Dahlonega fall/winter vacation itinerary to make great…
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1298 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-09-29 12:38:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-29 16:38:38 [post_content] =>
There are a lot of great small towns in America, but we believe there is none quite like Dahlonega!
Whether you are visiting for work, vacation, or maybe you have children at the University of North Georgia (UNG), we are happy you are interested in staying with us.
To make your stay more enjoyable, we have put together this itinerary of things our team finds both fun and unique to our town. Get ready to explore Dahlonega!
- Gold Rush Days Festival
- Gibbs Garden - Autumn Festival of Color
- Hiking waterfalls and more!
- Fantastic Vineyards
- Achasta Golf Course
- Disc Golf at Yahoola Creek
- Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega
Gold Rush Days Festival
Gold Rush Days is a Festival with all the making of a good fall festival with a weekend of fun for all ages. This festival features many events such as:
- Hot Dog Eating Contest
- Music on the Square
- Booths with vendors of all kinds
- Gold panning contest
- and so much more!
This annual festival gets over 200,000 visitors; who come to experience a "Gold Rush" in Dahlonega.
"Gold Rush is, at its heart, a celebration of Dahlonega during its gold-frenzied heyday. It’s a chance for the everyman to replicate the spirit of thousands of hopeful prospectors, intrepid souls who risked everything for a chance at finding their fortune – their golden ticket (if you’ll pardon the pun) to the good life for themselves and their families."Josh W
Here you can see what Gold Rush Days Festivals looked like back in the day.
And if you are wondering what really God Rush Days Festival is all about click the button below to learn more.
Gibbs Garden - Autumn Festival of Color
Swing by Gibbs Garden this fall for the Autumn Festival of Color. This is a festival of colors to focus on Fall. Which features Gibbs Garden's Japanese Garden. Gibbs is home to over 3000 Japanese Maples to give you an idea of the amount of beautiful orange and red colors you will see at the Autumn Festival of Color.
Featured Fall Garden
Gibbs has The Japanese Hill and Pond Stroll garden, which is named “Tsukiyama,” which is over 40 acres and is the largest Japanese Garden in the nation. With this amount of Japanese Maples, you will be fully immersed in fall as your walk through the garden.
For more information on Gibbs Garden click the button below.
Hiking: Appalachian Trail, Waterfalls, Vistas, and More!
Get out and enjoy the natural beauty that is all around you here in Dahlonega. Here are the 4 closest waterfalls to downtown Dahlonega. There is hiking ranging from great mountain views on the Appalachian Trail to gorgeous waterfalls just outside of town. Dahlonega has all the options for a great hiking experience.
Dahlonega is close to a good bit of North Georiga's well-known waterfalls. Some of these are easy, kid-friendly hikes. Others that you almost drive up to, such as Dicks Creek falls. Whatever your hiking level, Dahlonega can be your base camp. Here are a few of our favorites:
Cane Creek Falls
Cane Creek Falls is just outside of town. It is an easy walk with a nice trail. This is a kid-friendly hike so bring the whole family without worry. Free admission.
Amicalola Falls is in Amicalola State park. It is about 18-miles from the town square but is well worth the visit. There is a State Park Admission.
Dicks Creek Falls
Dicks Creek Falls is North of Dahlonega 15-miles you will find a beautiful waterfall that you can drive to. Admission is free. This stream is stocked with trout (license required).
Get a local guide to all nearby waterfalls for your visit when you stay here in Dahlonega this Fall.
Ranging from North GA all the way to Maine, the Appalachian Trail is home to many of the East Coast's best overlooks. Two of our favorites are Preachers Rock and Blood Mountain.
Just north of town, you will find this local favorite Dahlonega hiking spot. It is a Mid-Easy hike, mostly flat and some short rocky uphill sections. Make sure to bring water and the overlook is a great spot for a snack. It is always a little cooler on top of a mountain.
How to Get There
Easy access to the trail can be found at Woody Gap. Then it is a 2-mile out and back hike. Click the button below for GPS directions.
For braver hikers, there is Blood Mountain overlook. This is a Mid-Hard hike for new hikers; it's almost all uphill! Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack if you plan to make the hike. And you might want a jacket or flannel to keep warm depending on the weather.
How to Get There
At 21.5 miles north of Dahlonega you will find the trailhead to Blood Mountain. With easy access at Byron Reece trailhead parking. Click the button below for GPS directions to Byron Reece Trailhead.
