Management company

Discussion in 'Rentals - Vacation' started by soozie58, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. soozie58

    soozie58 Beach Lover

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    I recently purchased a cottage in Old Florida Village. I am interested in renting it via my own contacts and the internet. Does anyone know of a company that I can contract that will just do management ie: cleaning, maintenance, checking the place out, but no rentals. Help!!! I am new to this!!!
     
  2. Just_In_Thyme

    Just_In_Thyme Beach Lover

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    We use Beach Rentals of South Walton and they have been pretty good to work with. I book the majority of the rentals myself.
     
  3. Philip_Atlanta

    Philip_Atlanta Beach Lover

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    Beach Rentals of South Walton will do this for you; however, I just had an absolutely horrible experience with them. Long story, which I won't get into as I'm considering pursuing criminal actions with them - but on my experience I severed my contract with them and won't recommend them to anyone. Check out their BBB record if you want an unbiased opinion. I can tell you its NOT good.

    I'd recommend that you at least explore doing this without a management company. There is a thread on here that lists several quality cleaning companies (that will be your hard part) and there is a company here that will check on your house for you and also be the goto person for maintenance issues for a small fee, Sunburst if I remember right.

    Marketing wise, get a website up and advertise on vrbo.com. That will get you started.

    FYI I found this book quite effective --

    Amazon.com: How To Rent Vacation Properties By Owner: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment: Christine Hrib-Karpinski: Books
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2005
  4. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    I would recommend Christine Karpinski's book as well - she owns a condo in Miramar Beach and lives in the Atlanta area. She can also be contacted via http://www.howtorentbyowner.com/ (no, I don't get a kickback)!

    However, I do work with collection of the bed tax / sales tax, which you will need to do if you manage your own rentals. Don't worry; it is not as daunting as it sounds. Our web site is http://clerkofcourts.co.walton.fl.us/default.aspx?id=40.

    Good luck!
     
  5. lollygal

    lollygal Beach Fanatic

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    I used Beach Rentals of South Walton for the first year that we owned a house down there. I was very disappointed in their service. It seemed I was making all the rentals and paying them $$$ to hand out a key. I had Kurt do a virtual tour of the property and pictures, set up a listing on vrbo.com and was in business. I obtained a rental agreement from another friend, got set up to accept credit cards and found a cleaning service. Then, I needed someone to check on the property after renters left, or during off season. I found a wonderful property manager who would make weekly inspections and put out keys for me and be on call for any maintenance issue, etc. BUT, he just moved!! He has passed his business on to Charles and Cindy Wilson. I have just started working with them, but my previous manager was VERY picky, so I feel that they will do a wonderful job since he recommended. If you would like any more info, or telephone #s, send me an email. I'd be happy to help. :D
     
  6. Carter

    Carter Beach Comber

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    This is a great and helpful thread.

    Can I ask what percentage Beach Rentals of SoWal charges for this 'basic' service (i.e where owner finds renters and they simply clean/check up, etc).

    Also, for more typical full blown mgt, can I ask what are people paying for full mgt with various different agencies? For the record, I have a gulf front rental in TX and pay 25% in peak season plus expenses (and 20% +exp off peak). With expenses this is averaging about 30% or so.
     
  7. Carter

    Carter Beach Comber

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    Regarding Beach Rentals 's of SW, I *almost* used them for a recent "Gulf Front" rental on 30-A. The staff was very nice and professional. However, the property was *not* as advertised and I was extremely fortunate enough to have another unbiased member of this board who was familiar with the property tell me the real deal - that it was in shabby condition/not the gulf front we expected, etc. (THANK YOU again, you know who you are, and you had a huge positive impact on our recent family vacation). We had this BRofSW property resereved and were about to send in the deposit but for this 411. (And for the record, this person had nothing to gain with the info shared with me).

    We found another great truly gulf front property in Dune Allen through an alternate agency, but, while we were there, I stopped by that BRofSW property that we had almost rented and it was NOT as advertised for sure. It was a shambles, was NOT gulf front as advertised and was in a not so great location (if there is such a thing in SoWal!).
     
