Tag Archives: vacation rental agent

Why is it important to use an agent to book your vacation rental?

So, to recap, last week, when I was looking for a rental property off-island for myself, I couldn’t find one. I could only find a site that listed millions of properties – but didn’t offer an actual person up for customer service, for an inside look.

That just doesn’t work for me. It’s so important to be able to rent from a 3rd party, and I’ll tell you why. An agent:

  • …will have seen, personally, all of the houses that they list. They’ll be able to give you real details about size, feel, look, etc.
  • …has the ability to get a group of houses in the same area, say if you only want Lambert’s Cove – they can gather them all up.
  • …can be objective as a 3rd party and not the owner.
  • …customizes your search for you. Will know all of the houses that meet your exact needs.
  • …shares with you the benefits of geography of each of your rental choices (for example: This house has the perfect backyard, but it’s close to a main road).
  • …realistically tells you if some of your needs just aren’t possible and then can help you come up with a real solution.
  • …offers more choices.
  • …mediates if there is a disagreement or issue between the renter and the owner of the property in terms of security deposit, cleanliness, damage, etc…

I love the internet…but my process of trying to find a vacation rental, from the renters side, left me craving a real person that could really help me! Off to search some more…

Searching for a vacation rental agent…

This summer, my kids will be lucky enough to do a very cool and very Vineyard thing. They’ll go sailing on the Shenandoah sailboat…as in a real live, old-fashioned, top-sail schooner – the only one in operation in the United States.

But, more on that later.

While they’re out on the high seas, my husband and I are headed off for our own little vacation. But, where to go when you live in one of the best vacation destinations around? I’m choosing Cape Cod…because I’ve spent very little time on the Cape and it’s close enough that we can get to the kids if we need to.

But, as I searched the web, I couldn’t find an actual vacation rental agent…and I couldn’t  find a site that showed me all of their listings in a way that I could search them on my own. I wasn’t able to view the best of the best all at once, and I was wasting my time going to all of these sites to find what I needed.

I even went to the 3rd and 4th page of search results. I know, desperation!

What I did find was CyberRentals. CyberRentals is a world wide rental site, and an incredibly popular one. And, I’m not knocking it – our agency, Sandpiper, even lists certain properties there for the exposure. But they list directly for sellers – there’s no objective party, no customer service, no one to help you out.

It wasn’t what I wanted. I want to be able to talk to the person who does NOT own the property. Stay tuned because my next post is going to tell you WHY after this good dose of what it feels like from the renter side.

Pre-trip Checklist: Martha’s Vineyard Vacation Rental

Pack up the Car!

Renting a house on Martha’s Vineyard for your vacation is, of course, a fantastic idea. You’ll have a whole house to spread out in and really relax – by yourself, with a loved one or surrounded by the whole family. This pre-trip checklist will help you be prepared so that you can have a wonderful and stress-free getaway.

LINENS & TOWELS. Check your lease to see if linens and towels are provided by the homeowner or tenant. Most houses do not provide beach towels, so plan to bring your own. If packing linens is a hassle you don’t want, you can rent from Takemmy Linen Rental. They’ll deliver a bag of clean linens to the house on the day of your arrival and pick up the dirty linens on your departure day.

BABY EQUIPMENT RENTAL. Don’t feel like you have to lug it all along! Baby Bear Equipment Rental will deliver and pick up whatever you need, and their equipment is kept clean and up to date.

ARRIVAL TIME. Double check your lease for the exact time of check in and try to schedule your travel plans accordingly. Your House Info Packet will be available at the rental office at this time and then, you will be able to go to your house.

CHECK-IN DIRECTIONS. Be sure you have directions for your initial point of contact on the island for check-in (usually the Rental Office). You may have directions directly to the house but most agencies require you come to their office to pick up a check-in packet with keys and directions.

FERRY TICKETS. It is best to book your ferry reservations as soon as you have secured your island rental. Summer weekend boats sell out very quickly if you are bringing your car. Summer tickets typically become available for purchase in early February. Contact The Steamship Authority or the New England Fast Ferry (remember no cars on the fast ferry!)

GROCERIES. If you can, you may want to travel with a cooler full of food staples because rental house kitchens and fridges are usually left free of any food, including condiments.

CAR RENTAL. There are cars available for rent on the island, but this is not the Hertz lot at Logan! – supplies are limited. It is best to reserve a car at the same time you book your Martha’s Vineyard house rental. Try A-A Island Auto Rental (they have Smart Cars – great for our environment!) or Budget.

BICYCLES. With miles of bike trails and beautiful roads, biking on Martha’s Vineyard is extremely popular – Bring your own or rent bikes on the Vineyard.

BEACH GEAR. Like you need a reminder! Unless your lease states otherwise, you will need: towels, chairs, sandals, boogie boards, umbrellas, coolers, tote bags, frisbees, etc.

I’ll see you soon!