Skip to main content
Vacation rental property management

14 Tips and Tricks for Renting Out Your Vacation Home

Are you a vacation home owner? Would you like to rent your vacation home? Here are what you should know and consider before renting your vacation home.

Most importantly: First seek direction and help from the local vacation rental management companies. The learning curve can be a bit steep in this industry and these companies can give you a crash course on what you need to know. If you find a company you’re comfortable with, consider hiring them. Maintaining the house and catering to guest’s requests can be quite the task. Leave the marketing to the professionals.

For more information on what to look for in a vacation rental management company visit GuestRetreats.com

On to the list:

  1. Check the homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers the damages caused by the renter. Consider buying an additional policy to cover the home, the contents left behind, and issues to do with liability in the situation where the renter gets injured while on the property.
  2. Ensure the regulations of your local zoning and the homeowners association allow for renting residential property. If otherwise, you may need a variance to enable you rent out your home.
  3. Decide which furniture you’d like store away and which furniture you’ll leave out for guests.
  4. The short-term rentals, primarily 4 or less months, are commonly rented as furnished. The renters have to be comfortable and the furniture should also be safe. The delicate fabrics and fragile chairs should be safely stored offsite.
  5. Ensure valuables are removed from the house. Things might disappear while away. Ensure you take anything with sentimental value out of the house.
  6. Check to make sure the all of the appliances are in good shape. All the necessary repairs and replacements should be done prior to a guest’s arrival. Avoid the scenario where the renter leaves a 1000 word review about your leaky faucets.
  7. Consider hiring the local vacation rental management company to take care of all the repairs and emergencies. Alternatively, you can create a list of trusted service people to leave the tenant with.
  8. Make sure janitorial service providers are allowed in the house to clean it thoroughly before the rental starts.
  9. Obtain a Security deposit. Enough said.
  10. Arrange to settle all of your basic bills in advance or make the payment online
  11. Ensure your pets have a place to go. You can either let them accompany you or board them while you are away. Your neighbor might agree to water and feed your pet but it is not a good idea leaving them behind with the strangers. They could be hurt through scratches and bites from the renter’s pets or just from the stray dogs.
  12. Likewise, set a strict policy on renter’s pets. Or allow them to pay an extra security deposit in order to bring their furry friend along.
  13. If your renter will be someone from a different state, city, or region, leave a local reference packet that has got the names of the businesses in the area, the map, the names of the neighbors, and the local emergency information.
  14. Keep track of all the expenses and records of income for federal income taxes.
Springfield il web design

Picking the Right Web Designer for Your Business

“You’re not a real business unless you have a website.”

Every business owner has heard this statement a hundred times. And for the most part, it’s true. In today’s world, an online presence is something to be expected with any well respected business. Customers want to research to companies they give their money to both in terms of quality of service or product and social approval. There’s no easier to way to research a company then by googling the company’s name and clicking through to their website, yelp, social media pages, etc.

Weighing Your Options

While many business owners understand the need for a website, they don’t quite know where to turn to build one. 10 years ago, you opened the yellow pages and called the local web designer. Being one of a few designers in town, he or she had probably already designed a local business’s site you were already familiar with which immediately established trust and you were on your way. For local web design services in Springfield, IL we suggest Unola Web Design. Today, with all the widely available and easy to use web development software, everyone and their dog is a web designer. Business’s are constantly receiving cold calls from design agencies outsourcing their work to 3rd world countries while charging 1st world prices. Business owners are also subject to the pervasive advertising of DIY web site services like WIX and Square Space. Where $5 a month, gets you a drag and drop site built from a template that 1,000’s of other businesses are using.

With so many options, business’s have to make a decision on why they need a website. Will the site serve as a only an online business card? A freelancer ($200-1500) or a DIY service ($5 -25 / month) would work in this instance. If you’d like a custom design that a DIY service can’t offer, then go with a freelancer. Or if you business is fairly blue collar and aesthetics largely aren’t going to make a difference in your conversion rate, then go with the DIY service. If you don’t find the DIY service to be as easy as advertised or not doesn’t offer the functionality you need, you haven’t wasted much money.

