have to worry about locating and dealing with an absentee owner – an especially important distinction when you’re renting a vacation home in a foreign location.

The organization’s staff is familiar with all the properties it rents. In most cases, staff have personally inspected each property. Typical managed vacation home rental agencies include local conventional travel agencies, property managers, resort operators and agencies with arrangements with local sources in each destination.

In general, renting through a managed vacation home booking agency is less risky than renting through a booking platform. That’s especially important when you’re basing a big-dollar decision on limited online descriptions and pictures. With a managed vacation rental agency, the risk of encountering a dismal dump a mile from the beach is tiny. And if you do encounter a problem, you know how to reach a responsible party to fix a problem or get a refund – through a credit card chargeback, if necessary.

Managed vacation home rental agencies also tend to focus on the more expensive vacation rentals – larger vacation homes and “villas” in prime locations rather than cottages or cabin rentals. If you’re looking for budget deals, you may not find much. Managed agencies also generally offer only a limited number of choices in any destination. 

Airbnb, Vrbo and more: About vacation rental booking platforms

Booking platforms like Vrbo, FlipKey, Airbnb and hundreds of regional companies operate like bulletin boards. They post available rentals and facilitate arrangements, but they are not principals in the rental transactions. They’re pass-throughs, like eBay or Craigslist, only specialized in vacation rentals.

Owners of individual properties list their offerings and pay the platform a fee. The platform posts and indexes the property details and links

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Could a Review Aggregator Benefit Your Vacation Rental Business?

Online reviews are an excellent way for property owners to get feedback on their vacation rentals. Reviews from past guests — especially five-star ones — are one of the best ways to attract new renters and keep your rental booked all season.

But there are a lot of vacation rental sites out there, and you’ve likely got your rental property listed on several of them. That means your reviews are scattered across the internet, making it difficult to see at a glance to see whether your property is a hit with renters. A review aggregator can make a world of difference in your vacation property bookings.

What is a review aggregator?

A review aggregator is a digital tool that gathers reviews of a product or service from all corners of the internet. For real estate investors who specialize in vacation rentals, this involves collecting all the reviews left by previous renters on any of the many listing sites your property might appear on. An aggregator brings all of those reviews into one place for easy analysis.

Revyoos is one such review aggregator, marketed as the only all-in one tool property investors can use to analyze renter feedback on their short-term rentals. At this year’s Vacation Rental World Summit, it won the VrTech Startup Competition, which recognizes the most innovative startup focused on the vacation rental industry.

Revyoos helps property investors by aggregating review data, which they can then upload as a widget on their own website. Collecting all those reviews in one spot improves SEO rankings, increases credibility, and tracks conversions — which can lead to more renters.

Social proof for your property

Online reviews provide the valuable social proof you need to attract people to your vacation rental. Social proof is the idea that people will buy or do things — like book a vacation — based on what people have done before them. That’s why online reviews are so powerful and it’s so important to aggregate your reviews in one place.

For example, a single five-star review on 50 different sites doesn’t pack the same punch as seeing all of those 50 great reviews in one setting. If you’ve got mixed reviews, a review aggregator could be your saving grace — bringing the reviews together for an average rating might, in essence, cancel out those not-so-great experiences.

And here’s something to consider: Even a less-than-glowing review can lend credibility to the other reviews your listing has. Stellar ratings might give renters peace of mind they’ll have a pleasant stay, but the occasional lackluster review might lead them to believe the reviews are written by “real” people and not paid for.

The benefits of using an aggregator

If you have a fully booked vacation rental based on word of mouth and returning vacationers, you likely aren’t relying on property listing sites to begin with. But if you’re newer to the short-term rental game or have multiple properties available, listing sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and others are your lifeline. Here

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Vacation rental bookings in SC saw an increase for Thanksgiving 2020

The ongoing pandemic didn’t affect travel for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Horry and Georgetown Counties based on recent data. 

For the week ending on Black Friday, vacation rental bookings in Horry and Georgetown counties increased from 44.5% booked in 2019 to 65.2% booked in 2020. 

