5 top vacation home management companies

Published Date: October 27, 2023

Exterior home design with tropical pool and greenery garden.
There are a lot of upsides to owning a vacation home: You can set down roots in your favorite vacation destination, avoid paying for hotels time after time, and potentially offset the cost of your vacation home with rental income. But people who rent out their vacation home often find that it’s very time consuming. In addition to regular maintenance and upkeep, owners are responsible for finding renters, accepting payment, arranging check-in and check-out times, resolving issues, and ensuring the property is always clean and ready for the next guest. It’s no wonder many vacation home owners choose to hire a property management company to handle all those day-to-day tasks. Here are some of the key benefits and drawbacks of using a vacation rental management company, plus a guide to five well-known options.

Using a property management company: Pros and cons 

Undoubtedly, 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 company

As 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. 

Best vacation rental management companies

Here is a rundown of five of the most well-known rental property management companies. Note that this list includes primarily large, nationwide companies. There are plenty of local and regional vacation property management companies providing great service as well. 

1. Vacasa

Vacasa offers full-service vacation rental management, focused on “drive-to” vacation destinations across the United States. They represent about 35,000 vacation homes in places like San Diego, Miami, the Florida Keys, Park City, Lake Tahoe and Cape Cod. You’ll also find Vacasa-managed properties in Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. The company focuses on whole-family rentals, including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes. The hallmark of their offerings is 24/7 customer service for renters via phone or app, as well local management teams in case issues arise. For property owners, Vacasa’s sales marketing services are a big draw. They provide 3D virtual home tours, professional photography and data-driven, dynamic pricing technology. 

2. Evolve

Since launching in 2011, Evolve has hosted over 10 million guests and served more than 25,000 owners in vacation rentals across North America. Homes represented by Evolve can be booked directly on the Evolve website, but they’re also showcased on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. Evolve boasts a lower-than-average property management fee, just 10%. It comes paired with a “risk-free guarantee,” which says they only charge their management fee once bookings are secured. Like Vacasa, Evolve offers dynamic pricing and top-notch marketing. They also don’t limit personal stays, so you can enjoy your home as much as you want. Evolve has listings in destinations from California to New England, the Southwest to mountain ski resorts, and plenty of beach towns. 

3. AvantStay

If your property is on the larger side, you’ll want to take a look at AvantStay. They specialize in vacation rentals for larger homes — from three to 10 bedrooms, specifically. Their portfolio boasts unique properties like sprawling ranches, beachfront homes, mountain cabins, picture-perfect villas and lakeside retreats. They represent homes in trendy locations like Asheville, Austin, the Coachella Valley, Sonoma and Vail, and their rentals are popular with large families and groups of friends, as well as corporate retreat-goers. AvantStay appeals to property owners with specific investment and financial goals, and those who want top-notch service. Owners enjoy the services of a dedicated account manager, flexible contracts and included liability coverage. Perhaps the most appealing perk may be the Vacation Club membership, where property owners earn travel credits that can be redeemed for stays at other AvantStay properties. 

4. SkyRun

A collective of over 30 independent vacation rental companies, SkyRun offers the technology services and management expertise of a large property management company paired with staff who are on the ground in your destination, making sure everything is running smoothly. SkyRun offers second home owners two key differentiators. First, their preventative maintenance program uses regular inspections and smart home technology to ensure your home is in good working order for every guest. Second, they don’t charge any onboarding fees to new owners.   

5. Casago

Casago is a smaller, Arizona-based property management firm with a combination of resort properties and individual homes in its portfolio. Management services are available in a focused set of locations, mostly Arizona, Southern California and Mexico. However, Casago operates with a franchise model, which means you’ll find Casago-managed homes in many destinations. Their full-service property management includes marketing, filing of local and state sales taxes, utility payments and everything related to renter management, like check-in and check-out, cleaning, maintenance and monthly inspections. 

An alternative to renting out your vacation home

Many owners rent out their second homes to offset the sheer expense of owning and maintaining it. But it can also be a lot of work, and there’s no guarantee your property will generate enough revenue to offset all or most of your costs. Pacaso offers a great alternative: hassle-free co-ownership of vacation homes in top destinations. Up to eight owners share costs while getting to equally schedule time in their fully furnished and fully managed and maintained second home. Just unpack and enjoy the benefits of owning a second home. Find your luxury Pacaso second home today. Properties are available across the United States, in Mexico and in a growing number of locations in Europe.

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Jen Lyons

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