There are a lot of myths about owning a short-term rental. The biggest of which is that it’s easy, passive income and that if you simply have enough properties, you can quickly become a millionaire while relaxing on the beach all day.
I’m here to tell you that, for most hosts, that’s simply not true.
Short-term rental hosting is hard work. Between finding the right property, setting it up, responding to guests, screening guests, figuring out how to command the highest price, doing tons of maintenance and upkeep…Airbnb hosting can quickly amount to much more than you bargained for.
And while I share tons of tips to help you navigate hosting with ease and become a profitable Airbnb host without wanting to rip your hair out…well, sometimes we just have to be honest with ourselves about when managing every aspect of our vacation rentals, every minute of every day, all by ourselves is just too much.
If you know you want to outsource the day-to-day responsibilities of running an Airbnb or are wondering if hiring a short-term rental property manager is right for you—look no further.
As a real Airbnb Superhost, I’m breaking down what it’s really like to hire someone to manage your vacation rental. Read on to find out what you need to know BEFORE hiring your first short-term rental property manager.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I’m not affiliated with Airbnb in any way (other than being an Airbnb host, of course). Read my full disclosure policy here.
- What You Need to Know BEFORE Hiring a Short-Term Rental Property Manager
- What’s a short-term rental property manager?
- How do I know if I need a short-term rental property manager?
- What are the responsibilities of a property manager?
- What can’t short-term rental property managers do?
- What are the trade-offs to hiring a property manager?
- How to choose the RIGHT Airbnb property manager for YOU
- How to find an Airbnb property manager
- What else do you need to know before hiring a property manager for your Airbnb?
What You Need to Know BEFORE Hiring a Short-Term Rental Property Manager
What’s a short-term rental property manager?
A property manager is someone you hire to take over the day-to-day responsibilities of running your short-term rental.
How do I know if I need a short-term rental property manager?
Let’s be real—property managers cost money and you’re trying to build a profitable business here! That hard-earned money you make from your vacation rental isn’t just burning a hole in your pocket, begging for you to hand it out to someone else.
So, before hiring a short-term rental property management company, you need to be super thoughtful about whether or not a property manager is right for you. If you’re considering hiring a property manager, chances are you fall into one of two camps:
- You want to be hands-off with your short-term rental. Maybe you’re starting a short-term rental to create passive income, invest in real estate, or offset an existing mortgage. No matter the reason, you know that you don’t have the time (or passion) it takes to manage all aspects of your vacation rental business. If that sounds like you, keep reading to make sure you know how to find and set up your property manager the right way.
- You’re on the fence about whether or not you need a property manager. Maybe you don’t know exactly what a short-term rental property manager does, what the trade-offs are to hiring one, or how much they cost. Keep reading because this blog post will tell you just that. By the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not hiring a property manager is right for you.
What are the responsibilities of a property manager?
Typically, a property manager will take over all aspects of running your rental. Unlike co-hosts, who may or may not do everything required to run your short-term rental, property managers generally take over nearly every aspect of your business. So, if you want to be as hands-off as possible, then hiring a property manager might be perfect for you.
Airbnb property manager responsibilities typically include:
- Helping design and set up your property
- Creating, optimizing, and managing your listing
- Handling all guest communication
- Managing your pricing
- Cleaning, restocking, and ensuring your property is guest-ready
- Identifying and resolving any maintenance issues
What can’t short-term rental property managers do?
Very little! Typically, a property manager will take over all aspects of your short-term rental. When talking with property managers you’re considering, use the list above to ask specific questions about what responsibilities they will or won’t take on.
What are the trade-offs to hiring a property manager?
Property managers often prefer to recreate your Airbnb listing under their own account. When they do, they’ll become the face of your short-term rental. You’ll only have access to your listing if they grant you access. You probably won’t see any messages with guests, your transaction history, analytics, or anything on the backend of your Airbnb listing.
Additionally, vacation rental property managers often have a set way of doing things. They’ve learned through years of experience what works best for their business and are often unwilling to change how they do things.
However, it’s still YOUR short-term rental and ultimately your responsibility to ensure it’s operating the way you want it to. So, having a great relationship with your property manager and visiting the property yourself regularly is important for long-term success.
How to choose the RIGHT Airbnb property manager for YOU
Before you jump into finding a property management team, you’ve got to know what you’re looking for.
When I first started my Airbnb, I was surprised by how much customer service is required. This is by far the most time-consuming aspect of running my Airbnb. As hard as I try, I’ve learned that efficiently responding to guests just isn’t a strength of mine and I don’t enjoy it.
Running my Airbnb remotely for nearly a year and a half also taught me that, while you can get by with exceptional cleaners that do the essentials like replacing batteries and restocking supplies, cleaners alone can’t do everything. Ideally, you have someone else to be your eyes and ears onsite–doing quality assurance, finding and fixing issues, and reacting in emergencies.
To choose the right short-term rental property manager, you need to identify what’s most important to you and look for a property manager that does those things exceptionally well.
How to find an Airbnb property manager
You can find a property manager almost anywhere: Google, Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, Airbnb communities, Airbnb listings, or LinkedIn. Also, don’t be afraid to ask around—real estate agents, fellow hosts, contractors, or anyone else local might be able to give a recommendation.
What else do you need to know before hiring a property manager for your Airbnb?
The last thing you need to know before hiring a short-term rental property manager is that you’ll probably need (and want!) to sign a contract with them. This written agreement will detail what your property manager will/won’t do, what you’ll be responsible for, the fee they’ll charge, and any other helpful details about your relationship moving forward.
Hiring a property manager for your short-term rental can be a super simple way to make running an Airbnb sustainable for you long-term. Short-term rental property management companies tend have their set way of doing things and want little to no input from property owners, allowing you to be completely hands-off in managing your short-term rental!
How much should I pay someone to manage my Airbnb?
Airbnb property management fees differ depending on the company. I’ve seen Airbnb property management fees anywhere from 20-40% of gross revenue.
Pro tip: I believe a property manager who charges a percentage of your gross revenue is much better than one who charges a flat fee because your incentives are aligned, meaning the more revenue your property manager brings in, the more BOTH of you earn!
Can someone manage my Airbnb for me?
Absolutely! Property owners who want to outsource the day-to-day management of their Airbnb can hire an Airbnb co-host or Airbnb property management company, both of which significantly lower the amount of work it takes for you to manage your Airbnb.
What do you call someone who manages an Airbnb?
Property owners who want to outsource the day-to-day management of their Airbnb can hire an Airbnb co-host or Airbnb property management company, both of which significantly lower the amount of work it takes for you to manage your Airbnb.
Is managing an Airbnb hard?
Airbnb hosting is hard work. Between finding the right property, setting it up, responding to guests, screening guests, figuring how to command the highest price, doing tons of maintenance and upkeep…Airbnb hosting can quickly amount to much more than you bargained for. To help, many property owners hire an Airbnb property manager to run the day-to-day operations.
What questions do you have about hiring a property manager? Let me know in the comments!
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