Taylor Damonte, the CCU professor who puts out the school’s weekly tourism update through the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Tourism said the weather this year may have played a role in that increase. 

“The vacation rental properties had a pretty good fall, this was the first year since 2014 that we didn’t have a major named tropical event,” Damonte said. “Vacation rental bookings were substantially above where they were for the week beginning November 21-27. They’re substantially above where they were for the equivalent week last year.”

Damonte said these numbers are based on the center’s observations of random samples of internet websites and vacation rental properties in the coastal sections of Horry and Georgetown counties. He said although vacation rental properties saw a strong week, hotels and condo-hotels aren’t seeing the same strong numbers. 

“Of course the pandemic impacted tourism more broadly. The vacation rental market was quite strong this fall. While occupancy is still down a point or two for the year in the vacation rentals it is not down as much as it is in the hotels or condo-hotels,” Damonte said. 

He said vacation rental properties were able to rebound from the earlier months and although December is typically a slow time for these properties, they may see strong numbers in December as well.

“Typically, occupancy in December is 20-30% and that again is the slowest month of the year. December and January are the slowest months of the year and we expect that to be the case this year,” Damonte said. “The vacation homes seem to be doing as well as they did last year if not better than they did last year during the fall and that may continue as well during December.”

Preliminary results show that for the week ending on Nov. 21, a voluntary sample of hotel, condo-hotel, and campsite properties the average percent occupancy decreased more than 9% compared to the same time last year.

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Meet Two HBCU Grads Taking Over The Vacation Rental Market

Real estate investing has long been a proven approach to helping individuals diversify their assets, build generational wealth and achieve financial independence— and that’s especially the case when it comes to two HBCU grads: Carrington Carter and Calvin Butts, Jr.

The pair, who are the founders of the premium vacation rental company, Getaway Society, are not only taking over the $113 billion global vacation rental market, but also providing a pathway for Black entrepreneurs and investors to follow in their footsteps.

And their partnership started off rather serendipitously. What began with Carter vacationing in the Poconos, later led to the college friends joining forces to turn their love for traveling into a profitable business where they currently own and manage properties in the Poconos, Martha’s Vineyard, Gatlinburg, and Hilton Head. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have seen exponential growth in all of those markets, and there business has only continued to grow.

This comes as no surprise, with Black U.S. leisure travelers spending on average $109.4 billion on travel in 2019 – the most recent year reflecting normal travel spend prior to COVID-19. Needless to say, there’s a huge vacation rental market to be tapped into, and the Hampton University graduates are just beginning to scratch the surface. “We spend a lot of money on travel,” says Carter. “We spend a lot of money on experiences. You’re also starting to see a cultural shift, whether it’s brought on by social media, or whether it’s an age thing, where people are starting to spend a lot of money on experiences versus material things. The vacation rental industry and the travel industry are starting to benefit a lot from that.”

After putting their financial resources and knowledge together, they broke ground on their first Getaway Society property in the Pocono Mountains in 2014 — and it’s been up ever since. “We continue to grow in this space,” says Carter. “One of the things that we like about the vacation rental home market, is the many different types of ways that you can use these houses. Whether it’s a family trip, whether it’s a multigenerational family… fraternity trip, sorority trip, bachelor, bachelorette.”

Butts adds that their growing success also has a lot to do with the current social climate, “This is now the preferred way of travel for a lot of folks. Given the fact that folks are traveling in larger groups, and people looking for more privacy, and are looking to have events and need more space. If you think about where we are in this current pandemic — the need for safety, cleanliness, privacy and less exposure to others is now very important.”

Carter and Butts, Jr. haven’t stopped at vacation rentals either. The pair also co-own McKinley Carter Enterprises, a real estate investment and property management company, as well as East Chop Capital, a private equity firm that helps people create and grow businesses, as well as obtain financial education on how to raise money and find investors. “Calvin and

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This Real Estate Market Could Be a Moneymaker for Vacation Rental Investors

The first person I knew in the United States to take COVID-19 seriously was a Manhattan blogger who owned vacation rental properties in upstate New York. By February, she had pulled her children out of school and gone to the Adirondacks, a move her peers first found dramatic but turned out to demonstrate excellent foresight.

