One of the more “odd” requests we receive here at Vacarent is “Do you allow property managers to list with your company?” Considering that the very owners of Vacation Rentals are property managers themselves we have to laugh when we hear this. We have been in the nightly rental business now for 15 years and have seen and worked all angles of vacation travel.
While we understand the desire of homeowners who want to rent their own homes and keep expenses to a minimum there are many reasons working with a property manager is a better solution. Here are some of them from our observation:
We want to make this ABUNDANTLY clear before we go any further. We ONLY recommend working with LOCAL property managers in the area of your vacation rental. We do NOT recommend working with national property managers as they offer almost none of the benefits you will receive with a local.
- Property managers are closer and able to handle emergencies quicker. We cannot begin to tell you the number of times our clients have kicked a circuit breaker, locked themselves out, gotten lost and needed help finding the property and much more. Your property manager is able and equipped to deal with everything from nuicances to emergencies.
- Property managers are equipped with essential tools (or they should be). We have literally rented to 1,000s of guests over the years and the one thing you can ALWAYS count on is an AC going out, freezing up, needing freon and so on. We not only know the name and location of the closest AC repair tech (less than 24 hour service) but carry emergency portable air conditioners to get our clients through a rough patch.
- They can handle stressful situations quickly. Someone is being disrespectful and needs to be reminded there are other guests. A property manager is once again close by, knows the local police depts. and generally has no issue with calling in outside help to deal with rowdy guests.
- Everything will break – guaranteed. Even if it is just a circuit breaker, something will happen to your guest that will require immediate attention. Reset the cable modem – washer is now making a grinding noise – slatted doors are not closing properly on the closet. Again, if it is mechanical, it will break, guaranteed.
- They handle the licenses and remittal of 1099s. Depending on your agreement with your property manager, most arrangements allow for the property manager to be in charge of licenses to rent, collection and remittal of taxes, submission to homeowners for 1099s and much more.
- They generally have a better feel for the market. When you are making such a large investment it is great to know someone who has a feel for the area and what is reasonable for returns on your investment. Here in the city of Branson, we have 4 communities that are high demand, high investment, high return areas – Branson, Indian Point, Hollister and Kimberling City. Of these 4, Indian Point is without a doubt the crown jewel of the entire area because of its proximity to the amusement park and Table Rock Lake. If I were completely unfamiliar with the area, I might end up choosing a home in Hollister thinking it would rent as well as Indian Point. Yes, there is due dilligence required on the part of the buyer, but part of the process of working with a property manager is getting great advice that is beneficial to both you and the property manager.
- Property managers generally have an existing list of clinetele to work from. Probably one of the most beneficial aspects of working with an established PM is their existing database of customers. This helps to ensure that you are not starting out from zero trying to get the ball rolling. If they have name recognition in the community and area, they even get and give referrals to other property managers.
- They are (should be) available in a pinch to cover. Housekeeping is not the primary responsibility of a PM as they normally hire it out, but – should their housekeeper quit or is not able to work that day they should be there to handle it immediately. We have been called on literally 100s of times over the past 15 years to step in and lend a hand and will do so again at the drop of a hat to help our owners and guests out.
- They monitor the incoming calls and e-mails so you don’t have to. This should go without saying, but it cannot be overstated how many times the phone will ring and you are stuck taking the calls, updating the calendars, and responding to e-mails. It can be an enormously time consuming job and if you don’t have the time or the resources to deal with it, hire a property manager.