Are you thinking it’s time to hand over the management of your short-term rental to the professionals? Perhaps you are considering an Airbnb property investment and are wondering who will manage it for you, or maybe you have already been hosting for a while and have found human interaction is not for you.
Short-term rental property management services allow you to earn hosting revenues from your Airbnb or vacation rental property without having to deal with the day-to-day management of the property.
The benefits of using a vacation rental property manager are numerous, with many offering 24/7 availability to both property owners and guests, cleaning, property maintenance, and the promise of keeping your calendar full of bookings. Employing the right property manager can lead to a higher average occupancy rate and higher average nightly prices for your Airbnb.
However, all of this comes at a cost. Airbnb and vacation rental property managers sometimes charge substantial fees for their services, with managers often charging anything between 20-50% of your hosting revenues.
So is it worth it? Or are you better off managing the property yourself, or perhaps having a friend do it? With the wide variety of vacation rental property management software available to hosts, even when on a budget, the amount of time required to be a successful host is falling. With that in mind, can short-term rental property managers be worth the fee?
At AllTheRooms we think the answer is, of course, that it depends. If you find the right property management company, you probably won’t regret it. But what does the “right” short-term rental property management company look like?
What Will an Airbnb Property Management Company Do for You?
Airbnb property management companies offer a wide range of services including:
- Professional photography
- Listing creation
- Advertisement of short term rental properties
- Price optimization
- 24/7 concierge service
- Guest screening
- Check-ins and check-outs
- Linen, laundry, and cleaning services
- Dispute resolution
- Property maintenance
How to Choose the Right Management Company for Your Airbnb Business
A quick Google search will tell you that there are probably a lot of different companies operating in the area of your short term rental property. So, how do you go about choosing an Airbnb property management service?
- Check professional certifications and licenses
A credible Airbnb property management company should have proper professional certifications and licensing to back up their technical expertise. There are several trade bodies that offer certifications upon completion of thorough exams, training programs, and portfolio reviews. Here are some of the designations and certifications to look out for when choosing an Airbnb property management company:
Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC)
Residential Management Professional (RMP)
Master Property Manager (MPM)
- Consider experience in marketing Airbnb rentals
Marketing is very important to ensure a good Airbnb occupancy rate and high Airbnb income. A good Airbnb property management company should have extensive knowledge about marketing a vacation rental property. This can include everything from knowing how to optimize listings to using social media to promote rentals. Here are some of the questions to ask a property management company with regard to marketing:
- Check On Experience
How many Airbnb rentals does the company currently manage? How long have they been in business?
You want a rental company that knows what it’s doing and gets results. If it’s a newer company, look for reviews online to evaluate their quality.
Look at the experience of the people working there. Perhaps the company owner has personal experience with Airbnb rentals. Maybe someone with extensive commercial cleaning experience handles the cleaning aspect of rental management.
- Ask for Listing Examples
If you’re hiring a management company that creates your Airbnb listings for you, ask for examples of their work. Check out any current listings the company created.
Look at them from the perspective of an Airbnb user. If you were looking for a rental, would the listing make you choose that property?
Good listings include the following:
Multiple photos from different angles of all rooms
Detailed information about the property
Engaging descriptions that get you excited about the property
Having a strong listing is your key to getting more bookings, which increases your profits.
- Consider the Services Offered
Not all Airbnb management companies offer the same services. Some may offer just management of the listings. Others might create listings, take photos, manage guests, handle payments, and clean your rental for the next guests.
Consider how much you want the company to do for you. If you’re not local, you likely want a comprehensive management service that handles everything.
You may just want someone to handle the cleaning services. Having a clean vacation rental for your guests helps you make a good impression and get better reviews. That positive press may help you get more bookings in the future.
- Look for Something Special
What makes this company unique compared to other management services? The thing that makes a company different could be the thing that sells you on choosing that service.
One example is a local company. If the management service is based locally, they know a lot about your area, so they can sell it well to potential renters. They’re also easily available if a problem comes up with the rental.
Maybe the company excels at Airbnb cleaning services. This specialty can be particularly beneficial to your guests because it gives them an exceptional experience.
- Understand the Agreements
Review the management contract before you agree to anything. Read through every section of the agreement to make sure the arrangement is beneficial to you. If you sign something you don’t read thoroughly, you may find out the hard way what you agreed to.
- Ask About the Costs
Get details on the cost of managing your property to help you accurately compare the management services. Most use a commission structure where the management company keeps a percentage of the revenue.
Compare the percentages each company charges,
- Check on Communication Methods
The point of hiring a management company is so you don’t have to handle the rental yourself. But that doesn’t mean you want a completely hands-off approach. You should still want to know what’s happening with your rental property.
Ask the management company how they communicate with property owners.
- Ask the Right Questions
Digging a little deeper helps you determine how the company will help you get more bookings.
Ask how the company promotes listings. Having a great listing to start helps, but active marketing helps increase your bookings, which equals more money for you.
- Determine How They Handle Problems
Airbnb rentals sometimes come with issues. Maybe the plumbing gets backed up or the air conditioning stops working.
Make sure your management company is equipped to handle those problems.
- Request References
Management companies can tell you they’re the best, but you want to hear that from their past or current clients. Request references for their management clients, and contact them to find out more information.