This program is for owners that are looking for someone to Co-Host with them.
Mama Bear Program
This program is for property owners who are looking to be hands-on, involved, and co-host with Bear Tootin. We handle everything from advertising and marketing to guest-focused customer care. You handle everything from guest arrival and departure to property maintenance and cleaning.
Low Monthly Cost
$150 Per Month - We spent months researching how other vacation rental companies operate and what they charge for their services. With the Mama Bear Program, we wanted to create a new program for local and more involved property owners who wanted to co-host with us. Co-Host means we split the work! We will handle all your online presence and booking. You handle all of the property maintenance and cleaning. We have come up with an affordable monthly fee for this service.
Advertisement & Marketing
Where your Property will be Posted
In the rental business success is measured by rental frequency and income.. Advertisement is the key in both! Bear Tootin has gone above and beyond to make sure your property is well seen and known. Below are the listing sites your property will be advertised on: *Bear Tootin Website *Streamshare *VRBO/Homeaway *AirBnB *Trip Advisor *Red Awning *Vacay Home Connect *Guest Smiles *SmokyMountains.com *Home To Go *Event Connect *Whimstay *Booking.com *Expedia *Flipkey *Travelocity *Trivago *Kayak *Priceline *Agoda *Hotals.com *Holiday Letting *Orbitz *Homelidays *House Trip *Perfect Places.com *Travel Pro Rentals *Vacation Home Rentals *for Getaway.com *Niumba *TikTok *Facebook *Instagram *Pinterest *Our Streamline software is very sophisticated and is constantly adding new sites to integrate with for more online exposure. We intend to take full advantage of new listing sites anytime they are available to us.
Properties by State
Properties by State is a unique marketing tool called “Streamshare”. This program helps generate more reservations and revenue while improving guest retention from all over the world. We have built relationships with other property managers who use Streamline (our reservation software) to share our inventory with them. This allows us to expand our offered properties to multiple locations nationally and in return we list their properties on our site as extra inventory to offer to our guests. Streamshare helps us grow in many ways such as additional bookings, increased revenue, and added online exposure.
With billions of people currently using social media worldwide, it’s become crucial for any business to have an online presence. We keep our social media up to date with our properties, local events, and area attractions. We also offer giveaways such as “Property of the Month” where we encourage guests to engage in our posts, leave reviews, and share their vacation photos and experiences. Social media marketing helps us increase direct website traffic, grow our local reputation, and accumulate repeat guests. With all of this being said, as a Mama Bear and being a hands-on owner, we do suggest for you to push your own property on Social Media by creating a Facebook page, Instagram account, and other trending social sites.
While setting a flat rate season to season may seem like a great (and easy) idea, it certainly has its limits, especially on revenue. We have partnered with “Beyond Pricing'' which implements dynamic pricing. This system has proven to produce more profit than other pricing models with steady research to help monitor the market and individual property analysis to determine the most lucrative price. We only set the minimum price you are comfortable with and the algorithm takes it from there.
Taken Care of for You
At Bear Tootin, we care about each and every one of your guests. From the first call or click to booking your properties to arrivals, our reservationists are ready to serve your guests anytime, answering questions with in-depth local knowledge. As a Mama Bear, you have full access to guests reservations and information to actively reach out to past, current, and prospective guests to ensure your properties are booked, stays run smoothly, and repeat guests return.
Auto Email System
It comes as no surprise that guest communication is one of the most vital pieces to running a successful vacation rental. One of the biggest benefits our system offers you, as a Mama Bear, is our auto email & SMS system. Our automated messaging provides an easy, automated, and free way to keep in contact with your guests throughout the guests’ booking process, during their vacation, and after they depart. These features are extremely helpful in optimizing your time, enhancing your customer service, and keeping you connected with your guests. Examples of emails we already have created for you: Quote for Inquiries Booking Confirmation Rental Agreement Payment Schedule Reservation Modified or Updated Check-In Instructions Cancellation Confirmation Pool Access Info (if you applicable) Plan Your Trip (local attractions & restaurants) Weather Advisory Guests Survey Maintenance Work Order See something missing that you may need or want? No problem. We can create the document and set a trigger that best fits when it needs to go out to guests.
Damage by Guest
You set rules & Fees
Property Owner's Responsibility When owning a vacation rental property, intentional & unintentional damages to the property will arise. As a Mama Bear, it will be your responsibility to address, repair, and pay for any damages caused by the guests. We suggest collecting a non-refundable damage fee per reservation to help cover any damage cost (you decide the fee amount). You will also have access to the guest card & billing information to recoup any money you feel should be the guest responsibility. Any or all damage is handled by you & the guests, NOT Bear Tootin.
