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Nothing is more important for absent real estate investors than having high-quality property management.
Unfortunately, some property managers prefer to catch a good wave before taking care of your business and their own. Often, they don’t strive for perfection and don’t worry much about your return on investment.
It is important to understand property management’s mindset first. You must understand that you made your property investment in a country where the word mañana is a much-used response when things are not going as wished. The mañana response is used daily by those who are not punctual, not professional, and leave important things to do for tomorrow.
If you don’t live in Costa Rica, you should learn as much as you can about your options before you invest in a rental property. You can check out Rooftop Real Estate Management for more great ideas.
Since vacation rentals are booked online, everything moves too fast to leave even the tiny details for the next day. Therefore, it is crucial to keep property management on their toes.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can keep property management on their toes and look after your investment.
1. Hire the Right Property Management Company
One of the most crucial things you’ll have to do before hiring a manager is research. Are you looking for a formal company or just someone “in charge”? How long has the manager done this kind of work? It’s important that the person in charge is fluent in Spanish and can communicate well in your language. Does the management company have the necessary support team for repairs and emergencies?
Even if the company can serve you well, it’s necessary to control their work in some way or another. You can keep property management on their toes by obliging them to send an inspection report regularly.
2. Advertise the Property
Decide if you want to do the advertising and bookings yourself or not. Your property management company should be able to advertise and market your property well. Decide, before you start the advertising, if you want to rent long-term (minimum one year), by the month, or as a vacation rental.
When renting a vacation property, the first year is always the most difficult one. Discuss which advertising platforms the manager uses and why. A few are Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. Also, discuss how much commission each one charge and which ones are the most cost-effective.
A well-functioning reservation system is vital so there won’t be any double bookings. You can keep property management by creating a monthly reservation report.
3. Rent Collection
An important aspect of owning investment properties is the collection of rent. But it’s also vital to make utility payments, replace inventory, repair, and pay property tax and HOA fees on time.
Keeping track of payments might not be simple as different online platforms often collect rents.
Don’t forget that you’ll have to charge VAT on your sales and also pay income tax, so you’ll need a local accountant or have your property management company take care of it.
You also want to control that your property management company doesn’t rent your unit without telling you.
4. Upkeep And Maintenance
Every time a tenant leaves, it’s necessary to check everything. Create a simple, step-by-step report that takes a short while for a complete revision. Do not forget to charge a tenant when something is broken or missing. Replacement of inventory can be expensive, especially if your property is far away from the Central Valley.
And let’s not forget regular maintenance but, most important, repairs. A waterpipe always seems to start leaking on a Saturday night at 11 pm. Or a toilet that’s overflowing because you dropped your wallet and flushed.
Now it will show how important a support team is. This team should include skilled workers such as a plumber, an electrician, and painters. Can they give 24-hour support, even during the weekends?
5. Retention Rate
Very few property management companies can keep a high retention rate. This means that a long-term tenant stays after the legal 3 years of the lease agreement and renews for another 3 years. Or that a tenant who leased your vacation rental for a week comes back repeatedly. Tenant retention is one of the most profitable strategies for property managers and rental property investors. Keep your property management on their toes by telling them you expect a high retention rate from them.