Are Vacation Rentals a Good Investment?

REAL ESTATE
Vacation Rentals: Are They a Good Investment?
Many families enjoy taking annual vacations, but this can be a costly endeavor. Investment in a vacation property can be a great way to offset the expense of your normal vacation plans. By renting out the property during times when it would otherwise be vacant, you can leverage the income generated for family needs or other investments. Here are some areas to consider as you make your dream of owning vacation property a reality:

Use: Start by asking yourself if you are comfortable sharing your vacation property with other people. Will you be able to find a balance between your personal needs for the property and your ability to generate the income required to maintain the property?

Income and expenses: The income the property generates will be established by the rent you are able to obtain and the occupancy level you can successfully maintain. A seasonal rental that has a peak season of 16 weeks can achieve a set weekly revenue over that period minus any time set aside for personal use by your family.

Expenses will include taxes, financing costs, repairs, cleaning, landscaping, and, potentially, the cost of a property management company. Subtracting these expenses from the property income will give you the profitability of the investment.

Management: As with any income property, you will need to decide whether you can manage the property yourself or will need help. Property management companies may be necessary to manage the day-to-day operations. Do you have time to manage maintenance, landscaping, and rent collection? If not, a management company may be your best option.


HOT BIZ TRENDS
5 Ways to Boost Productivity with Décor and Design

A stylish and professional-looking place of business will impress clients and prospects, encourage efficiency, and nurture productivity and creativity among employees.

Try using these tips to create a welcoming and positive environment.

Color: Use color purposefully to add character and appeal. Whites and light neutral tones can make a tiny space feel more spacious and airy. Integrate your brand colors throughout the premises to convey a consistent color story.

Keep in mind that colors affect workers, too. For example, warm tones on the shop floor can stimulate productivity, while cool tones like blues and greens in a break room create a more relaxing environment. Choose your hues wisely!

Lighting: To light your space, try to make the most of the natural lighting in your office, production, and display areas. Where artificial light is needed, install good-quality lights, such as lamps and indirect light, instead of generic fluorescents.

Maintenance: Keep everything well maintained. Be sure fixtures are clean and fully functional. This includes everything from desks and seating to windows, lights, and display cases.

Entry: As you work on the design and décor of your space, don’t neglect your entrance. Make it eye-catching. Remember, the entryway is the first thing people see when entering your place of business. It’s your one chance to make a first impression, so give careful thought to that impression.

Ambiance: After ensuring that your workplace is clean, uncluttered, well-lit, and colorful, consider adding thoughtful design touches. Use wallpaper, area rugs, tasteful artwork, and green foliage to enhance the environment and make a statement about the culture of your business. You might even use your office décor as a way to display and promote the work of local artisans. These small finishing touches can make a big impact on the overall environment of your workspace.


CUSTOMER RELATIONS
How Well Do You Know Your Customers?

You can learn a great deal about your customers simply by talking with them. Don’t be afraid to call, email, or approach customers or prospective customers and engage with them about what they’re buying or planning to buy in the future and what’s important to them about the purchasing experience.

Probe deeply to understand why and when they buy certain things, what they expect from you and your company, and what unmet needs they have that your business might fulfill. Their purchasing motivations may be related to pricing, convenience, selection, timing, or levels of service, or it may be something you haven’t even considered.

Find out what brings top customers back again and again, what brings occasional customers in, and what prompts new customers to give your business a try.

Be sure to ask people what they know and think about your competitors and why they might choose to purchase either from you or from another company. Inquire about what competitors may be doing to attract or reward customers and stay ahead of trends.

If yours is a B2B business, get to know whoever is responsible for the decision to buy your products or services, and be familiar with the company’s procurement processes and protocols.

If you know what drives your customers and the challenges facing them, you can address their needs and offer them solutions. Conducting your own market research can be as simple as just chatting with them.


REAL ESTATE
5 Key Components of Retail Lease Negotiations
As a business owner, you invest your time, energy, and money in your operations. The choices you make in these areas can mean the difference between success and failure, and even more so when it comes to hyper-competitive retail space. This makes lease negotiation strategy a top priority for commercial investors.

