Property Management

When it comes to managing your vacation rental, you have several options. There are likely factors that will determine your preferred method of management, such as budget and proximity.

Professional Service

In areas where there are a lot of vacation rental properties, there will also be professional management companies who take care of everything from meeting and greeting, to linen changes and concierge services. It pays to shop around to find the right company since you want them to represent you to your guests in the best possible light. Find out who will do the changeovers – will it be the same people for each one, or are they using a student pool? Will they follow your changeover checklist? How do they handle emergency call-outs, and how much extra do they charge for this service? Although they may be more reliable, there is a higher cost involved and the potential for less flexibility.

Getting property management right from the start is important, as once the busy rental season starts it can be stressful if an emergency occurs and there is no one to handle it. Whatever option you choose, be business-like about it and ensure everyone involved is aware of their commitment.

Neighbors

You might have friendly neighbors who are familiar with your property and since they live nearby, have offered to manage the changeovers and be on call to help guests if they have a problem. This may seem a great deal at first since it is usually a low-cost option and it often starts off with a lot of enthusiasm. However, take care that they know what the commitment is and how important it is not to miss out on routine tasks because ‘something else came up’. Draw up an ‘agreement’ that lists all the tasks that need to be carried out, so no-one is unsure of what is expected.

Local Handyman

The most popular option in areas where there are no property management companies is to hire a local handyman or small cleaning/maintenance team. Check your local paper and noticeboards in supermarkets and nearby gas stations for people advertising their services. The benefits of hiring someone locally is that they are familiar with the tradespeople in your area so if a major issue occurs with plumbing or heating, they will either be able to handle it, or know someone who can. An arrangement like this should be on a more business-like footing with regular invoices supplied and clear expectations of the tasks. The downside of the smaller businesses is that they can be unreliable since there’s a tendency for them to take on too much and spread themselves too thinly.