Award Winning Vineyards
Dahlonega is also known for its vineyards. Spend a day at one of our well-known and loved vineyards this fall. Whether you are in the mood for an easy trip to close by Accent Cellars, or a full tasting tour, you won't forget your trip to Dahlonega's wineries. Click here for a full list of wineries and vineyards.
For an all-inclusive experience, try a wine tour. Dahlonega Wine Tours can come to you and deliver a day full of wine tasting and fine dining for your party.
Wine Tour Local Transportation
You can find local transportation options for wine tours here.
Achasta Golf Course
Visit Achasta's Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course just minutes from Dahlonega. Hit the timing just right and you will have the beautiful fall colors on the course.
Achasta has been selected to host:
- PGA Tour’s AT&T Classic Qualifier
- Bell South Classic Open Qualifier
- Georgia State Amateur Qualifier
- US Open Qualifier
- Georgia State Mid-Am Qualifier
Yahoola Creek Park Disc Golf Course
Head over to Yahoola Creek Park where you will find an 18-hole course. Oh, and did we mention that it is FREE, that's right all you need is some discs and you have a lovely 2hrs of throwing and walking around the park with your family.
Other amenities, include a splash pad, baseball fields, and running/walking track.
Yahoola Creek Park is beautiful and well-maintained. It has Yahoola Creek running right through it. In the summer, you will find kids swimming, jumping off of the banks and laughing while cooling off in the river. There even a walking trail that leads to a pavilion on top of one of the hills in the park.
How to Get There
Yahoola Creek Park is a short 1.5-mile drive east of Dahlonega town square.
Old-Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega
If you love all things Christmas, then you won't want to miss this special season in Dahlonega. The whole town is enrobed in the spirit of Christmas with lights on all the trees and a 30 foot tall Christmas tree. Be sure to get a family photo with Santa right on the Dahlonega square.
Lighting of The Square
Held on the Friday after Thanksgiving, enjoy a Christmas parade and the experience of seeing the whole town twinkle!
"If you’re looking for the charm of a historic North Georgia mountain town, plus a genuine and authentic celebration of the holidays – there’s nothing like Christmas in Dahlonega."David Z[post_title] => Dahlonega fall/winter vacation itinerary to make great memories with family and friends! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dahlonega-fall-winter-vacation-itinerary-to-make-great-memories-with-family-and-friends [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://gibbsgardens.com/garden-photos/autumn-color/ [post_modified] => 2022-09-29 12:42:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-29 16:42:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://northgavacationrentals.net/?p=1298 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Embrace the Christmas Season
Stop by the coffee or chocolate shops for a mocha or hot chocolate to keep warm as you ride in a horse-drawn carriage underneath the canopy of Christmas lights. And just maybe with a little Christmas magic, you will get some snowfall on your visit to complete the winter wonderland town that Dahlonega turns into each Christmas.
There are a lot of great small towns in America, but we believe there is none quite like Dahlonega! Whether you are visiting for work, vacation, or maybe you have children at the Read More
Insuring Your Short-Term Rental During Your Vacation
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1546 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-09-28 18:28:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-28 22:28:10 [post_content] =>
Let's say your child decides to color off the page a little...or a lot.
The dog chews on that furniture when you leave him alone too long.
We know that life happens more often than we like to admit.
Damage insurance is very affordable and can ensure surprises are covered.
What kind of protection do you need for a short-term rental?
Many platforms, including Airbnb, wish the best for their guests, and definitely want to come across as traveler friendly. But at the end of the day, guests traveling through any website are liable for damage to the property during their stay.
The platform that you book through will not cover property damage. “Accidents are rare,” Airbnb says, yet we know that life happens more often than we like to admit.
Damage insurance for your stay means you can truly relax. We want to make this easy for you, the guest. We provide options for vacation insurance through trusted sources, including Property Damage Insurance.
Property Damage Insurance plans are a win-win.
As a property management company, we have an obligation to our owners to protect their investment, but as hosts, we want to be as forgiving and easygoing as possible with guests.
Prevent Unexpected Additional Charges Through Airbnb
Airbnb will charge your card on file if you are responsible for damage, whether or not you are willing to pay the requested amount from your host.
