1. What is the average occupancy rate you achieve on your vacation homes?
The occupancy rates of the homes vary. There are three factors determining occupancy :
Price – Homes priced in line with the market have strong occupancy. VRBO is a great website to determine where the market is for any home considering the amount and depth of listings.
Location– Homes on the western part of the US192 are tend to have higher occupancy. A rough dividing line between east and west is Old Lake Wilson Road. (The resorts to the east that fall into Polk County are the exception : Providence, Watersong and Solterra all have excellent occupancy).
Resorts have higher occupancy than homes. Resorts that come to mind are Championsgate, Storey Lakes, Windsor Hills, Emerald Island, Paradise Palms, and the newer developments of Windsor at Westside and Solana. This of course must be weighed against the higher Home Owner Association fees.
Amenities – A pool is an absolute must have item as well as pool heat which you can charge up to $20 a day for in the winter months if requested by a guest. Homes with appliances and a games room for kids also have higher occupancy.
I would budget as follows if you are a prospective vacation rental owner:
30% occupancy for the first three months. Your listing will be new and have no reviews. Reviews give credibility to the listing and many renters read through them when making a decision. You may want to price slightly below the market to attract guests and get as many reviews as possible during this period.
80% occupancy from that point with September through to Thanksgiving being the exception. I would budget for 50% occupancy during that low period.
The Florida environment is quite harsh and the homes do take a beating. I would budget for greater maintenance in homes that are older than 7 years as well.
What are the peak and low seasons in Orlando?
Occupancy tends to be high all year round except for the quiet period from September through to Thanksgiving. We charge peak pricing for three periods and some long weekends that fall outside of these periods. Our peak and low periods for 2018 for example are:
Winter Break: December 15 to January 6
Spring Break: April 7 to April 28
Summer Break: June 15 to August 11
Memorial Day Weekend
Watch this space for regular updates !