STUART — This is the final chapter of a three-part series on investing in vacation rental properties.
In our previous columns, we addressed what type of property to purchase and how to furnish and remodel your unit. This final column will provide an overview of managing your property. If you missed either of the first two chapters, you may read them on our website at Norman-PageTeam.c21.com.
If you are a year-round resident and live within 30 minutes of your rental, you may be able to manage your new investment yourself. You should have some knowledge about how to market your rental online and enjoy promptly answering emails inquiring about your rental.
You should be prepared to perform background checks on potential guests, enjoy meeting guests for check-in and check-out, and respond promptly to phone calls reporting a broken air conditioner, plugged plumbing, non-functioning Wi-Fi, etc.
You should also be prepared to clean the unit, restock essential items, laundry, etc., after each guest. If this sounds a bit overwhelming, consider hiring a professional rental management company. Some key points to think about:
1. A professional vacation rental agency focuses on marketing and renting your unit to an international audience.
2. The agency will handle all aspects of your rental, including vetting potential tenants, securing deposits, ensuring the unit is ready for guests, check-in and check-out of all guests, inspections, maintenance of the unit, etc.
3. The agency is knowledgeable about the local rental market and competitive rates for various communities. They provide added value by being able to lease your unit efficiently and frequently in order to maximize your rental income.