Blog :: 2012

The "Hotelization" of Vacation Rentals

As noted recently in the travel blog Skift, the vacation rental home industry's biggest flaws is inconsistency, which can be ameliorated with expert advise and administrative organization.  One area that vacation rental owners need to focus on more is the "hotelization" of their rental...from decor to operations.  This change, this way of thinking is driven by consumer demand and the consolidation of listing services, brokerages and online cusotmer reviews, all of which, until recently, have been out of the control of the individual owners.

HomeAway, the nation's heaviest hitter in vacation rental websites, recently acquired VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner).  On HomeAway and VRBO's heels, boutique and national brokerages have migrated to the same "in the cloud" rental management software.  This software pushes data directly into HomeAway's server automatically as agents list and book properties.  This streamlining, combined with consumer reviews, has forced individual vacation rental owners, who are managing just one to several properties, into more time and money to try to keep up.  One problem with this streamlined system, has been the topic of reviews, both postive and negative, by renters.  Vacation rental homeowner's have demanded control over reviews, citing that since they are paying for this service, they shall be given the right to either show or not show reviews to the public, while the ominously titled site Vacation Rental Judge promises to fill the void left by a missing review, therefore, consumers demand for better quality and service will not go unheard.

Vacation rental owners, now more than ever, need good advisement and representation, and can achieve this by going to a trusted rental agent.  Reputable rental agents can and will assist you by marketing your property properly, renting your property and can handle all the administrative organization.  Those who avail themselves, will see 2013 as a booming vacation rental season, and those who don't, quite simply, won't.

~Steve Lent, rental agent, 3Harbors Realty


  1. Louise Briggs on

    I love the term you found, "hotelization". I've been doing this for several years for the property that you list for me and my tenants have been very happy. They are especially happy with Steve's "beyond the call of duty" representation. When I had occasion to rent a vacation house I realized how much time was taken from my holiday to supply the bare bones house with basic necessities. I decided that I never wanted my tenants to have to do this. Now I offer paper towels, trash bags, toilet tissue, all soaps (shower, laundry kitchen), disposable razors, Q-tips, cotton balls, spices, and more. I also offer WiFi and a free Netflix streaming account for my tenents use. My motto is to give the client more than they expect and it has paid off with many loyal return tenants. Thank you, Steve, for being such a great agent. - Louise

    Accelerating Housing Market on the Outer Cape

    A recent news story based on a report from the Warren Group, a Boston based firm that tracks the real estate industry, caught our eye.  It stated that real estate sales in the state for the month of October jumped twenty percent over last years' and that 2012 sales to date were now past the total for all of 2011.  We've been really busy too and it got us to check out the statistics for homes sales in Truro, Wellfleet and Provincetown.

    The results surprised even us.  Based on MLS data, Wellfleet property sales in 2011 totaled $ 30,334,286 and as of 11/28/12 they are already at $39,519,155.  Truro's result for 2011 was $32,050,703 and we're presently at $45,869,180.  Provincetown, which has been experiencing a big bounce for some time saw sales totals of $84,270,775 and their number to date is $102,980.690. We typically see sales registering just before the New Year so these numbers could rise significantly.

    While we have yet to see solid evidence of price increases in Truro or Wellfleet, Provincetown is certainly experiencing price jumps.  With rates so low, it really is time to move!


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                Provincetown's Lobster Pot Christmas Tree

                For nine years Julian Popko and his family have constructed the lobster pot Christmas tree at Lopes Square.

                Julian and his wife, Mary, came here on their honeymoon in 1964, and have owned a home in Truro since 1975. While their primary home is in Springfiled, MA, they wanted to give back to the community here on the Outer Cape.

                We love this year's tree - especially the brightly lit fantastical buoys. Check out the facebook page for the tree here:

                Lobster Pot Christmas Tree


                Video of the tree lighting




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                    Shark At Ballston Beach, Truro

                    Yes, there was a shark attack reported at Ballston Beach yesterday. Forty stiches later, it appears that a Great White bit a swimmer who was reportedly swimming a third of a mile out to sea.

                    This morning we talked to one bather, Maybel Vanderschnabel of Truro, who said, "People get killed on Route 6 every year and you don't see less people on the road." We noticed, however, that she swam a little closer to shore.

                    Never a Dull Moment Living on the Outer Cape!

                    We love where we live!  The members of our community really look out for one another and here's just another fine example: Drag Kickball!

                    So, while we love selling houses and condos in Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet, we'll be out rooting for the girls on Wednesday, August 8th!

                    Stunning Setting on Truro's Oceanside

                    Nestled in a dune, overlooking Ballston Beach, is this remarkable home that was built for the Snow family in 1899. The house has been subtley updated and walking into it is like stepping back in time.

                    This Truro house sits on 1.6 acres of land and is approximately sixty feet away from the Dune's edge.  It has its own path down to the beach along the dune's edge.  You have views of not only the ocean but also the Pamet River valley making this a bird watcher's paradise.



                    Our own Rebecca Townsend was awarded Truro's Citizen Award for Heroism.

                    Rebecca Townsend, our office assistant and all around star, was recently awarded the Citizen Award for Heroism by the Truro Police Department.  Last August Rebecca was on her way home and noticed that a neighbor's house was engulfed in flames.  She ran to the front door and alerted the sleeping mother, father and child and then called 911.  You can see Rebecca's story by clicking here. Great job Rebecca - you save us here at 3Harbors every day!