Homeowner FAQ
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TurnKey Vacation Rentals Homeowner FAQ

TurnKey makes renting out your vacation rental easy - but we understand that homeowners have a lot of questions. We’re here to help!  We have compiled answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive from homeowners. If you don’t find an answer to your question give us a call at, 855.633.4319 or submit an inquiry via our form and a member of our team will reach out right away.

About us

  • Who is TurnKey Vacation Rentals?

  • TurnKey Vacation Rentals, is a truly full-service vacation rental management company located in the United States. We’re dedicated to setting a new benchmark for vacation rental stays by providing the most affordable and convenient rental experience to both homeowners and guests. Our goal is to provide a consistent, high-end experience like one would expect at a fine hotel, while retaining the unique benefits and authenticity of a vacation rental home.
  • What does TurnKey do for vacation rental homeowners?

  • We take care ofeverything. Although many vacation rental property managers claim they do it all, we manage every aspect of keeping your vacation rental booked and ready for guests (and you). It is our mission to help you earn the most revenue possible.

    TurnKey handles everything from taking photos, writing your rentals property listing description, and marketing it to potential guests. We also manage reservations, guest injuries, payments, check-in/check-out, communications, and entry into your home with our proprietary digital technology.

    Your home will always be guest ready since we provide professional housekeeping, upkeep (e.g., pool cleaning, etc.), and more. We even manage vendors, dispatch emergency maintenance, provide 24/7 local guest support.

    When we say we do everything - we actually mean it.

  • What kind of contract does TurnKey offer?

  • Our contract is an open-book and does not contain any onerous clauses. It’s straight-forward and includes a 30-day opt-out clause. This means that if you are not happy with the service for any reason, you can leave with a month's notice.

    If you are interested, pleaseinquire now and we will more than happy to send you our homeowner agreement so you may review.

Getting started

  • How easy is it to get started with TurnKey Vacation Rentals?

  • Getting started is easy and risk-free. We can activate homes that are existing vacation rentals in a few weeks if everything is ready to go. Our contract has no minimum term, volume commitments, or start-up fees. Normal activation includes shooting new photos, creating a detailed listing, setting pricing, activating advertising on the main internet channels and beginning to take reservations - all in as little as a few weeks! This can take longer depending on the homeowner's schedule, or if a home is in the process of being converted from a residence or long-term rental.
  • Can you help me convert my property into a successful vacation rental?

  • Yes, we will help in any way we can. Whether it is helping you secure a short-term license (if necessary in your area), to meeting movers, the cable company, etc. We can have a TurnKey rep help you smoothly get through the process.
  • Will I have to worry about taxes?

  • No, as with so many things, TurnKey will coordinate any and all taxes for you. We collect the taxes, put them into our owner escrow-style account, and remit on your behalf. Each reservation has taxes added to the amount of the rental - so when you see a rental dollar amount, you can rest assured that we have collected and will remit tax on top of that - you do not need to send us extra money to pay taxes nor do you need to file with your lodging authority.

Rental qualifications

  • Do I have to commit to a certain amount of availability?

  • No, however we do require that all homes that wish to use TurnKey are year-round rentals. There is no problem with an owner, friends or family using a rental for weeks or even months at a time, however if you plan to only make it available occasionally then your home probably isn’t right for our program. We also reserve the right to cancel a homeowner agreement if the home is predominantly unavailable for bookings.
  • Does my home need to be of a certain quality or size?

  • To some degree, yes. While TurnKey does not work exclusively with luxury properties, we do focus on upper-end rentals in desirable locations. This could be a high-end studio apartment in a downtown metro area, or an inviting mid-range home with in a prime vacation destination. We will look at your home and let you know if we feel it will make a good rental.
  • Is there anything I am required to have at my home?

