In April, we put on a Vacation Rental Expo to educate local real estate agents on what they need to know about vacation rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks. Unfortunately, there’s a big disconnect between vacation rental managers, real estate agents and property owners in our area. We would like to bridge that gap, ensuring that new homeowners are happy with their purchase, especially if they have the intent of making it a rental.
Property at the Lake of the Ozarks
It’s important to ask your buyer upfront what their intentions are with their future Lake of the Ozarks home or condo. Is there a chance that they’re ever going to want to rent it out, even if not immediately? The answer to this question will not only affect the property itself, but also the homeowner’s insurance, the mortgage options, etc. Some areas don’t allow rentals at all, while others might have certain rental restrictions. Certain areas of the lake also rent better than others; most people want to be close to restaurants and entertainment.
Nightly Vacation Rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks
Another big consideration is letting them know realistically what they can expect for the number of rental nights. We have a very unique rental market here at the Lake, that’s much different than say Florida or California. We have an extremely short rental season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, where 90% of rentals occur. If they’re expecting their property to be rented 365 days a year, their expectations are unrealistic.
In addition, the Lake of the Ozarks is a drive-to, weekend destination, and there are only 15 summer weekends available for booking. Our average stay in a condo is 3.5 nights and in a home it’s 4.5 nights. While you will see some weeklong rentals, you’ll also see some weekdays not booked. If your buyer is expecting 100% occupancy throughout the summer season, that’s also likely unrealistic.
Homeownership at the Lake of the Ozarks
Most properties on our rental program do not cash flow. Our best owners are those that understand the short rental season, and then optimize that to offset the costs of second home ownership. We want to be honest with our owners so that they aren’t disappointed when too high expectations are not met.
When working with a buyer to choose a good Lake of the Ozarks rental property to purchase, keep in mind that it should be waterfront, include a dock or have a slip available for rent with no hoist, have good parking available and the property needs to be updated. It’s important that you help them find a property that’s going to rent well. The real estate business is heavily driven by referrals, and being honest with your buyer will build that trust to allow them to refer you to other buyers.
Nightly Vacation Rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks:
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4571 Osage Beach Pkwy, Suite A
Osage Beach, MO 65065