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4632 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2013 9:16 AM by algarvince RSS
Active Contributor 11 posts since
Jan 25, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 18, 2012 9:42 AM

How do you manage your rental business?

We all know how difficult it can be to manage a holiday rental, let alone from abroad! That's why some owners choose to work with a Property Management company, whilst others rely on neighbours to lend a helping hand.

 

Have you had a bad experience with Property Managers in the past, and would never use one again? Could you not imagine life without one? Or do you manage the whole rental process yourself from A-Z?

 

Please share!

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Apr 27, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 10:37 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    I always rent with Property Managers and I don't foreseen any other option.

    The property manager is in charge for check-in and check-out , final payment , cleaning and customer support. It is a cost -around 10% of the rent-, but is well spent

    On the feedbacks is often mentioned as a qualty differentiator

  • New Member 14 posts since
    Apr 27, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 11:39 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    I wouldn't really describe myself as a 'Property Manager', however I am not the owner - it is more the case that I am a very good friend of the owner and he asked me for my help in advertising his properties and handling all of the enquiries, bookings and handling of rental payments.  Effectively, I 'run the office' and get to know our guests via email and telephone (whichever seems the simplest or preferred option for them) and gradually I have built up a very happy correspondence with both past and future guests who, for some unaccountable reason, appear to enjoy my ramblings!  I think it has to do with offering a personal touch and dealing with each and every enquiry in a question-specific and individual way rather than simply replying in ‘stock’ format.  Of course, I do have ‘stock’ replies, but I tend to find that these often require a little tweaking and massaging if I’m to make a decent job of answering some of the more ‘probing’ questions!

     

    The owner lives where we rent our villas so that he is on-hand to do all the physical stuff; meeting and greeting (his absolute forte as he is a very sociable chap), pool maintenance, welcome hamper shopping, painting and repairs, laundry collection and renewals, arranging the cleaning rota… all of these he manages wonderfully (at nearly 80 years-old!) whilst I wear myself to a frazzle with my pens and my keyboard!?!

     

    It works well for us.  He is not (and likely will never be) ‘computer friendly’ - let alone computer literate - and I am not so keen on all that baking hot sun, and fresh, healthy Mediterranean food!??!     So that’s how we do it.  I’ve scribbled and built up a hefty folder of documents and guides to keep things all neat and tidy and to allow our guests to know more about us, what we offer, what Agia Galini and Crete has to offer, and how we do things.  All of this has really been based on common sense and considering how we would wish to be treated when making our own holiday enquiries. 

  • New Member 1 posts since
    May 1, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2012 6:47 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    In France, Property managers are useless. We simply use a charming local couple to do the pool, the cleaning, the handovers.We are full-booked again this year, with many returning renters.Sorry to sound cocky, but good properties at the right price sell like hot cakes. We use Home Away and Holiday lettings, but now that boh ofthem are part of big groups (Rightmove and Trip Advisor), we are watching carefully.

    • New Member 14 posts since
      Apr 27, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 1, 2012 7:23 AM (in response to almost)
      Re: How do you manage your rental business?

      Sounds great - it's always good to find the right people and know you can trust them.

      Just thought I'd mention... had a quick squint at your profile to take a peek at your property/ies but your 'link' doesn't work.  Might be worth you setting this again so that others can find you easily?  Who knows, you might get bookings from other owners.... I'm a Francophile, myself.

    • New Member 2 posts since
      May 5, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 5, 2012 3:53 AM (in response to almost)
      Re: How do you manage your rental business?

      Almost....please dont be so sweeping in your statement ' in France all property Managers are rubbish' !

      May be in your experience this is so.

      There are many of  us, property managers, who are well qualified, and who take pride in their work and in making holiday home ownership an enjoyable experience.

      Admittedly, there are many people who feel they qualify on the boat over to France....this is not always the case, and certainly not in mine.....i have been in Property management for 20 years and have run very successful businesses both in the UK and in France.

      Please dont tar everyone with the same brush.....some of us are really good!!

      I have sleepless nights worrying have we done enough for our clients!

  • New Member 8 posts since
    May 3, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 6:20 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    I used a property manager in Switzerland for one season and they were terrible. They just didn't have the attention to detail for guest comfort.

