There are many questions ot ask when hiring a property manager for your investment property. Anyone who’s ever owned a vacation rental will tell you that, while a very profitable source of investment income, it’s also very time consuming and energy draining. There’s a great deal of time and effort in independently promoting your rental, responding to inquiries by potential renters, checking the credentials of potential guests, and scheduling the array of cleaning and maintenance services for routine upkeep of the property. The list of what needs to be done to ensure both property and renters are rent-worthy is exhausting. Plus, it’s often the case that the homeowner doesn’t even live in the area of the vacation rental.
The above results in a lot of rental property owners turning to hiring a property management company for help with their vacation rental. Like knowing what questions to ask around cleaning, maintenance, staging, or any other outsourced service, finding the right property management company can be tricky. Different vacation rental property management companies offer different services and at different qualities. Here’s a list of must-ask questions for rental property owners to ask their potential property management team:
Sometimes vacation rental management companies are based in an area far outside the actual service area they advertise or they just don’t have the experience in the area’s market. In either case, the result is a property manager without a grasp for the local market your property is located.
How long a vacation rental property management company has been in service is a consideration, but this shouldn’t be your primary criteria. There are longstanding businesses out there operating on name recognition alone because they’re using antiquated tactics and haven’t kept up with current industry trends for vacation rental.
To counter the above problems, knowing what questions to ask for info on the seasons, popular types of properties in the area, any existing and possible local regulations affecting rentals, tips to succeed, and so forth to determine how well they really know the area and market. Fact check the answers to see if your property management agent is up to par or you need to move on to a different company.
Know your rental income goals before contacting an agent so that you can determine if their fees aren’t congruent with hitting your income markers. Most vacation rental property management companies will charge around 25% on the low end or 50% on the higher end of your rental income. That’s a wide range; so it’s very important to understand what you’ll be paying and what you’ll be getting in return services.
Consider your property management contract carefully before signing. Most contracts are per year, meaning you could be in a real pickle if your agent is under-performing two or three months into it and you’re locked in to still pay out for a year.
In relation to the contract, especially if it’s a long contract, be sure to ask if there are clauses to protect you from poor service. You’ll want an out clause, such as you being able to leave the company without penalty if the agent fails to make X amount of bookings or cleanings in X amount of time.
Most property management fees include a set number of services. Additional services come at an additional cost. A property management member having to go out after hours for a renter’s complaint, for example, is often not covered in the standard fee. At a minimum, you’ll want to know where marketing, maintenance, cleaning, walkthroughs, and call outs for guest problems will fall.
Property management add-on services can end up being very sneaky and costing you dearly. Management companies with the most comprehensive and inclusive plans are generally the best bang for the buck unless you know that you’ll only be needing basic services.
As you likely know, marketing is king. It’s the difference between a property booked up for seasons at a time and properties that sit collecting dust.
Look for a property management company that’s not solely marketing your property on those internal website. It doesn’t matter how well-know a property management website is or isn’t, it will never get the degree nor quality of traffic VRBO, Airbnb, and other major listing sites will achieve. The agent needs to at least cover one major listing site and have established their own site to rank high in search results.
Other questions to ask would include if they actively solicit renter reviews and star ratings from pleased guests, their re-marketing efforts, and what steps they take to entice new guests? If the answer starts with “uhm…,” it might be best to move along to the next provider.
It’s imperative that the property management team have a 24/7 online booking option. This should be a dealbreaker for any property owner. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on bookings from those that move on to the next property when they can’t find an immediate way to book yours or don’t want to fill out and snail-mail sensitive paperwork. Also keep in mind that the booking portal should be able to accept an array of payment options.
You’ll want to still keep a watchful eye over your property’s condition, preferably after each guest departure. This ensures that your property stays in mint condition for succeeding guests, and it ensures any damage is documented, financially addressed, and repaired appropriately. Ask the agent how often they do walk-throughs and what the policies are for both minor and significant damage and missing items.
Your goal is a property management walkthrough after each guest. And, guest deposits and damage protection programs should be in place to adequately cover common damages.
The last part of your vetting process will be communicating with real life clients having used the agency. Any manager hesitant or unable to provide client references should be a no-go. Ask the client’s about their connection to the company, experiences, and many of the same questions you’ve already asked above. Is what they say congruent with what the company has told you?
Now, that you have the questions you need to ask of a property manager down, take a look at what Casago offers and how you can save yourself a tremendous amount of time and effort in not trying to manage your property on your own. Here are just six of the benefits you’ll enjoy by making Casago your property management team:
As mentioned above, outsourcing management can be costly if you don’t pick the right company for your needs. The cost savings embedded in our high-tech platform means that we can pass those savings on to you, offering you quality services at a more reasonable cost. You’ll be constantly updated via our in-depth reports and convenient app. Doesn’t matter where you are, our app enables you to know about bookings, payments, and all our other services in real-time.
We manage every single aspect of your vacation rental listing from the marketing of it, to the guest check in and out, to the cleaning and maintenance needed. Guest support services are live staff and apps that remain accessible 24/7.
Our friendly and experienced sales professionals are available 24/7 to quickly respond to guest inquiries and drive sales to meet your rental income goals.
Renters can use our secure and easy to use online booking system 24/7. Your payments, deposits, billing, and booking are all easily accessible and secure. Payment options aren’t limited like many others to snailmail or one-choice payment.
We promote your listing across VRBO and over 25 other major booking sites. Our own website is poised and ready to collect high-quality traffic. Plus, our 24/7 professional call staff are always prepared to turn prospects into renters and get your listing booked. Grow your revenue without lifting a finger.
We carefully verify each renter, as well as homeowners, to avoid our company being affiliated with any scams or underhanded activities. Our professional staff is ready to manage cancellations, collect payments, manage cleaning fees, assist with necessary regulations and permitting obligations, troubleshoot guest issues, and thoroughly screen guests. Our goal is to minimize unnecessary fees and expenses for you, the vacation rental property owner.
Are you thinking about hiring a property manager for your vacation rental? If so, carefully consider the above questions in selecting the right agent to represent your property. This selection can take a huge burden from your shoulders as it simultaneously boosts your revenue, or it can cause you an undue headache.
At Casago, we believe we have all the right answers to your very prudent questions, and we proudly offer our outstanding history of mutually beneficial client relationships as the number one reason you should contact us today to explore how our services can be an invaluable asset to you.
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