Make Sure To Find The Right Property
If it is going to be your piece of paradise, then it should both meet your needs and also be a renter friendly floor plan in a popular location. Your rental guests will usually be enjoying your property the same way that you will be – as a place to get away where the sun, sand and water are at or near your doorstep.
Review The Rental History
You are looking for a property with a good rental history, or a unit with great rental potential in a complex with a good rental history. If other units in a complex have a strong rental history, and yet a particular unit does not, don’t be alarmed. There may be reasons, for example:
The owner may have blocked the property for personal use more than average. Ask for a monthly history and see how many weeks were blocked or restricted by the owners’ use. In the summer months, blocking even a few days in a week can interrupt an entire week’s rental. In the winter months a few days can interrupt a full month or multi-month “Winter Texan” rental.
The property may be in need of remodeling or updating. A property that is updated and well maintained will be requested by repeat guests and will be the first to be selected. A tired property will be picked last.
The property may have been mismanaged. If a unit does not have the same bookings as others in the same complex, and you cannot find any other apparent reason, then the unit may be mismanaged.
Decide If You Will Manage Your Property Yourself
If you are willing and able to commit the time, you can successfully manage your property yourself using the sales power of the internet, local housekeeping services and either a lock box or key service. The advantage is that you may increase your profitability by saving the management fee that a rental agency or management company will charge. With a well developed property page on one or more of the national websites such as Vacation Rentals by Owner (www.vrbo.com), or your own complete website, you can manage reservations.
Select a rental agency or management company such as Padre Getaways. Unless you decide to manage your property yourself, your rental agency or rental property management company will be instrumental in the success of your property as a solid investment.
Ask about management fees and what owner services are included. Rental agencies on South Padre Island typically charge a fee of 23-30% of gross rentals to manage a condominium unit. Your rental agency will typically manage routine repairs and will obtain your approval for repairs that exceed an agreed upon amount. They will be responsible for securing reservations, collecting rents and disbursing net rents to you (net of management fee, hotel tax, credit card fees, and routine maintenance).
Review their website and ask to see the promotional materials that they provide. Test the access to their website by doing some general searches for vacation property on South Padre Island. Ask to see their check-in package for your particular complex or for another individual property.
If possible visit their office as a guest by phone or in person – see how they treat their customers. Ask about guest services – Where do guests check in? How do guests get maid service, towels, etc? What amenities are provided? What on-site guest services are offered?
Ask what they do to secure repeat business. The best rentals are repeat customers – they will request your property for return visits to the island and are more likely to care for it as if it were their own.
Let Us Help
We will be happy to assist you with any or all of these steps from finding the right property, to staging, updating and making it “rental ready”, to helping you select a rental manager or listing it on-line for self-management.