Let Us Help Prepare Your Rental for Snowbird Season
The Phoenix area is a big market for “snowbirds” — individuals who travel to warmer states during the winter to escape the harsh winters up north. Typically these travelers are looking for long-term vacation rentals, which can be a bit tricky to manage.
There’s a lot that goes into preparing your rental for snowbirds, and if you’ve never done it before, it may be overwhelming. At RPM Evolve, we have years of experience managing snowbird rentals. Read on for our best tips.
Most snowbirds are retired and will be members of the 55-plus age group. Though safety should be a concern for any guests, there may be more to consider when hosting snowbirds. Do a once-over and check for any issues that could arise. Loose steps or stair railings, bathtubs without much traction, and showers without some way to stabilize one’s self should all raise eyebrows.
Most snowbirds pack as though they are going on vacation, not a cross-country move. Any home you plan to rent to snowbirds or other long-term vacationers should be comfortably furnished and stocked with linens. Include plenty of towels and sheets, as well as extra pillows and blankets for if it gets chilly.
Provide Coffee and Tea
Most snowbirds will view coffee and tea supplies as a necessity, not an amenity. At RPM Evolve, we require all of our vacation rentals to provide coffee and tea and the accompanying supplies. This adds a nice touch on guests’ first morning, when they may be jet lagged from the previous day’s travel.
Stock the Kitchen
While you don’t need to go grocery shopping for your tenants before their arrival, you should make sure the kitchen is fully equipped with the appropriate tools and basic non-perishables. You should have enough dishware for twice the number of people you plan to accommodate, and basic cookware that includes a pot, saucepan, skillet, and baking pans. Pantry items should include oil, flour, sugar, salt, and pepper at the very least, though we love when owners include more extensive spices as well.
Provide Cleaning Supplies
Encourage your guests to leave the space as clean as they found it by providing plenty of cleaning supplies. These should include a vacuum if you have carpet, a broom and dustpan, a mop and bucket or other wet floor alternative, all-purpose disinfectant cleaner, glass cleaner, and either soft cloths or paper towels. Don’t forget the dish soap and sponge, and for an extra touch, add a pair of cleaning gloves to protect your guests’ hands.
Create a Welcome Packet
Many snowbirds may not be familiar with the area — they may be first-time snowbirds, or they may have stayed at other rentals during previous years. For those guests who don’t know your neighborhood like the back of their hand, we recommend putting together a welcome packet with plenty of information about the surrounding area. Include maps, a restaurant and activity directory, phone numbers and directions to local hospitals, and emergency phone numbers to call. Most of these can be obtained from your local information office.
It’s also nice to include rules and instructions for your rental in the welcome packet. Trickier gadgets like the remote control, thermostat or coffee pot may need explanation, and if your rental is a non-smoking space, you may want to specify this.
Leave a Guestbook
Though not necessary, we love it when owners include a guestbook in their snowbirds rentals. This is a great place for your guests to leave feedback about their stay, and it can be fun to read back through once they leave. Place this in a prominent place and open it to a blank page to encourage your guests to contribute.
If it sounds like a lot to handle, don’t worry — RPM Phoenix can help. As a professional property management company, we have connections to dozens of companies that can help ready your property for snowbird season, from contractors to repair potential safety hazards to cleaning companies to make sure your home is spic-and-span for your guests’ arrival. We can even help you find affordable furnishings if your rental is missing an item or two, and provide you with a comprehensive checklist of everything to include for your guests’ comfort. For early or late arrivals, we’ll even be there to hand over the keys.
For more tips on renting to snowbirds or to enlist RPM Evolve’s help, give us a call at 480-RENTALS.