Insurance is the last line of defense between having to pay out for an expensive accident, not to mention the hassle and stress of going through a settlement with your host. An affordable damage protection plan is the best step for ensuring the relaxed mindset you went on vacation for in the first place.
Protect yourself today with one of our insurance plans.
Vacation Rental Damage Protection
You decided on a rental property so you could feel at home while on vacation. Don't let the fear of losing your security deposit keep you from enjoying your time.
Guest Protect Travel Insurance
Sudden illness, medical emergency, natural disaster, adverse weather, or delayed flights can quickly derail a trip, and sometimes at the least convenient moment.[post_title] => Insuring Your Short-Term Rental During Your Vacation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => insuring-your-short-term-rental-during-your-vacation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-28 18:28:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-28 22:28:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://northgavacationrentals.net/?p=1546 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Get the peace of mind you deserve by purchasing Guest Protect travel insurance from Generali Global Assistance.
Let's say your child decides to color off the page a little...or a lot. The dog chews on that furniture when you leave him alone too long. We know that life happens more often than…Read More
Why “Sign Language” Matters
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 521 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-22 10:28:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-22 15:28:33 [post_content] =>
One of the toughest challenges in managing rentals is posting rules and warnings without making the space feel too restrictive or too commercial.
You want people to feel unrestricted while on vacation, not like they’re in school or under the thumb of their corporate job and following rules.
From a management perspective, we’re trying to limit stupidity to keep guests safe and owners happy. It’s difficult (actually impossible) to prevent some people from doing absurd things. Usually they’re not damaging, just strange, like rearranging furniture and kitchen supplies.
We set up a guest book specific to each unit, providing specific policies and information about that property. Our guest books on a large unit average 3 pages long, and already I fear the length of it is why many people seemingly don’t read it.
So how do you post rules, information, and warnings where people will actually read it?
The first rule of thumb is to post the rules as close as possible to the violation. If you’re going to label the remotes, do so on the front of the remote. If you’re going to post what not to flush down the toilet, do so right next to the toilet, not in the guest book. This keeps the guest book shorter and more likely to be read and ensures that all the guests see the warning. Often only one or two of the adults will read the guest book, and will not communicate its contents to the other guests of the house, so you must post rules where applicable.
The next rule of thumb is to make it as short as possible. If you have 36 hot tub rules, they might read three, possibly none. Put the most important highest in the list, if there is a list. If it isn’t critical, or if you haven’t had multiple violations, don’t even bother saying it because you’ll just water down the content that needs to get across.
Also, use humor as often as possible, so as not to feel controlling. As an example, this is our list of rules that we have posted in the living room of one of our rentals, trying to make light of some minor issues we’ve had with guests.
Things we shouldn’t need to say, but need to say (because people have done all these things):
- If you yell at each other and play loud music at night, the neighbors will complain (People like to sleep at night).
- Do not burn trash in the propane fireplace (It’s not real wood, and there is no chimney).
- Do not go across the creek to the neighbor’s property and pet their horse. (She is pretty, but bites strangers).
- Do not throw beer bottles and Solo cups in the woods (The deer are underage and don’t drink responsibly).
- Do not golf in the field, and especially don’t hit golf balls across onto the neighbor’s property (There is a golf course in Dahlonega).
- If you move furniture, put it back (You may have a better arrangement in mind, but my interior designer will be offended).
- The AC will not work when it is below freezing out (If you are really hot when it is freezing out, turn down the heat or crack a window and get that fresh mountain air).
- If you break something or find it broken, please report it (It will not fix itself after you check out).
Thanks and enjoy your stay!
Tongue-in-cheek sounds friendly and is the only effective way we’ve come up with to get information across without feeling rude or bossy.
Most people understand that you have to have these rules, and that you’re trying to keep people happy and safe (pretty much the job description).
It also goes a long way having your signs professionally made—it takes you up a notch in professionalism in the eyes of your guests.
Professional signs don’t cost an arm and a leg! We have a local print shop with surprisingly low costs and minimum quantities. If you really can’t afford professional signs, print something that looks nice on cardstock paper and add your logo or a background photo of your property. Whatever you do, don’t handwrite anything, like you're the disgruntled employee of a sketchy gas station who doesn’t get paid enough to care.
The last, but not least thing to keep in mind is that people will still miss signs and rules.
