FAQ

What makes Solely Beachfront unique?

It is all in the name. We are the only company in Destin and South Walton to Solely rent beachfront properties.

We concentrate on what we know is the best niche in our rental market to offer a better experience for guests which in turn leads to a better partnership for our owners.

Why Solely Beachfront properties?

The answer is simple… The beach rents first! In 2018 our properties were occupied 75.8% on the year and were 100% occupied in Spring Break and Summer and we are on track for the same results in 2019. The rental market is better for beachfront property owners, because you have the most-desired location. You bring business to the non beachfront property owners while they don’t bring it to you! Therefore, why be on a team that is not at the same caliber as your own property?

How do I know if my property is a good fit for Solely Beachfront?

We are looking for beachfront, multi-family units with 3-6 bedrooms that will rent for over $80,000 per year. If this describes your property, then we would LOVE to partner with you!

Who are Nick and Louisa?

We are the owners of Solely beachfront and dedicated enthusiasts of the beach front vacation rental space. We have lived on the Gulf Coast since 2000 and love raising our children at the beach! We have extensive experience in both vacation rental ownership ourselves as well as professional property management with over eight years of combined experience.

Why would you exclude so many beautiful homes off of the beach from being on your program?

We are only managing beachfront properties because we don’t want to be like every other company. We want to have a niche in the rental market that is the most desired by guests and therefore the most beneficial for our owners.

What is your housekeeping process like?

We do not outsource to larger cleaning companies because we prefer to pay cleaners directly so we have more control over the cleaning process. With only beachfront properties, we have more nights booked which means we have more opportunities and therefore more loyal employees. Your unit is cleaned after every departure and we will happily provide the exact checklist we require of our housekeeping staff. We perform deep cleans twice a year and ALWAYS perform a deep clean prior to the start of the spring break rental season as well as a mid summer deep clean to ensure the property is in top shape for the end of summer rentals.

What type of linens do you provide?

We use very high quality, 600 thread count sheets and white duvet covers. Our towels are 20lb weight and extremely durable without sacrificing softness. We believe our linens are the best in the area and will happily provide samples.

What is your maintenance process?

We are extremely prompt at answering service calls for our guests, and our reviews prove it. If we cannot fix or diagnose the problem, we will call a vendor to the property and communicate any service fee over $200 to you before the service takes place. For services under $200 we will go ahead and address the issue as quickly as possible to keep guests happy. We charge a maintenance fee of $35/hour but will only charge you cost for small items such as batteries, light bulbs and air filters.

How will you promote my rental to travelers?

Luckily for us, Louisa has an extensive experience in vacation rental marketing. She was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a company with 200+ luxury vacation rentals and currently consults for a variety of companies on the Gulf Coast. The vacation rental market is always changing and that will dictate where we promote our inventory. Of course there will be the major channels such as VRBO and AirBNB, ECBYO and booking.com, but we will also be building our brand to be independent of those sites so they can book with us directly to save money for both owners and travelers. We will work closely with our web content and the parameters of search engines to drive higher traffic to solelybeachfront.com.

How do you determine pricing for my home?

Louisa has worked in the Sales and Marketing Industry for six years and consults for other companies in this area. We will analyze your property, and the market to determine the rates for your property and change them according to booking trends and market value. We will provide an initial ProForma with booking trend information that will explain when you should expect your bookings to be made and our rate change strategies to ensure we are all on the same page.

We will ensure that you are priced competitively for your market. We feel that there is a “sweet spot” for pricing your unit correctly to ensure that you book during the highest booking window to increase revenue. Louisa is very skilled at understanding rental trends and booking windows and not only performs analysis for us, but for other companies as well. With two of the highest revenue streams in both of the units that we own, we feel that our expertise will bring our owners revenue to a new level of return.

How do you handle traveler inquiries?

This is one of the single most important questions in the vacation rental industry. Most companies have a team of agents to answer emails during office hours and use something called an auto-responder to send templates out to guests. We feel that this is extremely impersonal. One of the reasons we are so successful is that we answer inquiries as soon as they come in so the traveler talks to someone from our company. If the inquiry comes in at night we emphasize getting back to them by 7am to convert to a booking. Prompt and personal responses allow the traveler to trust us first and most of the time the traveler will book with the first person they build a relationship with. We also do not use template responses and send unique messages to each inquiry to build a strong foundation with that traveler.

