Isle of Palms Office

1400 Palm Boulevard Ste. M
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
843.886.5600

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Folly Beach Office

31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439
843.588.3800

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Dunes Downtown

11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843.722.5618

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Kiawah Seabrook Office

1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455
843.768.9800

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835 Coleman Blvd Ste. 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843.881.5600

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Tag: folly beach

Is Charleston, SC, a Good Place to Live?

Charleston SC, a good place to live

Ask any resident of the Holy City, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and you’re sure to be greeted with resounding affirmative responses. But, there are many factors to consider before moving to a new area. Generally speaking, Charleston is one of the best places to live in the country. In fact, the city has received an extensive list of accolades over the last decade, topping Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. Cities since 2013. But, before permanently relocating, you should have a good understanding of the city, its culture, climate and cost of living to ensure it will be the best fit for your lifestyle.

Fortunately, Charleston has an abundance of beautiful areas to reside–from the bustling downtown homes to the beachside Isle of Palms real estate. Learn more about this flourishing coastal town in South Carolina and figure out which area your new dream home will be located.

What Is Charleston Like?

The Weather

Perhaps one of the most enticing reasons to move to Charleston is the gorgeous weather year-round. The summers may reach scorching temperatures from time to time, but the winters are mild and pleasant. Plus, with so many beaches and outdoor water activities in the area, it’s easy to escape the summer heat while enjoying all the city has to offer. On average, the temperatures usually remain between the low 50s and 70s in the fall and spring, dropping down briefly to the mid-40s in the winter and rising back up to the 80s and 90s in the hottest of the summer months. With such a temperate climate, it’s no surprise an abundance of outdoorsy adventurers and beach bums gravitate towards this sunny little city.

The Food

Charleston, SC, is one of the greatest culinary destinations in the country right now with new restaurants popping up all the time. Many travelers come to the area to experience authentic Southern cooking, but stay for the surprising variety of cuisines available from classic French cooking to Sichuan joints. Of course, if you’re looking for good Carolina barbecue, you’ll have no trouble finding smoked meats from some of the most renowned pit masters in the state like Rodney Scott, but the adventurous eater will love all the other options available for exploring.

Food in Charleston SC

Though the downtown area has the greatest concentration of high-quality restaurants, you’ll find delectable dining throughout the area–from unexpectedly divine hidden fish shacks like Bowens Island Restaurant to decadent dining experiences at places like The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. Believe us, you’ll never be hungry when you’re living in Charleston.

The History

Originally part of the first 13 British colonies, Charleston and the surrounding areas have a deep, rich history that spans from the Revolutionary War through modern times.

Although some of the city’s past is dark, with slavery playing a major role in the pre-Civil War economy, Charleston has become a flourishing, progressive hub of forward thinking and modernity. From the mix of historical events that can take place here, including pirate endeavors and the creation of the first playhouse in the country, there is so much unique history to learn and experience.

The Outdoor Activities

With such beautiful year-round weather, it’s no surprise Charleston is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream place to live. Avid golfers look for Kiawah Island homes for sale to stay close to some of the top-rated championship courses in the country, while others prefer the bohemian vibe of Folly Beach. You’ll find exciting things to do in nearly every corner of Charleston. Visit the Francis Marion National Forest for a daytime hike along the Palmetto Trail, a cross-state trail that extends 350 miles with the goal of expanding to 500 miles. The Caw Caw Interpretive Center is another resource for experiencing and learning more about the Lowcountry’s environment and the beautiful creatures that inhabit it. And, in Charleston, anytime is a good time to go to the beach.

Outdoor activities in Charleston SC

The Architecture

Downtown Charleston is home to some unique and very specific styles of architecture, ranging from Colonial and Federal styles to Classical Revival and even Art Deco. With more than 2,800 historic buildings, the area is teeming with unique designs and stories to match. You could spend days exploring the streets of downtown, discovering new, incredibly built houses. One of the most admired styles is the traditional Charleston Single, which is typically a two-story home featuring a covered porch off the side of both stories, a setup unique to Charleston developed prior to modern air conditioning to allow for air flow in the scorching summers.

