Beach house overlooking the water “We all dream, most by night in the dusty recesses of our mind but some by day and act those dreams.”  That’s a paraphrased quote from TE Lawrence.  For some lucky souls, a “dream of the day” is to own a second property for a family getaway and also as a cash flowing investment asset. Property is often the biggest single investment we have short of our 401K. A second home falls into the same category and its management needs to be considered carefully. So how do you make sure that property is in safe hands when your thoughts are directed elsewhere?    

As the portfolio of luxury vacation rentals that we manage in Charleston, SC grows, we have had opportunity to meet with owners and listen to their questions and concerns. There is a compelling rationale for asking the proper questions when you evaluate a management partner and many things to consider. 

So here are a few questions you may want to ask in the selection process when deciding the group that should manage your asset.

  • How will you maintain my property? 

Do you have dedicated maintenance staff on your team?  What are their skill sets?  Share with me some existing maintenance schedules for properties similar to mine. What are your thoughts on preventative maintenance to protect my property long-term?

  • How will you market my property?

Do you have a significant local web presence? What third party platforms will you market to?  What is your target audience and how will they treat my home?  How did you handle a recent unforeseen incident/or negative reviews in your portfolio?

  • How do you differentiate yourself from other management firms?

Do you have non-traditional ways to secure bookings i.e. operation of event spaces in town?  What awards has your company won in the last two years? What reporting processes do you have in place? How do you handle out of season bookings?

  • What level of service do you provide to rental guests?

What service standards do you have in place? Do you provide a personal service?  How do you handle after-hours requests? Do you automate the rental process and if so provide examples of a typical renter experience?

  • My Charleston home is in a hurricane zone, how will you cope with that?

Do you have a hurricane action plan?  Damage may be beyond a local handyman service, what qualified home construction and repair capability do you have first access to and how?  Can you advise me on cost effective precautions I should take? 

These guidelines are simply to compare vacation rental management providers and there is no intention to make judgments here. All levels of service have a place and a cost, so it really depends on what level of service meets your budget and how you can avoid a mismatch between your expectations and the delivery.  From service providers that simply dictate,  “guests should collect the sheets and toilet roll from the management office upon arrival” to “a full concierge service with 24 hour on call, ” everything has a place and cost in this wonderful city, and in this competitive environment of the new sharing economy where there is a wealth of choices in the vacation rental marketplace.  Just go into it with your eyes wide open and fully informed.

Note: Visit the Luxury Simplified Retreats website to view our complete portfolio of luxury homes in and around the Charleston area. 

Interested in exploring the possibilities of having us manage your vacation home? Read a case study about success we’ve had with bringing a vacation rental to the market – then DOWNLOAD the booklet we’ve created that showcases just some of the reasons why we are considered experts in luxury vacation property management.

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