Property Manager Fees

12 Replies

Hi all,

What percentage/fees does your property management company charge for FULL-Service management of your vacation home? Emphasis on "full-service management" where you are completely hands-off and only collect a check each month. 

If you can share specifics that would be great for those who have used managers in the past or currently use them now.


For us it is 35%. That includes everything just as you mentioned. All marketing, check in, check out, cleaning after checkout, 2 deep cleanings a year, instant customer problem resolution issues (AC goes out at 11  p.m. - have portable ACs ready to go. Broken water line, commercial dehumidifiers ready. Replacement smoke alarms at the ready. Toilet seats on hand. Dewalt drills for broken items. Glue and clamps for wood repairs. Middle of the night television goes bad - run to WalMart and pickup an affordable replacement and install it. All at no charge)

For really exceptionally good/great PMs 35% is very reasonable.

If you simply want someone to check in and out your guests - you could get it done for 10% and go cheap cheap cheap.

If you want exceptional service and very happy customers - it will cost.

@Michael Kugler Hi Michael - Does the 35% also cover purchasing and stocking toiletries for each booking (soap, shampoo, garbage bags...)? Also, what about credit card fees? Is that absorbed by PM or charged to the owner? 

@Richard Ibeh I've looked at doing it in a few markets and it's ranged from 17% to 55%.  The 17%-30% range was for beach-ish properties.  The 30%+ range was for mountain/ski towns where I suspect they have to charge more because the peak season is smaller and they have a longer period of low rents where their costs stay pretty fixed.  I'd say the median was probably 25%.  And these were for legitimate companies that were doing it.  Not a single person who would manage vacation rentals on the side.  Those fees were all based on gross-collected rents.

@Richard Ibeh 

It does not cover those items. This is for service. In other words - if you the property owner need to supply those things yourself, you would continue to provide them for your property to the property manager. 

In our case, our service is to inventory, keep emergency stock on hand, handle the ordering and stocking, and also handle the billing to the homeowner. The homeowner really has no concerns other than to collect the checks and pay their bills. (mortgage, utility, HOA, etc)

Sorry, you also mentioned CC fees. We pay those as well as collection and remittance of state and county taxes.

Hi @Nancy Bachety  

That is what we charge. I have seen higher (45-50) but generally not a lot lower. Again, it is all about service. 7/24 hour a day 365 days a year service. Putting customers comfort as well as homeowners peace of mind first.

@Richard Ibeh Typically, the range is 20-50% for a fully integrated service. There are a bunch you can search online; however, you should vet them properly and look for reviews. 

Goodluck, Richard. Thanks! - Ola 

@Andrew Johnson Yes, is the normal fee seems to be between 25-35% for most parts. Alot of the newer VR full-service startup companies are coming in low at 18-20% to attract homeowners saying they can do the same for less without being nickel and dimed. Thanks for your feedback!

@Michael Kugler Thanks for your feedback! I hope others pay attention to what you said as well. Many companies may have low fees but subcontract out the majority of the services. Maintenance especially is a probably the largest expense and if the management team cannot handle small handy task in-house then that 20% management fee really totals up to 60%+ fee per month.

Good thing to ask potential managers for those reading is who handles the maintenance and what are their limitations. Will you be charged per service call? or does the management fee cover regular handyman task? However, you should expect any major repairs to be done by a professional which will be subcontracted out.

@Ola Dantis The larger companies quality of service varies per location, unfortunately. A great review in one city typically doesn't carry over to another because it's a different team running the show there.

Reading the company reviews is definitely vital and if you find them on the marketing channels (VRBO/Airbnb) and read the actual guest reviews which provide 100% transparency that would be a great indicator how they are operating in your area for any company large or small.

@Richard Ibeh You're welcome. 

I see a lot of people that say they will not pay more than ______ and then get really bent out of shape when someone trashes them in a review.  We have literally had 10s of 1,000s of customers over the years and the range of their issues is amazing. Things I have never seen in my own home are commonplace. (I have never once broke a toilet seat in my life - I have probably replaced 50 in 14 years for my customers)

7/24 - available to them for anything - day or night. I have even jumped in the car to pickup a customer in town whose car broke down. Sure there are definitely reservations where the only thing we do is check in, check out, clean and stock but the homeowner is not paying for that. They are paying for the unexpected and there are a zillion things. Sliding glass door handle just broke - gimme a second, we will be right there with a replacement. 

I have probably done ALL of the legwork 40 to 50 times for our homeowners buying, installing and hauling off refrigerators, washers, dryers, that went bad. They are in Cleveland - we are in Branson. I don't even give it a second thought to step out and get them the best deal I can. It is good for my homeowners and good for my customers.

Probably the only time that I EVER regretted going the extra mile was replacing a ceiling fan for one of my homeowners. It was ungodly huge and massively cumbersome. I fought getting the stupid thing down and almost had a heart attack putting the new one up. Dreadful experience I won't do again.

And there is never a charge from us. Just the replacement cost of whatever needs repaired and nothing else. 

The only thing I will absolutely not do is "skilled trade" work like electrical or plumbing. Not that I can't (I do it for my own place all the time) but because of the liability. If it can harm a human being, I am not going to do it. Beyond that, we are there for them.

Trust me, we earn every part of that 35%.

@Michael Kugler The things you do sounds exactly like me.  Except I will do all electric work short of replacing a fuse panel, and I will do all plumbing short of crawling under a house (claustrophobic) and operating a roto-rooter (I have an aversion to handling sewage covered tools).

One time I bought a one-way bus ticket online from Kansas to Georgia for a guy.  His girlfriend left him without wheels or a credit card, but he was making good money here and had the cash.

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