Blog

 A blog about the Vacation Rental Industry and the benefits to using Vacation Rental Software

Promised content: Up to date industry trends and some random bad jokes.

No more HomeAway?

Posted May 22, 2019 in Marketing Topics

No more HomeAway?

In May 2019 Expedia announced that it was changing the name of its accommodations division from HomeAway to Vrbo.  Notice only the “V” is capitalized.  Or, as our friend Heather at VacationRentalFormula.com likes to call it, “Verboh”.  So, does that mean no more HomeAway?  Apparently.  It was reported that Vrbo had out-paced the HomeAway brand consistently, and the winner is?  You guessed it.  When we spoke with some of their team, even they were having trouble adjusting to the new name.  No more HomeAway, and no more V-R-B-O.  Welcome...

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Spotlight – Leighton Rentals

Posted March 23, 2019 in Blog Posts, RNS User Highlights

Spotlight – Leighton Rentals

RNS User Spotlight of the Week: Leighton Rentals As Spring starts to grace us with her presence and the world begins to warm, winter flight paths take a detour. Rather than vacationers jumping on the next Boeing 777 down to Miami, the likes of our thawed out northern destinations begin to rise as a “hot spot” for travel. So that is why, on this first day of spring, RNS celebrates our friends in New England, Leighton Rentals. The Vacation Rental Management Company is located on the picturesque peninsula of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. About Leighton Rentals: Leighton Rentals began its Cape Cod journey in 2003. By providing the highest level of service to its owners and renters, Leighton was able to grow into one of the most successful and renowned rental agencies in the area today. This special Vacation Rental Company has a way of capturing the true essence of Cape Cod for their vacationing guests and home owners. Through years of experience, local knowledge and full appreciation for the Cape and their guests Leighton is able to deliver an unforgettable vacation package. Owners receive 24 hour service and wide spread marketing campaigns that range from internet search engine presence to 360 degree virtual tours, YouTube postings, public relations, direct mail and print material. Tip to Vacation Rental Owners:: A good Vacation Rental Agency employs the Industry’s best to manage and market the properties under their care. It allows the property owners a peace of mind knowing an experienced and dedicated staff is doing all in their power to treat your property with the respect it deserves. Leighton is a company that prides itself on the wonderful staff it employs. From back office to front, it takes the whole team to deliver the results Leighton Rentals is known for. Check out their team here. Website:www.capecodrentals.net Contact: 508-619-7658 or Email Rental Locations: The Cape Cod peninsula stretches from Provincetown in the northeast to Woods Hole in the southwest. The Cape has 559.6 miles (900.6 km) of coastline, over 60 access beaches and 30+ public golf courses. It is known for its wonderful maritime character and charm. Some well-known water activities the locals and tourists alike partake in are beach going, sport fishing and whale watching. Cape Cod was actually the birth place of East Coast whale watching. The perfect summer time conditions make this location a must see vacation destination. RNS Vacation Rental Management Marketing Tip: If your company has a predominately seasonal renting period make sure to budget for an increase of marketing funds before and during that period. A couple good ideas would be emailing previous guests, Facebook Ads, and geographically targeting prospects.   Leighton and RNS: Since becoming a part of the RNS team in 2005 Leighton Rentals have grown into one of the top Rental Agencies in Cape Cod. Some of their favorite features of the RNS software are Paperless leases, online approval of Terms & Conditions, and Auto Inquiry Response capability. RNS software helps property management companies increase efficiency by integrating tech automation to previous time consuming tasks. We send wishes for good weather and a fully booked season to our friends, Leighton Rentals. Thanks for holding down the Cape and being a glorious RNS...

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Spotlight – SandCastle Realty Inc