The Best Areas to Live in Charleston, SC

If you’re still wondering, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” then you’re asking the wrong questions. Charleston is one of the most beautiful places to live along the coastline, and it encompasses so many different areas that there are plenty of different types of environments to choose from.

Downtown Charleston

Most downtown residents consist of college students, young professionals or wealthy adults, with the South of Broad area being home to some of the richest residents in the area. The remainder of the peninsula welcomes the younger population, with many young families choosing to find homes further up the neck in the Wagener Terrace area. Close to Hampton Park and filled with adorable cottage-style homes, Wagener Terrace is close enough to the action of downtown while keeping a safe distance from the noisy bars and restaurants.

Mount Pleasant

Just over the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, you’ll find yourself in Mount Pleasant. In the last 10 years, this town has grown exponentially as more people fall in love with Charleston and decide to relocate here. Regardless of what area you’re in, Mount Pleasant allows you to remain fairly close to downtown while having a more suburban surrounding. There are two beaches in Mount Pleasant—Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms—so you have plenty of options when it’s time to hit the shore.

Mt Pleasant, SC a good place to live

For families looking to move to the area, Mount Pleasant is highly touted as having many of the best public schools in the entire state, a much sought-after characteristic. Enjoy spending your weekends walking through the outdoor town center, lounging by the beach or taking a walk over the bridge for unparalleled views of the surrounding area.

Folly Beach

Heading southwest of downtown, the opposite direction of Mount Pleasant, you’ll discover James Island, home to the charming little area of Folly Beach. Known as the Edge of America, this shoreside locale is known for being a bit more bohemian than the other beaches in the area, but nonetheless a favorite haunt for locals and visitors alike. Here, you’ll discover hidden gems of the culinary world like Jack of Cups Saloon and Chico Feo. You can opt to take a sunset walk along the pier, or drive farther down the beach to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve, a more secluded area of the beach where you can marvel at unique graffiti drawings and the abandoned Morris Island Lighthouse.

West Ashley

This area of Charleston was named for its geographical location as west of the Ashley River, which is also directly west of downtown. This charming town has plenty to offer, including proximity to downtown and its own hopping little area known as Avondale where you can explore funky tiki bars like Voodoo and even the oldest bar in Charleston, Gene’s Haufbrau. Though this area of Charleston is mainly residential, residents have easy access to the Citadel Mall, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Johns Island’s Angel Oak Tree.

Park Circle

Located in North Charleston, Park Circle is a short 15-minute drive from downtown. Considered a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood, Park Circle is home to young professionals and families. The strip of bars, restaurants and shops along E. Montague Ave. is the hub of this charming neighborhood, along with the adjacent Spruill Ave. businesses like brunch spot The Junction and the new Chinese-American joint called Jackrabbit Filly. Living in this area allows easy access to nearly every area of the city from downtown to the many beaches, while also harboring its own unique little culture of art and food.

Johns Island, SC a good place to live

Johns Island

Considered slightly more rural than other parts of Charleston, Johns Island is a gorgeous area surrounded by typical Lowcountry scenery of marshlands and live oaks draped in Spanish moss. The island itself is home to the Angel Oak Tree, what is believed to be one of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi, as well as renowned restaurants, the Fat Hen and Wild Olive, and the charming Low Tide Brewing. From this location, you’re just a short drive to the James Island music venue called the Pour House as well downtown.

Seabrook Island

As you move farther away from the city, you’ll begin to feel more entangled in the natural landscape of the Lowcountry. Seabrook Island is only about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston, but offers serene backdrops of marshlands and the quiet relaxation of the barrier islands. Here, you’ll be close to the many championship golf courses on Kiawah Island, while remaining slightly closer to the city of Charleston. One of the major differences between Kiawah and Seabrook is that Kiawah is a gated community. Some people prefer this type of privacy, while others find getting guests and visiting relatives in and out of a gated community to be a bit of a burden.

For those who love outdoor adventure, this area might be a better fit as the island’s surroundings are ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding and much more. If you’re in the market for a boat or you already own one, the advantage to living so close to the water is clear. And, with such a gorgeous climate, you’re able to sail across the water almost any time of the year. Just imagine a New Year’s Eve sunset boat ride before the festivities begin.