Most people will read them if done properly, but some people just refuse to read anything. They will text and ask what the Wi-Fi password is before ever looking at the guest book on the counter or the information sheet on the fridge. These situations are where your patience and customer service will shine through when you patiently tell a guest information that is readily available to them, and then they later realize how needy they were and give you a five-star rating on customer service.
Great customer service is what gets you rave reviews and will cover most small errors or guest inconveniences that inevitably occur.[post_title] => Why "Sign Language" Matters [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-sign-language-matters [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-22 15:31:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-22 19:31:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=521 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
One of the toughest challenges in managing rentals is posting rules and warnings without making the space feel too restrictive or too commercial. You want people to feel unrestricted while on vacation, not like they’re…Read More
How Do I Determine the Cancellation Policy?
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 519 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-22 10:28:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-22 15:28:18 [post_content] =>
Cancellation policies are important in protecting your cash flow.
There is no better example than what happened with COVID-19, a catastrophe that put many short-term rental owners out of business. You have to protect yourself and your business first, or you won't be in business.
Cancellation policies should be specific to the unit.
For high-demand locations that book fairly last minute, you can get replacement bookings if you have a cancellation—but then again, if you can get bookings that easily, your cancellation policy doesn't need to be that flexible unless you're charging an extra fee for it (as Airbnb has an option for now).
Be Firm and Strict
In general, we believe you should be firm and strict in your cancellations. It's like going into marriage with a prenuptial agreement: if you're thinking about canceling the contract, you shouldn't sign the contract.
We understand that times are especially tricky with COVID, but people who want the option to cancel are far more likely to cancel than people who have made firm plans and will be traveling come hell or high water. We also encourage people to buy travel insurance if they think they might cancel, which protects both the owner and the traveler. (We've partnered with Generali Global Assistance to offer reasonably-priced travel insurance.)
You should always treat people fairly, however, and don't try to get out of a refund that the traveler is legitimately entitled to. Look for a compromise for guests who have a true emergency and are willing to move their dates, as long as you are confident you can fill their dates at a good price.
If you do guests a favor, sometimes they'll leave you a glowing review, and it will be worth the extra mile.
Also, beware of guests who just want to move their dates far enough out where they're back within the free cancellation period (oldest trick in the book). If you agree to a date change, all monies paid to date for the new dates should be non-refundable.
To summarize, if you've created the demand necessary for filling your calendar even with a strict cancellation policy, you should take advantage of the success that you have built and not feel pressured into giving last-minute refunds.[post_title] => How Do I Determine the Cancellation Policy? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-do-i-determine-the-cancellation-policy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-22 22:23:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-23 03:23:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=519 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Cancellation policies are important in protecting your cash flow. There is no better example than what happened with COVID-19, a catastrophe that put many short-term rental owners out of business. You have to protect yourself…Read More
How Do I Determine the Price?
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 517 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-22 10:27:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-22 15:27:49 [post_content] =>
Price setting is one of the most difficult aspects of this industry.
Shoot too high, and you'll hear crickets and miss the volume you need to make a good return; shoot too low, and you'll end up with lower-quality guests and miss out on the higher prices you need to make a good return.
Your best bet is to set your pricing at the mid-to-upper level of your realistic peer group (i.e. at the 70th percentile of 3 bedroom cabins with similar amenities).
Occupancy is dependent on price, but isn't at war with price. You don't need to rent your unit for next to nothing to get a high occupancy rate for your market. (You should be looking at a similar size and type of unit within your market to get a target for occupancy rate.)
The most critical piece of information you need to know is when to adjust your rates, which is very dependent on the time of year and type of unit you have. Guests usually book our cabins between 17 to 31 days out from their stay, depending on cabin size, so we adjust our prices and minimum stays specifically to our units.
Minimum stays are also complicated, but they are underestimated in this industry. Our goal is always to secure the travelers who are looking for longer stays first, and then drop our minimum stay for orphan days (sets of days that are lower than your standard minimum stay) and last-minute bookings.
Fortunately, most people who take longer vacations plan further in advance, so we recommend sticking to your guns, whether that be a minimum of two nights or seven nights (in North Georgia, usually a 3 or 4 night minimum), until you're within the 60-90 day window.
At that point, you need to reassess and start looking at minimum stay reductions and/or price reductions. A good property manager will adjust their rates at least once a week unless they have their rates set up with a dynamic pricing software that adjusts daily (which we recommend).