Posted February 11, 2019 in Blog Posts, RNS User Highlights

Spotlight – SandCastle Realty Inc

RNS User Spotlight of the Week: SandCastle Realty   About Sandcastle Realty: Sandcastle Realty Inc. is an independent family owned and operated full service Real Estate Company serving Florida’s Central Gulf Coast. They are the professional choice for property management for vacation rentals in the area. With over 20 years’ experience in the business, they understand and take care of the important details that give their clients the best results and most income for their properties! Website: www.sandcastlerealtyinc.com Contact: 727-367-1223 or Email Tip to Vacation Rental Owners: Property Management is a hard time consuming task and entrusting your vacation home to the right professional management company is an even harder decision. It matters who you do business with. View Sandcastle Realty Property Management Solutions Here. Office Location: Treasure Island, FL Rental Locations: Sandcastle Realty vacation rentals are located on the barrier beaches just west of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay, kissing the shores of the Central Gulf Coast of Florida. They start south from Tierra Verde, to St Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Maderia Beach, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Indian Shores, Indian Rocks Beach, Belleair Beach finishing north on Clearwater Beach. St. Pete Beach was just named TripAdvisor’s 2nd Best Beach in the United States with Clearwater Beach ranking right behind it in 8th spot. TripAdvisor rankings are based on reviews and star rankings that real travelers publish on their site. RNS Management Tip: Reviews help increase awareness and credibility of Tourist Destinations and Vacation Rental Companies alike. Because when you have rentals on 2 of the top 10 best beaches of the United States, your marketing writes itself. Review: St. Pete Beach “Sand for miles” ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Beautiful beach, cleaned every morning. Walk for miles. Gorgeous sunsets. Wish I could live there. One beach you shouldn’t take off your list.” – Sandy V of Windsor, Canada Review: Clearwater Beach “Most beautiful beach I have ever been on.”★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “We stayed right off the beach. Have done a lot of traveling and this by far is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It was a little chilly when we were visiting just loved it” – Cobra6860 of Buchanan, Michigan Sandcastle and RNS:     Sandcastle Realty has been using RNS Vacation Rental Software since January 2011. Their favorite part of the RNS software is the Availability search function; where you can search units by reservation date, group, type and amenities. Choose to view those results in the graphical calendar format or unit list detail screen. Thank You Sandcastle Realty for being an awesome RNS user and an even more awesome vacation rental management...

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Reasons Why You Need a REAL Vacation.

Posted November 22, 2018 in Blog Posts

Reasons Why You Need a REAL Vacation.

The need to travel is inside everyone. Vacations are pretty much mandated by the human brain so we can continue to be happy, productive people of society. Why was leisure time ever created? Because WE NEED IT. But It takes a lot of courage to take off work. Many people save their vacation days in case of emergencies, some think their bosses will get mad, and others are just work-a-holics. But right now, I am here to remind you that vacations days are meant for Vacations… REAL VACATIONS. Real Vacation are: Truly being able to feel the sunshine Snow becomes a blessing rather a burden Laughing so hard, that you pee your pants Having no sense of time Dreams are Reality This is NOT a REAL Vacation: You Travel to Florida because Great Aunt Helen dies Playing hookie because the child is sick Being Snowed in with a Law & Order Marathon on That being said all vacations are not created equal and subsequently neither are the results of such time off. Sometimes you can’t help the latter and that’s just life. But life is also about being happy. I truly believe that taking time for yourself in the form of traveling and real vacationing will benefit you, your work, and everyone else your surrounded by as well. What will you gain from a taking REAL Vacation Perspective on Life: Getting back to what life is really all about. Asking and answering the most simple questions about our existence. Limitless Creativity: Worries and agendas are on the back burner, leaving limitless space for new ideas to flow freely. Increase of appreciation: Being away will make you appreciate just about all aspects of your life – the people you love, the nature that surrounds you, and even your job. Real Rest: Without the worry of menial Daily routines your mind, body, and soul are able to rest and realign themselves. Less Regrets: No one says the day the die, “I wish I would of stayed at the office more.” Now is the time to live. You Time: Live a life true to yourself, and not let others expectations affect your lifestyle. Be you. Happiness: Like Gandhi said “There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path” A true vacation will help you realize that. Now I don’t just want you to take my word on it. No, I want you to experience a Real Vacation and it’s...

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5 Free Marketing Websites Your Vacation Rental Company Needs To Be On

Posted August 2, 2018 in Blog Posts, Marketing Topics

5 Free Marketing Websites Your Vacation Rental Company Needs To Be On

5 of the most essential websites your Vacation Rental Company needs to be on. These sites are search engine applicable, location segmented and review driven. Oh and it’s FREE so Vacation Rental Managers have no excuse not to take the time to give your company the online visibility (make an intern do it!). 1. Google Places Google the #1 search engine in the world. Sign up Here. 2. Bing Places Bing the #2 search engine in the world. Sign up Here. 3. Yahoo! Local Yahoo! the #3 search engine in the world. Sign Up Here How it Works: These first three work in the same way. An internet user searching for their next vacation uses a search engine and inputs “Miami Vacation Rentals”. Under the paid advertisements each search engine will have its local places listed. A Map is shown pinpointing each company with a Google, Bing, or Yahoo! company profile, depending on which search engine is used. Company Address, website, pictures, descriptions and reviews are all categories on your Listing Profile. This Profile is ranked and listed on a scale the search engine’s algorithms make by using your websites SEO, reviews, and inbound/outbound links. (Home Away – Trip Advisor – FlipKey or any of the sorts will not be listed here!) 4. Yelp Top directory review websites today. Sign Up Here How it Works: Yelp is all about the reviews. People might search a location and industry first, but they are coming to Yelp to read the reviews. It is also very popular in the mobile community with a very user friendly app. It takes seconds to make a profile in Yelp. You just need to make sure reviews are kept high, dealing with bad reviews immediately. 5. Forums Pages where thousands of searchers need industry answers. How it Works: So this isn’t just one webpage, but Forums could be a valuable source for website traffic flow if done correctly. Travelers are always asking the internet world what’s the best place to stay in “Miami” These websites provide an easy and free way to promote your company online. Also if you keep these listings updated with fresh content and reviews, prospective guests are much more willing to take a chance and explore to your website. Want More Marketing Avenues? RNS Vacation Rental Software can help you connect to Vacation Rental Distributors like Homeaway, FlipKey, and RedAwning. Click Here for More...

