Vacation Rental Property Manager Recommendations in St. George UT

14 Replies

@Luke Carl The St. George area is about a 3 hour drive away from where we're at, so that's why we're looking for a Property Management agency, but do you have any that are that far away from you? If so, how do you manage those personally?

St George is super strict on vacation rental laws. Almost everywhere requires that you use a property manager to be allowed to operate as an STR and in most cases they will force whatever PM has been assigned to that neighborhood on you. In a best case scenario some of the areas allow you to pick between one of three property managers. But in either scenario, given that lack of any competition, as forced on your by the local government, your PM fees will be around 30%.

St George is a great place to by a vacation home that you plan to use yourself and would rent out to cover some of the costs.  As a pure investment, the numbers aren't very good.

You can get around the PM requirement out in nearby Toquerville, La Verkin, or some areas of Hurricane. But those are going to come with their own STR legal challenges (Toquerville requires you be a resident, La Verkin only has licenses availabe in specific areas and will not issue licenses on new construction, Hurricane has a backlog of license applications that will likely take 10+ years to get through if you applied now).

EDIT: All of these laws are regarding single family homes, which is all we were looking at when we considered it.  If you are willing to do a condo there MAY be different laws, though I am unsure.

The laws in Washington City are different than in St. George. Washington used to only allow one manager per community but not anymore. There is still an ordinance that you can only advertise that a VR can sleep up to 10 people unless you have an integrated sprinkler system. In St. George, that's not an issue. 

Hey @Erik Schofield , I am about 6 hours from our vacation rental and we manage it ourselves. We are going on our 4th year and everything has been smooth. I have had great cleaners who make sure things are good to go and I have a handyman ready to take car of anything that crops up.

Just make sure you have those systems in place and you will be fine. Keep the place maintained. Especially those mechanical items that can go out at the worst times. Like A/C, heat, water heater etc.

Just take a hard look at the area you want to go like @Ryan Moyer said. If things are restricted already, you can bet they will get worse, not better for owners.

@John Underwood How would you self manage through your phone? I guess I mean managing as far as clean up goes after each over night stay? Would I just find someone in the area that can make sure to take care of cleaning it and re-stocking supplies after each stay?

@Ryan Moyer Thanks for that info Ryan. I'd love to cash flow something down there if possible, but if we can at least get it to pay for itself each month and have a vacation home to go stay at anytime we'd like to that would be great! My mentor is looking for one and I've been thinking about one that I could maybe go in on with my 4 other siblings so we can all use it and split any cash flow that may come through each month.

@Michael Baum I appreciate the advice! I've never though of managing a vacation rental over the phone. I also forgot about having a handyman in the area to make sure fixes are taken care of quickly. As far as making sure those bigger mechanical items are maintained, how often would you recommend checking up on those? Would it be like a once/year thing?

Originally posted by @Erik Schofield :

@John Underwood How would you self manage through your phone? I guess I mean managing as far as clean up goes after each over night stay? Would I just find someone in the area that can make sure to take care of cleaning it and re-stocking supplies after each stay?

 Correct you need a good cleaning service that handles stocking supplies.

Hey @Erik Schofield , at our lakehouse I have the furnace and A/C unit serviced 2x a year. Once in the early spring around April and once in the fall around October. The folks that installed our new A/C unit put us on a service plan for $12.50 a month. That covers 2 services for both per year including filters.

The previous owner serviced each unit 2x a year and we just lost the old York A/C unit in 2018. Compressor failure after 23 years of solid use. What actually failed was the cooling fan relay. Caused the compressor to overheat. Otherwise it would still be going. The furnace is still going strong.

The key to long distance management it to mitigate problems as much as possible. I pay $150 a year for that service and we are 36 miles outside of town. Worth every penny IMHO. I head back to our house once a month just to check on things. Dust etc.

If you setup home automation, you can monitor much of what goes on from your phone. Temps, humidity, noise, light, the list goes on.