Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Manage by Owner vs Using Property Managers


Although the existence of online vacation rental listing sites such as Homeaway, VRBO and others has really enabled vacation rental owners to "rent by owner", many owners continue to use Property Management companies.

There are several reasons for this, including the fact that it is frankly less hassle. However, full service property managers can be expensive, plus they may not be as selective as you would be in reviewing renters for your property.

Increasingly, however, there are hybrid options to explore, particularly if you do not live close to your vacation rental property. For example:

1. The owner buys and manages online listings, but the property manager’s contact info is listed. With this method you won’t get inquiry or emergency calls from renters at inconvenient times, such as during dinner or in the middle of the night.

2. “À la carte” property managers, where the owner only pays for the services they want. Obviously, cost and services will vary depending on exactly what your needs are. For example, the owner handles their own marketing and bookings, and the property manager handles cleaning, maintenance, and keys and charges a flat fee for each. If you’ve had difficulty finding a housekeeper you like in the past, this could potentially be a good solution.

3. Full service property managers who charge a discounted commission for bookings generated by owner. This might work well for you if you do not have as much time to devote to renting your property as you would like, but still want to play an active role in the bookings.

Even if you want to maintain control of renting your vacation rental, it's worth at least considering these options: they may help reduce the stress and hassle of renting ( and put the "vacation" back into "vacation rental").

Homeaway includes a directory service of Property Managers in the US: you can enter your zip code and find a list of property managers that are within 25 miles.

Save $25 on new 12-month listings at HomeAway.com with code G307. Expires Dec 31st, 2014.