Kiawah Island

As the barrier island located right next to Seabrook Island, Kiawah is similar in surroundings with lush live oaks flourishing across the island and thriving marshlands providing homes for the unique Lowcountry wildlife. For those who are interested in birdwatching or other types of wildlife observation, the island is the perfect environment for such endeavors. You can visit the Beachwalker Park or Night Heron Park to look for native species or simply enjoy the surroundings.

While Kiawah Island is a bit farther south than Seabrook, it is still under an hour from Charleston, making it possible to take a day trip into the city at any given moment. But, the island itself provides a variety of entertainment options as well as top-notch dining available at The Ocean Room and lovely cocktails at the Ryder Cup Bar. For golf lovers, this island is truly a paradise with access to five public courses and two private courses, many of which have been created by top golf designers and offer a challenge to players of all skill levels.

If you’re looking for Kiawah Island homes for sale, you’ll find a plethora of gorgeous properties that offer privacy and proximity to desirable activities nearby. Anyone looking for a slower pace of life will be attracted to the atmosphere of Kiawah.

Experience the Lowcountry Life

charleston, a good place to live

People who haven’t visited the area often wonder, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Between the uniquely gorgeous natural landscape, abundance of activities and world-class culinary dining, what more could you ask for? If you’re thinking about relocating and looking for Seabrook Island real estate or property in the surrounding areas, consider the activities you’d like to be closest to. Seabrook and Kiawah offer the serenity of quiet island living, while areas closer to downtown Charleston provide the bustle of a small city and the promise of nightlife. Browse some of the available properties in the area and inquire with Dunes Properties to learn more about your next dream home.

A Weekender’s Guide to Folly Beach

Folly Beach is where Charleston locals and tourists alike flock to for a slice of paradise with a side of fun. More so than any other beach in the area, Folly, though small as it may be, is packed with stuff to do for the whole family.

Adventure.

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One of our favorite things to do while on Folly is to hang a left at the end of Center Street, following Ashley Avenue all the way to the end, park, and walk the 15 or so-minute stroll to the Morris Island Light House. Once there, behold the most secluded part of Folly Beach, a shore covered with beautiful driftwood, and the Morris Island Light House. You’ll love the desolate feeling out there, the staggering beauty all around. Bring a camera, because photo opps abound. To actually get in the water and explore, we recommend a kayak adventure through the meandering creeks we love so dearly in the Lowcountry. Folly Beach Adventures is one of many companies that will facilitate the rental of everything from kayaks and golf carts to stand-up paddle boards and surf boards. They also do guided boat tours.

Eat.

Taco Boy Folly Beach

Deliciousness at Taco Boy courtesy of Instagram @tacoboychs

There is definitely no shortage of great food on Folly. We love the Asian-infused food and craft beers at Jack of Cups, the shark tacos at Chico Feo’s outdoor oasis, more Asian-infused goodness at The ‘Wich Doctor, Tex-Mex at Taco Boy, and pizza from Woody’s. Oh, and you can’t miss the tuna watermelon nachos at Rita’s — trust us!

For all-things seafood, the Crab Shack has got you covered, but if you get in the car and drive up Folly Road for less than five minutes, you’ll find another local favorite, at Bowen’s Island (your GPS will get you there just fine!) The restaurant is likely to have a line because it’s that good, but you’ll also find some of the best views in Charleston and a place with a down-home, down-to-earth, casual feel.

Drink.

Surf Bar via IG user @surf_bar

Rainbow Behind Surf Bar on Folly Beach via Instagram @surf_bar

For a killer view of the sea to go with your cocktail, go to the rooftop of Snapper Jack’s, a bright, blue-colored building on Center Street that’s unmissable. For fun sake cocktails and delicious beers, make your way to Jack of Cups. Don’t miss the frozen screwdrivers at Taco Boy, beachfront pina coladas at BLU‘s beachfront bar, or pineapple jalapeno margaritas at Rita’s. If you’re one of those people who gravitates to the Irish pub in every city, St James Gate is where you need to be.

