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How to Hire an Airbnb Property Manager

How to Hire an Airbnb Property Manager

Is hiring an Airbnb property manager something you are considering? For those of you who have recently invested in an Airbnb property or already possess several properties spread out across multiple locations and are having difficulty managing time with the widespread multitude of tasks, you may be in a crisis situation. If this is the case, then the time has come to choose to hire a property manager to scale your business more systematically.

Definition of an Airbnb Property Manager

Property managers are third parties who are hired to manage a real estate investment's day-to-day operations. They can manage different types of properties, from single-family homes to multifamily units, depending on the property manager. Many services will be turnkey operations, meaning the property management company will handle most issues from marketing your rental to collecting rent.

However, it is possible to find property managers that may do most of the day-to-day work but leave some decisions or tasks to the owner of the property, based on how the relationship is negotiated.

An experienced short-term rental property manager will come with vital skills and experience, as well as a wealth of legal knowledge. So finding the right one is key!

Typical tasks of an Airbnb property manager

There are a host of operations and tasks that property managers need to do on a day-to-day basis. Following are a few amongst many

The routine tasks you perform are essential to keep your business running smoothly, while other tasks are critical to scaling your business further.

Why consider hiring a Property Manager for your Airbnb?

There are several contributing factors that you can consider when choosing to hire a property manager to manage your property/properties. Let’s have a quick look at a few instances.

  • Having a growing portfolio and a scaling business makes it more challenging to juggle multiple tasks at once. Having an experienced property manager can help tackle this challenge.

  • There could be a problem with being present and hands-on if your properties are spread out across several cities or even countries, therefore you might need some assistance to balance out the wants and needs of each property as well as to keep up with the tandem of tasks to keep the momentum going.

  • You might not be skilled enough to perform all the tasks required to operate the business as a property owner. It is advisable to hire and consult a property manager if this is the case!

  • Additionally, you may prefer to handle certain aspects of your business yourself and delegate only a few tasks to a property manager. Thus, streamlining tasks can contribute to a smoother process.

hiring a property manager

What are the benefits of hiring a property manager?

Hiring a property manager is a challenging decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to hiring a property manager, depending on what you are looking for. However, it’s critical to know all the pros and cons before making this decision.

Here’s what you should consider when debating if you should hire a property manager.

Pros of Hiring a Property Manager

Industry Experience

A property manager brings a vast amount of experience from the vacation rental industry. When you hire a property manager most likely they have several years of experience managing homes. Depending on how long they’ve been in the industry, they would encompass a defined process as well.

They are Law Experts

A property manager's job is to understand and stay up to date on the real estate laws of the properties they manage, this includes rental arbitrage, Airbnb Laws and regulations in various cities, states, or countries etc. This is probably one of the most valuable services a property manager can provide. Moreover, property managers bring a wealth of knowledge since some of these laws are very specific and without reading all of them, one could easily break them. So it's a definite bonus point.

Save time

Managing a property is a time-consuming task. You need to be available 24/7. Not only are you responsible for that, but also for payments, lease issues, repairs, etc. Property managers can handle all of these tasks on your behalf, which frees your time. You can rest assured your property manager will take care of everything and only contact you for emergencies.

Maintenance handled on time

You have to deal with maintenance issues when you own your own property. A problem can arise at any time and can be more serious than you are prepared to handle. Property managers are often able to address these maintenance issues quickly, and they usually have multiple vendors available to do the work. You can avoid the hassle of researching various vendors and determining which one is best for your needs.

Pro Tip: A property management company likely has someone that is a dedicated maintenance manager or has a manager that’s experienced in handling maintenance.

The Cons of Hiring a Property Manager


The biggest obstacle people see when determining if they want to hire a property manager is the cost of hiring a property manager. The more trusted and established the property manager is, the larger portion they tend to take from your rental income. It is common for property management companies to take a percentage of your rental income, ranging from 20% on the low end to 50% on the high end. The property management company may not be right for you if the fee doesn't seem reasonable or if the income loss represents a considerable loss to you.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for these miscellaneous fees such as extra maintenance fees, renewal fees, etc when deciding on recruiting a property manager.

You will have to adopt a “Hands-off” approach

If you hire a property management company, the system works best with a hands-off approach. It's unlikely that property managers will involve you in minor matters or maintenance issues so to speak.

Bound by the contract

When working with property managers, you will need to sign a legal contract and be bound by the terms and conditions outlined in it. This means less control over your rental.

No control over the guest experience

In contrast to you being the host and managing your Airbnb property, you will not be in charge of communicating with guests. You won't know what is important to them and how you can improve their experience.

In spite of being an expense, property management has more pros than cons for most people. You'll have less stress and more time for other activities if you can afford it.

How much does it cost to hire a Property Manager?

When hiring a professional property management company there is a substantial amount of fees involved. An overview of the Property management fee breakdown is provided below to help you get started. You can use this as a guide to decide if they are the right fit for you.

Property Management Fee Structures

1. Guaranteed model

A guaranteed fee model ensures that your income remains stable throughout the year. You will receive a fixed amount of money from a property management company whatever the season might be. You still earn money even if you have no bookings. The rest goes to the property management company.

Using this model, you won't be able to capitalize on temporary surges in demand and capitalize on the peak season.

2. Fixed-rate fees

Many Airbnb property management companies charge a flat fee for a set of services. No matter how many nights the rental is booked, the fee does not change. However, in addition to the fixed monthly fee, these companies will also charge you for additional services, such as maintenance, marketing, and check-in. In the event, you choose this kind of fee structure, read the contract carefully and inquire about adding some of these services to the monthly payment.