These are the CliffsNotes of minimum stays and pricing, though it's far more complicated than we could do justice to here. Please give us a call (706-973-2900) or shoot us an email if you have any other questions about pricing recommendations.[post_title] => How Do I Determine the Price? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-do-i-determine-the-price [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-22 22:03:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-23 03:03:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=517 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Price setting is one of the most difficult aspects of this industry. Shoot too high, and you'll hear crickets and miss the volume you need to make a good return; shoot too low, and you'll…Read More
What Platforms Should I Advertise On?
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 514 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-22 10:27:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-22 15:27:21 [post_content] =>
At North Georgia Vacation Rentals, we currently list on Airbnb, VRBO and its network, Booking.com, Georgia Rentals By Owner, and of course, our own website: northgavationrentals.net. If you let us manage your property, however, you won't even have to ask this question.
Airbnb is the market leader, especially in small units. The gross volume of most vacation rentals comes from Airbnb, and some owners only list on Airbnb, though we definitely wouldn't recommend that. Airbnb is free to list on (no listing fee for the owner), and there are no fees for the owner at all except the 3% credit card transaction fee. (This is painful, but there's not much you can do about it.)
Besides doing great volume, Airbnb does take care of its host regarding damage protection. If a guest breaks something in the house or the house itself, Airbnb will cover pretty much anything, no questions asked, if the guests refuse to pay. They won't pay for any damage to the property outside the house and its contents (e.g. driveway repair, ruts in the lawn, etc.), however. They also provide some protection to owners in liability, and will step in if a guest makes a claim.
There are some downsides to Airbnb. Their customer service is pretty poor. It's very difficult to get somebody who knows what they're doing, communicates well, and has the authority to do something about your issue. Usually you just get a low-level employee who makes a case and sends it to the appropriate team, and it can take days or even weeks sometimes to get an answer or help with anything.
They also lack some simple functions like collecting pet fees, requiring people to sign a vacation rental agreement, labeling financial transactions based on the listing, and some other things that should be commonplace in such a major company.
VRBO and its affiliated sites are a subscription service, with a current price of $499 per year (or 8% of the booking amount, but that is quite hefty if you are doing any volume at all). They have a great market share as well, especially in nicer and larger vacation homes.
On average, the guests that book through VRBO are a bit better quality as well, as regards taking care of the property and not partying. Their customer service is also considerably better than Airbnb, and they offer some really good owner support concerning data analytics and market reports.
The only downside to VRBO in our opinion is a few functional things such as not allowing guests to select a specific quantity of pets and not having enough options for certain aspects of listings, like a cancellation policy of the proper strictness.
Booking.com is another major player but doesn't seem to do as much volume in North Georgia, and we haven't had quite enough success with our listings.
There is no listing fee, which is nice, but they charge the owner a 15% commission yet no booking fee to their guests. To offset the 15% decrease, we just mark our rates up 15% on Booking.com so we can charge all our guests about the same price on all platforms.
Their website is not user-friendly at all on the owner side, as Booking.com is really set up for hotels, not whole-house vacation rentals. Also, their listings are very limited as far as what information you can input for your listing description and for advertising your amenities and rules, but they're still worth listing on as they're another free platform.
There are some other small players in the Georgia market, like Georgia Rentals By Owner, which simply puts guests in touch with owners/managers. They're usually pretty cheap to list on (a flat fee of about $99 per year) and there are no commissions or other charges as the traveler can book directly through your own website.
Owners should also see what's available on local platforms, such as their chamber of commerce website. Fortunately, here in Dahlonega we have an awesome website (Dahlonega.org) with high traffic and great visibility that sends people directly to our website.[post_title] => What Platforms Should I Advertise On? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-platforms-should-i-advertise-on [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-22 21:53:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-23 02:53:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=514 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
At North Georgia Vacation Rentals, we currently list on Airbnb, VRBO and its network, Booking.com, Georgia Rentals By Owner, and of course, our own website: northgavationrentals.net. If you let us manage your…Read More
Damage Protection – Why It Matters
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 512 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-22 10:27:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-22 15:27:05 [post_content] =>
Securing damage protection for your owners can sometimes be a hassle for managers, but it's worth it to avoid the difficulties that arise if you don't have damage protection. Unfortunately, not all companies offer damage protection. Airbnb protects owners for physical damage to their properties, but other platforms don't offer any coverage. It's up to the manager to see that their owners' properties are protected.
