Vacation Rental Management Options in Summit County

Vacation rental management is big business in Summit County. Here’s help in choosing a company to help you manage your short term rental property.

In my recent post Breckenridge Real Estate and Vacation Rentals we talked about how to have someone else help pay for your dream home or condo when you’re not in town to enjoy it yourself.

Vacation Rental Management Options in Summit CountyPart of that is going to entail making some decisions on who is going to take care of your property while you’re gone, and how those short term renters are going to find and book your property.

Fortunately, rental property management is big business in Summit County.

Most of the time, when you purchase a property in Breckenridge or Summit County, Colorado, you will be able to contract with the vacation rental management company of your choice – or opt to do the bulk of the management yourself. 

In some situations, these decisions are made for you: Some condos and HOAs have dedicated property management and rental management, which takes care of all rentals for the entire complex. And some condos and HOAs (though not many) do not allow short-term renting at all.

The majority of Summit County properties, however, allow owners to decide how they wish to proceed with property management. Generally speaking, you have two options:

Vacation Rental Management Option 1: Contract with a full-service rental property management company

You’ll want to choose a company that specializes in the type of property you want to offer for rental, whether that’s a luxury home, a ski-in ski-out condo, or a secluded cabin in the woods.

You can also choose whether you want a management company with an in-town location, where your guests can stop in to sign in and pick up their keys. This lends a nice, personal touch.

Full service vacation rental management companies are especially convenient if you won’t be living full time in the county. They’ll handle everything from cleaning to emergency repairs (though you may be charged extra for these.) Most of these full service companies handle the management, marketing, and maintenance of the property, and, in return, take a percentage of your gross rental income (usually between 30% and 50%).

You can also opt for a flat-fee management company, which will charge you a flat rate no matter how often your condo is rented out. These companies will do the basics: give the keys to your short term renters and make sure the unit is cleaned. Making reservations and making repairs in the unit will be your responsibility, or, in most cases, you can add these services for an additional fee.

Or you can opt for a management company that allows you to take on some of the tasks yourself — whether management, marketing or maintenance — for a reduced fee.

Again, the amount you’ll pay for property management varies widely with the services you want, but it is nearly always based on a percentage of the rental income. A full service property management company will take 30% to 50% of the rental income.

I spend a lot of time talking to different rental management companies and getting to know more about the services they offer, so please consider me a resource. Contact me anytime. When we look at properties, I’ll make sure to discuss with you all of the different choices available to you. I have a spreadsheet that I share with my clients that summarizes the various options for vacation rental management, commission fees, terms, inclusions, etc. on the difference choices available to you in Summit County.

These days, it’s also fairly easy to research online the specific services provided by each property management company to help you decide on the one that best suits your budget and the amount of time you personally have to devote to managing your second home.

No matter how much you’ve researched online however, make sure to read the contract carefully before you sign. Make sure you understand fully what the fees are, and which services are included in the fee.

What does a Full-Service Rental Property Management Company do?

Here is an example of what to expect from a full-service property management company. Again, this is just an example. Each company and contract will be different.

  • Advertising your property. (This may take the form of newspaper ads, online presence, social media marketing, etc.)
  • Booking reservations.
  • Bookkeeping, including collecting rental fees.
  • Addressing any problems or issues during the renter’s stay.
  • Cleaning the unit.
  • Servicing hot tubs.
  • Snow removal and ensuring property access.

Other considerations:

* A vacation rental management company will let you know what kind of items you need to have inside the unit before it’s ready to rent. Each management company will have a slightly different list of required items.

* Before you sign the agreement, ask the property management company if they will reduce the fee in the event that you find the renter yourself.

* Again, some property management companies have a la carte programs available, so you can do some of the tasks yourself, and allow the company to take on the others. (I can put you in touch with these managers when the time comes.)

Vacation Rental Management Option 2: Handle the short-term rentals yourself

If you’d like to rent your own property, you can certainly save yourself some money – especially if you are organized. According to Homeaway.com (and its subsidiary VRBO.com), the number of listings for vacation rentals in Colorado’s mountain towns has been growing, from 9% each year to, now, more than 20%.

As of February 2015, there were 2,349 listings for Breckenridge homes, a growth of 14% between 2009 and 2014.

In order to be successful with handling the short term rentals yourself, you will need to be readily accessible, and you need to have contractors in town for cleaning, maintenance and the occasional repair.

Four to consider and compare:
VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, Airbnb.com and Flipkey.com.

* At the time of this writing, Airbnb and Flipkey have no monthly fee, like VRBO does. You pay only if the property is booked.

* Keep in mind that your town may require a permit for offering your home as a vacation rental (as Breckenridge does.) We’ll talk more about these in a soon-to-be-published post. These permits require short-term renters to abide by certain rules about, say, trash and guest parking.

Where to Buy Your Summit County Investment Property

Here are neighborhoods of Single Family Homes that have particularly strong rental numbers:
Shock Hill Luxury Homes
Timber Trail Luxury Homes

And here are the Breckenridge and Summit County condos that tend to do great rental business:
One Ski Hill Place Luxury Condos
Bluesky at Breckenridge Condos
Water House on Main Street Condos
Main Street Station Condos
The Village at Breckenridge Condos
Beaver Run Condos
Crystal Peak Lodge Condos
Mountain Thunder Lodge Condos
Pine Ridge Condos 
Base 9 Condos

Keystone
Trappers Crossing Condos
Tenderfoot Lodge Condos

More resources for you: 

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