This can be challenging, as retail lease agreements can be delicate to negotiate and include a wide array of terms and contingencies.

To beef up your strategy, focus on the following five key areas during the lease negotiation process.

Lease Type

There are two typical lease types: gross and net lease agreements. There are pros and cons to each type, which can impact your monthly operational expenses. You should review any agreement carefully to ensure a full understanding of the associated costs before signing.

A gross lease is more common in office rentals but can be used in retail applications as well. This type of lease makes the tenant responsible for a flat rental amount and the landlord responsible for property taxes, building maintenance, and utilities.

A net lease agreement can come in many forms. The type of net lease you agree on will determine the level of financial responsibility you have accepted. For instance, a triple net lease agreement can mean that the landlord will pass on all costs for taxes, insurance, and maintenance for common areas to the tenant.

Lease Term

The lease term will be determined by your tenancy agreement. Retail lease agreements vary in length, so understanding how much flexibility your business will need is important during lease negotiation.

Businesses that need more flexibility benefit from a shorter lease term, and businesses that require stability want a longer term. Landlords will sometimes offer discounts for tenants that wish to make a longer-term commitment; however, this will vary based on market conditions.

Right to Vacate

In markets with high demand for rental spaces, you may find a termination clause difficult to negotiate. Newer businesses can benefit from this type of clause, as it offers an exit strategy for a struggling business that limits the amount of financial liability in the event of early termination.

Lease Renewal

Your lease agreement should clearly outline renewal options. This can include a predetermined number of renewals with a fee schedule or an option for renegotiation at the end of the initial lease term.

A lawyer can help you determine which option best meets your needs for how and when to renew your lease agreement.

Improvements & Maintenance

Even in markets that favor the negotiating position of the landlord, there should be room to negotiate terms for initial improvements and ongoing maintenance. It will be very important to clearly identify whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for ongoing fees, outside contractors, and property maintenance duties.

In addition, restoration fees to remove any business-related fixtures at the conclusion of the lease should be identified in the lease agreement. Failure to do so could lead to unexpected expenses or unnecessary disputes between tenant and landlord.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Worth Reading
How to Develop a Dress Code for Work
By Shelley Frost
SmallBusiness.Chron.com

Workplace dress code policies can provide clarity for employees and protect employers. This article details what these policies should encompass. Policies should reflect the workplace’s culture and practical realities. Help employees understand why dress codes are important, and the consequences of not following them. Remember to be flexible for religious beliefs.

5 Things to Demystify Hiring Disabled Employees
By Barbara Weltman

SmallBizTrends.com

The majority of people with disabilities don’t have full-time employment. But that doesn’t mean they can’t do the job. Often, it means employers don’t know how to make workplaces suit their needs. This article gives some practical tips to help you better understand how to equip people with disabilities during the hiring process and in the workforce. Remember, the legal requirement to accommodate begins during the interview, even if you don’t end up hiring the candidate. Read carefully to glean helpful legal and tax information.

The Top 5 Ways You’re Burning Out Your Employees (and How to Stop)
By Scott Mautz

Inc.com

Preventing employee burnout is, in many ways, a leader’s responsibility. Don’t wait for your employees to tell you they’re burning out. Create work environments that contribute to their success. Read this to learn how clear roles and proper communication can maintain employees’ health and productivity.


LINKS YOU CAN USE
This Month-Organization
Starting, developing, and running a business requires organization. If there’s no healthy flow for the many moving parts, the company can suffer. What can you do to keep your operations organized? Learn a few tricks with the following links:

If you want to get organized, you need a system. These six simple steps can help you develop one:
6 Simple But Remarkably Powerful Organizing Secrets

Staying organized requires making the most of every opportunity. Here’s how to get the most out of each moment of your business day:
Six Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Business Day

You don a different hat every hour. How can you keep your busy schedule organized? Try these hacks for busy entrepreneurs:
5 Hacks For Busy Entrepreneurs

Using the right tools for productivity and file management are key to organization. Check out these recommended tools for small businesses:
3 Tried-and-True Ways to Get Your Small Business Organized This Year

It’s hard to stay organized when you’re pressed for time. Try this 60-second guide to organizing your business:
60-Second Guide to Organizing Your Business

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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