Self-managing or hiring a Property Manager

- what option is the best for you -

Having a vacation home is foremost luxury, and a privilege, that you can enjoy only on certain occasions. For owners who use their home occasionally renting out on short-term bases becomes a viable option. There are multiple benefits of renting out, the most obvious are income and upkeep
Now that it has been established that the vacation home should be utilized when not used, what are the best options.
Since the introduction of online travel agents, such as Airbnb and VRBO, short-term renting has become more accessible to individual homeowners. The barriers for homeowners to enter the market have been removed and homeowners now have access to millions of potential guests with ease.
Why is there a need for a property manager?
Most counties would require you to obtain a business license for renting out your vacation home (i.e. not your primary residence). Requirements such as these and other local regulations are neglected by individual owners, exposing them to the possibility of renting out their homes illegally.
Listing the property is only a few clicks away, however doing it correctly so that yours stands out, is a skill. Skillful property managers know how to optimize the information, in order to increase the listings rankings. So that your property is seen by more potential guests and is more likely get booked at a higher rate and more often. Listing your property with a property manager adds an additional level of credibility to your listing. Property managers established profiles which have been reviewed by satisfied guests. Guests heavily rely on reviews as an indication of the level of service and satisfaction provided. The online platforms additionally give preference to profiles with an abundance of reviews which takes years to generate.
Homeowners who at this point still opt to manage the property themselves, need to make sure that they can dedicate a few hours daily, sporadically, to answer guest inquiries, concerns and requests.
Response time is crucial when it comes to answering inquiries, as potential guests expect immediate answers, or they move on to the next property. The existing guests expect the same or their reviews will be negative, impacting future bookings. These hours need to be dedicated year-round, weekends, family holidays and tend to become more demanding during major holidays. If you are still willing to dedicate the time, you may need to dedicate some more, to ensure your pricing is always up to date.
Most professional property managers utilize a dynamic pricing software and years of experience to optimize their pricing strategy. These are the keys to getting the most out of your property i.e., the highest nightly rate, highest occupancy rate.
Something is bound to go wrong, a clogged toilet, jammed door lock or a faulty furnace.
Having a local maintenance company that is on call and would priorities your property, might be the key in providing a reliable service. Additionally, one should make sure to have a plan B and C. When something goes wrong it is essential to deal with it quickly and effectively.
Now that you have dedicated the time and polished up on your yield management skills, you would need to set up a network of local service providers that would assist you with managing your property successfully. Finding a reliable cleaner or a cleaning company might prove more challenging then expected. Finding individual cleaners might be easier and cheaper but it tends to be less reliable. The level of quality and dependability will prove disappointing. A reputable cleaning company usually opts out from dealing with individuals who rent out their properties. They give preference to property managers who can utilize their software and provide them with a quantity and continuity of cleans.
If now you have reached a point where hiring a property manager sounds like a viable option, what qualities should you look for.
National property managers have resource to maximize their visibility, i.e., they are the easiest to find. However, you might have a difficult time getting in touch with them and or qualify to be their customer. The lack of local presence might prove to be an inconvenience. Setting up a local network remotely is difficult and caring for your property and guests without local presence, impossible.
The lack of local presence might prove to be an inconvenience. Setting up a local network remotely is difficult and caring for your property and guests without local presence, impossible.
Most counties require that an emergency contact be named on the Short-Term Rental Permit, who is located 1 hour drive from the property and is reachable 24/7. In this instance you might have to be named as the emergency contact and if you are not in the area you would have to find one willing to take that role.

Their requirements for your property can be outrages.

In some instances, property managers have strict requirements on how your home should be set up and furnished. Most of them have strict restrictions on how often and for how long you can use your own home. Which defeats the purpose of having a vacation home, when the privilege to use it is left to a property manager’s discretion.
Although unicorns, there are property managers that will allow you the flexibility on how you set up your home, when you can use it, while providing you the professional support required to maximize the revenue potential and maintain the integrity of your asset.

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