Carolina Mornings Homeowner FAQ
Carolina Mornings makes renting out your vacation rental seamless, but we understand homeowners new to the process tend to have lots of questions. We're here to help! We have compiled answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive from new homeowners. If you don't find an answer to your question, give us a call at 866-771-0796 or submit an inquiry via our form and a member of our team will reach out within 48 hours.
- Who is Carolina Mornings?
- What does Carolina Mornings do for vacation rental owners?
- How is Carolina Mornings different from a listing site like HomeAway or Airbnb?
- What kind of contract does Carolina Mornings offer?
- How easy is it to get started with Carolina Mornings?
- Can you help me convert my home into a successful vacation rental?
- Will I have to worry about taxes?
- What kind of reporting will you provide so that I can understand how well my home is performing?
- When do I get paid for my reservations?
- Do I need to do my guests' laundry (towels, linens, etc.)?
- Do I need to provide soap, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.?
- What if I want to do some decorating on my own?
- How do you keep my home safe and manage keys?
- How do I access my home?
- What about regular maintenance?
- Who takes care of my lawn, my pool, etc.?
- Should I schedule any regular services myself?
- What if my home needs a large renovation project?
- What about garbage collection? Who handles this?
- Do I need to have my own housekeeper?
- Do I need a Buyer's Agent to purchase a vacation home in North Carolina?
- Will you help me find a property to purchase?
- Do I have to commit to a certain amount of availability?
- Does my home need to be a certain quality or size?
- Is there anything I am required to have at my home?
- Do I need to have Wi-Fi or a phone line installed?
- What type of insurance coverage do I need on my vacation rental home?
- Is my vacation rental home safe for guests?
- What are your COVID-19 Protocols?
- How do you promote online bookings?
- How do you advertise my vacation rental?
- What if I have already listed my home on other websites?
- Do I need to provide you with photographs of my home?
- How do you use guest reviews?
- How do I book myself, my friends, or my family at my property?
- How do you deal with guest deposits paid in advance?
- How do guests pay you?
- How do guests interact with Carolina Mornings?
- How can guests book my property?
- What is the Guest Welcome app?
- What is the Mountain Discovery Pass?
- What happens if there is a guest emergency?
- How do you deal with noisy guests?
- Do guests pay any type of cleaning fees?
- How do you handle any damage that guests do to my home?
Carolina Mornings is an independent Western North Carolina property management company specializing in helping homeowners with every aspect of running and maintaining a successful vacation rental. Since 1997, we have taken pride in offering boutique-level care that reflects our thoughtful Core Values. By providing an array of services, we are able to custom tailor a management plan to fit your individual needs.
“Peace of mind” means many things to us at Carolina Mornings, including open communication between homeowners and all of our departments, a seamless, luxury guest experience, property maintenance, and housekeeping services by in-house trained professionals, and forward-thinking marketing solutions, such as multiple-platform property listings and a custom phone app for guests to use during their stay.
Headquartered in downtown Asheville, NC, Carolina Mornings is a complete, full-service Property Management company run by people who care about you and your home. We’re here to help from the very start, able to assist you in locating a “wow” property that will prove to be a good investment, advising on interior and exterior design, providing in-house housekeepers and maintenance technicians, and marketing your home on the Carolina Mornings website, along with popular vacation rental websites such as VRBO and AirBNB.
It takes a full year to realize the marketing potential of a new vacation home, so we start with a 12-month contract. At the end of 12 months, we move to a month-to-month contract with a low 60-day termination notice. Throughout the first year, the extraordinarily talented Carolina Mornings marketing team will keep a close watch to ensure that your property is a success as it moves through each mountain season.
Looking To Purchase A Vacation Rental Property:
Do I need a Buyer's Agent to purchase a vacation home in North Carolina?
We advise you to work with an NC buyer's agent, a real estate broker who will specifically represent your interests. This is especially true for an out-of-state buyer. With over two decades of experience in the local market, Carolina Mornings has built strong relationships with several dependable, preferred real estate brokers in the Western North Carolina region. You can count on these agents to be quick to respond to new listings and to assist you with video walkthroughs of available properties. Time is of the essence in the mountains of Asheville!