How do your screen guests?

We are extremely strict that no one under 25 is allowed to rent our properties. There must be one person over 25 for every 4 people under 25. We include these rules in our rental contract and will evict tenants who are in violation of that contract. We speak personally with each guest especially if they book online to discuss the group and review our policies.

How are guest payments handled?

Guests will pay 25% at the time of booking and then the full amount 60 days prior to arrival. Our system sends us a payment reminder and flags guests who have payments due. We accept checks, echecks and all major credit cards.

How are credit card fees handled?

Some companies charge owners for credit card fees, but we do not. If a guest pays by credit card, we cover the credit card fee on the initial deposit and then the guest is required to cover the credit card fee on the final payment. If a guest elects to pay by check or e-check, then no fee will be required. E checks are available online through our payment processor.

How do you pay owners?

We pay our owners by the 10th of the month or the Monday following the 10th should it fall on a weekend for the previous month. We do our best to send the statements a few days prior to the 10th to ensure everything is satisfactory with the owner

What is your communication with guests?

  • We send the following communications to all guests including your personal guests.
  • The Rental Contract when booking occurs
  • A Welcome Packet 1 week before arrival
  • A brief email the day after check-in to make sure things are going well
  • A reminder email the day prior to departure to remind guests of check out time and procedures
  • Day after check out to capture a review from the guest.

How do you handle cancellations?

We have a 60 day cancellation policy, and additionally push travel insurance. Any cancellation made outside of 60 days is a 100% refund with no questions asked. We do not allow any refunds under 60 days.

How do you handle property damage?

One of the fees we charge guests is a $79 damage fee that covers up to $3,000 of accidental damage. Any non accidental damage will be charged to guests.

How often can I personally use my home?

As often as you like! We do not restrict any use of your vacation property. We just ask that you do not have us move guests within 60 days prior to their arrival.

What are your guest fees?

Our goal is to reduce fees as much as possible. We charge a base rate plus minimal fees that include:

  • Cleaning fee- This is the same whether a guest stays 3 days or 30 days. It includes the cost of cleaning, laundry and the welcome package with amenities.
  • Accidental Damage Protection- This is to protect your property and the guest from any accidental damage up to $3,000.

These are our only fees at this time and we will strive hard in the future to maintain this. We do not believe in nickel and diming guests or owners.

Do you have an owner referral program?

Yes! While we are extremely selective of the properties we choose to partner with, we will offer 1% off of your management fee for an owner referral who joins our program and continues with us for longer than 3 months.

What is included in your management fee?

  • Credit card fees
  • Housekeeping scheduling
  • 2 sets of Linens
  • Customer service, including 24/7 on-call personnel
  • Ownerlink, our private owners’ area on solelybeachfront.com
  • We can pay for photos but they will not be owned by you, therefore we give the owner the option to purchase photos so they can use them in other applications

What is included in your management fee?

This is the easy part! We will send you an owner agreement to be signed and then we will begin our initial marketing process. We will do an introductory inspection and inventory of the home to see if there are any maintenance issues or lacking items that we feel are vital for renters. Following inspection we will schedule our photographer and build your listing on marketing sites. Then you are ready to rent! This process generally takes 2 weeks so we have time for the photographer to edit the photos.

What does the property owner pay for?

Housekeeping for owner use and non-paying guests of the owner at a decreased rate
Bi-annual deep cleaning which is double the standard cleaning rate. We will schedule this on departure so the guest pays half and the owner pays the other half. So you will get charged a cleaning fee twice a year.
Maintenance cost of $35/hr
Cost of Supplies For:
Air filters, batteries & LED light bulbs
Occasional carpet and furniture steam-cleaning, and laundering of pillow shams, comforters, etc, as needed.
Utilities
Property maintenance and interior decor, as needed.
(This list may not be exhaustive)

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