More Videos:

How to Market Your Vacation Home Without Going Crazy

Also be clear on the duties your agent will perform. Those should include vetting prospective renters, arranging for cleaning and inspection after a renter leaves and sending in a handyman for such things as a plugged drain.

Your deal with the agent should also allow you to seek renters on your own. That will save you on commission costs and spur your agent to beat you to the punch in signing up renters. Many owners advertise on sites such as Vacation Rentals by Owner .

Because prospective renters going to your VRBO site will see your competitors' properties, it would be worthwhile to set up a website of your own on Facebook or a similar service. You can use that when people respond to your flier on the office bulletin board, for instance.

The key is to hustle. If you get a kick out of running a little enterprise, negotiating and keeping track of details, renting out a vacation home can slash your ownership costs.

If the thought of all those chores makes you shudder, maybe owning a second home is not for you.