5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Vacation Rental Property

I work at SummitCove Vacation Lodging as a Vacation Planner.  That means I get to talk to guests who are excited to plan their escape to the mountains.  Some guests are planning a big winter trip with the extended family to experience skiing, snowboarding, and everything Keystone has to offer. This may be the first time they go skiing and they want it to be perfect.  Other guests are looking for a quick summer weekend close enough to Denver that they can leave after work on Friday and be there in an hour.  It doesn’t matter why guests come to Keystone, they all want comfortable accommodations and to feel that they have found the best property within their budget.

During the last four years that I have worked with guests, nobody has ever asked if I can find a property with an old tube style TV or a full sized bed in lieu of a king bed. If you are a Keystone vacation rental or second homeowner looking to maximize your revenue and rental occupancy, I have the following suggestions based on the hundreds of conversations I have had with potential guests:

  1. Bedding
    Styles change and the floral bedding that came with River Run condos when they were first built are a hint that they property has not been upgraded.  Everytime I show property pictures with the floral bedding, the guest responds with a comment such as, “do you have anything newer?”  The hotel style bedspreads do not photograph well and they don’t convey comfort or luxury.  If a guest is spending holiday dollars, they certainly want to feel pampered. New bedding is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to make a big change in the look and feel of your bedrooms.

  2. Sofa
    Do you have a green plaid sofa?  It may be perfectly good still, but the photos tell guests that the property is out of date.  Consider replacing with something more current.  Leather is a great option because it holds up well.  Make sure it has a sofa bed in order to maximize sleeping capacity and upgrade the sleeper mattress for optimal comfort.  Many families utilize sofa sleepers when renting a vacation property.

  3. Accessories
    A few well placed accessories really make a property! Tasteful artwork and other novelty items give your property character and that ‘homey’ feeling.  Avoid filling your property with greenery like fake plants.  Although it can look great in your home, it can overpower a small property and make it feel cluttered. If you would be heartbroken if you lose an accessory, take it home.  I have had a guest call crying because they broke a ceramic vase inscripted with the owner’s anniversary.  Please keep the important things locked in your owner’s closet if they must remain in your property.  We love ski themed artwork, especially if it is Keystone specific!

  4. Carpeting
    Has your carpet seen better days?  Carpets that are more than 10 years old often show wear in a ski resort much sooner than in a home.  If you can see stains that return after cleaning the carpet, consider replacing with hardwood or a new carpet. Guests often see worn carpet and feel that they were not shown a true representation in the photos.  A multi-colored speckled carpet is wonderful in a rental property as it tends to hide spots and stains.

  5. Tube TVs
    In 2016, no guest wants to arrive for their dream vacation to watch a tube TV, or worse, a projection TV.  I know it might be just in the bedroom, but nothing makes a potential guest stop listening quicker than when I show them photos of the property and a tube TV pops up.  If you have a friend or neighbor who enjoys the nostalgia of watching an old TV, please donate it as quickly as you possibly can! When you do get a flatscreen, have our Maintenance Team install it for you and they can take care of hiding the wires in the wall for a professional and clean look.

We love making guests happy by finding the right property fit for their trip to Keystone.  If you can keep the 5 tips above in mind this fall when you are making upgrades, it makes our job that much easier and it will put more money in your pocket in the long run as a property owner in Keystone.  It will also be that much more enjoyable for you when you bring your family out to visit!

Cheri Reeburgh

SilverMill 8182 New Property Upgrades

We are very excited to show and share with you some of the great new upgrades to Silver Mill 8182 2 Bedroom!

We encourage you to upgrade your home whenever possible as it increases demand for the property, and there is a more visual appeal to renters when viewing it on the website! We have been telling our owners this for a long time, however, when you see the end result you need to stop and celebrate!  What an awesome remodel and upgrade SilverMill 8182 just had!

What are some of the reasons to upgrade your property?  Vacation planners are more likely to choose a property that has been upgraded versus the same furnishings and decor from 15 years ago. Once they check-in for their reservation and get to their vacation home, they want to be wow-ed! They notice when a property is different than others they’ve stayed in, in the same building or area. And they are much more likely to book the same unit again!  

