VRBO And Airbnb Properties

Hands down, we receive the most inquiries on our website from customer's looking for second homes or condos. More often than not, when looking for a second home, people are interested in properties that will allow them to do nightly rentals. We specialize in guiding buyers that are looking for a vacation rental property, whether you want to rent yourself on Airbnb or you need a Management company to rent it for you. We know all of the ins and outs of rental properties in Mammoth to help you find the right Mammoth Lakes property.


Investment Properties


With condos, the first important thing to do is to find a property that allows vacation rentals. There are a number of condos in Mammoth that are geared towards owner occupants prohibiting any sort of short-term rentals. That being said, not all condos that allow vacation rentals are created equal. What differentiates the vacation rental complexes that garner higher occupancy vs. those with lower occupancy rates are amenities and of course location. Properties that are on the slopes or near the Village tend to be strong rentals. Amenities can also be a draw. The top of the list includes a pool or spa, tennis facilities, onsite stores and restaurants, under ground parking, close to meadow or trails, and proximity to the shuttle.


Looking for a vacation rental home can be a a lot more challenging than finding a vacation rental condo. There are very few neighborhoods that allow nighty rentals. Most residential properties have specific covenants that prohibit vacation rentals. In those areas where vacation rentals are permitted, it is worth doing some due diligence on the neighborhood. As it stands, the town is cracking down and prohibiting vacation rentals in private residential homes.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has an ordinance, which strictly prohibits “transient” rentals of single family residences. You are allowed to rent your residential home no less than 30 consecutive days. The Town of Mammoth Lakes has a zoning map, which outlines the exact areas where nightly rentals are permitted — the pink shaded areas labeled “resort”. The yellow shaded areas are labeled “residential” and transient rentals are not permitted in these subdivisions. Only “resort” designated residential subdivisions are able to rent out their homes as transient rentals. These resort designated subdivisions include: Greyhawk (Bridges Lane & Greyhawk Court), Juniper Ridge (Old Juniper Lane, Juniper Road, and Juniper Court), Lodestar Drive and Starwood. Although Starwood is zoned “resort” the CC&Rs prohibit transient rentals. While there are challenges to finding a legal vacation rental home, our team is committed to working with buyer's to get their questions answered from the best resources on vacation rentals.

Finding a Vacation Rental Management Company

Vacation rental management companies charge anywhere between 20% and 50% of the gross income one might expect to earn from renting a property. The larger operations tend to take 50% while smaller locally based companies charge the lesser amount. The 50% fees are usually all-inclusive whereas that 20% fees are more of an a la carte with additional charges for bookings, cleaning etc. With the larger companies, one can usually expect strong marketing and higher occupancy. They tend to have more established websites and strong affiliations with online travel agencies such as Travelocity and Orbitz. Some of the smaller companies generally have lower occupancy rates. They may not have as strong a marketing presence or a relationship with the online travel agencies. That being said, with them taking a smaller percentage of the rental income, the net proceeds from big and small companies tend to come out fairly even. The one argument I have heard in favor of some smaller companies is worth mentioning. More occupancy down the line can lead to greater wear and tear on a unit. These are hidden costs that may add up down the line. It is important to note that different companies have different policies and sometimes it is hard to make an "apples to apples" comparison of rates.

With the relatively high overhead associated with property management, some people consider doing vacation rentals by themselves. This can be a viable option if you make sure all your bases are covered. Here are a few things to consider. You will need to hire a cleaning crew to make sure the rooms are cleaned for guests. You will also need someone in Mammoth who will manage any maintenance issues that might come up on the property. Of course, you also need to make sure your property gets good exposure. VRBO and Airbnb are the best Internet portal for attracting visitors. To maximize exposure, it is advisable to use multiple vacation rental portals. When doing your own vacation rentals, it is pretty common to start slow and see success build as you get a base of repeat customers. The best way to get repeat customers is to make sure you have a unit that stands out. Nice new furnishings can go a long way towards differentiating you from other condos in the complex that do vacation rentals.

Teresa Frazier-Clark
Mammoth Realty Group
CalBRE # 01793513
Cell - 714.310.0844
Office - 760.934.4840