Wear & Tear
Property Owner's Responsibility As a vacation rental owner, you know wear and tear comes with the territory. If you are not familiar, wear and tear is the damage that occurs naturally as a result of the use of a property and cannot be charged to the guests. Examples of wear & tear would be kitchen items, bedspreads, furniture, etc. As mentioned above, we suggest collecting a non-refundable damage fee per reservation to help cover any damages as well as wear & tear cost (you decide the fee amount). As a Mama Bear, it will be your responsibility to address, repair, and pay for any wear & tear to the property.
Property Owner's Decision “What is the cancellation policy?” This is one of the most commonly asked guest questions. Being a Mama Bear, you can make your own decision on what cancellation policy you prefer and want to put into place. Being in this business for 12+ years we have tested different policies and have found that some policies are more appealing than others. The policy that we suggest and recommend is: Before 30 Days of Arrival Date: Guests will receive a full refund minus a $50 cancellation fee (BT collects the $50 to cover booking cost) Within 30 Days of Arrival Date: Result in all guest funds paid toward reservation to be forfeited unless a new reservation is made for that time frame. Example: if a guest booked 5 nights & we only re-booked 4 nights = guest will be refunded 4 nights + taxes & fees. If guests do not want to risk possibly losing their money, they can move their dates to a future time with no option to cancel or get a refund. The cancellation policy is posted very clearly to all guests in the property description online and in their guest rental agreement.
Start Up Cost
Bear Tootin does not have any mandatory start up cost. However, we do make suggestions & recommendations that will help you maximize income, cut down on bad reviews, and guest complaints such as: VRBO/Homeaway listing Fee ($599 per year / HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), bear proof trash bins, kitchen items, cabin inventory, etc.
We know that it’s frustrating for the owners to get their statement at the end of the month to find out all kinds of various fees & charges have been taken out. This is how most vacation rental companies operate, but not Bear Tootin. We want to earn your trust and business by being open and honest with what we charge from the beginning. You will never be charged for something we have not previously discussed or got approved.
All inside & outside pictures can be taken by you (to keep start-up cost down) or Bear Tootin staff. If you choose to have photos taken by Bear Tootin the charge would be $150 (we are not professionals but we have a very candid eye). Keep in mind while taking photos that all photos need to be taken landscape to fit the property listing correctly. Bear Tootin will automatically create the first icon photo with the most appealing outside photo of the property. We typically arrange the photos in this order: Icon > view > hot tub > living room > kitchen > bedroom > bathroom > gameroom > outside photos. Being a Mama Bear, you have access to add, take away, and arrange your photos at any time. Note, that the first 5 photos are shown as a preview before guests open your property and you want them to be the most attractive. The only photo that must not change is the 1st photo which we call the “icon photo” and matches all others on our site. If you prefer to have professional photos taken, you are welcome to do so and we would be happy to give you recommendations.
360 Virtual Tours
1 time fee (optional)
3D virtual walkthroughs allow potential guests to check out every room and corner as if they were really there. With this feature added to your listing, your guests know what they are seeing online is actually how your property will look in real-life. Compared to photos and videos, this technology offers a more accurate and immersive experience to cut down on guests' questions and feel more confident when booking your property. Fee: $250
1 time fee (optional)
Several years ago we purchased a drone to help get pictures of properties that are hard to capture when standing on the ground. Not all properties need drone pictures therefore we will only use it on properties that it would actually benefit. Please understand that we are not professional aerial photographers but we do the best we can with the resources we have to keep your startup cost low and keep the listing appealing. Our owners are welcome to pay for a professional and we would be happy to give you recommendations. Fee: $200
From preventive measures to emergency care 24/7, you will want to be available or have a reliable maintenance team for your guests and your properties. You want someone trustworthy to ensure your rental receives the best care so your guests can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing stay. Keep in mind, anything you cannot handle yourself and have to send a maintenance guy to address and take care of will result in a service charge. We do offer our maintenance guys to do emergency service calls for our Mama Bears owners for a $75 service fee. Our maintenance guys are able to do general maintenance like helping guests if they are locked out or getting the tv to work. If a major issue were to arise concerning plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc. we have independent contractors we use that are certified to handle these kinds of situations. We would be happy to share those contacts with you. In order to help you keep up with all maintenance tasks, you will have access to work orders and maintenance apps. You can use the app yourself or share it with your maintenance personnel. When maintenance personnel use the app, you will be notified via email of work orders they create and you can decide what your next steps are.
There’s a reason why some guests are quick to point out small flaws like a loose doorknob, a leaky faucet, or a wobbly step. It’s because details matter. Maintaining your home consistently can make the difference between getting a good guest review and getting constant complaints. Not only do you need to maintain, you also need to keep up with routine maintenance like air filters, light bulbs, batteries, etc. Travelers want vacation rentals that are well kept, inside and out. As a Mama Bear, you are responsible for any and all maintenance upkeep.
