What You Need to Know as the Owner of a Vacation Rental Property

by Staff

As the owner of any type of rental property, it’s important to understand that you are also the property manager or landlord. Your responsibilities include keeping up with the cleaning and maintenance of your entire property, as well as marketing the property to potential renters. You are also responsible for managing the tenants, especially if you’re the owner of a multi-family property or an apartment complex.

Owning real estate isn’t terribly difficult but it isn’t exactly a walk in the park either. But if you do your research and connect with other rental property owners for guidance, you won’t fall prey to the infamous real estate myths and truths, finding great success in this industry.

Marketing Your Property

You want potential renters to choose your property on vacation lodging sites because that’s how you make a return on your investment. When listing your property, the best way to market it is to be honest. Renters value honesty over almost everything and appreciate it when you’re upfront about what they will be walking into. You’ll also want your property to be clean and presentable, and any photos you take for the listing should be taken in the best lighting possible.

Managing the Property

One of your main tasks as a property manager is to keep up with the maintenance of your property. Just like you would with your own home, it’s important to make sure that all appliances are working properly, whether it be the HVAC unit, refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, washer/dryer, etc. No tenant wants to come into a vacation home, just to find that something isn’t working. Maintaining your vacation rental also means that it should be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, especially between guests.

While you’re ensuring that the inside of your property is presentable, don’t forget about the outside. If your vacation rental has a lawn, then you’ll need to make sure that the grass is cut regularly. The way the outside of your property looks is just as important as how the inside looks.

Taking Care of the Tenants

As a property manager, you’ll need to keep a clear and open line of communication with your guests. Although you may have ensured that all appliances and amenities are working, things still break down. If your guests contact you to let you know about this issue, it’s your responsibility to see that it gets resolved. This is also true for all types of issues your guests may have. Responding quickly and in a professional manner will help to ensure that your guests will be happy and likely to recommend your vacation rental to others.

When to Hire a Property Manager

If you’re still in the phase of deciding to buy a vacation rental, another thing to consider is if you’ll need the help of a professional property manager. Hiring a property manager can take a huge load off of your plate, especially if your primary residence isn’t located near your vacation rental. Even if your vacation rental is located right next door to your home, you may not have the time to keep up with the maintenance.

Property managers aren’t free, so that needs to be taken into consideration as well when purchasing a rental property, just like other expenses. Remember that property managers can charge up to 12% of the rental price. Another downside is that you lose a lot of control over some of the operations of your rental, so it’s important to do your research to find the best property manager or management company for your vacation rental. You should be aware of what is included in a property management fee, as some charge extra for certain services.

Managing a vacation rental isn’t a hard feat if you have the time and resources to do so. It’s not a bad thing to need help with managing your property, just know that it will be counted as another expense that goes into owning a vacation rental. To some, it may seem like a waste, but hiring a professional property manager to take care of the marketing, maintenance, and tenants can make your vacation rental more profitable.

Photo by Krivec Ales

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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