As the pandemic began to stalk New York’s five boroughs, more acquaintances began to ask for her real estate agent husband’s services — to the point where, once he’d rented out their own properties to Big Apple escapees, he became a specialist in upstate New York rental homes. And not for short-term rentals. Many families, including their own, decided to stay in the wooded, vaguely wild rural region of upstate New York until… well, who knows?

In communities like the Adirondacks, most vacation rentals are typically booked solid in peak months and slow in the off-season, with marketing efforts geared toward extending peak season numbers into the shoulder season. That’s no longer the case. Vacation travel is floundering and pummeled by COVID-19’s peaks and people’s reactions to it — just ask Hawaii, where at least two peak times have come and gone, with the islands’ hotel rooms 80% unoccupied due to near-total lockdowns.

But that doesn’t mean units must sit empty. They just need to change their rules.

The pivot away from short-term rentals

The silver lining to the slowdown in travel bookings can be the less pricey per-night, but much steadier, long-term rental.

Articles have come out everywhere, from Vogue to Business Insider to The New York Times, about wealthy, privileged folks fleeing the cities to wait out COVID-19 in luxury resort areas such as Aspen, Colorado, and Tulum, Mexico. However, as social distancing and remote work become the norm, more people are looking for a long-term alternative to cities, and they don’t need jet set destinations. Some folks are buying, but many are choosing — for financial reasons, or just caution — to rent.

Length of stay, regulations, and market pricing issues

Family circumstances led to me fixing up and renting out a relative’s Maui condo six months into the pandemic. As an owner, landlord, or manager in Hawaii right now, the first thing to know is that when stay-at-home and mandatory quarantines hit, short-term rentals are pretty much not allowed.

Even in most of the developments that do typically allow them, COVID-19 quarantine orders banned renting to anyone quarantining. And other states have implemented similar measures. Yet plenty of people decide to wait out the bans at a hotel or a relative’s house and then look for a two- or three-month lease.

For people who can only accept long-term leases, the flurry of three-month requests is a major annoyance. But for many vacation rental property owners, it was a great turn of events that helped make up for months without bookings earlier in the year — provided the county and complex allows it.

The issue is when would-be renters expect to pay

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Mrs. Claus rented a vacation rental with Gulfcoastguys.com in Florida – Press Release

And there is plenty of room for Santa’s sleigh and the elves when you rent a vacation home with Gulfcoastguys.com

Santa Claus will need a rest after this year, and there is no better place than Florida to thaw out from the cold that will be everywhere but Sarasota and Bradenton come this year’s holidays!  There is plenty of room for Santa and all the elves when you book a vacation rental home in Sarasota-Bradenton with Gulfcoastguys.com.

And when you rent a vacation home, everyone can come and even bring their own holiday decorations to make it feel just like home for the holidays.  Demand during the winter holidays is expected to skyrocket this year so make sure you book early and let Santa Claus know where you’ll be, says Troy Piascyzk with Gulfcoastguys.com, an itrip.net vacation rental franchisee.  “People love that they can travel for the holidays and be together in a home instead of being split up in a boring hotel room” says Piascyzk.

When deciding what kind of home your family will need, consider all of your holiday traditions and what you would like to plan for your holiday.   Gulfcoastguys.com suggests that the family create a checklist of what they most want like to do for the holidays, and plan their trip around that list.   Some families enjoy visiting a a new Church or place of worship for the holidays, for example the Sarasota Grace Baptist Church’s “Christmas At Grace” is a local favorite holiday event that features more than a half-million lights; the Jewish Federaton of Sarasota-Manatee sponsors A Taste of Chanukah; and there are other local attractions such as Jungle Gardens which has a holiday light display called Millions of Lights Magical Night which is a Sarasota favorite.

Looking for other fun things to do?

SRQFUN.COM has great ideas for relaxation, adventure, or perhaps some fresh discoveries.  The Bradenton Gulf Islands tourism board has put together some great itineraries for you and your family to enjoy original and inspirational vacation experiences in Florida.  You can find them all at srqfun.com.

