Earlier this month, Excise and Licenses (EXL) presented a draft of proposed changes to Denver’s STR ordinance. Aside from a couple of perfunctory changes, the main revisions involve primary residence requirements. The most contentious update is changing the definition of primary residence to “the place in which a person’s habitation is fixed and is the person’s usual place of return”.
EXL also has proposed striking the “two documents” requirement section (motor vehicle registration, utility bill, voter registration, etc) to prove primary residence and replacing it with what some have referred to as the ‘seven standards.’ EXL would be able to use these seven standards to determine primary residence, either at the time of application or in a hearing.
Many hosts feel these revisions infringe upon property rights, are difficult to enforce and are an overreach of EXL’s powers. MHH recommends reviewing the draft document, in particular, the ‘seven standards’ (Sec 33-53, Issuance or Denial) to better understand how these changes could impact your ability to continue hosting.
Proposed Seven Standards:
(1) Whether the applicant has or claims any other location for domestic, legal, billing, voting, or licensing purposes;
(2) Whether and how often the applicant returns to the short-term rental or resides at any other location within a calendar year;
(3) Whether the address listed on an applicant’s legal documents or tax assessment records is different than the address of the short-term rental;
(4) An applicant’s business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for income or other tax purposes, leaseholds, situs of personal and real property, and motor vehicle registration;
(5)The number of days that the short-term rental has been, or will be, rented within the calendar year;
(6) Whether the applicant is actively deployed in the United States military; or
(7) Any other relevant information.
The draft document can be viewed at bit.ly/STR2020draft1
The hosting community feels that there is an overreach of power with how regulations are currently being enforced. License holders with no filed complaints are being followed and photographed, neighbors are being questioned and affidavits sent to compliant hosts. Investigations into people’s personal lives is a drain of the city’s resources.
The next STRAC meeting is on Tues, Feb 11 at 4pm and your presence and/or public comment regarding the draft document would be greatly appreciated.
We’re not even three months into 2018 yet, and already there are plenty of new restaurants and bars adding to Denver’s thriving culinary scene. Need a new date spot that goes beyond your regular fare? Looking for a great location for a birthday dinner or work event? Try one of the new places featured below—before everyone else in the city catches on.
3258 Larimer St. – https://www.facebook.com/JulepRestaurantDenver/
You’ll come for the awesome patio and stay for the delicious Southern-inspired food. Located right off of Larimer Street in bustling RiNo, it’s easy to see why Julep’s popular. Owners (and husband and wife) Kyle and Katy Foster offer a full lunch and dinner menu inspired by their childhoods in the South. There’s also a full bar, because nothing tops off the Juniper & Rosemary Rubbed Lamb like an Old Fashioned.
Zephyr Brewing Company
1609 E 58th Ave. Unit G – https://www.zephyrbrewingco.com/
Open only four days of the week, Zephyr is proving to be one of the most exclusive places to drink in Denver—with none of the attitude. As laid-back as they are knowledgeable, the staff at Zephyr are truly beer connoisseurs. Their new location in North Denver is sure to be just as big of a hit as the previous one in RiNo. The taproom has foosball and other games, the perfect accompaniment for the Blood Orange Pale Ale or Kiltin’ Me Softly Scottish Ale.
3501 Wazee St. – https://zeppelinstation.com/
Where else can you find bibimbap, indian street food, poke, and homemade gelato all under one roof? That would be at Zeppelin Station, a brand-new food hall right off the light rail station at 38th & Blake, that serves up these and many other cuisines. Also home to live music and two bars, there’s something for everyone here. Don’t miss a banh mi sandwich at Vinh Xuong Bakery with the Voodoo donut gelato sandwich at Gelato Boy for dessert.
Haykin Family Cider
12001 E 33rd Ave. Unit D – https://www.haykinfamilycider.com/
Serving up sweet bubbles made from Colorado apples, Haykin Family Cider is a treat for locals and visitors alike. All of their ciders are made small-batch and are free of additives and processed sugars. Haykin is open only on Thursday and Saturday evenings, so get there early! Be sure to try the Winter Banana or Rome Beauty, and stay for a chat with co-owners Daniel and Talia Haykin.
The Way Back
3963 Tennyson St. – https://thewaybackdenver.com/
Recently relocated to lively Tennyson Street in the Berkeley area, The Way Back is back in business—good news for the devoted followers who have been eagerly anticipating its reopening. The eclectic American menu changes weekly and focuses on sustainably sourced local ingredients. For something different, check out the Squid Ink Fettucine or Charred Bison Heart, and end the evening on the patio with a Elyx Moscow Mule.
Denver Eater (photgrapher: Sara Schiffer):
The weather’s starting to warm up, but there’s still plenty of time for a magnificent mountain getaway. We’ve gathered up the top events and restaurants in some of the best winter resorts in the country. Whether you’re looking for great nightlife after a day on the slopes or a tranquil retreat away from the noise of the city, your stay in one of our favorite mountain houses is certain to be unforgettable.
