IBR Property Management Services
ALOHA AND WELCOME TO ISLAND BEACH RENTALS LLC, RB21967, (referred to as IBR) property management and vacation rental program. IBR has developed highly specialized systems and policies with the goal of maximizing the rental potential of each property in the program. Our programs have been developed to accommodate the needs of a wide variety of owners, guests and properties.
Each area of our program has been summarized in the following pages. After you have reviewed each of these items, please feel welcome to call and discuss any areas in which you may have questions.
We are in the business of managing properties for the purpose of offering it to visitors and residents of the Big Island. It is therefore our mission to owners of properties to provide superior management services that will maximize the income potential of their properties. It is through satisfied guests that everyone's interests are best served. Our goal is to operate under a win-win philosophy. What is good for guests must also be good for owners of the property and must be good for the interests of IBR. All parties must receive sufficient value for their efforts, investment and dollars spent, to remain a satisfied participant. As a homeowner represented by IBR you will be in partnership in operating your business. “Winning at the expense of someone losing isn’t partnership and isn’t sustainable. Think win-win and long-term growth.”
Our philosophy is simple - We want to personally know the preference of accommodations for each guest. Then we can provide the best home, services and setting for an ideal vacation. We allow the dolphins, whales, turtles, sunsets and Hawaii to take care of the rest. We want to personally know the preferences of each owner and strive to do the very best to accommodate their wishes while keeping our services and care of the properties up to very high standards. This sometimes requires standardizing of some of our procedures; however, we will do our best to facilitate any special requirements you may have as much as possible.
Our accounting systems are fully computerized and fully integrated with our Reservation System. From the time a guest makes a reservation, they are tracked in the computer using cutting edge CRM technologies. All charges a guest incurs and all payments made are itemized and credited to the appropriate property or account number.
Owner statements are mailed out by the 15th of each month and will be a clearly presented statement of account. Accounts are reconciled on a monthly basis. If IBR has paid any expenses on owners behalf during the month, these expenses will be itemized on your statement and the original bill will be attached. IBR also keeps a copy in our office. An itemized accounting of owner balances will occur on your monthly statement. Once expenses are covered, any excess funds will be dispersed with monthly revenue on the applicable statement based on guest arrival date. We ask that each owner please review their statement when it arrives and bring to our attention, as soon as possible, any potential discrepancies owner may perceive. Hawaii Real Estate Law requires any money paid out on an owner’s behalf that is not covered by the rent be paid back to Island Beach Rentals upon receipt of the Owner’s Statement to be put back into the Trust Account.
If you have work done on your property that you wish to have paid through our office, please note that we issue checks to vendors twice a month. IBR has a professional bookkeeper in Waimea that pays all of these invoices.
Year-end 1099's will be sent to you at the beginning of the year following the year of rentals. Cleaning fees are considered income to the owner. The 1099 reflects all income received on behalf of each owner during a calendar year. As per the Management Agreement IBR is authorized for expenditures agreed to in your owner contract. Except in cases of emergency, owners are contacted for approval in excess of the agreed amount. IBR is prevented by law from carrying negative balances in an owner's account. If an owners month end statement shows a balance due we ask that owners send payment immediately. Any amount that is agreed to between IBR and owner is held in a Trust Account.
As much as possible, during the slower months of May, September and October each year, properties are deep cleaned and scheduled for necessary maintenance and any refurbishing. Whenever it is anticipated that rental income will be insufficient to cover expenses, IBR is authorized to establish a working balance from existing income so that expenses are covered.
All reservations including those for owners and guests are booked through our computerized reservations system. Guest reservations can be made up to one year in advance; therefore, we request that owners consider reserving time in their properties at least this far in advance to ensure availability for personal owner use.
At the time we make a reservation the guest is required to sign a Guest Rental Agreement. Upon initial payment and when signed agreement is received by IBR the guest is sent a confirmation of payment received and due date (60 days prior to arrival) of final payment. Upon receiving final payment, the guest is sent a confirmation along with a map and instructions for entry to the property. Should there be a cancelation prior to arrival, IBR may a retain $200 cancelation fee (this is to cover the expenses of administration which has been handled up until that point.) Should a paid guest cancel after the 60 days, the rent collected at time of cancellation will be credited to the owner as rental income with commissions subtracted.
