Busman’s Holiday – Vacation Rental Lessons Learned and Reinforced!

COVID messed up our Christmas travel plans overseas this year so we decided to vacation closer to home and take advantage of a drive to market! Where do Owners of Vacation Rentals in Rehoboth Beach stay when they travel? A vacation rental, naturally! Seriously, we love to stay in vacation rentals when we travel, not only for the many known advantages of such lodging options, but, also we learn a lot from the Guest perspective. We realize when we’re getting things right in our rentals, and get good ideas for things to add, or do differently. We decided to look for vacation rentals in Key West, Florida.

We booked, “Conch Cottage” – a delightful one bedroom, one bathroom vacation rental direct through Preferred Properties Key West, in, you guessed it, Key West, Florida. Start to finish this company did a great job and we were very appreciative. For those familiar with the #BookDirect movement, yes we were able to secure better pricing by finding the company’s website and booking directly with an Agent at their office. Our Agent was Jose Wenzel and he did an amazing job! Thank you!

Here are the things in this cottage booking that delighted us as Guests and impressed us as Vacation Rental Owners and Managers. In no particular order:

  1. A well stocked kitchen. All the necessary kitchen equipment one would need to cook family meals for a week. Bonus points for including a tea kettle! Be still my ex-pat British heart!
  2. Keyless digital entry with check in and check out directly at the property. No need to go to a rental office in business hours and stand in line in the heat wearing masks to pick up a key. No key to lose.
  3. Linens (bedding and towels) included. Loads of linens stacked everywhere! Thank you! We did not have room in the car or know the area well enough to arrange ourselves.
  4. A clean working propane gas grill with a spare (full) tank of gas. Being that we stayed over a holiday period (Christmas) we did not want to have to disturb the poor on call Agent with a grill or out of gas emergency. Thank you!
  5. A very comfortable bed. This is not as easy as it sounds. Many buy beds for vacation rentals and never sleep in them so don’t realize that they can be uncomfortable at any price point. Price does not guarantee comfort in a mattress. Research options thoroughly and stick to a good one you find, replacing often. Extra marks for including a headboard, two nightstands and two bedside lamps (not as common as you’d think).
  6. A good supply of spare batteries and lightbulbs. Again, kudos for thinking ahead and sparing the on call Agent that call!
  7. A starter kit of the essentials – paper towels, bathroom tissue, trash bags, dish and laundry detergent, and salt and pepper. You’ve persuaded us we need to do the same!
  8. A recliner among the living room furniture. I am sold on putting one in every vacation rental interior I do from now on!
  9. Much thought given to the outdoor space. Our rental was a one bedroom cottage on a busy street. We booked it as much for the private back yard as the cottage itself. A sizeable portion of the property staging budget has clearly been allotted to the back yard. There were high quality well-maintained dining table set, sun loungers, hot tub, and outdoor shower. Wow! We used it a lot! When we felt like people (and rooster) watching, we enjoyed the front porch swing.
  10. Nice hospitable extras. Yes, there was a welcome book at the property with all necessary information including emergency after hours contact support. We were also impressed at the inclusion of rain/shade umbrellas at the front door.