Answers to Owners’ Top Questions
1. What type of services does Mead Brown offer vacation renters?
Mead Brown provides a variety of rental services for owners and their guests:
- Online booking from our secure link; we accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover and e-checks (guests enter information from their check online)
- Check in and check out services
- Renter’s Agreement and Confirmation
- Property Protection Plan
- Inventory control – compiling a list of the unit’s contents and inspecting the unit upon the guests’ departure for damage or breakage
- Rental contract
- Cleaning unit prior to check in and after departure.
- Daily maid service–which includes making beds, cleaning bathrooms, emptying wastebaskets, changing towels and general tidying–for rentals of 14 or fewer nights and twice weekly service for rentals of more than 14 nights.
- Neutrogena brand bath products, including glycerin facial soap, French-milled soap, shampoo, conditioner, Rain Bath, body lotion, vanity kit (cotton swabs and cotton balls) and sewing kit
- Paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, and garbage bags.
- Provide a Welcome Kit, which includes snacks, a map of the Central Pacific Coast, services and tours, a copy of one or more area publication and a gift.
- Guest Directory with restaurants, doctors, pharmacy, and other amenities in the area and information specific to the rental unit.
- Fulfillment of guest requests during their stay.
- Concierge services – we arrange tours, car rentals, sport fishing, spa treatments, golf lessons and tee times, surf lessons, tennis court reservations and lessons, horseback riding, and other fee-based activities
- If desired, other fee-based services provided to the guests and owners during their stay include:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Grocery delivery
- Additional housekeeping requests
2. How does Mead Brown market rental properties?
Marketing is one of Mead Brown’s core lines of business. Mead Brown markets rentals through its Web site, which is optimized for search engines to help ensure that when people look online for a vacation rental, yours is among those they consider; with ads on Google, Yahoo and MSN; direct mail; third-party Web sites; email campaigns; Yahoo web and search ads, as well as print ads in publications read by the targeted niche markets; directly to travel agents; and through our channel partners. Each property has an individual link that includes:
- Description of the unit
- Photos of the unit’s exterior and interior
- Configuration of beds
- Any special features and amenities (e.g. ocean views, beachfront, golf view, Stereo/DVD, BBQ grill, etc.)
- Owner preferences (e.g. no children, no smoking, etc.)
Exposure of your property on the web is vital to our rental program and we will continue to update and find new ways to maximize online bookings. Mead Brown markets the rental properties to travel agencies across the United States, Canada and Europe.
3. How are rental rates determined?
Rental rates are set and adjusted frequently, according to supply, demand and other market factors.
The rental rates include rental commissions.
4. Am I allowed to set my own rental rates?
Mead Brown will consult with you and recommend rates for your unit, based on a competitive analysis within the marketplace, demand, seasons, how the unit is furnished and decorated, the amenities provided, views, proximity to the beach and other location factors. It is important that rates are consistent for similar or identical units and amenity packages. We value your opinion. It is in everyone’s interest to set rates that are competitive, reflect market conditions and are likely to result in the maximum return on your investment.
5. What are the different seasons in Costa Rica and how do they affect rental rates?
Currently, there are three primary periods in which rental rates and dates may vary: holidays (peak season), December-April (high season), and May-November (green season). Typically, our holiday rates include mid-December through the first week of January. Based on recent trends, it is possible that in the near future the green season will shrink, as more visitors come to the Central Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. September and October are the rainiest months. Management will evaluate the duration of these time periods annually to determine if revisions should be made.
6. How does the rental commission work?
Management’s rental fee is equal to 35% of the gross rental income. This fee includes all commissions to travel agents and other third parties, credit card processing, cleaning upon check-out, daily maid service, all marketing expenses, customer service for reservations, check-in and check-out.
7. How are rental income and expenses documented?
Mead Brown documents expenses and revenue associated with your property in our accounting system. On a monthly basis, statements are transmitted electronically to each owner with stated revenues, fees, and expenses, and if there is a balance due, payment is made to Mead Brown within ten days from receipt. Statements are also available online at www.meadbrown.com/owners. Credits to owners are paid monthly.
8. What can I do to facilitate the rental of my unit?
Mead Brown provides a basic inventory and equipment checklist for each owner. This checklist outlines the minimum requirements for each property. It is important that we adhere to the needs of our guests, maintain high standards, and maintain a high rate of repeat guest stays.
In addition to the required basic inventory package, there are items we may recommend to increase the marketability of your property, such as a an outdoor grill or patio furniture.
Another way to facilitate the rental of your unit is to consider providing full beds (instead of twins) and a sofa sleeper in the living room.
Overall, we desire a sparkling unit and to create a welcoming environment for your guests. We will provide the sparkling clean unit, and we encourage each owner to add personal items to improve the decor of their units. Things such as art, decorative accessories, exterior pots and plants add to the desirability of the individual units and ultimately enhance rentals. Items that are considered irreplaceable should not be used.
9. What is your management style?
We are collaborators. We work with owners as partners with whom we share common goals and objectives. Recognizing that no one person always has the single best answer, we know that several people working together can produce a better result. This philosophy applies throughout Mead Brown–with our employee-partners as well as our owner-partners. We are expert at marketing and maintaining homes and for this we are accountable. We’re always open to someone else’s perspective on how to do it better.
10. Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
We are eager to provide you with one-on-one attention. Please contact us today.
Michael Brown is your primary contact and is available to assist you with your needs.
Within Costa Rica call 2637.8561
Outside Costa Rica call toll free 1.866.567.1516 or 972.200.7803
Thank you for your interest in our vacation marketing and property management services. We look forward to serving you.