Should You Manage Your Vacation Rental or Use a Property Management Company?

As there are more vacation sites that make it easier to market and rent vacation properties, many owners find themselves torn between managing their own vacation rental or using a property management company. 


While sites like VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway make it easier than ever to manage your property on your own, there are still a number of factors to consider. There are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to each option, and it really comes down to each owner’s preferences, situation, and goals. 


To help you make a decision about your rental property, here are a few pros and cons to consider. 


Working with a Property Management Company 

Using a property management company can be a good choice for owners that don’t live near their rental or that don’t have a flexible schedule. The key benefits to working with a property management company are that they:

  • Provide quick service for guests needing help or maintenance 

  • Offer extensive marketing and promotion of your rental property 

  • Reduce risks for owners through well-written and tested rental agreements, security deposits, and damage policies. 


As you might imagine, one of the biggest disadvantages of working with a property management company is the expense. However, for owners with limited time or that want to take a hands-off approach, a property management company can be ideal. 


Managing a Vacation Rental on Your Own

In contrast, managing a property on your own makes a vacation rental a much more hands-on investment. Here are a few key benefits of going this route: 

  • More control over how the property is maintained

  • More control over when the property is rented and the guests that stay in the property

  • An opportunity to build a rapport with guests that often leads to return guests and improved reviews

  • Fewer monthly expenses, leading to increased annual revenue


However, the key disadvantage of managing your vacation property is the amount of time it takes. You’ll have to deal with maintenance, cleaning, paperwork, reservations, and marketing. Additionally, you serve as the point-of-contact for guests at check-in and check-out as well as being available for any needs they have during their stay. 


While there are pros and cons to each route, the good news is that owners have options and can decide what’s best for them. 


For questions about vacation rentals or for help finding the perfect Smoky Mountain Vacation home, contact our team of local real estate experts.