Let Carolina Mornings guide your search! We know from experience which property stands out from another in having the potential to become a successful vacation rental home. We can help evaluate the location, the property’s distance to Asheville, the available amenities, the ease of access, and the property’s floor plan, all critical factors in making your home a success. We can then offer revenue projections based on how the home will present itself. For example; Mountain View, Modern Furnishings, Hot Tub, Game Room, Bedroom/Bathroom Suites, etc.
Inquire HERE and we will start the ball rolling. It's that simple! Our designated Owner Relations department will reach out to you to work on your unique needs and guide you through the on-boarding process. Once your onboarding paperwork has been completed, you’ll meet with our Director of Property Management and Director of Housekeeping to start the process of setting your home up to be ready for guests. Regardless of your timeline, we will have your property listed on the Carolina Mornings website within 30 days. While the booking calendar will remain closed until the home is ready, our NAVIS-trained Vacation Planners will go ahead and begin showing your home to prospective guests.
This is where over two decades of vacation rental experience comes into play. Carolina Mornings understands the tricks of the trade to transform an ordinary home into a highly sought-after vacation rental. If you’re seeking an honest opinion of a home, including what a property needs to be a peak performer and what to expect of its annual gross revenue, we can advise and assist you in all areas to make your home a success.
Carolina Mornings collects NC sales tax from the guest, along with the appropriate occupancy tax for the county your home resides in. We then remit your tax payments directly from your owner escrow account. At the end of the year, a 1099 IRS form showing your gross revenue is sent to you for filing your personal taxes.
There are no restrictions on how often an owner can use their home. If an owner is looking to use their home for multiple months in the year, we will evaluate if the Carolina Mornings program is a good fit depending on the availability to rent.
All traveling guests have unique wants and needs for their mountain experience. We evaluate all sizes of homes, from cozy cabins all the way to large lodges and manors. While luxury is in the eye of the beholder, any home that is accepted into the Carolina Mornings program has to meet certain standards, such as fully-equipped kitchens and comfortable beds.
Our “Guide to a Successful Vacation Rental” will help you prepare your home with everything that is needed to operate a successful vacation rental where guests feel comfortable and well-equipped. Your property is in good hands with our Owner Relations department!
We have found that the majority of guests require strong internet service to feel satisfied with their stay. Reliable WiFi service can be difficult to find in the mountains, but our Property Management department can help to determine which service will work best at your property. A hard-wired house phone line for emergency calls will be added to any property where there is weak cell phone coverage.
Do I have to allow pets?
While we do promote Carolina Mornings as a dog-friendly vacation rental service, we realize that there are advantages and disadvantages to opening up your home as dog-friendly. It is ultimately at the owner’s discretion. Should you choose to list as dog-friendly, the guests who bring a dog will be required to pay a non-refundable pet fee, and will also be covered by either damage insurance or a cash damage deposit.
Your investment will need to be protected by Short Term Furnished Vacation Rental Homeowners Insurance. The Declaration Sheet of Insurance will be required to show coverage for a vacation rental home along with evidence of a minimum of $1 Million in General Liability.
Carolina Mornings will complete a safety inspection of your home to ensure your property is in compliance as a vacation rental property. Items covered include smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, stair and deck rails, emergency flashlights, fire extinguishers, swimming pool fencing, and hot tub and pool signage.
Carolina Mornings posts up-to-date COVID-19 information on our website. We do so regularly, as local and state governments release new mandates. In the event that North Carolina restricts travel due to COVID-19, we will issue a coupon for booked guests to travel at a later date. If a guest party has tested positive for COVID-19 and cancels their reservation, we will offer them a coupon, then open up your property calendar for a last-minute reservation.
Reporting and Payment:
Carolina Mornings will provide you with a monthly financial statement that includes line-item breakdowns of each reservation for the rental rate, taxes, and commission.