Shop.

dunes properties Folly Office

Ocean Surf Shop above the dunes properties office on Center Street

Sure, you can find plenty of your run-of-the-mill beach stores on Folly in case you need anything from sunglasses and bathing suits to tacky magnets and tees, but shop with the local surfers at Ocean Surf Shop for all your surf wear needs (located right above our Folly Beach office). For anything from gourmet to-go sammies, boiled peanuts, cool hats, beer, groceries, coffee, and hotdogs, go to the beloved Folly institution of Bert’s Market. It’s actually a must, so put this at the top of your list and thank us later.

Listen.

Dubplates at Loggerheads

Reggae with Dubplates at Loggerheads via Instagram @loggerheadsbeachgrill

Nothing says, “This is the good life” better than live music and an ocean breeze. Luckily, Folly is full of great local talent, and you’ll undoubtedly be able to catch some live tunes one of these spots: Loggerhead’s, Planet Follywood, Chico Feo, Surf Bar, or Drop In Deli.

Sleep.

507 East Arctic Avenue. Pink Flamingo, charlestoncoastvacations.com

507 East Arctic Avenue “Pink Flamingo”, charlestoncoastvacations.com

There’s not a lot of choice when it comes to hotels, but there’s plenty of beach rentals — with either the gorgeous marsh or the Atlantic Ocean as your backyard — where you can make yourself right at home. We recommend stopping by our Folly Beach Vacation Rental office or browse our website for all our vacation properties.  Summertime books up quick, but the Fall and Spring are still beautiful times to enjoy the Charleston Coast.

Farmer's Market

And in the off-chance that you’re in town on a Wednesday during the summer, check out the Folly Farmer’s Market, where you’ll find locally made goodies you can take back home with you. Also on Wednesdays in the summer months, we do movies on the beach! Bring a blanket and watch a movie in the sand behind the Tides hotel. Seeing something like Top Gun while the waves crash behind you — well, it doesn’t get much better than that, folks.

Oceanfront Folly Home – 1709 B East Ashley Avenue

1709 B East Ashley Avenue, offered by Vince Perna, gives you the feeling you are on top of the world. With some of the most amazing views on Folly, this stunning beachfront home boasts views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ravenel Bridge, two neighboring lighthouses, and the expansive Folly River. Check out this fantastic video of the property and click here to view the interactive floorplan and additional pictures.

Contact Vince Perna for more information

Featured Property: 150 Bee Street #611 – Bee Street Lofts

150 Bee St. 611 (1)0001

The featured property this week is 150 Bee Street #611, located in the Bee Street Lofts at Lockwood Boulevard and Bee Street, just adjacent to the Medical University of South Carolina. This 108 unit mid-rise luxury condominium building overlooks the Ashley River and is the most desired address of residency among Charleston doctors, nurses, and medical students who spend a lot of time at MUSC, the VA Medical Center, and Roper Saint Francis Hospital. The close proximity to the hospitals makes is possible for some doctors to do their rounds and return to the comfort and stress-free zone of their own home.

The Bee Street Lofts provide luxury urban architecture, soaring ceilings, gourmet kitchens, luxurious bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and travertine floors, and shows off 11 distinct floor plans with 41 variations. Some of the lofts have a wine fridge, 20-foot ceilings (on the Penthouse floor), and designer stained concrete flooring. The gated parking garage belonging to Bee Street Lofts provides each condo with one designated parking space. There is no guest parking, however, that doesn’t really matter when you are working just a block away! A lot of people automatically dismiss Bee Street Lofts because of the lack of parking, but what they don’t realize is that is is a very green choice worth considering. With the best location for MUSC students and workers and reasonable pricing, Bee Street Lofts are sure to attract a creative, urban mind set.

150 Bee Street Collage

 150 Bee Street #611 is one of the more detailed and extravagant lofts that Bee Street Lofts has to offer. The view from Loft 611 overlooks the Ashley River and Brittlebank Park. The 6th floor is plenty high enough to be away from the bustle of city living, but just high enough to be eye-level with some of the best fireworks in Charleston. There are two designated parking spaces for 150 Bee Street #611, making this loft a rarity at the complex. The loft features 2 spacious bedrooms with huge walk-in closets, each with a bath and a half for guests. The fixtures and finishes in the bathrooms and kitchen are fit for royalty. Off of the gourmet kitchen is a separate dining room and the grand living area has a balcony with a breathtaking view. Listed at only $459,000, don’t let this piece of Charleston History slip away! Contact Vince Perna for more information on this spectacular listing at Bee Street Lofts.

