Roelens News

Five Steps to Give Your Rental Property a Competitive Edge

Investing in real estate to help grow your income can be a thrilling venture. However, you need to be smart and research what you need to do to attract the best clientele — and keep them coming back! Before you dive into the rental market, here are some ideas to consider.

Research Your Market

It may seem simple to start researching, but it goes beyond pricing. After all, you must also factor in size, amenities, and what your location offers. The nearer it is to transportation links, active businesses, and safe walkable spaces, the higher the likelihood that you can charge a better rate. However, if you’re near to vacant properties, closed businesses, or don’t have easy walkability, then you may be less likely to rent at a price you’d prefer. Of course, once you get going and see how many applicants are interested, you can adjust the price as necessary.

Stand Out

Very rarely is a property ready to go from the moment it is purchased. In fact, you may need to put in a bit of work to make it viable and stand out from the competition. Take, for example, the first impressions that come with curb appeal. How does it look on the outside as compared to surrounding properties? Even if it blends in, that isn’t enough, as you want it to inspire and be pleasing to the eye. Don’t ignore the inside either, as it should be in excellent condition, from being dust-free to having freshly painted walls. By giving your property some proper TLC, you also give yourself time to stage it so that you can wow from the get-go. To further sweeten your offer, consider including a reputable security system. Not only is your property protected, but your renters will also feel safer in their new home.

Make Payments Easy

To keep things easy for potential tenants, as well as for yourself, try to simplify rent payments. Although you can still accept cash, checks, and credit cards, going online will streamline the process for a tenant, giving you both a little peace of mind.

Gadgets and Tech

By investing in technology, you’ll not only make your property attractive, but give yourself the means to keep an eye on things from a distance. For instance, a smart lock can ensure no one makes duplicate copies of a key, offering you an extra layer of security as you go between tenants. Likewise, a smart thermostat allows you to ensure energy is saved, but might also draw in renters. You can even get a smart leak detector to prevent water damage from spiraling into the thousands. Most of these devices aren’t expensive, and can serve you well in the long term.

Beautify It

Making your home look beautiful goes beyond staging the furniture and gets into the small details of hardware and wall color. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that bold colors will appeal to young or business-minded people, and stick to neutrals when possible. As you choose your shades, stick to a paint that’s easy to clean to ensure your walls stay spotless, especially between renters. Next, consider what hardware, including door knobs and drawer handles, you put in throughout the property. Even if you don’t opt for expensive options, you must, at the least, have them match the furniture, cabinets, and doors they are attached to.

Turning your rental into a steady stream of income is no quick venture. It may take a little work to get your property competitive, but the right tenants will make it worth the effort. Do your research, and be sure that your house looks as attractive as possible.

Content courtesy of Suzie Wilson

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Guests Always Want to Know Where to Get Fresh Fish in Cape Coral, FL

After conversing with guests for the past several years one of the top questions we are asked is “Where can we get the best Seafood?” Now since this is Florida, there are many great, great locations to recommend. There is always, however, one that stands a bit ahead of the rest. This has to do with the freshness of the fish, the atmosphere of the location, and the fact that the family owners are also the fishermen. I always like to send people to fun and funky places while they are visiting here in Southwest Florida. Everyone should take a trip out to St. James City, Bokeelia – Museum of the Islands or Pineland while they are here. If visiting Pineland do not forget to make the Randell Research Center a stop on the way. Learn a bit of history of South Florida and the native Calusa Tribe. To make your way to these interesting locations you will pass through Matlacha (prounounced Mat-luh-shay).

This colorful slice of turn of the century Florida fishing village will delight you with it’s bohemian charm. Colors galore, hole-in-the wall art galleries and eateries offering a laid back style is a field trip everyone should take. I often take the motorcycle on a sunny Sunday morning and drive through the island bridge, Matlacha out to Bokeelia and back again. It is a ride that feeds my soul!

So now on to seafood question. It will be hard to choose, but while you are in Matlacha you will need to get a bite to eat and just as everyone has asked about the best seafood…Matlacha is one place you will find it. My recommendation is to visit Island Seafood Market & Cafe. This place is owned and operated by locals, who also catch their own fresh fish. You can order and take home or eat in the boutique cafe. In addition, to the fresh fish and seafood they also sell specialty sauces, dips and spices. Do you love smoked fish? They have that cooking out back as well. It doesn’t get any fresher than right off the boat delivered to the table Florida Fresh snapper, grouper, shrimp and more. Do you love to cook and learn new recipes? Be sure to check out their cooking classes held January – April. There is my answer where to get the fresh-est best-est seafood and fish while visiting Cape Coral, FL.

      Enjoy and bon apetit!

Smart Home Technology is it Right for Your Asset?

How to Choose Wisely When Deciding on Smart Home Technology


Are you thinking it’s time to invest in technology for your home, but you’re not sure about the ramifications? One of the biggest concerns for many homeowners is the impact their decisions could make when it’s time to sell. Here’s the relevant information you need so you can factor smart home technology into your market-smart decisions.


Integration and communication


There is a wide range of smart home devices out there for homeowners to consider. As such, there are several things you should investigate when making your choices, especially if you plan to integrate your equipment into one system. In that case, your final choices need to be compatible so devices can “talk” to each other. You might want to link them all to a single hub or to a voice-operated assistant like Siri or Alexa. Another suggestion is to use IFTTT (If This, Then That). In this case, you set circumstances through an app or website for your devices to essentially domino each other, which is called a “recipe.” For example, you might set up your thermostat to turn off your lights when you aren’t home.