Making a Final Decision

The key is being honest with yourself as a business owner about what level of functionality and design skill your site will require. Something like a high end architecture studio would do well to pay a web designer that aligns with their company’s culture. The same could be said for a jewelry store who makes custom jewelry. Again, you should be asking yourself, will my website serve more or less as clout and contact information or will it be an integral part of my business. Depending on your industry, a well designed and optimized website can save a company thousands of dollars while helping convert leads into sales. If your average profit per customer is over $1000 and there are keywords with significant search volume for your business, then it would be wise to invest in a high end freelancer or design agency. Web designers (at least the good ones) love to show off their portfolio. Be sure to look through their client list for businesses you would consider successful. Don’t be afraid to call these businesses and ask about the designer. Remember, you only want to have to design your site once. But don’t be alarmed by the $2,500-$10,000 price tag some of the these freelancers or agencies are quoting. Sure, it may seem outrageous compared to the $5/month price of a Square Space site, but a quality designer understands you don’t just want a website. You are truly crafting a marketing funnel. Combined with solid SEO, a well optimized website will drive targeted leads to your business for years to come. Doesn’t that seem like a solid investment?

So what’s the best web designer for your business?

That depends on what your business is. But if you ask yourself the right questions, you’ll be in great shape to find something that both fits within your budget and gives your business the online presence it needs.

One_For_the_Suits

How to Dress Business Casual in 2016

1. Patterned cotton button down shirts:

Yes, a white oxford shirt is classic. But you definitely need patterned shirts as well. Pinstripes, gingham and windowpane are all classic patterns that never go out of style. If you choose plaid, avoid flannel and look for a lighter fabric. A cotton plaid in a cheery color such as green or bright blue can be a great casual, everyday look.

2. Polo shirts:

There are two keys to finding a great polo shirt: one is the fabric, and two is the fit. Jersey fabrics are best left to rugby shirts (which are another great choice, by the way). Polo shirts wear well in a pique fabric, which is the kind that has a slightly heavy weight and feels textured to the touch. Look for pima cotton pique polo shirts, and make sure that the shoulder seem hits the actual top of your shoulder. If the shoulder seem droops down your arm, the shirt is too big. For warm weather, a solid colored polo shirt with madras shorts is an easy casual look. For colder weather, polos are versatile and can be worn with jeans or chinos.

Shop polo shirts at Macys.com

3. Skinny ties:

The 1950s and early 1960s were high points in history for men’s casual wear. From this period, we take the skinny tie. The skinny tie can be one of the most versatile tie styles. A skinny tie in a matte, solid color such as black, blue, gray, or brown can add just the right touch to your ensemble of dark wash jeans, button down shirt and vest. Try it on your next date.

Shop skinny ties at Ties.com

4. Retro inspired outerwear:

Recent decades brought about the popularity of the hoodie. However, a hoodie can be considered looking sloppy compared to other casual shirt options. For outerwear, look for modern takes on vintage inspired pieces. The lettermen’s jacket has recently made a huge comeback, and looks great layered over a pair of chinos and a fitted crewneck cotton sweater. Retro inspired shoes are a great look, too. Look for fashion sneakers in canvas, such as Frye Men’s Greene Lowe Sneakers; or leather, such as Diesel Footwear’s Leather and Suede Midday Sneakers.

5. Denim:

Dark wash denim should be a staple of every man’s wardrobe. It works in both pants and jackets. When selecting jeans, look for trouser jeans, which fit the widest part at the hip then go straight down; or boot cut jeans, which flare out just slightly at the bottom. Avoid anything that is acid washed, faded or distressed.

Tips on How to dress business casual in 2016:

  • Wear only one denim item at a time.
  • Always tuck in polo shirts and button down shirts that hang on or below the hip.
  • If you are attending an event and not sure how dressy it will be, bring a sport jacket and a tie. These can instantly take an outfit from casual to dressy casual.
  • Layer retro inspired outerwear over modern pieces to keep the look relevant.
  • You can never go wrong with a cotton button down shirt, chinos, a fitted cashmere sweater, brown oxfords, and a navy blue sport jacket. This look can take you from the office, to a networking event, to a date or drinks with your friends.
traveling alone

Expert Tips for Traveling Alone

While there truly is no place like home, there are thousands of beautiful, exotic, and history-rich places on this planet that simply should not be missed. Whether you are planning a trip to a nearby state park or an expedition to the highest mountain peak, you are sure to enjoy these tips and tricks for traveling Alone.

At the point when traveling to tropical regions, dependably keep your grimy clothing in a shut pack. Inns and homes in tropical parts of the world aren’t as bug-proof as most American homes. Filthy clothing will pull in creepy crawlies, particularly ants, implying that garments that was just grimy, is presently totally unwearable for whatever remains of the trip.