What's wrong with damage deposits?
Most property managers require a refundable damage deposit in the form of a hold on the guest's credit card. This is a good system, but not perfect.
- First, it increases the amount of money that guests are required to have on their credit card. Not all guests will have enough, especially if the refundable damage deposit is a large amount
- Second, it makes guests uncomfortable. They don't know if the owner or property manager is going to take advantage of them and make a claim for something they didn't do. Guests feel that their money is at risk, so they may decide to book someone else's rental if a hold is required.
Another issue may arise if a manager has to make a claim on the money that the guest puts up: the risk of guests becoming frustrated and giving the property a bad review. This is a stressful and difficult call for the manager, trying to make a small claim for damage versus getting a bad review.
These issues are why we've partnered with Generali Global Assistance to offer Vacation Rental Damage Protection plans as an alternative to large refundable damage deposits. Through Generali Global Assistance we can get guests an insurance policy for $35, which provides them up to $1,500 of coverage. It is a zero-deductible policy, so if damage occurs, it doesn't cost guests anything and doesn't put the owner at risk of an upset guest ready to leave a bad review.[post_title] => Damage Protection - Why It Matters [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => damage-protection-why-it-matters [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-16 23:15:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-17 03:15:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=512 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Securing damage protection for your owners can sometimes be a hassle for managers, but it's worth it to avoid the difficulties that arise if you don't have damage protection. Unfortunately, not all companies offer damage…Read More
Furnishing and Decorating for the Eye and…
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 510 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-22 10:26:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-22 15:26:44 [post_content] =>
It's often been said "what catches the eye catches the dollar." This simple truth is why it's important to make your listing stand out in the sea of other short term rentals. Six out of ten viewers on Airbnb scan through photos first—that's before reading your reviews or your listing description. If you can't catch their attention, they'll move on to something that does.
And yet, we know that a lot of decor looks nice but is just not practical in a rental space. I often see antiques and decor I would love to put in a cabin, but I know that a child will break it within a week. Replacement costs are the unseen and often unpredictable downside of a vacation rental business, but with some research and planning, your household goods, furniture, and
decor can last a long time. This is hardly the place to go into detail about every category, much less every item in a house, but here are some principles and examples to keep in mind.
Also, 65%-70% of bookings (in our market) are by females. Keep this in mind when choosing decor and when thinking about how to market your property.
Appeal to Broad Audiences
Lots of people like the decor of deer heads and trout trophies on the wall. A lot of people don't. You can have personality, but tone down anything that would bother some guests or downgrade your property in their mind. If you have a hunting cabin, decorate it as a hunting cabin, but if you don't, look for universal appeal. Not everyone is a Star Wars fan, not everyone likes your Russian doll collection. It's okay to have a little more bold decor choices in bedrooms or game rooms, but it usually has more downside than upside in common areas.
Wall decor especially doesn't have to be expensive. As it's not heavily handled, it doesn't have to be durable, but it does need to be cleanable. It's easy to decorate a house on the cheap in the
secondhand market, and as wall prints and decor don't wear out easily, guests can't tell if it's new or used anyway. Save your money for those big ticket items that you need to sell your property.
Keep It Appropriate
Remember, you're decorating for all ages. There are lots of signs that are funny, but have inappropriate humor. What you may find funny may offend your guest.
No Clutter or Breakable Knickknacks
It's great for your house to have some personality, but it's easy to overdo it. There is beauty in simplicity, and your cleaners will also appreciate not having shelves full of decor to dust around.
Use Decor That's Interactive
If you can come up with decor that's a conversation piece, good to fiddle with, or interactive, it's a win-win. Some examples of these are Jenga, hourglasses, balancing toys, abacuses, magnetic stones, or balancing blocks.
Glass, tile, plastics, and leather are great materials that clean easily. Leather or faux leather couches will generally hold their look for some time to come. Be cautious with fabrics like microfiber, as well as real wood and wicker. Stay away from any particle board that is exposed and could swell or break apart when exposed to water. Even condensation from a glass of ice water can wreak havoc.
