christine 04/22/2019

The Story Behind a Vacation Rental

I’ve written a couple of posts that I hope have been helpful to someone out there that is just trying to get started with renting out a personal home or vacation home as a rental. Sharing with others a place that you call home to be somewhere they can get away and capture memories is already a feel good.

This blog post might make you feel good too.

I shared the story of my parents' journey in hopes of helping even just one person know how to navigate the sometimes crazy world of vacation rentals.


My parents used to go to this vacation home every weekend but back earlier this year my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Everything changed.

That included their weekly trips on the weekend to their favorite little beach town where “Pelican Pass”, a getaway for them sat. When they realized those trips wouldn’t be happening while my Dad went through treatment they decided to rent it out and hope that there are other families who can make the same memories we have.

That’s what I set off to help them do. Here are some of the behind the scenes of what happened because today marks the first day following their FIRST GUEST with a 5-star rating AND my dad is almost cancer FREE!

Lots to celebrate and a lot of challenges that we faced when trying to do this and juggle his health.

Here’s my Dad’s excitement and personal user experience in his own words:

“Our first guest!

We did it!! After a few months of prep getting the house ready to host renters, we finally had our first guests. And we got a 5-star review - so I think we did things right. And the guests were really great – took care of the house and appreciated the great beach area we have. An all-around win-win!! Exactly what VRBO is meant for.

Lots of learning along the way. Pricing it right to get started, getting the best pictures to really show how awesome the house is and building descriptions that were not over the top all went into getting our first guests for a weekend.

But where’s the money? The interesting thing is that VRBO keeps the money until after the guests leave - I get it - but we ain't doing this for the ratings - we need the cash! VRBO shows how much money you are getting for the stay but it does take a while to see it in your account.

They are asking if I want to refund the security deposit before I even get the payment for the weekend. But that's the business model.

There is a lag to the review too - we got it today and it was great but it is not showing up yet. I think it is apparent that I sort of have a lack of patience and I understand the delays, but I want instant gratification! We busted our ass getting this place ready – let’s reap the rewards.

We don’t have many bookings for May but are slammed in June. Lots of back to back rentals which is going to test our coordination. But we are up to the challenge.

As long as we get paid. Soon. Like tomorrow would be nice.”

To note, he was impatient with me too while we got this whole house ready so don’t worry VRBO you aren’t the only one!

Here’s that 5-star review he mentioned:


Overall things have been easy, organized and seamless on the experience side of things besides getting used to figuring out how to do things in VRBO.

However, the best part was getting that first guest booked and about 10 more on the books after only being live for 3 weeks!


If you want to check out their listing to see what we’ve completed live click here

We’re happy that we got to host people in this vacation home that would have otherwise been empty all summer long (and the extra funds don’t hurt to help my parents out this year).

Here’s to more guest and next up we may try to list on other platforms, next up!

Is there something we haven’t covered that you’d love to see!? Let us know by sending us an email at we’d love to hear from you!

Protect Your Property Newsletter

Sign up to receive developing news and alerts on protecting rental properties.