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7 Tips for Finding a Great Property Manager for Your Airbnb

Mar 26, 2021
Airbnb property manager in blush colors holding an Airbnb management contract

So, you've decided to invest in a vacation rental! Or, maybe you are a Short-Term Rental Stylist® working with Airbnb investors to get their rentals up and running. Owning a well-designed STR is only half the battle to running a successful Airbnb investment. The other half is finding a great Airbnb property manager.

Managing a vacation rental yourself will ensure the highest profits – you keep the majority of your income on the property. However, if you or your clients lack the time, skills, and experience, hiring a management company may be your best bet.

An experienced short-term rental property manager will come with vital skills and experience, as well as a wealth of legal knowledge. Finding the right one is key!

If you decide to hire someone else for your vacation rental management, or are guiding your design clients in hiring a property manager, McCaw Property Management in the Dallas-Fort Worth area shares a few tips to help you along the way to help you find someone to manage your Airbnb.

Tip #1: Find out how they communicate with their clients. 

Hiring a full time property manager who has great guest communication skills (written and verbal) is truly a must to optimize the guest experience and gain positive reviews.

Additionally, you want to hire a property manager that is going to be available to you and your guests beyond regular business hours. This means being contactable by text and email.

Tip #2: Ask about their references. 

Similar to hiring someone for a job, you want to choose the best applicant to manage your Airbnb. There's bound to be significant hassle down the road if you hire someone who isn’t the perfect fit.

When asking for references, make it clear that written recommendations sent via email simply won’t cut it. While communicating over email can showcase their meticulous work record, there is simply no emoticon as effective as real, verbal communication.

Tip #3: Find out about how much the management service fees are.

Generally speaking, expect to pay anywhere between 10% to 25% of your nightly rate to employ a property manager.

Do not give in to the temptation to go cheap. Your goal is finding someone who is going to get the best ROI for you with high occupancy rates in the long term, as well as making sure you are consistently getting great 5-star reviews. If you want 5-star service, then you may need to pay 5-star prices.

Tip #4: Find out what makes them different from the other vacation rental property managers. 

Do they send regular status reports to clients about the performance of their STR properties? Do they provide small gifts for arriving guests that both surprise them and are practical? Do they offer really helpful guides about the property and any surrounding attractions that guests find easy to use?

Tip #5: Read past reviews of their Airbnb management services.

Reading online reviews can help you learn from the firsthand experience of previous clients. Are the reviews consistently positive?

If there are some negative reviews, make a point of finding out what caused them. If it is grumblings about something the property manager has no control of, like the location, then simply ignore it.

However, things like 'the air conditioning didn’t work,' 'bad communication,' or ‘poorly kept property’ are major red flags.

Tip #6: Find out about their Airbnb marketing process. 

A vacant property is every landlord’s worst nightmare. As such, you want to hire someone good at filling vacant rental units. While the manager doesn’t necessarily need to be a renowned marketing expert, you certainly don’t want one whose only approach to marketing is putting up a “For Rent” sign. 

You want someone who can write an engaging and detailed Airbnb listing and use a variety of marketing channels to reach potential Airbnb guests. 

Pro Tip: Ask them to send you links to a couple of active properties they are currently managing.

Tip #7: Find out about their current STR management portfolio.

If the property manager says they have no Airbnb rental on their current portfolio, continue with your search. Two scenarios could try to explain it. One is that the property manager is incompetent and has lost clients as a result, or that they are just starting out.

Ideally, look for a vacation rental manager who has 10 or more vacation rental properties under their management. Why? Because it shows they are tried and proven, and that’s why Airbnb hosts trust them with the management of their Airbnbs.

On the other hand, avoid hiring a property manager with far too many units. You risk getting lost in the shuffle.

Investing in short-term rentals can be an enjoyable, profitable experience when you hire the right property manager for your Airbnb. If you are a Short-Term Rental Stylist®, you can guide the investors you work with in selecting a property manager by using these 7 tips.

Enroll in Staging Studio's Short-Term Rental Stylist® certification course today to learn more about designing beautiful Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away properties. Click here to read our blog to find out how to find clients for your styling services.

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