Don’t Miss the 30th Annual Autumn with Topsail

Don't Miss the 30th Annual Autumn with Topsail

Are you planning on visiting Topsail Beach in late October? Then you don’t want to miss the 30th Annual Autumn with Topsail this year. The event is held by the Historical Society of Topsail Island and Pender County Tourism, this is one you want to be at. After Hurricane Florence came through the area 2 weeks ago, we weren’t sure if this event was going to happen. Good news for everyone because Autumn with Topsail will be held this year!

Saturday, October 20th

Don't Miss the 30th Annual Autumn with Topsail

On Saturday, October 20th at 9:30 am the Arts & Crafts booths will open up.  If you want to get a head start on purchasing Christmas gifts, this is the way to do it.  At 11:00 a.m., the Food Court, Beer & Wine Garden and Children’s Activities on the grounds will begin. Please note that anything that was originally supposed to be in the Assembly building will not happen. There was a lot of damage to the building and it won’t be fixed in time for the festival this year. Starting at noon, it’s time to get your dancing shoes on or just sit and listen to “The Carolina Band” play until 3 pm. And if you miss them, then you can always come and listen to “North Tower Band” play from 5 pm to 8:00 pm.

Sunday, October 21st

Beginning at 9:30 am you can again shop at the Arts & Crafts booths to bring home a painting or a sculpture to place in your home. Around 11 am you can enjoy some amazing food and when bring the kids, you can allow them to do some fun activities themselves. At noon the Beer & Wine garden opens up for you and your loved one to enjoy some tasty wines and beer. From 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm enjoy listening and dancing to “Band of Oz”.

Children’s Fun

Don't Miss the 30th Annual Autumn with Topsail

If you think that only the adults will have fun at this event, think again. The children’s fun activities are just what every kid is wanting this year. Allow your kids to have their face painted for the day. They can decorate visors, doorknob hangers, make colorful sand art and more. What kid wouldn’t want to enjoy all this fun for the weekend?

Admission to this event is $5 per adult for one day and $8 per adult for a two-day admission.  Children 11 & under are free of charge, and Active Military Personnel with a valid ID are free as well. If you still looking for a Topsail Beach vacation rental, we do still have some available. We can’t wait to see you this fall for your family vacation!

Spend Labor Day Weekend on Topsail Island

Spend Labor Day Weekend on Topsail Island

Topsail Island is the perfect location for you and your family to spend Labor Day weekend this year. With different activities and endless fun on the beach, there is something for everyone in the family to do. From movies in the park to listening to live music, there are countless ways for you to celebrate this holiday. Staying in one of our Oceanview vacation rentals will help you enjoy your much-deserved vacation from work or just before the kids head back to school. Make your Labor Day vacation exciting and fun for the whole family!

Movies at the Park

Spend Labor Day Weekend on Topsail Island

Come to Soundside Park on Friday, August 31st for some free, family-friendly fun. Bring your beach chairs or blankets, some snacks and drinks to enjoy this free event. What a fun event for you and the family to come spend some time outdoors and watch a movie under the stars. The movie that will be playing on the 31st will be “A Wrinkle in Time” and this is a great movie for all ages to see. The movie will begin at 7:00 pm and there will be pre-movie activities and food vendors there. Now please note that this will be weather dependent. Have a wonderful last movie night of the summer with your friends and family.

Sounds of Summer

Sounds of Summer was back this summer and getting to listen to some free music can help the soul. Join the Surf City Parks & Recreation on Saturday, Sept. 1st from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm to listen and dance to Soul on the Beach. Bring your chairs, blankets, and drinks to listen to some fun, upbeat, dance worthy music. Please note that alcohol is prohibited in the park so bring those sweet teas and drinks. Have fun with your family and enjoy the sounds of what summer has been for everyone this year.

Soak Up the Sun

Spend Labor Day Weekend on Topsail Island

We understand that getting in some relaxation before school gets busy or before life gets busy again. So why not head to the beach and spend it there for the weekend. Soak up the sun, read a book, eat lunch under the umbrella with the kids and more. Just enjoy your time on the island as you get ready for life to become crazy as you return back home. Take advantage of the amazing sand and surf that our area has to offer and just enjoy spending your time outdoors with your family. The kids won’t stay little much longer, so spend as much time with them as you can. There are plenty of things for you to do on the beach, so just sit back and enjoy it!

