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Property Management Blog

Seasonal vs Annual Rentals

Dan Norden - Thursday, September 19, 2019

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when renting out an investment property is determining if you want to rent it seasonally or annually. This decision will greatly impact your Return on Investment (ROI) and success. Every homeowner’s situation is unique, so know the pros and cons to determine which is right for you. In cash flow perspective, annual would be the way to go but that may not be what is important to every investor. Whether you choose seasonal or annual, SWFL has a high demand rental market because of its year-round temperate weather, it’s a popular tourist destination, locals don’t want to leave this paradise and its a second home location for many retirees.

Seasonal Rentals


• Earning Potential: You can raise prices as you see fit depending on the demand. If there’s a music festival, popular sporting event or convention in town you can easily double or triple your regular nightly prices for that time period. January through March are the months with the highest rental rates, making the bulk of your income during these times.
• Flexibility: For some Homeowners it’s important to have the flexibility to utilize the property from time to time. This allows blocking certain days out for family, friends or to take a spontaneous trip when the property is vacant. This is usually the deciding factor for most homeowners. Being able to use the property throughout the year ends up being the primary motivation rather than possible financial gain.
• Tax write off: Since this property is technically a business, you can write off most of the expenses associated with trips to your property. When you visit you could use that time to fix something, meet with the property manager, talk to vendors, etc.

• Slow Periods: An empty property does not bring in any income. Once season is over and the heat of the summer hits you will likely bump into slow periods, of course depending on your property’s location. You can lower your rates to compensate for the low season, but bookings are still not guaranteed.
• Restrictions: Some local municipalities are cracking down on short term rentals by regulating minimum and maximum number of days a property can be rented. Be sure to check the short-term rental regulations in your area as this can impact the financial gain from your investment.
• Expenses: Furnishing the place can be quite the expense. As more and more guest vacation at your property, the more wear and tear will occur. This can be a full-time job for you as you have people constantly checking in and out weekly or every few days. You are also responsible for covering the utilities and ensuring the furnishings stay clean and modern, providing you with good reviews to attract for renters.

Annual Rentals

• Consistent Cashflow: Renting to a long-term tenant usually provides you with a more constant cash flow as compared to renting to vacationers. High season cashflow will be great but then much less or even none during low season.
• Bills: You don’t have the expense of furnishing the property. Utilities, lawncare, pool care and some maintenance items are expenses that can get passed on to the tenants. This is money that can be set aside for possible repairs or upgrades down the road.
• Less Turnover: With an annual tenant you are not constantly tied to your phone or computer answering emails, booking guest, replying to reviews, etc. You also have someone who has eyes on the property year-round that can report any issues.

• Tenants: Sometimes you get great tenants who upkeep the property and renew every year, and sometimes you get lousy ones. You may have to deal with rent not being paid on time, request for upgrades, or unauthorized persons living in the property.
• Repairs: It is possible to have less wear and tear with a long-term tenants but you could end up with a tenant that does not care for the property as you would. Tenants can forget to change air filters, not report leaks, damages or vandalize the property when they leave. These repairs can be costly and leaving the property vacant while it’s rehabilitated.
• Vacancies: Though the reason to go the annual route vs seasonal is consistent cashflow, vacancies can be unexpected. Tenants can come across a hardship forcing them to terminate the lease early with little to no notice. On average it can take 30 days to screen and place a tenant plus the time for any needed repairs.

Among the many desirable benefits of listing an annual rental like steady revenue, limited turnover and fewer utility bills, maybe getting the most for your property during high season and being able to enjoy it the rest of the year for yourself might be the way to go. Whichever way you choose to go with your investment, Key Real Estate Advisors can help get your property advertised, rented and managed. Give us a call to see how! 239-454-3749 or visit our website