Purchasing a new home for the purposes of a rental investment is a huge decision and one must do their homework to decide if it makes sense for them. A question that a Homeowner usually asks is, "Is it better to rent the home on my own or use a Property Management company for a fee/ percentage?". Of course when one is considering renting out their home the intention is to have a profitable return on investment and ongoing income stream. So they really have to weigh the pro's and cons of doing it all yourself or leaving all the hard work to the professionals. Here are some facts to help make that decision a little easier...
How is Easy Air Rentals different than a listing site like HomeAway or Airbnb?
Companies like VRBO, Booking.com and Airbnb operate listing websites that market vacation rentals to guests all over the world. However, these listing sites do not do things like: expertly craft and manage property listings; push your listing to multiple vacation rental sites (e.g. HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, etc.); have a team monitoring and adjusting booking rates to best meet demand; manage availability calendars; answer guest inquiries responses immediately; complete in-person property inspections after every stay; manage vendors and property maintenance; provide professional housekeeping; maintain local and state permits/licenses/taxes; gather guest reviews; provide a Homeowner Dashboard (e.g., monitor success, adjust availability calendar, see who comes and goes from a property, learn what updates are being completed to a property); etc. Easy Air Rentals does all of this and more as a vacation rental property management company.
How easy is it to get started?
Getting started is easy and risk-free. We can activate homes that are existing vacation rentals as quickly as in a few weeks if everything is ready to go. Our contract has no minimum term or volume commitments, or start-up fees. Normal activation includes shooting new photos, putting together detailed listings, setting pricing, activating advertising on the main internet channels and beginning to take reservations – all in as little as a few weeks! This can take longer given a home owner’s schedule, or if a home is in the process of being converted from a residence or long-term rental. Our agreement is non-binding and may be cancelled by either party at any time.
Can you help me convert the home to a vacation rental?
Yes, we will help in any way we can and we regularly do it all. Most of our current clients were owners of long-term rentals and our capacity to simplify and execute the conversion was a big selling point. Whether it is helping you secure a short-term license, bringing in our interior designers, choosing and installing all the furnishings, meeting movers, getting landscaping in shape, etc.
What kind of contract do I need to sign?
Our contract is non-binding and may be cancelled by either party. 60 Days of notice is required for termination of services. If Owner cancels agreement before hosting any guests Please contact us and we will be happy to send you our agreement for your review.
Will I have to worry about taxes?
No, as with so many things, Easy Air Rentals will coordinate any and all taxes for you. We collect the taxes, put them into our owner escrow-style account, and remit on your behalf. Each reservation has taxes added to the amount of the rental - so when you see a rental dollar amount, you can rest assured that we have collected and will remit tax on top of that - you do not need to send us extra money to pay taxes nor do you need to file with your lodging authority.
Do I have to handle paying any lodging taxes?
No, Easy Air Rentals handles that for you. We collect the taxes, put them into our owner escrow-style account, and remit on your behalf. Each reservation has taxes added to the amount of the rental – so when you see a rental dollar amount, you can rest assured that we have collected and will remit tax on top of that – you do not need to send us extra money to pay taxes nor do you need to file with your lodging authority.
Do I have to commit to a certain amount of availability?
No, however we do require that all homes that wish to use our service are year-round rentals. There is no problem with an owner, friends or family using a rental for weeks or even months at a time, however if you plan to only make it available occasionally then you can let us know in advance.
Does my home need to be of a certain quality or size?
To some degree, yes. While Easy Air Rentals does not work exclusively with luxury properties, we do focus on upper-end rentals in desirable locations. This could be a high-end studio apartment in a downtown metro area, or an inviting mid-range home with in a prime vacation destination. We will look at your home and let you know if we feel it will make a good rental.
Is there anything I am required to have at my home?
Yes. Guests expect a fully-functioning home, complete with furniture in good repair, appliances, cookware, dinnerware, internet, and TV. We will work with you to make sure that you have everything in place. Internet connections are required at every home - TV can be optional in certain rural areas. Nicely decorated homes tend to command higher rentals and we always encourage owners to have a home that shows well. We'll provide the bed linen, towels and bath mats.
Do I need to have Wi-Fi or a traditional phone line/land-line installed?
A landline phone is not necessary unless you wish to have one for your own personal stays, or you are in an area with no cell reception. We do require Wi-Fi to be available.
Do owners have to allow pets?
Most do not, that’s up to each owner. In general we encourage it, as homes get more bookings if they allow pets, but we understand many owners do not want to allow them and that’s fine.
Do I need to provide you with photographs?
If you have them, great! If you don’t, we’ll handle it. Even if you do, we will likely come and shoot some more.
How do you set pricing for my rental?
