Vacation Rental Self Management vs. Hiring A Property Manager


Managing a vacation home yourself puts more money in your pocket, but requires the time commitment equivalent of a part time job. It's not always easy to determine the pros and cons of both options and how they apply to your daily life.

Self management

For the DIY, always active, and go getters in life, the self management route can be a fantastic option. Not only will you have another activity to devote attention towards, but one that can make you money and that you can also enjoy in person when visiting. Self management can open the door to learning about the vacation rental, hospitality, hotel, and travel industries, along with the local economy of wherever your vacation home is located. You learn about items such as travel trends, tourist data and how travel effects the local economy, cleaning standards, and efficient workflow processes for your local teams. You get the chance to employ local companies such as cleaners, handymen, AC techs, pest control, landscapers, and more (although you indirectly hire these people with a property manager as well). Most importantly, you save on management expenses and sometimes maintenance expenses. If you live close enough to the property and need to fix a door handle, turn on pool heat, etc, you can take care of those items yourself on the way to the grocery store, rather than paying someone to do it. You also get more direct feedback from guests, cleaners, and maintenance vendors. If you prefer to know/schedule all of the necessary work orders for your property, and communicate with every guest so that you know who's in your property, self management is a great option for you. Of course, this all comes at a time commitment and you have to enjoy dealing with the daily operation of your property.

Hiring a Property Management Company

It's no secret why most vacation home owners hire a property manager to manage the rentals and daily operation of their home: time. It truly is a part time job to manage a vacation rental home. To truly maximize your income, while also ensuring guest satisfaction, you're looking at an average of 10 to 25 hours a week worth of work. You need to establish your rental listings, and maintain those listings each week with accurate rates and calendar dates. Even if you only have two listings on the most common platforms, Airbnb and VRBO, you need to ensure that both listings show the same occupancy and rates to maximize the property potential. Rate management is increasingly becoming a highly valuable component to vacation rental management, especially in Orlando where competition is heavy. Some management companies (including ours) are adjusting rates daily, getting the right price in front of travelers at the right time, to achieve higher annual Revenue Per Available Room. Lastly, if guests can't figure out how to unlock the door, the AC goes out, or the neighbors are being loud, you're the receiving end of that phone call.

Property managers not only allow an owner to live without worrying about the day to day time consuming chores of dealing with a vacation home, but also provide peace of mind knowing that someone's full time attention is devoted toward taking care of the property and others like it. Property managers also provide a much more simplistic way to think about and use your vacation home. You simply have one contact when you need to book your home for your visits, check in on the property, and consult about vacation home ownership. You know that all cleaning, maintenance, and daily operational items are being looked after by someone. Lastly, you know that an expert is maximizing all aspect of your vacation home and that your property listings and rates are being updated, providing the best renter at the best price for your vacation home.

If you'd like more information about property management services in the Orlando area, or many other locations across North America, give us a call!

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