"Although there are few statistics on the national vacation-home rental market, property managers and online listings companies say that more second-home owners are trying to rent out their properties at least part-time, a trend no doubt propelled by the Internet as well as the gloomy economy.
At the same time, prospective renters, feeling the financial pinch themselves, are more likely to haggle over prices, book shorter stays (often at the last minute) and opt for destinations within driving distance. And with more properties to choose from, they can afford to be picky about amenities and discounts.
That is translating into more pressure on homeowners to spruce up and market their properties.
'If I want to be fully booked, I have to offer more features that renters can't find elsewhere,' said Victor Nawrocki, who owns a home near Orlando that he furnished with Tempur-Pedic mattresses and Disney décor."