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Should I Hire a Rental Property Manager?

Last updated on August 16th, 2023

should i hire a rental property manager

Key Takeaways:
  • A landlord is a person owning and renting a property to tenants. However, handling the daily needs of an investment property can be outsourced to a property manager.
  • Oftentimes, a landlord can directly manage the day-to-day operations of a rental property. However, having multiple properties in distant locations can be stressful. If the landlord can no longer oversee his Airbnb properties, then hiring a property manager can become handy.

Introduction

“Property Manager” is a big word often mentioned in the discussion on short-term rentals. And if you own an Airbnb, chances are you will present yourself as such. While there is really nothing wrong with it, let’s still discuss what a property manager is and how it differs from a landlord. And once we have learned the key differences between these two, let’s try to answer the question: Should you hire a property manager?

Does property manager mean landlord?

A landlord is a person owning and renting a property to tenants. However, handling the daily needs of an investment property can be outsourced to a property manager. While a property manager can just be a single person, it can also be a corporate entity like a rental property management company. The key difference between a landlord and a property manager is the ownership of the rental property.

When should you hire a property manager?

Oftentimes, a landlord can directly manage the day-to-day operations of a rental property. However, things can get stressful down the line. Here are the signs that you should hire a property manager:

1. Multiple Airbnb properties – If you continue to expand your property portfolio, managing them all at once can be overwhelming and time-consuming. This is especially the case if you have a full-time job or other commitments. 

2. Distance from your Airbnb – Even if you have one Airbnb property, it will also be difficult to look after it if it’s too far away from your place. Distance can really interfere with resolving potential issues such as emergency repairs and tenant complaints.

3. Being unsociable – You can also hire a property manager if you do not have a sociable personality in dealing with guests. Understandably, checking in and out with guests can already be a lot of work for some. Work can also extend to answering inquiries regarding your Airbnb listings – and calls can come in the dead of the night. A property manager is a professional who can also better handle this side of the business.

What does a property manager actually do?

Overseeing the daily operations of a rental property is not an easy task. Here are some parts of the job description of the property manager:

1. Keeping Airbnb properties well-maintained – Airbnb investors may neglect a few of their real estate investments if they have too much on their plates – or they just have a lot of rental properties. In any case, Airbnb investors will eventually have a hard time dealing with the maintenance of all their properties. 

A property manager regularly inspects the overall condition of the entire property. This ranges from having it cleaned daily to fixing busted pipes and faulty wiring. Thanks to his contacts of reliable professionals, investors can rest assured that their property will remain in perfect shape. 

2. Ensuring that local Airbnb laws and regulations are being followed – It is not easy for anyone to stay informed of multiple local Airbnb laws and regulations. It gets more difficult to make sure that your operations strictly follow them. Take noise ordinances in certain cities as an example. What happens if a neighbor reports noise complaints on your out-of-state property?

A property manager can keep investors informed of the ever-changing short-term rental ordinances. It is also their responsibility that Airbnb properties are in compliance with these regulations. This can save the investors a few troubles by preventing legal steps from being taken against their Airbnb operations.

3. Promoting Airbnb properties – Airbnb investors can rely on property managers for the promotion of their properties. They no longer have to worry about taking excellent pictures and writing gripping listings. Property managers are well-versed in using listing websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com to advertise Airbnb rental units. Some of them even have their own websites and social media that have their own reach. This ensures to keep that Airbnb properties under their care are booked in as many nights as possible.  

Of course, the marketing strategy will depend on a number of factors such as the type of property, the target audience, and the budget available for marketing. Effective marketing can help attract quality tenants and keep a property occupied, which is essential for maintaining profitability.

4. Communicating with guests –  A property manager usually communicates with guests who are interested in renting a property. It is typical for property managers to use online booking platforms to communicate with guests. But all channels of communication can be available! 

Property managers may provide their own phone numbers in the listings for guests to call to inquire about the property, ask questions, or make reservations. Email can also be a convenient and efficient way to provide guests with listing information such as availability and rental rates. 

In some cases, property managers may communicate with guests upon arrival at the Airbnb property. This can be an opportunity to provide guests with a tour, answer any questions they may have, and ensure that they have everything they need for their stay. Effective communication with guests is important for ensuring a positive experience and can help to build a good reputation for the investor’s rental property. 

What are the cons of hiring a property manager?

A property manager can indeed offer a lot of help to Airbnb investors. However, there are possible trade-offs that you need to consider:

1. Quality of service – There are a lot of really great property managers, but not all of them are cut from the same cloth. Investors should be aware that there are also a lot of property managers who provide a very low quality of service.

2. Communication issues – Poor communication between Airbnb investors and property managers can happen. In fact, it is often the complaint of investors. This leads to arguments and frustration. However, investors can still be proactive in keeping the lines of communication open and effective.

3. Lack of control – Airbnb investors may feel like surrendering control of their rental properties by hiring a property manager. While managers act in the best interest of the investors, differences in opinion about how the units should be managed may inevitably arise.

4. Liability – In connection with the previous item, Airbnb investors may still be liable for the property. Investors are still burdened should there be any legal disputes or accidents occurring on the property even if they have a property manager. As this is the case, investors should make sure that their manager carries adequate assurance and take steps to protect themselves from potential legal liabilities.

How much does it cost to hire a property manager?

Following a commission model, a vacation rental property manager usually charges around 20% to 30% of the rental revenue of the managed property. The final price will mainly depend on the size and location of the property. A number of items can be included in the rental property management contract. These include the booking, property & guest amenities, and emergency repairs.  

Is it worth it to hire a property manager?

You need to consider the number and distance of your Airbnb properties. Since the hours of the day are only limited, managing multiple short-term rentals can be burdensome to a single person, especially if you’re considering investing in other markets, such as the ones regarded as real estate trends this 2023. Let’s all admit: having Airbnb operations still takes work for them to be profitable. Will you still be able to manage them? If not, it is perfectly fine to hire a professional who will do the job for you. 

Hiring a property manager can also diversify the locations of your Airbnb properties. Should you plan to purchase an enticing investment property a hundred miles from your residential place, distance will never hinder a potentially high profit. You can count on a property manager whose job is to make it a reality.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a property manager, this Free Airbnb Profit Calculator is an irreplaceable companion!

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