How to Furnish Your Tampa Vacation Rental for Under $1,000

A question that often comes up is: do I need to spend thousands of dollars to furnish a home to make it ready as a Tampa  vacation rental? No, you do not want to do that.

Furnishing Your Tampa Vacation Rental

Personally, I furnish my own vacation rental homes by going to yard sales and estate sales in an effort to pick up everything I need. It’s more cost effective to stick to used furniture. I have literally spent under a thousand dollars furnishing my rental properties. High grade mattresses are important, high grade sheets and linens are important. However, the furniture is not as important. You don’t want a $5,000 couch in your vacation rental because if someone spills a cup of coffee on it, you’ll probably get upset about that. You want a $200 couch instead. As a property owner, you don’t want to get anxious about trivial things. That’s why it’s better to have disposable things.

There are auction houses that specialize in estate sales, and these places can help you furnish your vacation rental. They will go into a house and buy everything, then auction it off. You can buy a whole house full of furniture for under a thousand dollars. This is how I would handle buying furniture and fixtures and dishes, pots and pans. There’s really no need to buy anything new. We recommend you keep your furniture cheap and simple.

How to Furnish Your Tampa Vacation Rental for Under 1000There will always be the opportunity to upgrade after you’re producing income and feeling more comfortable and confident. At that point, you’ll be able to watch the estate sales and Craigslist and you’ll be in a position to acquire a better couch and a better bedroom set. It’s not necessary to start off at the top of the line.

I have the names and phone numbers of different auction houses in the area, and I would be happy to help you find the right furnishings for a good price. If you’d like more information, please contact me at HomeSeekers.

Tampa Vacation Rental Security Deposits 101: Best Practices When Renting Out Your Home

Today we are sharing some best practices when it comes to vacation rental security deposits. Usually, we collect a $200 deposit at the time of booking. Within 15 days of arrival, the tenants must pay the entire cost of the stay in advance. We do this so we know the funds clear before they arrive.

When the tenants leave, we like to refund their deposit within a day. Our agreement states that we have up to two weeks to refund that deposit, but we don’t like to make them wait. Once we quickly inspect the property, we cheerfully refund the deposit, usually within 24 hours. Sometimes the tenants leave the place so clean that we can’t even tell someone has been staying there. In those cases, we send the tenants a letter thanking them for staying. We ask them to leave an online review in our guestbook and then we tell them that because they left the property so clean, we will not require a deposit for their next stay with us.

For my personal properties, I go even a step further. I collect the $200 booking deposit but then I apply it towards the rent. This gives me a strong competitive advantage. I ask my guests to sign a contract and agree to Tampa Vacation Rental Security Deposits 101 Best Practices When Renting Out Your Homeallow me to charge their credit card up to $500 for any damages to the property and then I waive the deposit requirement. Instead, I put it towards the overall rent. This practice has never created problems for us and our guests are always very pleased and happy with it. It gives me additional bookings and it’s a policy that others just can’t match.

Please contact us at HomeSeekers if you have any questions about how to manage vacation rental security deposits or about Property Management in general.

How to Find Guests for Your Tampa Vacation Property – Florida Property Management Education

Today we are talking about how to find guests for your vacation property in Tampa. There are a number of different ways to reach people.

Online Presence

According to studies and reports I’ve read, in Europe 80 percent of the vacation bookings come within two hours of tourists arriving in a particular city. In the U.S., there’s a lot of that happening as well. Half of the bookings for vacation rentals come from people who are driving down the interstate, searching for places to stay on their smart phones. Once they find a place to rent, they will often have that place booked within an hour or two of arriving. This illustrates the need for Internet exposure. It’s the most important resource you can use to find short term guests for your property.


Along with Internet exposure, you need to advertise widely. There are a number of excellent websites that people use when they’re looking for vacation properties, including Home away, VRBO and Airbnb. Make sure your property is listed on these sites and this can help you find guests a lot easier.

Repeat Business

Most of my guests are repeat customers. We treat them right the first time they stay with us and we are also How to Find Guests for Your Tampa Vacation Property – Florida Property Management Educationquick to refund their deposits. We know they receive excellent service from us, so we solicit good reviews and offer them deals when they come back. This gives us a competitive advantage because most of our customers come back every year.

There are a number of trade secrets that I won’t disclose at this time, but if you want to talk to me, I’ll do my best to help you. Please contact us at HomeSeekers for more information or help in finding guests for your short term vacation rental property. We look forward to hearing from you.