When it comes to managing properties in the vacation rental industry, there are a few paths you can take. You can either manage rentals yourself, hire a property manager, or opt for the services of Airbnb property management companies.
It’s no secret that managing short-term rentals is not an easy job and requires a lot of commitment. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the vacation rental industry’s revenue is predicted to grow by 36.7% in 2021.
This means that people are continuing to launch their short-term rental businesses. While the competition keeps hosts on their toes, you might wonder if outsourcing your Airbnb management can help you succeed.
In this article, we’ve put together everything you should know about finding and hiring a third-party Airbnb property manager or company. To go one step further, we’ve created a list of the best companies that provide top-notch property management services.
Read on to learn all about outsourced Airbnb property management — from fees to how to choose the best company for your business needs.
Today Airbnb property management has a wider meaning than just managing properties listed on Airbnb. “Airbnb” has become a generic term and implies pretty much any short-term or vacation rental. Therefore, suggestions and tactics discussed in this article can be put to good use by any vacation rental property owner.
So, how does Airbnb (vacation rental) management work? It encompasses a whole host of operations and tasks that hosts or managers need to do on a day-to-day basis. These are:
All in all, managing vacation rentals is a time-consuming process that requires hosts to wear many hats. Some of these routine tasks are essential to keep your business up and running, while others are crucial for your business growth.
Before you decide whether you should hire a professional manager or a company to oversee your rental properties, make sure to consider all the pros and cons of all types of Airbnb management.
You can save on vacation rental management fees. They can be quite high depending on your property’s type, location, and other factors.
You can decide whether you want to rent out your property or whether you’d like to stay there for a certain time. Plus, you have more control over pricing, discounts, and business on the whole.
To ensure your guests are happy and leave more 5-star reviews, you will have to handle an endless number of regular tasks. This will leave you with practically no time for scaling your business.
The hosting process is unlikely to come easy, especially if you are starting out. There are many things to learn, and the learning process is never-ending.
On top of basic hosting knowledge, you need to be aware of the legal side of running a short-term rental business. The lack of relevant knowledge about restrictions, regulations, and taxes can result in property mismanagement and even fines.
Marketing is important for bringing your business to your potential guests. But familiarizing yourself with marketing strategies also requires a great deal of your time. So, the best idea would be to hire a seasoned marketer to help you with your business promotion.
Handing over regular tasks to a professional property manager can free up your time. You can busy yourself with business-scaling initiatives. These can be searching for partnership opportunities or investment properties.
A professional property manager is well-aware of the regulations and tendencies in a local short-term rental market. They can help you build a viable income strategy, and help with paperwork and taxes.
Airbnb property managers have good experience in dealing with guest complaints. If any issues arise while your guests’ stay at your vacation rental, a property manager will be there to handle them. You can opt for remote management and be sure that your guests are well-cared for.
The services of an experienced property manager can be quite costly. Depending on your property’s location, you can end up paying 20-40% of each booking to a local manager.
When working with external Airbnb property managers, you will need to sign a contract and be bound by the terms and conditions outlined in it. This means less flexibility and less control over your rental.
Unlike with DIY Airbnb management, you won’t be the one who communicates with your guests. You won’t be able to find out first hand what is crucial for them and what you can do to improve their experience.
A property management company usually offers a full management services package: from cleaning services to guest screening and marketing. With a big team in place, an Airbnb property management company has a greater capacity to handle every aspect of your short-term rental business.
Unlike a solo property manager, a company is more mindful of its reputation. Airbnb management companies rely not only on word of mouth but they also understand the importance of excellent online reviews and ratings. So, it is in their best interest to establish their good name by providing excellent service to attract future clients.
Management fees can be higher than those charged by solo property managers. What’s more, a management company is likely to be more reluctant to negotiate its fees and offer discounts.
As with a freelance property manager, you will need to sign an agreement. This will certainly limit your flexibility in terms of using your property.
Whether you are an individual host, work with property managers or you run an Airbnb property management company, using automation has become crucial to the efficiency and success of any short-term rental business. Vacation rental software is a necessity, not just a nice-to-have tool for hassle-free property management.
For example, vacation rental software like iGMS can come in handy to:
Let’s take a closer look at what services Airbnb management companies typically offer to their clients and how you can up your game using them.
To be on the safe side, you should always follow local laws and regulations. A property management company can advise you on how to run your business within the law, reducing the risk of paying fines and penalties.
While effective guest communication is one of the key elements of providing a flawless guest experience, you can get overwhelmed by trying to reply to every incoming message promptly. A property management company can provide 24/7 support to all your guests.
This way, your guest satisfaction will increase, positively impacting the number of your good reviews and new bookings.
As a busy Airbnb host, you don’t usually have enough time to vet your potential guests. However, without proper screening, you can end up dealing with troublesome guests.
To protect your rental from unsavory travelers, short-term rental property management companies handle this process with due diligence. They screen your prospective guests’ profiles and ask questions to make sure you won’t have to deal with difficult guests.
