Should I Hire a Vacation Rental Property Manager?

Owning a vacation rental property is an exciting adventure to embark on, and as with any new opportunity, there are probably a plethora of questions about the process of renting out a vacation home consuming your thoughts:

How much money can I make from my vacation rental?

What do I need to include in my vacation rental property listing?

Do I need insurance for my short-term vacation rental?

What are short-term rental laws in my area?

Should I hire a vacation rental property manager?

The last question can help you find the answers to the other four.

Let’s start with the vacation rental property management basics – you have a few options when it comes to managing your property. There’s managing your property entirely by yourself, there’s utilizing property management services, and there’s hiring a full-service vacation rental property manager.

Here’s the difference between the three.


If you choose to manage your vacation rental yourself, you’ll have a decent amount of work cut out for you. As a self-managed property, you’ll  need to:

  • Craft your vacation rental property listing
  • Photograph your rental property
  • Keep up with all booking calendars on different sites
  • Respond to all guest questions and bookings
  • Get your home guest-ready for every guest
  • Handle all home maintenance
  • Be available 24/7 for customer service

This can sound like a lot of work – and it can be. However, if you’re only planning to rent out your home every once in a while (i.e. maybe once a month), this may make the most economic sense for you. If you’d like to use your vacation rental as a business and have a steady flow of guests, the other two options may seem more appealing.

Self-Management + Software and Services

Some people like to be very hands on with their rental properties – but they also know that they need a little bit of extra help. This is where companies specializing in aspects of vacation rental management can be of use for you

Maybe you’re great at customer service, but you struggle with writing your vacation rental listings. Or you have a knack for home maintenance, but hate cleaning your home or can’t find reliable housekeepers in your area.

This is where partial service offerings can help you. If you are willing to invest a significant portion of your time and money into self-managing and purchasing these resources, this option could make sense for you depending on how frequently you plan on renting out your home. For a full-time rental, this option would still be a significant amount of work for you as a host.

If you start purchasing these offerings a la carte and you notice the price tag climbing and your workload not getting much lighter, it might be time to explore a full-service property manager.

Live in Austin and interested in trying TurnKey’s new software as a service offering that utilizes all of TurnKey’s proprietary technology for free? Learn more here.

Full-Service Vacation Rental Property Manager

If you’re ready to hit the ground running with your vacation rental and want to maximize your return on investment, a full-service vacation rental property manager is what you’re looking for.

Full-service property managers, like TurnKey, help vacation rental homeowners every step of the way. From creating your property listing, to responding to questions from guests, to cleaning your home between stays – a good full-service property manager handles it all. 

Property managers also provide a level of expertise that’s necessary when operating a vacation rental. They’ll help you follow local STR regulations, file the correct tax paperwork, and make rate recommendations to ensure your rental is competitive while also maximizing revenue. Additionally, if you don’t live in the city you manage your vacation rental in, a property manager can be your point of contact for guests and provide updates on your rental home while you’re away.

Some property managers even cover some of the costs of owning and listing a vacation rental. For example – while TurnKey charges an industry-low commission rate on every booking, we don’t charge our homeowners for annual fees for listing on sites like HomeAway and Airbnb and we provide our in-home technology for free.

At TurnKey, we found it takes about 15-30 hours/week on average to manage a successful vacation rental – crafting and updating listings, updating nightly rates and calendars, responding to time-sensitive guest inquiries and customer service questions, and handling maintenance and repairs are only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re planning to regularly rent out your home, a full-service property manager can help you maximize your revenue and reduce your workload as a vacation rental owner.

Property managers are a great tool for vacation rental homeowners looking to get the most out of their property while having a minimal workload.

Interested in seeing how partnering with TurnKey can help you earn more money? Learn more here.

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