By the 7th day of each month, you will receive an ACH deposit to your bank account on file. If a guest's departure is in a different month than the one in which they arrived, the revenue will be posted to the later month.
Prospective guests are able to book a reservation on the Carolina Mornings website or directly through popular vacation rental websites such as VRBO and AirBNB. For all reservations made online, a Carolina Mornings Vacation Planner will reach out to the guest to ensure their selected property meets their needs and expectations.
Your vacation rental property will be listed on the organic Carolina Mornings website, as well as on 30+ popular vacation rental websites such as VRBO and AirBNB.
The Carolina Mornings marketing team will work with you to transfer existing reservations. Depending on the volume of reservations, we will either transfer all reservations into Carolina Mornings property management software, or set a firm cut-off date for when our management goes into effect.
A picture really is worth a thousand words in the vacation rental industry. Our Carolina Mornings Marketing team has developed a lucrative Media Package that includes professional photographs, a 3D virtual tour, a digital floor plan, and a walkthrough video. The Media Package is complimentary for qualifying homes.
Guest reviews are an integral part of marketing and help all of our departments stay current on the impressions that are being made by your home. Our marketing team collects guest feedback from guestbooks, post-stay surveys, the Guest Welcome phone app, and review sites such as Google Reviews, Facebook, and Yelp.
It’s simple! You can:
book online through the Owner Portal
email or call the Reservations department directly
reach out to the Owner Relations department via phone or email
There are no restrictions for reserving your home for as many days as you would like. The Carolina Mornings Housekeeping team will clean after your reservations to ensure your home is ready for the next guest.
Carolina Mornings requests 50% of the rental rate at the time of booking if the guest is making the reservation more than 30 days out from arrival. If they are arriving within 30 days, the reservation is paid in full and is non-refundable. Guests may cancel, with deposit refunded, up to 30 days prior to arrival. All funds are secured in escrow.
Carolina Mornings prides itself on a strong marketing department. We will constantly monitor your home to ensure you don't miss any booking opportunities. By studying the market and competition for each day of a week, weekend, and month, we are able to assess what the current market is bearing and pull as high of a rental rate as possible. Our experienced Vacation Planners work with a sophisticated reservation lead management system called NAVIS to bring a wonderful booking experience to our guests. We also run dynamic pricing to fine-tune our rental rates. During onboarding, we work with owners to target their revenue goals, thus matching our expectations with yours. For instance, maybe you are an owner who is looking for less wear and tear on your vacation home, so extending the nightly minimums and keeping a higher base rental rate will slow down booking activity. Alternately, if you are an investment owner, you are looking for every opportunity to bring in revenue, and we will set the pricing accordingly.
Working through the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to vacation rental companies. Carolina Mornings has a “coupon” policy in place which, if we are shut down or a guest contracts COVID-19, we shall offer a coupon for a future stay at your vacation home. This is fair for both parties and has gone over well with our existing owners.
The Carolina Mornings Housekeeping team will wash all linens and towels onsite in your home. During onboarding of your home into the rental program, we will recommend which types of linens and towels should be provided, and inspect the washing machine and dryer to ensure an efficient and smooth turnover between guests. These services are all covered by the guest’s departure cleaning fee.
If you’d like to create a unique experience at your vacation rental home, we can work with you to provide complimentary items such as locally roasted coffee or name-brand facial tissues. All Carolina Mornings guests are treated to a standard package of starter hospitality items, including:
kitchen paper towels
toilet paper in each bathroom
a new, sealed kitchen sink sponge
soap at each sink
laundry detergent pods
dishwasher detergent pods
individual shampoo, conditioner, and bar soap for each bathroom
spare trash bags in all sizes
What if I want to do some decorating on my own?
As a part of the on-boarding process, you will work with the Owner Relations department to determine the best hard and soft furnishings for your mountain vacation home according to current market trends. Carolina Mornings carefully selects every home in our program to have a special “wow” factor, and the decor can be a significant part in creating a unique property that will work well for our program and guests.