Your vacation rental property should be competitively priced all year round. Otherwise, you can face significant revenue losses. A property management company will adjust your property rates by analyzing competition and local tendencies while aiming for maximum occupancy.
To understand how your business performs, it’s crucial to monitor your data. This is where professional reporting comes into play. For example, by identifying your most effective channels, you will be able to optimize your strategy towards revenue growth and distribute budgets among your channels wisely.
Now more than ever, guests are concerned about cleanliness. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure that your short-term rental is sparkling clean and disinfected. A vacation rental management company will take care of your property’s cleanliness and get your rental in tip-top shape after each guest.
The same applies to maintenance or repair work. If something goes wrong, they will come to your rescue with a proper solution.
Be sure to ask how cleaning and maintenance fees are structured. Sometimes a property management company may include a cleaning fee in your property’s rate. In such a case, this fee should be paid by a guest.
To reach your target guest, you need to have a solid vacation rental marketing strategy in place. Today’s marketing requires continuous efforts and being active on social media channels where your audience is present.
Usually, marketing services offered by property management companies include taking professional photos of your rental, updating your listings across various online booking channels or even managing a dedicated Instagram page.
Keep in mind to inquire whether a company provides marketing services at an extra cost or whether they are available within a standard package.
The exact amount of the average Airbnb property management fees is calculated based on several factors. However, if talking about a very approximate range, they may vary between 20%-40% of your monthly rental income.
These are the major parameters that determine vacation rental property management fees:
If your vacation rental property is located in a popular area with high property management fees, you will also have to spend a tidy sum for outsourced property management.
The smaller your short-term rental property is, the smaller the hassle and fees are consequently.
If your short-term rental property hasn’t been renovated for a long time, chances are it has many maintenance issues that could lead to regular repairs and higher fees.
If you are opting for hands-off property management where all aspects of your business are handled by a company, you will for sure have to pay more. If you outsource just marketing and 24/7 customer support while automating other operations using vacation rental software, your fees will be much lower.
When choosing a company to entrust the management of your property, you should be aware of the different fee structures:
With a guaranteed fee model, your income remains stable all year round. Despite the season, a property management company will pay you a fixed amount of money. Even if your property has zero bookings, you still earn your bread and butter. Everything that is beyond goes to a company.
A serious downside of this model is that you won’t be able to capitalize on the high season and take advantage of temporary spikes in demand.
In this fee model, a company earns a certain percentage of your Airbnb revenue.
Your income will depend on the total amount that your rental earns during a month. The lower your total monthly income is, the lower the fee that you should pay. On the other hand, you will have to pay more if you have had more bookings and managed to generate significant revenue throughout a month.
With a flat-rate fee structure, property owners usually pay a fixed amount for property management services.
While this may seem like a perfect solution during the high season, this won’t look as good during the low season. The fee will remain the same regardless of the number of your bookings.
When agreeing on a flat-rate fee, it’s important to look through your contract carefully. Many companies charge extra fees on top of your flat fee for providing essential services, bumping up the final price.
So you’ve made up your mind to hire a management company for your property to help with your hosting routine. But how do you choose the best company to meet your business needs?
To start, you should identify your pain points as you need to hire a company that is able to simplify your management and make your life easier. To choose the right company that will live up to your expectations, pay attention to the following:
A good management company will build its reputation by providing an excellent level of service. Check Google Business and Yelp reviews and make sure to visit their Facebook page to find feedback from real users.
Don’t just rely on the number of stars in the rating but read each review in detail. By reading reviews, you can identify each company’s strengths and weaknesses and make a more informed decision.
When speaking to a potential property manager, inquire about references from current or former customers. They are a great source of information, and you will be able to receive more on-point answers to your questions. Prepare a list of questions in advance to be sure you’ll get a full picture of the range of the company’s services and their actual quality.
It goes without saying that pricing for the services provided by the company should be in line with their quality. You should look for a company that delivers the best value for money.
To choose a company that offers the best value for money, you should stack them up against one another.
An Excel spreadsheet would be a convenient tool to compare services provided by each of the companies, fees they charge, customer reviews, and potential outcomes for your business. Try to estimate how opting for each of these companies will help improve your ROI while delivering peace of mind for you as a host.
You need to be sure that your money works in your favor. Therefore, a property management company that you choose must provide regular financial and performance reports.
These reports should communicate essential information in a comprehensive way. You should have a clear-cut overview of how your business is progressing. Thus, you should be able to see occupancy rates for each of your properties, payouts, transaction histories, etc.
When it comes to property management fees, an Airbnb property management company should be ready to share information on how their fees are structured. They should be upfront about their charges, including extra fees. Make sure to do your math and estimate if property management fees will allow you to earn your profit.
To set up your short-term rental business for success, a property management company should have a solid understanding of the dynamics and competition at a local market.
A stellar guest experience is at the core of each thriving vacation rental business. As you might know, it all starts with effective communication. Unattended guest requests and unreplied messages won’t help you go a long way. Thus, you should look for a company that builds its strategy around guest satisfaction and communication.
