Hotels often enjoy the advantages of brand recognition, familiar reservation processes, and on-site staff for problem resolution. For a guest, booking a vacation rental often meant stepping out of that comfort zone. Perceived cons of vacation rentals include having to communicate directly with the property owner, being unfamiliar with the property, lack of on-site staff, and concerns about quality or cleanliness. However, there are many vacation rental agencies that manage vacation properties for owners and they offer many of the same services hotels offer to their guests, e.g., front desk check-in, 24-hour maintenance, in-house housekeeping, concierge service. The benefits generally outweigh the potential negatives, with many vacation rentals offering more space (multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, separate living areas), more amenities (fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, private hot tubs), convenient locations (on the beach, ski-in/ski-out) and greater privacy than a hotel. As of 2006, vacation rental management has become a $10 billion industry. Vacation rentals can be a budget studio or an expensive private villa on a private island that runs more than $450,000 a week with a full staff to cater to the guests. vacation rentals are available in most states of the US including major tourist areas such as Hawaii, California, and Florida. The vacation rental market is larger in Europe than it is in the United States.
Consumers unfamiliar with the concept of a vacation rental may confuse it with the seemingly similar, but distinctly different, timeshare. A timeshare can still be rented as a vacation rental should an owner decide to put his owned week(s) on a vacation rental program. Many timeshare resorts offer quarter-ownership which offers the owner 13-weeks of ownership and, therefore, more weeks to offer for rental. A timeshare is a piece of real estate—often a fully furnished condominium—that is jointly shared by multiple owners. While different types of timeshare ownerships exist, in general, each owner bears a portion of the responsibility, along with the right to a segment of time in which he or she is granted sole use of the property. Timeshare resorts allow financially qualified guests to rent and tour their unowned properties and then make those properties available to the guest for purchase. Timeshare owners can also choose to bank their week with and exchange company such as RCI, or rent the unit Similarly, a vacation rental is a fully furnished property, such as a condominium, townhome or single-family-style home. However, a true vacation rental is not for sale to the guest; rather, the owner of the vacation rental merely allows the guest to rent the property for a predetermined length of time. Although lower rents for vacation rentals by owner were once the norm, this is no longer the norm nor the primary benefit. Quite often a by owner vacation rental will feature more amenities included in the rental like games, beach equipment, DVD libraries, and a stocked kitchen. Owners managing their own properties tend to be more aware of wear and tear and have better cash flow to use to maintain and upgrade the property.
Vacation Rentals Community Offers Forums, Blogs, Help and Advice to both Vacation Home Owners and Travelers.
The first-ever online resource that provides both travelers and vacation home owners a platform to interact and discuss different topics related to vacation rentals. Vacation Rentals Community is a social network with a common interest, idea, task or goal that interact in a virtual society across time, geographical and organizational boundaries and is able to develop personal relationships.
Vacation Rentals Community has different levels of interaction and participation among their members. This ranges from adding comments or tags to a blog or message board post to participating in polls and post links back to their own websites.