For over 7 years our family has been fortunate to own 3 wonderful vacation homes – two ski properties located in Deer Valley, Utah and one direct oceanfront beach condo in New Smyrna Beach, FL.
Our first vacation property that we purchased is located one hour from where we live in Orlando, in beautiful New Smyrna Beach, a favorite beach destination of Central Floridians and travelers from around the world. When we first started our search for the perfect place we noticed that most properties that we looked at and had stayed at were not very child friendly, had not been updated much since they were originally built, had empty kitchen cabinets and seemed to be set up for owners rather than guests. When we found the Southwind condominiums it stood out from the rest as being very friendly, well built, was one of the few that was gated, had a beautiful manicured lawn between the property and the beach, had a huge direct oceanfront pool, two tennis courts, shuffle board courts and had a nice recreation room. We purchased it and renovated it from top to bottom and made a point to make sure it was extremely family friendly for our future guests. We also stocked the unit from top to bottom to make it more convenient for renters that like to cook, and families with small children who may enjoy toys, games, books, DVD’s and more. We also added pool and beach items, chairs, umbrellas, a beach buggy and converted an owner’s closet into a guest closet with more fun beach supplies. In 2004 I sold my company and devoted myself full time to the vacation rental business. In a few years our property became the number one rental property on the beach (based on numerous property management companies’ feedback). With three vacation properties on the beach in Florida we decided that our formula of family friendly, clean, well stocked property could work elsewhere. So we decided a ski property would be a good fit. We targeted Park City, Utah where one of our family members had lived previously for many years and was moving back to. After much research and after looking at dozens of properties one property clearly stood out from all the rest – the Ridge townhome which we purchased in 2005. As with our beach condo, we had it extensively renovated from top to bottom, added many amenities very few if any other properties we saw offered to guests, and made a special effort to make it very family and child friendly. The response again from guests was tremendous and in the last 6 ski season we have been booked between 90 and 95% of the available ski season dates. This is close to double the average for Deer Valley rentals. In 2007 we added our second Deer Valley property, with the Arrowleaf Lodge ski-in/ski-out luxury condo and for the last 4 ski seasons we have matched our Ridge town home in ski season occupation with between 90 and 95% dates booked for each ski season. Our whole family participates in making the units nicer each year. Our children help with buying new toys, games, books, DVD’s, dolls, dress up clothes, and more every summer when we visit our properties. Since our rental revenue is much higher than other comparable units we are able to add more supplies, many extras and continually upgrade our properties.
We built up our vacation rental properties group to 6 beautiful homes. We have since sold three of our properties over the years and we now concentrate solely on the three wonderful properties that we currently own. Our formula for rental properties is simple but unfortunately uncommon – put the guest’s needs first, make each property very family and child friendly, make the units nicer than the competition but without making them feel like a museum, offer more amenities and extras than other properties, price them fairly and offer outstanding customer service.
We hope you too can enjoy one of our wonderful properties.