Your best bet for installation of your gadgets is to hire the work so you know it’s done correctly.  For a professional electrician to install electrical outlets, fixtures, or switches in Cape Coral, Florida, you can expect to pay between $161 – $737.


Here are some popular smart home devices to consider:


  • Thermostat. Smart thermostats are popular choices since they can potentially save you a bundle on your utilities, and at the same time, they offer ample convenience. These gadgets “learn” your behavior and make adjustments based on your routine and habits.


  • Smoke detector. Smart smoke detectors are particularly handy for homeowners who work outside the home or travel a lot since they can alert you to trouble when you’re away. And as Smore points out, these devices offer a light alert when there is a problem, which is handy if you or someone in your household is hearing impaired.  It’s a terrific option in all ways for improving peace of mind.


  • Outlets and switches. Smart outlets and switches are popular for homeowners since virtually anything electric can be controlled through them. Whatever you plug into them can be manipulated from your phone, tablet or computer.


  • Security systems. There is a little of everything when it comes to smart home security, from locks, doorbells, and cameras to various options that involve some of each. You can choose cameras that will tell you when people come to your door, then record what they look like and say. Or, choose locks with special codes which expire, so when you have a short-term house guest or repairman, that person can have their own code, and it can only be used for as long as you dictate.


Fun and Functional


How do you decide what smart home devices are best for your home and lifestyle? One of the biggest driving forces for many people is the convenience factor. For instance, if you end up working later than expected or run extra errands on your way home, you can use your phone to tell your lights to turn on so you don’t come home to a dark house. Energy efficiency is another big player. Studies cited by Electronic House indicate as much as a 25 percent energy savings from installing smart devices and systems, so it’s a worthwhile consideration.


Listing Your Smart Home


When it comes time to sell your house, plan to create a list of the items which are in place, and contact tech support regarding the transition. Automation may or may not help sell your home, but either way, you will want to ensure both your and the buyer’s security when the sale is complete. As far as which options are most likely to help your home sell, thinking in terms of popularity, ease of use, and convenience.


Adding automation to your home can feel complicated, but with a little research, you can make wise decisions. Ensure you choose gadgetry you’ll enjoy using, and chances are other people will appreciate those items as well. Your selections could pay off in the long run!





WOW …. We just Turned 100!

Roelens Vacations Staff celebrate their 100th Google Review! Thank you for all those who support us!

So we had a goal a few months back…how to make our guest experience so fantastic they want to review us with 5 stars. Getting good reviews as you can imagine is a lot more difficult than getting a bad one. But in just a few months we went from about 12 Google Reviews to 100. Our 100th review came in Friday afternoon. How did we do it? Offering great customer service! Because at the end of the day even when things happen…and yes my friend, things happen. It all comes down to how you handle it and how you respond to it. It is something we strive with each guest or owner we serve. We teach our staff about servant leadership and how that translates to exceptional customer service. We lead our customers to an exceptional customer experience. All of our staff know how to ask…”What can I do for you today? So thank you to the 100 happy guests who thought so much of us they wanted to tell the world. We appreciate every single word! Cheers! Here is to the next 100!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials!

Book your next 7-night stay to arrive in May, September or October 2019 and receive 25% off your rental rates. This special is available for reservations being booked on Black Friday or Cyber Monday! Some black-out dates and some property restrictions apply. Coupon will auto-apply to a qualified period.

Ribbon Cutting Event Was a Success!

In spite of our usual afternoon deluge of rain and a few thunderboomers, our Open House and Ribbon Cutting Event went as smooth as can be expected. We are so grateful for everyone who came out to say hello, tour our new office, and enjoy the food, drink, and fun. The photobooth was a huge hit, the food was delicious, and we were so pleased to meet so many new friends.

Cape Coral Florida – Local business Roelens Vacations is pleased to Announce It’s Open House Event for the ribbon cutting of its new office location on September 27, 2018.
This Ribbon Cutting and Open House event will be from 4 pm – 7 pm.
Free to the public, come to view our new office location. We will have food, drinks, entertainment and several prizes, drawn during the event. The Grand Prize is a cruise for 2 to the Bahamas. Additional prizes include  Flat Screen TV, An Alexa, A Tablet, and Restaurant Gift Certificates.

Graciously many of our property owners came by to support us, offer a testimonial or two, and have a nice chat with our vendors, vacation home guests who were in town, and our network of Realtor Partners. We gave away many great prizes: Restaurant Gift Certificates, An Alexa, A Kindle Fire, A Flat-Screen TV,

Roelens Vacations Staff – Had a Blast in the Picture Booth.

and the Grand Prize – A Cruise for 2 to the Bahamas! Congrats to all the winners!

We truly thank all who took part in the planning and execution of this event. It was quite a production and without our vendor partners who are helping to spread the word of what Roelens Vacations is all about, we truly would not have had such a grand time as we did. So Again THANK YOU to all for your Support…very much appreciated!


Koen Roelens, Andrea Erhard, Cathy Fernandez, Tracy Pattison, and Charly Jones

Roelens Vacations Staff.


Local Eats

When its time to wind down, stop by for pint at any of the local brew pubs. The area boast 16 microbrews with a variety of beers to satisfy even the pickiest of tastes. Most breweries have outdoor patios so make sure you bring a jacket if you tend to get a little chilly. From there, pick a cuisine…any cuisine! The local area has just about every variety of food from Chinese and Thai to American and Seafood. Checkout our list of restaurants or grab our rental app to have everything at your fingertips.