Homeowner Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the most frequently asked questions of homeowners seeking vacation home management services from Utah's Best Vacation Rentals. A clear understanding of what we can offer helps ensure your goals as a homeowner are in-line with what our company can deliver. We hope these answers will help guide you in your decision to choose the right manager for your vacation home, and deliver you more occupancy and higher income for your property. To list your home with Utah's Best, call (877) 386-7290 or submit your home's details using our property listing application form.
1. How many properties in the same area will you manage?
Utah's Best Vacation Rentals (UBVR) is committed to maximizing reservations for all our homeowners. As a result, we do not want to saturate our inventory in one regional area. We do not have a set number of properties that we’ll manage in one area. We will not bring on more properties at the sacrifice of reservations of other properties in the same area. Offering multiple homes in one geographical area is an advantage because when one home is not available, other homes are and they receive the overflow reservations. This "piggy-back" strategy is one of the reasons owners really like UBVR. It helps fill homes that otherwise might go empty.
2. How much staff do you have to manage all your properties?
UBVR values all our owners and guests and has deliberately structured our company to ensure that needs are taken care of. For every ten to fifteen homes we manage, we'll typically have one to two staff members. This allows us to maximize reservations and properly take care of your property.
3. How do you support guests and owners during their stays?
Our office is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday to serve the needs of our owners and guests. After hours after 5:00 pm and before 8:00 am, as well as on weekends/holidays, we have an after-hours emergency line that routes to the cell phone of staff members who are scheduled to be on call, to respond to guest and owner emergencies. In addition, we offer on-call reservation agents, a guest services manager, and staff who are available for special requests, concerns, and to help coordinate with responsible departments ensuring guest satisfaction and management of the property. It's also a great benefit to the guest, and competitive advantage, to provide staff who are familiar with the area and can make recommendations and provide local information.
4. How do you find your guests?
More than 55% of our overall business comes from loyal repeat guests who love staying with UBVR and return each year. Most of our marketing is done online through a vast marketing network and other major lodging and travel websites reaching a worldwide market. We differ from other Vacation Rental Management Companies (aka VRMs) in that our marketing reach goes far beyond the basic third party listing sites, of which there are numerous. We also work with travel agents, housing locators, and wholesalers to subsidize our marketing, which gives more opportunities for exposure, and ultimately higher year round occupancy during off seasons. We also market through various associations where we are members including: Ski Utah, Utah.com, Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vacation Rental Managers Association, and Utah Hotel and Lodging Association, and many more.
5. Can I advertise my property on my own while my home is listed with UBVR?
No. When listing your property with UBVR, we assume all marketing and promotional responsibilities. Your property is advertised and promoted to travelers worldwide within our vast marketing network. This eliminates confusion and standardizes the rates, photos, and centralizes the reservations process.
6. What precautions are taken to ensure my property is not damaged?
Utah's Best Vacation Rentals appreciates the investment you have made in your property and have policies and procedures to minimize damage:
A UBVR representative speaks with every guest prior to confirming any reservation, including those guests who book online. This personal contact allows us to know the group and their needs before they arrive. It also allows us to describe our policy on parties and large functions.
We require at least a 2 night minimum on all reservations, unless we receive permission from home owners for a specific reservation, to minimize the risk of parties and events occurring in the property.
Our rental agreement, which we require every guest to sign before confirming a reservation, and to disclose all guests in their party, states that properties cannot be used for hosting weddings, parties or other large gatherings, and that smoking on the premises and pets are not allowed. We enforce this policy by evicting guests who host parties or other large functions, and charge guests a minimum of $500 for smoking inside the property or for bringing an unauthorized pet.
We take even further measures to guard against guest negligence. Guest is required to sign a house rules and fine addendum to the rental agreement for violations to the house rules. This addendum lists all violations and relative fine amounts for things such as exceeding the home's listed occupancy, not securing the home at departure, unauthorized street parking, failure to put trash out, and more. This policy further protects UBVR and property owner against guest negligence.
Occasionally there are guests who cause damage to the property. We offer our guests an accidental damage insurance, which covers accidental damage to the property. This insurance is added to each reservation and protects guest up to $3,000 in accidental damage that may occur during their stay. Payment of damage claims are timely and have proven to be a great help.
We have made inspections a priority. Before a guest arrives and after the cleaning crew has finished cleaning, an “arrival inspection” is completed by our in-house inspectors. This allows us to ensure quality housekeeping, as well as making sure the home is ready for the guest, and to assess the condition of the home. Upon departure the cleaning crew arrives to complete a final inspection which is then compared to the arrival inspection. This often allows our inspectors to be in a property twice a day. By doing an arrival and departure inspection we can charge the guest for any damage beyond reasonable wear and tear. Whenever a property is vacant more than one week we do an inspection to ensure everything is in order.
