For Aspen and other mountain residents considering a pied-à-terre or second home in the Denver metro area, market statistics from May confirm that the strong real estate market for the metro Denver area continues with the latest report showing that home sales have increased 20 percent over April and 22 percent over May 2012. Additionally, inventory rose 18 percent over April. It appears that sellers are starting to become more confident in the market as demand from buyers continues to demonstrate it’s a good time to sell (Metrolist Inc.). Denver offers great in-town, walkable neighborhoods, fantastic restaurants, top sports venues, first-class museums and galleries, and wide array of other cultural activities. I belong to both the Aspen and Denver Board of Realtors and their Multiple Listing services. If you’re considering the metro area, call me and I’ll be happy to show you what’s available.
As the housing market continues its recovery, more affluent people are taking advantage of lower prices and lower rates and purchasing vacation or investment homes. Many of the same rules apply to buying a resort second home as a main residence.
The vacation rental industry is a great business but the competition for prospective guests is fierce. Be prepared to step up to effectively compete in the marketplace. Location is key. Determine what’s most important to travelers coming to your destination and what their needs will be.
Arm yourself to beat the competition. Find ways to make your property stand out in the sea of available inventory and give guests convincing reasons to choose your home. The hotel business has done an exceptional job of educating guests on the latest furnishings and trends and for searching online for the best deals.
Social media has given guests a megaphone to broadcast reviews of their experience. Sixty percent of travelers use TripAdvisor when choosing a destination or lodging. TripAdvisor polled its users and found that many won’t even consider a hotel unless they find favorable online reviews. Further, fifty-four percent of travelers have canceled a prior reservation due to finding better amenities at another property.
The truth is that in spite of what you may believe; it still comes down to a “beauty contest”. Once you decide to rent your property, pleasing the guest has to drive all decisions. Owners with newer and updated properties can command the strongest rates. Tired and dated furnishings will put you at a big disadvantage and unable to effectively compete for business against newer or recently refurbished properties. Unfortunately the push to improve never ends. Not everyone can afford a complete renovation; however, do something to address the most troubling areas. It’s all about providing a great value, at every price level.
The biggest challenge facing owners of vacation rental properties is choice, most just a couple of clicks away. Potential guests are comparing your property to a wide variety of vacation options and only the best value will succeed. You must have a property that looks welcoming to guests from the moment they arrive. The furnishings must be in good condition and reflect current trends and styles.
The industry has changed drastically over the last ten years. Television is flooded with programs on travel, luxury experiences, how to remodel and update your home or the local poorly performing hotel. Inquisitive consumers want to know how many levels are in each house, the number of steps to the pool or ski lift, exact location of each TV and whether it’s a flat screen, does the property have Xbox and Blu-ray, and do you have a recycling program?
Do your homework. Look at your market and amenities in the newest properties. It takes careful planning to balance guest expectations with controlling costs and maximizing profits.
With the Feds predicting tapering their Bond Purchase program in the next year, more rate volatility may be in the offing. In spite of the announcement, the housing sector continues to bear good news. It’s a great time to consider purchasing a home while loan rates remain very attractive.
In Aspen we’re gearing up for a busy summer season. Food and Wine sold out early this year and lodging rates top the industry. We are seeing an increase in real estate sales and inventory. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the market to improve, now is a good time to think about selling. If you’re curious about what your home or condo may be worth, here’s an easy way to find out what condos like yours are selling for in today’s market.
Plus: Get a free report with up-to-the-minute statistics on all homes or condos for sale and sold your neighborhood over the last six months. To get your free report call (970)315-2704 or Contact Me.
In some Colorado resort counties real estate is rebounding. December 2012 sales reached their highest level since 2008. With tremendous values available, buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines are ready to move on. They like the idea of having an investment property that can provide multiple benefits – a second home, potential short-term vacation rental income, the coveted mountain lifestyle, and if the market continues to improve, property appreciation. If you’re a buyer – value is a key element of the purchase decision. As a seller, realistic expectations and accurate pricing are essential.