Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reduced Prices on Sanibel Island: The difference between a plane seat and a condo

The tropical storms seem to have passed, but now there is a financial storm brewing. Everyone is either curtailing travel plans or looking for the most cost effective way to vacation.

Getting a reduction on your vacation rental for weeks in October or even November will not be difficult, however, renters should bear in mind that a vacation rental condo does not operate on the same principal as an airline.

The plane, whether full, empty or somewhere in between, will have pretty much the same cost to travel from point A to point B.

A condo, whether occupied or vacant, has a very different cost for the same situation.

The condo owner will not owe a commission, have to do a cleaning or take a risk on damage if the condo is not occupied. Additionally, with no renters in the unit, there is a significantly decreased cost in utilities.

All this is to say that just because an owner has a unit vacant, does not mean he or she will take any offer to fill that vacancy.

If you see a unit that you like for a posted rate of $800 per week, anticipating that you can get it for $400 is more than likely a flight of fancy.

The owner will pay that much in costs for cleaning and commission as well as utilities.

Our condo is vacant for the week of October 18 and normally rents for $795. Will I discount to get it rented? Of course I will at this late date. Will I rent it for only $400? No, not with my costs and my risks in doing so.

I have it "on sale" on craigslist for $745 and would even consider less. But not that much less.

So if a renter is interested, the best approach is to consider what you want to pay balanced by the realities of operational costs for the owner.

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