Owning a rental property is a dream of many people, and for good reason. After all, investing in a vacation rental can enable you to have an additional stream of income on the side and protect your wealth from inflation. However, many property owners often simply don’t have the time or energy to personally manage their own vacation rentals, especially if they have a full-time job or don’t live in the city where their property is located.
As a result, property management companies have become incredibly popular in recent years, with many property owners outsourcing the management of their properties to such companies. If you’ve considered doing so yourself, chances are that you’ve wondered how you can know for sure if the company you’re putting your property in the hands of is going to be a reliable one.
In this post, let’s take a look at some things that you can look out for when reviewing a property management company so you can find one that’s reliable and best suits your needs.
What is a Property Management Company?
For the uninitiated, a property management company is a company that’s in the business of helping clients manage their rental properties. In some cases, property management companies may specialize in managing properties in a specific location or managing certain types of properties, such as vacation rentals (like we do in the Big Bear, CA, area).
Many property management companies provide their clients with comprehensive management services, meaning that clients never have to be involved in the upkeep of the property or deal directly with clients. They simply collect their rental income from the property management company and in exchange, they usually pay a fee to the company which can be a fixed monthly fee or a percentage of the rental income.
How to Choose a Property Management Company
Property management companies often benefit through economies of scale by providing similar management services to multiple clients.
If you own a rental property, you may be wondering how to choose a property management company to help you manage your property. Here are some steps that can help you do so:
1. Determine Your Needs
Many property owners who rush into engaging a property management company often find out subsequently that there’s a mismatch between their needs and the services provided by the company. Start by determining what your specific needs are. For instance, consider whether you need the company you engage to be wholly responsible for the property – including contracting for repairs, cleaning, spa and/or pool service – along with 24/7 support from your manager.
Hands-on customer communication (see the “Communication” section below) can also help provide a boutique feel and end up being a big difference maker.
2. Manage Your Expectations
Some property owners also find themselves disappointed when the rent they receive from their property management company isn’t as much as they expected. If you’re considering engaging a property management company, it can be beneficial to do some market research to find out how much similar properties to yours are renting for.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to pay a commission to the management company for their services as well when calculating your expected rental income.
3. Narrow Your Options
Finally, narrow down your options for suitable property management companies. When creating your list, you can filter your options based on the locations that each of them serve. You may also want to prioritize companies that specialize in a certain type of property.
For example, if you want to rent your property out as a vacation rental, you may want to prioritize companies that focus on the management of such properties.
What Should You Look for in a Property Management Company?
Of course, not all property management companies are equal, and there will always be some that are better than others. As a property owner, you want the best company to fit your particular situation.
Here are some characteristics of good property management companies that you might want to look out for when searching for one to help you with your specific property and needs:
Good communication is probably one of the best qualities that a property management company can have. As a property owner, being able to get updates on the status of your property whenever you want can provide you with reassurance that your property is in good hands.
Additionally, receiving regular updates from your property management company can also help you keep better track of the income that you are earning from it.
You may also want to look for a company that specializes in a specific type of property management or in the management of properties in a specific location. This is because such companies may be able to provide more competitive services by leveraging their economies of scale. For example, a company specializing in vacation rentals may have an arrangement with a cleaning company to offer preferential rates to their clients.
It’s crucial that the company you choose to work with is transparent, since you’re entrusting a property worth several hundred thousand dollars to several million to them. You want to know that they’re taking good care of the property and that any fees they charge for the upkeep and maintenance of the property is getting spent on legitimate expenses.
Flexibility is often an added bonus that can distinguish a good property management company from a great one.
Flexibility may involve being able to accommodate your preferences in terms of who you want to rent your property to. It may also involve being willing to customize the services they offer based on your needs and the needs of your property.
Optimize Your Big Bear Vacation Rental with Sky High Cabins
If you own a vacation rental in Big Bear, CA, and have been looking to partner with a reputable property management company, look no further! Sky High Cabins is the leading property management company specializing in vacation rentals in the Big Bear, CA, area. We’re also Airbnb & VRBO pros, and founder Leanne Flashberg is an Airbnb Superhost and Ambassador.
Our team of experts has years of experience in the industry and we’re guaranteed to help you maximize your revenue from vacation rental. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you with your property management needs!