March in Breck means the annual Spring Fever Festival, full of live music, ski competitions, beer, and the famous Breck Plunge—the perfect way to end the season. Breckenridge is known for having some of the best runs in Colorado, spread over five peaks and connected by the highest chairlift in the country. Year-round, the cozy mountain town offers a thriving arts scene and great food, with delicious spots like Relish and Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon.
Copper Mountain Getaway
Stunning Home on Main Street
Gorgeous Mountain Getaway
Vail hosts almost two million visitors each year, and after a few hours here, you’ll see why. With incredible powder, a renowned Ski School for both kids and adults, and upscale Vail Village bursting with shops and restaurants, it’s no wonder that Vail tops the resort list. Check out the Jazz Winter Series through April and dine at Bistro Fourteen or Game Creek for a tasty dinner with a side of stunning mountain views.
Modern Vail Home
Vail Racquet Club Getaway
Where else can you expect free freshly-baked cookies handed out at 3:00 every afternoon? Cookie Time and is just one of the traditions that make Beaver Creek one of the friendliest resorts in Colorado, an ideal destination for families. And its flawless corduroy brings skiers and snowboarders back year after year. For the unique flavor of Beaver Creek, visit Allie’s Cabin or Black Diamond Bistro.
Ski-In, Ski-Out Condo
Luxury Condo- Walk to Gondola!
With quick access to Aspen, Sunlight Mountain, and Spring Gulch, Carbondale’s location offers skiers and snowboarders plenty of options. Carbondale is also known for its rafting and kayaking, featuring swirling rapids and natural hot springs along the majestic Colorado River. After your outdoor adventure, grab a bite at Newell House or Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza.
Mountain Chalet with Views of Sopris
It’s impossible to be bored in Tahoe—summertime swimming and hiking leads to amazing skiing in the winter for year-round entertainment. Lake Tahoe is also home to the Spring Loaded Festival, packed with live music, happy hour specials, and snow races. For the best food on the Lake, stop in to Café Fiore or Base Camp Pizza Co.
Brand New Tahoe Donner Home in Truckee
Close to Mt. Falcon, Mt. Lindo, Lone Peak, and Bear Mountain, Indian Hills is the premier destination for your peaceful mountain vacation. Keep an eye out for deer, bears, and elk on your trip, and don’t miss a walk through Mirada Fine Art Gallery or a bite at Twin Forks Tavern in neighboring Morrison.
Indian Hills Estate with Panoramic Views
Managing a short-term rental property is a lot of work to do on your own. From booking to cleaning to troubleshooting issues with guests, it’s nice to have some help along the way. Many homeowners are now deciding to partner with a rental management company.
But the decisions don’t end there—when choosing between rental companies, you have a lot of options. It’s important to look at each company’s strategy and consider what that means for you, your property, and your guests. We’ve outlined the three main rental management strategies below.
Best for: homeowners who want consistent monthly income.
The fixed strategy allows the rental company to promise the homeowner a certain amount of revenue per month, no matter the number of bookings that month. The rental company pays you this set amount, then takes the rest. This means that you’ll make the same amount in the slower off-season as you will during more popular months. Overall, homeowners don’t maximize their monthly revenue with this strategy because they don’t receive the benefits of major spikes during the on-season. The scope of services provided by rental companies using the fixed strategy varies, but in general it is not comprehensive. The homeowner is often required to take care of services like guest correspondence and solving problems during a guest’s stay.
Best for: homeowners who want their monthly revenue to reflect booking trends.
The commission-based strategy involves the rental company taking a certain percentage of every booking. This amount depends on the company and location, but typically falls between 20-50%. Using this strategy, the rental company and the homeowner experience highs and lows as a team. When there are more bookings for a certain month, everyone benefits. If you decide to go with a rental company that utilizes this strategy, it’s likely that a greater range of services will be covered than with the fixed strategy. However, you may still be expected to coordinate services such as cleaning, maintenance, and restocking the property between bookings.
Best for: homeowners who want to maximize their revenue and minimize their workload.
The turnkey strategy is for homeowners who want their rental company to handle all of the tasks that come with maintaining a short-term rental property. Sometimes used in conjunction with the commission-based strategy, the turnkey approach covers all aspects of a booking, from answering initial inquiries to check-in to troubleshooting to turnover. Many homeowners who live out of state or frequently travel abroad choose this method while they’re away. Others live down the street and want a more hands-off approach to hosting. Although this strategy can be more expensive, the additional monthly revenue gained and the peace of mind that everything is covered makes it well worth it.
We handle every detail of your rental so you don’t have to. Click here to see the full list of services offered by Effortless Rental Group.
It’s been an incredible two years at Effortless Rental Group. We’ve had over 21,000 guests from around the world stay in 103 beautiful properties throughout Colorado and in Boston. Here’s what our guests are saying about their experiences with us. And here’s to another great year ahead!
