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What homeowners and property investors look for in a property manager

To get inside the heads of homeowners to better understand their needs, we’ve checked off the most important criteria they are looking for when it comes to choosing their ideal property manager.

Airbnb ManagementGrowth

Published on 10 Aug 2021

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Consistent 5-star guest experiences and high occupancy rates are not easy to achieve. They require strong operational, technical, and hospitality expertise. While having a short-term rental property can be rewarding, there’s a reason why more homeowners are seeking property management services for support.

To get inside the heads of homeowners to better understand their needs, we’ve checked off the most important criteria they are looking for when it comes to choosing their ideal property manager.

Your approach to guest relations

The property manager they choose will ultimately represent their property and present it to their guests. Every guest is different. Some are easy going and simply expect their questions to be answered while others require a more hands-on approach and expect a highly personal touch.

This is why it’s important that your homeowners understand your style of communication and governance and vice versa.

  • Describe how you onboard your properties and collect information so you can keep your guests informed (amenities, neighbourhood guide etc)

  • Describe how you use automated messages to streamline important parts of the guest journey such as check-ins and check-outs

  • Walk through your guest guide and other collateral or features that may be left in the home

  • Let the owner know who is responsible for responding to guest messages at various times throughout the week and how you measure their performance

  • Outline your target review score and highlight your track record as a property manager

Your knowledge of the market landscape

Numerous property management companies provide basic cleaning and maintenance services, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to good performance. One of the most valuable things a good property management firm should have is a solid grasp of the market and booking trends.

  • Before meeting the homeowner, research the area to learn what other properties are renting for

  • Have some comparable properties on hand to share during the conversation

  • Be confident in your knowledge of the industry and pricing recommendations

  • Explain any seasonality or other factors that influence revenue throughout the year

By providing professional recommendations to your homeowner, you will be able to give them a competitive edge and increase their chances of standing out amongst the rest.

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Your pricing strategy

There are two elements homeowners will think about when it comes to your yield management strategy. First is how you charge your clients (your management fee), and the second is how you set the price for your clients’ listings.

When discussing your fees with the owner:

  • Focus on the value of your service rather than the cost structure that sits behind the fees

  • Explain how good staff, systems and technology will result in overall better long-term performance, which justifies your fee

  • If the owner is comparing you to others, highlight your track record in terms of revenue for your other homes, your guest reviews and client reviews

  • At the end of the day, the fee is what you get for all the hard work you put in - so don't discount lightly

The second thing your homeowner may ask you about is your management firm’s pricing strategy for their listing:

  • Give the homeowner confidence by outlining your expertise and pricing methodology

  • Discuss comparable listings in the area and outline an estimate for their property

  • Avoid discussions around nightly rates as these fluctuate - as the manager, you need flexibility to move these as you see fit

  • Focus on annual returns and outline which months are the strongest / weakest and what the owner can expect as a result

  • Describe the systems and tools you use to manage pricing and how often the property pricing is updated

  • If you use a dynamic pricing tool, explain how it works as a way to give your clients confidence in your abilities

A quality firm will be able to do all these and more.

Your reporting quality

Your homeowner is your customer and they should be able to have full access to their property’s financial results. This means they will need access to their past earnings to know whether or not these have been improving or declining in the past months.

  • Be clear about when and how you report financial performance

  • Many managers work on a monthly cycle - ensure your earnings statements are sent in a timely manner

  • Use the month end as an opportunity to add additional value to the client by including commentary on the market conditions or new initiatives within your business

  • Include all the earnings details which the client would need for tax purposes - this often includes cleaning & maintenance expenses

As the short-term rental market continues to grow, hosts are now faced with more competition than ever before. This means that a successful Airbnb management service is vital to making hosts’ lives easier by making the process of managing a short-term rental property more streamlined. Transparency here is key - if your customers have to constantly ask for updates before they can get any real answers, that might push them to look for a new property management service provider.

Be sure to keep the above in mind as you grow your portfolio.

For more tips, tricks and property-related support, get in touch with us at support@hometimeapp.io

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