Idaho Mountain Escapes is an owner-run vacation rental company for McCall, Idaho and Island Park, Idaho vacation cabins. We are passionate about the vacation rental industry and client satisfaction, and go the extra mile to deliver exceptional experiences for owners and guests alike.
We are based in McCall, but are in Island Park frequently as well and have competent teams in both locations. We take care of our own family vacation homes; this gives us a unique perspective on how a management company should care for the homes in its inventory. When guests reserve a cabin through us, they can be sure we are very familiar with the cabin. We vacation in these same homes, and are always working to improve the cabins so that guests and owners have a fantastic experience and can't wait to return.
We are are very selective about the type of cabin and owner we accept. Owners must care deeply about guest satisfaction, and cabins must be well-maintained. If you and your cabin fit this description and you have considered generating hassle-free income from your vacation cabin, give us a call and we can interview each other to see if we would make a good partnership.
Common questions we are asked are:
We charge a flat percentage for guest reservations. Dates the owner uses for personal use are not charged any fee. A full fee schedule can be emailed on request.
Who pays sales and lodging tax?
We collect and pay all sales and lodging taxes in our company name, so you do not need to get a tax permit. We report to government agencies on your behalf and issue 1099's in January to all owners.
When and how are owners paid?
Checks are sent out by the 15th of the month for previous month's bookings. Owner statements can be viewed anytime online with your owner's login.
What fees are deducted from the owner's check other than the commission?
Any repair work the owner authorizes as well as routine maintenance such as hot tub service, snow removal and lawn care will come out of commissions. If the owner chooses to not collect a cleaning fee, the cleaning fee is deducted from the rent amount before the commission is split.
What about security deposits, etc?
Guests are offered damage insurance that covers damages up to $3000. Most guests choose this inexpensive protection. Those that don't are required to pay a security deposit which is returned to them upon satisfactory inspection after departure. We also offer travel insurance to our guests as an added protection to both owner and guest.
What happens if something is damaged or stolen?
We do a good job screening our guests, which really minimizes the risk of stolen items. But things sometimes happen. Owners submit an inventory checklist that we use after each clean to verify everything is in working order and nothing is missing. Our competent staff is excellent at finding and reporting missing/damaged items. We pass the information on to the owner as an FYI, and file a claim through the damage insurance company or settle with the guest directly. The owner does not need to be involved in the process.
What happens if a guest cancels?
We have a rather strict cancellation policy. Reservations canceled within 60 days of arrival forfeit the lodging total unless dates can be rebooked. Guests are encouraged to purchase travel insurance to protect their lodging payment in case of an emergency. If guests cancel 60 days or more prior to arrival, they receive a full refund and we do our best to rebook the dates.
How do I block out dates for personal use? Are there restrictions on how often I can use my cabin?
Owners are given a unique login and password to block out dates for their own use. The system is available 24/7 for owner use and is very user friendly. How often you block out your cabin for your own personal use is up to you....there are no restrictions. We have owners who want to make as much money as possible, so only use the cabin personally during open dates, and we have owners who use their cabin frequently and are only interested in making a little bit to help pay for the cabin's expenses...your call!
You say you are selective...what do you mean by that?
Guest satisfaction is imperative. One bad online review can seriously damage our business and your revenue potential. For that reason, we only allow cabins in our inventory that we personally would love to vacation in. We look for owners who are passionate about their cabins...owners who care as much as we do about guest satisfaction. These are the owners who upgrade amenities and add to their kitchen and game inventories, etc, when they notice something the cabin could use. Your cabin does not need to be granite countertops and stainless steel, modern new construction and the best of everything. But it does all need to be stylish, well-cared for, and full of amenities, supplies and extra comforts, such as a well-equipped kitchen, upgraded linens and lots of games. Cabins also need to provide satellite TV and internet. Having a hot tub is also a major selling point for guests but is not required. A thorough inspection of your home is performed prior to listing, which allows us to help you identify items that may need to be purchased as well as any decor upgrade we may recommend.
How is my property advertised and rented?
All properties are advertised on a variety of travel websites including our personal website. In addition, we run ads through various online classifieds and social media and run marketing campaigns. Bookings are driven by guest preference. If a particular property is booked that a guest requests, a similar home will be presented. When guests give basic information as to what they are looking for, and do not have a particular home that they already want to book, the guest is presented with all properties that fit their specific needs, such as sleeping arrangements, location, etc. We do not try to manipulate requests to even out the revenue among cabins, as we feel this is unfair to the nicer, better equipped cabins with more amenities. It is in your best interest to make your home as attractive and well-equipped as possible to increase inquiries and bookings.
How many bookings can I expect?
This depends a lot on the quality of your cabin and amenities provided. When people like your cabin, they will leave good reviews and tell others about it. Most cabins book pretty solidly between early June until the middle or third week of August. Sporadic May and September/October bookings can occur. Off-season holidays are usually booked. Winter bookings will depend on ease of access to snowmobile trails and snow conditions.
What if I decide to sell my home?
We currently have a couple of homes in our inventory that are for sale. As long as you make sure that the real estate contract includes a provision to honor all reservations for the upcoming summer season, it is acceptable. The realtor must also be willing to only show the cabin in-between guests. Guests are paying a premium for their stay and do not want to be bothered by realtors and clients looking through the home while they are there.
Sounds good...how do I get started?
Give us a call! We will schedule an appointment to meet with you, inspect your property, and make sure we can work well together. After that, we get to work listing your property and advertising, and the fun begins!
Call 208-360-7224 for more information or to request an appointment.