Do you need a Property Manager?

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Do you need to engage a property management company or can you manage your vacation property yourself? Many people use a professional property management company because they simply don't have the time or interest in doing it themselves. It can also be more challenging managing a property when you do not live near the property. There are many aspects to property management that you should ask yourself before making a decision regarding using a professional or doing it yourself:
 
  1. Marketing
    One advantage a property manager should have in the marketplace is an extensive marketing program that is continually updated as the vacation economic climate changes. A company should be aware of the demand/supply ratio through their own experience and able to price much more accurately because of it. Companies have the expertise to know where to focus their time and shouldn't miss opportunities, whether it's through an innovative social media campaign, hiring the right photographer to take pictures or knowing what websites are worth advertising on, or knowing when discounts are needed. A professional company will have a customer base of thousands of guests, should be using search engine optimization, email marketing and have the skill set to create a pool of repeat guests.
  2. Reservations
    A management company should have the ability to answer leads almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is competition for guests, and "you snooze you lose" rings true in the booking process. Having many reservationists working is certainly an advantage over going solo. A professional company will also take credit cards and have sophisticated software allowing for accurate year-end reporting.
  3. Maintenance
    If you are not living in the area of your vacation rental finding a maintenance person that you can truly rely upon can be your biggest challenge. Some property managers have maintenance people on staff seven days a week or access to maintenance people every day. A handyman, plumber or electrician is much more likely to do a favor on Christmas day for a company that they receive a lot of business from than they will for an individual who lives far away.
  4. Housekeeping
    A good company will inspect your cleaner's work before every guest. Trained housekeepers keep managers' vacation rental homes cleaned to hospitality industry standards. They also will back one another up to make sure that no cleans are missed for any reason.
  5. Guest Services
    Who is going to look after your guest while they are on vacation?  The day-to-day guest services is a lot easier for someone who has knowledge and systems in place to look after your guest whether it's to be there in case of an emergency or help them book an activity, find them a masseuse, or shop for them pre-arrival.
  6. Accounting
    From revenues to repairs, utility bill payments to paying state taxes, many companies provide online access that allows homeowners to review account information, rentals, expenses and make reservations of their own.
  7. Taxes
    A management company will make sure the necessary state taxes will be paid accurately and in a timely manner.