With the help of the right property manager, renting your vacation property can generate substantial cash flow.
There has never been a better time to invest in vacation rentals.
The internet has opened more avenues to make money quickly and easily through short-term property rentals than ever before. As the world moves into the digital and connected economy, people have come to rely on online vacation rental marketplaces for every step of the rental process—from scrutinizing reviews to making a booking.
Lead by the hugely popular Airbnb, home rental and hotel alternative sites like VRBO and FlipKey have grown exponentially over the last decade and made investing in real estate more accessible—and potentially profitable—than ever before.
If handled correctly, renting your vacation property can offset the cost of owning the property and generate substantial cash flow and profits, particularly if you invest in up-and-coming destinations within South America or Europe.
Property management: An overview
Owning a short-term rental does present a unique set of challenges. If you’ve ever managed a vacation rental on your own, you already know it comes with a demanding roster of duties. Property owners who can’t devote hours of every day to managing a vacation rental should consider seeking assistance from a property manager.
A property manager is an individual or company that takes care of the daily responsibilities of the rental property. Depending on your needs and the management contract, your property manager can handle everything from finding renters to coordinating building maintenance.
The rise of online vacation renting has also led to the rapid growth of the property management industry. But while the market may be saturated with property managers, not all companies are created equal. When it comes to an investment as valuable and potentially profitable as a vacation rental, it’s important to partner with a property manager that is both knowledgeable and dependable.
What to look for when hiring a property management company
If you want to find a reliable property management company that will care for your rental home while maximizing your rental profits, here are seven key considerations to keep in mind:
- Reputation. Online vacation rental marketplaces and review platforms make it easy to perform thorough research on your prospective property manager. When researching a company, carefully read reviews of its current properties on platforms like Airbnb and TripAdvisor. Note whether they tend to be consistently positive, or if there are complaints about upkeep, customer service, cleanliness, and other aspects under the property manager’s control. Similarly, you should request references from current clients from your prospective property manager. Reach out to references to inquire about their experience and ask whether they would partner with the property management company again.
- Number of properties. If your prospective property management company runs only a handful of units, it should raise a red flag. Too few rental properties could indicate inexperience or lost clients due to subpar service. On the other hand, a company that manages too many properties is unlikely to be able to give you the level of attention and personalized care you need. As a general rule of thumb, the sweet spot is often between 100 and 350 properties, but with the right company, the sky really is the limit!
- Services included. As you may have already discovered, a lot goes into managing a profitable vacation rental. In addition to maintenance, cleaning, and inspections, property management involves finding and vetting guests, ensuring an excellent visitor experience, and providing top-notch customer service. Make sure your property manager has experience in every aspect of the rental process.
- First-hand knowledge of the local real estate market. To be able to complete a thorough market analysis of comparable listings in your property area, your property manager needs a first-hand understanding of the local real estate market. An expert in local real estate will understand how to determine the peak nightly rate for your property while maximizing occupancy based on variables such as location, seasonal demand, and special events.
- Local offices. It’s also a major plus if your property management team has offices close to your rental. A property manager that is based in the same area as your rental property will be on hand to address issues such as maintenance concerns or guest requests.
- A solid marketing strategy. To maximize occupancy, you need a property management company with a dedicated marketing team. A reliable company will leverage tools and technology to promote your property and increase your potential to earn rental income. This includes listing your property on major platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com. Steer clear of property managers that only list properties on their own sites.
- Customer service. In the end, it’s customer service that sets a property management company apart from the others. The best property managers demonstrate stellar verbal and written communication, in addition to being exceptionally responsive to your guests’ concerns. Excellent communication and customer care will earn your property positive reviews on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO and ultimately increase the number of bookings you receive.
Why choose Lifeafar
As a leader in property management in Latin America and Europe, Lifeafar oversees vacation rentals in major cities in Colombia and Portugal. We’ll be expanding to Puerto Rico soon.
If you need property management services in these areas, we offer the expertise and robust technological infrastructure needed to care for your property while maximizing rental profits.
Contact Us to learn more about our services and someone from our property management team will reply as soon as possible.