Tips for picking the perfect short term rental
As the owner of a short-term rental, Sea Ranch Abalone Bay, our goal is to make your stay with us as pleasant and enjoyable as we possibly can. We continue to improve our home and hope the vacationers with whom we share it are comfortable and pleased with its changes. We also look forward to your reviews and suggestions on making it even better for your next visit.
But how can you be sure that when you book with Abalone Bay or any other vacation rental home, you will have the delightful time you envisioned when first planning for your trip? Listed below are hints that we as vacation home renters ourselves and others have used to make sure the selection of homes to be used for your vacation meets all your expectations.
1. Order your vacation rental priorities
“Location, location, location,” were the words given to us when we purchased our home. And what could be better than having an oceanfront house- so we said “Sold!” to the agent and are thrilled to be sharing Abalone Bay with you.
However, another point to consider is purpose, purpose, the purpose for your short-term rental home. For instance, when you vacation at The Sea Ranch, what will your purpose be, what are your priorities for your vacation?
Make a shortlist of your dreams
To make sure your vacation meets all your dreams create a shortlist of possibilities, desires, and non-negotiables. This will also help you in your Google search.
Views and Accessibility
Must your rented home have fabulous views?
Does your short-term rental need to be wheelchair accessible?
What will you be doing there?
Will you be doing quiet activities, such as reading a book or enjoying a glass of wine at sunset?
Will you be working or studying remotely and need an internet connection and if so how fast?
Other ideas for your vacation
Are you attempting to flee from your phones, laptops, and other electronic toys while you get your zen on?
Will you be bringing your dog with you, or if you are not a dog person, can you stay in a home that welcomes pets?
Do you need to keep up with the latest sports events on a large screen TV or prefer to go fishing for that elusive lingcod?
Must your location align with your ethics, world vision, concern for the ecology and environment?
The Sea Ranch community with its “live lightly on the land” philosophy and goals for ecological harmony in both construction and land use easily fulfills the eco-friendly priority. But how do you determine which specific house aligns with your ethics and vision? The answer may require a deeper dive into the short-term rentals’ listings or a direct questioning of the owner.
Sea Ranch Abalone Bay’s Vision Statement
Furthermore, owing to global warming, ecological and environmental concerns you can be assured we strive to make Abalone Bay an “eco-mmodation:”
As we now face the continued threat of global warming and rising seas, and frequent wildfires, Abalone Bay recommits ourselves to the original covenant of The Sea Ranch. Further, we also declare a climate emergency. Based on the science before us, we promise actionable steps to stop the climate emergency we now face.
To that end, Sea Ranch Abalone Bay Vacation Rental has joined Tourism Declares. This initiative supports tourism businesses, organizations, and individuals that declare a climate emergency and take purposeful action to reduce their carbon emissions. It is based on the advice from The goal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030.
2. Read the vacation rental reviews
Reading the reviews is a must when determining your selection of a short-term rental. After nearly 8 years Abalone Bay has amassed plenty of great reviews. However, for a newer vacation rental, you might find only a few reviews. That’s when reading closely and cross-checking with the photos becomes important. Prior guests will give you the best indication of what the home and surrounding area are really like. When possible contact the prior guest to ask further questions. But be aware that many online rentals may not have any reviews, while others may be suspiciously glowing.
How to search
Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor as well as the home’s listing sites are ways to determine the real condition of the home. You can locate your prospective home’s other reviews by using the specific name of the vacation rental or owner’s name. To assure you are not being scammed include keywords “complaints,” “fraud” and “scam.”
3. Research, research, research some more
I just love to research and love to show others how it’s done.. probably explains why I have my doctorate in education. Use Google maps to give you a better indication of what the home looks like, its surrounding neighbors and neighborhood, as well as any possible annoyances that may disrupt your holiday.
Simply put in the search bar the actual address of the home you are considering. If you do not have the address then use the home’s name and the general location, as in our case, “Sea Ranch Abalone Bay, Vacation Rental, “
Also, research the days available. While we pride ourselves in maintaining a current calendar for its properties other agencies and owners’ calendars aren’t always current, so double-check with the agency or owner.
