OBX Connection Home > OBX Connection Forum > Curious about other agencies' check in times
Curious about other agencies' check in times

By: Memster1
7/14/2019 9:01 PM

Hatteras Realty is 4-6 pm. We arrive around 2pm, let them know we are on the island. Most times than not we are in the house within the hour. We unpack and are on the beach before 4!


By: ultrahog99
7/15/2019 1:35 AM

Seems to me I read in the lease agreement (but can't find it now) that guest are renting by the night, not the day, so keeping folks out of the house until 6 p.m. seems legit to me.
I do know that earlier this year Midgett texted me around 11:30 a.m. to inform me my house was ready, so I appreciate their effort to get guest in asap.

Like +1QuoteFlag

By: Crunch
7/15/2019 2:19 AM

Wow, 6 PM is awfully late! Last year, check in for us was 3 PM, check-out 11 AM. This year, check in is 4 PM, check-out 11 AM. This is both hotel and private rental.


By: chief5130
7/15/2019 6:19 AM

Sun Realty did not get us in until Six. We were under the impression check in would be four. Four is very acceptable. Six is not. Maybe they need to hire more people to get the job done.


I do not know, but I would guess that the latter check in times could be because they cannot get enough people to do this work to the standard people expect. The expectations are very high and the time is very short to turn all of the homes.

Maybe a new business model could be to have the renter clean the homes to the level they expect when they arrive and before they leave. You would be able to get in sooner and save a few bucks too.

Like +1QuoteFlag

By: rja3280
7/15/2019 7:23 AM

Midgett doesn't guarantee check-in until 6:00 during peak season and 5:30 during the off-season.

We've been lucky enough to get in as early as 2:00 but 4:00/5:00 seems to be the norm.

Like +1QuoteFlag

By: OBX_Kool
7/15/2019 7:53 AM

This year will be my first time going with Outer Banks Blue. Their website says "access to your property is between 4-6PM. I'm OK with 4PM, but I think 6PM is bordering on rediculous. I've had pretty good luck over 20+ yrs with various agencies, mostly Sun and Joe Lamb. 4PM or earlier has been the norm. I don't care about checkout time too much. I'm usually rolling by 7-8am nayway.

I paid for early check-in once. I think it's a scam. $150-200 for a few hours isn't worth it to me. Maybe on a GIGANTIC rental where that is only a small fraction of the per night cost.


By: jdj1991
7/15/2019 8:48 AM

Yeah I gotta agree - I'm not crazy about the 6:00pm check in either. We've been with Surf or Sound the last couple of times and they say their app will notify you and it did not either of those times. But they do encourage you to call and check (yeah I was surprised by that too - but they do) and when I made contact the home was ready between 5:30 and 6:00.

We're not fans of the later check in and will actively seek out companies that have the 4:00 check in going forward....Joe Lamb I'm on my way in 75 days!!!!! Booked, paid and ready to get my vacation ON.


By: vickytown
7/15/2019 8:58 AM

Over the years we've used Twiddy, Carolina Designs and Southern Shores. The check-in time has always been 4:00 p.m. and the check out 10:00 a.m. Several times our house has been ready before 4:00 pm but in the last several years, it has been 4:00. We've only paid for early check-in one time and decided it was not really worth it as long as we could get in the house by 4:00. I think if the rental companies change to 6:00 we might reconsider the early check-in fee. I believe, at least with Carolina Designs, not all houses are available for the early check-in.


By: lowcountry
7/15/2019 9:19 AM

I actually have cleaned a bit (especially in homes that allow dogs- swiffer up long hair that gets missed under tables, etc.) after we check in. So it wouldn't bother me one bit to be allowed in earlier if I was willing to do that. I guess there is too much "grey area" in terms of what would be considered "light cleaning" in order to have this happen, though. It would be a good marketing tool I would think for the agencies that can guarantee a 4pm or earlier check in to promote. These vacations- especially in the summer- cost so much. You want your customers to feel they are getting the most time they can at these properties, not make it harder for them to do so.


