Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Damage Dilemma

When you choose to rent your property as a vacation rental at the Lake of the Ozarks, you run the risk of property damage. From understandable accidents to wild parties, we've seen our fair share of property damage caused by renters. In the past, a damage deposit was collected on every rental, but luckily Your Lake Vacation has a better solution!

Trustworthiness of Guests

When it comes to short-term rentals, some type of property damage is inevitable. Many guests claim property damage as an accident or even deny that it happened on their watch. In addition, some guests have been known to glue things back together, hide broken items in closets, etc. Others would claim that the item was broken before they got there. (That's one of the reasons that we ask you report anything you see upon your arrival. We also do an inspection before your arrival.) In the early days of the company, we would collect a $300 damage deposit from our guests. In the event something was broken, we would pay for it out of that deposit. The issue however, is that it's not always easy to determine who actually broke or damaged the property in question. If the guest tried to hide damage, it may not be discovered until several other guests have stayed in the property. While some guests would admit to the damage when asked, others would seem flabbergasted that we would even think such a thing. In both cases, neither guest felt that they were responsible for the damages.

Damage Deposit Costs

One of the first questions asked by most owners when inquiring about our Lake of the Ozarks vacation rental program is, "How does damage work and who pays for it?" In the past, the answer revolved around that damage deposit. Unfortunately, no one was really benefiting from that strategy, not the guest, not the owner and not us. Not only does a damage deposit system cost the guest more, as they have to have the funds available prior to their arrival, but it was costing our property management company a ton of money each year in credit card processing fees. We had been spending nearly $5,000 per year just on processing fees for those deposit transactions. In addition, we were losing otherwise good customers when we kept their deposit or even a portion of their deposit. So how do we fix the problem, keeping both us and the customers happy?

Damage Waiver Program

Our travel insurance company told us about a damage waiver program they offer. The way it works is that each guest purchases a damage waiver for a small fee and that plan covers them up to $3,000 in accidental damages during their stay. Not only were we saving costs, but our guests were happy they weren't shelling out cash for the lamp their kid broke or the kitchen chair that's missing a leg. Accidents are bound to happen and this damage waiver program allowed for those mishaps to not affect us, the owners or the guests as much. Once we implemented the plan, more guests would report accidents and we stopped finding as many hidden items. The damage waiver plan saves us in credit card fees, while also allowing us to cover those "accidents" that tend to happen to even the best of renters. Our guests are happy, our owners are happy and so are we!

When you choose to rent your Lake of the Ozarks home or condo as a vacation rental on our program, you can rest assured that it's in good hands. In the event that property damage does occur, we have a program in place to get your property back to normal in no-time, at no cost to you as the owner. For more information on our property management company at the Lake of the Ozarks, give us a call at 573-365-3367.

For more information please call us toll free at 1-877-284-0267!!
4571 Osage Beach Pkwy, Suite A
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Local - 573-365-3367
Fax - 573-365-5076  

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