Property Management vs Vacation Rental Management: What are the your responsibilities when renting your condo?

7 Feb

Property Management for the Association is different from Vacation Rental Management. The Association’s property management company is paid by the Homeowners Association to take care of the day to day business of the entire condominium complex. They hire & fire maintenance workers and write their checks, pay the Association’s bills, hire the accountants to keep the Association’s books, etc.. The Association pays for this service from part of the monthly maintenance fees charged to individual unit owners. The company the Homeowner’s Association hires to manage its affairs is totally separate from the company you hire to vacation rent your condo.

Vacation Rental Management for your individual unit is done by a company you hire for this purpose. Some complexes have on-site vacation rental management available, usually by a franchise resort company like Castle Resorts or Outrigger. But for most condo complexes you will have to choose from one of the 45 off-site companies listed in the phone book. For off-site management, commission costs can range from 20% to 35% of the total gross in bookings. The vacation rental management company hires the cleaners between tenants but sends the bills to you for payment. Some companies may pay the cleaners but the commission is then higher. That’s why it pays to interview several different companies. On-site management usually takes 40% to 55% of the gross but includes daily maid service just like a hotel. Because on-site management companies can rent by the day, even though their commission is higher, your monthly net can be about the same as it would be for off-site management. Your rental manager should also take care of emergencies inside the unit like a burned out microwave or stopped up toilet, and bill you for the cost of repair, etc. They justify their percentage by advertising your unit, booking it, making sure the tenant gets keys and they get the keys back, keeping records of bookings and sending you checks for your share less expenses. Advertising is Vacation Rental Management’s biggest contribution. If they have a great web page and advertise in mainland magazines, then they will keep your unit full. The nightly or weekly rent you can actually get for your unit will depend on whether it’s a studio, one, two or three bedroom, what complex it’s in, how close to the ocean it is and how great the view is.

Some complexes have a Resident Manager. This is a person who usually gets free rent at the complex so he can oversee the goings on and make sure no one breaks the rules, etc. He may do light maintenance or gardening, field complaints, answer phone calls and generally make sure things run smoothly around the complex. He doesn’t collect rents or deal with your vacation renters except to tell them to quiet down after 10PM and stop their kids from running around the pool.