  • Yes. Guests expect a fully-functioning home, complete with furniture in good repair, appliances, cookware, dinnerware, internet, TV, as well as an ample supply of bed linens, towels, and typical consumables like light-bulbs and batteries. We will work with you to make sure that you have everything in place. Internet connections are required at every home - TV can be optional in certain rural areas. Nicely decorated homes tend to command higher rentals and we always encourage owners to have a home that shows well. A good test of whether or not you need to have something in your rental is to put yourself in a guest’s shoes… If you were staying somewhere for a week long period of time, what would you expect to have in that rental home… that is what we aim to provide to guests for their stay.
  • Do I need to have Wi-Fi or a traditional phone line/land-line installed?

  • A landline phone is not necessary unless you wish to have one for your own personal stays, or you are in an area with no cell reception. We do require Wi-Fi to be available.
  • Do owners have to allow pets?

  • No, that’s up to each owner. In general we encourage it, as homes get more bookings if they allow pets, but we understand many owners do not want to allow them and that’s fine. We do charge guests an additional non-refundable $100 rent per stay ($200 for 3+ bedroom homes) for up to 2 pets to ensure that the home is fully cleaned. This fee gets paid as additional rent, so the majority will go to the owner. Any damage caused by a pet will be taken out of the deposit. However, if damages exceed the deposit we will seek additional funds from the guest. Please take note that we are not able to prohibit service animals.

Reporting and payment

  • What kind of reporting will I be provided so I may understand my success?

  • You will get a monthly statement from us that details out how much rental revenue you earned, includes details on how much tax we collected and will pay on your behalf, as well as any charges that you have incurred during the month (for example if you want it cleaned for your own stay, or if you had us install a new TV, etc.). Your account management team will be happy to guide you through your owner statement.
  • When do I get paid for reservations?

  • We currently pay owners once a month. Expect to receive an owner statement and an ACH deposit to your bank account on the 12th of every month. This statement and deposit will cover all guests that check-out during that month. If you have a guest crossing over one month to the next, the payment for that reservation falls in the month they check-out.

Rental marketing

  • How do you enable online bookings?

  • We use HomeAway Software for Professionals – a very secure and reliable management solution for professional managers to push your rental to over 50+ booking sites. It is backed by a publicly traded company and works very well for enabling all aspects of guest bookings and payments.
  • How do you advertise my vacation rental?

  • We list your home everywhere guests are looking for rentals! In addition to our own site, we’ll automatically get your property onto the major listing sites:

  • Abritel.fr
  • HomeAway.at
  • HomeAway.com.au
  • AlugueTemporada.com.br
  • HomeAway.ca
  • HomeAway.ca.fr
  • FeWo-direkt.de
  • HomeAway.dk
  • HomeAway.es
  • HomeAway.fi
  • HomeAway.it
  • HomeAway.com.mx
  • HomeAway.nl
  • HomeAway.no
  • HomeAway.pt
  • HomeAway.se
  • HomeAway.co.uk
  • HomeAway.com
  • Homelidays.es
  • Homelidays.com
  • Homelidays.it
  • VacationRentals.com
  • Colorado Vacation Rentals
  • Rental Source
  • LakeHouse Vacations
  • RentByOwner
  • Travelprorentals
  • LakeRentals.com
  • Agoda
  • CoastRentals.com
  • forGetaway.com
  • MountainSkiRentals.com
  • VRBO.com
  • Airbnb
  • TripAdvisor
  • Expedia
  • Orbitz
  • Hotels.com
  • Travelocity
  • Booking.com
  • Kayak
  • Priceline
  • FlipKey
  • Tripping
  • Trivago
  • Venere
  • Hotwire
  • Owner Direct Vacation Rentals
  • Beachhouse.com
  • CanadaStays
  • Resort Reservations
  • AllTheRooms
  • Vacation Rental Supermarket
  • Vaystays
  • Visit Breck
  • PerfectPlaces.com
  • VRGuest
  • Vacayhero
  • DestinNetwork
  • Trails.com
  • Pinterest

We also synchronize your availability calendar so every site shows the right rates and availability all of the time. We believe no other property manager markets more than TurnKey - after all, if we don’t book up your home we don’t make any money either! Each site has a slightly different business model, but in general most have a combination of a small commission that is charged to the owner and a fee that gets charged to the guest. Of course all bookings on the TurnKey website have no additional cost associated with them.

