Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vacation Rentals 101 by Maggie Krainin

"Summer's coming, don't get antsy, We rent cottages plain and fancy!"

We’ve used those cheerful lines for nearly 40 years to invite thousands of families to the very special experience of a Sebago Lake Region vacation rental.  As a lake region property owner, have you ever wondered how cottage rentals work, and if they could work for you?

The procedure itself is pretty straightforward:  You set a weekly rate, decide how many weeks you want to rent, advertise and book the rentals, collect payments, prepare your property, and meet your renters to give them the keys.  Hopefully everything goes well and they have a wonderful time, write nice notes in your guestbook and promise to return next year.  You bank some great income to help pay your taxes and treat yourselves to an end-of-season celebratory dinner at one of our fine local restaurants.

That's the overview.  But what it takes to carry it all out involves a lot of detail and planning.  In the next several articles we'll explore some of the devilish details you need to know before you embark on the vacation rental journey.

First and foremost, for starting out and learning the ropes, there's nothing like having the guidance of an experienced rental agency.  With the advent of the Internet, it's easier than ever to rent "by owner" nowadays, and perhaps you'll choose to do that in future, but there really is a lot to learn, and even more to do!  You could learn as you go, and even suspend the process temporarily if you hit a snag, but once you have rentals actually booked, you're committed to seeing it through no matter what, because rentals are legal contracts just like leases and sale agreements, and they cannot be lightly broken (like eggs and bacon – the chicken contributes, but the pig is committed!), so you need to be really clear about the responsibilities involved before you start.  A well established rental agency can give you all the guidance and information you need to be a successful vacation rental owner.

Maggie Krainin is the Owner and Designated Broker of Krainin Real Estate, 1539 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, and 974 Roosevelt Trail, Naples.  Krainin's Rental Division orchestrates over 1,200 Sebago Region vacation rentals every year. FMI, email