Prevention is the primary goal here. Whether you purchased your vacation home yesterday or years ago, now’s the time for an in-depth walkthrough. Tour your property with a discerning eye, similar to how a home inspector would. The key is to catch things early before they become a massive (and expensive) headache. Check for any pest or water damage. Look for cracks in the walls and examine your roof. Test your outlets for any outages and faucets for any plumbing issues. Don’t overlook your home’s exterior, overgrown trees and encroaching roots can cause major damage down the road. Our suggestion is to do this at least twice a year.
Cleaning After Guest
After a guest leaves, it’s important to get someone else checked in right away to minimize your vacancy time. However, before another guest can check-in, your vacation rental needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Cleanliness is a top priority for travelers when booking their vacation rental. Being on the Mama Bear program, the cleaning after a guest is your responsibility. It can be done by you or you can hire a cleaning team. Whichever you choose, you want to make sure you're cleaning is done properly and on time. Although you are not able to use our cleaners, with the Mama Bear program, you do have free access to our housekeeping app where you can communicate with your housekeepers easily. We also have experienced housekeeper contacts that we would be happy to share with you.
When budgeting your start-up or yearly cost, make sure to budget in for linens. Bed linens normally run from $20 to $80 a set, bath linens run from $2-$6 a piece, and kitchen linens run from $5-$10 a set. If you will be cleaning the property yourself, you will need to purchase your own linens to keep on hand. If you hire a cleaning team, they may provide linens or they may have you supply them for your property. The amount you will need to supply for guests: 1 set of sheets per bed or sleeping area 1 comforter per bed 1 towel per person based on the max # the property sleeps 2 hand towels per bathroom 1 wash cloth per person based on the max # the property sleeps 1 kitchen towel & rag per kitchen In order to have enough linen for cleaning turns, you will need to at least double the above number so you have time to wash in between guests. Most companies or property owners use white linens, but we have found they don't last as long as colored. We would be happy to give you links or recommendations of where we purchase our linens from.
Hot Tub Services
Property Owner's Responsibility
Hot tubs are one of the most searched-for amenities on vacation rental websites. Adding a hot tub to your vacation rental can increase the number of bookings you get, earn you a higher nightly rate, and contribute to positive guest reviews. With that being said, as a Mama Bear, you also have the added responsibility of cleaning & maintaining the hot tub. After each guest departure the hot tub should be tested, cleaned, and the necessary chemicals added. If chemicals are not enough, you may have to drain and refill the hot tub. If you plan to clean the property yourself, you will need to educate yourself on how to do this or if you hire a cleaning team from the area, most likely they will already have experience in this. Having a hot tub can add extra costs like chemicals and repairs, therefore we suggest that you raise your cleaning fee paid by the guest in order to cover said cost. There are times when electrical or internal issues may arise, in that case we have several vendors or contracts we could share with you to diagnose or repair the hot tub.
Deep cleaning is always a question that is asked about from property owners. A deep clean should be performed at least every six months on a busy vacation rental. Deep cleaning is not just cleaning, it is also seen as preventative maintenance. Deep cleaning is different from regular cleaning because it reaches the deep grime and dirt in the home. It covers areas that aren’t traditionally covered by a regular clean for example: behind kitchen appliances, tops of cabinets, carpet cleaning, window cleaning, etc. As a Mama Bear, you are responsible for scheduling and monitoring the deep cleaning. This can either be done by you or your cleaning team. Deep clean prices range from $300 to $1,500 depending on the size of the property and the decided amount between you and your cleaner.
$55 a month (recomended)
Being with Bear Tootin, you have the option to sign up for monthly pest control provided by Orkin. Pest control is very important and we think it is a necessity in the rental business. Because we have so many properties on the program, Orkin gives us a very affordable rate of $55 a month which is paid for by Bear Tootin & is deducted from your statement each month. Covered by Orkin during Monthly Service: General Pest (spiders, ants, roaches, wasp, fleas, etc) Carpenter Bees Bed Bugs (orkin sprays a preventative to help lower the chance of getting bed bugs, but that does not mean you cannot get them. However, if you do get them, the treatment is already covered under your monthly pest control so there is no extra fee for treatment.) Mice Exclusions for Orkin are wildlife (raccoons, bats, possums, birds, snakes, etc)
Lawn care is something that can easily be forgotten about but is very important to keep your property looking presentable and useful for guests. It also reduces the presence of various pests and ensures that your property looks fresh every day. Lawn care typically costs $45 to $75 per week depending on the size of the lawn and the location of the property. Most properties need to be maintained regularly during peak season and less regularly during off-season. Being a Mama Bear, this is your responsibility to put your property on a routine lawn care schedule to ensure the property is upkept. We would be glad to provide a contact or recommendation for a reliable lawn care company.