When traveling, whether it’s for a day or a month, don’t advertise your absence on social media sites. If you do, this lets people know that you’re going to be away from home and that most likely your house will be empty. This significantly raises your chances of being robbed while you’re out of town.

To remain safe while traveling in a country stricken by poverty and crime, you should travel with a guide and a group of tourists. Avoid wearing jewelry and do not let anyone see how much cash you are carrying with you. Also, you should not trust anyone you do not know.

Airport food can be pricey and not all flights provide snacks while in flight. It’s handy to keep a couple of sticks of jerky, a candy bar, or maybe a pack of peanuts in your pocket or purse so that you can get that quick energy boost you need without having to pay an arm and a leg or take the time to buy food at a shop.

Traveling by plane can be an approach to enormously lessen voyaging time while expanding the time that can be spent getting a charge out of the trip. Likewise, you are allowed to engross yourself while the pilots and other staff deal with everything. You can sit back and enjoy the flight while traveling in comfort.

Wear dark sunglasses throughout your entire flight if you want to be left alone. Most people will assume that you are either trying to sleep or nursing a migraine and will behave as such. If you want politeness and courtesy, leave the glasses on. It’s an easy way to have a relaxing flight.

Talk to your bellman. The man who helps carry your bags to your room is usually one of the most informed people in the hotel. He can let you know the best and most exceedingly terrible places to eat, drink, and be happy or unwind. Tipping him can present to you an abundance of information, so don’t be miserly!

At the point when staying in an inn room, try to bolt any valuables, for example, gems or gadgets in the in-room safe. If there is no sheltered in your room, ask at the front desk and the hotel can usually put them in a safe there. If you don’t secure your valuables, the hotel is not liable if they are stolen from your room.

Jet lag is a common side effect of traveling across time zones. There is no way to completely avoid it. But, if you keep yourself hydrated, it might help, following some of plane slack’s symptoms are identified with being got dried out. If you will dodge liquor, tea, coffee and juiced refreshments and drink a considerable measure of water amid your flight, that ought to offer assistance.

At the point when going on a journey, where your room key around your neck, on a cord or comparable thing. Losing your room key on a journey boat can cost you enormously in cash as well as in lost time. Keeping your key with you wherever you go can guarantee that you, and your assets, will be sheltered.

Research coin rates before you travel so you can undoubtedly spending plan your uses. Knowing the estimation of your dollar before you travel gives you an unmistakable picture of what you can spend and make an agenda that will be helpful to savings. By doing so, you will maximize your fun and minimize overspending.

Expectations fill everyone before a trip but don’t let it all weigh you down. Make full use of the tips from the article above the next time you decide to take a trip. Give yourself some space to learn all you need to know about travel because it really pays off when you need it the most.

Happy business team applauding together

Simple 5 Step Guide to Starting a Small Business

A lot of people seem to have business ideas. However, for you to successfully run a business you will have to take the idea into action. There are many great benefits that are associated with running a business with independence and financial freedom being at the core. Yes, most of the successful business people make the process of starting a business an easy one. But it is not, you need to put in not only money but also your time to successfully start your business. The success of the business will be determined by the foundation that you will lay down.

 

1. Market research 

Before you can even actualize your business idea, you need to evaluate if the business is a profitable one. This you will do by conducting an extensive market research. You will have to determine the target audience, the location of the business and also the types of products or services that the people will require. Starting a business before researching the market will set you up for failure.

 

2. Write down your business plan 

Now that you have done your research, it is time to write down your business plan. The business plan is usually the blue print of the business. It is a document that outlines what the business is about and what you intend to achieve. In the business plan you need to define your mission, vision, objectives and the goals. You need to come up with simple strategies for achieving the goals and objectives. Here are 10 free business plan templates to get you started.

 

3. The legal entity of your business

You need to decide the type of business you want; that is, determine if you want a sole proprietorship or a partnership. It is important to note that the different business types have different requirements. If it is a partnership, you need to choose your team wisely.

 

4. Register your business 

Most of the countries require one to register the business. This is what will give your business a legal standing. Before you register the business, you will need to have a business name. You will also receive a tax identification number from the State revenue agency. After this, you will be required to obtain the relevant permits and licenses. If you have the funds and would like to avoid a lot of paperwork, we suggest using Legal Zoom. They will incorporate your company according to your state guidelines.

 

5. Determine your budget 

You will also be required to set the budget for your capital. You may obtain the capital from your savings or by obtaining a business loan.

Starting a business requires both time and money. You need to be dedicated to the business if you want to see it succeed. It is important for you to market your business well for you to gain