Some homeowners prefer going through a vacation rental management company to run and look after their property, whereas some hosts decide to handle everything themselves. There are several different factors that should be considered when choosing between the two options, and it all depends on your situation, your preference and your business goals.
Many options exist for sharing responsibilities that come with having a vacation rental. In order to decide what best suits you, you need to analyze the different companies, what they offer and whether they will benefit your business.
What is involved in managing a holiday rental?
Is it better to hire a manager or manage the property yourself? It all depends on two factors: the budget and the time you can devote to the business (daily, monthly or annually).
A HomeAway study revealed that vacation rental owners who run their own businesses devote less than 10 hours per week to the business. So what do these owners spend time on? Here are just some of the few key responsibilities:
- Maintaining the property, furniture, and cleaning. Changing bed sheets, towels, and replacing amenities
- Taxes, invoices, insurance, and other legal issues
- Constantly monitoring reservations, booking requests, guest queries, tenant payments, and admin tasks
- Promoting and marketing your property on listing sites and social media
- Check-in and check-out, be a point of contact in case of an emergency, responding to the guest’s needs before, during and after the stay.
There are always additional tasks, such as preparing a welcome pack and giving recommendations to improve the guests’ experience overall. With the huge workload, it can make sense to allocate a portion of your profits to a manager or management company that helps you with the long list of tasks.
Pros and cons of hiring a vacation rental management company
With the rapid increase of properties emerging in the vacation rental industry, many companies have surfaced too. Nowadays property managers and property management companies offer all different types of services, some even offer a concierge service! However, you can also find a manager who is simply dedicated to cleaning your rental or being the emergency contact for guests during their stay. It’s even possible to hire an external company to just take care of the check-in and check-out process.
Some property management companies even go beyond and study your competitors, see how your business can differentiate and select the best technology related to the vacation rental industry.
Although all this sounds like a good deal, that someone takes care of all the work and at the end of the month you get the revenue, there are some drawbacks in hiring someone to manage the property for you: the costs involved. Especially if you have just started to rent out a property with the goal of earning an extra income, you may not receive as high of a profit.
There is also the disadvantage that if a company takes care of all the maintenance in your rental, it could lose the touch that attracted guests initially when they were looking for accommodation for their vacation.
What is the best option for each owner?
It all depends on how much time you can or want to devote to your business and your budget. Calculate how many hours a week you have and decide whether or not you can fit all your tasks within this time period. If you want to handle everything yourself, but need help in advertising the property, you can hire agencies who specialize in the hospitality market to promote your rental. If you’re struggling to receive reservations in the low-season, then they can fill your property throughout the whole year so it’s never vacant.
Likewise, if you only need help with cleaning or check-in and check-out, then a vacation rental management can provide that service. But there are many other options available for automated check-in and check-out if you physically cannot be present, such as WIFI door locks.
Of course, if your property is situated far away, you need to hire someone to manage it. But if you have a close friend or family living in the area where your rental is located, then they can take care of your property. If you manage multiple properties, indeed you’re unable to do everything yourself so a vacation home rental agency is fundamental for your business.
Choosing vacation rental management companies
If you decide to hire a vacation rental management company, how can you choose the right company for you? Researching online is the best way to start. Examine each companies’ experience level, whether they are big or small, and also read reviews from current and previous homeowners. Decide the price you want to spend, or what budget you have set aside. Find out what services they offer exactly, for example, could they be responsible for marketing your business too? Remember that these companies differ in each State, so it’s better to find one in your area, someone you can always meet and rely on.
Sometimes it may be hard to balance the workload as a vacation rental owner, especially if you have a full-time job and rent out your property in your free time.
Another option that could save you a lot of time and optimize your business for a small monthly fee is to have a software for your vacation rental. Lodgify allows homeowners to create their own website without the hassle of programming, it does everything for you. But that’s not all!
Lodgify also offer a booking system that allows you to manage all your bookings from one place, and a channel manager that synchronizes your external vacation rental listings to ensure that your calendars are always up-to-date and consistent. With your own vacation rental software and website, all you have to do is take care of cleaning, check-in and check-out and other tasks.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference and also budget. Decide who you think should handle all the responsibilities and what works best for you.