Listing Your Home: FAQs

Who is the best person to contact for answers to questions regarding Bear Lake Reserve Endorsed Accommodations (BLREA)?

Please email vacations@bearlakereserve.com and one of our team members will get in contact with you directly.

How will you market my home specifically?

Your property will be promoted on our websites including www.BearLakeReserve.com and this BLRVacations.com website, as well as through social media, Western Carolina University and North Carolina State Tourism partnership programs, to our extensive database of past guests, and in our Real Estate Sales promotional campaigns. Bear Lake Reserve will spend nearly $800K this year in sales and marketing efforts, including sending out over 30,000 direct mail pieces to targeted potential buyers to drive them to visit the community (and stay in BLREA residences).

Do you have a way to compare your services to other options?

To help our owners weigh the pros and cons of various options, we have created a simple comparison sheet you can use. Please email vacations@bearlakereserve.com to request this comparison sheet.

Do you manage owners’ VRBO listings?

When someone chooses to enroll with BLREA, one of the advantages is saving the fees and headaches involved in dealing with the vacation rental by owner platforms. Essentially, BLREA replaces VRBO. If an owner is on VRBO and rents, their renters are subject to use fees of all amenities (these fees are included with the BLREA program).

Is it true that if I choose another rental management provider, my renters will incur daily use fees for the club amenities?

Actually, as of 2014 all short-term renters are responsible for daily use fees of $20, $30, or $40 depending on the size of the home being rented (2, 3, or 4+ bedrooms, respectively). However, in the case of Bear Lake Reserve’s Endorsed Accommodations clients, these fees are handled within the revenue share program in place between the owner and BLREA. Other providers have the option of setting the structure up in the same fashion.

How are bookings logged and reported to the owners?

The owners in the BLREA program will receive a quarterly report showing the number of reservations and dates in which their property was occupied along with their quarterly payment of owner commissions. BLREA participants will also receive a 1099 form in accordance with the Federal IRS requirements and an annual report summarizing Gross Unit Revenues, Net Distributions and Owners Expenses for the unit.

Does BLREA perform preventative maintenance?

BLREA does have a maintenance team on site and routine maintenance is provided for inspections and small household repairs.

What insurance coverage is carried on the units?

We require all owners to provide proof of renters insurance. In addition, we maintain a blanket insurance policy to cover all of our insurance compliance requirements.

If my home is a part of Endorsed Accommodations, will I still be able to use it?

Yes. Once you have entered into the BLREA program, you will receive a form that you will be asked to complete with the dates you wish to have the unit taken out of the rental program for personal use. You will receive a new form every year to update your usage plans. Your unit will be placed in the rental rotation for any and all times that you do not intend to hold out for personal use. In the event that you wish to use your unit at a time that has already been reserved by a rental guest, every reasonable effort will be made to relocate the guest, but please keep in mind that each unit is unique and many guests will request a specific unit. We cannot cancel rental reservations once they have been accepted.

If you decide that you would like to use your unit on short notice we will make every effort to accommodate your wishes. Please keep in mind that units in the rental program will require a standard cleaning after each owner and/or owner-guest use. A cleaning fee appropriate to the size of your unit will be charged for this service, with the minimum fee being $130.50, which would apply to 2-bedroom, two-bathroom units. If cleaning services are required beyond the normal cleaning, you will be notified.

If you or a personal guest wishes to use a unit that is in the rental program, you will be required to check in at the Greeter’s Cottage upon arrival.

Who may use my home if I am a part of Endorsed Accommodations?

Owners, owners’ immediate family members, and their close friends or associates may use the unit under the terms of the owner use program. If you are in the Endorsed Accommodations program, you will be designating BLREA as the exclusive rental agent for the unit and will be agreeing not to rent the unit in any way other than through the BLREA rental service. If you generate a direct rental for your own unit through the BLREA rental service, a credit of 10% of the rental income will be applied to your account. In order to receive the 10% credit the initial reservation must be made personally by the owner or owner’s designee. No credits will be applied after the initial reservation has been made.

