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One of the biggest complaints we hear from hosts trying to run their Airbnb business is that they don't want the hassle of managing their properties themselves.
Managing an Airbnb rental property in today's competitive market is inarguably time-consuming. A quick Google search will pull up plenty of property management companies and tips on how to find someone to manage your Airbnb, but the trick is finding the ones with the right experience and skill sets to meet your property's unique needs.
Finding the perfect candidate for the job can be as puzzling as searching for a needle in a haystack. But the process can be less complicated with the right approach. This article explains how to find the right candidate to manage your Airbnb and what questions you should ask before hiring.
Responsibilities of an Airbnb Manager
Before you find someone to manage your Airbnb, let's first cover what an Airbnb vacation rental property manager does to make your life easier as an Airbnb host.
1. Advertise and market the property
Firstly, as you’re researching how to find someone to manage your Airbnb, keep in mind that Airbnb property managers are responsible for optimising your Airbnb listing. This role could mean maintaining an active presence on social media or spreading the word on vacation rental forums. Airbnb agents can also promote your property using online ads, posting flyers in local communities, and hosting meet-and-greets at local attractions.
2. Interview and screen potential tenants
One of the key roles of an Airbnb property manager is to ask prospective guests detailed questions about their experience with Airbnb. This process will allow them to determine if those guests would be a good fit for your property. They may also conduct identity verification and background checks on prospective guests to authenticate the guests' personal information and ensure that they are not criminals. It’s in your right to require that guests verify their identity.
3. Manage maintenance and repairs
An Airbnb manager can help care for your property, overseeing cleaning and repairs. They ensure that all the systems are working properly and that guests have a quality experience. This role typically includes organising cleaning supplies and maintenance schedules. That's why they must have a good eye for detail and strong organisational skills.
With a top property management company like Houst, you can choose between a part-time or a full-time letting and maintenance plan, which includes the provision of quarterly property checks, a dedicated account manager, and so on.
4. Determine rental rates
Airbnb managers and companies monitor competitor pricing and keep track of the trends in the marketplace to determine the optimal time for price increases and set competitive rates for the rental property. They also track the cost of doing business and adjust the price accordingly to ensure that the property yields maximum profit.
At Houst, we take into account your listing views, availability dates, season, conversion rates, and a host of other factors to provide you with an optimal estimate for your property.
How to Find Someone to Manage Your Airbnb
You don’t want to hire someone whose only qualification is that they managed an apartment complex or vacation rentals. So here are tips you should keep in mind to know how to find someone to manage your Airbnb property needs.
1. Set clear criteria for your ideal candidate
Before hiring an Airbnb property manager or company, set clear criteria for the person you want to hire. For example, what do you want the Airbnb manager to achieve? How long will they be in charge? Do you want them to be hands-on and present in every aspect of the business? Or are you looking to delegate a few tasks? This step will help you narrow down your choices.
Keep these few things in mind when setting criteria for the ideal candidate: first, ensure your criteria is reasonable and relevant to the unique needs of your property. Secondly, ensure the criteria is measurable.
For example, if you want an Airbnb manager who can only manage your property, that's a measurable criterion. But if you want one that will not only seamlessly manage your property, but guarantee a return of up to 30% compared to traditional tenancies, that’s more specific. And to achieve that, you need a top-tier property management service provider like Houst.
2. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals
You should consider asking friends and colleagues for a referral. They can give you a head start and save you time by giving you first-hand knowledge about the candidate’s skills and personality. You could also reach out to other Airbnb owners in your area to find out if they would be comfortable referring someone to help manage your property.
Asking for referrals from friends and colleagues is an efficient means of finding the ideal candidate because these people trust that manager's opinion and would likely hire them themselves if they needed someone to manage their Airbnb. Seeking referrals provides a list of pre-screened candidates who have been referred by people who know their strengths and weaknesses. As you ask friends for referrals, ensure you brief them about your goals and expectations for an Airbnb manager.
3. Interview several candidates
It's crucial to talk to as many people as possible before making a hiring decision. The main reason for doing this is to weed out potential bad apples and get the most suitable candidate for the job. For example, if you have an old building requiring special care, you may want to hire someone with experience handling older properties. Since most managers won't meet such criteria, you must broaden your search to find the right person and get the answer to “how to find someone to manage your Airbnb”.
If you plan to screen many candidates, consider interviewing them over the phone or via video interviewing software to reduce the time and cost of each meeting. You can also ask them to submit written responses to an interview questionnaire to streamline the process further. Airbnb property managers are mostly busy, so it's best to learn about their schedules and fix a convenient time for the interview.
4. Find out how they determine management service fees
A management service fee is a fee you pay to have someone manage and maintain an Airbnb. These fees typically include the initial setup, tenant placement, cleaning, and vacancy fees. Ideally, the management service fees vary depending on the size of the property, its condition, location, and the extent of service you need the management company to offer.
Some Airbnb management companies may charge a flat fee for a monthly or yearly contract. In contrast, others charge by a commission, taking a percentage of your monthly earnings (typically between 10 to 30 percent of your net bookings). To determine the most favourable fee structure, consider the revenue you expect your Airbnb to generate.
