Vacation rental property management - What's the going rates?

11 Replies

So as far as Google can tell, there are not any vacation rental property managers in our area.  Because of the unique dynamics of a rental property, it takes a special skill set. 

We are in Athens Georgia.  Our current revenue from a condo is about $6k per month on 4 weekend reservations/month.  I understand that current "traditional" PM runs about 10% in our area.  HERE'S MY QUESTION:  What are the standard rates of VR PM?

Thanks in advance!

I was quoted 27% for monthly high end rentals in Honolulu.  On top of that you pay almost 15% in lodging taxes.  

Good question that seems to be both regional & not standard.

In Destin / 30A, I found VRs at a low of 18% to maybe high 30s. Several years ago came across low 40s with one PM having the bulk (approx 60%) in a large Sandestin Condo complex. This was approx 20 years ago and obviously has changed. I observed the same high rates at Winterpark Colorado some time ago.

In the Florida Panhandle they can be nego with 1 to 2 year teaser rates. With all of the little boutique agencies opening up deals can be made.

Guys 30A and Destin typically charge 25-35%.   Yes Sandestin charges a crazy 50%.    There have been management companies popping up left and right and since most of my business is vacation rentals, I will have one up soon and will be charging 17.5% or 20% for those producing less then 20k a year.     My company name is EmeraldCoastBeachHomes.com.    It is sales now but rentals in the future.  

The main thing you need is a company that will advertise on VRBO.com.   That is the most productive tool around, even more so then the on-site management companies.    Go with a smaller, more boutique style company because they will often offer other incentives.   For example, my plans are to provide bikes for renters along 30A and even stock the pantries and fridges for the renters at there expense.    This should be a good means of retention.   Another thing I will be doing is following up after they check in asking them to rate not only their experience but the cleanliness of the room (keep cleaners held accountable) and offer a small incentive for them to make another reservation immediately.    

Great feedback...

This constitutes an obvious unmet need in our market.  Number one, I already know that the vacation rental market rental is under served.  Number two, the VR PM skill set obviously doesn't exist yet.  This is an opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

So....

Since there doesn't seem to be any VR PMs around here, would anyone be willing to share a sample PM agreement that is specific to VR?  I have the conventional PM, but I'm sure the VR contract is a different animal.  Thanks again in advance!

Jack

@Jack Tucker  

 We have a vacation rental in the Disney area near Kissimmee, FL. We take care of the listing and bookings and all pre-arrival communications. Our property manager takes care of everything else after they arrive and arranges for the cleaners, any maintenance issues, lawn care, pool care, etc. He does this for a flat fee of $190/month, no matter the number of bookings. Lawn care and pool care is an additional cost. He also handles the registration of business and tax licenses for us, and submits the taxes collected each month when due.

The PM could put bookings into the property but we would lose about 40-50% of the income.

My business partner does both the developing, building & PM of our properties. It is a different model than most. I will try to find a VR contract which changes pending the property.

The Homeaway Forum Community use to have sample VR contracts. A basic outline which may need to be changed due to the state, county,...

@Jack Tucker   there's a sample agreement at Homeaway Community you could use as a starting point. You'll also find checklists, templates and other resources specific to vacation rentals.

For local VR property management, I've been quoted anywhere from 20-40%. The higher end is typically for onsite or staffed offices within resort communities.

For online VR marketing and booking services, I've found rates of about 10%, plus 2.5% fee for credit card processing. These companies handle all marketing, booking and online/phone inquiries. They can connect you with local vendors, but don't do the maintenance/service calls themselves.

It really depends on how much work you want to do yourself. Since you're local, you could outsource the marketing/booking piece and handle onsite issues, or try to find a local PM and negotiate a fee for being on call. Check with larger PMs in your area who offer emergency/maintenance only service. There's one in my area who does this, and I don't remember the specific rate, but I thought it was reasonable overall.

The ski condos in Park City are at 35% but that is a different animal than yours. I like the flat fee concept or per visit perhaps. Something fixed at any rate and tied in to actual work would be ideal. The percentage could get costly. Great posts btw, they are helping.

thanks,

Matt

@Beth L.  

I'm a new investor from Seattle, looking to purchase my first vacation rental home in Kissimmee, FL. In fact, I just got back from there after spending the weekend searching for property. Anyway, I'm looking for a good Property Manager and you're willing to share, I'd love to know who you're working with.

Jeff

Not sure if you've heard of it but check out rentlikeachampion.com. I just saw it on Shark Tank a week or so ago. I just looked up Athens and it looks like they have a lot of homes there. I'd say it is a good place to start marketing your new PM company. 

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