Purchasing a vacation home can be a lucrative investment. Whether the purpose is to rent it out to vacationers for financial gain or purely to use as a second home, it is important to ensure that you have a reliable and responsible property manager. With the new year approaching, what better time to re-evaluate your options for 2017. Take stock in your property, how it's performing and your occupancy rates. Here are some reasons to change your Charleston SC property manager in the new year:
1. High Commission Fees, Poor Service
Property management companies charge a broad range of different rates, from as little as 6% for long term annual leases up to 50% for full service property management. Having a discrepancy between the paid rate and the service received can be frustrating. Make sure you're getting the high quality service for which you're paying.
2. Bad Reviews
Bad reviews can make or break your vacation rental's success. Whether it is for poor cleanliness, taking too long to fix maintenance issues, or having an disorderly check-in procedure, receiving bad reviews is devastating for your property ranking. In 2016, one of the largest vacation rental booking sites, Homeaway/VRBO changed its ranking criteria. Gone are the days where you can pay to rank higher, now all rankings are based on reviews – so they need to be the best they can be! At Luxury Simplified Retreats we consistently receive 5-star reviews from our guests and therefore rank highly on vacation rental sites.
3. Lazy Booking Procedures
How many booking websites does your property manager utilize? The "sharing economy" is growing and having a presence on all of these sites will increase the pool of renters that will see your home. We recently attended the Short Term Vacation Rental Forum here in Charleston and were lucky enough to hear speakers from both Air BnB and Homeaway, each with a completely different user pool. The average age of a renter through Homeaway is 58, with the average age renter through Air BnB as 32. At Luxury Simplified Retreats we utilize our own website as well as VRBO, Homeaway and Air BnB in order to maximize our occupancy.
4. "Behind the Times" Marketing
Keeping up with the digital world is imperative to staying at the forefront of the rental market and having high quality, professional photos is only the beginning to marketing your property effectively. Having a presence on a website that ranks highly on Google, has strong inbound marketing and utilizes keyword search criteria are all extremely important in this competitive marketplace. All of these are practices that we use, along with our parent company, Luxury Simplified.
5. Care in Catastrophic Times
Renting on the East Coast can be a little treacherous at times, weather-wise. We have not had a serious hurricane in Charleston since that of Hugo in the late 80’s, however, 2016 marked the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Having been predicted to make a direct hit on Charleston as a Category 4, protecting homes in its path was crucial. Investing in property in a different state prevents you from being able to react quickly, so trusting your property management company to act on your behalf in these instances is vital. In 2016 we boarded up homes, took all outside furniture inside and ensured that we did all we could to protect as the hurricane rattled up the coast.
2017 is right around the corner, with January being our most popular booking month of the year. Should you consider a new property manager in 2017? Contact us for a complimentary proforma and marketing analysis to see if we can help increase occupancy rates, ultimately adding more money to your pocket. We have an impressive portfolio of existing luxury vacation rentals throughout Downtown Charleston and Folly Beach - check them out below!