When our guests call us and are ready to make a reservation with our Vacation Planners, and they are narrowing down choices for their vacation, they are looking at the same photos as the guest! If a unit is upgraded and unique, guests will usually choose it over a property that has not had upgrades and does not stand out. We encourage all Owners to upgrade their homes when needed and earn more revenue due to more bookings!

Here are some comments from our vacation planners after seeing this upgrade!!

This is a lovely, cozy/modern property in SilverMill.  It has been upgraded with sleek hardwood and granite, giving it clean lines, yet offers a “luxury mountain” feel.

The TV is not above the fireplace, so you won’t strain your neck to watch a movie.  I like this because there is no other property like this one.  I recommend this above some of the other properties that still have original carpet and furniture from when the building was built!

This property looks brand new!  For a 15 year old building I would reserve this property for my family, just by how good it looks I feel like it is all new and working!

New, updated appliances and modern furnishings.  Feels so clean and new.

If our vacation planners feel this way, imagine how good our guests and potential renters will feel about reserving this property.  Our guests are willing to spend more money, stay longer, and pick your property over the one down the hall or on another listing site because WOW, who would not want to stay here!?  

This homeowner has upgraded the carpet to hardwood floors, painted, and changed the decor above the fireplace and at the kitchen bar. Please take a look at our before and after pictures on this great 2BR/2BA condo in the Silver Mill building in popular River Run!

Silvermill before upgrades
Living Room before flooring and new decor!

 

SilverMill Condo with new upgraded hardwoods and more!
After New Flooring and Decor Above Fireplace
Before New Decor on bar and flooring
Before New Decor on bar and flooring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After new flooring and decor
After new flooring and decor

SummitCove wins Best of Colorado Award 2015

Each year, ColoradoBiz magazine awards the best businesses of Colorado awards.  We are pleased to announce that SummitCove Lodging received the Best of Colorado Award for 2015 for Property Management Company.  SummitCove Lodging has also been on the Colorado Top 250 private companies list for several years running now.  We are honored by receiving this award and continue to strive to be the best property management in Colorado for years to come.

2015 Spring Cleaning Information

Each year beginning at the end of ski season in April, we perform what are known as
“Quality Assurance Checks, Detail Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, and Dry Cleaning” in all of our properties to ensure that the properties we manage are in first-class condition for next rental season.

Wondering what we are doing in your property?  Take a look at our thorough checklists:

Quality Assurance Checklists 

2015 Current Quality Assurance Check Forms – Maintenance Checklist

2015 Current Quality Assurance Check Forms – Housekeeping Inventory Checklist

2015 Current Quality Assurance Check Forms – Guest Services Checklist

Deep Clean Checklist

2015 Current Quality Assurance Check Forms – Deep Clean Check List

Building Cleaning Order (subject to change)

2015 Detail Cleaning Building Order

Homeowners: Recycle Your Old Tube TVs This Saturday

Attention SummitCove Homeowners!  This Saturday, March 14th is an opportunity to recycle your outdated tube tvs, computers, phones, audio equipment, printers and monitors at no charge. The electronics will be disassembled or shredded and they will recycle 100 percent of the constituent materials. The recycling event will happen from 8 a.m. until noon at the Summit Stage Bus Barn in Frisco (0222 County Shops Road). 

They are also accepting pharmaceutical items, such as prescription medications, over the counter medications, vitamins, inhalers, prescribed lotions and ointments. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will document and destroy all the pharmaceuticals.

This is a great opportunity to let go of your old tube tvs without having to pay the dump fee, as well as helping our environment by recycling these items instead of putting them in a landfill.

If you still have a tube tv in your property, now is the perfect time to upgrade to a flat screen. SummitCove can help with getting your old tv recycled this Saturday. We can also help you purchase and install a new flat screen in your property.  We have seen how making this upgrade brings more revenue your way!

Please call or email us as soon as possible if you would like for us to take any of your old electronics to this event.  Beginning this summer we will be requiring only flat screens in all of our properties.  So, skip the expensive dump fee and and take advantage of this free recycling event happening this Saturday in Summit County!  

