Hire a Property Manager: 10 Signs It’s Time
Managing a rental property comes with some challenges. While they are well worth the effort, the process includes everything from adhering to local regulations to increasing guest satisfaction. Sometimes these tasks become too much for one person to handle. Plus, they cause stress and frustration. If this rings true, it may be the right time to hire a property manager.
10 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Property Manager
You’re not generating enough money.
Less bookings than last year. High maintenance costs. Property and state tax increases. Marketing dollars not going far enough.
Does any of that sound familiar? Many homeowners find themselves not generating enough revenue to keep their rental home, much less make money. Factor in the costs of maintenance and guests requests, and some lose money each month.
PM solution: Partner with a property manager who has a proven plan for increasing bookings. On average, homes that book more often tend to generate more money, which means a better revenue stream. A professional manager should also suggest the best companies for cleaning, maintenance and services, ensuring owners receive the best price.
Rentals cause stress.
A short-term rental is supposed to serve as a home-away-from-home. Or it provides an investment option that can be transferred down the line or maintained for future generations. It should provide a retreat.
However, the aspects of management may overwhelm owners. If the rental process causes stress — such as losing sleep, working 24/7 or becomes a financial liability — it’s time to consider a professional management company.
PM solution: A good manager will take care of everything. Homeowners earn income while getting their time and energy back.
You’re far away.
Many people who buy a rental property do not live near their property. Maybe it’s an investment and part of a larger portfolio of properties. Or the property serves as a second home used for vacations.
Owners located in another city, state or country have a difficult time managing the property and may not have the resources to do it effectively. If something needs to be cleaned, checked or inspected, owners have to rely on companies in the area to oversee issues. And what about guests?
PM solution: A local property manager works with all third-party companies as well as responds to guests’ needs. Owners can live, work and travel knowing their home is in good hands.
Trouble staying current on rules and regulations.
Rules and regulations change often. They change on every level. Homeowner associations (HOAs), local governments and federal organizations all have different thoughts on usage rules and regulations. As the industry grows, it’s tough to stay current.
PM solution: Hire a property manager who knows current regulations and tax requirements. Some even advocate on behalf of short-term properties to change laws and protect property owners.
Effectively managing a short-term rental takes time. From preparing the property and photography to guests and maintenance, it’s a full-time job for many owners. Then add family, friends and obligations. Some owners just don’t have the time. That’s OK.
PM solution: Let someone else do all the work. Owners will get free time back to focus on other important things.
Not sure how or when to make repairs.
Repairs can cost thousands, especially if not done the right way the first time. Plus, some require hiring a third-party company such as a roofer or plumber. If so, who should homeowners trust? Do homeowners try to repair it themselves and save money?
PM solution: Local managers have built business relationships with cleaning, maintenance and skilled labor companies. They hire someone on the owner’s behalf. In addition, some managers do know how to make certain repairs and/or have service employees on staff.
Hire a Property Manager: Working With Guests
Difficult to screen good guests.
Based on the home’s criteria, the screening process may seem extensive. Some owners don’t want guests under a certain age group. Others don’t want pets or children. Then consider the property’s security regarding parties and gatherings. In the past, has the home received damage or negative reviews for no reason?
PM solution: Many management companies have a thorough built-in screening processes and ask important questions. In addition, they ensure guests sign a rental agreement and adhere to fees.
Guests seem too demanding.
Those who have managed properties know some guests require more attention. Whether it’s what they expect upon arrival or requests during their stay, some owners find it difficult to assist them 24/7.
PM solution: Hire a property manager who will personally oversee guest satisfaction or employs a guest services manager. Either way, this person is dedicated to keeping guests happy and satisfied.
Can’t respond to all reviews.
A study shows that 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54. This number represents a large portion of customers showing that reviews matter.
Positive reviews help bookings. Negative reviews hurt bookings. And unfair reviews present additional problems, especially for those who went above and beyond, but the guest was still unsatisfied. Responding to these reviews takes time, finesse and is a necessity in today’s online world.
PM solution: A professional manager should dedicate time to respond to reviews and resolve issues. Imagine the long-term relationship homeowners will build with recurring guests if reviews are professionally managed.
Prefer to take a “hands-off” approach.
In addition, some short-term rental owners don’t want to manage a second home or investment property. They prefer to do nothing and collect a check every month.
PM solution: Make sure the property management company offers a full-service program. The program should include: listing assistance, digital marketing and social media, software, distribution, reviews, and overseeing cleaning, maintenance and guest service – before, during and after their stay.