Vince Perna
vperna@dunesproperties.com
Office: 843.588.3800
Cell: 843.425.6414
Fax: 888.217.0372

It’s Beach Season in Charleston – Folly Beach

It’s beach season and there is no doubt that each one of Charleston’s beaches has it’s own charm. I would say that all are worth a visit, and you can pick one that suites your mood! If you’re looking for surf and are feeling adventurous, Folly is for you. If you’re looking for a great beach to take the kids to, Isle of Palms is where you should be. Want to go kiteboarding? Head on over to Sullivan’s. Each week we will be featuring a different local beach, and this week it’s Folly Beach! Below are some guidelines, rules, and what to expect at Charleston’s most laid-back beach.

Folly Beach

Collage

Folly Beach is known for it’s surf, college-aged eye candy, fun festivals, and eclectic lifestyle. Just 15 minutes from downtown Charleston, the locals like to call this The Edge of America. The bumper to bumper traffic (totally worth it!) is proof that Folly Beach is the only place to be on a hot summer day.

Folly Beach is probably the favorite beach among the locals. The beach is always open to the public and if you’ve got some cash, you can park at one of the beach’s access points. You can also park for free on the island streets – as long as all your tires are off the road and you don’t mind the walk. Folly is a great place to play volleyball, cornhole, and frisbee but there are some key rules to follow at this beach. There is no drinking or glass allowed on this beach. Trying to sneak it and getting caught will land you a $500 fine, so it’s best to just avoid it in my opinion. Also, starting Memorial Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10AM and 6PM, and they must always be kept on their leash at all times and of course pick up their waste. Littering will get you a hefty $1000 fine and bonfires, fireworks, playing on the sand dunes, disturbing turtle nests, and possessing glass bottles will cost you close to that. For an official guideline of the rules, click here. Just be respectful and have fun!

It’s not just the sun, sand, and surf that brings people to Folly. It’s strip of locally owned shops and restaurants matches the laid back life style of this island town. Head over to Center Street for the best margarita at the original Taco Boy, a local favorite. You could pop in to Lost Dog Cafe for a massive breakfast made island style or get a sandwich, salad, or even sushi delivered beach-side by Drop In Deli.

Check out the Post and Courier to see what fun events are happening at Folly, whether it be Taste of Folly, Folly Beach Pub-crawl, Flip Flop Drop, the sand sculpture contest, or Follypalooza. There is always something happening at Folly and there is plenty of things to do for any kind of person. Explore a maritime forest, drink at the Morris Island Lighthouse, build a giant sand castle, ride bikes, fish off the pier, parasail, watch the sunset, dine out, dine in, and of course, surf! Weddings are also very popular on Folly, with an event permit costing only $25, even though you would have to go inland for your reception.

So grab a surfboard, paddleboard, or even a kiteboard, and head to the Washout. McKevlin’s offers boards for sale on consignment and 1-hour surf lessons for $40. If surfing isn’t your thing, bring your fishing rod and cast on the Folly Pier, where you can fish for $3 – $10 from 6AM to 11 PM. Either way, pack that cooler and get ready to spend one of the most relaxing afternoons you’ve ever spent on a beach.

Surfer2

The 7th Annual Folly Gras Festival and Parade

Beep Beep – We’ve got us a TRAFFIC JAM!

Folly Gras, Folly Beach, dunes properties

Folly Gras, Folly Beach, dunes properties

Folly Beach celebrated Mardi Gras Folly style on Saturday with their 7th Annual Folly Gras Festival and Parade. This family friendly event takes place every February and encourages attendees to show up in their best Mardi Gras outfit. The parade takes place on Center Street and features food vendors, street vendors, and various bands.

This Saturday Folly Gras got off to a slow start, with none other than a parade TRAFFIC JAM to begin what resulted in a looong day of eating, drinking, dancing and avid bead collecting.  Locals & out-of-towners gathered together at Center Street on Folly Beach ready to strut their stuff at the start of the 2pm parade, only to be held up by an immobile classic car which was promptly “kicked to the curb” to sit the rest of the parade out.