Owners’ guests who are using but not renting are still be required to check in at the Greeter’s Cottage and sign a temporary membership agreement just as any rental guest would. This will enable us to know when guests are on the property. This will also ensure that they understand the visitor guidelines. Visitor check-ins also provides us with an opportunity to greet your guests and familiarize them with your cottage or condo and all the activities and services available to them at Bear Lake Reserve. Owners’ guests will be required to place a valid credit card on file if they wish to have charging privileges.

How are rental rates established?

Rental rates are set based on our best estimate of market demand, including review of comparable rental rates and occupancy levels in the region.

A standard nightly base rental rate will be established for each cottage or condo at the time the unit is placed into the rental program. The base rate will be the minimum rate that your unit will be rented for (less commissions and appropriate fees as outlined below). A formula has been established to determine adjustments from the base rate for peak, off peak, holiday and package program rates.

Reservations of 8-31 days (weekly rates) are priced separately from daily rates. Rentals of 32 or more days will be calculated based on a monthly rental rate established for each unit at the time the unit is placed in the rental program. Owners who wish to have their units limited to short term rentals may choose to do so.

All rates are subject to change without notice and are set at the sole discretion of BLREA with the understanding that it is in our best interest to generate the maximum amount of income possible from each unit in the rental program.

How do you determine which unit is rented to each guest?

Like any service, successful rental programs are driven by a high degree of customer satisfaction; therefore, our first priority in the selection of a rental unit will be meeting the specific requirements of the guest. If a rental guest requests a specific unit and it is available that unit will be the one selected for that rental.

Who is responsible for the contents of the unit?

The owner of the unit is responsible for the contents of the unit. BLREA will maintain the unit and its furniture, fixtures and equipment as required to meet minimum standards for the rental program, as outlined in the rental contract. A required inventory of furnishings and household items will be established for each unit. In the event that household items are lost or damaged, they will be replaced by BLREA as soon as possible so that the unit will remain rentable as much as possible. Any furnishings or household items that need to be replaced with a value over $500 will be replaced only after the owner has approved the replacement cost in writing. A written estimate will be forwarded to the owner, which will need to be signed and returned by either mail or fax before the item is replaced

BLREA will have sole discretion in determining when the contents of a unit have deteriorated to a point where the unit is no longer rentable. In an effort to prevent problems from developing that cannot be resolved on a timely basis, BLREA will conduct a quarterly inspection of each unit and a status report will be forwarded to the owner. This report will flag any deficiencies that have developed or that we feel may be imminent so that steps can be taken to resolve the problem.

How should I furnish my unit so that it will comply with the requirements of the rental program?

A set of furnishing guidelines is included is available upon request. These are only guidelines and we encourage owners to contact us at any time if they have questions or concerns as they go through the furnishing process.

BLREA reserves the right to refuse to enter into a rental management agreement with any property whose furnishings do not meet the minimum standards for the rental program.

The most important points to keep in mind when furnishing your unit is that they will receive more wear and tear than non-rental, second-home use. Commercial-grade, quality bedding, carpeting, appliances and key furniture such as sofas and chairs will last much longer than consumer-grade items in a rental program.

What do I need to have in my unit for household furnishings?

Household furnishings are the items that are used from day to day in the home. They include dishes, glassware, utensils, small appliances, linens, towels and other general household items. Owners participating in the rental management program maybe required to purchase household items and a linens package from BLREA that includes all of the household items and linens required for participation in the rental program.

Replacement of lost, stolen or damaged household items and linens will be the responsibility of BLREA, at owner’s expense in accordance to the rental contract. Every reasonable effort will be made to find a matching replacement; however, we cannot guarantee that we can replace items with an exact match.

What housekeeping services are included in the rental program and who pays for them?

All rental-related housekeeping (defined as standard cleaning of normally-used surface areas and household items including linens and towels.) is paid by BLREA from its portion of the rental income. Each unit will be cleaned and inspected after each rental occupancy. Tenants have the option of requesting a mid-stay light cleaning and towel/linen replacement for an additional fee of $75 per cleaning. A standard cleaning of each unit will be required after any owner or owner guest usage; this cleaning will be billed to the owner at a fee appropriate to the size of your unit, with the minimum fee being $130.50, which would apply to 2-bedroom, two-bathroom units.

