Common Questions From Prospective Owners

How much experience do you have managing vacation rentals in my area?
Cottage Connection was founded in 1993 by Audrey and Jeff Miller, who lead our company daily! Their daughter Alexis joined the team full-time in 2021 (though she’s worked in the business her whole life!) Combined, the three of them have over 65 years of full-time experience managing vacation rentals in Midcoast Maine, and over 130 years of combined experience in the hospitality and tourism industries in their lifetimes!

What sets you apart from other vacation rental management companies in the area?
We are the oldest and most established company doing solely vacation rentals in our area. As a result, we have decades of local knowledge, market knowledge, and historical data to help us make informed decisions for our homeowners, our guests, and our community. This is important to us because this isn’t just our business – Boothbay is our home! We care about our Midcoast communities because they’re our communities. We care about our homeowners, our guests, our neighbors. We love this amazing place, and we want to help people connect by experiencing its magic. In short, we’re real people, we’re local people, and we care!

How much rental income can I expect to generate based on my property?
When we put a home in our program we research and prepare a comparative set of numbers based on other rental homes in the same area with similar amenities. After we do this, and based on how much time is available we can give you an estimate of how much money we think you can generate.

Is my home a good fit for your rental program?
Every home is different and unique, so the best way to know this is to get in touch with us! In general, we find success with the following characteristics:
Whole, single-family homes
Homes that are on the water with a good water view (especially if they also have water access)
Homes that are in-town and walkable to the local attractions
Homes that are well-maintained inside and out

What kind of guests do you typically attract? 
We are proud to have maintained an 85% repeat guest rate over the last 30+ years! Our typical guests are multi-generational families, adult friend groups, and retired folks. While the groups of people may sound very different, their desire is the same: to relax and enjoy a beautiful Maine vacation!

Do you offer additional services like concierge, housekeeping, or linen cleaning?
We do! Our team includes housekeeping and linens (where applicable) in each guest reservation at no cost to the homeowner. We are also happy to provide homeowners with housekeeping and linen services with advance notice!

How often will I receive reports on bookings, guest reviews, and property condition?
You will be notified each time we make a reservation! For your ease of use, we compile all non-urgent guest feedback into one document for you each season and include any recommendations or follow-up from our team in the same document. We share this digitally, but can also get you a hard copy if you like! When guests leave urgent feedback, we get in touch with you as soon as we have it, so we can come up with a plan and/or remedy together. 

How do you handle marketing and booking, and what fees do you charge me?
Our website is our major marketing tool for your home – over 98% of our traffic and inquiries happen via the website. Our website receives lots of traffic because we have been in business for many years and we have a large group of repeat guests. Guests can book online or over the phone with our team – either way, we make a point to call each inquiry and follow up! In addition, we also utilize email, print, digital, and social media marketing for a mix of more general marketing, and marketing tailored to your home. We also, on occasion, list homes on Online Travel Agencies, but our guests know that booking directly will always be the most efficient and cost-effective way to make a reservation! As for fees, we take a percentage of the rental rate in commission from each reservation.

How do you handle maintenance and repairs during guest stays?
Maintenance and Repairs should be done on change-over days for minimal impact on the guests. For problems while guests are in-house, we assess the situation and will do whatever is necessary to fix the problem involving the homeowners as needed. This ensures prompt action and minimizes inconvenience.

Do you offer guest insurance or damage protection for my property?
We offer the guests trip cancellation insurance and we collect a damage waiver that covers your property for accidental damages caused by the renters up to $500. 

How do you handle guest complaints or issues during their stay?
Our team is available 24/7 during the rental season for guests to reach out to! The vast majority of guest questions are detail-oriented, like questions about parking. Our team is well-equipped to help with all of these and go out to your home if needed to assist the guests. On occasion, we run into issues that may require your help or input, and when we do, we will call you to ask. We try to collect as many details about your home ahead of time to reduce how often we need to call you for such details. When big issues happen (like if the microwave stops working,) we will call you to let you know what’s going on, what our plan is to fix it, and ask any input you have. We also, of course, call you once the issue has been fixed!

What type of maintenance or upkeep might be required before I can rent my property?
The most common changes we request are related to safety and pragmatics: making sure you have enough smoke and CO detectors, fire extinguishers, the grill is in a safe spot, that there are enough garbage bins outside, cleaning up yards, and marking out parking areas. That said, each home is unique, so we’ll be able to give you a more tailored list once we can see your home.

When and how do I receive my rental payments?
We provide monthly statements that will be available electronically through a portal on our website.  You will have your own login to be able to see your statements, and block off or open up availability and tax information.  We do electronic payments via ACH and put the money directly in your designated account.

What can I do to enhance the appeal of my property to potential guests? 
The most important things are safety, scenery, and comfort! What this means is a little different for each home, but generally, your home should be clean and tidy, both inside and outside, your furniture should be comfortable, and you should have safety in mind for things like smoke detectors and proper lighting. Our team will be able to give you more custom ideas when we assess your home!

Can I see examples of similar properties you manage in my area?
You can see all the homes that are currently in our rental program under the “all homes” section of our website, or you can get in touch with our team, and we can send you a list of similar homes with links! We also have an archive of homes from the last 30 years – we are happy to talk about any homes similar to yours from years past!

I want to learn more — who do I contact?
You can give us a call at 207-633-6545, or fill out the contact form below and our team will contact you!