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Anyone in the vacation rental property management market?

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varifix

Contributor
Dec 22, 2017
14
26
Central America
Hi all. I have an opportunity to join a business partner in expanding his property management company in a thriving vacation rental market in Central America. He currently has only 6 rentals he manages but wants to expand to at least another 6 or 7. These are very lucrative rentals - $2000 / week for the most part so there is money to be made.

Anyways, my idea for this thread -

Is anyone in this market? Or just general property management?

I want to help him bring some technology and automation into his business to help us scale it. I've been looking at airbnb / vrbo automation apps, etc but would love some general thoughts on this.

I worked in property management all through college so I am very familiar with the concept and business model. Since then I have been working as a freelance software developer.

Would love some thoughts here.

Here is one of those "all in one" platforms for vacation rental management for example - Home | Direct™ Property Management Software | Hotels and Vacation Rentals

It looks pretty cool, but not sure if it works as well as advertised....
 
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NadiaZ

Contributor
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Read Unscripted!
Mar 27, 2018
39
51
26
Kansas City
Work with Florida property rentals. Basically, I've helped one person who I know find clients for her rentals by creating an expanded social media presence for her rentals. She doesn't use a property manager - they're just useless in my experience and she just prefers to do it herself. Also, it means that she doesn't have to pay someone. In Florida, we do make sure to have a housekeeper though.

Most of these people buy rentals on VRBO. I'd say 90% of her business comes from there. There's a bunch of other websites like HomeStay but they're all affiliates of VRBO.

Make sure when people book, they book directly instead of through VRBO. I use some other websites as well as large Facebook travel groups to find people. I'm going to try and use Craigslist but I'm not sure how weird that would be. What we do is that we tell people to contact us and we send them a contract but advertise through VRBO. We don't use it to sell but we use it to advertise. I believe it costs $300/yearly and they take a percent on each property.
 

WJK

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,546
5,848
Alaska
Work with Florida property rentals. Basically, I've helped one person who I know find clients for her rentals by creating an expanded social media presence for her rentals. She doesn't use a property manager - they're just useless in my experience and she just prefers to do it herself. Also, it means that she doesn't have to pay someone. In Florida, we do make sure to have a housekeeper though.

Most of these people buy rentals on VRBO. I'd say 90% of her business comes from there. There's a bunch of other websites like HomeStay but they're all affiliates of VRBO.

Make sure when people book, they book directly instead of through VRBO. I use some other websites as well as large Facebook travel groups to find people. I'm going to try and use Craigslist but I'm not sure how weird that would be. What we do is that we tell people to contact us and we send them a contract but advertise through VRBO. We don't use it to sell but we use it to advertise. I believe it costs $300/yearly and they take a percent on each property.
I'm starting my summer season tomorrow with our first guest. As well as my mobile home park & laundromat, I have couple of sleeping rooms in our commercial building, and the only full hook-up RV spots in our community. (Since I'm in Alaska, we can't have RV guests here during our winter months.)

Yes, I rent out through airbnb, Hipcamp, our Chamber/visitor's center, fliers and I advertise on Craig's List. I'm in a rural area, and most of my guests are workers from out of the area who come to work in our oil industry, or people who come to fish & visit during the summers.

It's very hard to keep up all the coming and goings. I have a lot of different dates to manage between everything going on. I have to carefully track the reservations to make sure that I don't double book anything and I have the space ready for our guests.
 

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