  • What if I already have listed my home on those sites?

  • Many owners have already created listings. We will work with you to migrate your listing over to our managed account. We will also professionally rewrite the listing if necessary, improve the photos or take new ones, and synchronize the pricing and calendar across all of the many sites on which we list your rental.
  • Do I need to provide you with photographs?

  • If you have someone you’d prefer, great! If you don't, we'll handle it at no additional cost to you. We have trained vacation rental photographers on staff and also use other local photographers. We know guests want to see great photos and we’ll make sure your home looks fantastic on every listing site.
  • How do I book myself, friends or family at my property?

  • You can call us and we will book your property for you, or you can view your availability and book online through our Owner Dashboard. There is absolutely no charge for this and we even schedule cleaning when you leave so it is ready for the next guest. If you choose to have us clean your home after your stay, we will bill you on your owner statement for the cleaning. You may also choose to clean the home yourself.
  • How do you deal with guest deposits paid in advance?

  • We accept all major credit cards, and charge a deposit of 10% of the total rental upon booking, with the full payment due 30 days prior to check-in. All reservations which are made more than 10 days in advance of check-in are fully refundable (only if the guest cancels the reservation within 72 hours after the time of booking). After this cancellation period expires, all payments are non-refundable. The guest who books the property must be 25 years or older unless otherwise noted.

Pricing management

  • How do you set pricing for my rental?

  • Owners often ask how pricing is set for each rental. First, we set an initial price for each unit for each day of week, and time of the year. Midweek days might get set at one price, and weekends at another; holidays and peak periods may be set higher, and off-season prices could be set lower. dWe set these initial prices based on several factors like input from each owner, characteristics of the home (size, amenities, location, recent remodels, etc.), comparable home prices in the area, and guidance from our local General Manager.
  • Once we agree on the initial pricing, we ask you if you want to be included in our dynamic pricing program. Over 90% of all owners decide to participate. Once in the program, we watch the performance of your unit and make pricing adjustments as needed. The key is to monitor and adjust pricing up or down based on actual market demand. This is where TurnKey excels. We monitor conversion rates of your rental at initial pricing and adjust up or down according to how well the rental is booking. It is an ongoing process that is always a top priority.
  • Here are just a few examples of the many ways we adjust your pricing to make you more rental income:
  • If your home is booking more quickly for comparable times of year than other homes in your area - this may be an indicator that your price is too low, and we may adjust it upward.
  • If your unit has last minute availability, and has openings within the next two weeks, we may apply different levels of discounts to try and get that last-minute traveler who is used to getting a last minute deal.
  • If we notice large periods of time that are farther in advance that have lower than expected occupancy, we may adjust the price down. As occupancy fills in, we may adjust the price back up.
  • There are several other ways we make changes, and a lot of different places we look for data. At TurnKey we monitor the market availability calendars on sites like VRBO and HomeAway, we use pricing reports from AirDNA, we receive hotel pricing reporting from RateGain, and benchmark every home's inquiry and reservation volumes against historical numbers and comparable homes.

Property management

  • Do I need to do my guests laundry (e.g., towels, linens, etc.)?

  • No, our cleaning fees cover laundry service for linens with every clean. Our cleaners will do it on-site if time permits, or bring it to a laundry facility as a back-up.
  • Do I need to provide soap, paper towels, toilet paper?

  • No, you don’t need to worry about it, TurnKey makes sure your home remained stocked. We supply an initial set of amenities, so when guests arrive they don’t need to head straight to a market. This set includes a couple rolls of toilet paper per bathroom, a roll of paper towels, small sizes of soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and dish soap in the kitchen. TurnKey buys hotel amenities in bulk and restocks these for every stay. Rather than have an owner manage and maintain, TurnKey bills the owner only $7 per stay to completely restock.
  • What if I want to do some decorating on my own?

  • We love it when owners stay involved with decorating and improving their home!! In fact, we highly encourage it. Guests want a unique and local experience, your homes decor is a great way to provide this.
  • How do you keep my home safe and manage keys?