Written By: Cheryl Murray

Will it be a good winter for 2014-2015? Here is the outlook!

Homeowner Newsletter – September 2014

Will it Be a Good Winter? What is the Outlook?
If only Crystal Balls could be used, answering this question would be easier. Bookings depend on many factors such as economy perception, consumer confidence index, consumer snow perception (or “hype” as we like to call it), and of course, SNOW.

Heading into the 2014-2015 ski season, we see some indicators that are looking positive. Consumer confidence is on the increase, but not yet at level seen before the Great Recession. Why is this important? Consumer confidence is an economic indicator which measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation. This boils down to how people feel about spending disposable income on vacations or things that are not necessities.

Next is Snow Perception and Hype. Starting at Labor Day each year, the ski resorts kick into high gear and start showing people skiing down fluffy powder runs on TV and winter banner ads are all over the Internet. Since last year was a great snow year, we also have the opportunity to ride on last year’s marketing from Mother Nature. This is also turning out to be an El Nino weather pattern year which is favorable for moisture in Colorado. It has also been a fairly wet summer with no massive wildfires to hit the news. At this point in time, (and every year for that matter) the hype is high, but this indicator is simply a waiting game.

SNOW – Nothing does more marketing for the ski industry than a whiteout storm during a Denver Broncos football game. Weather warnings, airport shutdowns in Denver, and The Weather Channel all feed into spreading the word of snow. If the snow falls, we get people…lots of them. Local snow also invigorates the local Front Range skiers to head to the hills. The more snow, the better.

All of these factors combine to define what kind of revenue you will see generated in your property. The constantly increasing factors in the equation are the marketing, training of our sales team, the sales skills of our vacation planners, and the improvements we have made over the summer to jockey for top position in being able to generate revenue for you. So….the answer to will it be a good season? We’ll see. 🙂

5 Reasons to Switch to SummitCove Property Management in Keystone Today

SummitCove Property Management offers personal, custom property management services for your property in Keystone.  Here are 5 reasons to make the switch today!

1. We’re Here for You… 24 Hours a Day
Don’t you hate getting sent to voice mail when you really need to talk to someone?  Or having your guests going on a scavenger hunt in the dark at 10pm looking for a lock box to pick up their keys?  We always have a manager on duty available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies and during the ski season, our office is staffed 24 hours a day to help you and your guests at anytime- day or night. That really is service with a smile.

2. In-House Maintenance Team
We keep our maintenance costs affordable to you by taking our Maintenance Team in-house.  Our team has years of experience under their belt and can tackle anything from a leaky faucet to tiling and cabinetry.  If we can’t do it, we will call one of our trusted partners to ensure the job gets done and at reasonable rates.

3. Low Fees and No Nickel-and-Diming
We offer low management fees, don’t charge annual marketing fees and we won’t sweat the small stuff.  We’ll take care of remote batteries, light bulb replacements, relighting pilot lights and more at no cost to you!  If we do need to do a major repair, we will seek your approval before moving forward with the job. 

4. Great Housekeeping 
At SummitCove we believe that housekeeping is one of the most important things we do! We have an in-house, on-site housekeeping staff and we pride ourselves in having high cleaning standards and clean properties. Our housekeepers are trained on every property and each property is thoroughly inspected before each guest arrives. We also create individual manuals for each of our properties so we are able to meet our owner’s every need.
 
5. Damage Control
We are a rental company and know that accidental damage is not 100% preventable. With our damage program, we have you covered. If there is ever damage from a guest, it will repaired or replaced by SummitCove at no cost to you. As an owner you can rest easy knowing your property is being taken care of. 
 

Expedition Station River Run Condo #8590 Gets a Facelift!

 

Expedition Station #8590 just got a facelift! This beautiful 2 bedroom, 3 bath River Run Condo sleeps 8 and has plenty of room for your entire group! Brightly lit, elegantly decorated and equipped with anything you might need on your vacation – it is all here!
 