Owners often ask how pricing is set for each rental. First, we set an initial price for each unit for each day of week, and time of the year. Midweek days might get set at one price, and weekends at another; holidays and peak periods may be set higher, and off-season prices could be set lower. We set these initial prices based on several factors like input from each owner, characteristics of the home (size, amenities, location, recent remodels, etc.), comparable home prices in the area, and other factors.
Why do you do commission-based pricing?
Commission-based pricing is the industry-standard for vacation rental property management firms. That does not necessarily mean it is the only answer – but we believe that it perfectly aligns our incentives with our homeowners. We only make money when our owners make money, and the only way to increase our revenue is to help owners increase theirs. We believe this is why the commission model has worked and is so well established in the industry.
What kind of reporting do I get on my unit?
Initially you will get a monthly statement from us that details out how much rental revenue you earned, includes details on how much tax we collected and will pay on your behalf, as well as any charges that you have incurred during the month (for example if you want it cleaned for your own stay, or if you had us install a new TV, etc.) We also provide a Year End earnings statement.
How do you deal with guest deposits paid in advance?
We accept all major credit cards, and charge a deposit upon booking, with the full payment due 30 days prior to check-in. All reservations which are made more than 15 days in advance of check-in are fully refundable (only if the guest cancels the reservation within 72 hours after the time of booking). After this cancellation period expires, all payments are non-refundable.
How do you deal with advanced deposits?
We accept all major credit cards, and charge a deposit of 10% of the total rental upon booking, with the full payment due 30 days prior to check-in. All reservations which are made more than 10 days in advance of check-in are fully refundable if the guest cancels the reservation within 72 hours after the time of booking. After this cancellation period expires, all payments are non-refundable. The guest who books the property must be 25 years or older unless otherwise noted.
Advertising and Online Procedures
How do you advertise my rental and do I need to pay for this?
We list your home everywhere guests are looking for rentals! In addition to our own site, we’ll automatically get your property onto the major listing sites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, and many more!
How do you enable online bookings?
We use Ownerrez Property Manager. OwnerRez allows vacation rental owners to manage all the listing sites such as TripAdvisor or VRBO from a centralized location by directing the enquiry traffic flow. The product eliminates the paperwork required to manually handle reservations, record & accept payments and manage task scheduling.
Can guests book my property online?
Yes they can, and more and more guests do. Either directly through our website or booking sites such as Airbnb and VRBO
What if I already have listed my home on those sites?
Many owners have already created listings. We will work with you to migrate them over to our managed account and we will go through them to professional rewrite the listing if necessary, to add or improve the photos and to configure the listing to synchronize the pricing and calendar across all of the many sites we plan on listing your rental.
How do I book myself, friends or family at my property?
You can call us and we will book your property for you, or you can view your availability and book online through our Owner Dashboard. There is absolutely no charge for this and we even schedule cleaning when you leave so it is ready for the next guest. If you choose to have us clean your home after your stay, we will bill you on your owner statement for the cleaning. You may also choose to clean the home yourself.
What if I already had bookings made on my property?
No problem, Easy Air Rentals will charge a reduced rate of 10% if you would like us to manage those guests (i.e. additional collections, customer service, check-ins, check-outs, scheduling cleaning, etc). We will work with you to get all the details we need and we will fully manage these bookings for you just like any booking we made. We may need to collect the cleaning fee from the owner as well as taxes to remit assuming those amounts have already been paid. If not, we can collect on any amounts outstanding as well. If you wish to manage the guest, or your former property manager will do it on your behalf, we will block those bookings off in our calendar and no charges will apply.
What about cleaning fees?
Guests pay us directly for cleaning fees, and we pay the cleaners. There is nothing you need to do to schedule them or pay for them. If you wish to have your home cleaned while you, a family member, or friend are using it, just let us know and we will clean it and bill you for it as part of your monthly statement.
Do I need to have laundry? Do I need lots of sets of sheets?
Yes. If you do not have them, we are happy to purchase the sheets, pillowcases and towels for your unit and add them to your expenses on your first statement.
Do I need to do my guests laundry (e.g., towels, linens, etc.)?
No, our cleaning fees cover laundry service for linens with every clean. Our cleaners will do it on-site if time permits, or bring it to a laundry facility as a back-up.
Do I need to provide soap, paper towels, toilet paper?
No, you don’t need to worry about it, Easy Air Rentals makes sure your home remained stocked. We supply an initial set of amenities, so when guests arrive they don’t need to head straight to a market. This set includes toilet paper per bathroom, paper towels, small sizes of soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and dish soap in the kitchen. We buy amenities in bulk and restocks these for every stay.
What if I want to do some decorating on my own?
We love it when owners stay involved with decorating and improving their home!! In fact, we highly encourage it. Guests want a unique and local experience, your homes décor is a great way to provide this.
Do I need to provide you with a cleaner?
We have cleaners contracted with us who have proven to be fast, flexible, reliable, and are already familiar with Easy Air Rental's strict cleaning protocol. If you have a cleaner you are used to working with, we can make arrangements.