Ask your potential property manager how promptly they respond to guest messages? Do they use any special tools to automate guest communication? How long does it take to handle maintenance requests?
Response rate and response time, as well as great reviews, are essential for your ranking across top vacation rental platforms. So, communication and customer support can make or break your presence on online booking channels.
Luckey is a comprehensive property management company that became a subsidiary of Airbnb in December 2018. The company specializes in short-term and mid-term rentals and offers its services to hosts in select cities of Canada, France, and Spain.
The services of the company include 24/7 guest support in all languages, check-in and checkout management, cleaning, professional photography, pricing optimization, and more.
As a host, you will have to pay a 20% fee upon each booking if you opt for Luckey. After each booking, 80% of the revenue generated will be credited to your account directly.
Vacasa offers full-service vacation rental management encompassing every aspect of running a profitable vacation rental. This is North America’s largest property management company with over 25,000 short-term rentals currently under their management. Vacasa provides a great variety of services, from guest screening, helping you with taxes and permits, to 24/7 guest service.
Evolve Vacation Rental will primarily help you with marketing your property, book up your calendar, and provide guests with 24/7 support. It manages over 14,000 properties around the world. Evolve has one of the lowest fees on the market — 10% of your Airbnb revenue.
Casago is a vacation rental management company that operates in Southwest US and Canada. The company boasts 20 years of experience in the industry and has been one of the top-rated companies since 2001. Every property managed by Casago receives an onsite property manager whose job is to ensure a perfect guest experience.
Itrip provides a full-service package for seamless short-term rental management. It oversees properties in over 100 destinations in the US and Canada. They sell franchises so anyone with hosting experience can take the plunge of starting their own short-term rental business.
Yonder specializes in luxury vacation rental property management in the US. Since 2008, Yonder has earned over 9,000 5-star reviews and has been recognized by Airbnb as one of the best property management companies nationwide.
Del Mar Vacation Rentals offers full-service rental management and guaranteed income to property owners. Its services are available to short-term rentals around Cape Code, Massachusetts.
Brett/Robinson offers a wide range of property management services for vacation rentals along the Gulf Coast, including Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. With over 35 years of experience in the vacation rental industry, the company manages over 1,750 properties.
SkyRun represents over 950 vacation rental properties in over 30 locations across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Each SkyRun destination is locally operated with their own direct l phone number to provide the most hands-on experience possible.
Bnbcare is a leading short-term rental management company in Vancouver, Canada. With over five years of local experience managing different types of Airbnb listings, the company offers a range of services to provide peace of mind to its customers and ensure profitability.
Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals is a holiday home rental company that provides its services to local properties in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. With over 800 privately owned properties, it’s the largest rental company in the area.
onefinestay is one of the largest holiday let management companies in Europe that manages 5,000 high-end properties in leisure destinations. The company provides a high level of services by appointing a local team of professionals with a dedicated Account Manager for each accommodation they oversee.
Awaze is the leading vacation rental management business in Europe, with over 110,000 properties in more than 36 countries. The company owns many popular travel brands such as cottages.com, Hoseasons, James Villa Holidays, Landal GreenParks, and Novasol.
Houst (formerly Airsorted) is one of the biggest short-term rental management companies in Europe. It provides a full spectrum of vacation rental management services, from taking professional photos for your listings to housekeeping and maintenance. Commissions start from 12% of each booking.
Sykes Holiday Cottages is the UK’s leading independent holiday let management agency. The company manages over 20,000 properties in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand. Its main services include marketing, building an income strategy, a 24-hour emergency guest helpline, cleaning, and more.
Original Cottages is one of the biggest vacation rental management companies in the UK that specializes in the management of villas, cottages, and chalets. The company offers high-impact marketing, a local personal service, legal advice, and property maintenance solutions.
Interhome is a pan-European property management company headquartered in Glattbrugg near Zurich, Switzerland. The company is one of the biggest vacation rental property providers with over 60,000 properties in 31 countries. For homeowners, Interhome offers guaranteed income and a variety of services such as support of licenses and regulations, insurance, local professional property management, and a lot more.
Lomarengas is the oldest and most well-known company that rents out vacation rental homes. It was founded in 1967 and offers its management services to the owners of cottages, chalets, and villas in Finland.
Guestready is a vacation rental management company that is active in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. They manage the day-to-day operations of short-term rental apartments, including online listing, photography, pricing management, guest communication, cleaning, and more.
OYO Vacation Homes is one of the largest full-service vacation rental home management companies in the world. The company has over 54,000 properties under its management and provides a myriad of services to homeowners to ensure the success of their short-term rental businesses.
Olga Vasylieva is the Content and Social Media Team Lead at iGMS. Olga is on a mission to help hosts and property managers grow their businesses and deliver an excellent guest experience. She is a travel enthusiast and is inspired by life in all its aspects.
Unlock Your Hosting Potential