Owner Neighborhood

Rent Your Long Term or Seasonal Rental Property: 5 Things You Should Know

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Rental Condo: Living Room

1. Set Appropriate Rental Rates
Research your rental area. Are your rates realistic to comparable rental homes? If you’re asking five times as much as other homeowners, you may not get any real rental interest. And when the rental market changes you should adjust your rates accordingly and always make sure to update your rental rates on rental home listing sites, like SelectDwelling. How To Determine Rental Rates?

2. Take Quality Photos
Would you rent a home if all the photos were dark, pixelated and of the backyard? No, you probably wouldn’t. Photos invite the possible renter into your home. They help sell the rental. Take good quality photos of the main rooms of your house and any other rental amenities—water view, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, golf course–these are enticing rental features. Check out: Rental Photos Matter: 3 easy steps to taking them!

3. Write Accurate Rental Property Descriptions
SelectDwelling makes it easy to fill-in your rental home details with 1-click buttons and menus, but the accuracy of your rental property descriptions is key. This is the main information that possible renters have about your house amenities, features, location, and your contact information. Keeping this information current and complete is a good policy to follow to attract renters.

4. Respond To Rental Inquiries Immediately
Rental property owners should check their email frequently. SelectDwelling offers a contact form on each rental listing that sends an email directly to the homeowner from the possible renter. We’ve all heard, “the early bird gets the worm”, and this remains true for booking rental homes. Make sure your phone number is current and check your voicemail and email often. Southwest Florida Rental Owners – How’s your response time?

5. Prepare Your Florida Lease Agreement
As a landlord you will need a written rental agreement stating the rights and obligations between you and the tenant. There are several sites online to purchase a florida rental lease, but its always a good idea to have your lawyer review all the clauses and making amendments as needed. Also, as a rental home owner, you should be aware that if you rent your home for less than 6 months then its your responsibility to collect a “resort, bed, transient tax” from your renters, and this clause should be added to your Florida lease. Go to your local county tax collector website to download the application and to verify the current tax rates. Tourist Tax: Are You Collecting?

Staying current, accurate, and offering quality photos will help you have rental home success.

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

Make Money Renting Your House in Southwest Florida!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The stock market is too volatile, Bonds, CD’s and Money Markets pay close to nothing, so where else can you make money? The rental housing market.

If you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates and purchase an investment property or if you bought a rental home in the last 7 years and don’t want to sell it for a loss, then why not rent your house and make money.

Rental homes are valuable assets. Let’s say you owe $1000/monthly mortgage, but you can rent your house or condo annually for $1500/month. That’s pretty good rental home income.

So where do you start? Here at SelectDwelling we can help you rent your house. You list your property on SelectDwelling and we advertise and market your rental home to prospective renters. We have a ton of traffic and renters inquiring, so let’s get your Southwest Florida property listed and start making money renting today!

Our online site is great for homeowners who want to list their rental property for seasonal and annual rentals. As a property owner you can edit your house listing anytime, and you determine your property description, photos, and rental rates. SelectDwelling also helps local realtors gain immediate exposure for their current rentals.

The best part is SelectDwelling is here to help you. Contact SelectDwelling with any house rental questions. We’ll even list your properties for you!

Homeowner Resources and Tips: How to Rent and more

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida Rental Owners – How’s your response time?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Southwest Florida Rental Owners Response TimeNow that you’ve listed your Southwest Florida rental on a few online sites, its time to start booking your annual or seasonal rental, right? So when you get a property rental inquiry, how’s your response time?

Generally, contact with the prospective renter within the first 24-48 hours is key. Usually the faster the homeowner responds to an email or phone inquiry, the better chance they have to book a renter. Not only will a timely response help with bookings, but because renters usually submit inquiries to a few rental homes searches, a more timely response by the homeowner will help connect and build trust with the renter.

To learn more about Florida Home Rental check out:
How to rent Your Florida Home in seven easy steps

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

Rental Photos Matter: 3 easy steps to taking them!

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

So your New Year’s resolution is to get your long-term or seasonal southwest Florida rental rented. Did you know that photos sometime make or break a booking?

Here are 3 easy steps to follow when taking and choosing which photos to use in your online listing:Digital Camera

  1. Make sure you’re using a camera with a high enough megapixel. Anything above 5 megapixel should be fine. If you don’t know where to find this information just ask someone, even your local Best Buy employee! The higher the number the better the quality of the photo. The photo will be bigger in size, too. Potential renters like to really see the details of rental homes.
  2. Compose pictures with natural light. Taking pictures during the daylight is better than taking night shots. Harsh lamp or fluorescent lighting creates ugly shadows, which doesn’t bode well for good interior photos. Well lit pictures are more inviting. Your rental after all is in Southwest Florida, so take advantage of the amazing sunlight!
  3. Take pictures that help sell your rental. Bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms are necessary shots, but what sets your rental apart from others? Does your long term rental have a screened-in lanai, pool, bbq grill area? Is your seasonal rental in a complex that offers a community clubhouse, gym, or sauna? Even a photo of lush palm trees and well maintained landscape, help convey a sense of surrounding and living experience that will help possible renters decide which rental they want to rent.

You’re your best critic, so after you’ve taken your photos of your rental home, put them in front of you… would you rent your Fort Myers condo, Naples home, Cape Coral townhouse?

We help Southwest Florida homeowners advertise and market their rental home. If you’d like more information on listing your rental, contact SelectDwelling today!

