Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When you think about a vacation rental

Within the Vacation Rental property sector there are many market segments. Many vacation rental providers ignore them and simply treat the market as a whole. An attitude of 'here is a property, rent it'. In theory that is ok, but when everyone is doing it, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. If you are lucky enough to have an amazing property then it may speak for itself but those who are trying to rent an 'average apartment or condo' may need to try harder.

 All over the world human beings have one thing in common, their love of pets. Of course this does not apply to everyone but many, many people own at least one. They provide pleasure, security and many other rewards but most pet owners also accept the responsibility that goes with them. When they go on holiday they need to do something with their pet(s).

 For some, that might mean leaving their pet in a suitable establishment. Many exist for cats and dogs but even that does not suit everyone. Some people simply do not want to be separated from their pet and where they go 'they go'. Dog ownership in different countries varies. In Spain there are huge numbers of dog owners with small breeds. Their dogs travel with them, most travel domestically so air travel is no barrier. Refusing pets in Spain will close the door to many bookings.

 This can be good or bad news depending on the property owner. There is furniture, carpets, rugs, linen etc to think about and the idea of someones fluffy pooch leaving its hair everywhere might seem bonkers. But for others who may have furnished their property in a more practical manner there is an opportunity.
 Pet friendly properties are no different than non-pet friendly ones with respect to 'type' of property. It is more of an attitude and thought about practical considerations. Anyone's property can be pet friendly you just need to give it some thought. Basics like suitable drinking dishes for a cat or dog. Welcome packs can include a tin of cat or dog food. Cat litter tray and cat litter. Plastic bags so that owners can clear up excrement from outside areas. How about providing a dog or cat bed? Maybe include information in your 'information pack' about good walks for dogs and also contact details for the local vet as well as the local doctor. The more care you provide for the pet the more likely the same guest will return again.
 Make sure you tell people. Good vacation rental agents will have their websites and computer systems setup so that pet friendly properties are clearly identified. This is not just a 'yes or no' setting. It should include the size of pet. There is a big difference between a small dog and a big one.

 Size matters especially with dogs. You must specify in advance the size of dog you will accept and make sure that you include in your terms and conditions, relevant information relating to compensation for damages caused by a pet. Check insurance terms and conditions too. When a small terrier jumps on a sofa not a lot happens. It is slightly different when an old english sheepdog does the same.

 Length of stay is important too. If someone is going to stay for a month or even two (very common in southern Europe) then their pet can become a big issue. To put them in kennels will cost a lot of money and it is for a long time. You can charge a premium for accepting a pet so this is not a 'cost' issue.
 Community rules need checking before you take the plunge. Does the community permit pets? Some do not. This maybe a rental property but the same rules usually apply to guests as well as to the property owner.
 More savvy vacation rental agents will include pet friendly sections on their websites or even specialised mini-websites with only their pet-friendly properties. Find one covering your area and see if they have any specific requirements.

 Don't forget pets are not just cats and dogs. Occasionally parrots, hamsters, snakes and reptiles will travel with the family on holiday. For some a pet is just like a child and they will move heaven and earth for them.
 So if you want to stand out from the crowd consider pets and make your property 'pet friendly'. You may find it already is and you just need to tell people.