This property now features all new flat screen TV’s, memory foam toppers on all of the beds including the murphy and sofa beds, ipod docks in the bedrooms and USB charging hub in the kitchen. You will love the upgraded kitchen, new furniture, wood floors and spacious living areas that this property offers. You will also enjoy ski slope views from the privacy of your own balcony! 
 
Expedition Station is located in Keystone’s River Run Village, near the River Run Gondola, Keystone Ski Slopes and Dercum Ice Skating Rink!  Call SummitCove Lodging in Keystone today to get this property reserved!

Upgrading Your Vacation Rental Property

We as property managers are often consulted about which kind of property upgrades are the most worthwhile, what kind of things will make the difference in gaining more rental income and keep guests wanting to come back to YOUR property versus another. The answers to these questions are not always the same for every owner, nor is every property the same. Some properties need more upgrading than others, but here are a few general tips.

 

The first thing to consider is whether you are thinking of major upgrade or a minor one, whether you want to change a few surface details versus a big project or even remodel. If you have a small budget, consider some minor upgrades- they can often be low-cost and yet make a major difference. For example, replacing your old floral bed spread with something new and more luxurious that has a bit more of a mountain and western feel. Other upgrades which can go a long way are replacing tube-style TVs with flat screen TVs. Something to note about flat screens though, is you get what you pay for. Stay away from off-brands and buy the name brand. They will last longer and you will be more satisfied in the long run. Other items like adding an I-pod dock or speaker system can be a nice touch for guests, but wont have as great of a return on investment that new TV’s and bedding will.  A few other things to consider adding are a gas barbecue grill to your patio if you have the space and decking out your kitchen with crock pots, nice pots and pans, a high-quality Tupperware set and other goods that make cooking easier.  Artwork on bare walls is a nice touch to add some personality to your condo, ski and mountain themes are very popular.

 

If you are looking to do major upgrades, you should still be selective on your choices. Since much of what a renter sees is in the photos and video tour, appearance is everything.

 

Do: Replace the carpet or enhance the flooring with hardwood or tile. You will get plenty of mileage and lots of good looks out of your photos by making this change.  When choosing carpet, go for something darker than off-white and with a nice texture.  Remember that carpets wear faster in rental properties and you want something that will hide any imperfections.

 

Do: Add some zest to a room by changing paint colors or adding an accent wall. It’s amazing how a little paint will go a long way towards changing the appearance of your property! Paint color can make or break an entire room.

 

Do: Replace your counter-tops with granite or a granite alternative. Granite is one of those things that really can make your kitchen look that much better just by itself.  Another nice touch in the kitchen is adding a colorful tiled backsplash behind the stove.

 

Don’t: Just replace one appliance. When you replace appliances, they should all match. Trust us, a stainless steel refrigerator with a white microwave, dishwasher and stove is not a good look.

 

Don’t: Replace individual pieces of furniture. Similarly to the appliances in the kitchen, replacing singular pieces of furniture can make things look worse and almost impossible to match. If you are going to replace furniture, do it right and replace the whole lot.

 

Property upgrades are a great way to help your property be a great place to rent and an even better place to own. Just make sure you are doing the right things to your property to maximize the revenue which can be added from  the upgrades!

 

Check out the photos below of a remodel done at an Expedition Station condo!  New paint, furniture, counter-tops, bedding, decor, carpeting and more make this look like a different place! Remember, SummitCove guests get to choose the property they want to stay in based on the photos and videos provided, so it is in your benefit to make it look great!

 

 

 

3 Best Neighborhoods in Keystone for Rental Income

In Keystone there are a lot of variables to think about when it comes to vacation rentals. Snowfall of course plays a huge role in rentals, but you may ask: How can I make sure that if I am buying a property it is going to be in an area that retains good rentals regardless of the snow conditions?

Simply put, certain areas of Keystone rent out more often and for higher dollar amounts than others, and while property type has something to do with it (private home vs. studio condo) when you compare apples to apples, like property to like property you have to think about the AREA you are renting within, not just the property.

