A dual benefit of vacation home ownership is the opportunity to personally use your vacation home AND gain additional income through short-term vacation home rental. Three Pines Vacation Rental Property Management is uniquely qualified to maximize your rental income and help insure your home is well cared for in our unique mountain environment.
For your convenience, we have detailed below common questions and key points related to making your property a successful resort rental. Please take a moment to read this material as it will likely answer most questions you may have, and note that our Resort Rental Management Agreement covers all issues in detail. Feel free to contact us with any further questions or to get started earning income on your vacation home.
What is required to rent out a vacation home in Big Bear Lake?
Per the City of Big Bear Lake Transient Private Home Rental Ordinance #99-300 and the California Department of Real Estate:
1. The property owner or management firm must have a valid Big Bear Lake business license.
2. Each property must be registered with the City of Big Bear Lake.
3. Each property must pass an annual safety inspection and comply with City standards.
4. Yearly registration and inspection fees must be paid for each property which currently are $123 annually.
5. Transient Occupancy Tax on rental income must be collected and paid quarterly to the City of Big Bear Lake.
Note that while vacation rental properties outside the Big Bear Lake city limits are not subject to the same Rental Ordinance, good property management practices dictate that similar procedures are followed.
How much money can I expect to gross on my rental?
Because so many factors affect lodging demand in our unique mountain environment, it would be irresponsible to quote an exact figure. Weather, road conditions, forest conditions, and publicity, as well as the rental unit's condition, location, rental rate, and occupancy all influence the amount of money you ultimately will earn from your vacation home. Once we have had a chance to evaluate your specific rental unit, we'd be happy to give you an estimate. (Do keep in mind that a management company's commission rate
often has little to do with how much money you ultimately see each month.)
What fees are associated with your managing our rental?
After deducting certain customary fees and expenses from gross rental revenue, the owner receives a majority percentage of the net rental revenue. A detailed listing of these fees, expenses, and percentages are included in the Resort Rental Management Agreement which we can provide upon request.
What fees do you collect from renters?
In addition to the basic rental rate and required taxes, we may also collect addition fees to cover security deposits, housekeeping, cancellations, damage, and any additional services or goods.
How and when do I receive income payment?
Owners are mailed checks by the end of the month for income earned in the previous month.
As an owner, what do I need to personally pay for?
Property owners are responsible for maintaining and personally paying any mortgage, utility, HOA, property tax, or insurance payments associated with property ownership. Three Pines handles payments directly associated with property rental.
How do you handle accounting, payments, and tax reporting?
As professional property managers we are ethically and legally required to follow certain accounting and reporting practices. On behalf of property owners we collect rental income, disburse necessary repair or tax-related payments, and report to various government entities.
What services does Three Pines provide?
As a full-service luxury resort rental company, Three Pines handles the following property management functions:
- Reservations, cancellations and disputes
- Renter management and relations
- Cleaning, including supplies and linens
- Opening, closing, check-in, and check-out services
- Property marketing and advertising
- Preparation and enforcement of rental agreements
- Arranging and auditing maintenance and repairs
- Owner statements, disbursements and tax reporting
What determines which units get rented first?
First and foremost, a potential renter's requirements determine which units are presented during the reservation process. After renter requirements, availability, and unit condition is considered, units are then rotated on a fair and equitable basis.
How often can I use my own property?
We assume owners put their properties into resort rental programs because they are interested in generating income. Since holidays produce the greatest resort rental demand, we only request that owners limit their holiday use to a single holiday period of their choice each year. We also understand that owners sometimes want to use their property themselves and encourage personal use during slower times so it does not cost them money (i.e. Midweek or Fall & Spring weekends). With a bit of flexibility it is usually easy for an owner to strike a comfortable balance between personal use and income.
What cleaning requirements do you have?
A well-kept vacation home encourages successful resort rental. Both for the protection of the owner’s property and the well-being of guest renters, we require our staff professionally cleans each property once initially when first joining the rental program and then after ANY use. This policy helps insure we maintain acceptable levels of cleanliness for everyone’s benefit. We have also found that removing the burden of cleaning from renters and owners adds enjoyment to their resort stay. Do you really want to clean during your vacation? Renters are charged for their cleaning, and owners are billed against their rental income for theirs.