A vacation rental for the holidays in Sarasota or Bradenton let’s you enjoy the great Florida outdoors and also enjoy the Florida Holiday spirit and charm.  The vacation rentals that Gulfcoastguys.com rents in Sarasota or Bradenton have plenty of room for families to be together, and a kitchen to cook their favorite holiday meals.  And some of their vacation rentals have fireplaces to hang the stockings for when Santa gets there!  Just be sure to check all of the amenities of each rental home.  And if you want a swimming pool, be sure to check out our 7 reasons to choose a rental home with a swimming pool here.

About Gulfcoastguys.com

www.gulfcoastguys.com is a vacation website providing vacation rentals through www.itrip.net in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. iTrip Vacations Sarasota-Bradenton (an itrip.net franchisee) is locally owned and operated, ensuring you and your guests receive personalized vacation rental management service. Our full-service program focuses on increasing your

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Why are there vacation rental permits during a pandemic? | Letter

After reading the Nov. 18 story “An Interview with Vacation Rental Work Group Vice-Chair,” I was surprised to discover that the county is still accepting vacation rental applications.

Yes, accepting, processing and approving them in the midst of the deadliest pandemic of the last century. While numerous health officials, civic leaders and politicians are advising us not to travel for the holidays, the county is issuing permits for more visitors to come here. Does that strike you as odd? It’s as if I just stumbled into some sci-fi horror flick where the virus has turned county workers into COVID-loving zombies. How can this be?

Maybe I am being unfair. Maybe they aren’t COVID-loving. Maybe the county is just, you know, in a rut. Inertia/bureaucracy can make it difficult for local governments to respond to fast-moving threats. That, I suppose, is the kind of explanation.

Another explanation involves money. Follow the money. Does VR make the islands a better place to live? No. Does VR make the islands a safer place to live? No. Does VR help with affordable housing? No, just the opposite. So, who stands to profit from VR? Off-island owners/investors profit but who profits locally? Realty companies who gain commissions from the sale of properties and then from the management of the VR property. As Lisa Byers puts it, “an economic engine.”

Mark Heacox

San Juan Island

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Grand Strand vacation rental property bookings see holiday week increase despite pandemic

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – If it has felt bit busier along the Grand Strand this holiday week to you, you may be right.

a house with trees in the background: Rental home in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)

© Provided by Myrtle Beach-Florence WMBF-TV
Rental home in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)

Grand Strand vacation rental property bookings have seen an increase this holiday week despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe because of it.

Amid calls from public health officials to forgo large family gatherings this Thanksgiving holiday due to the ongoing pandemic, the Grand Strand is seeing an increase bookings of vacation rental properties.

Results of a recent survey from the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism at Coastal Carolina University show reservations of vacation rental properties along the Grand Strand from Nov. 21 to Nov. 27 are up more than 5% compared to the 2019 Thanksgiving week.

According to the survey, 65.2% of area vacation rental properties were booked for this past week compared to 59.7% for last year’s Thanksgiving week, which fell from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29.

Researchers with the Center for Resort Tourism added with the weather predicted for this weekend, average occupancy may be near or above 70%.

The increase in bookings hasn’t just come this week.

While year-over-year hotels have seen a slight dip in occupancy over the six-week period ending Nov. 14, vacation rental properties have seen a drastic 77% jump in use over the same time period, according to survey data.

Hotels, condo-hotels and campsites on the other hand have not seen as many visitors, with average occupancy dropping 2% and average daily rates dropping just over 9% during the same six-week period compared to 2019.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.

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Mayor Caldwell signs vacation rental agreement with Expedia, Airbnb – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather

“We know there are bad actors out there, and this will help us crack down on them. While this is not a panacea, it’s a step forward,” said Mayor Caldwell. “For our residents who depend on this income, we want to provide an avenue for people to list their rentals in a legal, and transparent manner. This collaboration will also provide a step forward for effective enforcement of illegal vacation rentals, and ensures that our neighborhoods remain neighborhoods for local families.”

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