While there are many other activities and events happening in nearby towns, we thought you’d like for us to share these few that are happening right in our area. If you are still looking for a place to stay, you should check out what our availabilities are. And if you can only stay part of the week, we do have partial week vacation rentals for you to enjoy! We hope that you are able to come visit and enjoy Topsail Island this year for Labor Day weekend!

5 Family-Friendly Activities to Do on Your Topsail Island Vacation

Do you have a family vacation planned this summer in one of our Topsail Island vacation rentals? If so then we can point you in the right direction on what there is to do in the area that are family-friendly. We understand that sometimes finding things for kids of all ages can be a little challenging but we have a few family favorites for you below. Let’s look at what there is for you and the family to enjoy together while on your vacation.

Visit Southside Park

Want to spend a day at a local park for you and the kids to enjoy? Head over to Southside Park where you can pack a lunch and a book for you to read while the kids play on the playground. The playground has slides, swings and a climbing area for them to get some of their energy out. Or you could take a walk along the boardwalk that boarders the sound or watch the sunset before heading back to your vacation rental. If you want to take some fun family pictures this is a great place to go to. The park does overlook the Intracoastal Waterway and is beautiful.

Rent a Kayak

What a better way to see the Intracoastal Waterway then to rent a kayak for a few hours and enjoy. The Intracoastal Waterway offers a calm location for you to kayak, canoe or just to enjoy what nature offers you. What a great way to spend the day with your kids and enjoy the beauty of the island on water. If you have younger kids, this might not be a good option but for the older kids this would be a great adventure for them.

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center

Topsail Island is known as a nesting grounds for the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle. Visiting the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center rescues, treats and releases turtles that have been hurt. This is a good educational visit to this center where your family will learn all about the turtles. You will learn about what is involved in saving the life of a turtle and about their nesting habits. There happens to be a small gift shop that all the proceeds will go into helping the turtles. Your kids might even get an opportunity to ask questions and maybe feed some of the creatures there at the center.

Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area

Want another fun place to take the kids if you feel they need to get their energy out? Then check out the Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area located across the street from a beach access on Topsail Island. This park has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Let the kids play on the playground while you take advantage of the free exercise equipment. This playground has a firetruck climber, slides, swings and a large gazebo where you can enjoy lunch or dinner with the family there. What a great way to spend an evening or late morning at with the family.

Beach It

The number one place that you can enjoy is the beach. This is of course why you decided to come to Topsail Island for vacation. While Topsail Beach is smallest of the 3 beaches on Topsail Island, it’s located at the tip of the island. Depending on where your Topsail Island vacation rental you can have a step outside the door of your rental and stroll along the beach. Collect seashells, look for shark teeth or just enjoy the day at the beach. Even fly a kite in the evening with the kids and get your run in first thing in the morning. But keep an eye out for sea turtle nests and leave them alone while you play in the sand. Just enjoy the surf and the sand for a few days with the family.

There are several other things for you to do while you are visiting Topsail Island but these are just a few that we thought you’d enjoy. If you are still looking for a last-minute week to visit the area before school begins, then check out what availabilities we have. We can’t wait to see you this summer for you to make new memories for years to come.

 

Four Easy Ways to Have Your Vacation Rental Guests Return

Pleasing your guests and offering more than the competition doesn’t take a whole lot of time or money. Far too many companies only focus on the bottom line. The personal touch makes a big impression on guests. Moving the personal touch up the priority list and making more of an effort to make sure their every stay is a great one, will set you ahead of the pack.
 
Topsail-Island-Sunset
Here are some tips on how you can help your guests have a thrilling time with you and have them coming back for years to come.
 

1. Try to Think Like a Guest

If you were going to stay in your house, what type of experience would you want? What amenities would matter most? What information could you provide about the local area to make a guest’s stay easier? How close is the nearest grocery store?

 

2. Don’t Make Your Guests Guess

Don’t assume that the guest knows everything they want to do, where they want to eat, or how to get a hold of you, etc. Providing this information in printed form is a great idea. It’s also a good idea to have all of the contact information they might need accessible in case of an emergency.

 

3. Add a Personal Touch

One of the easiest things you can do to make a positive difference is to add a personal touch to your vacation rental. Leave a handwritten note for your guests, thanking them for their stay. Another idea is to leave them some fresh flowers, wine or a box of chocolates. It doesn’t take much money or time to make a big difference!