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The Power of Social Media when Marketing Your Vacation Rentals

Posted June 14, 2018 in Blog Posts, Marketing Topics

The Power of Social Media when Marketing Your Vacation Rentals

Blah, Blah, Blah Social Media Blah, Blah, Blah . Are you tired of hearing how social media can help your Vacation Rental Marketing? Do you feel like it’s over talked about, over embellished, and are unsure of what results are coming from it? Don’t worry, I’m a marketer and I’m right there with you; seriously stop busting my chops about Facebook already! But STOP! COLLABORATE! and LISTEN! Vacation Rental Social Media Marketing is the BRAND NEW INVENTION! After reading this blog you will realize the wealth of information there is to be shared and gained from Social Media and how you can utilize this to benefit your Vacation Rental Company. STOP! Take a close look at your social media pages, and evaluate the activity that has gone on. What types of posts are shared the most, who likes what, how many friends or likes are previous guests?Get on every social Media outlet there is. It won’t hurt your company. It will only help. If you have just started on the social media buzz don’t worry, the answer is going to be the same for everyone. PEOPLE LIKE PICTURES! PROSPECTS LIKE REAL LIFE REVIEWS! COLLABORATE! Social Media combines Marketing efforts for you. Here are some Travel stats courtesy of The Social Skinny The internet is #1 source for travelers to get vacation information. 40% said that online outlets have influenced their decision to book a vacation Word of Mouth was the 2nd reason why travelers book their vacation Now what does Social Media do…? It combines the leading source of travel information “the Internet” with the 1st and 2nd leading sources of travel booking decision making, “online sources – Sharing Platforms” and “word of mouth – Reviews and Pictures” LISTEN! As Vacation Rental Managers and Marketers you sit at the epitome of social media marketing. Now here is what you need to do to utilize this tactic. Have guests share pictures and stories on your page Get tagged in those posts Get the most of what previous guests say – Fix the bad – Post the Good! When your guests post their travels, they “share with friends”. FREE MARKETING Make sure your social media page looks up to date and inviting when those friends come searching. Link your social media accounts together to maximize reviews and pictures IT’S THE BRAND NEW INVENTION! WOW – we have just made sense of Social Media in Vacation Rental Marketing. You now know the POWER. Just have to go utilize...

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Hurricane Planning – What Vacation Rental Managers Need to Know

Posted June 12, 2018 in Blog Posts, Management Topics

Hurricane Planning – What Vacation Rental Managers Need to Know

Vacation Rental Property Managers Need to Have a Plan Vacation Rentals are often situated along hurricane hot-spots. It’s not because property managers are adrenaline junkies, it’s because that outside of the occasional mega storm these spots are a paradise oasis. So its very important that Vacation Rental Property Managers are well educated in how to handle Hurricane Disaster Situations. Being based out of Florida, we at Rental Network Software know a few things about Hurricanes ourselves. Like how fun the parties can be! No were joking, okay so they are fun, but a Hurricane is not a storm that should be taken lightly. Because when your business comes face to face with 70 to 150 mph winds, and a 10 foot storm surge no one will be partying. Businesses that reside along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Oceans, know that their most important item during the months of June – November is their Hurricane Contingency Plan. If you don’t have one, you need one. 5 tips for your Hurricane Contingency Plan Find Your Greatest Risk It might be that your in a low lying area and flooding is inevitable or maybe your building is not up to par and wind damage is the major threat. Power outages are a devastation to all but if you supply food to your rentals than it might become a bigger problem. Assess the weak points now giving yourself enough time to fix any issues, enhancing your chance at a smoother recovery. Determine the Cost of Business Disruptions Know your financial numbers for one week, one month and 6 months out. The benefit of knowing this information will tell you the insurance coverage you will need and the amount of savings to have on hand incase of a emergency. Keep good relations with your contractors and venders because once a disaster strikes they will be swamped. You want to be one of their first prioritys. It is not a bad idea to have an alternative contractor incase your original one was to severly affected by the storm to get work done immediately after the storm. Make Sure Your Insurance is Adequate Contact your agent, and consult professionals. Ask yourself “How much can I afford to lose?” After you know the numbers adjust your coverage accordingly. Know your current property value and how your rentals are covered. Floods are the number one souce of proerty loss in the US. Hurricanes can unleash major flooding with severe rainfall and high storm surge. Make sure you have flood insurance! Have a Communication Crisis Procedure It is important that everyone inside your business circle knows what is going on. This means your partners, investors, employees, vendors, and customers. Make sure you have up to date phone numbers, house addresses and emails. Create an emergency email alert system. Social media will help alert customers and outsider that your still in business or are in dier need of public support. Know Your Data is Protected Your data is your lifeline. If you lose your business’ vital information then the last 4 bits of hurricane contigency planning are 100% times harder to follow through with. Property Managers this is extremly important for you to know. If you lose your servers then you lose all your business data like owner history, financial...