Owner or Cleaner Provides
Stocking your vacation home with all the right essentials and brilliant extras will make them happy they booked your home over another. Popular amenities, a full stocked kitchen, and a starter pack of essentials is sure to keep the guests returning to your property. We suggest covering this cost by upping your cleaning fee that is paid by guest per reservation. Also, buying supplies in bulk or from a vendor can help cut down cost. Essentials are placed in the property by your housekeeper during the clean after a guest departure. Our suggestion on what to provide: toilet paper (2 per toilet) / paper towels (1 per kitchen) / bar soap (1 per sink) / liquid dish soap (1 per kitchen) / dishwasher pods (3 per kitchen) / trash bags (2 per trash can) / laundry powder (1 per washer). Being a Mama Bear, you are welcome to supply more or less based on your own preference. Our general rule is since we don’t have the convenience of being in close quarters like a hotel, if the guest runs out, it is up to them to buy more.
Being a Mama Bear, you will be the first person the guest calls when they are in need of assistance or have a complaint. Dealing directly with the guest can be stressful, but remember not every single reservation can go perfect. As time goes on and you get more experience, you will be able to weed out false or inaccurate complaints from true problems. You will also become more comfortable dealing with upset or disappointed guests. The #1 thing to keep in mind while dealing with an upset guest is to be apologetic, patient, and address or fix any issues while guests are in-house. If guest issues can be taken care of in a timely manner, you most likely won't have to compensate but just give a simple apology and maybe offer a late check out for time the guest lost. Sometimes life doesn't always go as planned and you may have an issue that cannot be fixed or addressed while the guest is in-house. When this happens you will need to put yourself in the guest's shoes and you may need to compensate them for the inconveniences they encountered. We suggest you be fair but also be realistic. Very rarely does a guest deserve a completely free vacation but some will not mind asking for it at the smallest inconvenience. Once you and a guest have come to terms on what you will be compensating them, it will be your responsibility to refund them through their reservation in your management dashboard.
Reviews are extremely important! All reviews that are posted online by a guest, cannot be changed or removed. Just like anything else, you will get the good with the bad. Always keep this in the back of your mind when reading & responding to reviews. We do believe there are two sides to every story, and we suggest in your responses to first be apologetic, but also be honest and give your side of events. Being a Mama Bear, it is your responsibility to keep track of and respond to all reviews. You will not have direct access to post your responses, therefore you write up the response, email it to us, and we will post it for you.
Full Access Management Dashboard
Whenever you need to get guest contact information, charge a card, check on your accounting records, run reports, check the cleaning schedule, or add photos simply log into your management dashboard. Not only do you have online access, you also have housekeeping and maintenance apps to ensure things get done at your property in a timely manner. With our intelligent Streamline software, everything you need to efficiently manage your property is located all in one easy dashboard.
Credit Card Fee
Credit card fees are one expense that all of our owners are responsible for.. With our monthly fee being so low already, we cannot take on the cost of the credit card fees. To help you out, we did search and negotiate a low set rate of 2.5%. This is 2.5% of the gross total and is taken out automatically when a payment is made. These will show up on your monthly statement as an expense/deduction so you can use them as a write off on taxes at the end of the year.
In our personal opinion, we would prefer not to have a contract that binds or traps you to continue co-hosting with our company. We want to earn your trust each day because we are a team and want us both to succeed. If you feel we are not providing the best service, or if you feel you need to explore other options, we want you to be free to make the best decision for your investment. The agreement that we have states what we are responsible for and what you, the owner, are responsible for in this partnership. We ONLY ask that if you decide to go a different direction, give us a 30-60 day notice so we can take care of any future guests & reservations scheduled for your property.
Accounting & Taxes
1099: Because we pay you, we are responsible for the end of the year 1099. These are created & emailed out by January 31st of the following year. Tax ID: You can use your Social Security or file/create an EIN (consult with your accountant) Sales & Use Tax: Because we are the merchant of record, we are responsible for collecting & turning in the sales & use tax for you every month (this is done under our sales tax ID which means you do not need to create one). Bank Account: It’s suggested to have a dedicated bank account just for your vacation rental Owner Usage: Bear Tootin has no restrictions on how much or how little you personally use your vacation rental property. However, for tax purposes, it is suggested to only use 14 personal nights, or 10% of nights rented, whichever is greater. With that being said, performing work at the property, like painting, repairs, or general property upkeep does not count. Further questions on this should be consulted with your CPA or accountant.