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Create a Budget and Forecast

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When you hear the terms budgeting and forecasting it is most often in reference to large businesses or organizations.  Even as a small business owner budgeting and forecasting are very valuable tools that can greatly improve the results and success of your business. Budgeting – documents how your plan will be implemented during the year on a month to month basis for each expenditure Forecasting – adepts to predict the financial outcomes based on historical data and when not available best estimates for the coming year or longer In previous posts we discussed how to determine how much you will be charging for your vacation rental and the cost that will be associated with marketing your property.  Your vacation property rental is a business and as such you need to know if at that end of the day you are going to be making money as a result of your efforts.  A budget will indicate what your costs are in relation to the income you anticipate to generate which will result in a forecast or projected profit. In addition to your marketing expense you will also need to determine all of your relevant cost that are associated with your vacation property.  These will be of two types.  Fixed costs are those expenses that don’t...

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Don’t Forget a Marketing Plan

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The idea that you may actually need a marketing plan to promote your vacation rental may at first seem more complicated than necessary, but it can make a very big difference in the number of bookings you receive.   You may be fortunate to have friends and family who help spread the word however it is not reasonable to think that this will achieve your occupancy goals.  Ultimately –even if you have only one property that you rent for a limited number of weeks– you are still running a business.  As a business you need to allocate your marketing resources wisely so that you can get the best possible result. In the vacation rental business, limited resources to invest in marketing is a very real concern.  There are an overwhelming number of advertising and marketing opportunities available, all of which could generate the needed bookings, but the cost could completely erode your profits if not used wisely.  In every market there will be free alternatives available and you should always take full advantage of those.  The added value of many of these free alternatives is that they are local and grass roots in nature which will ensure you are at the very least reaching your local market. Some of these local free alternatives include...

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Cottage Rules

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It would be great if you could just rely on common sense and didn’t need to set rules for your cottage.  The reality is however, that everyone will have a different interpretation of what is and isn’t allowed.  It is important to spell out what your expectations are for anyone renting your property.  This will not only ensure there are no misunderstandings but it could also protect your property and even your relationship with fellow cottage owners. It’s tempting...

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How To Get Paid

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In a previous post we talked about how to set your rental price.  Now we need to figure out how to actually get paid.  Thankfully the growth of small niche and at home businesses has created a number of easy to use tools and options that are perfect for property managers.  Of course all the traditional options are still available but you will need to make some decisions as to what will work best for you and your customers. ...

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How to Set Your Cottage Rental Price

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How much to charge for your cottage rental involves a number of elements that you will want to take into consideration.  It may be tempting to charge a high rent so that you can reap the level of profits that you feel your property deserves, but that may result in fewer rentals which will ultimately generate less profit. It really becomes a balance between attracting visitors and earning enough to pay your cottage expenses, and the profit you were...

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Don’t Be Exposed to Liability

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Liability exposure is something that needs to be taken seriously when you are in the business of renting your property to others.  In many ways this is an extension of the Property Condition concerns that were discussed in a previous article.  Once you have taken care of all the aspects of the property that could pose a possible chance of injury to your guests you need to protect your business and yourself.  Even with the utmost care to detail and a very...

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Property Condition Matters

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Making sure your property is ready to rent matters, and can make the difference between a happy repeat customer and a frustrated unhappy one.  The condition of your property can be very easily overlooked in favour of decorating and esthetics, which are of course very important but can’t take a front seat to necessary repairs and functionality.  Paying guests have much higher standards than family and friends, and in a lot of ways the requirements for the condition of...

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