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