10 Essential Questions to Ask Before
Hiring a Vacation Rental Property Manager
View this list to choose the right full-service vacation rental management firm.
What can you tell me about vacation rental performance in the area?
At One Fine Flat we go above and beyond to provide up to date, area-specific performance information for you. To start, we ensure we have an accurate feel for high and low seasons, know what types of property are most popular in the area, and how local regulations affect the vacation rental arena and more. As each local market is different, specific answers to this question will vary depending on the region, but rest assured we’ve done our homework and are happy answer any enquiries you may have regarding your local area and its market.
Will you be able to do a better job listing my property than other property managers … or the job I’d do myself?
With all due respect, the answer is an emphatic “Yes.” Your property can and should be listed on 50+ sites – a nearly impossible task for almost all property owners. And to the best of our knowledge, none of our competitors in full-service vacation rental management are as comprehensive as One Fine Flat when it comes to exposing your property on web destinations relied upon by travelers.
We use professional photography to put your property in the best possible light, and write listings that create desire – and prompt the right readers to become your confirmed guests. Unlike managers in multifamily buildings that run the same listings – with the same photos – for multiple clients, we show off the unique characteristics of every client’s property. All this is why we have an exceptionally high percentage of clients that have achieved Superhost status on Airbnb and elevated status on other vacation rental sites.
Vacation rental property management fees typically range from 25-50% of your rental income. Before hiring a property manager, you’ll want to determine whether you can afford to pay that high of a fee and still meet your rental income goals. Contracts are the biggest sticking point for owners who have wound up with a poor property manager. If you figure out in the first two months that the property manager isn’t doing their job well, but you’re locked in for a year-long contract, you’re going to be very unhappy for the remaining 10 months of that year. If a management company requires a contract, ask whether there are any out clauses based on performance or poor service. For example, if the management company fails to clean the property three times in one year, or only gets you 2 bookings in 6 months, you should be able to leave their service.
As we provide a full, all-inclusive service, our fees are also all-inclusive. One reasonable rate covers the full spectrum of vacation rental management and more, including being the first vacation rental management company to offer an income guarantee alongside our fee.
Offering a la carte services is another unique feature of One Fine Flat, and we can craft a custom package to suit your individual needs. Feel free to contact us for further information or a quote.
What percentage of rental revenue will I pay if you’re my full-service vacation rental property manager? And on a related note, what is (and isn’t) included – and how do your fees stack up against other firms?
Know this: in the short-term vacation rental management arena, paying a higher percentage of revenue to your property manager in no way assures you of receiving a higher level of service. One Fine Flat clients have reported savings of 20% to as much as 50% in comparison to what they previously paid, with a boost in service quality to boot.
It’s also important to know about add-ons, which can really add up. If your property manager charges for routine items like changing a light bulb, you should know about that in advance. At One Fine Flat, we don’t believe in nickel-and-diming clients, and make clear in our Owner’s Handbook what is and isn’t included in our rental percentage.
What should I look for in terms of marketing when selecting rental management service?
This is an important one! Many vacation rental management companies prefer to market their clients’ properties only on their own website. That can be a problem because an individual manager’s website, no matter how popular, is never going to get the same amount of traffic as major listing sites like VRBO or Airbnb – which means you’re missing out on a lot of potential guests.
A vacation rental manager’s 25-50% ought to cover the cost of marketing your property on at least one major listing site in addition to any marketing efforts they make to raise the profile of their own site. Listen for words like “appear high in the search results” or “search engine marketing” – these are good indicators your manager has put effort into raising and maintaining their website’s profile online. Your manager should also actively solicit reviews from happy guests and follow up with guests who have already stayed at the property to see if they want to re-book next year. Ask your vacation rental manager what they do to ensure repeat business and 5-star reviews to entice new guests to come and stay at your property.
In addition to listing and promoting your property with One Fine Flat and on our own website, we handle direct marketing to our worldwide database of guests on 25+ major sites, including Expedia, Booking, Airbnb, Kayak and many more.
