?The goal of this information is to assist prospective property owners with becoming more familiar with vacation rentals in the Moosehead Lake Region, to answer the “Most Frequently Asked Questions,” and is the first step in deciding if vacation rentals are right for you and your property!
With over 15 years of experience, Northwoods Camp Rentals is dedicated to finding families a vacation rental that meets their needs, and service that exceeds their expectations, so that they will come back to your home and our area year after year. As members of the Better Business Bureau, we demonstrate honesty and reliability; as members of the national Vacation Rental Managers Association, we have the most experience; we support our small town community as members of the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce; and our region as part of The Maine Highlands.
We currently handle over 65 vacation rentals, from camps to cottages, and cabins to homes. These properties are located in the following areas: Greenville, Sandy Bay, Beaver Cove, Lily Bay, Harford’s Point, Lamb’s Cove, Rockwood, Toe of the Boot, Brassua Lake, Lower Wilson Pond, Rum Ridge, Lake Hebron (Monson), First Roach Pond (Kokadjo), and Big Wilson Stream (Elliotsville).
STEP #1 – WHAT IS THE CRITERIA TO DETERMINE MY PROPERTY’S RENTAL POTENTIAL?
a) Waterfront: First and foremost, the vast majority of our renters are looking for a waterfront rental. Furthermore, since our largest market is families, we also find that most of them want something with easy water access or a swimming area, where the whole family can enjoy the lake. The properties with flat or gently sloping lawns are the most popular. A dock is also a common request as many families have or like to rent a motorboat, canoes and kayaks. We find that many renters also prefer a rental directly on Moosehead Lake where they have a seemingly endless body of water to explore. Some people do not mind being on a smaller body of water as long as it is still a waterfront property, and a few actually prefer it. A handful of properties are waterfront, but the water access is owned by an association.
b) Privacy: This is the second most important feature to a prospective renter. We get many questions such as how close is the nearest neighbor? Can you see any other homes from the property? Is there protection from the woods and trees? There is also a slowly developing market of wildlife watchers who are willing to forego the waterfront to find a secluded cabin in the woods, or families looking for a more economical vacation may also opt for our “woodland properties” as we like to call them.
c) Lake/Mountain Views: Following closely behind privacy, many renters ask if there is a picture of the property’s view of the lake and/or mountains. They also ask if there is a deck, porch or patio to sit on and soak up the views. A screened-in deck is also a welcomed amenity.
d) Log Cabin: We frequently hear that renters do not want to come and stay in a home that is like their own, therefore our log cabins, cabins with log siding, homes decorated in a moose/deer/bear décor, or properties with a more “rustic, woodsy” feel, tend to book more quickly and frequently.
STEP #2 – HOW MUCH CAN I RENT MY VACATION RENTAL FOR?
So you have a property that meets the private waterfront cabin criteria, the next question is how often will this property rent and for how much? Usually done through email, the prospective property owner will send us the physical address and location of your property, as well as pictures. We will take three comparable properties that we currently rent to give you an estimate on how much we could rent your cabin for and how often. Below is breakdown of how many weeks per season a property that meets the criteria could rent for. Our current properties rent in the range of $750-$3600 per week.
a) Summer - Summertime is our busiest time of the year, specifically July and August. For our waterfront rentals, we will be 90-100% booked for these two months. The third busiest month of the year is September, then June. This is because our main market in the summer is families when kids are on vacation. For our new rental listings, the first season is usually the slowest, and grows as you build repeat clientele. For the first season, the average waterfront rental will book about 6-8 weeks, which can steadily grow to 10-14 weeks, especially if it is year-round.
b) Winter- The busiest month in the winter is February, with increases in bookings around long holiday weekends and school vacation weeks. Properties open and available to rent year-round will usually pick up 2-4 weeks of extra rental income. Since snowmobiling is such a popular winter sport in this area, occasionally folks that don’t want to transport their sleds and trailers up every weekend will rent a house on a monthly or seasonal basis. We give these types of monthly reservations a substantial discount as it is more desirable for the owner to have a steady renter in the property during the coldest time of year.
c) Fall – September and October are steadily growing as getaway months. It is a wonderful time of year in the Moosehead Lake Region after the rush and heat of summer gives way to beautiful weather and the colors of autumn. This time of year we see couples looking for weekend getaways, or adults looking for a quiet week-off. On average properties will get about 1-2 weeks and 1-2 long weekends of activity through Columbus Day weekend.
d)Spring- This is by far our slowest season, we have virtually no renters during April and May until the season kicks off Memorial Day weekend!
STEP #3 – HOW DO I LIST MY PROPERTY FOR RENT?
After determining that your property fits the vacation rental criteria, and how much it could rent for on a weekly basis, the next step in the process is for us to do a site visit. At this visit we will collect all the information needed for the website listing and pictures.
Then we will give you a New Owner’s Packet which will include all the information that you need to know about renting your property, and copies of the paperwork that will need to be filled out and signed.
Once the paperwork is complete we will add your property to our website, www.mooseheadrentals.com. We are very active in our advertising and always looking for new ways to market your properties, our dynamic website alone averages several thousand hits per month! It is also set up to accept on-line reservations 24/7, plus interior and exterior property pictures, google maps property location, swimming area and privacy rating system, and a general description & complete list of amenities.
Our commission for these vacation rental management services is 25% of the agreed upon rental rate. What this includes is the property listing, accepting reservations (our office is open 5-7 days per week, 12 months per year), guest check-in, taking care of the guests needs while exceeding their expectations when on vacation, checking them out, arranging for housekeeping & laundry (if applicable) services, and providing a site for trash removal. The only other fee due to Northwoods Camp Rentals is a $150 annual marketing fee that is deducted from your first rental check of the season.
Please give us a call at 1-800-251-8042, or send us e-mail [email protected] if you have any additional questions or are ready to list your property!