Check the connections
Many IKEA-style beds that have threaded bolts with Allen keys don't last long term. They wiggle back and forth and can only be tightened so many times before they strip out. Slotted bed rails are a better bet, and squeak less. Guests will complain about squeaky beds. If you do go with a metal bed frame from a major retailer, make sure you reinforce it with wood supports in the center, especially if it's a queen or king size. We've had multiple beds break due to poor design or insufficient braces put on larger beds. We now build our own platform beds and order commercial, military-grade bunk beds for kid's rooms.
Those real wood rocking chairs look great, but put them in the sun and rain, and you have a product that looks good for one year and lasts maybe three. On a covered porch you can get away with real wood, but out in the elements, look to man-made materials (besides wicker).
However you choose to decorate and furnish, make sure you're doing your research and playing the long game.[post_title] => Furnishing and Decorating for the Eye and the Wallet [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => furnishing-and-decorating-for-the-eye-and-the-wallet [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-22 21:42:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-23 02:42:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=510 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
It's often been said "what catches the eye catches the dollar." This simple truth is why it's important to make your listing stand out in the sea of other short term rentals. Six out of…Read More
An Argument for Large Cabins: The Win-Win-Win
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When thinking about what size cabin to invest in, there are many factors to consider. Some investors are limited on price and have to stay in the smaller range, but others don't care about the size or the number of cabins, they're just looking for the highest return.
On average, we believe that large units are the way to go for the owner, guest, and manager. Don't get us wrong, small units can be profitable too, but here we want to show you the benefits of a larger unit.
Large cabins are great for big families who want to stay together on their trip. Let's say you have a party of 14, and let's assume that they are adults and renting seven small cabins is an option (though very hard to find). Would you rather pay $150 a night for one-bedroom cabins that can sleep two, or $800 a night for a seven-bedroom that can sleep 14? But that’s not the only consideration. What is the cost per person? And don’t forget cleaning fees! There is a minimum cleaning fee per unit because cleaning cabins in the mountains is different from hotel cleaning.
Now let's plug in some average numbers and look at the breakdown for a single night’s stay. Most major websites add booking fees ranging from 8-15% that the guest has to pay, so we are going to add those as well to get a realistic look at the guests' cost. The percentage is actually a sliding scale that is higher for lower-dollar bookings, so it’s another factor that is worse for renting small units, but we’ll just choose 12% for each option for our example.
Let's look at 7 cabins for a single night:
7 Cabins @ $150 per night $1,050 7 Cleaning Fees @ $100 $700 _ Pre-Tax Total $1,750 Local and State Taxes @ 13% $227.50 Website Booking Fee @ 12% $210 _ Total Price for 7 Small Cabins $2,187.50
Now let's look at a seven-bedroom cabin for a single night:
7-Bedroom Cabin @ $800 per night $800 Cleaning Fee $225 _ Pre-Tax Total $1,025 Local and State Taxes @ 13% $133.25 Website Booking Fee @ 12% $123 _ Total Price for 1 Large Cabin $1,281.25
The percentage-based booking fee and percentage-based taxes inflate every dollar of increase for cleaning fees and rent, and of course, the owner and manager don't get to retain those increases either. It's great for Airbnb and Uncle Sam, but not for travelers, owners, or managers.
Most travelers want to be together. That's the point of vacation—to get further from work and the world and get closer as a family. Even if you can find a bunch of small cabins close together, most people (especially mothers) want to be under the same roof.
One large cabin is better for an owner in many ways. Building one large cabin is still much more affordable than several small cabins. Although they don't have to worry about management, the owner still has a certain amount of effort, thought, and risk for every cabin. For example, their insurance will be more on multiple cabins than on a single cabin. There is a greater economy in consolidation than in number in this case.
And finally, larger units are better for managers too. We really want to excel at customer service, but that is only possible with an appropriate manager-to-property ratio. Just like a good student-to-teacher ratio, even a great teacher can't teach 100 students on a personal level. A good manager without a solid team behind them can't effectively manage even 25 cabins; there is just too much maintenance, supplies, cleaning, and customer service to do the job well.
So if you’re considering purchasing a property strictly for investment or for personal use and investment use, we hope you'll consider if large is right for you.[post_title] => An Argument for Large Cabins: The Win-Win-Win [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => an-argument-for-large-cabins-the-win-win-win [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-22 21:40:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-23 02:40:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://dev.northgavacationrentals.net/?p=508 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
When thinking about what size cabin to invest in, there are many factors to consider. Some investors are limited on price and have to stay in the smaller range, but others don't care about the…Read More