Randomly, we conduct site visits to ensure the guest is not hosting parties.
We do not provide keys to guests. Each property is equipped with electronic key pads for guests to gain access to the property on day of arrival. These key pads are remotely accessed from our reservations office. A unique code is generated for each new reservation. We track every person who enters and exits the property through our system. Each guest receives their designated code 3 days before arrival through our automated email system.
7. What does it cost me to list my property with your company?
Depending on which market your vacation home is located management fees vary, but generally speaking, to list your property with UBVR for our full management services, including all marketing, 24/7 reservations sales, maintenance, housekeeping, revenue management, and accounting/reporting, there is a one-time setup fee of $2,000 based on the size of your property. This fee can be deducted from owner commissions over time. This fee covers the cost of the automatic keypad lockset hardware and installation, stocking and maintaining the home with linens, and the marketing setup including a listing on UBVR's websites and various other websites within our worldwide marketing network. Our commission ranges from 30-40% per reservation depending on which market and If home is delivered to UBVR furnished and equipped; or 50% if our in-house UBVR home design team furnishes and outfits the property using our inventory of furniture and fixtures. Other costs vary based on individual property needs and include:
- Required deep cleans - one per quarter (4 per year)
- Window cleaning - one in spring, one in fall (2 per year)
- Annual supplies (e.g. filters, batteries)
- Carpet cleanings - 2 per year
- Yard care & snow removal
- Hot tub install and maintenance
8. What am I responsible for providing in my property?
You are responsible for furnishing and providing necessary items to market the property as a vacation home. This includes providing linens, towels, bedding, kitchen items, and other required items in the home. UBVR will manage and maintain inventory supplied in the home and replace them as needed and deduct the cost from your monthly commission check.
9. What is the cost for service calls?
UBVR charges a fee for service calls requiring maintenance. Because our maintenance staff is in-house, most repairs can be made without outsourcing, saving the owner money by avoiding paying full retail price. To maintain our standards, we reserve the right to replace or fix any non-emergency problem without an owner’s approval if the cost is less than $200. If it is an emergency (i.e. broken pipe at 3:00 am) we will respond immediately to the problem.
10. How many booked nights can I expect each year?
The amount of nights you can expect is dependent on several factors including; economy, location, rates, sleeping capacity, frequency of owner use, weather (good or bad snowfall), quality of furnishings/fixtures, and amenities offered such as hot tub, pool, theater, game tables, flatscreen TVs, internet, and air conditioning. What sets UBVR apart from other companies is the amount of occupancy we generate on a year round basis for our owners. The more beds and unique amenities an owner equips the home with will boost total booked nights, and increase rental income. Summer months can be more occupied than winter months. As a general example, in 2015, we averaged 155 nights per property, with our highest 236 nights. For a more accurate vacation rental financial analysis on your property, contact our acquisitions department (877) 386-7290. One reason you own your property is so you can stay there, but in order to maximize rental income, we have some restrictions during our peak seasons. Consult with our acquisitions department for details.
11. Who stays with Utah's Best Vacation Rentals?
More than 55% of our business is loyal repeat guests, which is one BIG reason owners choose UBVR. Most of our guests are families, ski groups, convention attendees, and business travelers. 87% of our guests generally vacation with family and 59% take at least one ski vacation a year. Not only do we pride ourselves for personally knowing the homes we manage, but we know who stays in them. Every reservation contract requires guest to fill out a guest list with names, ages, and relationship to guest of each person in their party. In addition, we document the reason for their stay and work hard to cater our marketing to organizations attracting high quality people. This information allows us to better serve our guests to gain repeat guests and grow our year round occupancy.
12. When do I get paid and how do you do the accounting?
Owners are paid each month on the 10th. Commissions due are calculated based on the previous month's nightly reservations. You will be setup with an owner account that you can login to on our website. Here you can remotely access your statements, make reservations, and keep track of your statements and other financials.
13. What makes UBVR different than any other vacation home management companies?
- We put more “heads in beds” year round = more income to you
- World-wide marketing exposure unmatched by competitors (Google SEO organic search rankings 1st page under hundreds of keywords, presence on major travel sites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Kayak, Priceline, Hotels.com, Villas.com, etc.)
- Higher occupancy and nightly rates
- 24/7 coverage on maintenance emergencies, online reservations
- Better innovative website and mobile technology
- Better management software
- Innovative remotely-accessed home locking system for more control on arrivals/departures
- Quality control home inspectors to ensure utmost quality and guest satisfaction
- Two dedicated offices in Salt Lake and St. George
- Paradise Village at Zion awarded “Best of State” April 2016 (this resort community UBVR was apart of the founding group - it has become the most successful, fastest growing vacation home development in Utah)
- Expert vacation home real estate team can help in the entire process from selecting a location to getting specialized financing with our in-house mortgage financing.