One way to earn additional income is to rent out an extra property. Hiring a property management company is an effective way to find the ideal tenant and assist you with this process. Not everyone has a second property to rent out. So if you are fortunate enough to have this advantage, make sure you maximize your potential by hiring a firm that has expertise and experience with vacation rental property management. Be wary of any company that promises a lot but delivers very little since that can end up wasting a lot of your money and time.
You might be wondering if you really need to hire a property management company. Some property owners manage their own rentals and find tenants. However, this can take up a great deal of your valuable time. You need to have marketing materials created for your property and also promote it. You need to write a listing that is compelling. You need to answer inquiries and field questions. You need to screen prospective tenants and also meet with people who are interested in renting your property. After a tenant leaves, you need to follow up with them and ask for a review. When it comes to the property, you need to maintain and clean it so it is pristine for your next tenant.
If this all sounds overwhelming, you can hire a vacation rental management company to avoid all of this work. Do some research first to find a couple who have good reputations. Then ask them the questions to help you make the best decision for you.
1. What is the local area's vacation market like where my property is located?
You should only hire a company that is thoroughly familiar with your property's local market. Experts will be able to give you advice on which season is the most profitable for renting your property out. They also can let you know which kinds of properties have the highest demand, the average rental rates, and go over the city's regulations for vacation rental properties. Compile a list of questions and review reports on vacation rental performance for the area.
Companies with true expertise will be able to authoritatively answer your questions and provide you with insights on various neighborhoods to give you the advantage you need to find the right tenants for your property.
If a company provides vague answers and only is able to give general opinions without having any hard data that backs them up, then they should be avoided. Find out what they know about vacation rental local regulations. Ask if they can provide you with the most recent information. Skilled managers will have extensive management experience and be knowledgeable about the most recent rules that apply to rental properties.
2. What are the contract's terms and fees?
Vacation rental property managers on average charge 25-50 percent of the rent. Some fees might be even higher in certain regions.
Before signing a contract, be sure you completely understand what all of the fees are and whether or not they fall into your budget.
Understanding all of the terms and conditions of a contract is very important. How long does the contract last? Can it be terminated early if you are not happy with the service? Be sure to carefully read all of the terms and conditions so you aren't surprised or regret your decision in a couple of months.
It won't hurt to ask if your contract can be ended due to other reasons besides poor service. For instance, what if they are not able to find enough tenants for you during a certain time period? What if your property was not kept clean? You shouldn't be required to pay a penalty if you decide to end your contract early due to those reasons.
The focus of the property manager should be on the experience and satisfaction of the guests.
3. What services are included in the management fees?
Before agreeing to the fees and signing the contract, you first need to ensure that you understand what services come with the fees. Some of the more typical services include monitoring vacation rental market trends, taking photos, writing listings, promoting the property, offering tours and screening prospective tenants, maintaining and cleaning the property, and more.
Also, ask if extra support is provided by the company for an additional fee. For example, you may need for your property to be checked by the company outside of its regular office hours. A tenant might have a problem at the renal and you need to have the problem tended to by the rental manager right away. Extra services should be offered at a reasonable price by the property manager.
Once you understand what is included in the fees, you will be able to make an informed decision. Look out for fees that include cleaning only with other services being charged extra. Choose a company that offers many services with a single fixed rate since your operating services will be more predictable that way.
4. What marketing strategy will be using on my property?
Marketing a rental effectively is the key to success. It is not sufficient to just list your property on the website of the vacation rental property. These days, you need to reach farther than that. It is necessary for your rental to be promoted on all of the most popular websites in order to reach a larger pool of prospective tenants. Even if a property manager is well-known in the local area, his clientele is not going to be as large as other listing websites such as Vrbo, HomeAway, and Airbnb. Your property should also be listed on the major, global websites by the property manager so you don't miss out on any leads.
Your vacation rental not only needs to be listed on different websites, you also must stay current on all of the recent methods for promoting your rental effectively. What are the current trends? Which websites have the highest conversion rates? To attract interest attractive photos need to be taken of your rental property.
Effective property managers also do everything they can to ensure that your listing stands out. Search for a manager who discusses working to get your property high rankings in the search engines. That is a professional who knows how to effectively promote your listing on different websites to capture the attention of prospective tenants. Usually, managers will include 25-50 percent of marketing expenses on popular websites in their fees.
A good manager can not only locate the best tenants for your property but following their stay, will ask for a review to receive feedback on the experience they had. That is an effective way of identifying any areas that might need to be worked on. This is also a good chance to see if the guest will be booking again with you. Ask your property manager what can be done to always get the highest rating.
5. How do prospective guests make reservations for my property?
A vacation rental manager does not work every day around the clock. However, he should be working during the times when people usually book their travel plans. A popular time is weekends, as well as dates around a festival or special event. People tend to work Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 and make their vacation plans over the weekend. So if your rental managers works only on weekdays, weekend clients will be missed. When prospective tenants call about a book, it is critical for clients to receive a response from the property manager within 15 minutes. A prospective client most likely looks somewhere else for a different rental property if he doesn't do that.
Online booking via credit card is the most popular method among vacationers. That is due to how easy it is, doesn't take a lot of time, and is also very convenient. A majority of people these days prefer making a reservation with their credit card. So in order to not lose any prospective tenants, ensure that your property manager provides guests with an easy way for making a reservation online.
6. How often will I receive updates on my property?
It is very important for your property manager and you to have good communication. Once a tenant leaves, your manager should send you an update on your property and how it looks. Is it clean? Is there any damage? If anything was missing after a guest has left, how is this handled by the property manager?
Once a tenant leaves your property manager is responsible for making sure the property is restored to pristine condition. All cleaning and repairs need to be taken care of. He is in charge of making the property attractive once again and getting it ready for your next tenant.
Your property manager can identify any loss or damage. However, they are not responsible to pay for it. The manager is responsible for documenting the damage and providing you with a report so that repairs can be done. To cover these losses, you should get a damage protection plan like Property Protection Plus.
7. Can I receive feedback from some of your current clients?
Before signing up with a vacation rental management company, get feedback from some of their current clients. It is the most effective way that their reputation can be confirmed. Find out if they will provide you with a couple of names as references and their contact information. If they have consistently good reviews then they will be happy to provide you with references. If a company does hesitate, that could be a red flag of potentially subpar service.
There are some managers who go beyond the call of duty and provide you with advice right away on the best ways to find tenants. They don't just brag about all of their abilities. Instead, their actions prove it. They are the type of manager you want to look for.
These days, it is not sufficient to use the old way of managing vacation rentals. It is not possible to manage all aspects yourself, from promoting to cleaning your property. This is why it is such a smart move to hire a vacation property manager. He will do all of the work for you so you can relax and enjoy your rental profits. Just be sure to hire a manager who is able to find the best tenants quickly and offers good terms.