     

    I now manage the property online doing everything from advertsiing to payment electonically. Guests use a a key lock box to get access to the apartment and I provide a detailed information pack in advance so they can figure out how things work. Cleaning and maintenance are done by a willing neighbour who is paid per changeover and keepss the place really clean. They are available for emergencies at the end of the telephone but we've only had two problmes requiring intervention in four years of renting. We visit the property  at the start of both the winter and summer seasons and ensure everything is maintained to top condition. I'd say that managing the property this way takes an hour or so a day checking and responding to enauiries and then about a weeks worth of on-site time doing work.

     

    Overall it works well and as we have 90% occupancy in season and a returning guests rate of 50% our guests seem to like it.

  • New Member 3 posts since
    May 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 7:05 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    I do everything myself.  I started with just a B&B and then expanded to 4 self catering houses.  Now down to 2 plus the B&B.  However all are close together so manageable.

  • New Member 2 posts since
    May 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 9:51 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    Hi Everyone.  I am in the fortunate position that I live a 1 min walk away from my rental property, so I deal with everything from A to Z.  I ensure that the penthouse is the sort of place that I would be delighted to find when I arrived on holiday. Years ago, when I went to work in the ME, I put my home in the UK in the hands of a Rental Agent!!!!!!!!!!! Bad bad memories, including a double garage floor dug up by German Sheps - when it was a No Pets Allowed property!  However, my next door neighbours here in Cyprus, let their place and they have a wonderful British Couple as their property managers - and they do an incredible job ensuring that the property is in perfect condition for their renters.  This is a difficult question - and only individual experience will provide the answer "you" are seeking unfortunately. If you are lucky enough to have good neighbours who are also friend who will take on the role of Property Managers - that is brilliant - as long as they do a perfect job!  Decisons decisions decisions!  Not an easy question this one I think.  It really does rest in the hands of "experience".

  • New Member 5 posts since
    May 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 10:10 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    Our property is in France whilst we still live in England.  We have had superb rental managers since 2007 when we bought, an Engish couple who live where the apartment is-they do all the cleaning, laundry, arrange welcome packs, deal with the DIY as well and emergencies.  They also pay monthly visits when the place is empty to ensure all is OK.  All the comments in our guest book are about how clean and comfortable our property is.  They have just retired and we have been supremely lucky- a couple who work to the same high standards has taken over the business.  I know that if a guest has a problem it will be put right asap-last year the hot water tank went-the guests phone our rental managers-tank replaced same day whilst guests were out. Really couldn't let our property without them.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    May 10, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 2:53 PM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    Hello everyone

    I am just starting out with my villa rental in Turkey. can any one tell me how easy is it to collect rental payments via paypal. Any more tips on this thread will be very welcome. the best person I can find to manage my property is my Turkish neighbour who only speaks to me in German to me as neither of us speak english/turkish, I only have a few words og German so it should be fun in the future.

    keep smiling

    Steve

    • New Member 8 posts since
      May 3, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 10, 2012 4:11 PM (in response to stevebrent)
      Re: How do you manage your rental business?

      Setting up a Paypal account to receive funds is easy - just follow the guidance on the Paypal website. There are verification checks which take a few minutes and require you to be at your address to take calls etc but it´s quite straightforward. Making payements to your account is equally easy but be aware you´ll be stung a fee on each transaction. I ask for direct bank transfers to my account and this hasn´t failed me in four years.

      Regards

      Dominique

    • New Member 5 posts since
      May 11, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 11, 2012 5:15 PM (in response to stevebrent)
      Re: How do you manage your rental business?

      Hi, collecting rent via PayPal is simple and works well. You have to factor in what PayPal charge fro the transaction of course.I used it recently for a client from Russia. The only problem I encountered was that they paid me  €100 security deposit and it was not possible for PayPal's system to return it to them because they lived in Russia so it was a one way transaction. I had to go to an awful lot of trouble to get the money back to them. I ended up taking a chance and sending cash in the post to a Hotel in Germany where the client's father was on a business trip !!! It all worked out as the money arrived safely.