Standard consumables including cleaning fluids, soaps, and paper goods will be provided by BLREA at its expense.

BLREA reserves the right to charge an additional fee for cleaning that is deemed excessive.

Trash removal is the responsibility of the guests for items consumed during normal rental usage. Failure to bag and properly dispose of trash in the bear-safe exterior trash cans or removal of unusual trash items such as furniture boxes will result in special fees.

All units in the rental program are required to go through a deep cleaning and maintenance inspection once each year (typically in Spring). The owner of the unit will be charged approximately $400 for each deep cleaning and inspection. This will include a thorough cleaning of all accessible areas of the house including steam cleaning of carpets and upholstery, cleaning of vents and walls. A maintenance status report will also be sent to each owner after the deep cleaning inspection.

What happens if a renter damages my unit?

All rental guests will be required to pay a damage waiver fee and sign a damage agreement. The agreement obligates them to pay for any and all damages that are not accidental in nature. If accidental damages occur while the unit is occupied, BLREA will be responsible for up to $1,000 of costs for repair or replacement of the unit or furnishings and fixtures. BLREA is not responsible for maintenance, repair, or replacement of any personal items of the owner. The owner will be responsible for the cost of damages or repair above $1,000 due to accidental damage by renters, but BLREA will make all reasonable efforts to recover such damage costs from the renters.

Owners who place their unit in the rental program will be required to carry rental insurance to protect themselves and BLREA from any potential losses of a large nature. The owner is responsibility for maintaining the required insurances and a copy, of the current insurance policy will be required annually in order to keep your unit in the rental program. A description of the insurance requirements for rental is included with the rental contract.

Will pets be allowed in my unit?

Owners may bring pets into their own unit but, due to health considerations such as allergies, we must notify renters that pets have been in the unit. This may affect your rental occupancy rates.

At your option, you may designate your unit as “pet-friendly,” allowing rental guests to have pets in your unit during their stay. Rental guests bringing pets will be subject to an additional pet deposit to cover additional costs such as special cleaning. Designating your unit as “pet-friendly” may affect your rental occupancy rates.

Pets must be kept on a leash at all times in areas that are open to the public. Pets will not be allowed inside any public buildings, or in any area that is designated as off-limits to pets.

Having a pet in the unit may also create the need for additional cleaning services after the owner occupancy in order to make the unit rentable. Special cleaning for owner pet stays will be billed to the owner.

Will my unit be non-smoking?

All of our units are currently non-smoking, and we recommend that owners maintain this designation. If you smoke inside your unit and/or are willing to allow smoking in your unit, it will be permanently designated as a smoking unit and renters will be notified of this fact before renting. If your unit is designated as non-smoking, you must refrain from smoking in the unit as renters may be susceptible to allergy attacks or other reactions to the residual smoke and odors in the unit.

While we cannot guarantee that renters will never smoke in any unit, they will be notified that the unit they are renting is a non-smoking unit and that they may face substantial additional cleaning fees or damage claims if they do smoke in a non-smoking unit.

How is Bear Lake Reserve Endorsed Accommodations compensated for its services?

It is the industry standard that the rental management company and the homeowner split the rental revenue as compensation for management services. Our program and the level of services that we will be able to provide are based on a BLREA/homeowner split of the rental revenue based on the net rental revenue. Net revenue is defined as revenue earned after all taxes, resort fees, commissions and discounts have been deducted.

Services provided to owners, owners’ guests and rental guests not considered strictly rental fees are not included in the split; BLREA will retain all revenues for such services. This would include, but is not limited to, food and beverage, catering, retail sales and event or activity fees, pet fees, and service fees.

If you’d like to learn more about being a part of the Bear Lake Reserve Endorsed Accommodations program, please contact us at 828.293.3455 or vacations@bearlakereserve.com.