A quick Google search for "property manager" in any major city is bound to turn up pages of results, but knowing which one is right for your vacation rental property is another issue entirely. There's a very short list of questions you should be asking to determine if you've hired the right property manager for your short term or vacation rental property. If you can't positively answer these questions it may be time to go back to those search results (or, ahem, call us).
Is your property manager right for you?
1. Is my manager communicative on all issues regarding my home?
Obviously your property manager should be good at telling you when a new booking has occurred (and hopefully they're doing that in real time and not just at the end of the period). But a great property manager will also tell you when they've checked guests into your home, whenever they've received a notification by a guest as to any issue on the property, again at checkout to confirm the home looks the way it did prior to guest check in, and after a cleaning has taken place and the management team has confirmed the home is rental ready again. No news may be good news for some, but being updated on your property means your manger is actively working for you.
2. Does my manager book my home regularly, even in shoulder or off seasons?
A good manager will continue to drive income-producing activity for your home even when peak seasons have come and gone. He or she is constantly working and tweaking your home's listing on- and off-line. With ongoing diligence, a great property manager will continue to generate booking activity all year long, especially in California where rental activity is a year-round proposition. You should not have dead periods in any one month of less than 50% occupancy unless you're the one staying there.
3. Does my manager know the intricacies of my home?
It's great to be in constant touch with your manager and it's great when they get year-round bookings, but if they don't know your home from any other home in their portfolio, you could be facing an uphill battle when it comes to maintenance and treatment. Here's a specific list of what your property manager should know about your property:
- Your trash/recycling schedule, plus the protocols for pick-up
- Protocol for picking up USPS mail and package deliveries
- How outdoor furniture should be taken care of (before, during, and after each rental period)
- Your cleaning preferences and how your furniture is arranged, even whether you prefer placemats on the dining room table
4. Does my manager have a review process for my home and their management services?
While this is last on the list, it's actually the most important. Your property is only as good as the reviews it generates, and more often than not one bad review can cause a drop in bookings. Reviews are influenced by several factors - some of which you have responsibility for and others that come from the guest experience before and during their stay. The most important factors guests rely on when crafting a review are:
- Accuracy of listing
- Overall value of property
- Check-in/check-out process
Only that last item is your responsibility, while everything else is up to your property manager to ensure each guest has an easy and enjoyable time at your property.
Any property owner should have a list of questions to ask a potential property manager, and at Air Concierge we see these questions as an opportunity to show each potential client how our full-service vacation rental property management services are different from the dozens of long-term managers in our area. If you have questions about how Air Concierge can help you generate a significant income stream from your home, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Of course, you can browse our own reviews first.