VRS323 – Taking the Leap: How To Start a Short Term Rental Property Management Business

Taking the leap from looking after your own properties to managing for other people, is a logical step for many owners who want to make a full-time business out of short-term rentals.  It’s how most property management companies got started.  However, given the massive growth in the industry, there’s a Wild West feel about it all and I wanted to bring some order to the chaos.

Amy Hinote wrote in the winter edition of VRM Intel:

This next decade—the 20s—will establish professionalism and bring sensible and sustainable regulations to the vacation rental industry. And those panning for gold and looking for easy ways to make quick fortunes will eventually move to more tempting pastures.”

What she’s referring to as ‘those panning for gold’ isn’t clear but my bets are on the real estate investors being promised millions for a passive income business.

We know that’s just not a thing.  How can great hospitality be passive income?  Unless you are ceding your property to a professional management company and you’re confident in their ability to deliver the wow factor to your guests, it just ain’t going to happen.

Let’s get back to basics here.

Professional property management is more than parsing out the tasks to apps, bots and an ever-changing rotation of house cleaners. 

It takes dedication, integrity, a philosophy of customer service and hospitality and a huge dose of hard work.

A sense of humor is pretty important too.

Matt Landau nailed it in his article on VRMB, Cottage Industry 3.0 when he said:

… it will not be handed to us on a silver platter. It requires…

  • ?Deciding on ?the purpose of your vacation rental business
  • Finding and utilizing the right technology to achieve that purpose without compromising your values, standards, or lifestyle
  • ?Uniting with other like-minded professionals in neighborhoods, virtual forums, and industry-wide ?events

In this episode I tell my story of 17 years of property management, and what I’d do differently if I started up again today.

We didn’t do much strategic planning at the outset or spend much time on researching the competition. We kicked off with a scattergun approach when finding new owners and didn’t really define our niche until recently.  All in all, we’ve done pretty well despite not starting out in the professional manner we’d do it from start-up today.

In this episode I talk about:

  • What makes a great property management business
  • The general principles that should govern every start-up
  • The 6 questions you need to ask yourself
  • Seven factors to take into account when researching the competition
  • How to establish your niche
  • Finding new owners to build your business
  • How to find your super-strengths and kryptonite


Vacation Rental Marketing Blog

VRM Intel


Facebook Group – The Business Of Short Term Rentals & Property Management