Papa Bear Program
This program is for property owners who are looking for a full service management team. We handle everything from guest-focused customer care to property maintenance and cleaning to a user-friendly website, dedicated marketing and finance departments.
We spent months researching how other vacation rental companies operate and what they charge for their services. After talking to many property owners about percentages taken compared to services rendered, it seemed to be a very lucrative business for the rental companies and NOT the property owner! The standard rate of 30-40% compounded with various fees and charges actually came closer to a 50/50 split. Our goal was to offer something affordable, which is 20% of the nightly rental rate, not the gross (includes ALL taxes & fees) amount of the reservation. We feel this is a more fair percentage for our services, since you as the property owner, have other expenses associated with owning a rental property. We want your property to thrive as a vacation rental, instead of being a burden and an unprofitable debt.
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.
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.
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, departures, and post-stay surveys, our reservationists are ready to serve your guests anytime, answering questions with in-depth local knowledge and aiding situations as necessary in a timely manner. In addition to inbound call efforts, we also actively reach out to past, current, and prospective guests to ensure 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. Our automated messaging provides an efficient way to keep in contact with our guests throughout their booking process, during their vacation, and after they depart. These features are extremely helpful in time management, enhancing our customer service, and keeping us connected with our guests. Examples of emails we automated: 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
Damage by Guest
$1,500 per Resv.
Our Vacay Protection Plan covers intentional or unintentional accidents to the property by guests. We will cover up to $1500 per reservation (any damages that exceed the $1,500, intentional or unintentional, will be the owners responsibility). We put this fee in place as a protection plan for you. We do not want to have to bother you for every little pool stick tip or coffee pot that gets broken. Our responsibility is to simply purchase and replace damaged items at no extra charge to you. As the owner, your responsibility is to replace major wear & tear items, repairs or breakdowns. Please see the “Vacay Protection” sheet for more details.
Wear & Tear
Our Vacay Protection Plan covers intentional or unintentional accidents to the property as well as some wear & tear items such as kitchen items, games pieces, etc. The wear & tear items we cover will be purchased and replaced in the property with no charge to you. If we need to replace an item not covered by our vacay protection, we will let you know that it needs to be replaced. Please see the “Vacay Protection” sheet for more details.
Rebooks or Pays Out
Our Vacay Protection Plan offers Cancellation Guarantee which allows guests to cancel their reservation for any reason up to 7 days prior to check in and receive a full refund (minus the vacay protection fee). This will encourage guests to book without hesitation, leading to more reservations and revenue. It also benefits you, as the owner, because if we fail to rebook the dates that the guests cancel, we will pay you ½ of your 80% on that reservation.
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 are taken by Bear Tootin staff. Please understand that we are not professional 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 help coordinate those for you as well. Keep in mind, if you have pictures done, all photos need to be taken landscape to fit the listing correctly.
360 Virtual Tours
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.
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 help coordinate those for you as well.
From preventive measures to emergency care 24/7, our professional team of maintenance technicians are there for you, your guests, and your properties. They ensure your rentals receive the best care so your guests can enjoy comfortable and relaxing stays with full assurance. Anything our maintenance guys can address and take care of is NO extra charge to you. We feel this part of our job as your management team. 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. Anytime we are contacted by a guest or have to access an issue at the property, our maintenance guy makes a work order through their maintenance app. Once a work order is made, you will receive an email with the details of the issue and what needs to be done to address the issue. You are always contacted via email or phone for approval before any major repairs are made by our maintenance team or a contractor (if we cannot reach you in case of an emergency, we will take necessary steps to protect your property).
A well-maintained home is an important part of a positive vacation experience as well as your long term return on investment. As a homeowner yourself, you know there are several monthly routine maintenance items such as changing air filters, light bulbs, batteries, etc. We as your management team handle all of this for you at no charge for services or supplies. Since our policy is to not “nickel and dime” our owners, we have set aside $5 in each cleaning fee (the guest pays) to cover these costs. A work order or google drive schedule is used to record and track all maintenance work performed on each property.
Several Times a Year
Our in-house property inspectors are trained to see the smallest details to make sure your properties are staying up to par. With regular inspections doting the love and care your properties deserve, your guests will arrive at the getaway home they’ve been looking forward to with working features and clean spaces.
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. We keep all of our cleaning in-house because we feel it is best to keep everything in our full control. We have been blessed to have the same housekeeping manager and cleaning teams for 12+ years. Our cleaning crews are only allowed to clean 2-4 cabins a day mainly because they are in each cabin 2-5 hours depending on size. We feel that the cabin cleanliness should be top priority. This eliminates upset guests, bad reviews, and we want your cabin to be showcased at its best quality. We also keep our laundry in-house. No more of the cleaners collecting linens and tossing them in the washer and dryer or taking them to the laundromat! Our laundry facility features commercial grade equipment and a full staff to keep on top of laundering bedding, curtains (seasonally/as needed), and towels so your linens are always fresh for guests.
When you sign up with Bear Tootin we provide all linens and towels. We understand that you already have a list of things you would rather spend your money on to make improvements in your property. We appreciate and encourage that for the benefit of your guests. We purchase top quality linens and beautiful brown towels from walmart & amazon. We have found that the colored linens & towels are more efficient and match the property's rustic decor perfectly.
