Why Use a Rental Manager? Can’t I Do It Myself?
We occasionally talk to property owners who are considering the tradeoffs between self-management and professional management services. Obviously managers cost money. Do managers earn it? Are they cost effective? Can I do it myself? Here are some of the discussion points we have shared with property owners who are wrestling with this question.
Owners Who Self-Manage Don’t Save Money.
They earn it, doing some of America’s dirtiest work. The challenge is not just finding renters, but fixing things, cleaning the properties, and taking care of less-than-satisfied guests.
Some typical examples of how self-managers spend their time earning the commission they would have paid to a professional manager include:

  • Responding promptly to emails by impatient renters who are quick to look elsewhere.
  • Answering (on average) twelve inquiries for every confirmed rental.
  • Negotiating rent with bargain shopping renters.
  • Responding to renters who argue that a malfunctioning hot tub justifies a full refund.
  • Finding a back up cleaner when the regular cleaner doesn’t show up.
  • Dealing with guests locked out of the property at two o’clock in the morning.
  • Getting a prompt response by a furnace repairperson in the middle of winter.

Self-Managers Must Be Prepared to Deal with Unplanned Problems. Managers are experts in the problems that routinely arise in putting a renter into a home owned by a non-resident. We anticipate and avoid recurring problems through preventive maintenance. We put together networks of service vendors who respond to us faster than they would respond to an individual homeowner because we send them so much business. We can keep backup cleaners on call because we have enough homes to keep them busy. Our cleaners serve as our eyes and ears for homes they don’t actually clean, helping us keep properties safe from unruly or unauthorized renters.

Self-Managers Create Liability for Themselves
Many self-managers expose their net worth by failing to inform their insurance companies that they are renting their vacation homes without using a professional manager

Professional Managers are Set Up to Take Credit Cards
We can take credit cards, assuring more rentals. This is a credit card society where most renters want to either defer payments or earn miles by paying with credit cards. Self-managers can’t take credit cards, and PayPal or third-party services are only partial solutions that cost the property owner more than the average property manager pays for those services.

Professional Managers Handle Tax Obligations
No one enjoys paying taxes. So It is not uncommon for self-managers to simply not charge tax to the renters and not pay taxes to the taxing authorities. This may appeal to renters, as it affords them a financial savings, and it is less paperwork for the property owner. But local tax authorities are mobilizing and starting to access property owner’s Federal Tax returns to identify property owners who have reported the expenses associated with their rental homes. Professional property managers relieve the homeowner of tax collection, tax reporting and, of course, interest, penalties and criminal penalties.

Refunds-Who Gets One?
Professional managers also earn our keep by relieving homeowners of the infrequent but inevitable nightmares where heat or air systems break and the renter won’t remain in the home, or where weather prevents renters from getting to the home and they want their money back. Professional managers write contracts that make it clear to the renters when a refund is in order and when they should not expect one. The manager will also field the requests and inevitable arguments, so that the property owner does not have to be bothered.

Renters Who Go Straight to the Property Owner Expect to Pay Less. Websites that feature listings by owner attract bargain shoppers. Renters assume that a property owner who is not paying for professional management can give the renter a discount over market rates. Professional managers have a large pool of renters who are more interested in getting the home they want than in getting a bargain. Renters who are shopping rent-by-owner websites often send multiple email requests, soliciting discounts, to see who will give them the best price. Professional managers monitor the rental market to determine when and if we need to give discounts We have a good sense of when to discount and by how much.

Professional Listing Creation – our team of experts will design a fully optimized listing for your property – dynamic rates with advertising on top websites like VRBO, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Visit Estes Park, Range Property Management, and FindRentals.

Timely Guest Communications
We handle all pre – and post-stay guests communication including booking confirmation, check in instructions and review requests. You will never miss a booking with our Travel Advisor Team responding to every inquiry and confirming reservations. On call 24 hours service to answer any emergency that might arise during the guests stay.

Peace of Mind
Every booking is protected by a leading property protection program with up to $3,000 in damage protection for the property.