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25 Apr 2019

Vacation homes are numerous in today’s market because a well-managed property is proving to be truly invaluable. Finding the right rental property manager to market and oversee your home’s progress begins with a candid conversation. Here are some valuable questions to ask your vacation rental property manager before agreeing to a partnership with a property management company.

Top Questions to Ask Your Vacation Rental Property Manager

1. Are you a national or local property management company?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both local and national management companies. National companies have large funds and resources to give their guests an all encapsulating experience. However, they tend to not know specific details about the area.

Local property management companies have full depth knowledge when it comes to the market—they’re located nearby in case you need something, and they tend to have a strong reputation within the community. The downside to local companies is the lack of resources necessary for expanding your home’s presence.

2. How experienced are you in the area?

Depending on the city, vacation rentals may come with a unique range of issues specific to the location. If your rental property management company has years of experience in the area, then they most likely know how to handle any problems that may arise. For example, if your rental is located in an area where locals have begun expressing their annoyance for tourists, the company will know how to handle this conflict; they’ll be able to ensure you’re able to rent out to guests without bothering the neighbors. Experience is always something an individual would want in a partner, but it is especially beneficial for renters.

3. What services do you provide?

As you search for the best property management company for your home, you’ll need to figure out what services are a good fit. For example, some companies will only market your home, putting it on various vacation rental networks. Others will handle marketing and bookings but work with third-party maintenance and cleaning partners.

Instead, strive for a full-service property management company that handles every aspect of your rental. These are some of the services you should look for to reduce the stress as a property owner:

  • Managing guests from the moment they book until they check out. This will include guest screening, inquiries, and handling complaints
  • Photography, home marketing, and optimized listings
  • Responding to guest reviews
  • Scheduling preventative home inspections and maintenance appointments

Photographer shooting a luxury home bedroom

4. Who takes care of the marketing of my home?

Steer clear of companies who do not clearly state their marketing capabilities. What’s the point of having the perfect property if nobody is going to advertise it? If the property manager has a lot of experience, then hopefully that will correlate with how well they are marketing the properties.

Sometimes companies may outsource the marketing of your property, so make sure you ask for a portfolio of prior work to see how effective their strategies are. A full-service property management company will hopefully have an in-house marketing coordinator to get your home out there for people to see.

5. What are the costs and contract details?

When you partner with a property management company, understanding and being knowledgeable about all of the small print and other costs is important. A good company will be upfront about all the costs and make sure that you are aware of the exact breakdown of where your money is going. If it is difficult in any way for you to obtain information about what you’re paying for or the details of the contract agreement, you should steer clear of that company. A reliable company is one that is open about all costs and agreements.

6. How often will you inspect and clean the home?

A dirty, unfit home is not going to entice people to rent it. Small details such as dusty furniture, unreliable Wi-Fi, and other broken amenities are sure to push guests away. Typically, guests are looking for a “resort” experience that’s relaxing and comforting—upgraded homes that are clean and regularly inspected are going to see up to a 40% greater revenue than those lacking these features.

To ensure that your property management company will follow through on these needs ask them the following questions:

  • Do supervisors inspect the home after cleaning or before a visitor’s stay?
  • Do you deep-clean specific areas of the home?
  • Has your cleaning staff received proper training?

Man deep-cleaning outdoor deck

7. How are you utilizing technology to enhance the experience?

Don’t sign on with a vacation rental property manager if they are not technologically savvy. We live in an age where, if a business is not utilizing a variety of technology, they will fall behind. The company you partner with should invest in the right tools, whether that be real-time property reports to owners or a good presence on social media.

8. Are any of your properties on any major rental sites?

One of the easiest ways to get an idea for a property management company is by finding out whether they list any of their homes on major rental sites. This is something you can do ahead of time or afterward to fact check their answers. It’s not only important to look at home listings but to read through the ratings and reviews as well. Keep in mind that a single listing will not show you a full picture of the overall operation but will give you an idea of what to expect.

These are just a few vital questions you should ask as you interview different property management companies. Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you think are necessary to get to know the company.

At Exceptional Stays, we invite you to ask us these questions—we are committed to taking care of your home. Our Telluride luxury vacation rentals range from condos to cabins to expansive homes; we make sure to put our owners at the top of our contact list. You will get real-time, honest information about your property. If you’re searching for a knowledgeable, energetic, and passionate vacation rental property management company, Exceptional Stays is just what you need.