A few years ago, if you wanted to invest in a city property and rent it out, you’d hire a property management company to find a tenant, sit back and collect the monthly rent, less the management fees and commission.
It was a ton of effort to rent it out short-term. Doing the marketing; dealing with emails and phone-calls; finding (and keeping) cleaners; managing the emergency issues; keeping on top of maintenance…. Just not worth the hassle – even for the higher rental rates.
Then, along came Airbnb and the rental landscape changed.
Investors began to see how the short-term model could increase the ROI significantly; the risks from transient travelers were less than those posed by long-term tenants, and there was the added benefit of being able to use the property when it wasn’t rented out.
But the problem of property management remained…for a while.
There is a huge difference between being a landlord – find a good tenant and leave them to it – and a ‘host’ – being on call for everything from questions about the best restaurants to how to change a lightbulb. This made the whole Airbnb experience a major pain in the proverbial.
Until savvy developers saw the opportunities in providing all the services that could make a hosts life just like that of a landlord. Hands-off management with the bonus of higher rental income.
And the best part…..
Although there are added costs, they don’t have to be over the top.
Let’s look at a few of these to see how they have changed the way property buyers are seeing the business of short-term rental.
Location dependent services
These providers use on-the-ground resources to manage properties, from meet and greet, key exchange, concierge services to cleaning and maintenance. Some offer integration with listings to manage update pricing, screen guests and take bookings as well.
We take care of your home so it’s cleaner than when you left. From booking to cleaning to guest support, we manage your short-term rentals.”
Pillow currently operates in
- The San Francisco Bay Area; including Berkeley, Oakland, Sausalito, Sonoma, and Napa.
- Los Angeles; including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Downtown, Marina Del Ray, Playa Del Ray, and Long Beach.
- Seattle; including Downtown, Capitol Hill, Belltown, Squire Park.
Urban Bellhop is dedicated to helping vacation rental hosts (Airbnb / VRBO) maximize their rental opportunities. If you are out of town, busy at the office, or unable to meet potential Airbnb guests, Urban Bellhop is here to meet, greet and get your guests settled in to your digs. We are a team of experienced vacation rental hosts who understand the art of hospitality. We can help you be the best host you can.”
They use vetted suppliers, often other Airbnb hosts, to provide a range of services, including cleaning. Meet and Greet is $50 and cleaning that includes linen changing is from $150
It looks like this service is currently only available on the west coast. A quick search came up with reviews from San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. There is a search area on the site where you can post your zip code.
Handy is the leading platform for connecting individuals looking for household services with top-quality, pre-screened independent service professionals. From home cleaning to handyman services, Handy instantly matches thousands of customers every week with trusted professionals in cities all around the world. With a seamless 60-second booking process, secure payment, and a 100% money-back guarantee, Handy is the easiest, most convenient way to book home services.”
Currently available in major cities (see their website) Handy can provide cleaning and maintenance services on demand.
Location independent services
As you might expect these providers operate everywhere.
They offer management services to Airbnb hosts – and are location independent. From guest communication to co-ordinating housekeeping and maintenance and support for guests, they can provide complete peace of mind for owners. Although currently only for Airbnb they will be expanding to other platforms in the future.
Their costs are 3% of the rental revenue + cleaning and maintenance
They offer similar services to Guesty but provides listing, marketing and distribution through Home Away and VRBO so is a great alternative to traditional property management offerings from brick and mortar companies. They too will handle all contact with guests, emergency management and work with local partners to offer cleaning and maintenance.
There is no upfront fee to join Evolve, no commitment to a contract period, and no cancellation fee. We also cover the cost of listing your property on top websites such as VRBO and HomeAway. You simply pay a risk-free booking fee of 10% for each reservation that we generate for your home.”
So, the original argument that it’s too much hassle has been blown out of the water by these services. Even if your buyers are not in any of the cities serviced by the location dependent providers, they can source a cleaning company and add that cost to their rental rate. Then the additional fees are minimal leaving the bottom line much healthier.