In today's technology- and Internet-driven world, more owners of vacation rental properties are attempting to book and manage their properties on their own. But often owners quickly become overwhelmed with responding to reservation requests, maintenance and housekeeping issues and even late-night phone calls.
For example, if rental guests lock themselves out of their property in the middle of the night, they're going to phone the owner. Hiring an effective vacation rental management company can greatly ease the burden of property management, and can result in increased revenue for the rental property. Often this increased revenue is enough to cover the fees for the management company's services.
Consider also the intangible benefit of peace of mind for the owner, who may be able to defray part of the management company expense through tax benefits.
Here are some guidelines for choosing a vacation rental management company and some reasonable expectations:
that has its own housekeeping and maintenance crews. When these functions are outsourced to contractors, the owner usually ends up paying more and the quality of services is much harder to control than when these functions are staffed by the company themselves. Your manager should inspect your unit weekly if it's not booked and be able to tell you what improvements you should make that will increase rental revenue. For example, the manager may suggest that the owner add flatscreen HD TVs and appropriate bedding.
Robert Stenhammer has been a resort executive for more than 15 years and has an MBA in hospitality and tourism. He is the president of Hilton Head Accommodations, serves on the board of directors for the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and is vice-chairman of the accommodation tax committee for the Town of Hilton Head Island. Contact him at rstenhammer @hiltonheadusa.com or 843-247-2404.