The vacation rental industry’s top-rated keyless entry system will be installed on your home. This system keeps track of every use, allowing us to audit a lock at any time. Each person who enters the home will have a unique code, including housekeeping, maintenance, guests, vendor services, and yourself, the owner. The system does not require WiFi or power to function and can be monitored and programmed remotely.
You will receive an annual owner code exclusively for your use. When family and friends stay at your vacation home under an owner’s reservation, they will be issued their own unique entry code.
Carolina Mornings offers a Peace of Mind Program, our preventative approach to maintenance that ensures that a home receives the proper care. Every four to six weeks, one of our in-house maintenance technicians will perform a full top-to-bottom walkthrough of your home and you will receive a detailed report that will also include photos or video if needed. Some features of the inspection are lightbulbs, remotes, all filters, showerheads, faucets, doorknobs, and cabinet pulls. For homes with a hot tub, regular drain-and-clean services are performed by our Spa Certified maintenance team and careful records are kept. In the event that repairs need to be performed by a certified electrician, plumber, or roofer, etc., Carolina Mornings has an extensive vendor list to refer to. We have worked closely for many years with local experts in their fields, which enables a quick response time to any property maintenance emergency.
During the on-boarding process, we will determine which specific property services your vacation home will need and work from our local vendor list to set them up for you. If you already have companies retained for services such as landscaping, HVAC repairs, pest control, pool service, or window and gutter cleaning, and you are comfortable with them, we will add these vendors to your property’s contact list and hire them when services are needed. Payment for all services will be reflected on your monthly owner statement.
For vendors that you retain for quarterly/yearly service, you may continue to schedule service dates in between guest reservations. A calendar block will be put into place when the appointment time is communicated to our Property Management department.
During large projects that require the property calendar to be blocked, our Property Management department will work closely with you to ensure that the work being performed is moving along as planned. We can also help you to locate reliable local vendors to bid on any home renovation or remodelling projects.
When you join the Carolina Mornings program, we will request that you cancel your local garbage pick-up service. Guests will be instructed to put their garbage in trash cans in the garage, or if the home does not have a garage, into a bear-proof garbage receptacle outside. During each guest departure cleaning, Housekeeping will remove all garbage from your home.
Carolina Mornings has its own in-house Housekeeping department, which allows us to maintain the cleanliness of our homes to the highest industry standards. We train all of our Housekeepers to meet our strict cleaning protocols, including COVID-19 health and safety procedures. Regular performance reviews are conducted by our Housekeeping Inspector. Whenever possible, we retain the same housekeeper at your home so they are intimately familiar with the property and its furnishings.
Guests must secure their reservation and pay in full on a credit card. A 3% Processing Fee applies.
Guests are able to communicate with Carolina Mornings by calling or emailing the reservations department, using the pop-up feature on our website, or by logging in to the Guest Portal, where they can see the status of their reservation. During office hours, our Guest Satisfaction Specialist handles guest calls and guides them through any issue they may be experiencing. After hours, our emergency on-call system is in place to make sure someone is available to assist guests and owners with pressing matters at all times.
The majority of our reservations come through the Carolina Mornings website. In all property listings, we urge all potential guests to call the Reservations department and speak with a Vacation Planner, who will guide them through the process of finding a home to match their expectations. Prospective guests may also book online on the Carolina Mornings website or on popular vacation rental websites such as VRBO, AirBNB, and Booking.com. When an online reservation is received, a Vacation Planner will reach out to the guest to go over their reservation--our proactive approach to ensure that the details of the reservation are correct.
We offer a Guest Welcome app for guests to use on their smartphone or tablet, giving them easy access to all the important travel information they need, including directions, access codes, special details on the home, and points of interest such as the nearest grocery store and 24-hour pharmacy. If inclement weather is expected in the mountains, we are able to communicate updates to the guest through Guest Welcome.
