Welcome to the Outer Banks Monthly

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Welcome to the December 2009 edition of the Outer Banks Monthly. Expect the same format as last month. There are a couple of highlights in this month's edition. This month, we had a Rental Company Roundtable. Here first hand what they think of the prospects of the Summer 2010 season. This is a must read for vacationers and homeowners alike.

Outer Banks Revealed is equally excited to announce that Judith Bailey, an artist who lives on the Outer Banks, has agreed to write a little about the history of the Outer Banks and let all of us non-locals know about some of the "Hidden Gems" of OBX. Her first two installments, the first about the Jockey's Ridge you may not know, and the second about a Manteo Christmas. Judith will be supplying us a story every month. Check out her art on the OBX Hidden Gems page.

So, with that, sit back and enjoy, and as always, if you have ideas for future stories, drop us an e-mail at Outer_Banks_Monthly@outer-banks-revealed.com or use our Contact Us page.

Rental Company Roundtable

As 2009 comes to a close, we all know that it has been a very tough year for everyone, whether it be with our employment, our financial security, or how you might want to measure it, no one escaped being impacted on some level. This was certainly true of the vacation market on the Outer Banks.

So, as 2010 approaches, and the booking of vacations on the Outer Banks underway as we enter the Holiday Season, I thought it would be interesting to have a couple of experts in the Outer Banks Rental Market take a look back at 2009 and give us an idea what to expect with 2010. And so, Outer Banks Revealed approached several rental companies about participating in the first of what is hoped to become an annual event: The Outer Banks Rental Company Roundtable. For anyone either planning to vacation or owns a rental house on the Outer Banks, we believe you will find this report extremely useful.

We would like to thank Scott Leggat of Outer Beaches Realty, Sara Kristof of Paramount Destinations, and Adam Norko of Seaside Vacations for sharing their thoughts and plans for 2010.

Outer Banks Survey Update

This month, the focus will be on some of the early returns of the newer surveys on the Outer Banks Revealed Survey Page Thanks to all of those who have participated!

In some very early returns, half of those who responded to the question of "How do you find your OBX vacation house?" report that they find it on the Internet. This is not a new trend, but certainly has become much more prevalent. As a matter of fact, as more people turn to the Internet, some of the rental companies in the Outer Banks have begun eliminating their annual brochure. The rental brochure was, just a few years back, the mainstay for finding the perfect OBX house. The Internet, however, appears to have supplanted it.

Another one of the new surveys looks to find out when people typically book their summer rental. Again, in early returns, it appears the January-February time period is the most popular. Most people, having spent the Holidays with family and friends, do spend a portion of that time deciding where to vacation. It would make sense, then, that January and February would be when they would book the house.

Follow the Outer Banks Revealed Survey Page link to cast your vote. Won’t take more than five minutes and we greatly appreciate your participation!

Outer Banks Homeowners

If you had your Outer Banks vacation home for any length of time, you know that the big summer rental season is underway. With people getting together for the holidays, decisions are being made not only where they want to go, but which house they should choose. Did you get all of the bookings you had hoped to during 2009? Are you willing to leave this to chance with your rental company again this year? Don’t forget that your house is just one of how many houses in their program? It may be time to take over this responsibility.

It is quite easy to do, and less painful than you might think. We have had our house listed on several of the listing sites for several years now, and we are always near the top of the program for our Rental Companies’ programs. Follow this link to several options. Ignore the house swapping ad for now and go just below it. All will send you targeted e-mails or phone calls interested in renting your home. How many rentals will it take to offset that annual fee of $199 - $399 (depending on which program you join)? We have and we never regretted it. Further, because you are getting your own rentals (in addition to the ones the Rental Company sends you) you now have leverage next June/July when the Rental Company wants to renegotiate your current contract. What is a 1% reduction in the commission fee worth to you? I am sure it is a lot more than the $199 - $399 the list sites charge.

Be proactive in making 2010 a more profitable year for your rental house and you!

Outer Banks Gifts

Ok, so this is an unabashed plug for the Outer Banks Gifts page. But heck, Christmas is still a few weeks away, and what OBX lover wouldn't want something with "OBX" or "Outer Banks" emblazoned on it? ... commercial over.

What’s New in Outer Banks Revealed?

Outer Banks Revealed continued expanding in new and exciting ways this past month. Below is an outline of those changes. Come on by and check them out for yourself and let us know your thoughts by sending us an e-mail. If you have questions or would like to see other things on the site, feel free to include that in your e-mail. Here's what was added last month:

OBX Hidden Gems: Join Judith Bailey, and artist on the Outer Banks, as she shares with all of us some of the "Hidden Gems" of the Outer Banks. These are some of the places you may not normally think about visiting, but add to the richness and history of the Outer Banks experience. In addition, check out some of Judith’s fine works of art!

The Backside of Jockey’s Ridge State Park: Ok, so we all know about the giant sand dune, spectacular views and great kite flying and hang gliding on the top of Jockey’s Ridge, but what about the trails on the Soundside? Come and find out what makes this a "Hidden Gem".

A Manteo Christmas: The Hidden Gem of Fort Raleigh: The second in the series, and just in time for Christmas. Find out about the Fort Raleigh Holiday events.

2010 Rental Company Roundtable: An Outer Banks Revealed Exclusive. Rental Company Executives reflect on the 2009 season and what you should expect for the Summer of 2010, including booking trends and rental company programs. Whether you are a vacationer or Outer Banks home owner, you'll want to read this study.

Send an OBX Post Card: As winter sets in, why not remind your family and friends of those warm summer days on the Outer Banks. Send an e-post card! It's sure to put a smile on their face.

Outer Banks Photography: Knowing that the nine pictures supplied on the post card page would never be enough, here you will find some additional choices from the pages of Outer Banks Revealed

Calendar of Events: If you're spending part of the Holiday Season on the Outer Banks (like us!!), you will want to know what Holiday Events are happening. The December calendar has been freshly updated.

Shopper's Discounts: Didn't know what to do with all of these great discounts filling up my inbox on a daily basis, so I decided to pass them along to you. Take advantage during the Holiday Season!

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