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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

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.

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