Folly Gras, Folly Beach, dunes propertiesMoving along just fine, Mayor Tim Goodwin led the way in a baby blue Mustang, followed by local businesses and socialites decked to the nines showing their NOLA spirit.

Folly Gras, Folly Beach, dunes propertiesThe ever-so-colorful dunes properties convertible followed closely behind, sporting dunes flags, agents in costume and a never-ending supply of beads, keychains, candy and more for all the kiddies to enjoy.

Festival goers this year enjoyed musical jams by the Shakin’ Martinis, the Hungry Monks, Soulfish, Hollow Point and Gaslight Street, with NOLA inspired foods and costumes to round out the four hour event which carried on late into the night after streets were reopened.

Parade Winners Included:

Best All Around Folly Spirit – King Poseidon

Best Golf Cart – Folly Jesters

Best Float – Days of Folly Gras

Best Costume – Court Jester

Best New Orleans Food Flair Winners:

1st Place – Blu

2nd Place- The Grill

3rd Place – Surf Bar

We had a front row seat from the dunes properties Folly Beach office, which is located right in the middle of where the parade took place at 31 Center Street. Still at its original location since 1998 when it opened, the Folly office houses our vacation rental program, along with property managers and real estate agents that are always available. Come by and see us!

“In House” Services Lack Transparency For Vacation Rental Home Owners

What Are “In-House” Services in Vacation Property Management?

I’m often asked by potential clients, “What ‘in-house’ services does your company provide?” This is a great indication a sales pitch has been provided by another vacation property management company. ‘In-house’ refers to services provided by staff or employees of the vacation management company such as cleaning, HVAC repair, handyman work, and many others. It is specific work completed by the staff of the company… and billed by the company to the home owner. These services are not provided by 3rd party, independent providers like outside cleaning companies and HVAC repair companies. The services operate and originate within the management company.

How “In-House” Services Could Be Problematic

When a home owner selects a property management company, the relationship shares the same responsibilities as that of a real estate agent. Those legal responsibilities are Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accounting, and Reasonable Care as written in SC Real Estate License laws. We, as licensed professionals, have a fiduciary responsibility to represent our client’s best interest first.

How can management companies represent a client’s best interest if the company decides how much a service, provided within their company, should cost for their client, the home owner? It seems like an obvious conflict of interest and a lack of transparency and the fiduciary responsibility previously mentioned.

Remember, your vacation management company should be working for you… and not vice versa. You are hiring someone to represent your best interest as the client and home owner. At dunes properties, we do not staff maintenance personnel, HVAC repairmen, or cleaners. We coordinate 3rd party providers so prices can be negotiated lower for our clients. It is the correct way to offer vacation property management and offers transparency to clients.

Similarly Troubling…

Unfortunately, it has become commonplace for legacy management companies to charge their clients a percentage of invoices. In my opinion, it is a terrible practice and also seems to be a conflict of interest. How can a company represent a home owner’s best interest if the company orders service and then receives a percentage of “mark up” on the work performed? It is arguably a legal kick back. Always check your management agreement for counter-intuitive inclusions like invoice mark ups.

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513-1604

 

 

 

Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…

Why Guests Vacation: Rest and Relaxation

Why Guests Vacation

What guides a guest to book a vacation rental? Most believe it is price or location or amenities. Yes, these are very important, but it is important to remember the vacation is not about a house or condo or even the bells and whistles. It is about an experience. It’s somewhere to spend time with friends and family… and most importantly, to enjoy some rest & relaxation.

Rest & Relaxation

It appears obvious when stated, but R&R is the #1 reason guests vacation… and it is often over looked by many in the vacation rental business. Even guests tend to forget this during the lengthy research. Everyone is focused on pools and taxes and all the minor details… so it’s important to never forget why guests vacation. It’s all about the R&R. Guests want the confirmation and the reminder of why they began the quest in the first place. Great photography capturing the look and feel finishes the picture.