What happens if there is an emergency? Who does the guest call?
The guest always calls us. The guest will never know the name of the owner for privacy reasons (unless you really want us to tell them). We take the call and dispatch the appropriate vendor. We pay the vendor and then put the bill onto your monthly statement (taking vendor charge out of the revenue owed to you for that month) - that way you don't have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for anything unless it happens to be a major repair.
How do you deal with noisy guests?
We generally require renters to be at least 25 years old, and we have a strict policy of evicting them upon any sign of noise, partying, or over-occupancy. We are owners first as well and the key to our success or failure lies with happy neighbors. All neighbors will have our contact information and are welcome to get in contact with us at the slightest concern. This relationship is incredibly important. Parties do happen and we want people to enjoy themselves, however we do not tolerate abuse at the properties and contractually have heavy measures in place to evict and charge additional fees. If we receive continued noise complaints about a guest, we will send over our team and evict the guest from the property for the remainder of the stay.
What about regular maintenance?
We have built a strong team of maintenance/handyman resources that we regularly use. We handle a 24/7 point of contact system, reservations management, guest support, regular housekeeping scheduling and inspections, dispatch of qualified maintenance personnel, monitor internet, indoor temperature when equipped, pool temps when equipped, maintain electronic locks, etc. During inspections we will restock consumable items like soap, toilet paper, and even perform simple maintenance like changing A/C Filters monthly, changing remote control batteries or light bulbs for lamp fixtures or ceilings 8’ or lower in height if spares are available on site.
Who takes care of my patio and/or outdoor areas?
We can schedule a regular lawn or pool service, but most owners already have this in place and continue to use their preferred vendor. We require that all owners have repeat services in place. Owners typically pay these fees directly to their contractors, along with utilities, internet and TV. We can set up recurring services for you (but only set them up to happen on a regular basis). The bills for the service are included in the monthly invoice sent to you.
What about taking out trash cans?
For most properties, the guests and cleaners, will handle taking out the trash. The cleaners or one of our Area Property Managers bring in the trash cans upon property inspection. Should the unit be a condo or located in an apartment building, the guest will have instructions as to where to dispose of their trash and the cleaners will also be responsible to take out the trash after cleaning.
What about garbage collection? Who handles this?
We stick with your local City garbage disposal company – if guests are in the home on pick-up days we ask them to take out the trash. If no one is there, Easy Air Rentals or our cleaning service puts out the trash with no charge to you. If you are there on regular days, then please put it out yourself.
Are there any other regular services I should have scheduled?
In addition to repeat landscaping service, Easy Air Rentals recommends having a local, licensed HVAC service plan in place that regularly services your air conditioning and heating appliances as well as changes your air filters. Plans run anywhere from $15/month on up depending on how often you need your filters changed and how large your home is. We also recommend a regular pest-control service, gutter cleaning in heavy leaf areas, and at least twice-yearly window washing. If you would like us to set these up for you, no problem. The bills for the service are set up in your name and are sent directly to you.
I’m uncomfortable giving out keys to strangers – how do you keep my home safe?
Easy Air Rentals uses lockboxes and keyless entry locks on doors that can only be accessed with specific codes allocated to the properties. Our Managers, Cleaners, and Maintenance are given the codes. The Management do hold additional spare keys should the guest lock themselves out the house or lose the keys.
How do I get into my home?
As an owner you have a code and can access the property whenever you want. If for some reason you wish to access while a renter is in the property, please check with us first. Generally we like to avoid disturbing the tenants but understand there may be times when this needs to be done.
How do you handle security deposits and damage?
We have multiple policies for each site that we list on that act as insurance for guest damages to property. We use these for damages that occur as a great backup. Guests are also charged a security deposit which is held until 7 or 10 days after checkout. An email reminder will be sent to the guest if a security deposit to be automatically held until 1 day before arrival and released 7 days after departure. Owners should expect every now and then they might have to replace a fork or knife, do some touch-up painting, replace a sink or shower fixture, etc. All homes experience periodic maintenance. Guests do sign a contract committing to paying for damage via their credit card on file, and there are strict policies when additional cleaning is needed as well.
What would be covered under this damage policy?
Often we are asked what types of things are replaced under this policy. Generally a good rule of thumb is that well-maintained, durable items in good working condition, that are damaged as a result of a guest’s actions are covered. The damage waiver is not a guarantee that nothing will ever be broken or stop working in your home. It is intended to be replace broken or damaged items that resulted from a guest making a mistake. Example: Everything from small appliances, to plumbing fixtures, furniture and electronics eventually wear-out. If a guest drops a blender and it smashes on the floor, the damage protection kicks in! But if a guest is using a blender that is several years old and it just stops working, it is not replaced as part of the damage waiver.