 

4. Stay Connected

Keep in touch with your guests afterwards and make sure that they know about events and attractions in your area. In this age of social media it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. Reward your previous guest’s loyalty with discounts, extras, and special deals or savings.

 

The most important aspect of any business is to put your customer first. Proactively anticipate their needs and do whatever you can to let them know they are a priority. Everyone likes to feel like they’re important, so if you treat your guests like royalty, they will return again and again.

 

 

8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Vacation Rental for Summer Guests

With the summer months about to arrive, things are going to get extra busy for homeowners who rent their properties out around Topsail. Those with multi-bedroom homes will likely be renting to larger groups which can mean bigger bucks but also more work.

The following eight tips will help you prepare your home for the influx of summer vacationers to ensure they have the best rental experience ever.

1. Plenty of Bedding
Have all bedrooms well stocked with quality, ample bedding. Include at least two sets of pillows per bed, mattress pads and high-quality sheets. Keep extra blankets in the closet so that your renters won’t have to forage for bedding.

8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Vacation Rental for Summer Guests
2. Deep Clean
Whenever you have new renters coming in, always hire a cleaning crew to give the house a deep clean, which includes making the bathrooms spotless, washing all the linens, wiping down the fridge, and so forth. It’s important to clean your home every time renters leave, in order to make it super clean and ready for the next guests to arrive.

3. People Love Extras
Who doesn’t forget at least a few things when traveling? Please your guests by supplying a few of those most often forgotten items — be it a toothbrush, shaving cream, or shampoo. Outfit all of the bathrooms with toiletries to make your guest’s stay more comfortable. Go the extra distance to take care of your guests beforehand, and they will be more likely to leave you a stellar review afterwards as well as return in the future.

8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Vacation Rental for Summer Guests
4. Pool and Hot Tubs
If your vacation rental has a pool or hot tub, make sure that it is fully operational for your guests. These are some of the most popular features that attract renters to a home, and nothing will dampen their spirits more than a broken tub or a pool without heat.

5. Entertainment
Despite the fact that your vacation rental guests will most likely be spending much of their time at the beach, there will be periods of downtime where they are relaxing in the house and may seek ways to entertain themselves. Leave some board games or a deck of cards in the living room that they can help themselves to.

8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Vacation Rental for Summer Guests
6. Internet and Cable
If you don’t offer Internet and cable it will severely impact your ability to keep your property rented. Make sure the internet access and cable are both up and running so that your guests won’t run into any issues while staying at your house.

7. Adequate Lighting
Do a once around your rental to be sure all the lights inside and outside the home are working. Replace broken bulbs and aim for softer lighting. For yards, add inviting outdoor lighting so that guests feel safe and comfortable spending time outside.

8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Vacation Rental for Summer Guests
8. Safety Matters
It’s wise to have a first-aid kit available on site. Also leave a list of emergency numbers on the kitchen counter, a printed sheet of what to do in case of a hurricane, and a working fire extinguisher on hand. Adding a functional flashlight in a kitchen drawer isn’t a bad idea either.

Follow these 8 tips and you’ll have happy guests who will return year after year while giving you rave reviews!

Which Vacation Rental Amenity Matters the Most?

While today’s vacation rentals are well above competing with hotels, they are very much in competition with other vacation rental homes in the area. The more amenities your property has the better the experience for the traveler and the more repeat guests you will have.
 
It’s important to know which amenities matter the most to your vacationers to ensure returning visitors and to maximize profit.
 
When Tripping.com did a survey asking what vacation rental amenities matter the most to U.S. consumers, at the top of the list was Internet/Wifi with 38 percent of consumers listing it as their number one most amenity.
 
Top-Amenity-at-Topsail-Realty
 
In this day and age it’s important for guests to stay connected to the internet while away. The internet is critical to find local restaurants, plan a trip, do business as well as to stay in touch with those back home. The internet is a must-have for most travelers.
 
When comparing vacation rentals to hotels, some luxury hotels still do not offer this most valued amenity free of charge. Hotel guests paying up to $500 dollars and above a night for a room still have to pay an extra fee to use the Internet/Wifi during their stay. When you compare that to vacation rentals, a majority of properties offer Internet/Wifi included in the price.
 
 

The Difference Between Vacation Rental vs Investment Property

If this New Year has your focus on investing in real estate it’s important to know the differences between a vacation rental and an investment property as what it means to own one.
 
The Difference Between Vacation Rentals vs. Investment Property

What is a vacation rental?

