When it comes to vacation rental property management, there are two options: you can hire rental property management companies or do it yourself. While many real estate investors opt for hiring professionals, others choose the DIY approach. Airbnb property management is a crucial element of success in short term rental investments. But do you need the help of a pro to succeed? Read through to find out whether this is worth it or whether it’s a complete waste of your money.
What Do Airbnb Property Management Companies Do?
Professional property management companies are companies that, well, manage Airbnb rentals. They do anything from guest screening to drafting the short-term rental agreement to collecting fees, tending to guests’ needs, dealing with repairs, cleaning the rental property, restocking food and any other items, accepting reservations, as well as checking in guests. Airbnb property managers are also responsible for guaranteeing good communication between the host (you) and the guests. These services provide the A to Z of short-term rental property management.
Reasons to Hire Professional Airbnb Property Management Services
Why consider professional help? Airbnb property management companies are specialized in what they do. This can mean many things, but essentially, that they provide high-quality services that you may otherwise be unable to do yourself. Here’s why you should consider hiring professional property management services:
1) To save time
This one’s pretty self-explanatory.
Managing Airbnb rentals is a very time-consuming process, and can be a full-time job – especially if you own multiple rental properties. Hiring professional Airbnb property management can save you a lot of time. That’s because you’re not just receiving the management service, but the research and real estate market experience that comes along with it. Companies accumulate the knowledge, experience, and tools needed to succeed in the short term rental industry – something that a single person can spend a lifetime trying to achieve.
2) Extra marketing and advertising efforts
Airbnb property management services have access to a wide range of marketing channels and networks that they can employ when marketing Airbnb rentals. This can give your rental property good exposure and can land you more Airbnb reservations per month, increasing your Airbnb occupancy rate and your monthly Airbnb rental income. The marketing you get from these types of companies is a perk you cannot leverage if you choose to forgo professional Airbnb property management.
3) (Often-times) Better service
While you may get distracted by juggling multiple daily tasks, your job, etc., property managers will not. Because of this, professionals can provide better service and can have a better response time. Many Airbnb property management companies have teams solely dedicated to responding to guests’ inquiries and are on call for any and all inquiries and guest needs.
4) Property management companies have access to the right technology
…which gives them access to resources that aid them in Airbnb pricing, tenant screening, invoices and receipts, dealing with repairs, etc. This cuts response time, improves communication between Airbnb guests and Airbnb hosts, and enhances overall daily operations. This eventually translates into higher Airbnb profit and return on investment (ROI) and passive income for the real estate investor. Additionally, all of the above can help you with the reviews on your Airbnb listing.
Reasons to DIY
While hiring Airbnb property management services can be advantageous, you may opt for the other option – to do it yourself. Here are some reasons why:
1) More agency and control over your Airbnb rental property
If you like to control all aspects of your Airbnb investment property, you should opt for DIY. Some real estate investors prefer to be in the know and to have a say in all decisions. So unless you want to micromanage everything, DIY. Additionally, taking care of aspects of property management yourself will allow you to gain further knowledge and experience in real estate.
2) To improve your Airbnb profit margin
When you hire an Airbnb property manager or management company, you obviously have to pay them. And oftentimes, these services don’t come at a cheap price. So how much does Airbnb property management cost? Usually, companies charge around 10% of each month’s rate. This number varies between one company and another. So think about your rental income, and how affected your profit will be by paying Airbnb property management fees. Are the fees worth the service? You should be the judge here.
3) You care more about your Airbnb investment property
While property management companies can provide more professional service, they are less likely to treat your property with the same care you would. For the company, your rental property is just one more item in their portfolio – whereas, for you, it could be your life’s investment. So if you’re concerned that a management company may not treat the short-term rental property with the care you would, you may want to opt for DIY.
4) It’s more personal
If you’re the type of Airbnb investor who likes to personally check-in guests, give them a tour around the house, and tips for visiting the area, you should definitely DIY. While Airbnb property management companies will get the job done, it’s rather impersonal. Some guests and returning guests prefer the personalized experience that Airbnb property management companies cannot replicate. So if you want to achieve personalized service for your guests, it may be better to forgo management companies.
Airbnb Property Management: DIY or Hire a Property Manager?
So which option should you go for?
When you first start out, try testing the DIY approach. See whether or not things work out in terms of time, effort, and Airbnb profit made. Re-evaluate a month or two after. If you’re just starting out in real estate and feel like you’re lacking proper experience, consider hiring property management for Airbnb. When you feel like you can independently handle things on your own, you can settle on DIY. Ultimately, you need to assess which route works better for you when owning an Airbnb investment.
For more information on how to manage and run an Airbnb property, check out our knowledge center here.