This fee structure allows you to make a decent profit during peak season.

3. Commission Based

With this model, the company takes a percentage of your monthly earnings. The charges will vary based on the location of the rental property and the services it offers. Airbnb property management fees tend to range between 25-50% of the rent collected. Negotiate this fee structure with the property management company so that as many services as possible are included.

The following are the major factors that determine vacation rental property management fees:

4. Location

If your vacation rental property is located in a popular neighborhood with high property management fees, there is no doubt you will have to pay for outsourced property management.

5. Property’s type and size

The smaller your short-term rental property is, the smaller the hassle and fees are consequently.

6. Condition of the property

When a short-term rental property hasn't been renovated for a long time, there are more maintenance issues, which could result in frequent repairs and higher monthly fees. Make sure you get your properties renovated so you won’t be doling out extra cash each month!

7. Services provided by the company

The price of hands-off property management, where all aspects of your business are handled by a company, will certainly be higher. With property management software, you can automate other operations while outsourcing just marketing and 24/7 customer support.

Common Airbnb Property Management Fees

1. Initial setup fee

There may be a charge for registering with a property management company. You might be charged a fee for paperwork, advertising, and inspecting the condition of your Airbnb rental property.

2. Tenant placement fees

The property management company will charge you a tenant (guest) placement fee if it finds you tenants for your Airbnb rental property. A tenant screening fee and check-in/check-out fees could be included in this fee. This could be a percentage of the rental fee.

3. Vacancy fees

The Airbnb property management agreement could have a clause that says a fee will be charged for vacancies. This could be a fee per vacant unit or a one-time fee that is paid upfront.

4. Maintenance fees

Airbnb property maintenance involves tasks such as ensuring all appliances are in working order which includes the Wi-Fi, Airconditioning, Electrical appliances, Heating, water systems, etc. Understanding Airbnb's maintenance process is important if you own an Airbnb property.

Here is a list of questions you could ask during the recruitment process of a property manager, as using these questions will enable you to determine if the property management fees are justified.

  • How long does it take for a standard repair job to be completed?
  • To whom do they outsource maintenance? If so what type of work is outsourced?
  • Is the company staffed internally?
  • Can guests reach an emergency number?
  • If you are the owner, at what point do they need your input?

5. Cleaning service fees

Your cleaning fees will vary depending on the size and location of your rental. While some property management companies include cleaning fees in their fixed rate, others charge them separately.

When analyzing cleaning fees, here are some factors you need to consider:

  • How is the cleaning fee calculated?
  • What is the Turn around time?
  • Are there checklists in place?
  • Will you be able to get the rental cleaned between guests without losing bookings?

how do you hire the best property manager

How do you hire the best property manager for your property?

1. Ask For Reference

Consider calling other Airbnb Property managers who are currently working with the company you intend to hire. Learn what services they receive from the company. You could alternatively inquire through any Facebook group forum or Linkedin Forum for references too. Verify if there have been any issues or problems with their management company, and if so, how these issues have been handled. The more you know what you’re getting into, the more likely it is you’ll hire the best property manager.

2. Company Ratings

Visit their Facebook page to get feedback from real customers and check their Google Business and Yelp reviews. Make sure you read each review thoroughly and don't just rely on the rating. Reviews allow you to identify a company's strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to make a more informed choice.

3. Are they qualified?

Check with the National Property Management Association to determine the rules in your state. Since they are acting on your behalf to lease and manage your rental property, your management company must be licensed as real estate agents regardless of where you live.

4. Transparency about your expectations is key

To make it easier for yourself and the rental property management companies you interview, make a list of expectations you have for the company you hire. That way, there are no unexpected surprises in the future because you’ve already outlined what the expected duties are.

5. Communication is Critical

Check how quickly the applicant returns your calls during the hiring process. Typically, how long does it take them to return your calls and emails? Make sure your needs come first when choosing a management firm. Look for a company that builds its strategy around guest satisfaction and communication. This will demonstrate how the company will handle your potential guests, so choose wisely.

6. Research and Review

How can you get the most value for your money? The price should be in line with the quality of the services provided by the company. Ensure that the company offers the best value for money. Comparing companies is the best way to find out which is the best value. Analyze the services and fee structure of all the companies you wish to review, as well as the potential outcome. Analyze how the chosen company can scale your business, while also giving you peace of mind!

If you sense that they are more concerned with making your money than providing the best service, keep searching until you find a property management company that will put your needs and expectations first.


How can Hostaway help?

Hostaway is an innovative vacation rental software that is feature-rich offering deep channel integrations and support. Hostaway provides property managers with the flexibility of the most advanced solutions while being easy to use. You can automate your short-term rental management with Hostaway, whether you are a host or a property manager for Airbnb.

Automating the process of managing Airbnb properties is a crucial step to success as it has become a necessity to handle rental properties efficiently using property management software.

hostaway marketplace

Our marketplace includes more than 200 integrated software partners in addition to our industry-leading PMS and Channel Manager. By integrating these companies, daily life will be made simpler and easier. Our company is well known for being able to meet deadlines and stay on budget while providing customized solutions.

Get in touch today by scheduling a demo call at your preferred time with one of our product experts to receive actionable advice and discover how Hostaway can fit your property management business & unlock growth potentials for you.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!