So you have purchased a rental cabin and you have decided that you want to rent it out as an investment property. While the vacation rental industry is alive and well in the Smokies, and it can be a highly lucrative business, there are basically two ways to manage your vacation rental property: V action Rental By Owner (VRBO) or through a Property Management Company (PMC).
Running your vacation rental as a VRBO is still a valid way to do business. In this scenario, you take the bookings, manage the property, handle the cleaning, the maintenance and take the payments. Of course, that also means that you are handling the booking, the maintenance, the cleaning and all of the other things that go along with renting your investment property as a vacation rental. The good side of a VRBO is that you keep all of the money from the rentals, the bad part is that you are the owner and the property manager, something that can be difficult if you live in town and almost impossible is you live further away. Most people do not want the hassle of renting the property themselves, instead they opt to hire a Property Management Company.
Property Management Company
iring a property management company is the way that most investment property owners chose to run their vacation rentals. A PMC does exactly what the name suggests, they manage your vacation rental for you. Here is a short list of what the PMC should be doing for you:
- Marketing – The PMC should be spending their time making sure that people know your cabin is available to rent. In print ads, radio spots, TV ads or online, the PMC should be reaching out through the various marketing medias to get more and more people into your cabin.
- Reservations – The PMC is going to take those reservations as they come in and make sure that the guest is booked and that that money paid as a deposit is held for the reservation. They will handle all of the questions from the guests about the reservation and the property, saving you countless hours on the phone or spent emailing back and forth with potential guests.
- Maintenance – When something breaks in the cabin, you have to fix it during the stay of the current guest or before the next guest comes in. The PMC will take care of those maintenance items that happen over time. They will also let you know when there are items that need your attention as the home owner becoming your eyes and ears.
- Housekeeping – After every guest checks out, the vacation rental property has to be cleaned. Scheduling that can become very time consuming, the PMC can make sure that the cabin stays clean and well maintained, even for those last minute bookings.
- Payment Distribution – At the end of the month, or whenever your contract describes, the PMC will distribute the money that you have earned from the bookings throughout the previous period.
Using a PMC does mean that you are going to take a smaller profit for each night rented but when you look at the amount of time that will be consumed for each rental, it becomes easy to see that a PMC can be your best friend when you try your hand at an investment property.