One of the most frequently asked questions is “How do we help the guests select properties.” Approximately 60% of our guests are either repeat or referral, so most already have an idea of where they want to stay. For those guests who don't know or are not sure, we begin the selection process by asking questions about what they are looking for, beginning with location and whether they want a luxury home, cottage or condominium. Selections are then made according to views, proximity to the ocean, bedding arrangements, number of bedrooms, pricing and any other combination of factors.
The good news is that in the years of doing business here on the Kohala Coast we have experienced very little damage to the homes and properties. However, PLEASE NOTE, when a property is offered to the general public for rental, there is a risk of damage and/or theft of items. It is the intention of IBR to reduce these risks but it is not possible for us to guarantee against them. An automatic damage protection policy of $3000 is instated for all bookings made through IBR. This policy allows IBR to submit a direct claim on behalf of the owner for any applicable and covered damage durign a guest stay at one of our properties.
We do inform and have our guest sign a Guest Rental Agreement that also states that damages that exceed $3,000 will be charged to the guest credit card on file. If, during a guest stay at one of our Rental Properties, damage to real or personal property of the vacation rentals occurs as a result of inadvertent acts or omissions, the Insurer will reimburse IBR for the cost of repair or replacement of such property up to a maximum benefit of $3,000. Certain terms and conditions apply.
Guest reservations are not considered “guaranteed” until a signed Guest Rental Agreement and payment of 50-100 % of the total rental fee including tax, plus 100% of processing fees, damage insurance, applicable security deposits and cleaning fees, or any additional items are received by IBR.
Reservations booked 60 days prior to arrival date will require payment in full at time reservation is made. All other reservations require 50% payment of entire cost of rental including processing fee, damage insurance, applicable security deposit, or any additional items on reservation date.
IBR will automatically charge the credit card on file if no other arrangements are made by guest prior to the 60 days. If payment in full is not received by IBR 60 days or more prior to guest arrival, reservation may be subject to cancellation. There are no refunds after 60 days prior to guest arrival.
Although IBR does inspections periodically, often times un-announced, those individuals providing housekeeping services are relied upon heavily to note damages or things that are missing. It is not possible, however, to provide a detailed inventory of property condition or items missing at the end of each stay unless the homeowner wishes to pay housekeeping for this service. Housekeeping is required to inform us after each check out of anything missing or broken. Since housekeepers spend so much time in the home, they are familiar with the details. IBR maintains close relationships with housekeepers to encourage them to report anything that does not seem right. Some of our owners have found it helpful to review with housekeeping the inventory which the owner gives IBR, and some have gone so far as to put typed, laminated lists in each drawer and cabinet.
We also rely heavily on the quality of our guests and find that all and all, very few things are ever missing. Plates get chipped and broken, and yes, we go through lots of champagne glasses and wine glasses!
When housekeeping reports something they are convinced a guest is responsible for, our office phones the guests just as soon as possible. We feel that addressing any issues such as these quickly is the best way to prevent any hard feelings or confusion. Sometimes the guest will say "Oh yes, we wanted to tell you about that and we will pay whatever the charges are." There has also been on occasion the guest who is sure they had nothing to do with the damage. At this point in time it becomes a judgment call for all of us and we may call upon you to discuss how to proceed. Most often the guest is aware of a situation and does not object to our withholding of the cost of the repair or replacement from their potential security deposit, when applicable.
The success of our business is due largely to the high levels of customer service and guest satisfaction we provide which is of great value to our home owners. By pleasing our guests, we ensure high levels of repeat and referral business.
The basis for our guest policy is to make their stay at our properties as enjoyable and stress free as possible. This includes making the property selection process and payment systems as simple for our guests as possible. We do accept all major credit cards. The guest must sign an automated payment-itinerary form that protects the reservation even more. Currently, the guest pays for any appicable credit card fees as assessed by provider when processing guest payment on their preferred credit card.
