Getting Your Vacation Rental Property Portfolio Ready For Autumn

If the emergence of pumpkin-spice everything is any indication, summer is breathing its last toasty warm breaths and the cooler days of autumn are moving in.  For property managers, this means that the bustling summer vacation season is drawing to a close, and the transition to fall is dead ahead.

As kids go back to school and the stream of non-stop vacationers begins to trickle down, property managers now have the opportunity – and the need – to tackle full-scale inspections and maintenance projects at their vacation rental properties.  The goal, of course, is to get these tasks completed as quickly and efficiently as possible so that the properties can again be rented for the fall tourism season. With that goal in mind, here are five ways to have a more efficient transition from summer to fall.

Start well in advance; let technology work for you.  Inspecting dozens of vacation units can be a time-consuming affair, with mountains of paperwork and piles of maintenance work orders. When time is of the essence, and property managers want to maximize the time between seasons, the solution is to turn to new technology that streamlines the inspection process by digitizing it from start to finish. Property inspectors are now able to inspect a site, assess conditions, take documenting photographs, generate work orders and send reports – all using a mobile web-based platform, such as Inspector

Get ready for “the fall.”  We don’t call autumn “fall” for no reason.  As the leave fall, many will inevitably end up on roofs and in gutters.  It’s vital to get roofs cleared before fall and winter to reduce the possibility of roof damage (or collapse) associated with heavy rains or snow. Clogged or broken gutters can lead to flooded foundations or, in cases of freezes, ice damage to structures. Investing in gutter guards can make quick work of alleviating this issue.

Get the pests under control.  When the weather gets cooler, critters seek warmth and that means they’ll seek out any crack or hole that gains them entry into a building. The best and quickest offense is a strong defense, so plan on executing the following strategies: Locate their entry points and seal them off—secure dryer vents, caulk gaps between trim and siding, clean and seal soffit gaps, stuff copper mesh to holes insects use to get inside, seal doors and windows

Make properties energy-efficient. As the weather turns from hot to cold, there is a window of opportunity where neither air conditioning nor heating are required. Use this time to undertake quick and easy cost and energy saving projects such as cleaning filters, installing programmable thermostats, and adding efficient blinds or curtains.

Increase curb appeal. If the properties are located in a part of the country where the leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, the leaf-peeping guests will come. But the last thing these nature-lovers will appreciate is to pull up to their vacation home and see drab landscaping. In addition to preparing lawns for their winter slumber (fertilizing, seeding, etc.), fall rental properties will make a big impact if they’re dressed for the part, so bust out the pumpkins, mums, and goldenrod to greet vacationing guests with a burst of fall color.