Fully managed second homes
Using a property management company: Pros and consUndoubtedly, the biggest advantage of using a property management company is knowing that your property is in good hands and renters are being taken care of. Most property management companies promise a quick response time to renter issues, so you don’t have to drop everything to respond to renter questions or concerns. Additionally, many property managers work hard to promote listings, which means you may enjoy higher occupancy rates than if you manage the listing on your own. The biggest owner gripe you’re likely to have about property management companies is the cost. Most full-service property management companies charge between 25% and 30% of the nightly rental rate, but how much an owner pays depends on exactly which services are included. Cleaning, maintenance and advertising charges are some of the most common, and you’ll likely pay more to address a maintenance emergency. Initial setup fees may also apply.
How to choose the right vacation home management companyAs you compare and contrast management companies, it can seem like they’re all offering the same core set of services. Here are a few things to consider when narrowing down your choices:
- Local expertise and presence: One key to providing good service for renters is proximity. Especially if you live far from your vacation property, you’ll want your property management company to have local representatives available. Not only do they have an understanding of the local rental market for pricing purposes, they’re nearby in case of a maintenance emergency.
- Contract transparency: Not all property management contracts are the same. Make sure you take a close look at commission fees, costs for services like maintenance and repairs, payment terms and the length of contract. Some companies even limit how many days per year you’re able to stay in your home.
- Customer service: Try to get a feel for both the level of service you’ll receive as the owner and the responsiveness they’ll have with renters. Ask to see their guest relations policy, especially in regards to how quickly they respond.
- What’s included: Make sure it’s clear upfront what’s included in your management fee and what will be billed to you separately. Rental profits are easily eaten up by things like after-hours maintenance, cleaning charges and marketing fees.