If you are thinking about purchasing a property in Keystone, take a look at our Top 3 recommendations for rental property locations at Keystone Resort!

Views of the Keystone Ranch Golf Course

# 3. Keystone Ranch

The Keystone Ranch is tucked away in the back of Keystone Resort. Flanked by Keystone’s 2 world-class Golf Courses, the Keystone Ranch Course and the Keystone River Course, the Ranch is as exclusive and luxurious as you can find at Keystone Resort. Most homes within the Ranch have access to the Ranch pool house and tennis courts in the summer months. Rolling hills, mountain vistas, and wide-open spaces make it a beautiful backdrop for homes in the area.

The Ranch is also home to the acclaimed Keystone Ranch Restaurant which is one of Keystone’s two AAA Four Diamond Rated restaurants. Experience some of the highly unique dishes of Keystone’s finest chefs. They also serve breakfast, lunch and a more casual apres-golf dining with drinks, appetizers and a wonderful outdoor patio area to enjoy on warm summer afternoons.

What really makes this area unique is the types of properties you find here. There are no condos, no townhomes and very few duplexes. The vast majority of the properties here are large single family homes which really come to embody the feeling of an American Mountain Lodge, not so much a European Chalet. These properties are as unique as the location.

Settler’s Creek Townhomes in East Keystone

 

#2. East Keystone

East Keystone is one of the other “outskirts” of Keystone. Situated off of Montezuma Road to the east of River Run Village, these properties border the Keystone wetlands and really feel like they are tucked away in the woods, while in reality they are just less than a mile from the Resort hub.

These properties are also located near one of the most historic locations in all of Keystone, the famed Ski Tip Lodge. Formerly a Stagecoach stop and Keystone Founders Max and Edna Dercum’s own residence, it is now one of the premier restaurants in Summit County and is also a beautiful wedding venue.

Located in East Keystone are 3 lodging developments called Ski Tip Ranch, Trapper’s Crossing, and Settler’s Creek. As some of the newest developments in Keystone they are known for luxury, spaciousness and uniqueness. Almost everyone who stays in any of these locations wants to come back! Some of the reasons include the exclusivity of Minnie’s Cabin in Settlers Creek and location. While being away in the woods you are less than 5 minutes by shuttle to the base of Keystone Resort. East Keystone is the perfect neighborhood if you want space, scenery, exclusivity and a little bit of luxury all mixed in together!

The view of River Run Village Keystone Resort from a condo balcony

#1. River Run Village

At number 1, what else would it be other than the heart and soul of Keystone. River Run Village is the place to be in the Winter, Summer, even Spring and Fall, this has got to be the #1 place here in Keystone. Home to dozens of shops and restaurants the River Run Village is where all the happenings are in Keystone, not to mention it is where the River Run Gondola is located, making it ultra convenient for anyone looking to get on the mountain.

Enjoy the fine dining of Wolf Rock Steakhouse, or make a reservation to take the Gondola up to Der Fondue Chessel or the Highest Four Diamond AAA rated restaurant in the United States, the Alpenglow Stube. From River Run you can experience some of the higher end dining in Keystone, without having to travel far. You can also enjoy the Apres Ski at some of the great other restaurants in Keystone and not have to worry about driving anywhere, so drink up and enjoy!

With plenty of retail in The River Run Village, it is sure please even the non-skiers of the group. Just at the edge of the Village is the pickup for the Summit Stage Free Shuttle as well, so you have easy access anywhere in the county. including Breckenridge, to the Silverthorne Outlet Malls, old town Dillon or even Copper Mountain.  As far as convenience goes, nothing tops River Run Village.

If you are interested in Keystone nightlife, this is the only place you are going to see big names in concerts at Warren Station or the amazing summer festivals in the village like Bluegrass and Beer, Wine and Jazz or the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. If you thought Keystone was only fun in the winter, now you know that you have to come back for the summer too!

River Run really is the place to be, and that is why it comes in at #1!  Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions regarding rental properties in Keystone, whether you are about to sign a deal or are just in the dreaming phase, we can help you make the best decision for purchasing and renting a property in Keystone!