Suppose you own a vacation or short-term rental property in Orlando or Central Florida and are considering hiring a vacation rental management company. In that case, you must know what to look for during your hiring process.
Vacation rental managers will operate differently and offer variations of vacation management services and pricing. If you don’t do your research and choose the wrong vacation rental manager, it can be detrimental to your success.
In this topic, we’ll go over what you should know about the Orlando vacation rental management market, what questions you should ask, and vital factors when hiring a vacation property manager.
First, does my property qualify as a Vacation Rental Property?
As a full-service property management company located in Orlando, Florida, we often get calls from out-of-state homeowners and investors looking to purchase or rent an investment property.
During the initial conversation, property owners and investors sometimes don’t know the difference between a short-term vacation rental property and a specific long-term investment property.
In Central Florida, specific areas will allow short-term rental investment properties. For example, suppose your rental is located in Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, or Lake Nona. In that case, your property will likely be unable to be used as a vacation/short-term rental property.
If you own a second home or rental property in Osceola County near Disney, you will likely have vacation rental success.
What is a Vacation Rental Manager?
Vacation rental management is the supervision and administration of vacation rental properties, ranging from guest relations to marketing and sales, handling bookings, cleaning, and maintenance, to marketing, and taking good care of the guest experience.
Other vacation rental property management duties include day-to-day maintenance issues, reservation, hospitality management, Airbnb or VRBO bookings, and communication from prospective guests.
Top Tips when Hiring a Vacation Rental Property Manager
When finding the right property management company, you should look for various things. To help give you a starting point, we listed some of our top tips when looking to hire yours.
Property Management Fees & Contracts
With a vacation rental property, there are many more fees to consider and understand.
Vacation rental property management fees typically range anywhere from 12% up to 50% of the rental income from bookings.
- As a rule of thumb, the industry standard for Airbnb vacation rental property management is between 20%-28%.
- When breaking down the fees, many management companies use a standard commission model structure that is generally broken down into three categories; a fixed-rate model, a guaranteed-rate model, or a combination of 2 or more.
Commission Model Structure Categories:
- Commission fee model
- Fixed-rate fee model
- Guaranteed income fee model
A quality property management company will require a property owner to execute a property management agreement. If a vacation rental property management company does not need one, this should be a red flag for you.
Vacation Management Services Included:
Knowing the exact services that your vacation rental management company provides is highly important when deciding what company to hire. Questions to ask range from; marketing fees, professional photography, updating listings, cleaning, and maintenance.
Local Central Florida Market Knowledge
The best Orlando property management companies you need to look for are experts in the local market. Insufficient understanding of local markets will hurt tenant recruitment efforts.
The best way to know if they’re knowledgeable in this area is by asking a few questions. If they seem uncertain or uneducated when answering these questions, you may want to keep looking or conduct your research to fact-check their responses.
Digital Marketing and Online Booking Experience
One of the most important questions you can ask is how they will market your rental property. When it comes to seeing your vacation rental, posting it on their website is not enough. Data proves that Airbnb and Booking.com have over 32 million property listings alone. Therefore, having a vacation rental manager know how to optimize your listings and target your audience is one of the most important factors when choosing a management company.
To find out if they are knowledgeable in this area, search Airbnb and Vrbo for their properties. If you can’t find them, or they don’t show up until the second or third page of search results, you should look elsewhere.
If the company you are hiring is only available during the weekdays (8-5 pm), you can bet you’ll miss out on many potential guests. Experts say that most people book online services before, after, and on weekends.
Another area to look into is how your guest can book your property. When making payment arrangements, most guests prefer to book online, and very few are willing to get on the phone or send a paper check in the mail. If your potential manager doesn’t offer any way for those guests to book online, you’ll again miss out on bookings.
Property Management Summary
If you want to have a successful short-term vacation rental property in the Orlando area, you must do your research to find the best property management company for you and your investment needs.
As a professional property management company in Orlando, Florida, we understand the challenges of managing a rental investment property.
If you are looking for property management in the Orlando or Tampa Bay area, we are here as a resource to you and your rental property.