Who wouldn’t love to have a competent and personable hosting partner to manage their Airbnb listings? If only all homeowners could have the type of property manager who they know would look after their best interest, all client reviews of property management companies would be a 5-star rating. This is why it’s also partially up to you on how well your property will do by researching on the person or company you’ll entrust your listings with. In this article, we’ll talk about some questions to ask when screening for your next hosting partner.
Can you give me a breakdown of your fee structure?
Any good property management host will know the ins and outs of the fee structure they’re offering. Try and see if they can give you the details with ease. An experienced property manager will be able to answer your questions readily, while someone new in the business might struggle to provide you with answers straight away. In addition, you’d want to ask for the entire cost structure and not only the management fee to avoid any misunderstandings along the way.
We've written a blog post that delves into the anatomy of an Airbnb management contract.
Roughly how many properties are you currently managing and how are you doing it?
It’s always a good practice to ask this question to get an idea if your potential hosting partner will have enough time to give your property the right amount of attention. It’s not entirely unheard of for property managers to be overbooked especially if they’re bogged down by the many manual tasks associated with being an Airbnb host.
What you’re looking for is not an actual number, as there’s so many factors to consider including the sizes of the properties and whether they have a team to assist them. They may have virtual assistants and leverage on technology for automation to make their job easier. The important point here is to find out how they manage to stay on top of it. Are they affiliated with a company that makes use of cutting-edge property management technology? Automated processes along with a personal touch will make everything easier for you, from communication to computation of earnings and fees, up to the average number of nights your property is booked on any given month.
How many years have you been operating here?
While they don’t necessarily have to be born and raised in the area where your property is located, you still may want someone who has experience in that particular region. Look for Airbnb hosting partners who are knowledgeable in the local community providing recommendations and improvements that make sense to the regional market.
Reputable property management companies take pride in making sure that their property managers are well-trained and have the capability to bring you and your guests the Airbnb experience you deserve. If you’re talking to someone who seems inexperienced, it might be time to rethink if you still want to go ahead with this agreement or look for a different hosting partner.
What’s your process when screening tenants?
When entrusting your property to your hosting partner, it might be good to get a feel of how they’re planning on screening potential guests. One of the key things good property managers look at is the rental history of the guest when available. Airbnb not only lets their guests rate their experience, they let hosts rate their guests as well. Looking at a guests’ rating can give property managers a good grasp of whether or not this individual has had any history of being a problematic occupant.
Try to also wait if they will ask you if you have any particular reservations when it comes to the guests you want to welcome in your property. Be explicit if pets are not allowed or if the place is not child-proof. Communicating your needs to your property manager is also one way to ensure that they screen prospective guests with your guidelines in mind.
Are you the person who will handle my property?
This question is important because it’s not uncommon that the person you are speaking with might not be the same person who will take care of your property day in and day out. While it’s not imperative that they be the actual staff who will do the cleaning, fixes, and repairs, you still want someone who is hands on and will not leave your property to be taken care of by a third party.
Unless the person you’re talking to is with a company that has a team-based approach, you might be inclined to talk to the very person who will check on your property on a regular basis. This is because that person will most likely make the minute day-to-day operation decisions that may determine if your property is appealing to guests and receive those 5-star reviews every Airbnb owner likes to collect.
While there is no cookie-cutter correct answer when it comes to questions during interviews, asking the right ones will help you gauge whether someone is a good fit for you and for your listings.