Friday, October 9, 2009

Common Misconceptions of Vacation Renting

So this is a tough one. Lots of Indians have second homes but very few are ok with renting them out to make extra money. We thought that we would tackle this head on and debunk some of the myths of vacation renting:-

1. It's difficult to rent your property out if you don't stay in the same city or else have relatives close by. While both of these are really good options, they are not necessary. I feel the best way to do it is to have a good maid or caretaker for the property. Labour is cheap in India and the key thing you should look at is the honesty and reliability of the person. You will need to train them well and put down a 'Standard Operating Procedure' to begin with and then with time, you as well as the caretaker will evolve and adapt to situations and you should end up with a property that manages itself with you only involved in the marketing and collection of payments.

2. People may come over and damage your property. If this happens, it means you have not screened the renter properly. This is the primary reason why we as don't offer a direct internet reservation engine for your property. It is important for you to pre-screen the travelers and see if you are comfortable with having them as guests in your property. Rent to families as opposed to singles or stag groups and you should not have much trouble. Most people are very decent, know that they are staying in someone else's house and are very careful with how they behave.

3. It's difficult for you to market to customers. It used to be difficult. People who wanted to do this needed to spend significant time and energy on the internet, creating a website and contacting various people by word of mouth or through their social circle. This is now much easier through - Of course, like any other business, it takes time to pick up and there are ways in which you can promote your property. We'll cover more of these in our future articles.

4. You will not be able to use your own property. With you are in full control of your property. If you are visiting, you can set those dates as unavailable and they will immediately be blocked when travelers view your reservation calendar on your property details page. You can mark out dates when you intend to visit, when you have friends and family visiting or when you need to do important maintenance activities or remodeling to the place.

5. My property is not in a tourist destination. The very fact that you enjoy going to visit your property means it is unique and someone else would derive similar pleasure in visiting it. While it may not have the tourist attractions and amenities as compared to a more established destination, you should never feel that all people are looking for those amenities. India is a large and diverse place and we have all kinds of people. Look at what potential activities are possible around your area. See if there are interesting people around who would be interested in organizing activities for the benefit of those who come to stay at your place and encourage people to participate by paying for such additional activities. This could be really simple things like a writing workshop, a pottery class or a star gazing night. These little things make all the difference and you never know - you may get to know your neighbours a bit better and learn something new in the process!!

I hope this article has been useful and look forward to your comments. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments and I will try and answer them to the best of my ability.
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