Our goal is for each guest to arrive at their chosen property and feel welcome and ready to begin their Big Island experience. Our staff (as well as outside service persons such as maintenance and housekeeping) is trained in the importance of being courteous and helpful when they encounter a guest.
This is in keeping with the Aloha Spirit "E Komo Mai Kakou" a warm welcome to all. With that in mind, the other side is that not all guests arrive happy and ready to enjoy their visit. They sometimes arrive very tired and overworked and are upset at the least little thing. This is when we try to remember that we want all of our guests (and owners) to be treated just as we would like to be treated, while maintaining strong controls to assure maximum profitability with a minimum of hassles. We will do our best to resolve any issues or complaints from a guest as quickly as possible and with as little expense or loss to the owner as possible.
We are happy to refer guests to local vendors for special services such as massage, tennis, golf, snorkeling, bicycling, ocean kayaking, maid service, grocery shopping, car rentals, travel insurance, lei greetings, baby cribs and excursions.
Guests of our vacation rental properties do not expect to have maintenance problems. When they do experience a situation, such as an appliance break down or septic/cesspool problem, it is imperative that their problem be handled quickly. For this reason, we are available 24/7. Also behind the scenes, we often get late night calls since airplanes now arrive as late as midnight. Guest will sometimes have forgotten their directions or have them in a lost piece of luggage. It is that first impression that often brings our guests back!
It should be noted that guests do not expect to be interrupted by requests to show properties for sale. It is our policy, therefore, to always show a property when it is vacant. Should you decide to place your property on the market, please keep this in mind when you make an agreement with your listing agent. We book a year in advance, so that if you sell your property, it will be necessary to have the new buyer accept any existing bookings as part of their purchase contract.
The Kona-Kohala Coast has changed dramatically over the years, and with so much construction that has gone on, there can be a challenge of offering peace and quiet to our guests. We mention this because the situations which have occurred around construction that “pops” up unexpectedly. As part of the guest rental agreement we offer the guest the opportunity to check with us at the 60 day out mark when they pay their balance to see if there is any construction nearby. At that time if there is, they can cancel. Should there be unexpected construction and a guest is unhappy, the resolution is to offer to refund a portion of the guest rents or offer guests a few free nights for their next visit. Depending on the degree of an unsatisfied guest, we may sometimes have to move the guest to another property. Should that become necessary, the rent, which would have gone to the owner of the original property, will then be given to the owner of the property to which the guest was moved. It works both ways and there will be times when we will have to move a guest to a more expensive property if there is not one of similar value vacant. In that case, the owner of the more expensive property will only receive the rental amount of the original booking. This has not happened very often unless there has been a backed up septic system or something of that seriousness.
Since we have built relationships with many outside contractors in the area, usually a situation is handled with one or two phone calls. It is important for you to know that we will always try to make the best financial decision we can on your behalf when there is an emergency situation; however, please know that in keeping your best interests in mind, we are still the ones on the "front-line" dealing with an unhappy guest. It may be that we do not make the exact decision you would have at that moment and sometimes when you get your bill 30 to 60 days later from your point of view you may wonder why we made a certain decision. We welcome your inquiries on such items, but please do not call accusing of wrongful doing without discussing with us first. There are always two sides to any story. That is probably the most difficult part of this type of operation.
We want your arrival at your home to be just as welcoming as each and every one of our guests. When you are in residence you are certain to have questions and concerns. After you have been settled in for a few days, please call and make an appointment with IBR to go over any areas of concern so that we may follow up and make improvements in our services. In an ideal world, we would love to sit and chat on a moment’s notice; however, with the business of our operation, it is much better if we can have a planned time to get together so that we can give you our complete focus. With the number of reservations, we have for each property, scheduling to get certain repairs and maintenance completed becomes rather cumbersome. As an owner, you are always sure to find certain things that you think should have been done before your arrival. There again, in our not so perfect world, items may have occurred unnoticed. However, anything that you are concerned about should be brought to our attention and we will assist with your concerns. Communication and harmony are what makes this experience better for all of us involved. We do take our roll of caring for your property and guests very seriously and feel honored that you have chosen IBR and to have the opportunity to serve you.
