Image of a man reading a bill - referring to automated bill payments.

Speaking of Automated Payments…

Recently we had one of our long-time owners travel out of the country on what I am sure was a wonderful vacation in the Mediterranean. I get jealous thinking about it. However, some of us must remain behind and work. While away, the electricity for this owner’s South Padre Island property was shut off (a result of an oversight while out of country), which created quite an issue for us, particularly with the Guests that were staying in this owner’s property. Our recommendation... ALWAYS consider automated payments for your vacation rental property utilities.

Automate Your Utilities

This issue has occurred several times in the last few months which is why we are bringing it up now. You can probably imagine being a Guest in a vacation home on South Padre Island, a trip that you planned and waited for, only to be interrupted by the inability to simply turn on a light. You worry about food in the refrigerator, the weather is hot, but not being literally in the dark… well, you understand.

When such an instance occurs during a busy season, as we are in now with lots of Winter Texans in-house, we have very few, if any, like-properties we can move Guests into. Moving Guests to hotels must be considered, with charges coming out of rents paid.

While many people still like the control they feel by writing checks every month, we urge you to consider automated payment systems that all utility companies offer. There used to be a time when we could call up utilities companies when owners forgot to make payments, pay the bill and then deduct the amount from future rents. That option is just not there for us with so many different service providers and strict privacy rules.

If you have not done so, please consider automating your utility payments, so when you are on that 3-week Mediterranean Cruise you aren’t rudely interrupted by the Captain on the ships loud speaker saying “Mr Goodman, please contact the ship’s purser immediately, your electricity bill needs to be paid at your South Padre Island vacation home!”


Tom Goodman