7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Manager

As one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, the vacation rental industry is seeing an influx of interest from real estate investors as well as a rapid appreciation for successful rentals. As demand for short-term rentals continues to rise, it is increasingly difficult for property owners to ensure the success of their rentals without hiring a property manager.

Not only is managing vacation rentals a full-time job, but the shifts and changes of the current real estate market mean you must consistently adapt marketing strategies to attract new guests. And for today’s property management companies, marketing vacation rentals to the right target audience is only a fraction of their job. They also handle daily property operations and continuously work to ensure a pleasant guest experience. As the property owner, your key to success will be hiring a property manager who can handle all this and more.

Whether you are new to the rental business or simply looking to switch property management companies, choosing a property manager can take some time. It’s important to conduct thorough research on each property manager, then pose open-ended questions and actively listen to each response. To get you started, here are 7 questions to ask before you hire a property manager.

1. Is Your Property Management Company a Good Fit For Me?

Their answer will most certainly be “yes,” but you’ll want to do a little digging to figure out whether their management process aligns with your goals. As the owner, you need to decide how involved you want to be when it comes to the management of your rental property. Will you hire a property manager who handles all aspects of your rental(s), including promoting the rental online, booking guests, and collecting rent? Most property management companies are full-service, while others will only provide booking services.

Full-service property management allows you to enjoy the benefits of owning a vacation home without all the stress. Owners enjoy complete transparency in terms of financial statements, reports, and day-to-day management, without worrying about every detail.

2. What Kind of Experience Do You Have in the Rental Market?

The vacation rental market in the West Valley of Phoenix is very competitive. Each location is unique and requires a rental strategy that will maximize your success. When interviewing a property management company, talk about the rental properties they managed in the past and spend some time looking over their rental portfolio. Find out how long they’ve been in business and peruse their portfolio for pictures and data regarding rental performance. Be sure to discuss their experience in the local Phoenix market and the strategies they use to make rentals similar to yours stand out from the competition.

3. What Are the Terms of Your Rental Property Management Contract?

hiring a property manager

Be upfront about the contract, and there will be no surprises later on. First and foremost, ask about fees. Each property management company has its own fee structure that should be between 20% and 50% of the rental income for the property. Ask about leasing fees for additional properties as well as miscellaneous fees and hidden fees. Surprise charges from property management companies usually come from cleaning services or property maintenance, so it’s important for you to be upfront about any property management fee in the contract. Can you expect a difference in fees based on how many properties you need to manage? If you discuss these things at the beginning, there will be fewer surprises when it comes time to sign the management agreement.

4. How Do You Determine Rental Price?

The constantly shifting vacation rental market makes pricing a tricky business. Your future property manager will have to create a competitive rental pricing strategy that changes with the West Valley’s seasonal demand and takes into account competitor’s pricing, amenities offered, and more. While you, the owner, will have the final say when it comes to pricing, an experienced property manager knows how to determine a leasing fee based on the factors above. A well-informed pricing strategy can significantly maximize occupancy for your vacation rental and increase monthly rent income overall.

5. What Type of Guest Property Services Do You Provide?

A plumber in a blue uniform and cap using a plunger in a stainless steel kitchen sink. A case with various tools is open on the counter.

Most property managers will have a good tenant screening process, handle maintenance requests, and provide concierge services for guests. A huge part of their job is making sure the vacation rental guests have a wonderful experience from the initial booking process to final check-out. The best property manager responds quickly to guest inquiries and handles issues any time, day or night. As you interview potential property managers, ask about their experience handling guest problems, responding to emergency maintenance work, and other guest-related tasks.

Take some time researching former guest reviews online, as well. Anyone can provide solid concierge services, but online reviews will help you get a feel for their ability to handle difficult situations regarding guests. After all, you need a property manager who’s going to get those five-star reviews your rental property needs to stand out from the competition.

6. Do you Have References?

Just like for any other job, when hiring a property manager, you are always able to ask for references. A property management company should have at least a couple of existing or former clients you can speak with. Check out their rental properties online and assess whether the property manager has treated clients fairly while yielding positive reviews from clients. If you look online and see unhappy guests or property owners, that should be a red flag to move on. Another warning sign would be if the property manager doesn’t want to provide references or simply draws your attention back to the portfolio without providing any information directly from the client.

7. How Will You Promote My Vacation Rental Property?

A person seated at a white desk using a laptop with Airbnb displayed on the screen, showcasing a man wearing USA-themed attire. Next to the laptop is a glass of water and a plate with a pastry, with a notebook and pen nearby, set in a cozy room with a lamp in the background.

One of the biggest jobs of a property manager is the marketing and promotion of vacation rentals through online rental platforms like Airbnb. Attracting potential tenants is especially important in the winter when the West Valley seems to have a vacation rental on every corner. Fierce competition like this calls for a property manager who knows the local rental market inside and out while possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to promote a variety of vacation rentals and reach potential guests. Ask a potential property manager about the steps they take to ensure rental properties stand out from the crowd and boost visibility online during those months when everybody seems to want to visit the southwest.

Before taking pictures and writing the description of your rental property’s listing, ask whether the property manager offers interior design advice. Most are willing to give you a few tips, but if you’re hoping to create a truly eye-catching listing, consider a company like PrimeNest Arizona. In addition to expert property managers, PrimeNest also offers professional renovations and staging services to create an irresistible look for your vacation rental.

Maximize Your Vacation Rental Success with PrimeNest Arizona

Finding the perfect property manager for your vacation rental in the bustling West Valley of Phoenix can make a world of difference in maximizing your rental income and ensuring an exceptional guest experience. Remember, it’s not just about finding someone to handle bookings and maintenance; it’s about partnering with a team that understands the local market, possesses top-notch marketing strategies, and prioritizes guest satisfaction.

This is where PrimeNest Arizona stands out. With our comprehensive services, including professional renovations and staging, we are dedicated to transforming your property into a standout vacation rental. Don’t settle for the ordinary when you can elevate your rental property to its full potential. Contact PrimeNest Arizona today, and let us help you turn your vacation rental dreams into reality.

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