As an Owner, once you call and reserve your home, you will be e- mailed an owner’s confirmation from our reservation system.
One of the most important aspects of working with IBR is you get to have access to our years of relationships with vendors and contractors as well as our long-term clientele and booking agents. It is important to remember that we live on an island far away from the mainland and outer islands. There is an art to finding replacement parts and the services to repair items, especially in emergency situations when there are guests in residence. IBR has worked diligently to have good relationships with many vendors through both up and down economic times. We can get just about anything taken care timely and as cost effective as possible. There is tremendous value in our contacts and service that makes it difficult to assign a dollar amount.
Having a professional property manager on island is both crucial and required by Hawaii County Short Term Vacation regulations in order to having a successful and legally registered vacation rental property. Guests have often traveled for hours and typically need some sort of assistance upon arrival or just before arriving. Many of our guests have commented on how important it feels to have someone to contact who is nearby and knowledgeable of the island.
Our company policy is to be as aggressive with rate schedules as the market will allow. Rates for each property are set according to how the property relates to other properties currently being rented.
We continually monitor market conditions so as to take advantage of opportunities to increase rates and rents. We have consistently led the way in raising rental rates on the Kona-Kohala Coast, which in turn increase a property's value. These are all things we keep in mind when trying to get the highest price possible for your property. We also find we need to offer outside booking agencies a fee as well in order to procure more reservations. The ideal situation would be an agreed upon rate to you, the owner and let us adjust it to the guest, agent and circumstance. Many owners get “stuck” on the commission they are paying rather than the benefits and service but do not realize they have the potential to actually make more by having a professional as part of their team. Sometimes our prices are the same as individual owners who are attempting to book on their own.
Each property within our program has a unique rental history. It is not our practice to estimate future income, except where comparable properties exist. In all cases estimates for future income should be based on past histories of comparable properties taking into account the length of time the property has been in the rental program, current market conditions, time of year and so on.
IBR has made arrangements with several housekeeping services to manage the cleaning of the properties or some owners have chosen their own housekeeping service which is acceptable. It is imperative that all housekeepers have email and mobile phone (texting) service. We sometimes get a last-minute booking and will do our best to get in touch with your housekeeper. If we are unable to do so, we may have one of the other housekeepers get the property ready for a last-minute check in. Most of the housekeepers have smart phones and send us photos of anything of concern immediately. Clear communication is vital.
After each departure the property is cleaned and prepared for the next arrival just as soon as possible after the check out. Keeping your property ready to check in and/or show to a potential guest is a positive way to attract more clients and even last minute reservations. Housekeeping schedules a check-out cleaning as soon as schedules permit. Check-in cleanings take priority; however, housekeeping knows the importance of having a property ready to show as soon as possible after guests depart. If they are unable to clean the day of departure, they will at the very least go do a walk through, take any trash and see that everything is locked up. Often times housekeeping will make the decision to wait to do the floors and windows until the next check-in. The day of check-in a touch up cleaning is done and the property is staged with a few lights on and a flower arrangement is left for the guest. Housekeeping picks up the flowers and arranges them for a minimal charge to the owner. Some property owners also have us arrange for fruit baskets, special gifts to the guests or their favorite Kona Coffee. We can arrange most any service that you wish to offer to the guests in order to make their arrival a little more special. A little recognition and expression of appreciation goes a long way in guest satisfaction and repeat visits.
For owners who live here on the island, we realize you are often anxious to get into your home as soon as a guest departs. Because guests don't always leave your home the way you would like, please give housekeeping time to get in and clean before you come to your home. This will keep you from experiencing disappointment and frustration. If it is necessary for you to use your home right away after a guest departure, please let us know so that we can arrange with housekeeping. Housekeepers often times have their schedules planned a week or two in advance, so in order to prevent any unnecessary last minute rushing, please make your arrangements well in advance. Hopefully this way we will all experience a little less stress!
