Another Realtor Revenue Stream

Stuart Gethner

By Stuart Gethner

Stephanie and I love living in the Kierland Commons neighborhood, especially in the summer time. That’s when all the snowbirds are gone, and we can finally enjoy the restaurants in our own neighborhood! We can’t really complain because we own three vacation rentals, two in Scottsdale and one a stones-throw from the stadiums on the west side. And, boy, do $$$ from a vacation rental beat a typical rental property.

As you probably know, a vacation rental is the renting out of a furnished apartment or house on a temporary basis to tourists as an alternative to a hotel.

Did you know investors getting into the vacation rental business need your services?

The biggest corporate player is Expedia, as they own Hotwire, Home Away, Vacation Rentals by Owner, Trivago, Travelocity and Hotels.com. And there are other’s, such as Airbnb, Priceline and TripAdvisor to name a few more.

However, Evercore, a banking investment firm, estimates the global vacation rental market to be $100 billion, with two-thirds of the market “for rent by owner”.

That means two-thirds of investors entering our Valley’s vacation rental business need your help.

There are too many ways to detail in this article, so let’s just go over a few.

As a REALTOR®, you can help the prospective investor find a suitable property as not every house or condominium is a good fit.

Many Homeowner Associations, for example, do not allow rentals in their subdivision. This one restriction makes a property undesirable where an investor has not the slightest clue.

One of our vacation rentals is located in The Vintage off Hayden & Shea. This Homeowner Associations allows short-term rentals in one-month increments. In other words, we cannot rent to a family for the weekend or even a couple of weeks. Educating your investor as to these parameters makes you an invaluable resource to the investor’s team.

Then there’s the investor that already owns a rental property and is contemplating turning it into a vacation rental. Another area where REALTORS® can dominate is educating the investor as to neighborhood trends and undesirable locations. Just because the property is “close to” a stadium or rodeo grounds does not make it desirable.

Once the property is purchased, the real work begins. Referring your investor to trusted repairmen for updates, upgrades and addressing deferred maintenance makes you, again, an invaluable resource. And guess what happens to your business once you start referring business to others?

Because each property owner has his or her own deposit and payment requirements, cancellation policies, key-pickup procedures, etc., a guest contacts the property owner directly in order to book.

Do you know a staging company that likes referrals? This new vacation rental now needs to be furnished! Remember what happens to your business once you start referring business to others?

Once the property is “vacation ready,” finding the ideal renters is not as easy as putting the property on those aforementioned websites or Craig’s List. Showcasing the property and its unique features on the Multiple Listing Service provides tremendous exposure to local families looking for a staycation or housing for a family event, such as weddings and celebratory holidays.

Some travelers avoid vacation rentals for fear of what industry insiders call SNAD: “Significantly Not As Described”. Having a licensed REALTOR® on the team provides “street cred’ as you legitimize the property and its ownership to the potential vacationer.

At some point over time, markets and strategies change. When the investor is ready to sell their vacation rental might that be a desirable listing? After all, who knows the property, location, neighborhood and CCR’s better than you?

The vacation rental business is booming, especially in our Valley. Investors need REALTORS® to assist them in bringing their vacation rental to the market in the most cost-efficient manner. This one tributary accompanied by the ensuing referrals you provide will exponentially grow your referral base and income.


Stuart Gethner is a full-time practicing real estate investor and REALTOR® consultant in Scottsdale, Arizona. He facilitates workshops for REALTORS® on “Working With Investors,” “Realtor – Investor Partnering” and “Realtor LIVE! Coaching Program” For his FREE e-Book, “Realtor Strategies to Work ON and NOT IN Your Business” go to StuartGethner.com/eBook