Hosting yourself versus hiring a property manager?
‘’In 2015 we finally finished renovating our house and then work forced us to go to France for several months. Renting out our house was a great option and with my experience in the travel branche I thought this would be a piece of cake. However, my husband commented quite rightly, that we might not need another time consuming project on top of our other workload and with a few months old baby
Is there not a way to outsource the hosting? This question kept me busy for a while. My perfectionist nature told me that no one can do this job better than me. Which is often the case, at least not on all aspects. In order to make the right decision for my situation I asked myself several questions.’’ – Evy (Wijkiki Beach House)
Do you enjoy being a host?
Obviously the most important question of all. As an event manager at heart, I cannot imagine anything more fun than organizing great experiences for guests. In my case the answer was a resounding YES. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case for you, it might be interesting to think about the following questions.
- Do you enjoy being a host with all the duties that come with it?
- Is hospitality something you like?
- Do you get excited at the thought of meeting new people?
- Would you enjoy answering all their questions before, during and after their stay?
If you do not enjoy hosting your guests, they will most likely sense this. The guest experience will be affected (and therefore your reviews), which will lead to fewer bookings. Authenticity is key.
Almost everyone has experienced staying in an Airbnb or hotel. Think back to all of your stays. Remember that time you received a lovely message up front with nice local tips? When your guest was genuinely happy to welcome you and helped you to a great stay? When you book an accommodation and you are treated with a positive energy, your experience is whole lot better.
Is there sufficient time to be a host?
If you want to create a successful rental property, there is no room for slacking. You need to deliver quality and this takes up time. For example, when your accommodation has full time availability it quickly can take up 30-40 hours per month. Of course certain tasks can be outsourced. You can hire a cleaning crew or use automatic pricing tools (available through some platforms) which saves you some time.
Even with all this technology and help, you would still need time for the things that cannot be automated. Ask yourself: Do I realistically have time to get the job done? A lot of people have full time jobs when they start renting out their property. A nice project on the side and how much time would it take, really? Soon you realize a bit of attention every now and then is not sufficient and it takes real effort to do it right.
Imagine, you have just arrived at your sister’s birthday when your guest calls: leakage. Back into your coat and on your way. Or after a visit to the local pub your guests can’t get to the front door to open. It is expected to have 24/7 availability for your guests in case of troubles. Even before they have arrived, a swift response to their questions is an important part of the service. React too late and it will affect your response rate and reviews.
Can you let go of the responsibility?
A third element to consider, is whether or not you dare to let go of the reins of renting out your home to someone else. When you are not ready to trust a property manager to do the job, it won’t be a pleasant experience for anyone.
A property manager is a professional company with people who know how to get the best results with your accommodation. They know exactly how to handle every situation and do not need your help with this. So if you would decide to hand over your property to a professional party, let go, relax and let them do what they do best.
Experts can advise you on the best price strategy, practical facilities, maybe even some tips for interior design, professional photography and optional guest selection. Trust their knowledge and experience. If you are uncomfortable with all of this, it makes sense to keep hosting yourself.
Be honest and ask yourself: am I ready to hand out the control over my rental property? If yes, get in touch! See if you get a good feeling with the idea of it and give them the benefit of doubt and maybe even the chance to prove themselves.
What are your results like so far?
‘’Before we engaged with a property manager, we rented out our house to one lady for the whole summer. It was relaxed and easy, but the income wasn’t very high either“ – Evy
Maybe you have been hosting for a while now and you can take a moment to reflect. Are you happy with your balance in income and effort so far? Are these the results you had hoped for when you started?
Not completely satisfied? This might be a great time to consider a property manager. Asking for information never hurt anyone. These kinds of companies manage a great number of accommodations, are professional and experienced in hospitality, and know exactly what your ad needs to get great search results with optimal night prices.
Don’t forget that when you have plans yourself and your cleaner is not available, you cannot accept bookings for that day. This will create gaps in your calendar of nights that cannot be filled. A property manager is there full time and can always get your accommodation ready for new guests within 3-4 hours. This will result in great efficiency and better results.
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Everything together, you want to consider three main things before making your decision:
- Is hosting something you enjoy doing?
- Do you have sufficient spare time?
- Are you happy with your results so far?
Is your answer to all of these questions YES without a doubt, give it all you got and happy hosting!
‘’For me the decisive factor was the gain of time. That’s why we decided to fully handover the renting out of our house to the enthusiastic team of Rental Valley. By now our income has doubled, the calendar is packed and I am using my spare time with my family.’’ – Evy (Wijkiki Beach House)