If you found your way to this page, you are likely looking to build a Short-term Rental business in the Poconos. If you don’t live in the area or haven’t work here, you might be worried that you’ll have to go it alone. That is not the case, there is a whole industry built around vacation properties and vacation rentals. I’ve put together some partners that you might want to consider. This list will get updated periodically, so feel free to contact me with your suggestions and recommendations.
Airbnb or VRBO or both?
Where to list is one of your first decisions. Managing multiple platforms can be tough, there is software as you will see below to help you automate that process so many choose both. Airbnb defines this industry, provides a fantastic platform and is the market leader. VRBO is part of the Expedia family of travel services companies and as such, has some brand loyalty with vacationers. VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Owner which is a statement reinforcing their brand. Both these platforms make it easy to get your listing up, but that’s really the easy part. You will be wise to then consider how you brand and market your property.
There is a sense of community with a number of property owners and STR operators. You will find that in your local communities as well as across the industry. When it comes to marketing and community, a popular national voice comes from Matt Landau and his Vacation Rental Marketing Blog.
Another national group is the Association for Short-Term Rental Homeowners (ASTRHO) It is free to join, a not-for-profit professional network for all short-term and vacation rental homeowners.
If you become active in your STR business and find yourself with multiple properties and a growing enterprise, then you might find a national trade association helpful. Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) advances the professionally-managed vacation and holiday rental industry by providing education, information, and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the vacation rental experience, and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism, collaboration, and growth.
Locally, you will find that owners find connections through social media, a number of vacation home communities now have private Facebook groups made up exclusively of STR owners in that community. These groups provide a forum for their members to band together when it comes to relations with the POA/HOA and the community. It also provides a great place to ask for referrals and to seek help when you need some support or backup.
Support services can come to you from national operators or local service providers. There are many options for cleaning, maintenance, marketing, guest relations and property management, here are some names I have come across. These are offered as a starting point for you to consider and not a personal referral.
Software / Platforms for Managing Properties
Red Awning – A marketing platform to list your site on multiple booking sites and consolidate your customer interactions, payments and calendars
Turnkey VR – Vacation Rental Management, systems and software that was recently acquired by competitor Vacasa.
Guesty Property management software to better manage your customer experiences. Combine calendars and automate your customer communications, this company was founded in 2013.
Property Managers and Guest Relations Companies that Specialize in Short-term Rentals:
Evolve – Nationwide leader in vacation rental management, marketing and customer support:
Vacasa – Nationwide leader in vacation rental management including local support and services:
AvantStay – The company says “AvantStay uses a proprietary tech suite to power bookings, operationalize in-field management, and activate an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income – it’s that simple.”
StayMarquis – A New York area vacation home management company will soon be bringing their white glove approach to the Pocono region. Their advantage comes from local, employee boots on the ground to assure a successful rental.
Pocono Area Property Managers for Vacation Homes
Pocono Mountain Rentals provides help with bookings and property management
Standout Vacation Rental Service Providers:
If you go it alone, you will find there are a wide number of companies you can use to help assure success with your short-term rental in the Poconos.
George’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning – For clean-outs of your septic, repairs and maintenance, these guys are fair and affordable.
Septic installation and new construction questions:
Scott Bieber, 610 972-8646 email@example.com
Keith Valentine, East Penn Soil Consulting – Septic Expert (484) 578-9078 firstname.lastname@example.org
And of course, cleaners, because a good cleaning service is one of the most important aspects to a successful check-in. You will find a number small, neighborhood or community-based cleaning services, many in the Poconos will specialize on vacation rentals and be familiar with how to manage changeovers, laundry and deadlines.
In Towamensing Trails, you have Pocono Rental Helpers
Steam Genie Cleaning Service is based in Jim Thorpe and specializes in Vacation Rentals and Hot Tub maintenance. Call 570-249-4211
Regionally a company called STR Super Cleaners that deals only with STR properties, so they know the drill and understand deadlines. They have a long list of back-up team members, and claim to have a Rolodex of handy persons for problems they might encounter.