FAQ

Getting Started

  • How easy is it to get started with Madrona Pacific Properties?
  • Very Easy! Once you meet with one of our Owners, we can get moving. We will start collecting your information, inspecting your home, photographing your property, and crafting your property listing. Normal activation includes shooting new photos, creating a detailed listing, setting pricing, activating advertising on the main internet channels and beginning to take reservations – all in as little as a few weeks! This can take a little bit longer depending on the homeowner’s schedule, or if a home is in the process of being converted from a residence or long-term rental.
  • Can you help me convert my property into a successful vacation rental?
  • Absolutely. As an industry leader in the vacation rental space, we know what it takes to make a vacation rental successful. We do everything we can to meet all of our homeowners’ needs and give them peace of mind that one of their biggest assets is in good hands. Whether you need a new rental permit for your home or need to upgrade your living room furniture, we’re happy to offer suggestions and assistance to help you get the most out of your rental.
  • Will I have to worry about taxes?
  • Madrona Pacific will collect any taxes that are required of your home, put them into our owner escrow-style account, and remit on your behalf. Each reservation has taxes added to the amount of the rental. You do not need to send us extra money to pay taxes, nor do you need to file with your lodging authority.

Rental Qualifications

  • Do I have to commit to a certain amount of availability?
  • No, we would like to see all homes that wish to use Madrona Pacific to be year-round rentals, but we are very flexible based on the home owner’s requests. You are free to use your home for as much personal use as you’d like – but if you plan to only rent out your home occasionally, your home may not be a great fit for our program. We also reserve the right to cancel a homeowner agreement if the home is predominantly unavailable for bookings.
  • Does my home need to be of a certain quality or size?
  • To some degree, yes. While Madrona Pacific does not work exclusively with luxury properties, we do focus on quality rentals in the San Juan Islands. We will look at your home and let you know if we feel it will be a good fit for our program.
  • Is there anything I am required to have at my home?
  • Yes. While we install a digital door lock, and supply a closet lock, there are certain things we ask that you provide as a homeowner – like furniture, appliances, cookware, and dinnerware. We will work with you to make sure that you have everything in place. Well decorated homes tend to rent at a higher frequency, and we always encourage owners to have a home that shows well.
  • Do I need to have wifi or a traditional phone line/landline installed?
  • A landline phone is not necessary unless you wish to have one for your own personal stays, or you are in an area with no cell reception. We do require wifi to be available.
  • Do owners have to allow pets?
  • That’s up to the discretion of each homeowner. We do charge guests an additional non-refundable $100 rent per stay ($200 for 3+ bedroom homes) for up to 2 pets to ensure that the home is fully cleaned. This fee gets paid as additional rent, so the majority will go to the owner. Any damage caused by a pet will be taken out of that additional fee. Please take note that we are not able to prohibit service animals.

Reporting and Payment

  • What kind of reporting will Madrona Pacific provide me so I can understand how well my home is performing? 
  • You will get a monthly statement from us that details how much rental revenue you earned, how much tax we collected and will pay on your behalf, and any charges that you may have incurred during the month (for example, if you wanted your home cleaned for your own stay or if you had us install a new TV, etc.) Your Homeowner Success Manager (Owner) will be happy to guide you through your owner statement.
  • When do I get paid for reservations?
  • We currently pay owners once a month. Expect to receive an owner statement and an ACH deposit to your bank account on or before the 15th of every month. This statement and deposit will cover all guests that check out during that month. If you have a guest crossing over one month to the next, the payment for that reservation falls in the month they check out.

Rental Marketing

  • How do you enable online bookings?
  • We use Kigo Vacation Rental Software powered by RealPage – a very secure and reliable management solution for professional managers to push your rental to over 50+ booking sites. It is a publicly traded company and works very well for enabling all aspects of guest bookings and payments.
  • How do you advertise my vacation rental?
  • We list your home everywhere guests are looking for rentals! In addition to our own site, we’ll automatically list your property on several major listing sites:

We sync your availability calendar across every site, so each site will show the right rates and availability at all times, making it easy for guests to view the correct information and book your home.