We recommend that you have a locked closet that the housekeepers can access for needed cleaning and household supplies. We have housekeeping provide a few items such as paper towels, toilet tissue, tissues, and kitchen supplies to get guests started. Then the guest is encouraged to purchase their own once they are here and settled.
We realize that a guest and owner's level of satisfaction is significantly related to how clean they find their accommodations. Every effort on our part is given to providing a very high standard of housekeeping services. Once again, if you arrive and have areas of concern, please call for an appointment so that we can discuss and see how we can make improvements.
With the high standards of cleaning that we require, it can get quite costly. Each property has a set cleaning fee charged to the guests along with the rent and taxes. This cleaning fee does not always cover the entire cost of cleaning; however, it is a good way to cover a portion of the expense.
TELEPHONE and INTERNET SERVICE
If you have a land line, in order to ensure that guests do not use long distance while in residence, we ask that you please have your long distance blocked through your telephone provider.
Wireless high-speed internet service is now a must. If you have a security code, please make it visible and easy. The first call we tend to get from a guest minutes after walking in the door, is “We can’t get on the internet”.
All of our properties are advertised on our website. Our experience has been that the properties with professional photographs and videos get the most attention and specific requests. Since we are not professional photographers, we will get a price for professional photographs or videographer which will be approved by the owner. Once we have agreed to a photographer, we will meet with them the day or days of shooting and stage the property for the best possible photos. The owner pays for the cost of the photo shoot and IBR coordinates with the photographer and follows through with posting final photos and/or videos on our website, as well other OTA sites we have a history with.
We highly recommend that you pay for a virtual tour or video that we will arrange and stage for your home. Virtual tours are something we send to potential guests once we have focused them on a few properties and are also part of our website. Our website has evolved and continues to keep up with the times and industry standards.
Since the introduction of VRBO/Homeaway and Airbnb (OTA) booking platforms, they have lead the way in generating leads. IBR works closely with VRBO/Homeaway and Airbnb. If your property is listed on these platforms by IBR we will build your individial listing page on each respective OTA and, more importantly, answer inquiries as quickly as they arrive. Because we are a professional management service, we have an assigned OTA account manager who often is able to offer us specialized service as opposed to an individual homeowner.
We have notifications set to be emailed out to potential guests as soon as an inquiry arrives from one of these OTA sites. We are also notified on our smart phones immediately. With our ability to remotely access our reservation system, we are able to respond often times within minutes. This is a very important aspect of our service. Typically, you cannot wait even a few hours to respond, as potential guests expect immediate response and without it, the guests move onto another property. Within our systems, we have created automated responses which are sent to a potential guest within minutes of receiving an inquiry. Then we follow up with the guest either by phone or email, depending on their choice of communication. We have found that many guests still prefer to deal with a professional service such as IBR in making reservations as many owners who advertise on VRBO/Homeaway and Airbnb are not always able to respond quickly or more importantly, able to honor the bookings they take. The other major difference to consider when an owner is managing their own VRBO/Homeaway or Airbnb listing, is that guests who deal directly with an owner tend to believe they are going to get a better “deal” and often work diligently at finding a homeowner who will negotiate a lower rate. This "haggling" does not typically serve the owner or the home and can be quite time consuming for a home owner as well as stressful. Our goal is to take the stress away from you, the home owner.
As important as our web presence has become, we still find that our best source of guests is from satisfied repeat guests and those guests telling their friends and family about their experiences. This is a great benefit to our home owners. Since having a guest star rating on our website, we have maintained 4.5 to 5-star rating which is another benefit to attracting new guests.
If you are interested in discussing IBRs property management services and/or have further questions please contact our office. We look forward to the possibilty of assisting you with managing your home as a vacation rental on the Island on Hawaii Island and welcoming you to our Vacation Rental Ohana!