Hot Tub Services
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. After each guest departure the hot tub will be tested, cleaned, and the necessary chemicals added. If chemicals are not enough, we will drain and refill the hot tub. Cleaning & maintaining the hot tub for guests is our responsibility and is no extra charge to you. This cost is included in the cleaning fee that the guests pay. If there is something electrical or internally wrong with the hot tub, upon your approval, we have several contractors we can send to diagnose & repair the hot tub.
Once or Twice a Year
Deep cleaning is always a question that is asked about from property owners. 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. When we first take on a new property, we carefully inspect to see if a deep clean is necessary prior to renting so that we can get the property up to our strict standards. Also keep in mind that different areas in the mountains get dustier than others. We typically recommend a deep cleaning at least once or twice a year. If we feel it is necessary to perform a deep clean, or partial deep clean, we will let you know and agree upon a price at that time.
When you sign up with Bear Tootin, you are automatically signed up for monthly pest control provided by Orkin. We are not one to make things mandatory, but pest control is very important and we think it is a necessity in the rental business. The cost for this is $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)
Scheduling taken care of
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. Each owner can choose their own lawn care provider or if you do not have one in mind, we would be happy to assist you with setting your property up on a routine lawn care schedule to ensure the property is upkept.
This cost is included in the cleaning fee the guest pays per reservation. We buy our supplies from A&W Supply to make sure we get top quality products. This keeps the guests happy & helps in eliminating guest complaints. We provide a starter pack of: 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). 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.
Dealing with the public can be rewarding and stressful all in one, but as your management company this is our responsibility to handle. Being in the rental business for over 12 years, we have experienced all types of guests. We have learned to weed out false or inaccurate guest complaints, while also identifying true problems. We are comfortable and professional when it comes to dealing with upset or disappointed guests. The #1 thing we keep in mind while dealing with guest complaints is to be patient, listen, apologize, and address or fix any issues while guests are in-house. If guest issues can be taken care of in a timely manner, most likely we won't have to compensate but give an apology and maybe offer a late check out for time the guest lost. Sometimes life doesn't always go as planned and we may have an issue that cannot be addressed or resolved while the guest is in-house. Very rarely does a guest deserve a completely free vacation but some will not mind asking for it at the smallest inconvenience. When this happens, we put ourselves in the guest's shoes and we fairly but realistically decide if we need to compensate the guests for the inconveniences they encountered. Once we have decided on an equitable amount, we will contact you for approval, and then we will compensate the guest through their reservation.
All replies taken care of
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. This is always kept in the back of our minds, so everything that we do we try to do A+. We respond to all reviews that get posted. If any issue has been brought to our attention through reviews, we make necessary work orders or pass suggestions on to you.
Owner’s Stay Policy
We do not have a maximum number of nights that you can stay. It is your property and we feel that you should be able to enjoy it when you please. The only fee we require the owner to pay is the cleaning fee (if we clean it). Bear Tootin Cleans: Two cleaning fee options $65 - if one bedroom and bathroom is used Full price (what the guest pays) if any more is used Owner Cleans: You do have the option to clean it yourself. However, if it is marked that we do NOT need to clean then we do NOT send our housekeepers at all. You will be responsible for cleaning, hot tub, trash, and stocking essentials for the guests. If a guest complains about cleaning issues, the owner is responsible for any refunds or additional charges to make the guest happy and accommodate.
In our personal opinion, we would prefer not to have a contact that binds you to continue renting with our company. We do not want our owners to feel like they are “trapped” with us. We want to earn your trust each day because we are taking on a big responsibility by managing your property. If you feel we are not providing the best service, or if you feel another rental company can suit your needs better, 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.
Whenever you need to check on your accounting records or just want to pop in to see how the latest stay went, simply log into your owner portal on our property management software. From your login you can view past & future reservations, run finance reports, see monthly statements, view work orders, and read guest reviews. Not only do you have online access, you also have an Owner App that you can use when you are on the go. Whether you’d prefer to keep hands off and just collect a paycheck or be fully informed, the power is in your hands.
Credit Card Fee
Credit card fees are one expense that all of our owners are responsible for.. With our management 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.
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: We are responsible for collecting & turning in the sales & use tax 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.
Steps to switch rental companies
1st: Find out from your current rental company how many days notice they require. (Usually 30 days but there are some that require longer.) 2nd: Once you have a final date with your current rental company you will notify us. We will start scheduling when to post your cabin, take pictures, inspections, etc. 3rd: We can list your cabin online as soon as the current rental company has formal notification.This way we can start booking dates for the future (we’ll block your cabin off online until your official start day with us) which means you’ll start getting money from us before you even leave the other company.
Steps with a brand new rental
1st: If buying, the transaction should be completely closed before we can post online. 2nd: We will schedule inspection & inventory 3rd: We will let you know the requirements for your cabin to be a rental and make suggestions of how to make it more successful. 4th: Schedule pictures and cleaning. 5th: Get your cabin posted online to start booking reservations.