  • What if I already have listed my home on those sites?
  • Many homeowners already have property listings on these sites, so we’ll work with you to migrate your listing over to our managed account. We’ll also professionally rewrite your listing, take new photos of your home, and sync the pricing and calendar with the other sites your home will be listed on.
  • Do I need to provide you with photographs?
  • No. In preparation for listing your home, Madrona Pacific uses the latest technology to capture photos and a digital floor plan, which we have found to be a key selling point for potential guests. When captured, our highly-trained team of expert photo editors make sure your home looks fantastic on every listing site.
  • How do I book myself, friends, or family at my property?
  • You can call us, and we will book your property for you. There is absolutely no charge for booking your own home. If you choose to have us clean your home after your stay, we will bill you on your owner statement for the cleaning. You may also choose to clean the home yourself.
  • How do you deal with guest deposits paid in advance?
  • We accept all major credit cards and charge a deposit of 50% of the total rental upon booking, with the full payment due 30 days prior to check-in. All reservations which are made more than 10 days in advance of check-in are fully refundable if the guest cancels the reservation within 72 hours of booking. After this cancellation period expires, all payments are non-refundable. The guest who books the property must be 25-years-old or older unless approved by Madrona Pacific and/or the home owner.

Pricing Management

  • How do you set pricing for my rental?
  • Kigo powered by RealPage utilizes pricing optimization software and sets rates daily.  This is the most efficient way to price a home and has been know for 3-5% better returns to home owners than any manual pricing strategy.

Property Management

  • Do I need to do my guests’ laundry (e.g., towels, linens, etc.)?
  • Our housekeeping fees cover laundry service for linens with every professional clean. Our cleaners will do it on-site if time permits or bring it to a laundry facility as a backup.
  • Do I need to provide soap, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.?
  • Madrona Pacific makes sure your home remains stocked for every guest. We supply a kit for each guest that includes a couple rolls of toilet paper per bathroom, a roll of paper towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner, and dish soap. Rather than have an owner manage and maintain these supplies, Madrona Pacific has a tiered structure for restocking:
  • 2BR and smaller homes: $20/stay
  • 3-4BR homes: $25/stay
  • 5-6BR homes: $30/stay
  • 7BR and up homes: $40/stay

Along with this, we have implemented a centralized ordering system for these supplies to get better quality, consistency and reliability of supplies across the country.

  • What if I want to do some decorating on my own?
  • We highly encourage homeowners to take pride in their home and invest in decor. Guests want a unique and local experience. Your home’s decor is a great way to provide this.
  • How do you keep my home safe and manage keys?
  • Madrona Pacific uses a digital smart lock, which is known to be the gold standard in the vacation rental industry. They aren’t cheap, but this cost to the home owner is worth it. They are proven to be reliable, secure, and stand up to harsh outdoor environments. Each guest has their own code that is only valid during the time of their stay. Additionally, all of our housekeepers and vendors are issued unique one time codes for when they need to clean or make a repair at your property.
  • How do I access my home?
  • Each lock comes with the ability to have several master codes set for it at any given time. As the homeowner, you will have a master code and can access the property whenever you want – we recommend not sharing this code with anyone.
  • What about regular maintenance?
  • Madrona Pacific provides guest services and management, and property management to owners, but Madrona Pacific is not a maintenance company. Our employees are not trained contractors or repair personnel. We are available 24/7, manage reservations, guest support, schedule regular housekeeping and inspections, dispatch qualified maintenance personnel, monitor internet uptime, control indoor temperature (when equipped), control pool temperature (when equipped), maintain electronic locks, and more – but we do not personally handle maintenance requests.During inspections, we will restock consumable items like soap, toilet paper, shampoo, etc., and we will perform simple maintenance like changing remote control batteries or light bulbs for lamp fixtures. We will schedule vendors as needed, and all maintenance work will be billed at cost to you. We make it easy by paying vendors directly – saving you the headache of coordinating anything during a guest stay!
  • Who takes care of my lawn, my pool, etc.?
  • We are happy to schedule a regular lawn or pool service, but most owners already have this in place and continue to use their preferred vendor. We require that all owners have repeat services in place. Owners typically pay these fees directly to their contractors, along with utilities, internet, and TV. We can set up recurring services for you, and the bills for the service will be sent directly to you.
  • Should I schedule any regular services myself?
  • In addition to repeat lawn, hot tub, and pool service, Madrona Pacific recommends having a local, licensed HVAC service plan in place. It is important to have regularly scheduled services for your air conditioning, heating appliances, and air filter replacement.
  • What about garbage collection? Who handles this?
  • Stick with your regular provider. If guests are in the home on pick up days we ask them to take out the trash. If no one is there, our local team will visit and haul away trash for a fee.
  • Do I need to have my own housekeeper?
  • We have housekeeping vendors contracted with us who have proven to be fast, flexible, reliable, and are already familiar with Madrona Pacific’s strict cleaning protocol. If you have a housekeeper you prefer to work with, then we may utilize them (based on a successful trial period with Madrona Pacific).

