Close friends just bought a Florida condo with plans to rent it out when they aren't there themselves using a very experienced real estate agency. Over-all, presentation for a 3K per month 2/2 condo was very good but I had a few negative comments directed mostly toward photos 2-11 which didn't go over so well ~ they think "the comfortable lived-in space look" is more enticing than my idea of getting rid of all of the clutter and giving it a clutter-free look....
What do the rest of you think - comments re the photographs plus the rental listing itself? Have to say the real estate photo presentation bothered me a bit when photos flip from interior to exterior and back again but my friend thinks that's just silly ~ she thinks people can put things in the right order themselves, mentally, so no big deal. I'll be interested to learn how others perceive rental properties and what is more enticing - photographs that show a comfortable living area OR one that is stream-lined with no clutter? As well as how a rental listing should be organized. Is is ok to mix up exterior photos with interior ones OR is it just sheer laziness on the part of the agent posting them? This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Jan 03, 2013, 07:16 AM
IR - I agree with you about the photos. Yes, a prospective renter can mentally sort but a smooth transition is better and more professional. Also, I agree about a clean fresh look. I want to walk into a hotel, not my sisters house.
I Hate Hate Hate when agents resort to all caps - can we say - used car saleman?
I can't tell from her write up if I'm buying, renting forever or vacationing. If writing for a seasonal rental I would feature on the amenities and location. If I'm just there for a month or two, I'm not overly worried about the maple cabinets.
Fun and Info
Jan 03, 2013, 07:58 AM
We're talking about Unit 10J, correct? (3 apts came up in that bldg with fairly similar photos.)
Definitely agree - I believe most potential vacation rental tenants prefer a staged or hotel-type feel instead of your friend's homey approach. Also agree with ordering the photos as a virtual tour, progressing naturally through the unit and editing the realtor's write-up.
Don't know if the realtor's also providing complete mgmt services. If not, most of these complexes have that option either on site or readily available from outside mgmt companies, located nearby.
IME, those services almost always provide online booking, frequently including a calendar with available dates and accepting c/c payments. Couldn't find a booking link for 10J, however -
Noticed the deposit amount and monthly rent so I understand she may hope to only do monthly periods. I'm sure the turnkey agencies could accommodate that. It'd be worth talking to them, if that option wasn't previously explored. In addition, although a bit more mgmt may be required, weekly rentals could be more lucrative.
Best of luck to your friend - it appears to be a very nice unit and complex.This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
Jan 03, 2013, 12:10 PM
I thought it was a bit confusing going from inside to outside to inside, would make sense to group them appropriately.... and the intermittant ALL CAPS is so incredibly irritating, and certainly makes it difficult to read (also, don't really understand why realtor picked the specific things she did to put in all caps). It is also not quite clear to me what is meant by seasonal - but reading the listing, my assumption is that one could rent that unit as long as you paid the monthly rent. I didn't see anything about maximum number of months, or anything that defined what seasonal is (or when your friends use it where it would not be available). It does look a bit cluttered to me, but if all that stuff is going to be there for the renter, then I guess you should have all of it in the photo. If there is anything that will not be left for the renters, then that should be removed before it is photographed. It looks like units I've seen on the VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) sites where they have everything you could possibly need except your clothes. Some of them are cluttered - but I would think that this price point, it would be better to go for streamlined..... JMHO
Jan 03, 2013, 06:13 PM
I'm guessing based on my local market and the location of the condo that the condo HOA does not allow weekly/transient rentals. If they are planning to rent to snow birds then the season would be from October - April. REL will probably have a better handle on Florida's snow bird season. If they are planning to use it some during that time period it is really going to eat into their income.
I would also suggest your friends get quotes from some other agencies. The rates here for monthly are usually quite reasonable. To find agencies - go on line and search for vacation rentals in that area.
Fun and Info
Jan 03, 2013, 06:21 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the responses so far. I should have included a little more information: 1. Condo rules require a minimum of 3 months for rentals. 2. The real estate agency doing the listing also provides a full-time management service so that part has already been arranged.
