Initial Research Steps
Take your time and do your research. While this process may take awhile, it will be well worth it in the long run. Start by taking a look at the company’s website. It should be mobile responsive and have the ability to take online bookings and payments. Your property may one day be shown on this site. Is it a website that you’d be happy to have your vacation rental on? Next, see how their online presence stacks up. This includes looking at their social media sites and how well they rank in search results. As they’ll be marketing your property, these items are a good indication of their digital marketing skills. Don’t forget to check out any online reviews they have, too. Once you’ve narrowed down the field, it’s time to start talking to those companies with whom you’re considering working and asking them a whole bunch of questions.
The Company’s Background
One of the first questions you should ask is how long the company has been in business. Not only will this give you an idea of their level of expertise, but a company with a longer history is also one that’s more reliable. Ask about the number of clients they have as well as the size of their staff. Companies with a large number of clients but a small staff may not be able to provide you with quality customer service. Your chosen manager should be extraordinarily familiar with Breckenridge’s rules and regulations for vacation rentals as well as any necessary license and applicable taxes. If they’ll provide you with some client references, that’s an added bonus. You’ll be able to get firsthand knowledge of their customers’ experiences.
The Fine Print
This is another big issue: just how much will their services cost you? Feel free to ask them point blank what fees they charge and commission rates they offer. You’ll want to delve even deeper into their fees by learning exactly what those fees cover and whether you’ll have to deal with additional costs for things like maintenance, cleaning, or repairs. All of their fees should be clearly spelled out and detailed. If you see a cost that they can’t explain, that’s a serious red flag. You should also find out what the contract terms are, including the length of the contract and whether you can opt out if they’re not providing the results you want. Make sure you get a complete list of all the services they provide so you’re not unpleasantly surprised should a special property need come up. Don’t forget about the financial fine print, either. Learn whether they’ll handle your taxes and how you’ll receive your rental income. You may even want to see if they can provide you with their expectation on how well your property will rent.
One of the advantages of using a management company for your vacation rental is that you don’t have to take the time to post your property on multiple site or maintain the listings. Anymore, there are a lot of vacation rental listing sites out there. Find out which sites your Breckenridge rental will be listed on and whether you’ll be responsible for the listing fees that these sites charge. You should make sure that they’re able to quickly respond to guest inquiries from third party sites. It’s also a good idea to ask if they provide professional photo services. Beautiful photos of your property will go a long way in getting it rented. Make sure you know all the different marketing or advertising techniques they’ll be using for your vacation home or condo.
The experience that a guest has in your house or condo is incredibly important. You should find out about their availability for guest needs and how they handle emergency situations. If you’re concerned about damage to your property, ask if they have a guest screening process in place. Regarding guest arrival, do they provide welcome items or a packet with information on things like restaurants, hospitals, etc.? In addition, a good company will have a smooth system in place to ensure that guests have no problem getting the keys upon their arrival in Breckenridge.
It’s your property and while it is a vacation rental, your needs should never be overlooked. Your property management company should be readily available to you. You shouldn’t have to call multiple times to get questions answered or issues resolved. Similarly, you should have no problem reserving your property for personal use. Many companies have online systems for their owners. If this is of particular concern to you, you may want to check out their system ahead of time. Make sure to ask if there are limitations as to when you can use your property. You’ll also want to check to see if there are any charges that come with letting your friends or family use the property.
As we previously mentioned, your vacation property is an investment. It’s essential that upkeep and maintenance are promptly attended to. There are a lot of questions you can ask about these items, including (but not limited to):
- When do walk-throughs happen after a guest leaves?
- Will there be an inventory of the items in my home and will that list be checked after guests depart?
- How are damaged or missing items handled?
- What steps are taken to ensure my rental stays in good shape?
- Will I receive regular updates on my property’s condition?
- Is there a schedule for regular maintenance?
When All Your Questions Have Been Answered…
It’s time to make your decision! After your meeting or conversation, you should feel comfortable and at ease with their processes and their property management style. Essentially, you want to work with a property management company that is flexible, trustworthy, prepared, and experienced.
If you have more questions on what’s involved with choosing a property manager or you’d like to learn more about the services that Breckenridge Vacation Properties offers, feel free to give us a call at (970) 528-9700.