Think back to the last time your family was away from home for more than a week or two. All of a sudden, your most prized possession that you leave unattended every single day started to feel a little vulnerable, didn’t it?
Maybe you left some lights on in the house so it looked like someone was still home. You probably asked one of your neighbors if they wouldn’t mind keeping an eye out while you were gone. You might’ve even put a hold on your mail with the post office so it didn’t pile up, screaming: “NO ONE IS HERE!”
Those are all perfectly reasonable things to do.
But what if you were going to leave your home for months at a time? And what if your neighbors come and go so much that they can’t keep an eye out for you? Valid concerns.
The good news is we’ve got you covered!
Many of our Schooner Bay residents live here part-time or only visit a few times per year, and they never have to worry about whether their home is safe and cared-for while they’re away.
We can connect you with on-site management to look after your home while you're gone, as well as managing the entire process of renting it out for extra income if that's something you're interested in.
However, first we want to show you what to look for in a property management company.
Managing Your Vacation Home
You'll need to hire a foreign property management team that will rent out your property, pay the bills, and take care of incidental repairs. You should only hire a manager based on your individual needs.
Your manager will also secure the vacation property, find rental clients, and make sure that tenants are following the rules. They'll also collect rent and maintain your vacation home.
What type of manager do you need? We'll show you the difference between a rental manager and property manager and the duties they perform.
What is a rental manager?
A rental manager is a professional responsible for renting out your property and keeping it occupied. They'll advertise your property. They'll conduct background screenings on new renters.
What is a property manager?
A property manager is an agent that handles operational-related issues for your property. They'll pay taxes and utilities. They'll also perform routine maintenance tasks.
Should I hire a rental or a property manager?
The manager you select depends on your property needs. Many companies will offer to bundle foreign property management services. They'll maintain your vacation home, serving as your rental and property manager.
We do not recommend this. We recommend hiring separate individuals for each task. It will save you money in the long-term.
For example, you may want to locate your own renters through a vacation or rental website, like Airbnb. If you bundled your rental and property management team, you'd be stuck. The company would select renters for you. You'll also be required to pay additional fees.
In this case, you should have hired a property manager, not a rental manager, to save costs. If you need both managers, hire them, but do so separately. Only select the management team that will fulfill your needs.
Selecting the Right Management Agency
What are the qualities of a good rental or property manager?
- Advertises your property. A great property manager will advertise your vacation home. They'll find potential renters and lease it.
- Handles unexpected emergencies. Your property manager should be available to handle any emergency situations. Make sure the renter has update contact information.
- Pays your property bills and taxes. The manager will send you monthly expense statements. They'll use your money to pay outstanding bills.
- Provides itemized records. The manager should keep billing receipts for repairs and improvements. The person should provide statements about any taxes paid to local governments.
- Arranges suitable payment methods. Evaluate your property manager's payment methods. Find out how they'll transfer payments to you. Make sure the management company isn't charging extraneous fees or playing games with the exchange rate.
- Available to meet new clients. Make sure that your property manager is available to meet with new renters when they enter the country, 24/7. Your clients may be arriving in the country on their first visit. Make sure you have a property manager there to meet their needs.
- Maintains your property. Your manager should check for routine repairs. They should handle problems as they come up. The managers should contact you, then hire qualified maintenance personnel to fix problems. They should perform routine interval inspections of the property.
- Has a cleaning staff. Your foreign property management team should have maids on staff. They should clean the property while tenants reside on the property and between rentals. They should also keep watch of the property.
Selecting a Property Management Company
Before hiring a management agency, research them online first. Make sure they're popular with expats in the area you live in, before hiring them. They should be highly rated by trusted locals.
Your management company should also specialize in renting to your ideal clientele.
Renting Out Your Property
- Identify your ideal client. Before you rent out your vacation home, you must determine who your ideal renter is. Are you searching for retirees, business travelers, or vacationers? Is it a business executive, a retired couple, or a traveling family? If you already have an ideal client in mind, select a vacation home in cities that appeal to your candidates. Find out which type of travelers visit the airport near your home.
- Analyze transportation needs. Find out how long it takes to get to your home. Also, study public transportation routes that are near your home.
- Include local amenities and tourism spots in your advertisement. What are tourism spots close to your home? Are you near a beach or a popular tourist destination? Showcase your property's best attributes in your advertisement.
- Make sure your vacation home's appearance is appealing in photographs. Invest in decor for your home that will appeal to renters. Have amenities like WiFi access and working appliances that will attract renters.
- Determine whether you want to offer short-term or long-term leases. Short-term leases can provide a more lucrative return, but long-term leases can bring a steady income.
- Get property insurance. You'll need to get property insurance before you rent out the property. This will protect your vacation home in the case of property damage or loss. Insurance protects you against legal liability if a renter suffers an injury on your property.
If you're still searching for a foreign property, Legacy Global Development can also assist you. Learn more about our Rental Program here.