Running an Airbnb investment property can be very stressful and time-consuming for hosts. Guests expect 24-hour support and professional services when booking an Airbnb rental property. For hosts that have full-time jobs or other responsibilities, hosting on Airbnb and managing properties on their own can be a struggle. In such a case, it would be advisable to hire an Airbnb property manager or an Airbnb property management company to handle the day-to-day operations, turning their Airbnbs into passive income investments.
What Will an Airbnb Property Management Company Do for You?
Airbnb property management companies offer a wide range of services including:
- Professional photography
- Listing creation
- Advertisement of short term rental properties
- Price optimization
- 24/7 concierge service
- Guest screening
- Check-ins and check-outs
- Linen, laundry, and cleaning services
- Dispute resolution
- Property maintenance
How to Choose the Right Management Company for Your Airbnb Business
A quick Google search will tell you that there are probably a lot of different companies operating in the area of your short term rental property. So, how do you go about choosing an Airbnb property management service?
Check professional certifications and licenses
A credible Airbnb property management company should have proper professional certifications and licensing to back up their technical expertise. There are several trade bodies that offer certifications upon completion of thorough exams, training programs, and portfolio reviews. Here are some of the designations and certifications to look out for when choosing an Airbnb property management company:
- Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC)
- Residential Management Professional (RMP)
- Master Property Manager (MPM)
Consider experience in marketing Airbnb rentals
Marketing is very important to ensure a good Airbnb occupancy rate and high Airbnb income. A good Airbnb property management company should have extensive knowledge about marketing a vacation rental property. This can include everything from knowing how to optimize listings to using social media to promote rentals. Here are some of the questions to ask a property management company with regard to marketing:
- How can you boost my Airbnb search ranking? – Improving your Airbnb rental property’s ranking in search results will make your investment property visible to more potential guests.
- What other sites do you list properties on? – Besides Airbnb, there are alternative vacation rental sites like Flipkey and VRBO. Getting listed on different sites will enhance your chances of getting more bookings.
- Do you use email marketing? – Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies for retaining clients. A good property management company uses email marketing to keep previous visitors engaged to come back for more.
Assess knowledge of local Airbnb rental market
When a professional property management company is aware of the competition and dynamics of the local Airbnb rental market, they will know how to:
- Develop effective marketing tactics for attracting new Airbnb guests
- Price your rental competitively
- Provide local recommendations for guests
Here are some of the questions to ask a property management company when assessing their understanding of the local short term rental market:
- What are the low and high seasons in the market?
- What are the current local, state, and federal Airbnb laws?
- What is the average Airbnb rental price in this market?
- What local attractions can guests enjoy?
Check Airbnb reviews and references
The best Airbnb property management companies have an online presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. Visit their pages or channels and read the comments left by their customers. Also, check Airbnb reviews from guests who the company catered to in the past.
If there are too many negative reviews, it should raise a red flag about the company. You should also take positive reviews with a pinch of salt. Some companies create fake reviews in order to attract customers.
Another strategy for finding reviews is by conducting a simple search on Google. You could also look at these review platforms:
- Google my Business
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
When talking to property management companies, be sure to ask for current client references. Get in touch with these hosts and ask about their experience. Does the company respond promptly to inquiries? Are their fees transparent? Are they proactive in filling vacancies or handling maintenance requests?
Consider the Airbnb property management fees
When it comes to Airbnb property management fees, you have two main options to choose from. One is the flat rate per month structure. With this model, you will be required to pay a fixed monthly rate to the company, regardless of how many bookings you get. The second option is a commission rate where the company takes a percentage of your total Airbnb earnings per month. Usually, the commission is 30% – 50% of the total revenue.
Take your time to weigh the pros and cons of these two models before making a decision. Check if the property management contract allows you to switch between these two options when necessary. And be sure to do the math – will the management fees allow you to earn a profit?
Peruse the property management agreement
The property management agreement elaborates on the relationship between the host and the property management company. Considering the importance of this contract, you need to read it carefully and make any adjustments before signing on the dotted line. Make sure it covers everything you require, and that it doesn’t contain any unfavorable clauses.
Basically, the property management contract covers the following:
- Services provided and fees – Services usually offered by property management companies include marketing and filling vacancies, handling check-ins and check-outs, collecting rent, resolving guest complaints and requests, and maintenance of the rental property. Any additional expenses should be listed clearly in the contract. The agreement should also outline how repairs will be handled and charged.
- Owner responsibilities – Besides outlining the property management company’s responsibilities, the contract might also mention your responsibilities as a host. If you do not wish to perform some of these tasks, make sure they are assigned back to the company.
- Contract duration and termination clauses – The contract should have a clear start and end date. Usually, such agreements are signed on an annual basis. In addition, the agreement should outline the breach of contract rules, and the termination timelines and fees.
If you find the right property management company, owning an Airbnb can be a very profitable venture. Just be sure to do your homework and interview the company before making a choice. And don’t forget to conduct an analysis of the fees. You can use an Airbnb calculator like Mashvisor’s to see how property management fees will affect your cash flow and return on investment.
A Final Tip: Preferably, choose a company that uses Airbnb property management software for tasks like bookings, collecting rent, communicating with guests, check-ins, and check-outs.