SWFL REAL ESTATE SERVICES
Vacation Rental Homeowner FAQ
Congratulations on becoming part of our family! …Now what?
Your vacation rental home is now active and being advertised on dozens of websites across the internet. We are excited for the opportunity to work with you in making your investment as successful as possible. As many of our new owners, you probably have questions, and that’s OK! This may be your first time renting a home short term, and we understand that there is a bit of a learning curve. But we are here to help!
We have a small but robust team that works around the clock to make sure your home is in good hands. If you have questions, all you need to do is send us an email or give our office a call during office hours, and our team will be happy to assist you.
But, in the meantime, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that new owners have about how this whole “vacation rental” system works. We encourage you to review this information and keep it handy to help you understand what to expect.
If there is something we haven’t covered, please let us know! We are constantly growing and improving, so feedback is important.
Now… Onto the information!
What happens when I get a booking?
How do I block dates for myself?
What is the difference between an Owner Stay and an Owner Guest Stay?
When will I get paid?
When do I get paid for electric overages?
Who is responsible for my home?
Who do I talk to for __________?
How do I get a hold of you after hours?
Q. What happens when I get a booking?
When we receive a booking, our team enters the reservation into our system and sends the guest a rental agreement and payment link to complete. 25% of the total is due at the time of booking and the final payment is due 30 days before the guest’s arrival date. The guest has three days to make their payment in order to confirm the reservation. Once we have received the first payment, you will receive an email from us informing you that we have a confirmed reservation. We provide all of our owners with a link to your home’s calendar. Even before we receive payment, the dates will show blocked on the calendar to avoid double-bookings. If you ever have a question about availability, you can check the calendar. If you are unsure, reach out to us.
Q. How do I block dates for myself?
You are free to stay at your home as much or as little as you want. You have access to an Owner Portal, which gives you the ability to see your availability and you can block your own timeframe for yourself or friends and family. Please make sure you block your dates as soon as you can. As your home is being advertised on many third-party platforms and guests are able to book 24/7, it is important for you to inform us before we get a booking that you want to use your home. Not quite sure of exact dates yet? That’s ok… You can always unblock time by canceling it in your Owner Portal.
Q. What is the difference between an Owner Stay and an Owner Guest Stay?
You may have family or close friends that you want to have stay at your home, but don’t want them to pay rent. How generous! You can block dates through your Owner Portal as a “Non-Paying Guest of Owner.” This will block the dates and show as an Owner Guest stay. We automatically schedule a check-in/check-out and cleaning for these stays and will invoice you for them after the stay. If you do not require a check-in/check-out, please let us know at the time of blocking your dates so we can make note of it.
Q. When will I get paid?
Net to Owner payments are processed at the end of every month. They are based on the check-out date of a booking. For example: if a guest stays at your home from April 29 – May 5, the payment will be processed on May 31st. Any bookings that are longer than a month will be split up into monthly payments. For example: If a booking is from February 1st – April 4th, you would receive three payments: You would receive February dates processed on February 28th, March dates processed on March 31st, and April dates processed on April 30th. You will receive an Owner Statement when payments are processed which will have a breakdown of all payments processed for that month, as well as your year-to-date totals. You will also have the ability to run your own reports for various information through your Owner Portal.
Q. When do I get paid for electric overages?
Our guests receive a $50/week electric allowance that is prorated for their reservation dates, with the exception of Airbnb reservations. Our guest relations team takes a meter reading at the time of arrival and departure and calculates the electric usage from that stay. If a guest exceeds the allowance, the amount is deducted from their security deposit and we then pass on the overage to you. The electric overage payments are processed at the end of every month and will be for bookings that have a check-out date within that month. Please note that the overages paid to you will not always match your electric bill. This is due to taxes and fees that LCEC calculates into their invoices. These payments will also show up on your Owner Statements.
Who is responsible for my home?
The great thing about hiring an agency for your investment property is that you have a dedicated team that is constantly looking out for you! Your property manager, guest relations member and cleaner is responsible for checking your home after each booking. The property manager is whoever you appointed when you signed up with us. Each PM is different, so you will want to make sure you understand the services they provide and when they check your home. For instance, some PMs will check your home every week when vacant, and others will do it twice a month.
Each home has a guest relations team member who is assigned to it. This is to ensure they are familiar with the intricacies of your property and can spot an issue quickly. This is the same with your cleaner. We have the same cleaning team assigned to your home (as long as they are available) so they are familiar as well.
Q. Who do I talk to for __________?
What is great about our team is that we all work together to make sure that we can take care of both of owners’ and guests’ needs. Below is a quick guide to help you know the best person to talk to when you have questions:
Kathy: If you have questions about invoices or payments, she is the best person to speak with, as she works in the bookkeeping department.
Kelly: If you have questions about housekeeping, maintenance or guest relations, Kelly handles scheduling cleaners and maintenance-related concerns for your home.
Carrie: Our friendly administrative assistant and Annual Rental admin! Carrie handles our annual rentals, but is the first to answer the phone and is here to help you get you in touch with the right person.
Jessica: She is the Operations Manager for the team.
If you have a question or concern that isn’t covered above, have no fear! Just send us an email to email@example.com or call our office during business hours and let us know what’s on your mind. We will certainly get you to the right person who can address your concerns promptly.
Q. How do I get a hold of you after hours?
While our office operates Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST, we are available 24/7 for emergencies. We have a monitored voicemail system outside of our regular business hours, so all you need to do is leave message! If it is an emergency that needs to be taken care of immediately, our team will be on it. Otherwise, we will make sure we follow up with you first thing the following business day. During the weekends, we also monitor emails, so you can message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.