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Market Update

Beach House Rentals 2010

The year of deep discounting on vacation rental houses may be over. It is not that you can’t get good deals, you certainly can, but many of the deals will be different this year. Property managers and property owners are trying to keep their rental rates stable, but offering packages and amenities that will save you money during your vacation.

Just as some of the best hotels offer package deals, rather than deeply discounting their room rates, vacation homeowners are offering services and gift certificates to boost home rentals. This trend of offering packages is good news for vacation home renters.

The home rental packages take many forms. Some vacation property managers offer linen service, beach umbrellas, maid service, etc with their higher end properties. As the market softened last year, many owners upgraded their properties and chose to participate in the “premium” programs which include additional services without rental rate increases.

Add-ons are another way owners are enhancing their rental houses. Owners team with local merchants who will offer guest discounts for specific services. Favorite choices for discounts include restaurants, sporting equipment rentals, family photographs and green fees. Some creative property managers have even organized packages for their owners who can then offer the package with a specific week’s rental.

In the quest to add value to family vacations, Ron Watts and his team at Sunset Properties, on Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle, NC have developed packages for deep sea fishing, surfing, and a “Kicking Back Package” featuring a gas grill, 4 beach chairs, beach umbrella and a beach wagon. If an owner wants to incentivize renters, he can offer the package to be included in the week’s rent.

The 2010 season looks to be a good for beach house renters. To get more for your vacation dollar, look for houses in the premium programs -they may not cost more, but will offer more services and amenities. Also, ask about discount coupons and packages when you are renting. They may be available if you inquire.

Beware! The most popular houses and the most popular weeks rent quickly, sometime a year in advance, and you are not likely to get deals. If you can rent a house at the beginning or the end of the season, you have a better chance of getting a discount or package.