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Recent Changes in the Vacation Rental Market

Dear Cape May Vacation Rental Owners,

As many of you know there have been major changes in the vacation rental business in 2019.

Starting in January of 2019 the State of New Jersey began taxing vacation rentals. All owners of vacation rental properties in New Jersey were instructed to collect tax on their rental. This new tax law was supposed to “level” the playing field with VRBO/HomeAway, Flipkey and other national listing sites who were already collecting New Jerseys short term rental tax. The New Jersey real estate lobby was able to carve out an exception. If owners listed their rental with realtors they would not be taxed. However, they would be charged the standard 12% or less realtor fee if their rental was booked through the realtor.

Rental owners wrote countless emails and made tons of calls to local representatives and the Governor about how bad the tax was for the rental business and the local economy. It worked. The short-term rental tax was amended on August 9th to remove the tax on individual owners who market their rentals on their own and handle all payments.

This change in the New Jersey Short term rental tax did not include VRBO/HomeAway, and other national listing services. If an owner continues to list with VRBO/HomeAway, Flipkey or any national listing service guests will still be taxed and charged service fees if they book through them. VRBO/HomeAway, Flipkey or any national listing service collects payments and under New Jerseys Law that makes it a taxable transaction.

As of today, 8/21, VRBO and HomeAway announced that any listings with them will no longer be eligible for advanced payments. Owners will not receive rental payments until after your guests check- in. Your rental payments will be held until check-in. This “holding” of rental payments will make it very difficult for many owners to fund operation of their rental. A typical owner who does most of their renting in the summer would now have to wait until the guest checks in during their summer week to get paid.

VRBO, HomeAway, Flipkey and other national listing sites can also do chargebacks on your rental if a guest complains about the simplest of issues. Owners have no recourse. 

All of these national listing services appear to be doing nothing but a money grab directed at owners and renters. 

So why list with CapeMayVacationRentals.com?

We believe every owner has the right to know what we are doing to market your rental.

It’s all about traffic. We get website traffic. A lot of traffic. The more traffic the more travelers will see your listing. For the last quarter (90 days) we had well over 110000 visitors to our site. This is well defined, specific traffic to the Cape May area market and this number will continue to grow. The people clicking on our search engine links and social media ads are looking for a Cape May area rental. A typical renter can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by booking directly with the owner. That is why we are seeing large traffic numbers. Renters are looking to avoid service fees and taxes to save money. 

We rank very high on Google Search for many of the keywords people type in when searching for a rental in the Cape May area. 90% of all searching is done through Google. We also dominate local listings on maps. We rank higher than many rental related websites in the Cape May area on both mobile devices and desktops

Our website is built for both the mobile (phone) user and desktop user. 70 % of all of our traffic comes from renters using their phones to search for a rental. 

Our listings are non-taxable. Owners handle all payments making the transaction non-taxable.

We do not charge service fees

Owners get paid according to their rental agreement and payment schedule. They are not subjected to any withholding of payments

With CapeMayVacationRentals.com owners have complete control over how funds are collected and complete control of any refund process if needed.

We do not block communications. It’s your rental and you should be able to communicate openly with someone who wants to rent your property. This helps every owner screen renters to make sure they are the right fit for your rental. VRBO, HomeAway, Flipkey do not screen.

We offer calendar sync with VRBO, HomeAway and Airbnb. To automatically sync your calendars just follow the instructions in your admin area. We also offer a utility that imports your reviews from VRBO and HomeAway. This utility is also located in your admin area on our website. Renters want to see up to date availability calendars are read reviews. The more information you provide to someone looking at your property the more likely they will inquire.

Please note our best performing listings are the most complete listings. These listings offer very good photographs, detailed descriptions, reviews, rates and most importantly an updated calendar. Renters looking for a property are more likely to inquire about a rental if the listing has all of the information needed to make the decision to book.

So, like every rental transaction it all comes down to affordability for renters and fees for owners. We believe CapeMayVacationRentals.com provides the most affordable and best solution for both.

We look forward to continue to market your rental. If you should have any questions please call or email us at any time. 

Thank you and Happy Renting!

Tom Froschle

CapeMayVacationRentals.com

609-400-2240

We help fill availability calendars every day. 

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