By: Shari V
7/15/2019 10:22 AM

We used Outer Beaches this year. Check in time was posted as 5, but they texted us at 2 or 3 (I can't remember now) and told us the house was ready and gave the keyless entry code.


By: lowcountry
7/15/2019 10:52 AM

Now I am not sure what to do...Do we chance it and get there early and hope for a text? Or time it to come in just shy of 6? I called this morning- more out of curiosity than intention- to see how much the "Advanced Schedule Upgrade" (such a fancy name) would be and what it would entail. $150 + tax and you could check in at 1:30. But, they are full for Saturday and even if a renter wanted to upgrade, it is too late. She took our cell and said they would text whenever it was released and they would do their best to try to have that happen before 6. I'll have to think on this one...


By: Mstaszew
7/15/2019 11:03 AM

Well if things don't work out for altering your check-in time there are definitely options for you guys (including the dog) to do to kill time and still use part of the day. There's always a beach walk. There's also a nice gravel/dirt road behind Bodie Island lighthouse that goes to the sound, our dogs have always loved that area. It's a good leg stretcher, ~1/2-3/4 mile round trip I'd guess. If you have any kids there's a little bridge over a creek on the walk where you can pause looking for fish and what not. Plus the wooden walkway up to the lookout tower by the lighthouse and a large grassy area all around it. It's a nice place to spend an hour and check the lighthouse off your list.


By: rja3280
7/15/2019 11:48 AM

Now I am not sure what to do...Do we chance it and get there early and hope for a text? Or time it to come in just shy of 6? I called this morning- more out of curiosity than intention- to see how much the "Advanced Schedule Upgrade" (such a fancy name) would be and what it would entail. $150 + tax and you could check in at 1:30. But, they are full for Saturday and even if a renter wanted to upgrade, it is too late. She took our cell and said they would text whenever it was released and they would do their best to try to have that happen before 6. I'll have to think on this one...


When we started traveling with the dogs, the rule became to check the weather the day before. It's a lot harder to come up with ways to kill time with pups if it's really hot or raining. We prefer night driving and getting in late morning but one September it was soooooo hot that we basically ended up driving around until check-in. We just couldn't have them out walking on the sand or pavement and of course that was probably our latest check-in year. Go figure!!

Like +1QuoteFlag

By: jefm
7/15/2019 1:19 PM

Seems funny that agency's offer early check in at a additional fee & than change the check in time to 6 when 4 used to be standard. Seems like just one more way for them to get extra money. They just won't be getting mine. While I love my OBX vacations, I have discovered a lot of great other places in the US where I don't feel my weekly rental vs value is so high.

Like +4QuoteFlag

By: lowcountry
7/15/2019 1:31 PM

If that is their hope, then mission accomplished, (at least for this Saturday's check in date), because they are not even able to take any more reservations for their upgrade ($150 + tax) to guarantee a 1:30 check in time.


By: judyk
7/15/2019 1:53 PM

Perhaps the homeowner doesn’t permit early check in (some don’t) or maybe previous week guests have late check out...it could be any # of things. Things you will probably never discover. If it’s a really big home, cleaning could take more time that a smaller home. I do agree that there may not be enough cleaners to handle the seasonal cleanings. It’s a lot to accomplish in a short time period. But then, there are also less than enough housing facilities for cleaning staff on island that are reasonable, which may contribute to the lack of staff.
Just stop thinking about it. Maybe you’ll get lucky and home will be ready when you arrive.
For your doggy, and family, some restaurants that have outside seating allow dogs. IIRC, Good Winds in Rodanthe does,and even bringsa waterbowl for pooch. Then you don’t even have to prepare a meal that night.
I most sincerely hope you have a wonderful vacation.


