Managing an investment property or vacation rental can feel overwhelming, and hiring a rental property manager or company can relieve stress.

A rental property manager takes some pressure off the owner to focus more on their investments and less on their guest’s vacation. Managing a tiny home or traditional vacation rental has many moving parts; hiring a property manager can keep those parts from moving away from you.

Here’s everything to know about hiring a Property Manager for your Vacation Rental.

What Does A Vacation Property Manager Do?

There is a wide variety of tasks that a vacation rental property manager can tackle. Property managers typically manage items, such as bookings, determining rates, marketing, scheduling cleaning for the home, handling maintenance and repairs, and more. The manager can be involved as much or as little as an owner wants.

Market Your Vacation Rental Property

A property manager should be well versed in marketing and know what renters look for in a vacation location. They should also be knowledgeable about major vacation rental websites such as VBRO and Airbnb.

To market a vacation rental property, it is vital to have a well-written description of the home, calling out any exceptional amenities and what is nearby, plus clear photos of the rental space.

Pricing Your Vacation Rental Property

Prices generally fluctuate throughout different seasons for vacation rentals. Finding a property manager that understands the ebb and flow of pricing will create the best benefits for property investors.

There will be peak seasons when renters are willing to pay more to visit the area, but it’s essential to know when the slow months are so the nightly rate can be lowered to stay competitive with other rentals on the market.

Note: Some host share sites like Airbnb or VRBO will calculate your rental rates.

Manage The Calendar For Your Vacation Property

To keep the vacation property from being double booked, having someone keep an eye on the booking calendar and blocking out dates is a must. One thing no business owner wants is bad reviews on their site due to a last-minute cancellation.

Since one property is often posted on multiple channels, it’s essential to keep a comprehensive list of bookings; making sure that the calendars are in sync is something that a property manager will typically do.

Handle Communication

Communication is huge in the vacation rental space. Not only will potential renters have questions about the property, but they also need to know how to access the property upon arrival and a contact in case of emergencies.

Potential guests want to book and expect a punctual response. If they have a question and don’t get a timely answer, they’ll likely move on to another property without a second thought. A property manager who communicates with those interested can make a difference in getting a 5-star review.

Coordinate Third Party Vendors

A property management company will be the middle person between the property owner and all the tasks needed to keep the rental in tip-top shape.

They will coordinate with cleaners to ensure the property is pristine before guests arrive. Property managers also work with maintenance companies to keep regular maintenance on track, ranging from changing light bulbs to landscaping.

Industry Knowledge

When looking for a property manager, an interview is important to ensure they have industry knowledge.

A good property manager knows what to look for and how to keep the pulse on the rental business. They can suggest changes to the property to make it more desirable to renters, what the pricing should look like between seasons, and have tips on photos or amenities to make the property stand out.

A property manager’s primary focus should always be to make the vacation rental successful.

What to Look for in a Property Management Company

We recommend interviewing multiple property management companies to ensure you find a great partnership. Leaving the investment in someone else’s hands initially feels stressful, especially for those who like to do everything themselves.

Proven Performance

An effective property manager should be able to show their experience and talk about the successes they’ve had in the industry. They should be local experts, familiar with the neighborhood’s rental market.

  • When are the peak seasons, and when is the slow season?
  • What are the laws and regulations specific to the area?
  • What do renters look for/what are competitors offering?
  • What are the going rates for similar vacation rentals in the area?

Evaluate Fees and Contract Terms

Property management fees can range from 15% to 40%, depending on the services offered and area of operation. Always make sure to do your research or consult with a lawyer to make sure that you’re satisfied with the contract.

Compare Management Services and Value

Renters want to know what they are getting when they book. They will keep looking if the information isn’t clear or the photos aren’t professional. Investing in photography, marketing, a well-written description for the listing, and hiring third-party management for cleaning and maintenance can significantly impact a vacation property’s success.

User-Friendly Booking Services

Vacation renters want to be able to find information quickly. Calendars that display available dates and rates created are essential.

Picture the renter scrolling on their Airbnb or VBRO app looking for a place to stay. They find a desirable location but have a question about something. The renter will send a question and then likely continue searching while they wait for an answer. How likely are they to find another property in that amount of time?

Punctual replies can make or break a booking. 

Consistent Property Updates

The vacation property management company is the second set of eyes directly overseeing your investment. It’s vital to ensure they are trustworthy and transparent in their responsibilities.

Some questions to ask about property updates:

  1. How will you be notified if something is broken?
  2. What information will you be kept in the loop about?
  3. How do they keep an inventory of items in the house – dishes, towels, bedding, etc.?
  4. How do they handle big emergencies like broken pipes?
  5. Will they do routine inspections?

Reference Contacts from Previous and Current Clients

Just as a property owner would get referrals about renters if they were managing the property themselves, it’s a good idea to contact past or current clients of the property management company.

ROI of a Vacation Rental Property

The average rental income varies by location and size of home. A one-bedroom vacation rental earns about $38,490 a year, while a three-bedroom brings in approximately $98,688.

Hiring a vacation property management company is worth it to create a seamless business for an investor. Outsourcing things like marketing, booking, maintenance, repairs, cleaning services, and more will remove the stress from the property owner.

See also: Tiny Home Rental ROI.

Taking the First Step

At Turn Key Fabrication, our passion is helping you build the tiny house of your dreams. Reach out to us today to get started!