  • New Member 5 posts since
    May 11, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 12, 2012 3:47 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    Hi, what percenatge of rental are people paying in general to Property Managers and what services are being offered for the price. I envy the owners who live 5 minutes away and can oversee everything even if they are paying someone to do the cleaning etc. I just don't feel that in general someone who doesn't own a property pays the same attention to detail as I would. I have arrived at my property to find broken chairs that have just been left there for the next client instead of being taken away for repair, items missing that are on the inventory which were not noticed and if they were they were not reported to me. This was after I had returned the client's security deposit. I have also found light bulbs that have blown and haven't been replaced even though there is a box of spare bulbs available.

     

    So, if you are payting someone to do a full management service, including inventory what is the standard fee ?

    • New Member 7 posts since
      May 11, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 12, 2012 7:42 AM (in response to cian)
      Re: How do you manage your rental business?

      My villa is in Florida and here there are two main problems with management companies. Firstly to find one which is competent and secondly one which is honest. After a number of years with an honest but incompetent management I now one which meets both criteria. I pay them $350 (~£200) a month plus $80 for each clean when the renter leaves. However included in this is two 11 item food packs per month, pool maintenance,new batteries for remote controls every three months,replacement light bulbs. In addition I pay association fees of ~$800 every three months which takes care of the landscaping, gate guards, club house etc.

      I have a 4 bed 3 bath bungalow with pool and jacuzzi and expect to rent this for £500 per week.

      My previous management company always provided suprises when we arrived. Once we found the pool temp at 112F having probably been like that for a week heated using my money.

      Florida is notorious for dishonest management companies who leg it with your money, rent out without telling the owner and pocketing the rental.

    • New Member 4 posts since
      Jan 7, 2013
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 15, 2013 9:16 AM (in response to cian)
      Re: How do you manage your rental business?

      I do not know what is the use in other countries, but in Portugal travel agencies generally charge 20%. Property managers many times charge 20% including the managing fees others charge a fixed price for managing the property (from € 50/monthly to ...). Others else have diferent packages of services that goes from 10% to 20%. There are agencies that goes up to 30% but, these ones include in the service the supply and laundry of linen and towels.

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Jan 7, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 11:27 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    I must start saying I am a property manager. I started with my family 2 properties because Thomas Cook gave up on them because there was an hotel nearby being built. Now I have 53 (some are similar). I do not take car of all of them but, one the ones I take care, I manage almost everything. Beside the advertising and promotion, I receive the booking deposit, I receive the clients, always giving a small gift (i.e.bottle of wine), I change the bulbs, organize and pay the cleaning and laundry,  gardener, etc. If a plumber or an electrician is necessary I call and pay the service, etc. If a major work is necessary I ask more than a quote, control the work and pay. To facilitate the entry of guests on villas I generall put a key safe (I cannot be at all places at the same time). I never had a complain from a  property owner. What's the point to deceive a property owner? It takes time to get a good reputation and it is very quick to loose it. I work on a long  run, not for tomorrow. Hope you can find someone like me.

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Jan 10, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2013 5:12 AM (in response to emilie)
    Re: How do you manage your rental business?

    Hello,

     

    we have a large Villa in Tuscany and we do everything ourselves. We live on site in a small apartment next to the main villa. We had one agency when we took over the Villa but cancelled very quickly the contract as they were really useless.

    I do all the bookings, payments, cleaning, welcoming etc.. My husband does all the garden and pool keep up etc.

    It works great for us and our guests as they all appriciate the personal contact and the information we can give them first hand. Of curse it is a lot of work in the summer but winter times are quiete and we can relax.

     

    I know it is difficult to find a good property manager etc.. in our experience and from what our guests told us as well is that its always best to have someone living on site or at least near for emergencies. We deal mainly with americans so i think it depends of course also where your property is, what type of guests you have, the size etc... Our Villa is 700 years old and sometimes has its own will... so its always good that we are on site in case something goes wrong. And the amount of questions we get asked form our guests is just amazing but understandable as the come from far away and dont know the area. They are always very greatful for some inider tips (i.e. where to buy the best bread etc..) and that makes our "little bit extra service".

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