Guest Experience

  • How do guests pay you?
  • We use credit card processing through our Kigo software. Travelers overwhelmingly prefer to pay with credit cards rather than send cash – it is safer, easier, and more secure. We can also take eCheck/ACH but prefer to use credit cards. Credit card companies do charge for their service, but we do not pass along this cost to our homeowners. We have done this in to simplify and enhance our owners’ experience working with Madrona Pacific.
  • How do guests interact with Madrona Pacific?
  • Guests can communicate with us via our website, email, or by phone with our professional Guest Experience team that is available around the clock. Once a guest makes a reservation, we invite them to our Guest Portal where they can view their reservation information, receive their door code for their rental, get directions to your property, get nearby restaurant suggestions, and more.
  • How can guests book my property?
  • Guests can book your property directly through the Madrona Pacific website and the 50+ other listing sites we will market your home on. Guests can also email Madrona Pacific or call us to make a reservation.
  • What happens if there is a guest emergency?
  • Madrona Pacific has someone that is available 24/7. Guests can call, text, and email our team at all hours with any issues. Your guests will actually never know your name for privacy reasons – unless you elect to tell them. We’ll take the call and dispatch the appropriate vendor. We pay the vendor and then put the bill onto your homeowner statement – you don’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for anything unless it happens to be a major repair. Madrona Pacific does not charge any additional fees, besides time and materials for these types of emergencies.
  • How do you deal with noisy guests?
  • Please know that we have a strict policy of evicting guests upon any sign of noise, partying, or over-occupancy. We want guests to enjoy themselves, however, we do not tolerate abuse at your property and contractually have heavy measures in place to evict and charge additional fees.
  • Do guests pay any type of cleaning fees?
  • Guests pay us directly for cleaning fees, and we pay the housekeeping vendor. There is nothing you need to do to schedule or pay them. If you wish to have your home cleaned while you, a family member, or friend are using your home, just let us know, and we will clean it and bill you for it as part of your monthly statement.
  • How do you handle security deposits and damage?
  • Research at Kigo shows guests are far less likely to book a rental if a security deposit is required. Kigo itself has taken steps to eliminate them and this has become a trend in the industry. Kigo expects large adoption of this and Madrona Pacific wants to take advantage of this trend.

Madrona Pacific requires each guest to pay for Property Damage Protection, which covers homes up to $3,000, $5,000 or more depending upon the property. This enables owners to rest assured that damage is covered. However, owners should expect that from time-to-time normal wear and tear will happen outside the policy. A standard in the property management industry is to withhold 4% of gross rents to cover the costs of small items. Madrona Pacific does not do this. Owners should expect every now and then they might have to replace an item of silverware, do some touch up painting, replace a sink or shower fixture, etc. All homes experience periodic maintenance. Guests do sign a contract committing to pay for any damage via their credit card on file, and there are strict policies when additional cleaning is needed as well.

Often we are asked what types of things are replaced under our Property Damage Protection. Generally, well-maintained, durable items in good working condition that are damaged as a result of a guest’s actions are covered. The damage waiver is not a guarantee that nothing will ever be broken or stop working in your home. It is intended to be used to replace broken or damaged items that resulted from a guest making a mistake.

Everything from small appliances to plumbing fixtures, furniture, and electronics eventually wear out.

If a guest drops a blender and it smashes on the floor, the damage protection kicks in. But if a guest is using a blender that is several years old and it just stops working, then it is not replaced as part of the Property Damage Protection.

If a rug is dirty from regular foot traffic, it is not replaced as part of our Property Damage Protection. But if a guest spills a bottle of red wine on a rug, then the Property Damage Protection kicks in.

If a guest sits down on an inexpensive couch and a leg breaks off, it is generally not their fault. But if a guest spills pasta sauce all over it, then the Property Damage Protection applies.

The Property Damage Protection does not apply to things like fragile antique seating or dining tables, inexpensive plastic seating, furniture that is clearly old, worn, visibly weak or rusted. These are all items we highly recommend removing from a home for safety purposes. And while we love inexpensive furniture from Ikea or other discount stores, it is known not to be very durable. The Property Damage Protection does not apply to furniture that is not designed to hold up to regular guest use, particularly fiberboard or plastic.

Service Costs

  • What do you charge for full-service vacation rental management?
  • National commission rates for property manager services average roughly 35%, ranging as low as 20% and as high as 60% depending on the type of home and market, and the types of additional services property managers will charge for after commissions are taken into account. Madrona Pacific provides full-service property management at a value much greater than our competition.
  • Why do you do commission-based pricing?

Commission-based pricing is the industry standard for vacation rental property management firms. That does not necessarily mean it is the only answer – but we believe that it perfectly aligns our incentives with our homeowners. We only make money when our owners make money, and the only way to increase our revenue is to help owners increase theirs. We believe this is why the commission model has worked and is so well established in the industry.