The general web sites do not take into consideration that employee rental housing may be located next to an elite mountain side rental thus skewing the rates. Your local professional will filter out the undesired inventory to focus on your specific criteria.
Some other factors to consider are long term rentals vs vacation rentals, price point, ROI, location [on bus line or adjacent to ski run or water] target demographic. We focus on the high end renters who expect maid service among other services thus protecting your investment and managing your maintenance costs. Check out our web site for more information on the Vail and Beaver Creek Resort area http://www.kingrealty.com
We should meet I live in Vail as well. My favorites are Indianapolis, IN, Kansas City, MO, Memphis and Birmingham AL. Mind you these are for cash flow, not necessarily appreciation, and you will get it. Our favorite is Indianapolis, and we buy and sell homes every month for investors. Mostly turn key homes, rehabbed, rented, and managed sold for under 75K. Excellent cash flow, and great returns. Check out http://www.ezkeyre.com, if you get the chance.
As you are well aware, this is an ideal time to invest in real estate. I would recommend college towns in Northern Colorado including Boulder (CU http://www.colorado.edu/ ), Fort Collins (CSU http://www.colostate.edu/ ) and Greeley (UNC http://www.unco.edu/ ). I help investors analyze their return on investment and also manage rental properties in the Northern Colorado area. Currently there is a very high demand for rental housing and college towns tend to retain their value over time. Follow this link for more information on the area: http://www.takemehomerealestate.com/local_info.html
I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you if Northern Colorado is a potential area of interest for your investments.
Lori Jarrett, Broker/Owner
Take Me Home Real Estate, LLC
Parts of Lakewood and Golden because of the expansion of the Light Rail to the West.
I work with investors and am happy to assist.