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Vacation Rental Software Made By Vacation Rental Professionals

Posted May 31, 2018 in Blog Posts, Bookkeeping Topics

Vacation Rental Software Made By Vacation Rental Professionals

Vacation Rental Software Made By Vacation Rental Professionals Because that makes sense Wouldn’t it be nice if the Vacation Rental Management Software you purchased and use on a day to day basis was created and ran by companies who actually knew who the end user was, the problems they face, and the needs they have. I’m not talking about a Software company knowing information from reading articles or keeping up with industry news. No, I mean the kind of knowledge that only comes by getting your hands dirty and walking in a property managers shoes. Rental Network Software or RNS is a Vacation Rental Management Software created and ran by previous Property Managers, reservationists, and brokers. The people who work at RNS have lived a day in your shoes, well more than a day, they worked in your shoes, they made a living in your shoes, they felt the hurt, frustration, and satisfaction in those shoes. From the bosses, programmers, to help support and more, property management is a past many once lived. When you call your software company about an issue you’re having are they able to relate, feel and fix your problem before another problem stacks up on top of it? Do they understand that your work order module is just as important as your accounting module as just as important as your online bookings module? RNS does and they are with you every step of every day. Vacation Property Management is still an RNS employee’s job. We watch out for our RNS users, continually adding features and benefits that are users want and need. RNS knows that Property Management is never a finished project and we’re here to help the entire...

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Vacation Rentals (FUNNY)

Posted April 11, 2018 in Blog Posts, Management Topics

The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Vacation Rentals (FUNNY)

We are going to keep things light hearted on this week’s blog post. Because all of us know that a good laugh and a step back from our hectic work day is just what we need. So here is my attempt to convey the do’s and don’ts of vacation rental management in an ironic, laugh out loud kind of way. The Do’s Be nice to your units’ neighbors. It’s only a matter of time before they become your enemy. If one of your rentals is across the street from a Taco Bell, have your plumber on speed dial. The weather is unpredictable, so are people. Be prepared for anything, floods, blizzards, grandpa going senile and running naked down the street. Keep wall colors neutral, No one wants to their eat pancakes in the electric lizard green, screaming banshee blue or sour citrus yellow breakfast nook. Foreigners act like foreigners. Deal with it. The Don’ts No murder jokes during the handing off of the keys, ok? Kids and pets are all the same. Don’t ask for a “child” deposit though. If you’re Photoshopping unit pictures, don’t put George Clooney on the bed. Your renters will complain about the accuracy of the unit photos. Don’t let guests feed the seagulls, bears, or whatever nuisance animal you have around your property. The result is unexpected pets without a deposit to cover the damages. Don’t be afraid of foreigners, they are just foreign. Vacation...

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4th of July Celebrations, Fireworks, and Property Management

Posted July 4, 2013 in Blog Posts, Management Topics

4th of July Celebrations, Fireworks, and Property Management

  It is America’s Holiday! The 4th of July is big business in the USA. We travel, we eat, we drink and we light explosives. For Vacation Rental Property Managers the 4th of July is a Love/Hate Relationship. The Love: Units are Booked Profits are Up The Mood is Happy (most of the time) A Day Off, maybe The Hate: The Parties Noise Complaints Drunk Renters Drunk Renters with Explosives Property Management Solutions Make sure your Renter Agreement is spot on. Covering everything that might be at risk for a firework debacle. Be Strict. Once you receive your first noise complaint, confront your renters and state that once is a warning, two is a charge, and three is enough. Charge appropriately. When its all said and done and the renters are gone, assess the damages, make a checklist and charge as necessary. Clean and Do it all over again. Call in your house cleaning, and prepare for another load of renters. Tip: Vacation Property Management Software makes the hectic times seem manageable. When it all starts to go down hill, your management program will have the answers neatly organized for you. Your Work Vacation Property Management is a rewarding profession. You have to deal with the stresses like any job, but in the end you get to be a part of memorable moments in your renter/vacationers life. Embrace those moments and make them the best they can be with RNS Vacation Rental Software. Click here to learn...

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