If you own a vacation rental property in Destin, you already know that you are in the company of thousands of other property owners, each in need of a trustworthy property manager. There are seemingly hundreds of property managers to choose from, and finding the right one for you can be a bit concerning. It all depends on the goals you have set for yourself and your investment. Each Destin property manager will approach the task differently, so it's important to find one that shares your values.
The first thing that should be determined is "What are my goals." False expectations generally lead to disappointment, so be clear on your goals before going forward. Is your property an investment or a retirement home? Will you be letting others rent the property for vacationing, or will the property be vacant for spans of time? If rentals is your goal, then how aggressive are you willing to be in getting the business? Most importantly, how well do you want your property cared for, and how much are your willing to spend? These are all important factors, and must be predetermined in order to choose the right property manager.
Beach Vacation managers range from mega-corporations who manage thousands of beach condominiums, to smaller agencies who manage ten, twenty, or thirty properties. Larger vacation managers tend to go for the masses. Their goal is to corner the market, serving everyone that will purchase their product. They provide elegant vacation packages to clients, but tend to have high fees assessed to the property owner. Most resorts are primarily managed by one of these types of organizations. The inventory and professionalism is generally what the vacationer enjoys, but this can also have the reverse affect. With thousands of properties to clean and maintain, details are often overlooked. Housekeeping is not always up to par, and customers can sometimes feel lost in the shuffle.
By choosing a smaller property manager, you will have access to unique benefits, such as dealing directly with the owner or someone who can make decisions. You will want to be careful though, and be sure that your company is following legal protocol in regards to insurance and compliance. Your manager should have access the area of your property and not be located too far away for frequent service needs. Smaller companies do pose the risk of frequent change, but this is to be expected, as a successful company is always researching service improvements, and it's easier to implement change in a smaller agency than a large corporation. Smaller vacation rental agencies can also be more flexible and, at the same time, implement stricter rental policies for better production. Housekeeping and maintenance should be on a more personal level due to the fact that fewer properties are on the program. Simply put, smaller property management agencies spend, on average, about twice as much time inside your property as do the corporations.
As smaller management agencies are fighting the corporations for business, they should be putting their best foot forward. If you choose to go with a smaller, local rental agency, look for one that is growing. A stagnant or shrinking company usually means that services are merely average of less than acceptable. From a smaller agency, you can expect more rentals on the calendar, for a slightly lesser consumer price. Volume will make up the difference in income, and can usually yield more money for the owner.
Author: Bob M Dyer
Founder and CEO of Sunset Resort Rentals, Destin's premier property management company.