Friday, April 27, 2012

Seattle Radio Station Interviews VRRegs.Com

April 22nd, 2012

Nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and talk-show host, Tom Kelly interviewed the author of this blog, Doug Coates, broadcasting on  KIRO-FM Radio from the HomeAway.Com Summit in Austin, TX  on April 22nd, 2012.  Homeaway is the world's largest vacation rental listing site, and puts on an annual conference for rental owners and managers. The host of the show, Tom Kelly, was doing a segment about Vacation Rentals and how they fit into their communities.  Here's the interview.

- KIRO's Tom Kelly:
Today's show is about whether people can make money by buying vacation rental homes and renting them out.

I'm here with Doug Coates who writes a blog about vacation rental home regulation and operational practices.

Doug, what is the main fear in small communities about vacation rental homes.

VRRegs.Com, Doug Coates:
In many communities the residents complain about wild parties at rentals, illegal activities, parking problems, traffic, and garbage.  Some neighbors of VRs consider the rentals to be "illegal lodging businesses".  When we have looked into what the problems are, we find that many of the complaints can't be documented.  But we also find that there are valid concerns about parking and garbage.

We think the bigger issue is that neighbors of vacation rentals feel like they have lost some of their privacy.  They don't know who their neighbors are anymore.

We've been working with rental owners and managers to address parking and trash concerns, and to make sure that local community members understand what vacation rentals are and how they benefit the local community.

KIRO's Tom Kelly:
Don't retailers, restaurants and local stores realize that their profitability is bolstered by when vacation rentals bring more visitors to their community?

VRRegs.Com, Doug Coates:
Rental owners go to great lengths to promote local businesses.  When I started my rentals I went out looking for all of the best restaurants and attractions.  My guests get a list of "Doug's Picks" which features the best local businesses to patronize.

But when we went to some of these same businesses in Tillamook County in 2009 to ask for their support, many of them told us that guests that stay at vacation rentals are not important to their businesses.   They didn't seem to be aware of how heavily we promote them and that we make a point of sending customers directly to them.  They didn't understand how much money owners and their guests spend at their businesses.

Other business owners tell us that they don't want to publically support us because they are afraid doing this will make their regular local customers angry, or put them at odds with local legislators that don't like vacation rentals.

KIRO's Tom Kelly:
What is the hottest topic on your blog?  What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a vacation rental.

VRRegs.Com, Doug Coates:
First, find out what the local laws say about vacation rental operations.  Find out what permits and licenses you need.  Find out what rules and restrictions you will have to live under.  The last thing you want to do is make a large real estate investment assuming that you will rent out the property, and then find that local laws prevent you from renting, or won't allow you to run the operation the way that you want to run it.

You also need to find out what local lodging taxes you have to comply with.

Its also very important that you let local people know what you are doing.  The best property managers and owners go around to all neighbors of the rental, tell them what they are doing, hand them a card, and tell them to contact them directly any time that the neighbor has an issue or a concern.   This way problems get resolved promptly and there is less need for involvement by local authorities.  

Vacation rentals can bring many benefits to their communities if owners, managers and local community members work together.

Listen to the entire broadcast here....

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