The vacation rental industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, and, despite unprecedented challenges and changes, the industry continues to boom! After an extended period of pandemic shutdown, everyone wants to travel, and private vacation rental properties are in higher demand than ever.
The demand is not slowing down, vacation homes are experiencing faster appreciation, and investors and second homeowners are snatching up real estate at a rapid pace. Getting by on the bare minimum of self-management is no longer enough to operate a successful short-term rental property in such a competitive market.
Whether you’re new to the short-term rental industry or looking to switch property managers to optimize and scale your short-term rental investment effectively, the key to success is knowing what to ask a property management firm before hiring them.
What to Ask Property Management Companies
Before hiring the right property manager, finding someone you trust with your investment property, goals, and guests is essential. Ask these questions to ensure you’re hiring a good property manager with a reliable reputation.
1. Do I need a vacation rental property manager?
The success of your short-term rental is impacted by many factors, including effective marketing for maximum bookings, quality property care, and ensuring an exceptional guest experience for prospective tenants at every touchpoint of their vacation. Managing properties is a full-time job, especially if you don’t have suitable systems and software.
Not all vacation rental property managers are equal. Each company will have its own unique approach to vacation rental management. Be sure to understand what they offer and, of course, what they don’t! Good property managers will handle all aspects of your rental so you can enjoy the perks of owning a vacation home without the hassle or headache.
2. What is your current vacation rental portfolio & performance?
Unleashing the full potential of your short-term rental requires partnering with professionals with extensive knowledge of vacation industry trends for your destination, including the rules and regulations that may impact your income. Each destination is unique, and the key to success is to create a rental strategy that reflects the local market and maximizes your ROI.
The short-term rental market in Palm Springs is competitive and complex. Before hiring a property manager in Palm Springs, do your homework on the company’s current vacation rental portfolio and performance. Some key questions to ask include:
- How long have you been operating in Palm Springs?
- What is your level of experience in the local market?
- How many properties do you currently manage?
- What is your rental performance for similar properties?
- What makes you stand out from the local competition?
Learn how Savvy Vacation Rental Management realized a year-over-year growth of more than 40% for a Palm Springs property homeowner.
3. What are the terms, conditions, and management fees for your property management company?
Fees for residential property managers can range anywhere from 20% up to 50%, with varying fee structures. Many property management firms will take a percentage of rental income earned, and others charge a flat fee for their services. Make sure you understand the fee structure of your management contract and what services you receive in return. Look out for additional charges and hidden fees (credit card charges, OTA fees, cleaning services, property maintenance, etc.).
The agreement you are signing is as important as the fees. Savvy Vacation Rental Management understands that each owner has a unique set of goals that requires a personalized property management approach. We deliver results without locking you into a long-term contract. Long-term relationships, no nickel and diming, no out-of-pocket costs, and no hidden fees are more our style!
4. What property and guest services are included?
Now you know what you are paying to manage your short-term rental, ask potential property managers where your money is going. What property services, maintenance requests, and guest services are included in the monthly management fee? Are there any additional fees to expect throughout the year? Get a clear outline of the cost of property care, ongoing marketing services, and personalized services for your guests.
5. How will you determine the right price for my rental?
Creating a competitive vacation rental pricing strategy is essential to reduce risk and maximize your return on investment, but pricing right is not an easy task! You need to consider the amenities offered in the home, seasonality, and your competitors’ pricing. How will the property management company you’re hiring determine the right price for your rental while maximizing occupancy?
Savvy VRM takes the guesswork out of pricing with innovative, dynamic pricing tools that analyze market-specific data to align rates with real-time customer demand, optimizing your vacation rental pricing strategy and boosting your bottom line.
6. How will you market my vacation rental?
There are over two million vacation rentals online, including thousands of rentals in Greater Palm Springs. Needless to say, marketing matters! To get the return on investment you’re seeking on your real estate, your vacation rental needs to be professionally presented by a quality property manager to stand out from the crowd and be instantly bookable on all major online channels.
How will you make my home stand out in front of the right audience, at the right time, and at the right price? That’s an excellent question to ask a property manager before hiring them! A great property management company will have a booking strategy that includes a strong presence on all major vacation rental booking sites, niche vacation rental websites, and social media. They will also market your vacation rental to a well-established database of potential guests.
7. How will you handle the guest journey and experience?
The guest experience is crucial to the success of your short-term vacation rental, from the online booking process to guest check-out and beyond. A positive guest experience results in word-of-mouth referrals, repeat guests, and the five-star reviews that set your home apart from the competition.
Will the potential property manager perform tenant screening, respond promptly to inquiries and issues, and be available for your guests 24/7 during their stay? In addition, the short-term rental regulations in Palm Springs require that each property owner offer a live check-in (meeting and greeting each guest in person on the property), so be sure this service is included in your monthly management fees.
8. What level of interaction can I expect as a homeowner?
You’ll find vacation rental management companies on both sides of the scale: owner-centric and guest-centric. You should partner with an experienced property manager that pays equal attention to the property owners and the guests.
As a homeowner, you should expect personal support and guidance to reach your goals, detailed financial statements and owner reports, and complete transparency in managing your rental properties. At Savvy VRM, we keep you informed every step of the way through our online owner portal with real-time reporting at your fingertips and the ability to book your home as often as you like.
9. May I speak with your existing or previous clients?
This should perhaps be the first question you ask! If the answer is no, move swiftly along. Reference checking is an important part of the hiring process, and a licensed property manager won’t just expect you to take their word for it.
Our response to a super savvy question—absolutely! Savvy VRM is known for its personal, professional, and profitable property management services. Our Savvy owners love our services so much that we have a 100% retention rate!
10. How Do I Get Started with Savvy VRM?
Being a Savvy Owner means partnering with a trusted industry professional to work smart, not hard, and reach the maximum income potential on your vacation home or investment property. With Savvy by your side, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
Call us at (760) 227-5377 today, or click here to leave a message.