If your property is in a strategic location, you may want to consider a fixed fee structure; otherwise, a commission model would be more profitable, especially if you don't have many bookings. Also, find out if there are any hidden fees. The best Airbnb management companies are transparent about fees and have no upfront costs.
5. Find out how they communicate
It's essential to know how your Airbnb management company communicates with you and the guests on your property. Choose a company with a detailed communication plan that keeps everyone informed with email blasts, group texts, and a 24/7 hotline for emergencies. The essence of using multiple communication channels is to ensure that they appeal to every guest regardless of their preferred communication medium.
The best Airbnb management company will have a definite schedule for sending calls and messages. And they will also be available to respond to queries whenever you call on them. One thing to keep an eye on is whether or not your Airbnb management company provides weekly reports. These reports will give you a clear idea of what your Airbnb is earning and allow you to track the progress of any repairs or renovations.
6. Read reviews of their property management services
Before hiring a property management manager or company, take the time to research their reputation online. It’s important to read reviews of their past clients to see how well they could serve them. There are plenty of online review sites like Yelp and Google+ where people can share their experiences with other users.
Reading these reviews can help you make a more informed hiring decision. You can also see if there have been any complaints about the company. Generally, a few negative reviews shouldn't cause you to worry.
No business can satisfy every customer at the same time. However, it could be a red flag if most people are unhappy with their work. Another way to research a manager's reputation is to ask fellow Airbnb owners about their experience working with the management company.
7. Learn about their schedule
As you're about to hire someone to manage your Airbnb rental property, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the schedule of the Airbnb management company. Ideally, you need a manager that can work with your schedule; always available when you need them. It's vital to ensure that their schedule is flexible. This will ensure that they can accommodate your needs on short notice.
Some companies offer a 24/7 live chat service, so you can talk to someone whenever you need help. The best Airbnb management companies prioritise your schedule over theirs so you can do what you want without interruption. Isn't that the primary aim of finding a manager?
8. Examine their Airbnb marketing process
Marketing is a vital aspect of running an Airbnb rental business. One of the first things you should look for when hiring an Airbnb management company is their marketing process. If they don't have a clear plan to market your listing, then there's a good chance that they will struggle to attract guests. This situation can lead to various problems, from low occupancy rates to poor reviews and cancellations.
On the contrary, if your manager has a well-thought-out plan, they can help you expand your reach and boost revenue. Airbnb managers are often knowledgeable about effective marketing strategies, but it's best to look for a team of experienced Airbnb managers and marketers who understand the platform well. If you have little marketing knowledge, it would be difficult to tell which strategies are effective. In that case, look for an Airbnb management company with a proven track record of marketing success.
9. Check their STR management portfolio
A portfolio is one of the most important things to look for in any company you are considering hiring and is a must for how to find someone to manage your Airbnb. Any reputable Airbnb management company should have a portfolio of properties they have managed and be able to show you pictures and videos of the properties. Most companies will display their best work on their website too. This exhibition will give you an idea of what they can do and whether they have the experience you need.
Another thing to check is whether or not they have any training program. A training program will ensure that your Airbnb property manager is properly prepared for your property. However, it's not compulsory. If they don't have much experience managing Airbnb properties, then there's a good chance they won't be able to help you solve your problems.
10. Understand management agreement terms
One of the most important things to do before signing on the dotted line is to check the terms and conditions of your Airbnb rental agreement. While Airbnb management companies offer some important services, it's essential to understand their role before signing a contract. For example, you may want to ensure that the agreement includes a clause that holds the management company responsible for any damages to the property.
There is a lot of variation in the Airbnb terms of service, which can create confusion and miscommunication if not explained clearly in the agreement. It's also important to understand the company's responsibilities when it comes to things like tax and insurance.
To ensure you fully understand the contractual obligations, read the contract thoroughly and ask questions if you are unsure about anything. Additionally, keep in mind that these contracts are not set in stone. You can negotiate the terms to suit your needs and circumstances.
Opting for an Airbnb Property Management Company
The Airbnb business model is rapidly expanding, and with that expansion comes an increase in operational demands. An average Airbnb property owners earn $13,800 annually from their short-term rental properties. So, you must find a reputable Airbnb management agent, or better still, a management company to meet these demands and keep your Airbnb enterprise functioning at peak efficiency.
Nevertheless, you should opt for an experienced management company because they will be able to provide a higher level of service and support. Also, they will enable you to stay competitive while maximising your revenue by improving your Airbnb listing and marketing it to more guests.
After all, you wouldn’t be asking how to find someone to manage your Airbnb if it wasn’t of value to you!
At Houst, we have a team of experts to take off the stress of managing our Airbnb. Contact us today to get an estimate of management fees for your rental property.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
You’ve already asked and had answered how to find someone to manage your Airbnb; now, for some additional FAQs to ensure you can make the right decision.
Can I Hire Someone to Manage My Airbnb?
Yes, you can. There are several Airbnb property managers or management companies that can help you oversee the day-to-day running of your rental property while you focus on other areas of your life.
Can I manage Airbnb remotely?
Of course. Several options allow Airbnb owners to manage their property remotely. These options include self-check-in, vacation rental software, and Airbnb managers.
How long does it take to manage an Airbnb?
Depending on your Airbnb rental size, you could spend 2-3 hours managing your property on a regular day with little activity and between 5-8 hours when you have a change-over of guests.
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