Updated: Oct 18
The short-term property management space has rapidly grown in the last few years. And with rental companies like Airbnb raking in billions of profits, it’s easy to see that the vacation rental industry is a hotly contested market. At first glance, it looks like easy money - there’s not much else to do besides finding new tenants.
You can further simplify the process by hiring a property management company specializing in vacation rental properties.
A vacation rental manager can save you hundreds of hours spent on business tasks. It makes a sound business decision to hire a vacation rental manager for long-term success.
The Idea Behind Vacation Rental Units
According to these Las Vegas property managers, the concept is simple - you’ve determined that renting your property for short periods is more profitable than long-term lease agreements. Your guests are usually booking a stay for a few days or a week, although some trips can take a month or longer. The idea is to have a place to go back to for their trip, without paying exorbitant hotel prices. Generally, vacation rental properties are fully furnished and provide tenants with everything they need.
The only problem is that most investors don’t anticipate the work that goes into managing short-term vacation rentals. It is better to outsource these operations to a rental management company in most cases.
The property manager will provide you with all the services you need - including:
marketing the rental unit
setting the right price
communicating with guests
coordinating with maintenance staff
ensuring that the rental unit is ready to be moved into.
Vacation rental property managers will charge a commission for every booking.
Vacation Rental Property Management vs. Regular Property Management
So what’s the difference?
It mostly boils down to the marketing of properties and communicating with guests. This makes sense when you think about it. According to ProInvest Realty most people book vacation rentals for vacation purposes, and this is why rental managers have to focus on providing a good experience. This strongly contrasts with regular property management, as most people are leasing properties for a longer basis.
So Much to Do - So Little Time
There is a lot of work that vacation rental property managers have to do before making bookings. These tasks - which are necessary to make the property habitable and safe - can be overwhelming for landlords. Let's take a look at some of these tasks.
The Mounting Expense
Before you can book the property to a new tenant, you have to keep the following things in check:
Is the property up to code?
There should not be any structural issues
All the utilities should be functioning
The property should contain all the features and amenities for a comfortable stay
Clean furnishing should be provided to the tenant
Funds should be allocated for emergency repair
It is a good idea to set aside some funds for the property in case of damages, including worn-out paint, water damage, or a bad lock on the door. It is important to sort out all issues with the property before you list it again.
Preparing Amenities for Guests
To attract qualified tenants, you have to provide them with amenities and services. This is important if you want to beat the competition. You could provide a washing machine, clean towels, blankets, a mouthwash, etc. If you can match or exceed the amenities provided by other rental units in your area, you will attract qualified tenants.
The trick is to keep the prices competitive. If you add too many amenities, your profit margins will start to shrink. A vacation rental property manager will know exactly what feature sets to offer.
Setting up the Decor
The decor is more important in vacation rental units than in long-term rental units. Don’t have forks and knives in the kitchen? Don’t have a king-sized bed in the bedroom? It is important to list every important item that can make the tenant’s stay at the property better during their vacation. Not providing furnishings and basic amenities will be too much of an inconvenience to guests expecting a carefree vacation.
A vacation rental manager will be aware of the type of furniture and accessories to place around the rental unit.
Remember, the vacation rental industry is all about keeping appearances. You would do well to buy a DSLR camera and take professional pictures of your property. The quality of the images you take will play a pivotal role in whether a tenant decides to book a stay or not. Once again, vacation rental property managers will know how to take good photos - or at least they’ll know about experienced professionals.
Ready to hire a vacation rental property manager? Or are you still deciding between short-term and long-term rentals? Get in touch with us for advice!