4. Look closely at ALL the photos and reviews – official and of guests
Naturally, the goal of all advertising photos of any product is to invoke your desire to select the product, in this case, a vacation rental home. Owners, like us, want to put their property’s prettiest face out there for you. But we recommend you also be aware of the various tricks of the trade such as pulled window shades to hide an unsightly view outside or fish-eye lenses designed to make rooms bigger. Be concerned if you see more close-up photos of the flower, trees, ocean views, bookcases, blankets, bottles of wine, but not enough of the full yard or house and other amenities showing what a weekend in your selected house could truly be like. I much prefer the photos of previous guests who have first-hand experience with staying in the house.
Guest photos will more often capture the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly.
Don’t assume the little things that count
A few years ago we booked a home in Paris for our family’s summer vacation. It was great – well situated near the Eiffel Tower. The host was fabulous and very supportive in answering all our questions. Unfortunately, I failed to ask if his walk-up flat had a closet space for us. As I revisited his listing’s photos, I discovered that his photos showed all the details, but I missed the obvious that nowhere were there any spaces for our belongings. I just assumed. That’s when it becomes important to really look for the details, check all venues that have photos of your desired vacation rental, and if you’re still not sure, ask your host about the items that you will need to make your vacation perfect.
Why your reviews and photos are important
If you’re like us and most of our guests, you probably read reviews before deciding where you would stay. And if that’s true for you, then you have an understanding of how important reviews can be. Reviews are priceless for guests like you trying to understand the experience you could expect. While for hosts like us it lets us know where we have succeeded and where we need to improve.
How to write your review
When you do write your review we encourage you to consider sharing your experience on these topics:
- Quality of communication & information during your booking process and your stay
- Level of professionalism and friendliness with interactions
- Cleanliness of the home, quality of furnishing/finishes
- Amenities you enjoyed using, especially those that are not standard offerings elsewhere
- Proximity to local attractions, as well as anything else you think is helpful
And don’t forget your photos documenting the experiences.
That includes our photos too!
I encourage you to inspect closely our photos too! Once we complete our remodel we’ll post new updated photos of Abalone Bay on our website. We also post photos on our Abalone Bay Pinterest account, our Sea Ranch Abalone Bay Instagram account, and our Abalone Bay Collection of photos on Flickr. Photos of our home can also be seen on our Facebook page. Once we have received delivery of the final decor pieces of furniture and our garage is completed we will have Abalone Bay photographed professionally. Please closely inspect those photos of our beautiful Abalone Bay home and hopefully, you will be enticed to consider it as your next vacation rental. We will be very specific that those future photos provide you with honest and realistic views of our home as well as provide you that enticing vision of what your dream vacation could be at Abalone Bay.
5. Check vacation rental booking site’s policies
Before you book any rental, make sure that the site’s policy is comprehensive and addresses at least these three potential pitfalls. The first to be aware of is the host canceling a reservation less than 24 hours prior to the stay or failing to provide access to the property. Another is the rental’s size, amenities, or location differing from the description. Lastly, the accommodations prove to be unclean. Also, be sure you ask about the rules and regulations that must be followed once you do book your short-term rental and what are the repercussions for breaking any of them. For instance below are the regulations for staying at The Sea Ranch. You may expect added fines or even eviction if you fail to follow them.
6. Ask about specials or reduce rates
Be sure to ask about any possible offseason, extended stays, or other possible discounts available. For example, Sea Ranch Abalone Bay’s Inner Circle Members receive a discount as do our returning guests. Plus we occasionally include special promotions.
7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Of course, if there are serious issues or complaints you must speak up immediately to have those resolved. As a concerned owner, we want to know that Abalone Bay is meeting your expectations and contractual obligations. But as with anything, there will always be those little surprises, glitches along the way. Not to worry though. It will certainly not be the cause of the end of the world. Instead, they will be the stuff of stories that recall your adventures. You might even proudly share how you were able to roll with the punches to have one of the best times of your life.
Do you have other suggestions or tips that you have discovered along the way while renting a vacation home? If so please add them to our list!Book now