We understand that no matter how popular one individual site may be, at least one major listing site is necessary for higher amounts of traffic. We also take care of other marketing aspects, including search engine marketing, soliciting reviews from guests and following up with previous guests.
When and how are guests able to book my property?
Vacation rental managers aren’t awake around the clock (which is just fine, because most guests aren’t either!) but they should be available when people are likely to be making their travel plans: before work, after work, and on weekends. If your manager is only available to make bookings from 9-5 on weekdays, odds are very good you’ll be missing out on bookings from people who work standard office jobs at those hours. You should also ask if guests are able to book online and use a credit card. The vast majority of guests prefer to book online, and very few are willing to send a paper check in the mail. If your potential manager doesn’t offer any way for those guests to book online, you won’t get the number of bookings you’re looking for.
As the vast majority of guests prefer to book online, One Fine Flat has created a simple and easy to use platform for booking. Be it Sunday or Wednesday, 3 AM or 3 PM, guests need only an internet connection and their credit card to book your property. Providing convenience to guests is important and providing an easy 24/7 method for booking will increase the number of reservations you receive.
After every stay, you’ll want to know that your guests left the property in good condition, and that any accidental damage was documented and addressed. As part of the package, One Fine Flat’s dedicated team is available to address these concerns. We perform a through post-stay walkthrough after every guests, document the property condition with photos and ensure the property is up to standard for the next guests.
Although we aren’t responsible for damages out of pocket as those costs are borne by the guest via their deposit or a damage protection program like Property Protection Plus by Evolve, we document damages and handle guest interaction regarding damages and retailing their deposit to cover it if necessary.
Are you able to help me with strategic decisions – like investing in costly improvements and buying new vacation rental properties?
This relates to the difference between a vendor and a partner. A vendor relationship is transactional; a partnership means you have a tactical and strategic resource who consistently treats your money as if it’s their own.
If a property owner receives a less-than-stellar review for a “dated” kitchen and suddenly finds herself deciding whether it’s time to invest in a new kitchen, she shouldn’t have to go it alone. Owners should be able to tap into a property manager’s wealth of experience. And if an owner is debating whether his next vacation rental property should be in Fort Lauderdale or Miami Beach, the property manager should be capable of helping him navigate through the decision using a full set of factors, including, of course, reliable data.
If you choose One Fine Flat as your full-service property management company, we’ll be available to help you make better strategic decisions whenever you need us.
Can I speak to some of your current clients?
Absolutely! We are proud of our best in class service and maintain good relationships with our One Fine Flat family members.
However, you don’t need to simply take our word for it; we are happy to provide references who can also give you an insider’s view on what to expect and what they have learned through us on navigating the local market.
We’re confident you’ll be excited to become part of the family and believe in transparency for our clients.
And Now, A Question for You
So, did you come here looking for a traditional vacation rental manager? If you’ve answered yes, keep reading as we have some interesting facts to share with you. The traditional model of vacation rental management is prohibitively expensive for a lot of owners. With fees ranging from 25-50%, there’s little income leftover for you, the homeowner. That’s an awful lot of lost income, wouldn’t you say? Now, let’s compare with a more modern approach; a full service management team, with a few extra perks added in for a fee that makes sense. With our streamlined processes and lower costs, One Fine Flat is able to provide top-of-the-line marketing, a dedicated team available to provide amazing customer service seven days per week, no term contracts and more. Without losing up to half of your income. If this sounds good to you, then you’re just a click away from reaping the benefits of partnering with the innovative trailblazer of vacation rental companies.
What Our Partners & Customers Are Saying
“What sets One Fine Flat apart from their competitors is their use of technology. By utilizing modern property management software and services, One Fine Flat is able to automate many of their daily processes, allowing them to keep overhead low and pass the savings on to their customers.”
“I increased my revenue by 35% with OneFineFlat”
“One Fine Flat made me a believer. I’m never renting to a long term tenant again”
At One Fine Flat, we are a full-service vacation rental company that leverages the power of a professional sales staff, proven online marketing tactics, and approachable technologies to improve both the homeowner’s and guest’s vacation rental experience.