What do I need to provide in my rental?
As part of Owner Preparation we provide a detailed list of required and recommended items each resort rental should have, including basic appliances and furnishings. Note that Three Pines provides and covers the cost of linens, cleaning supplies, and some consumables.
What do you do about property repairs and maintenance?
An important part of our service relieves owners from maintenance and repair hassles. Not only do we recommend and monitor regular preventative maintenance, we also handle emergency repairs that sometimes present themselves in our unique and demanding mountain environment. Whenever possible we notify owners in advance for approval. However, in emergency situations advance notification may be impossible requiring us to proceed immediately with repairs on behalf of the owner in order to protect life and property. Most maintenance and repair costs are billed directly to the owner.
What if something is stolen or damaged in my property?
If the damaged or stolen item is minor and attributed to the guest or considered an expendable item, we handle replacement or repair at no cost to the owner. In the event of major damage, the owner's insurance would provide coverage. Three Pines personnel performs a thorough inspection before and after each rental to ensure your property is intact and secure.
Why should I use Three Pines for managing my resort rental?
Several reasons make Three Pines a good choice for managing your resort rental:
- As professional innkeepers with a real lodge and permanent physical presence, we are accustomed to accommodating the special demands associated with lodging guests in our unique and demanding mountain environment. And as innkeepers we are held to a higher standard (by, for example, the County Health Department) than simple resort rental agencies. We also are not sidetracked with real estate or other competing interests.
- A limited number of properties in our portfolio helps insure your cabin gets greater exposure and rental, and allows us to focus better on the marketing and maintenance of your unit.
- Our exceptional boulevard location is one of the first places visitors see when entering Big Bear and benefits from numerous walk-ins. Our historic Lodge is a Big Bear landmark that has been delighting guests for over 50 years.
- A comprehensive and effective marketing program tailored for the distinct Big Bear / Southern California market continues to increase awareness and bookings. Highlights include: a variety of directory and guide advertising, compelling website with paid link program, targeted outdoor sponsorships, and radio and newspaper advertising.
- Our thorough, professional nature not only prevents unexpected surprises and hidden costs, but also allows us to attract a higher caliber guest willing to spend more for a quality experience in your vacation rental.
How long before my property is rented?
The process of inspecting, preparing, certifying, and booking a resort rental typically takes 3 to 6 weeks and can vary depending on the cooperation of the property owner, City scheduling, and resort demand. While it is in everyone’s best interest to get a resort rental producing income as quickly as possible, be wary of anyone promising artificially short start up times – it takes a bit of time to correctly prepare a property for successful resort rental.
How do we get started renting out our vacation home?
- Three Pines Approval: In order to promote a quality rental experience for both owners and vacationers, Three Pines must inspect and approve each prospective rental before adding it to its vacation home portfolio. During the inspection we consider issues like location, property condition, access, parking, visual appeal, and overall rentability. We then use this information to set realistic rates and when necessary, make suggestions that will help improve rental occupancy. The property owner must provide access to the property either in person or with a key. There is no cost to the homeowner for the Initial Inspection.
- Sign Rental Agreement: For the protection of both property owners and Three Pines, a rental agreement that includes responsibilities and fees is agreed to and signed by both parties. Three Pines' detailed rental agreement educates owners, sets expectations, and covers common, frequent issues upfront so that unpleasant surprises are avoided later on.
- Obtain City of Big Bear Lake Registration Certificate: Each rental property located in the City of Big Bear Lake must pass an annual safety inspection and be registered with the City. Three Pines coordinates and oversees the steps necessary to undergo inspection and registration at no charge. The City’s Certificate process takes up to 30 days and requires a non-refundable fee paid by the property owner.
- Owner Preparation: Prior to making a property available for rental, it is important owners properly prepare their property, including documenting any special property requirements, conducting an inventory, securing personal effects, and providing certain items necessary for mountain lodging. Three Pines provides detailed Preparation Lists for owners and can even conduct the preparation on behalf of the owner for an additional fee.
- Add to Rental Portfolio: After a property’s agreement, City certificate, and preparation are in place, steps are then taken to add the property to the Three Pines Rental Portfolio. These steps include adding the property to our reservation system, performing a start up cleaning, and integrating the property into marketing tools such as the threepineslodge.com website.