Questions Asked by Homeowners

Before selecting a vacation rental property management company certain questions should be asked to ensure your goals as a homeowner are inline with what the property management company provides and to ensure your home will be taken care of. Utah Vacation Homes has compiled the "Top 11 Questions" you should ask before deciding on a property manager.

1. How many properties in the same development will you manage?

Utah Vacation Homes is committed to maximizing reservations for all homeowners; as a result we do not want to saturate our inventory in one development.  We do not have a set number of properties that we'll manage in one development; however we will not bring on more properties at the sacrifice of reservations at other properties in the same development. 

2. What is the property to staff (non-housekeeping) ratio?

Utah Vacation Homes values all of our owners and guests and has deliberately structured our company to ensure that needs are taken care of. For every six to eight homes we manage we have one staff member. This allows us to maximize reservations and properly take care of your property.

3. How do you support guests and owners during their stays?

Utah Vacation Homes' offices are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to serve owners and guests. After 5:00 PM and before 9:00 AM and on weekends we have an emergency pager that rotates through Utah Vacation Homes' managers to respond to guest and owner emergencies. Although Utah Vacation Homes doesn't offer in-house concierge services we do work with outside concierge companies and all of our staff are familiar with the area and can make recommendations or provide local information.

4. How do you find guests?

Most of our marketing is done online through vacation rental websites as well as through other tourism related websites. We do not use travel agents or wholesalers to subsidize our marketing which means you, the homeowner, will not lose revenue due to costs associated with commissioning travel agents or wholesalers. We also market through various associations where we are members including: Utah Ski and Snowboard Association, Park City Chamber Bureau, Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Vacation Rental Managers Association, Park City Area Lodging Association, and Utah Hotel and Lodging Association.

5. What precautions are taken to ensure my property is not damaged?

Utah Vacation Homes appreciates the investment you have made in your property and as such we have developed a process to minimize damage. This process is described below:

  • A Utah Vacation Homes representative speaks with every guest prior to confirming any reservation, including those guests who book online. This personal contact allows us to know the group and their needs before they arrive. It also allows us to describe our policy on parties and large functions. Another reason we have decided against using travel agents and wholesalers is to ensure that a Utah Vacation Homes representative speaks with every guest.
  • We require at least a 3 night minimum on all reservations unless we receive permission from home owners for a specific reservation.
  • Our rental agreement, which we require every guest to sign before confirming a reservation, states that properties cannot be used for hosting weddings, parties or other large gatherings and that smoking inside the property and pets are not allowed. We enforce this policy by evicting guests who host parties or other large functions and charge guests a minimum of $200 for smoking inside the property or for housing a pet.
  • Occasionally there are guests who cause damage to the property. We offer our guests an accidental damage waiver which covers accidental damage to the property. If a guest chooses not to purchase the waiver, we collect a $1500 deposit which is refundable upon our departure inspection. In addition, our rental agreement allows us to charge the guests credit card for the damage they caused.
  • Utah Vacation Homes has made inspections a priority. Before a guest arrives and after the cleaning crew has finished cleaning, an "arrival inspection" is done. This allows us to ensure the home is ready for the guest and to assess the condition of the home. Upon departure and before the cleaning crew arrives another inspection is done and is compared to the arrival inspection. This often allows our inspectors to be in a property twice a day. By doing an arrival and departure inspection we can charge the guest for any damage beyond reasonable wear and tear. During the off-season or whenever a property is vacant more than one week we do an inspection to ensure everything is in order.
  • During peak times we drive by properties at night to ensure the guest is not hosting parties.
  • In most cases we do not provide keys to guests. This minimizes lost keys and helps keep properties secure. Each guest is provided an access code for a key pad which unlocks the door. We use a specific key pad and the cost for this is included in the set up fee.

6. What does it cost me to list my property with your company?

There is a one time set up fee that is approximately $450 - $600 based on the size of your property. This fee covers stocking and maintaining the home with linens, creating a unit page for our website, and replacing the current lock with our key pad. The linens belong to Utah Vacation Homes and the key pad belongs to you. Our commission is 40%. Other costs vary based on individual properties needs and include

  • Required deep clean 1-2 times a year
  • Window cleaning
  • Annual supplies e.g. filters and batteries
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Firewood
  • Snow removal
  • Hot tub

7. What is the cost for service calls?

Utah Vacation Homes generally does not charge a fee for going to your property. If the service call is less than twenty minutes or is in response to our guest's needs you will not be charged. To maintain our standards we reserve the right to replace or fix any non-emergency problem without an owner's approval if the cost is less than $200. If it is an emergency i.e. broken pipe at 3:00 AM we will respond immediately to the problem.

8. How many nights can I expect?

The amount of nights you can expect is dependent on several factors including the economy, sleeping capacity, location, owner use, rates, weather, decor, when we receive your contract, and amenities such as hot tub, game table, internet, and air conditioning. Most of our reservations are for the ski season, December 15-March 31, but our summer business continues to grow. In 2008 we averaged 72 nights per property, with our highest 144. For a more accurate estimate on your property please contact one of our property managers at 800-667-9456.

9. Are there restrictions on how often I can stay at my property?

We realize one reason you own your property is so you can stay there, but in order for both of us to benefit we have some restrictions during the ski season. From December 15 - March 31 you can stay 21 nights at your property. During the rest of the year we do not limit the amount of nights you stay.

10. Who stays with Utah Vacation Homes?

Not only do we pride ourselves for personally knowing the homes we manage, but we know who stays in them. We have done extensive research gathering information from our guests to determine who they are and what they value. This knowledge allows us to better serve our guests to gain repeat guests. Most our guests are families, guy ski groups, and business retreats. 84% of our guests generally vacation with family and 79% take at least one ski vacation a year.

11. What should I consider when I buy an investment property?

UVH can assist you in finding just the right location, size and layout for the best potential return on your Vacation Home investment. We also can help you design and furnish the interior so it will be attractive for potential guests.