Ask anyone who is considering renting out their vacation property for the first time, or those looking to invest in vacation rental property, and you’ll likely hear the same top-three concerns:
- damage to their property
- disrespectful, unreliable tenants
- missed rent or lease payments
One thing is certain, the rewards in vacation property in and around Puerto Vallarta can be immense, even if the notion of owning property sits far outside your comfort zone. (Just ask Bill Gates, majority shareholder of Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and neighboring development properties in Punta Mita)
The smart investor – like Mr. Gates I imagine – also recognizes instantly that their skill set or interests are not in-sync with that which is required for property management – they hand it off. By contrast, the “Martha Stewart personality”, is likely one who thrives on detail, ensuring that guests, tenants, and rooms are all copacetic.
So, are you a Bill Gates or a Martha Stewart? Are you a hands-on owner, or hands-off?
To help you, here are six simple questions to help you determine if hiring a property manager is right for you.
- Can you visit the property on a regular basis to check in?
Much of the work involved in property management is logistical – and that includes distance and driving, communication, and monitoring the simplest things like mail, the building’s exterior, landscape and gardens, or resolving the smallest of matters. The closer you live the better.
- Are you skilled at micro managing or conflict resolution?
Renting out a property is a business, and should be regarded as such. Indeed, since the emergence of peer-to-peer property rental websites, it doesn’t appear so. The image online is often cozy and warm, as owners “look forward to meeting guests” with open arms to “share their home”.
The sentiments may be true but it’s still a business, and a potentially lucrative one. And the better you manage the details, the more profitable it’ll be.
Micromanaging and conflict resolution include:
- paying electrical bills, water bills
- negotiating with trades
- establishing pet and parking policies
- tenant, guest rules
You get the idea.
- Do you dream of a second or third property down the road?
If you set out to manage your own property(s) full-time, you’ll soon discover there is more work than meets the eye. It becomes a job.
Planning long-term, future investments will be easier when you commit finances, underwrite small issues etc. with a property manager in mind. Just like the best teams in baseball; they let the manager manage – so you can focus on growing the business.
- Do you enjoy interacting with people – en español, en français, in Deutsch or even in English?
Many believe that property rentals are the marriage of two worlds; investment and service.
On one hand, you’re protecting your bricks and mortar, adding value, and rolling equity into the next property. On the other you’re focused on “customers”, some visiting from faraway places. The better the people person you are – and in as many languages as possible – the greater the opportunity.
Even in the unlikely event you are faced with a prolonged vacancy, a property manager is your link to overseeing communications in multiple languages, placing ads on social media, and ensuring that revenue streams are continuous. Communication is everything in this world.
- Are you prepared to assume the front desk/concierge role, 24/7/365?
Bear in mind your guests, especially if on vacation, may want exceptional service. Even if your property is not the Four Seasons, your guests may believe it is, and will expect service to match.
The seemingly smallest things will result in an email, phone call or text:
- a substandard toaster
- a blown fuse
- a strange noise
- linens and towels (if supplied)
- garbage service
- a barking dog
- Is managing a property the best use of your time?
Ask yourself if you’re suited for serving tenants and solving day-to-day problems, albeit small ones.
Ask yourself if fixing things or painting or accounting or marketing is how you wish to spend your days.
Is your personal/professional time more valuable elsewhere?
There are many more questions to consider depending on the size and scale of your ideal property, your rental calendar/seasonal schedule, and your desired goals, both short and long-term.
If, like Bill Gates, you want to chart a new course and explore the exciting world of vacation property investment, a property manager will help guide you along that path.
Next week, we’ll continue the discussion and help you determine how to choose a property manager suited to your specific needs.
In the meantime, contact Ron Morgan and learn more about property management services for Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding area.
To be continued… (Part 2 coming soon)