  • TurnKey uses a very specific type of digitally-coded lock specifically designed for lodging that is known to be the gold standard in the vacation rental industry. They are expensive - but we cover the cost and they are worth it. They are proven to be reliable, secure and stand-up to harsh outdoor environments. They are very secure with all codes expiring upon check-out. Even our cleaners and vendors can be issued one-time or date and time-specific codes. This means your home is secure, and easy for the right people to access at the right time. Unlike many other managers, we do not cut corners by using cheaper, less reliable and less secure locks and we never hand out keys to anyone.
  • How do I access my home?

  • Each lock comes with the ability to have several master codes set for it at any given time. As an owner you have a master code and can access the property whenever you want. If for some reason you wish to access while a renter is in the property, you may leverage our handyHomeowner Dashboard  or contact your Account Management team. Generally we like to avoid disturbing the tenants but understand there may be times when this needs to be done.
  • What about regular maintenance?

  • TurnKey provides guest servicing and management, and property management to owners, but TurnKey is not a maintenance company. Our employees are not trained contractors or repair personnel. We do staff a 24/7 call center, reservations management, guest support, regular housekeeping scheduling and inspections, dispatch of qualified maintenance personnel, monitor internet up-time, indoor temperature when equipped, pool temps when equipped, maintain electronic locks, etc.

During inspections we will restock consumable items like soap, toilet paper, shampoo, and even perform simple maintenance like changing remote control batteries or light bulbs for lamp fixtures or ceilings either foot or lower in height if spares are available on site.

  • Who takes care of my lawn, my pool, etc.?

  • We are happy to schedule a regular lawn or pool service, but most owners already have this in place and continue to use their preferred vendor. We require that all owners have repeat services in place. Owners typically pay these fees directly to their contractors, along with utilities, internet and TV. We can set up recurring services for you (but only set them up to happen on a regular basis). The bills for the service are sent directly to you.
  • Should I schedule any regular services myself?

  • In addition to repeat lawn, hot tub, and pool service, TurnKey recommends having a local, licensed HVAC service plan in place. It is important to have regularly scheduled services for your air conditioning, heating appliances and air filter replacement. Plans run anywhere from $15/month on up depending on the size of your home, and how often you need your filters changed.

We do require a regular pest-control service in southern markets, snow removal in winter areas, and we strongly recommend an annual garage door service plan, gutter cleaning in heavy leaf areas, and twice-yearly window washing. We can set these up for you. The bills for service will be set up in your name and sent directly to you.

Also, be mindful that any and all vacation rental homeowners should heavily consider getting a home warranty.

  • What about garbage collection? Who handles this?

  • Stick with your regular provider. If guests are in the home on pick-up days we ask them to take out the trash. If no one is there, TurnKey visits and puts out the trash with no charge to you unless your specific location requires it.
  • Do I need to provide you with a cleaner?

  • We have cleaners contracted with us who have proven to be fast, flexible, reliable, and are already familiar with TurnKey’s strict cleaning protocol. If you have a cleaner you are used to working with, then we may utilize them (based on a successful trial period with TurnKey).

Guest experience.

  • How do guests pay you?

  • We use credit card processing through our HomeAway Professional software. Travelers overwhelmingly prefer to pay with credit cards rather than send cash - it is safer, easier, and more secure. We can also take eCheck/ACH but prefer to use credit cards. Credit card companies do charge for their service, we deduct a fee of 3% - 4% from the gross rent to cover their fees and insurance. Rolling these items together is not standard, we do it for your convenience.
  • How do guests interact with TurnKey?

  • Guests can communicate with us via our website, email, or by phone with our professional Guest Experience team that is available around the clock. Once you book, we’ll invite you to our Guest Portal where guests can view their reservation information, receive their door code for their rental, get directions to your property, get nearby restaurant suggestions, and more. Anyone can download and we encourage homeowners to do so. The application is listed as TurnKey, under TurnKey Vacation Rentals.
  • Can guests book my property online?

  • Yes. Although virtually all guests begin with an email or phone call, we do allow them to view, book, and pay for a property online.
  • What happens if there is a guest emergency?

