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Where have all the owners gone ?

swansea
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441 posts
9 reviews
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Where have all the owners gone ?

Hi everyone,its that time of year again,the pre planning for our annual trip to the sunshine state ,and again this year to our new favourite Anna Maria.

We have rented in Florida for over 20 yrs,and for the last 12 15 of those years we have always booked direct with the various owners on sites such as VRBO ,Flipkey,Homeaway etc, to be honest we do try to get a better price ,bearing in mind we visit in September ,and we always stay at least 14 nights ,also we usually arrive on a weekday ,and not all agents cater for that..

Anyway,this year more than ever before looking on the sites above ,yep plenty of choice of rentals ,but it seems to me that something like 90% are run by managers [rental agencies],please don't

get me wrong ,i realise that the vast majority of these companies do a very good job,but was wondering where have all the owners gone ,VRBO , vacation rental by OWNER ,well it seems to me that is now not what it actually is.

Any thought s ?

Calgary, Canada
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2,244 posts
87 reviews
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1. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

The purpose of VRBO and vacationrentals.com is to rent privately owned units ( such as houses and condos). Those rentals can be advertised by the owner or by their property manager, and the ads indicate if a property manager or owner is handling the rental - so prospective tenants know who they are dealing with. Florida has a high number of out of state owners that are not onsite to personally take care of their units, so they hire a property manager to handle the property for them. For this reason you'll see more property managers than you might in other states. We own a condo by Clearwater, and it is imperative for us to have a property manager involved. She is there to give people their keys, to report damage to us, oversee our cleaning staff, and to let repair repairmen into our unit when repairs are needed. She is also onsite to handle emergencies when they happen - and they do happen. Without someone onsite, owners risk a great deal of damage to their units, and property on the beach is extremely expensive - many well in excess of half a million dollars. Prices may be more expensive when a property manager is involved, because the property manager must be paid for their time. Most rentals are still much cheaper than staying in a hotel, and private homes and condos usually have many perks than hotels have - but prices of everything has gone way up - Florida is not the cheap place to vacation that it once was, so expect to pay more for your rental.

Florida is rebounding from the recession and property values are on the rise. The inventory of homes and condos that were foreclosed is way down, and some people that were in financial trouble have been able to sell their units - so I don't think you are seeing as many desperate owners trying to rent out their own units to the extent you did during the recession. It's good for owners - but tenants are likely going to have to shell out considerable more.

swansea
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441 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

Well reasoned reply and totally understandable,but even when i apply the filters for owner or agent ,it still comes back 90% of the time ,that its not the owner but the letting company ,so just means that you have to trawl through dozens and dozens to actually contact the owner

Of course i realise that nearly everything goes up in price ,and its not as if we are trying to screw down the owners ,we are happy to try for a reduced rate within literally a day or two of travelling ,real "last minute" and of course if the owners don't want to budge ,not a problem,

Calgary, Canada
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2,244 posts
87 reviews
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3. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

Tourism is at an all time high - maybe there just aren't many owner managed units left for September. The demand for fall rentals for our property is higher than I've ever seen it. It's strange, but the demand has been far higher than our summer rentals.

United States
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6,219 posts
34 reviews
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4. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

I've noticed the same thing, fishman. But I actually feel better knowing it is an agency so I am guaranteed it isn't a scam. Nothing could ruin a vacation like finding out you were scammed. Better to pay what seems like a little more, and have that peace of mind. Keep looking; hopefully you will find what you want at the best price.

swansea
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441 posts
9 reviews
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5. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

Yes i can understand the "scam" worry ,but we do really look into the listings,how long they have been listed ,feedback,and even check any records we can find,and thankfully in the approx 30 different houses ,condos that we have rented in the States ,there have been no issues ,certainly none to cause us to spoil our hard earned vacation.

You only have to read the various forums on trip advisor to see that there are some poor agencies out there as well.

Truthfully ,i am not out to cause offence to agents or owners .

United States
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6,219 posts
34 reviews
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6. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

I understand what you are saying, and I don't think you offended any rental agencies. And I do agree that there are less private owner run vrbo listings these day. And I also agree it is a little less expensive when you can do it that way. I would keep looking. I hope you find a good place to rent!

Saratoga Springs...
Destination Expert
for Saratoga Springs
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2,259 posts
20 reviews
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7. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

I agree with you, fishman, I have noticed a large number of rental companies on VRBO that do not identify themselves as such. I google the phone numbers to see if they are rental companies, or if there are complaints about the owners on the net. In the past, I would set up the rental agreement with the owners, and then there would be a local management company to take care of the rest. It almost always was more flexible to deal with the owners directly, and they were usually happy to have repeat customers that they could trust. It was a win-win and I do feel that the larger rental companies have artificially inflated prices on the island, but I have a whole rant about that here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g635970-i11168-k62…

swansea
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441 posts
9 reviews
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8. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

Right on the button there jkelly86,it was the dealing direct with the owners that taught us [hopefully] to be more sure of what we were getting ,and the flexibility they can sometimes offer ,not only in the price ,but as i said arrival day ,staying for odd number of days and so on.its so frustrating ,i sometimes put our arrival dates in to an agency website,and more often than not it comes back that it only rents Sat to Sat,in our case coming from the UK ,that's no good to us .

There must be loads and loads of rentals that remain empty because,they are so rigid in their switchover days,i realise that this might well work much better in the high season,but in the low ,slow season ,not so much.

Again ,we will find the right rental ,but with all the added work of trawling through listing after listing to actually find the owner operated ones

Leeds, United...
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140 posts
71 reviews
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9. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

Hi

We booked recently VRBO 48051 for 2 weeks in September. On the site it said I could email the owner which I did and he rang me from his home in Orlando to give me all the details I needed. He was extremely helpful and we have ended up booking with him. It was so nice to deal with the owner but I can see both sides. Can't wait to arrive it will be our first vacation to AMI - we have previously spent a day her whilst staying at Siesta Key and promised ourselves we would be back.

New Jersey
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2,173 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: Where have all the owners gone ?

I just learned a hard lesson by NOT working with an agency, as the condo we rented was not as advertised. We did have a 'contract' signed, but 'who' would I complain to? No one but that owner, who deceitfully wrote the contract. **First clue should have been she had the her own home address wrong on the contract.

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