If you own a vacation rental home, consulting a vacation rental management company may be the next step in developing a high-quality guest experience. Vacation property management companies can also save you a considerable amount of time. Hiring a vacation property management company can often be a sure way to increase new bookings and draw in more guests. But first, let’s go ahead and ask the all-important question:
What does a vacation rental management company actually do?
Choosing the right vacation rental management company depends on the level of service that the property management company provides, as well as the type of home you own. For basic property management, the listing and bookings are handled by the company, so that your vacation property is easy for potential renters and guests to find. For luxury properties, the terms of service often extend beyond this setup. Vacation rental specialists at full-service property management companies can assist you in everything from the amenities to interior design and can upgrade the quality of your online listing to ensure the success of your property investment.
Before signing on to have your property managed, there are a number of things to consider regarding the vacation home company that go beyond the terms and information on their website.
Here are eight questions to ask your potential vacation home rental company that will give you a clear view of how the company operates.
1. What types of properties does the vacation rental company manage?
First consider the size of your property, including features both inside and out. Can your property be considered a luxury home? Is the rental management company primarily a cabin rental agency? Many vacation rental property managers work only with condos rather than homes. What are the most directly promotable features of your property? In some cases, the location of the property has more to do with the determination of the property’s rental value than the actual amenities. Consider also the average length of guest stays that the rental company is familiar with managing.
2. What interior design options are available through the property manager?
The interior of your vacation property should be designed to welcome a considerable variety of guests, and therefore, highlight features that are generally useful to most if not all guests. Design services that give the property a simple, well-lit, and clean design are more universally comfortable for guests and can make photographing the vacation home for online listings easy. Luckily, many vacation rental property management companies are happy to help.
3. What fees does the vacation property manager take?
When a guest books a stay at your property, the property management company will take a percent of the profit in order to maintain its own services. Make sure that the structure of these fees is easy to find and transparent. In all situations there should be a clear avenue of communication with your property managers should any discrepancies in pricing or fees arise.
4. How will pricing be handled for guests?
Depending on the location of the property, the price of staying a night will change dramatically based on the season. Ensuring that the pricing changes in accordance with holidays and seasons will maximize the property owner’s profit, and can even guarantee that your vacation home is always fully booked.
5. How will the property be stocked? What amenities are available through the property manager?
Help your guests utilize the features of your property by providing basic conveniences throughout the house. In almost all cases, but in particular, for luxury homes, this goes beyond towels and bathroom supplies. Having a well-supplied kitchen can go a long way in the decision-making process for potential renters. In addition, the availability of quality entertainment and TV options is considerable for many guests and makes them feel as though they do not lack the comforts of home.
6. How will the property be cleaned?
All vacation management services providers should have a direct and easy-to-understand policy regarding how the property will be cleaned between guest visits. You can measure rental company standards through guest reviews of their other managed properties, through their website, or through reviews services like Google and TripAdvisor. If your vacation home has a pool, make sure they have a specific procedure for the maintenance of pools. If your vacation home has an extended outdoor area, ask about the yard or lawn maintenance.
7. How will payments and billing be handled?
First, ensure that the vacation rental property management includes an easy-to-access system for guest billing as well as vacation property homeowner payouts. Is it easy for the guest to pay for the booking? Consider the vacation home management company’s website and its usability. Are all pages reliable, secure, and easy to access? Many companies offer payment plans so that the guest does not have to pay for the full amount of their stay upfront.
8. What insurance options are available to cover my property should any damages occur? How will repairs be managed?
There is always risk involved with renting out your property, and a key factor in determining the quality of property management is the way in which this risk is managed. Services from the vacation home rental company often handle damages to your property from accidental or intentional incidents. Be careful in choosing insurance for rental properties- most standard homeowner’s insurance is unlikely to cover these types of damages because the use of your home goes beyond normal residential standards. The features and amenities available at your property may also change the terms of insurance policy.
CONCLUSION — QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR VACATION HOME RENTAL COMPANY
Any professional vacation property rental company should have a clear and straightforward way to answer all of the above questions. Should you have any concerns regarding the cleaning, listing, or designing of your property, the right vacation property manager will also have support on call.
Working with an experienced vacation home management company can lessen the burden involved with renting out your vacation property. Whether you own a luxury property with a pool, or a small cabin in the mountains, utilizing a property management company can increase bookings, upgrade your listings, and ultimately improve the guest experience.