“An absolute dream place to stay! The location is amazing, property is just how the pictures depict it, and the communication from the hosts was great! I wouldn’t consider any other place for future trips.”
“It was a perfect house in a great neighborhood for our team retreat. Nice large common areas and enough rooms to spread out. Rob & Tiffany made check in super convenient and were very responsive. We also loved the neighborhood and close proximity to great restaurants and downtown.”
“Our group had a wonderful stay at Stefan’s cabin. We most enjoyed the fully-stocked kitchen, stunning views of Breckenridge, and relaxing hot tub. If you are looking for a quiet vacation that is perfect for families and large groups, this rental is an excellent choice. We hope to be back soon!”
“Perfect for a couple or small family who wants to enjoy the beauty of South Boulder. The home is cozy, well maintained, recently updated, and nestled in a quiet neighborhood that is close to so many amazing sights and adventures. The service from Sami and the guest experience team was phenomenal too. Good all the way around!!”
“This place was even better than we expected. The photos are so accurate and the rental looks even more amazing in person. It is in a great, safe and easily accessible location. I will definitely be renting here for my next trip up to Boston and I highly recommend anyone to stay there!”
It takes practice to be a successful short-term host, from creating eye-catching property listings and making the most of your space, to interacting with guests from booking to check-out. Take a look at our list below for some common mistakes made by hosts, especially those just starting out in the short-term rental world. With some experience, you’ll be on your way to stellar host status in no time.
#1. Having limited ability.
Many first-time hosts devote only part of the day, like before leaving for work, to addressing guests’ issues, questions, or requests. But a maintenance problem or other issue can happen anytime, day or night, and delays in responding to these requests (especially in cases of emergency, like a pipe bursting or roof leaking) can lead to a bad review and potentially a dangerous situation. Guest Experience Coordinators at ERG are available 24/7 to help address anything that comes up during your guests’ stay. Whether a guest reaches out about needing fresh towels or something more serious, we respond quickly to get things back on track.
#2. Not optimizing your space.
You don’t need a lot of space, but you should efficiently use the space that you do have. Make use of spare rooms and empty areas by giving them a purpose: install drawers in the space under the stairs for more storage, or turn the corner of the living room into a cozy reading nook. Have a large backyard that goes mostly unused? Get some benches and turn part of it into a fire pit area. Small touches like these will make your listing stand out from the rest, which will get you more views, bookings, and positive reviews.
#3. Representing your property incorrectly.
Your listing is the key to attracting guests, so it’s important that you optimize it to include relevant descriptions about your home and high-quality photographs that feature its best qualities. Try to showcase the details that make your home unique, like a deck with skyline views or a game room in the basement that’s perfect for entertaining. One of the benefits of a partnership with ERG is a fully optimized property listing. Our professional photographers, interior designers, and writers are dedicated to presenting your home at its best.
#4. Not keeping up to date with local regulations.
This common oversight can cost you in the long run. Cities change their regulations for short-term rentals all the time, and it’s important to stay updated—or risk a steep fine and possibly your ability to rent in the future. Your city should have a short-term rental page on its government website with all of the info you need to apply for permits and learn about guest allowances, taxes, and more. Pay close attention to the information your city requires you to post on your listing, like your Business File Number (BFN), to remain a valid host.
#5. Underpricing or overpricing your property.
Most hosts on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO are incorrectly setting their nightly prices, and therefore sacrificing number of bookings, monthly revenue, or both. It can be tricky to correctly price your property while taking into account important variables like local events, hotel occupancies, and travel trends. ERG’s analytical pricing matrix considers these and many other variables to set rates that get you more bookings over multiple platforms, including our own exclusive platforms. We use a flexible pricing approach—not a static one—so the prices we set change based on day of the week, seasonality, weather conditions, and more.
#6. Not understanding the ups and downs of short-term rentals.
Every investment property makes more money during certain times of the year and less during others. Maybe there’s a summer festival in your town that attracts a lot of travelers, and the rest of the year is relatively quiet. Or if your home is in a region that sees sunny skies only a few months of the year, you’re likely to have a surge of guests at that time. It’s important to recognize that these fluctuations are normal and not get discouraged. Focus on ways to attract guests in the slower months, like a lesser-known event nearby or renovation projects that will make your home stand out year-round.
#7. Cleaning and maintenance slip-ups.
Two of the main reasons for negative reviews are oversights in the cleanliness of the property and delay or failure to fix something that’s broken. It’s crucial that you have cleaning and maintenance experts who you can trust to prepare your property before every booking. ERG’s professional cleaning company keeps your property looking immaculate after every check-out. If any repairs are needed, our maintenance team resolves the issue quickly and efficiently. We make sure that everything is in pristine condition when your guests arrive—every single time.
A partnership with Effortless Rental Group means 24/7 support by our team of short term rental management experts who are dedicated to your success. We’d love to help you navigate these and other common experiences of first-time hosts.