A great vacation rental management company will create a stress-free experience for you while maximizing your vacation rental income. However, you could find yourself in a situation where you aren’t happy with your current management company. 

Is your vacation rental not receiving proper care to stay in good condition? Is there no proactive communication from your management team? Or maybe you just aren’t making as much as you think you could. Any of these situations are a sign that it’s time to change your property management company. If you’re at the end of your vacation rental management agreement or your current property manager is dropping the ball, it might be time for a change! These tips will help you find a better vacation rental management company that meets your needs and financial goals. 

When is it time to hire a new vacation rental property manager

It may seem daunting to change property management companies, but the reward for doing so outweighs any pressure and stress you’re currently facing. The right team will be able to take care of everything to keep your home in pristine condition, consistently booked, and handle all operational tasks that come with managing a short-term rental property. Still unsure if you should switch vacation rental management companies? Here are some signs that it’s time to start your research: 

  • Your vacation rental isn’t consistently booked
  • Owner statements aren’t clear or you get random invoices
  • You’re doing your own marketing 
  • You’re communicating directly with guests and vendors
  • You’re responsible for filing taxes and obtaining permits
  • Your vacation rental management agreement is almost up 
  • Low/slow season is ahead of you

What to do when switching vacation rental managers

There are many things to consider when choosing a new vacation rental manager. Here are the top things to know before making the switch.

1. Understand the stability of the company

In today’s economy, it’s important to understand the stability of a vacation rental management company. Companies that are not financially set up for success may delay owner payments to pay themselves first, not be able to maintain the number and quality of their local teams, and in the worst-case scenario may end up shutting down entirely—in the middle of high season! Do your research to learn how a company is capitalized, and how they perform in a volatile and uncertain environment. 

2. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples 

If your end goal is to make more revenue, make sure you aren’t just looking at the management fee. While a low management fee is enticing, you should think about any extra costs that your new property manager will or won’t cover, how they’ll be pricing your home, and how much revenue they’re able to generate for you. A low management fee could end up costing you more!

3. Meet your local point of contact

Even if it’s just over a video call, make sure you meet the person or team who will be taking care of your home. They should be an expert in all aspects of your market and local vendors. Be sure to ask about other vacation rentals they manage in your area and how they fare against competition, how they optimize for seasonal trends, and how they comply with local regulations.

4. Check that they have good reviews 

Check out reviews on Google, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Trustpilot to get a sense of a company’s brand reputation and how they respond to any negative feedback. Every company has some bad reviews, so make sure they’re at least doing better than the competition. You can even go straight to the source and ask management companies for referrals from current homeowners.

5. Confirm they know how to transfer your reviews 

You’ve put a lot of hard work into creating a great guest experience and cultivating positive reviews. Make sure your new vacation rental manager knows how to transfer over your reviews on Vrbo, otherwise, you’re losing all that traction and recognition from guests.

6. Understand how they manage your existing reservations

A great vacation rental management company will be able to honor your existing reservations so you’re not losing any income during the transition. Once you sign with AvantStay, we ensure that all of your reservations are blacked out on your calendar, transfer over all Vrbo reviews, and take new, professional photos so your listing is fully optimized and ready to drive new bookings. 

Other questions to ask: 

  • How large is your rental portfolio? Will I receive local support?
  • How will you get my home ready for guests? 
  • Will you handle permitting, inspections, occupancy taxes, and insurance? 
  • What are the vacation rental management fees and contract terms? 
  • What services are included in my contract?
  • How will you advertise my home?
  • How do I know my home will be in good hands?
  • Can you guarantee I’ll make more money on my vacation home than I did last year?
  • What does the transition timeline entail? 
  • How long will my home be off-market? 
  • How much involvement will I have in the transition from my current property manager?

How to break up with your property manager

Once you’ve found the right vacation rental manager for your needs, it’s time to part ways with your current property manager. But don’t worry, breaking up with your property management company isn’t as awkward as it seems. Start by revisiting your vacation rental management agreement. There could be clauses in your contract that allow you to terminate your agreement if your vacation rental manager isn’t delivering on services as stated.

Even if you can’t find a right to terminate your contract, you should still reach out to your vacation rental manager and exercise your right to termination. Keep it simple and be prepared. Make a list of all the things they said they would do but aren’t (with specific examples), along with other reasons the partnership is no longer working. Also, make sure to put your termination notice in writing even if you end your partnership over the phone or in person. 

Make the switch to AvantStay

When you partner with a full-service management company like AvantStay, you’ll never have to worry about any of the above. We’ll work with you every step of the way during your termination timeline and transition to AvantStay while going above and beyond to limit the time your listing is offline. 

Once you’re brought on to the AvantStay platform, you’ll receive unmatched personalized service through a local Area Manager. They’ll know the ins and outs of your home, vendors, and market and will be able to quickly assist with any inquiries.

We pair all of that personal support with a proprietary tech suite that powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income so you can sit back and relax—it’s that simple.

Interested in learning more about what it means to partner with AvantStay? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

Published by Anna Ellison

With over six years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.

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