At this stage in the game, almost every successful short-term rental host is making use of a vacation rental management company. In our eyes, there really aren’t any drawbacks to hiring a management company to streamline your operations and manage the daily workings.
There are about a hundred different terms for a vacation rental management company, and while that is a mild exaggeration, it’s easy to get lost in so many labels. This leads us to our first question…
What Is A Vacation Rental Management Company?
According to iGMS, a vacation rental management company handles “the supervision and administration of vacation rental properties, ranging from handling bookings, cleaning, and maintenance, to marketing, and taking good care of the guest experience.”
They’ll handle everything from an independent website builder to invoice management and a channel manager. This depends on what your chosen vacation rental management company offers.
What Should I Look For In A Vacation Rental Management Company?
There are a few things that you need to look at when deciding which property management company to go with. While this does depend on your location and the types of vacation rental guests that you’re looking to attract, and the prices you want to charge.
Cost of Services
As a vacation rental host, you should always look for ways to save money. Of course, hiring a vacation rental management company costs money, but you can still find good deals. You have to spend money to make money but never forget to look at all the options before you decide which vacation rental company works best for you.
Experience in Your Local Area
Your chosen property management company needs to not only operate in your area but have experience with other hosts in your region. The company will need to be prepared for the types of bookings that your local market experience. Short turnaround times, high guest counts, lots of children, and digital nomads are just a few of the things that might be true of your local area.
Calendar Management Experience
One of the most important features of any rental management company is calendar management. If you list on Airbnb, Booking.com, and others, you need some sort of software to combine your calendars! Without it, you risk double booking and suffering some poor reviews as a result. Remember, OTAs can choose to financially penalize hosts for canceling too many bookings.
Automated Messaging Capabilities
Response rates on sites like Airbnb and Booking.com play a huge role in where you rank in search results. And where you place in search results affects how many bookings you get. More eyes on your listing, more bookings. If your property management company doesn’t offer automated messaging, you might need to consider switching. If you have to manage your response rate yourself, part of the benefit of a property management company is negated.
Direct Booking Website Builders
A direct booking site is a great way to circumnavigate the OTA charges. Remember that you will be swiftly banned if the OTA thinks you’re directing bookings away from them. Instead, use a direct booking website for return guests only.
Partnerships With Other Vacation Rental Industry Businesses
Your chosen vacation rental management company needs to have partnerships with other industry businesses. It’s important to work with companies that can offer you usage deals for other services in the industry. Team DPGO has been hard at work to build partnerships with other businesses. We’ve connected with iGMS, Guesty, HostAway, Hostfully, and OwnerRez.