My husband and I first stepped into the Maui, Hawaii vacation rental condo business in 1999 when we wanted help carrying the cost of our new condo at Wailea Ekahi Village and then again the next year when we bought a second condo at Maui Kamaole (which is the Kihei property that seems to me to give the feel of higher end Wailea).
We thought we might recoop all but about $500 per month of our costs by renting on our own and were surprised that we actually made a profit ($1000 per month) on each condo in the first year of operation. This did not include our remodel costs but we did earn enough to pay for them within a few years. This would not have been true had we chosen a full management company option as they take from 20-50% of your income and many have hidden costs as well. We currently own 2 properties in Wailea Ekahi Village on Maui, Hawaii and rent three others for friends… our model is very successful.
Luckily I wanted to play an active role in our rentals and we entered this market as search engines were beginning to be used to find vacation rental condos. I was knowledgeable in several web creation languages (HTML, CSS, PHP) and worked in SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION so I created our websites and became pretty good at using photoshop and taking photos.
With this knowledge we believed we could successfully advertise our condo inexpensively on-line but since we planned on using the condo as our home away from home, a well maintained property and thus housekeeping and repair staff were a must. A remodel was also badly needed.
We have learned a lot in the past 12 years and are looking forward to passing on this hard won knowledge to you. Among other things, the articles authored by me on this blog will talk about how to identify a condo property that will rent easily and create a positive cash flow, how to find an on site manager and/or housekeeping service, picking the right contractor for your remodel, decorating for comfort, style and rentals, filing taxes and getting the proper licenses, where to spend your advertising dollar and more.