Using a Property Manager vs. Renting Your Vacation Home by Owner
Editor’s Note: This is an older blog posted on HomeAway Community. We are referencing it on VRM Intel with the sole purpose of providing insight into the decision-making process of vacation home owners when they are choosing to self-manage or choose a professional property manager.
When you are thinking about how you will manage the rental of your vacation home, you have to choose which management style will work best for you.
Using a Property Manager
Should you choose to worth with a property manager, you should start by researching management companies online. Analyze the results that come up on the search engines. The main objective for the management company that you choose is: can the company rent your property? Since the Internet is the number one place where vacationers look for properties to rent, you will want a property manager who focuses on building their Internet presence.
To start, look to see where the company comes up in the search results by putting in the name of your town and various search terms. If you see the particular company’s name come up again and again, that’s certainly a company you want to investigate. In addition to Internet research, talk to other property owners in the area to see if they can recommend a good property manager.
Additionally, you can ask your real estate agent for names of management companies. Agents constantly visit properties so they can see if the management companies are doing a good job of maintaining them. Agents can be an excellent source of referrals.
You will want to find a property manager who can and will handle everything for you. In exchange for their services, they typically charge a commission, which can range from 20 to 50 percent of the rental income.
Before hiring a property manager, verify the following:
- Will they advertise the property both locally and internationally?
- Will they guarantee a minimum level of bookings?
- Will they interview potential guests to make sure they are suitable?
- Will they inspect the property before and after each rental and do an inventory inspection?
- How do they welcome the guests into your property?
- Will they organize repairs and maintenance and provide receipts?
- How will they communicate with you?
Self-Managing (aka Renting by Owner)
Today, hundreds of thousands of vacation homeowners choose to rent without the use of a property manager. For many, there are 3 main reasons they choose to rent by owner instead of using a property management company.