Second Home Rental Conversions Could be Remodel
With the national economy in the tank, one surprising bright
spot is an industry that figures big for coastal contractors:
vacation home rentals. According to a December 5, 2008, story
, one company built on vacation rentals, Austin,
Texas-based HomeAway, boosted sales 58% in 2008.
private homes in the US and Europe for rent by travelers as an
alternative to hotel rooms. According to company CEO Brian
Sharples, says the paper, "Given the housing meltdown and high
gas prices, many homeowners can't sell their vacation homes or
they're not using them as much, so they're renting the
properties to make extra money."
USA Today may not be an objective source on HomeAway: the two
business partners in a deal to promote HomeAway's rental
properties through USA Today classified ads.
Still, Sharples' idea is reasonable on its face. Market
estimates that vacation rentals are a $24 billion annual
industry. And according to Alfred Glossbrenner, whose company,
is based on homeowner-operated second-home rentals, contractors
who build second homes should keep that fact in mind.
Even if someone building a second home has no plans to rent the
house out, says Glossbrenner, studies indicate that "many
owners who initially did not plan to rent end up doing so by
year five." And, he points out, " whether this owner rents or
not, the next owner may plan to do so." Based on his experience
coordinating second-home rentals, Glossbrenner argues for a
"vacation home package" to make a home more desirable.
Specifics? "For example, install a keyless lock on at least one
door. It should be of the type that allows at least three
changable codes: one for the owner, one for the cleaning
person, and one for the paying guest. Installing a hotel-style
safe for guests to use for their watches and wallets when going
down to the beach is also a good idea. And don't forget the
'owner's closet,' the place where the owner can lock up
personal items and valuables."