It takes a lot of work to get your vacation home ready to rent. So, what can you do to make sure your property is a success?
The answer surprises many vacation homeowners – hire a property manager, and stay as hands-off as possible regarding the duties assigned to your property manager.
“The relationship between the property manager and the owner is just like any other professional relationship,” said long-time vacation property owner David Hillard, founder of Piddlin.com. “Vacation homeowners will sometimes become involved in the property managers’ duties. That’s not good for anyone.”
Of course, property management agreements vary. In many cases, the manager will ensure the property meets the cleanliness, maintenance, and other standards expected for a prime guest experience. Many will also develop marketing and advertising strategies to ensure your home rents for a reasonable price. But no matter the duties, it’s important the vacation homeowner and property manager agree on all aspects of the business arrangement.
“Early on in starting my company I noticed that landlords need to be consulted through the process,” said Cozy Oasis Founder Ashley Warmington.
Keep these 3 vacation home considerations in mind as you create an agreement with your property manager to find vacation rental home success:
“Most people want a rental property to have upgrades, but that can be difficult if an owner isn’t making any money yet,” she said. “That’s when it’s important for owners to work with property managers to determine the most critical updates.”
When owners make elaborate upgrades before they are earning money or beyond what they can afford, it can impact both their finances and their enthusiasm for the property. That could lead owners to want to raise rental rates above market price, which might lead to high vacancy rates. Although updated kitchens and bathrooms are always key, specific upgrades are more critical in one region of the country than others. That’s why smart owners’ should always tap into their property managers’ expertise.
Placing strict rules on how the home is used can prove equally costly. Certainly, no one wants guests who wreak havoc on the home or in the neighborhood. But severe restriction such as only renting to businesspeople, not allowing groups of unrelated occupants, or requiring silence after 5 p.m. are surefire ways to squelch enthusiasm for the property.
“Some owners have incredibly high standards for what guests they want,” Warmington said. “We can limit guests, but that’s going to impact your earnings.”
A good property manager, like TurnKey, will screen guests, explain guidelines, and enforce policies. Trust their instincts.
Many vacation homeowners unknowingly undermine their own rental by offering discounts and deals without the knowledge of the property manager.
In fact, some vacation rental home owners become so anxious to book advance reservations that they run advertisements and listings, separate from those placed by the property manager, offering extreme discounts.
“That happens all of the time,” said Hillard. “The problem is that it undercuts the property manager.”
And such arrangements can negatively impact property managers’ reputations and the credibility of your vacation rental.
“That type of behaviors is dangerous and it can be unethical,” said Warmington. “I expect owners to be honest with me and I’m honest with them. It all comes down to honesty and communication. You must have those two things for anyone to succeed.”
Vacation homeowners who partner with and respect their property managers will find they build a loyal following and reputation that will lead them to success.