Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hotel Envy: Vacation Rental Wish List (Part 2)

If I had a magic wand, the second thing I'd want is a supply company offering wholesale discounts for everything in the condo. Hotels get to order out of a catalog, from a teaspoon for the breakfast area to beds, armoires and everything in between. They have a plethora of choices for bath soap for example, everything from the most basic to the most deluxe.

For small purchases, as the owner of one rental unit in Sanibel, I don't have access to those resources. Take soap amenities for example. I don't have the volume of a hotel so I can't buy in bulk, and when I buy high-end amenities on my own, I pay retail rates, which adds up. Plus I have to go through the effort of shopping and sending to the rental property management office.

On big ticket items if I want a new TV, I also pay retail prices. Furniture is another challenge. I want my place to look like upscale, not PeeWee's Playhouse, but its difficult to do from 1,000 miles away. For example, I ordered a simple throw rug for under the kitchen sink. The store shipped brown floral, not blue nautical, so now I have to ask my property manager to return it, and deal with the retailer's byzantine customer service.

In my fantasy, I want to order from an online catalog and say, "send in a couch or chair from your beach condo #1 group" the and know if was durable (I would have everything make out of stainless steel if it were possible:) and would coordinate.

If there were a catalog I could order from, then when I go visit my property I might actually get to enjoy it for a change, instead of trips to the hardware store and mall.

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