Hiring a reliable property management company for your rental home is a big decision. In fact, it can directly affect your home’s reputation and profitability.
There may be dozens of property management companies to choose from in your home’s location. Each company offers its own pros and cons, so how do you make the best choice for your property and needs?
Consider the following qualities when making your decision. First, we’ll give you the short list. Read further for a full explanation as to why these are such important factors.
- Flexibility and Customization of Services
- Management Team Experience
- Market Knowledge
Remote working means that almost any job can be done remotely but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective method. Hiring a management company with employees who actually live and work in the town where your vacation rental home is located is hugely beneficial.
Tenant locked themselves out? A local management company can swing by the house. Maintenance issue? The local team can get there quickly. Furniture delivery? The local team can meet the delivery person.
Successful property management companies create meaningful connections with local contractors and vendors. They build a network of trusted, efficient, and experienced professionals to manage maintenance, housekeeping, and improvements. A well-connected property management company can ensure your property is a priority when work needs to be done.
Hire a company who responds to your calls and emails within minutes or hours, not days or weeks. Great communication is a solid indicator a management company cares to take care of requests for both homeowners and renters quickly. Slow communication could mean the company is overwhelmed by taking on too many properties, has staffing problems, or simply doesn’t care enough to make you a priority.
The reputation of the property management company you choose is important, especially if that company will also be managing vacation rentals on your behalf.
Don’t hesitate to ask for references from other home owners, vendors, and contractors who have worked with the company in the past.
For vacation rentals, be sure to read reviews about the other properties the company manages. What do guests have to say about the maintenance and cleanliness of the property? You can expect your property to receive similar care and in turn, reviews from your future guests.
Hiring a property management company can be costly. Certainly the headache it saves you and the peace of mind it provides can be worth it. It’s up to you to decide how much of the revenue generated from your property should be spent paying your property manager.
If you require both property management and vacation rental sales assistance with advertising, expect to pay 20-40% of revenue, depending upon the services offered.
Be sure to ask how percentages are calculated. Do you pay a percentage of gross revenue? A monthly flat fee? Or a combination of both?
Flexibility and Customization of Services
Every property is unique. The service your property management company provides should be, too. In short, you shouldn’t pay for services you don’t need but you should have the option to get specialized services you do need.
If your home has a pool or hot tub, you want lights strung before your family arrives for the holidays, or you have any special requests, make sure the company you choose is willing and able to accommodate. Some companies offer a simple, one-size-fits-all approach that works great for some properties but isn’t sensible for others. Be upfront with your expectations in order to ensure they are met.
Whether the goal of renting your property is to generate revenue or simply offset your mortgage payments, the numbers are important.
The property management company you choose should provide clear, transparent, easy to understand reporting. This information should be easily accessible by you so you can understand exactly what revenue your property is generating and what costs it incurs.
Management Team Experience
Who are the faces behind the company name? Although you are hiring a property management company, you’re really hiring the whole team of marketing experts, salespeople, and their network of professionals.
An experienced team will have intimate knowledge of the area’s market conditions and customer base. They will also have experience effectively managing the day to day tasks required to keep your property in tip tip shape.
A great management team will be enthusiastic about their work and know how to motivate those around them to meet the high standards required to make your property stand out to potential renters.
If your property management company will be responsible for renting your property on a short or long term basis, make sure they know the market.
Effective companies will price your property in such a way that it generates as much revenue as possible while fitting in the current rental market. Your company should know who the potential customers are, what they look for in a property, and what they are willing to pay.
Management team experience can play greatly into market knowledge. Some companies even pay for tools that analyze market data and provide valuable insights.
About Vail Butler
At Vail Butler, we take pride in applying a personal touch to our vacation management services. We are a vibrant, tight-knit team of vacation rental planners that collectively have over 20 years of expertise in the Vail and Beaver Creek hospitality sector. Our values, like honesty and commitment to our homeowners and guests, are what sets us apart. We live by our integrity and strive for excellence.