The term vacation rental is used to describe a privately owned furnished home, apartment or condominium that is rented out for short periods of time. Typically a vacation rental is for rent on a weekly or during off-season on a monthly basis.
 
Families and other vacationers often use vacation rentals as an alternative to hotels to get larger accommodations offering better amenities. Vacation rentals are rising in popularity because of their ability to offer more space and more privacy at a cheaper price than a typical hotel room.
 
It’s becoming increasingly popular for people with properties in vacation spots to rent them out for periods of peak vacation times such as spring break, the summer months or winter holidays. The appeal of additional income from a place you already consider home, is attractive to many.
 
If you have a property you’re considering turning into a vacation rental it’s important to have your home ready with everything a vacationing family would need. Read our other blog posts such as “Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists”, “4 Surefire Ways to Make Your Vacation Rentals Stand Out Online,” and “Well-Stocked Vacation Rentals Get Far Better Reviews.”
 
Lots of photographs, well written descriptions, and awesome reviews are all very important in keeping a vacation rental occupied 100% of the time you have it available.
 
The Difference Between Vacation Rentals vs. Investment Property

What is investment property

Investment property is a house, apartment, or condominium that you’ve purchased for profit gain. It could be a property that you purchase, rehab and then re-sell for a profit or it could be a property you purchase with intentions of renting it out.
 
Regarding tax purposes, if the owner’s time spent in the second property is limited to 14 or fewer days or 10 percent of the time it’s rented out to other people, it’s considered a full-time rental or investment property, where the ultimate goal is to generate income.
 

Vacation Rental vs. Investment Property

With an investment property the goal of owning the property is purely to use to make money full time without ever living in it themselves. With a vacation rental, it’s a property that is usually a vacation home or second home that the owner can rent out short term to vacationers when the owner is not using the property.
 
We hope we’ve clarified the differences between a vacation rental and an investment property. You might just be surprised to discover you already own a vacation rental that you just happen to call “home.”

 

How to Appeal to the Eco-Friendly Vacationer

How to Appeal to the Eco-Friendly Vacationer
Environmentally friendly or eco-friendly are sustainability terms referring to goods and services that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm done to ecosystems or the environment. In recent years, terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” are words you hear a lot on talk shows, commercials and product packaging. So it comes as no surprise that a good number of your potential vacationers care about the environment. Taking the initiative to market your vacation rentals to them will pay out big rewards.

How to Appeal to the Eco-Friendly Vacationer
Travelers who live green are looking for eco-friendly options even when choosing vacation spots. In this day and age, more and more vacationers expect eco-friendly features in a vacation rental. In a recent survey a huge 42% of respondents saying they hoped to stay in an energy-efficient home while on vacation. Recycling is also a big draw with 52% of respondents wanting to see recycling as an option.

How to Appeal to the Eco-Friendly Vacationer
“Effortless recycling and integrated bins always make the grade for eco-friendly homes,” says design expert Kerrie Kelly, who writes for The Home Depot. “Water filtration systems, full-sized beauty/cleaning products (as opposed to the smaller, wasteful travel sizes), and Energy Star appliances also help vacationers feel that they are helping the environment.”

How to Appeal to the Eco-Friendly Vacationer
Additional eco-friendly must-haves among today’s vacationing families include overall energy efficient heating, cooling, appliances, and green cleaning supplies for the household and laundry. Many will also sit up and take notice if your vacation rental home was constructed using eco-friendly building materials.

As people overall become more cognizant of their day-to-day energy and water conservation, we will see an increased demand for environmentally-friendly vacation rentals. It’s pretty safe to say when you put a vacation rental that is focused on environmentally friendly building materials and features next to one that is not, the eco-friendly home will win out every time.
 
 

When It Comes To Vacation Homes, Technology Matters A Lot

While not all travelers completely unplug on vacation, respondents to a recent survey say they browse the web and check email less frequently (62%) while on vacation and more than half (54%) would not give up their cell phone for a week in exchange for an extra week of vacation! Their needs go far beyond a strong Wi-Fi connection though.
 
When it Comes to Vacation Homes, Technology Matters a Lot
Jen O’Neal from Tripping.com had this to say about technology in vacation homes — “Wi-Fi is a necessity! Considering how many people need to work while traveling, or even just want to share their latest vacation photos to friends and family at home, Wi-Fi is definitely a key amenity for vacation rentals to offer.”
 