By: lowcountry
7/15/2019 3:11 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions and thoughts! We will be fine regardless - I have learned not to sweat the small stuff as I get older- it's just when I saw the way the email was worded, like the keypad would not work until 6 pm on the day of check in, and I know it is the same house we checked in last year at 3:00- it just threw me. judy I agree we may not definitively know the ins and outs of why this is different this year, but I would agree with you also that they are most likely short staffed (the economy has made custodial type jobs very hard to fill. I know this bc I am from a school system that has seen the same difficulties in getting buildings cleaned on time and adequately) It is hard as it is to turn over all these houses even with a sufficient staff. I just think in a perfect beach lovers world, the company would pay enough to attract a large platoon of housekeeping staff and not put the onus on the families renting by asking them to pay more to get their houses cleaned for an acceptable check in time.

Thinking glass half full here, it is a small house and they will hopefully knock it out quickly smiley Regardless of the time, we can't wait to get there! Thanks for your well wishes everyone!

Like +1QuoteFlag

By: J4yDubs
7/15/2019 3:53 PM

The 6 pm check in must be something new. In all my years of Outer Banks vacations I've never had a check in later than 4 pm (and most of the time get in before then). I understand why (increased housing and workforce shortage), but I'm betting if the house cleaning pay was better they would attract more people. It seems like an essential job and should have good pay...

In any case, 6 pm, nope. I'll look elsewhere. I'm sure someone will figure out how to do it before 4 pm. The last house we rented was sold right before we got to the house. The new owners were great and switched from Midgett to Shore Details. I've never had an issue with Midgett, but 6 pm will be an issue. Shore Details has been added to the list, but I don't know their check in time yet.


Like +1QuoteFlag

By: Red an
7/15/2019 7:59 PM

I for one would not consider an OBX rental property with a check in later than 4pm.


7/16/2019 12:54 PM

A note about the early check-in and fee for that. As an owner, I never see a penny of that and never know if renters have opted for early check-in. That is 100% profit for the PMs.

6 pm seems late to me. I think our PM's check-in time is 4 pm. But given our schedule is Sunday-Sunday, the house is usually ready before 4 pm. I would prefer that PM's have a service that notifies renters when the house is ready for them and with the assigned code (assuming you have a door with a code lock system) unlocks the door at that time.

Like +2QuoteFlag

By: Dhart
7/16/2019 1:14 PM

lowcountry, I wish you the best of luck on this trip! Move forward the next day enjoying what you came for!

When planning your next trip, remember there are other options as to finding a place to stay. You do not have to go through that 6:00 PM cattle shoot.


By: mzdab3000
7/17/2019 1:51 PM

A 6:00 PM check in is simply too late. That isn't feasible for a family that has young kids, or senior travelers that should be able to get in and rest after a long day of travel. I am all for the automated Code activated locks - no fumbling trying to share the limited number of keys between several different adult parties who all want to go in different directions.

But forcing your entire rental client crowd - possibly a hundred houses from just one PMA- to await an automated single time activation is not customer friendly. These are run on a software application that transmits to the lock. No reason, one person at the agency can't log in and transmit the activation code as each house is cleared.


By: Aliphatic
7/17/2019 2:12 PM

I didn't sleep well last night, so I'm a little tired and cranky today so take this with a grain of salt.

It's kind of horse crap that Hatteras PMs can't accommodate an earlier check-in time than 6 pm. Check out these fees for my upcoming Frisco vacation in September.

575$ just in PM fees for 2 dogs and an early check-in. Add in taxes and trip insurance and the figure jumps to 1320$

Base rent for the house only accounts for 70% of the total bill.


By: Aliphatic
7/17/2019 2:18 PM

Oh and I'm pretty sure that the "credit card fee" is against the ToS for their merchant agreement with Visa and Mastercard. Pretty sure as a merchant you aren't allowed to add on fees for using a credit card to pay. You can offer a discount for cash/ACH transfers, but can't charge more for using a CC.

Pretty sure Visa/MC have a hotline for tips regarding this. I think they even offer a reward if they catch a merchant doing this and you tipped them off.

Like +1QuoteFlag

By: judyk
7/17/2019 2:24 PM

I’m not fond of the CC fee, either. It’s the cost of doing business, but I’m especially surprised that a CC fee can be taxed. What?

Like +1QuoteFlag