Ready to jump into the competitive short-term rental market, but you still have a full time job? We help you sort through management options with 12 questions for any potential property manager (s). We also provide context to help you understand and evaluate the answers to our suggested questions.
Understanding quality Property Management
More and more people look to take advantage of the growing short-term/vacation property rental market. The single most important decision associated with short-term property management is who will manage the property. The three most popular management options include self-management, hiring a holistic property management company, or using a combination of both concepts. The management of short-term property rentals differs in some significant ways from the management of long-term property, so if you choose to hire a property management company, it’s important to ensure the company can handle all the increased requirements of short-term property management. The suggested discussion topics and interview questions below can help property owners understand how to talk to and evaluate what kind of service they can expect from prospective short-term property management companies.
How many properties do you currently manage?
Too many properties (over 300) might reduce the quality of services provided to individual properties. Too few properties (5 or less) might suggest you are speaking with a new company with less experience.
What systems do you have in place that allow you to do your job efficiently?
Mature, experienced property management companies will have the following in place: property management software, maintenance tracking, inspection procedures, appropriate staff to handle the number of properties under management, etc.
Availability and Communication
Do you have a minimum response time when a current guest asks a question?
Most guests expect a response within an hour or two between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time while staying at your property. Questions sent after 7 p.m. should be answered within 1 hour of opening the next morning.
What arrangements do you have in place to handle situations when guests lock themselves out of the house?
Short-term property management companies should have procedures in place for remote lock opening, maintain a hidden lockbox in case of guest lockout, keep additional keys at the company office, etc.
What procedures do you have in place to handle damages to the property caused by guests?
Short-term property management companies should have procedures for cleaners or hosts to document damages, procedures to submit claims within booking channel time requirements, and procedures that facilitate accountability for guest damages.
What types of regular communication can I expect to receive from you?
With a mature, experienced property management company, you can expect an owner portal in the property management system that provides for the ability to reserve the property, check days booked, review revenue, etc. Management companies should answer your emails within 24 to 48 hours during normal weekly business hours.
Do you utilize dynamic pricing or static pricing for properties?
Dynamic pricing provides for adjustment based on demand and competition within certain parameters, while static pricing might decrease the opportunities to maximize booking opportunities.
How do you ensure accountability of maintenance and cleaning for properties?
Short-term property management companies should have procedures for documenting the cleaning of certain areas including microwave, refrigerator, showers, yard waste, etc.
What type of property management software do you utilize, and does it provide me with owner tools to oversee the details of management?
The utilization of property management software increases opportunities to market the property through multiple channels. An owner’s portal provides the ability for an owner to have access to information about the specifics having to do with their property.
In your view, what are the key elements of keeping an income property turning a profit?
Acceptable answers include stocking durable household items that reduce maintenance costs, using cleaning procedures that provide exceptional guest experience, and providing detailed information to property owner.
Dealing with Difficult Tenants
Tell me about a time when you've had to deal with a disruptive guest.
There should be procedures in place to address problems before they escalate, such as having relationships with neighbors, understanding how to leverage booking channel support, having established criteria for when it is appropriate to involve law enforcement, etc.
Have you ever had to return keys to a property prior to the end of a management contract?
Not all business relationships work out, and the ability to professionally return control of a property to its owner is crucial. Be cautious of promises of specific net income numbers not stated in a contract.
Military First BnB Solutions, an innovative short-term property management company, assist property owners with optimization of investment properties. Our expertise and host team members eliminate your stress and increase your property revenue. Please review our website www.militaryfirstbnbsolutions.com and schedule a call at calendly.com/tobyprudhomme-militaryfirstbnbsolutions to discuss how we can help you. We look forward to working with you.