Our guests receive a complimentary Mountain Discovery Pass with their rental, giving them tickets to local activities for every day of their stay. Amenities vary seasonally and include the Biltmore Estate, ropes course at the Adventure Center of Asheville, jumping at Launch Trampoline Park, skiing and snow tubing in the winter months, and white water rafting in the summer months. The Mountain Discovery Pass is included for the majority of our reservations (depending on property location).
Our Peace of Mind Program gives guests access to an emergency after-hours on-call system where a Carolina Mornings employee will respond. If an issue cannot be resolved over the phone, a maintenance technician will be dispatched to the property. If a local homeowner is the host of their home and is not enrolled in the Peace of Mind Program, Carolina Mornings will reach out to the owner to respond to the guest.
All of our guests sign a Vacation Rental Agreement that covers noise disturbance, party groups, and over-occupancy, for which we have a “zero tolerance” policy. Guests who violate the terms of the Vacation Rental Agreement will be asked to leave the home. If it is a situation that we feel is manageable, we will attempt to keep the guest in place with a warning. We highly recommend that owners install an exterior security camera on the entrance to their home. Exterior security cameras are disclosed in the guest Vacation Rental Agreement and act as a deterrent to violations.
Our guests pay a fee for their departure clean, which is determined by industry guidelines for the size and features of the home.
In North Carolina, property management companies are required to offer two options for accidental damage protection at a vacation rental home, either payment of a refundable cash damage deposit or purchase of insurance coverage. If the guest opts for the damage deposit (an amount that is decided based on the size of property), the deposit is returned to them once our Housekeeping staff has made their guest departure walkthrough inspection and the home has been determined to be damage-free. For guests who choose insurance coverage, we offer Accidental Renters Damage Insurance (ARDI). Nearly all of our guests opt for this coverage. Here’s an example of how it works: If a damaged item is located during the guest departure walkthrough inspection, such as a broken lamp or chair, the housekeeper will take a photograph and an insurance claim will be started by the Property Management department. Then we contact you to see if you would rather purchase and ship the replacement item, or if Carolina Mornings should handle the replacement. Once we remit the receipt to the insurance provider, the claim will be reimbursed. Claims cannot be filed for items that are expected to be replaced regularly due to normal wear and tear, such as broken glasses, chipped plates, soiled towels, or dirty doormats.
What do you charge for full-service vacation rental management?
For full vacation rental services with Carolina Mornings, including the Peace of Mind Program, we charge a 25% commission. For local owners who elect to host their own property, managing the preventative maintenance and guest calls, we charge a 20% commission.
Commission-based pricing is the industry standard, as this model ensures your revenue goals are met. Carolina Mornings works with you to present the home at its very best, which creates repetitive booking traction. More reservations create more revenue for you, which, in turn, creates more commission for the property management company, making it a win-win relationship.
As a homeowner in the “Carolina Mornings Family” you’ll be able to count on us for:
Open, transparent communication with all Carolina Mornings departments
A personalized onboarding process with our designated Owner Relations Department
No initial costs to join the rental program
On-boarding perks*, including a complimentary keyless lock entry system with installation--a $500 value, a one-year listing on VRBO--a $499 value, and the Professional Media Package, which includes professional photographs, a 3D virtual tour, an online floor plan, and driveway and walkthrough videos--a $650 value (*perks available for qualifying homes)
Our professional marketing department at your service to optimize your home’s revenue potential
Our in-house trained housekeeping staff and guest departure inspectors, who maintain strict adherence to our high-standard “Carolina Mornings Guest-Ready” protocols
Carolina Mornings Maintenance Technicians, all expertly trained in preventative maintenance
Spa Certified maintenance for your hot tub
Monthly property walkthrough inspection reports
24/7 online access to the property booking calendar and monthly statements
Immediate post-stay feedback from guests used to gather useful data for all departments
A caring connection to our local mountain communities, including our efforts to “go the extra mile,” introducing ourselves to your neighbors and providing our emergency contact information
“Peace of Mind” exceptional care for your home and your guests