Managing Vacation Properties in Carolina BeachIt’s all about personal service at it’s best.
Now that hurricane Arthur is behind us, it’s nice to get back to enjoying the summer at Carolina and Kure beach. We try to take long walks on the beach as much as we can these days knowing that summer goes by so fast. But along the way, we always enjoy taking good care of our owner clients.
What A1 Property Management is all about
Our company manages vacation homes and condos on Carolina Beach and Kure Beach for owners who may not live in the area and don’t want the stress of dealing with renters and upkeep. We handle all of this for them so they can relax and don’t have to worry. By working together as partners with our homeowners, we treat each home as though it were our own. We personally inspect each property after a renter checks out and we take care of any issues right away. We find that staying on top of things and being proactive about potential issues is a better way of managing properties than waiting for something to go wrong and reacting. We believe in communicating with our owners on a consistent basis so they know we are on the job, inside their property, and looking out for them since they can’t be here all the time.
Our first meeting together
When you first call us you will speak with the owner of the company, David, and he will set up your initial meeting. We know that since many homeowners live outside the area that first meeting may be over the phone but we hope you’ll be in the area soon so we can meet face to face. We’ll make an appointment to go into your home to inspect it and let you know our opinion as to how it can be best presented for rental. We’ll discuss rental rates, rules for renters, cleaning expectations, and commissions. It’s important that we have a good understanding of how we can work together to be successful. We’ll ask questions like: Do you only want weekly rentals in the summer? How often do you want to rent your home in the spring and fall? How about the off-season, are you interested in long-term renters during the winter months? How much time do you want to block off for your personal use?
We’ll be glad to spend as much time as necessary to answer your questions. We’ll also explain how we will advertise your home for rent and show you our great on-line reservation management system on our website. We make it easy for guests to book your vacation home or vacation condo in Carolina and Kure Beach.
Getting Started – a partnership
When we each decide that we are a good fit for working together we’ll go over all the paperwork. We’ll explain our Property Management Agreement and the responsibilities we will be handling. Our typical agreement is for a one year time period. We will also give you a copy of the Rental Agreement each renter will be signing before they are allowed to rent your vacation home. We’ll discuss issues like pets, smoking, maximum occupancy, damage protection plans, etc.
Now that you’ve hired us, what comes next?
We’ll start off by taking an inventory of your home, room by room, opening up drawers and trying everything out to be sure it all works properly. We want to be as ready as possible so when a renter arrives there are no surprises. We will always make sure your home is clean and ready for the next vacation guest. And just as important, after a renter checks out we will be in there restocking supplies and inspecting everything to make sure it was left in good order. Our renters purchase a damage protection plan that covers both you and them for up to $1,500 in damages. If a renter spills grape juice on the carpet, this plan will cover it. If a renter breaks a lamp, it’s covered. And for the items not covered by the damage policy we notify the renters immediately and deal with them accordingly. You will not find miscellaneous broken items and hear us tell you that we don’t know who caused it or when it happened.
Communication is important to us
Now that we’re partners, you’ll be hearing from frequently. We believe in a strong line of communication. If you’re afraid that once you hire us you’ll never hear from us again, well, that won’t happen. To sign on with a company and not hear from them again except when something goes wrong can be aggravating for owners. As an example, just the other day I called one of our client owners, Laura, just to check in and say hello. There was nothing particular to talk about, her home is booked solid all summer and is in excellent condition, we just wanted her to know we were alive and well and still on the job. She appreciated that call since she lives in Ohio and can only get here once or twice a year. Her husband Steve comes down each fall and always asks us what projects he can do while he is there. There usually isn’t much of anything to do since we take care of just about everything but small jobs can always be done - perhaps installing a towel bar or repainting a bedroom. Steve and Laura used to dread coming to their home because they had to spend a lot of their time fixing items that were neglected. Now they love coming here. They know that when they arrive they’ll find their vacation property maintained, clean and ready for them to just sit out on the deck and relax.
It’s a family affair
At A1 Property Management, we are a family and a team. We work together with everyone knowing what is expected of them. Each person pays attention to the little things when they are in a condo or home. My wife Sue has an excellent eye for noticing things that need special attention. For example she recently re-lined the cabinet under a kitchen sink because she saw that it was starting to look dingy. That means scrubbing, cutting and laying laminate, and now it looks brand new again. Details matter to us. She also has a great eye for décor and can find just the right items to make a home feel special. It’s that personal touch that makes a renter feel as though it were their own home and they then tend to treat it nicer. They also come back year after year and that’s what we strive for – the best of the best of renters, people who appreciate and care for a home that they rent here.
Sue and I have two daughters, Chelsea and Kayla and they both work in the family business. Chelsea has a knack for computer work and enjoys dealing with renters, answering their questions, and helping them book their vacation rental. Answering all the calls and providing information to renters keeps her busy for sure. She also helps out in restocking supplies at each of the homes and inspects them when renters check out.
Kayla is currently attending UNCW and helps out with the cleaning. She also keeps her eyes and ears out for anything that may require special attention. For example if while she is cleaning she notices that a toilet is running or that a remote control is missing, she speaks up. Again, these may seem like small things and not very important but they are important to us. Over the course of a year the cost to repair and replace lost items adds up. If we do our job right and continually inspect our homes we can keep up with theses things and save our partners money. We’ve had to call more than one renter after they’ve checked out and ask about lost remotes, keys, or minor damage.
Year-round vacation rentals and exceptional services
Another important aspect of our company is that we work hard 12 months of the year to attract guests which then provides our partners additional rental income besides just the summer months. That extra income adds up quickly and allows our partners to gain the flexibility to spend a dollar here or there to improve their home. This process is a cycle that over time makes them even more money – added rental income – home improvements – even more rental income. It’s a win/win for everyone.
As an owner, how do I get started?
If you’re interested in becoming a partner with David and his team at A1 Property Management and getting the most out of your beach home give us a call. As a small company we can offer you exceptional service and will treat your home as though it were our own. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Have a fantastic summer!
David, Sue, Chelsea and Kayla
A1 Property Management