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

Tourist Tax: Are You Collecting?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Florida Tourist TaxPeople who love the “good life” are packing their bags and making their way to Southwest Florida for the season. As a property owner you’re excited to welcome new renters into your home, but are you aware of the Tourist Tax? If you rent your home for less than 6 months then its your responsibility to collect a “resort, bed, transient tax” from your renters.

Go to your local county tax collector website to download the application and to verify the current tax rates. You need to complete the form in order to receive the proper tax return documents that are required when remitting taxes to your county tax collector.

Your short-term lease should have a clause about this Florida tourist development tax. Always make sure to review the tax when speaking with potential renters. Here are a few links to local county tax collectors:

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

Garbage Disposal Broken – What do you do?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

You receive a call from your renter, and they tell you the garbage disposal stopped working. How do you fix it?Plumber work tools

  1. Verify that the garbage disposal is plugged in—it probably is, but is good to check.
  2. Check the reset button found on the bottom of the unit. If the machine has been reset, the button will be popped out and you will need to press it in.
  3. Examine your circuit breaker and make sure it has not been tripped.
  4. If you still don’t hear any noise and the garbage disposal won’t turn on, its time to call a service company. *Disclaimer: Never put your hand down the drain to repair a garbage disposal.

One of our homeowners recommends First Class Plumbing in Naples, Florida. This professional company offers everything from leak detection, clogged drains, garbage disposal repair/replacement and more. They service clients from Marco Island to Fort Myers and provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

First Class Plumbing
6123 Lee Ann Lane
Naples, FL  34109

Has something similar gone wrong with your home rental? Contact SelectDwelling with your story and we’ll feature it on our blog.

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

Rental Pet Policy – Do You Have One?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

woman with pet at the beachWhen was the last time you reviewed your rental pet policy? As more people are traveling with pets, you may benefit from additional bookings if you allow them.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when considering opening your property to four-legged friends:

1. Check your Home Owners Association guidelines for pets. Some HOAs don’t permit any pets, and some only allow them under a certain weight (25 lbs)

2. Determine your pet standards and list them in your rental agreement. Some include:

  • Pets must be on leashes at all time and have up-to-date identification on collars.
  • Pet owners must be responsible for the proper care, feeding and removal of waste of their pets.
  • Pet owners are required to spray their animal for flea or ticks prior to arrival and must be up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Pet owners shall be liable for any damage caused by their pets.

3. Review your pet clause with the prospective renter. Inform them that prior approval, a pet fee and/or a damage deposit will apply to the rental. Amounts should be written into the rental agreement.

There are responsible pet owners looking for seasonal and annual rentals, don’t miss out on finding them!

Do you have a pet friendly rental? List your Southwest Florida property today.

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

5 Steps to Emergency Rental Home Repair for Out of Town Landlords

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

One of our homeowners recently got a call from their tenant in Naples, Florida informing them that their air conditioner had leaked and shorted out their water heater. Both of these appliances were in need of repair. So, what do you do when you have a rental house problem and you live over 2,000 miles away?

Here are five steps to take to resolve emergency rental home repairs long distance:

First, act quickly. Twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the initial renter phone call is the time to take action to fix the problem immediately. Your renter is your priority, so make them feel like it.

Second, during the initial call with your renter ask their availability. What is the best time for them to be available to let the service person inside the rental home. If you have a local friend or property management contact who has a set of keys perhaps they could come by to let the workers in, if the tenant is busy.

Third, do a Google search for at least 3 companies. Read any reviews, check out their websites, then call the companies directly to explain your problem and get a quote. If you get three different quotes you’ll have a better understanding of the real cost to repair the appliance. Always ask if the service person can do any work after 5 p.m.—some tenants are flexible to later arrangements and many installers offer after hours service—especially central air service in hot climates.

Fourth, after finding the ideal repair business, contact your tenant to confirm the service time. You don’t want to overly bother your renter, so a quick call to verify is okay. Then make the appointment for the service. As soon as possible!

Fifth, after the repairs, follow up with your tenant first to make sure everything is working properly again, and then call the service company back to review the work that was done and to get the final cost for the job.

That’s it! In our out of state homeowner‘s case, he worked with two companies and coordinated their appointments around each other on the same day! The homeowner and renter were completely satisfied with the professional service.

Remember your number one goal as a landlord, is to ensure that your tenant is happy and your rental home is rented. Swift action, including follow up phone calls, is key to any successful home or condo rental.

Learn more about how to rent your Florida home.

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

South Florida Property Owners, Renters and Craigslist

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

There has been an increase in available vacation rentals in South Florida due to strict bank loan policies, foreclosures, and the ongoing “I’ll wait for the market to return until I sell” mentality. Because of this surge in properties, con artists are coming out of the woodwork, so property owners and renters should be more vigilant when booking a vacation rental. A recent article by The Palm Beach Post: Craigslist scheme preying on unsuspecting South Florida renters is worth a read.

If you want to learn more about how to screen tenants, check out our post on Rental Fraud: Renting your Southwest Florida vacation rental.

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida

When should keys be given to new renters?

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

As the property owner, you should produce the keys to the renter only after receiving a signed lease, and any security deposit or rent (if required) by your booking details. Handing over keys to your Southwest Florida rental home is best done in person, or if you can’t be there, by someone else locally you can trust. Alternatively, you can have a lock-box system outside the property for key dispersal, or consider mailing the keys directly. Ultimately you will decide the best method that works for you and your tenant.

Learn more about how to rent your Florida home and start generating income.

Long-term and Seasonal Home Rentals in Southwest Florida