Sleeping Arrangements

We are often asked by new vacation home owners, “What sleeping arrangements should we use in our vacation rental?” I think it’s one of the most important questions we’re asked.  Keeping a mix of larger beds (queens and kings) with a few single sleeping arrangements will provide the best rental interest across all seasons. Often, we will suggest using a double / twin hybrid bed set for a 3rd or 4th bedroom… or a queen with a single trundle hidden below. It works well for singles travelings or young adults/kids. It’s important to resist the urge to decorate a room for kids. This limits your options.

Big, Beautiful Bedding

Fluffy and inviting bedding is also a great investment. It solidifies the guest’s interest for a relaxing vacation. Bedding will need replacement frequently as it is expected to be well enjoyed, so plan to replace these items often. It’s better to continue taking high value reservations than to worry about the relatively minimal cost of bedding.

Furniture and Furnishing

Furniture is also a big selling point from a guest’s perspective. Properties decorated with a thrift store approach are quickly skipped by potential guests researching online. Investing in affordable, replaceable, and inviting furniture is another extremely important step to owning a successful vacation rental.

 

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513-1604

 

 

 

 

Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…

The Most Costly Vacation Rental Furnishings

The Most Costly Vacation Rental Furnishings

In the past, homeowners would fill their rental homes with low price furnishings. It was a great way to save a few bucks, right? Grab a few tables, dressers, bed sets, and wall pieces from a thrift store and voila… a full furnished vacation rental!

This is no longer a good idea. In fact, the thrift store approach is a very, very poor one and extremely costly for vacation home owners.

furniture

Today’s guests have an endless list of vacation options thanks to the web and growing vacation rental marketplace. While online, guests quickly compare properties’s furnishing. Poorly furnished properties are skipped… and quickly skipped.

Owners still using the “thrift store” approach often forget why people are thinking of vacationing. Guest want to rest and relax. Yes, the beach and water are a big part of the interest, but rest & relaxation are the keys to great vacations. Without a good presentation of a comfortably furnished property, “thrift store” properties are doomed to a wildly poor rental schedule.

What To Avoid – The Big Three

  • Light Tan Woods – looks like it was just in a dorm room
  • Everything Wicker –  color doesn’t matter but white is the worst
  • Gold & Brass – this is more about hardware but gold/brass takes 20 years off your property

How costly is the “thrift store approach” in vacation rentals?

A strong example can be made for two side-by-side condominiums we managed years ago. The first condo was comfortable, colorful, and updated. The second was decorated by an owner with a thrift store preference. The first condo owner generated $30,000 more in a year than the second condo owner. The investment of a few thousand in good furniture generated 10x the return. Other hidden loss also includes the maintenance to repair and patch old furniture.

It is important to mention that furniture price is not the key. Affordable, comfortable, and replaceable is the best approach. Pricey and custom furniture is the same mistake as buying thrift.

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513-1604

 

Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…

The Importance of Professional Photography

The Importance of Professional Photography

Although this may seem like common sense, it is surprising how many legacy property management programs overlook this #1 in marketing a vacation rental home or condominium. The web has changed how customers absorb information. The importance of visual has not changed, but the speed in which a customers needs to experience the vacation home through photograph has changed dramatically.

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Kerrin Sheldon with Fast Company suggests we have 20 seconds to capture an audience with visual. Other web specialists suggest this number as close to 5 or 6 seconds. Still, the argument and statistics support the claim; a web visitors needs to experience your vacation property almost instantly. VRBO & Homeaway have always supported this concept as these sites originally charged property owners by the number of photos uploaded. The more vacation rental photos, the higher your listing would place. Flipkey, a vacation rental search platform purchased by TripAdvisor, completed a study revealing HD photography increased bookings by 98%.

Still, the number of vacation rental photos alone will not guarantee success. More is not always better… if the photos are not fantastic. Photos must be attractive, accurate, and present not only the vacation rental, but the experience the vacation rental home or condominium offers to the guest. Professional photos often convey the message, “this vacation rental property receives lots of attention and therefore care.” This is vital to capturing vacation rental guest interest. Also, many traditional management companies forget the potential guest’s perspective. Guests wish to see amenities, decor, and styles… not just the view and the beds.

Most professional photographers will provide dozens of great, high definition pictures for only a few hundred dollars. Considering the potential return of tens of thousands… it is a wise investment. One which can make or break a vacation rental strategy.

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513 1604

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