How Much Tech is Enough?

So how do you know just how much tech your vacation rental needs? When it comes to expectations, Wi-Fi is a major must-have item, followed closely by cable TV and HDTV, say vacationers. They’re looking for these features in every room, too, not just the living room.
 
When it Comes to Vacation Homes, Technology Matters a Lot

How to Smarten Up Your Home

More than a quarter of vacationers specifically seek out smart home features. The top requests are a smart security system or entry (door locks/video doorbells/garage opener) and a smart TV or electronics. One in four male Millennials planning a vacation expect a smart TV in their vacation rental!
 
Millennials are slightly less open to “unplugging” than other generations and they won’t compromise when it comes to music. Out of those surveyed 64% say they listen to music the same or more frequently on vacation versus the average vacation renter (47%).
 

About Tech Device Installs

The key to installing tech devices in a vacation home is to keep it simple, says technology expert Jennifer Tuohy, who writes about home tech for Home Depot. “Guests don’t need to be downloading apps just to turn the lights on,” she says. “The best tech for making guests happy in a vacation home are devices that are simple to use, or those that work autonomously.” She recommends the following top five tech picks:
 

Recommended Tech Additions

1. Smart Locks. A keypad-enabled lock or a smart door lock is the perfect solution to a vacationer arriving only to discover they don’t have the right (or any) key!

2. Smart Lighting. Walking into a home and having the lights come on automatically is a really nice way to begin a vacation. Smart lighting paired with a smart door lock will make this happen as if by magic: When the door unlocks, the lights come on.

3. Smart TV. A Smart TV with internet connection and pre-loaded with apps such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon is as important as having TV cable access.

4. Streaming Music. All holidays need a soundtrack, and Bluetooth-capable speakers are a must these days. An added bonus would be wireless streaming speakers such as Sonos, with pre-installed house accounts such as Spotify or Pandora.

5. Welcome iPad. Skip the pile of outdated brochures from local businesses and provide an iPad or similar tablet, loaded with apps for local attractions. A Google doc or other cloud-based document pinned to the home screen providing all the details you need to know about the home and the area is an excellent touch. Consider preloading the device with manuals and the apps needed to control the technology in the home.

 
 

Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists

When it comes to what matters most in the interior of a vacation home, kitchens are at the top of the list! Vacationers want the ability to make their own meals and list it as a major factor in choosing a vacation home over any hotel or motel. In fact, 67% said they averaged two or three meals a day at their vacation rental, and only 8% admit to eating every meal out in area restaurants.

Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists
“In vacation rentals, kitchens get used frequently, so ease of access and updated features such as layered lighting on a dimmer make staying in a rental much more comfortable,” says design expert Kerrie Kelly, who writes about interior design for The Home Depot. “Updated appliances, a layout for entertaining, and easy-to-clean surfaces like quartz countertops are crucial.”

Vacationers are willing to pay extra for an upscale kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a dishwasher and kitchen accessories like a corkscrew! The finer details really do matter. Think about what would make you comfortable and what was lacking if you ever stayed in a vacation rental.

Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists
Beyond the kitchen, 30% of vacationers would like to have a fireplace, while 55% will pay extra for a washer and dryer on site. In the bathroom, vacationers often appreciate a relaxing environment. Turn your bathroom into a relaxing spa with a garden tub and a stand up shower and your renters will appreciate it more.

Vacation Home Exterior Checklist

The majority of travelers (68%) said that one of their favorite activities while vacationing is relaxing outside. Another 42% identified access to a deck, yard or other external space on the property as a major feature they consider when choosing a vacation rental. The cooks among them, 66% in fact, enjoy cooking outdoors, that range from basic grilling to outdoor kitchens and fire pits, too.

Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists
“From personal experience, having ample entertaining amenities makes the experience that much better,” Kelly says. “Having an outdoor entertainment area with lounge chairs, an umbrella and an outdoor kitchen also allows guests to feel more relaxed and at home in the rental.”

Vacation Home Interior & Exterior Checklists
When it comes to pools and hot tubs, 60% of travelers desire these features and are willing to pay for them. Other exterior features that matter are proximity to attractions (65%), an outdoor living space (42% that includes patio furniture (32%), and recreational equipment (32%).

Keep these checklists in mind when you’re thinking about renovating your vacation home for rental purposes. It boils down to this — the more you offer your vacationers the more they’re willing to pay. It’s just that simple.