I'm glad some of you mentioned editing re the verbiage in the listing and the "all caps" use ~ that struck me as well but I didn't want to seem too picky.
Jan 03, 2013, 08:06 PM
Ok, thanks, Idaho. Yes, many of the complexes limit transient stays and restrict rental periods.
Overall, the listing comes across as a side business or afterthought for the realtor. The listing reads like an offering for sale, to me. She may want to consider the other agencies and their track records when her contract ends.
I would suggest streamlining the listing, focusing on the issues potential renters care most about, e.g. proximity/access to the beach, the view in the photos (no visible concrete, if possible) and listing any minimum stay, occupancy limit, confirming (if true) that the unit is turnkey, parking place available to tenants, etc. BTW, the rent and deposit was prominently listed so that's good.
You, obviously, can help her stage so no need for too many details. Assuming she's mostly expecting couples or small families with only 2 bedrooms, the l/r feels overstuffed with furniture and other items. She may wish to eventually upgrade the furniture, if possible. I would try to achieve a luxury/hotel feeling but still comfortable. The bedrooms appear done but bathrooms could use some finishing and staging.
JMHO, as you know, Idaho. Great unit - lots of luck to her -
Jan 04, 2013, 08:19 AM
I cannot tell from the Postlet's info (fyi - I use Postlets for my Craigslist ads because it is free, not my professional website) anything about mgmt or what they offer.
There is no link to her company website. All I see when I go to her other listings is she has 5 condos for sell and 3 rentals. If I go on-line to a local agency that specializes in vacation rentals I see a company website with information about what they provide and more details. Here is an example of a local company (I am not affiliated with this agency): http://www.dunes.com/myrtle-beach-winter-rentals.htm
Fun and Info
Jan 04, 2013, 04:49 PM
Have to agree and that's what I was getting at earlier. Most of the standard vacation rental software packages include the basic information upfront with links to add'l details. WRT your friend's ad, it appears the potential tenant must contact the realtor for those particulars.
Although I wouldn't list every small detail on the main ad page, it needs appropriate links with readily available information, e.g. what to bring v. what's provided in the unit, how/where to pay deposit and rent, deposit return procedures, cleaning services provided or not, etc.
The easier she makes the unit to rent, the more rentals she'll probably receive, IMHO.
Jan 05, 2013, 12:13 AM
Thanks again, everyone. You've answered my question - rental listings are quite different from sale listings although they have a few things in common ~ clutter-free living space, photographs presented in a logical fashion and verbiage on the listing directed to what is important to the market to which they are directed.
Have to agree that this particular listing does seem somewhat scattered between a sales/rental listing without the information short-term renters might be looking for ~ thanks for the help there re other agencies. Also, have to say that sometimes, when someone asks, "what do you think?" ~ they really don't want to hear the answer!
Jan 05, 2013, 07:13 AM
Also, have to say that sometimes, when someone asks, "what do you think?" ~ they really don't want to hear the answer!
No truer words were ever written on these boards!
Fun and Info
Jan 06, 2013, 03:32 AM
Thanks, everyone for the responses ~ have to say that I agree with most but, I am going to delete the link to the rental listing posted above at the request of my friend. She wants everyone to know that she has complete confidence in the agent she selected who has boots on the floor there with a great track record.
And that, while good advice in general; in this case, this discussion is not necessary.
We'll see..... This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Jan 10, 2013, 05:08 AM
Oh, wow, I was wondering what you guys were talking about. I didn't see any listing link or anything. Now I get it. Though I didn't get to see it.
But, IMO, if I'm looking to rent a space, I want to see pics of it totally clean and decluttered unless I am looking to rent clutter, too, which I'm not.
Aug 28, 2013, 06:46 AM
I would recommend telling your friends to setup their own website and do everything themselves. It is just something to consider...
An estate agency is only willing to help them because they can make lots of money off of them. I would rather be greedy and get the maximum squeeze out of the holiday let myself!
If you need any tips help of info just reply back. I am a web designer and have previously managed real estate. I guess I am the go to guy for this stuff :PThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Jamsplash,