When Bob purchased an oceanfront vacation home along Florida’s Palm Coast, he couldn’t wait to spend time on the serene palm-fringed property with his family. But, like many vacation rental homeowners, Bob knew only a fraction of his time would actually be spent vacationing at his new property. Bob had two options for the home’s vacant days: He could either let it sit empty between visits or make his money back by turning it into a vacation rental.
A business strategist at heart, Bob chose the latter. “If we rented the property for even five or 10 years, we could pay for and eventually own it outright.”
Bob is well on his way to doing just that—but it didn’t happen overnight.
Becoming a vacation rental homeowner
Bob dove right into the vacation rental business. Like many investing in a second home, he couldn’t wait to start making his money back. But as Bob quickly learned, operating a successful vacation rental comes with unique challenges that often take away from enjoying and living the imagined vacation rental lifestyle. “We managed the home ourselves, and the horror stories would go like this. I’m sitting at my home pool with my family on the Fourth of July, just trying to relax and spend time together. Sure enough, a guest at my vacation rental would call to say the A/C isn’t working, or something else needed attention. Then I’m handling all these maintenance complaints to vendors, on a holiday, and not enjoying time with my family.”
“We managed the home ourselves, and the horror stories would go like this. I’m sitting at my home pool with my family on the Fourth of July, just trying to relax and spend time together. Sure enough, a guest at my vacation rental would call to say the A/C isn’t working, or something else needed attention.”
Time for a change
Bob was tired of the constant and unpredictable disruptions that took him away from his family, work, and quality time at home. That’s why he knew this DIY approach couldn’t last.
“Finally I realized I couldn’t do this anymore. I needed someone to take over and manage the property because I couldn’t enjoy my life.”
Bob knew his best option at making this investment work was hiring a property manager. He also knew that while this meant less revenue in the short-term, outsourcing to professionals could give him his family time back while also driving strong long-term performance.
Finding the right partner
Since this was Bob’s first foray into property management, he worked with an acquaintance – who had experience with Vrbo – to run his property for him. He knew this person, they were local, and it seemed like a great fit. Except he was still handling certain vendors, and family time was still jeopardized by tedious maintenance issues.
Looking for a better solution, Bob found TurnKey.
“You brought the extra resources I wish my former management company would have offered to make my life easier,” he said. “The fact you took all my vendors and managed them—that was truly turnkey.”
Bob chose TurnKey for our above-and-beyond features that make being a vacation rental homeowner easier. Through our network of local vendors and the best housekeepers in the market, we maintain his home to the highest standards, including:
- Ensuring his pool is sparkling clean and cannon-ball-ready for family vacations
- Verifying that the home is stocked with items for guests year-round
- Checking that linens and towels are in tip-top shape and ocean ready
- Coordinating regular cleanings (and deep cleans) and maintenance checks to maintain the beach home’s pristine condition
Focusing on the “difference makers”
At TurnKey, we ensure our homeowners can be involved in the management decisions as little or as much as they’d like. In some cases, we handle everything from price setting (via our proprietary algorithm) to vendor management and marketing. For homeowners like Bob who want to apply their own expertise on the property, we’re happy to take a team approach. One of his favorite features of his home—both for personal fun and the competitive business advantage—is the second-floor pool.
“We’re the only house in the area with a second floor, ocean-view pool. I was able to collaborate with the TurnKey experts and make sure that my home’s pricing reflected that. Factoring in these difference-makers or intangibles, we can maximize revenue.”
Bob considers his partnership and collaboration with TurnKey experts to be a major benefit to working with our team. “I think of it as a symbiotic relationship between homeowner and management company. Both sides are open and transparent, and we both value the other’s opinions.”
A team approach with big results
Since taking over Bob’s property management in Palm Coast—which includes responsibilities like housekeeping, vendor management, guest relations, marketing, home and amenity maintenance, and more—Bob’s home has nearly doubled in revenue. In 2019 alone, Bob earned more than $152,000 working with TurnKey, a 40% increase in revenue, and maintained an impressive 4.6-star rating on HomeAway/Vrbo.
While revenue boosts are adrenaline-pumping, they’re far from the only thing Bob cares about. He wants uninterrupted time with his family. He wants vacation to be truly relaxing—not waiting for the next cable-disruption call. And he wants to know his family’s dream vacation home is in good hands in between his visits.
“I really just want a management company where I can close my eyes, set it and forget it. A company that I know will send a check every month, while also keeping my best interests at heart … that’s TurnKey. There’s no one else.”
By alleviating vendor and other vacation rental homeowner responsibilities, we’ve given Bob time to focus on his life, family, work and potentially even buy another home in one of our other markets.