  • The guest always calls TurnKey. The guest actually never knows the name of the owner for privacy reasons (unless you really want us to tell them). We take the call and dispatch the appropriate vendor. We pay the vendor and then put the bill onto your homeowner statement (taking vendor charge out of the revenue owed to you for that month) - that way you don't have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for anything unless it happens to be a major repair. TurnKey does not charge any additional fees for these types of emergencies.
  • How do you deal with noisy guests?

  • Unless we approve otherwise, you must be over the age of 25. Please know that we do have a strict policy of evicting them upon any sign of noise, partying, or over-occupancy. We want guests to enjoy themselves, however, we do not tolerate abuse at your property and contractually have heavy measures in place to evict and charge additional fees.

In an effort to keep your guests and property safe, we will install several types of noise monitors and customize the decimal level settings for your specific property. Our local teams will receive an alert if the noise volume exceeds these settings and address it for you.

  • Do guests pay any type of cleaning fees?

  • Guests pay us directly for cleaning fees, and we pay the cleaners. There is nothing you need to do to schedule or pay them. If you wish to have your home cleaned while you, a family member, or friend are using it, just let us know and we will clean it and bill you for it as part of your monthly statement.
  • How do you handle security deposits and damage?

  • Research at HomeAway shows guests are far less likely to book a rental if a security deposit is required. HomeAway itself has taken steps to eliminate them and this has become a trend in the industry. HomeAway expects large adoption of this and TurnKey wants to take advantage of this trend.

TurnKey requires each guest to purchase a minimum $3,000 damage waiver. This enables owners to rest assured damage is covered. However, owners should expect that from time-to-time normal wear-and-tear will happen outside the policy. A standard in the property management industry is to withhold 4% of gross rents to cover the costs of small items. TurnKey does not do this. Owners should expect every now and then they might have to replace a fork or knife, do some touch-up painting, replace a sink or shower fixture, etc. All homes experience periodic maintenance. Guests do sign a contract committing to paying for damage via their credit card on file, and there are strict policies when additional cleaning is needed as well.

Often we are asked what types of things are replaced under this policy. Generally a good rule of thumb is that well-maintained, durable items in good working condition, that are damaged as a result of a guest’s actions are covered. The damage waiver is not a guarantee that nothing will ever be broken or stop working in your home. It is intended to be replace broken or damaged items that resulted from a guest making a mistake.

Everything from small appliances, to plumbing fixtures, furniture and electronics eventually wear-out. If a guest drops a blender and it smashes on the floor, the damage protection kicks in. But if a guests is using a blender that is several years old and it just stops working, it is not replaced as part of the damage waiver. If a rug is dirty from regular foot traffic, it is not replaced as part of the damage waiver. If a guest spills a bottle of red wine on a rug, the damage waiver kicks in. If a guests sits down on an inexpensive couch and a leg breaks off, it is generally not their fault. If a guest spills pasta sauce all over it, then the damage waiver applies.

The damage waiver applies to most furniture as well. It does not apply to things like fragile antique seating or dining tables, inexpensive plastic seating, furniture that is clearly old, worn, visibly weak or rusted. These are all items we highly recommend removing from a home for safety purposes. And while we love inexpensive furniture from Ikea or other discount stores, it is known not to be very durable. The damage waiver does not apply to furniture that is not designed to hold up to regular guest use, particularly MDF or plastic.

Service costs

  • What do you charge for full-service vacation rental management?

  • National commission rates for property manager services average roughly 35% and range as low as 20% and as high as 60% depending on the type of home and market. TurnKey provides full service management without cutting any corners for only 18%.You are welcome to try us for a few months, no strings attached! We’re that confident that you’ll love our services and your additional income.
  • Why do you do commission-based pricing?

  • Commission-based pricing is the industry standard for vacation rental property management firms. That does not necessarily mean it is the only answer - but we believe that it perfectly aligns our incentives with our homeowners. We only make money when our owners make money, and the only way to increase our revenue is to help owners increase theirs. We believe this is why the commission model has worked and is so well established in the industry.
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