  8. Landlocked

    Landlocked Beach Fanatic

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    Carter,

    Were you on loon lake drive?
     
  9. lollygal

    lollygal Beach Fanatic

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    Beach Rentals of SoWal offered me a "first year" deal wherein I paid 20% management fee if they rented it; 10% if I rented it and handled the money. I know there are some agencies in the area that charge 30%.
     
  10. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    We use Beach Rentals of South Walton for our rentals and have been happy overall with their service so far. We live quite far up north, so we have to have someone a few miles away to check on our cottages and I felt a larger business would have more resources. Overall, we've been happy with their cleaning (we used a different agency before and the cleaning was significantly inferior), their repairs (they're proactive in identifying and responding to repairs), their treatment of customers, and their monthly statements/follow-up. For example, I found a $5.00 charge on my monthly Sprint telephone bill from a renter who took a collect call using our rental phone. I called BRSW and they took care of it immediately (charged it to the renter) and I had the $5.00 back on my next monthly statement. A very small concern, but it did suggest their record keeping and follow-up was good. As for getting rentals, I can't say because I advertise our properties on my own as well, and I think the majority of rentals come from my advertising. But I do know that I don't get all of my rentals from my own advertising, so it has been an advantage having BRSW (I have several rentals this fall that I don't believe I got through my advertising, so I'm happy for that since fall tends to be slower).

    As for how well they describe different properties to renters, I haven't had any complaints at all saying that our properties were advertised in a misleading way at all, although we do keep them in top shape and they're in a great community so there's probably nothing to complain about.

    In short, I'm happy with Beach Rentals of South Walton. They charge 20% for bookings that they get through their advertising and 17 or 18% for bookings I bring in. So far, I feel I've gotten my money's worth and I've had peace of mind while I'm far away (especially having seen a few of the repairs they've made without my having to follow-up - for example, my dining room table was getting wobbly and they fixed the legs on the table before there was a more serious problem -- I thought that was very proactive.).

    Hope this is helpful.
     
  11. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    Since I can find nothing good to say about Beach Rentals of South Walton, I will refrain from negativity. Have always had good luck w/ Rivard.
     
  12. Carter

    Carter Beach Comber

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    LL- We may have crossed paths that same 18th-25th week LL, but based on a previous post you were proibably already back 'home' with the days catch when I was just waking up...

    We were right on 30-A directly across from the shops/gossip coffee shop in dune allen in a property called INN-Spire-D (Rivard). Awesome 6BR gulf front property - although rumor is that it just sold to someone who will take out of rental pool.

    I can't say I was thrilled with Rivard mgt either (maybe I'll try dune allen realty next time?), although some of Rivards staff are great and the property, if anything was even better than they advertised.
     
  13. Landlocked

    Landlocked Beach Fanatic

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    Well thats good news. I'm glad y'all had a good time. I know we did!
     
  14. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    "We were right on 30-A directly across from the shops/gossip coffee shop in dune allen in a property called INN-Spire-D (Rivard)."


    Carter

    How was the beach in that area?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2005
  15. Carter

    Carter Beach Comber

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    All things considered it was in pretty good shape. I just posetd pic in sowal general gallery taken from deck of the rental house there on June 24:

    http://www.sowal.com/bb/gallery/showimage.php?i=487
     
  16. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    Thank you Carter. That pic is on my desktop for a while. :D
     
  17. Rather B Paddlin

    Rather B Paddlin Beach Lover

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    I have used several rental/management agencies in the area. I have never used Rivard, but neighbors have had moderately good things to says about them. We contract everything out on our own now after the misery of working with some of the agencies listed as well as another not mentioned. After you get past the "Hi ye'all we'ill take care of your house as if it was our own now", the following is what to expect from these agencies.

    Very little effort in booking. Call an agency sometime and try to book your own house as a naive renter. You will be shocked.

    Guests sometimes have to wait several hours after the promised check in time to get the keys to the house because of the long lines at the agencies or the house is not cleaned until late in the evening on check in day. This happens to 75% of the prime season check ins.

    Not being able to find the keys to the house when guests check in.Yes this actually happened. Long story - but a locksmith had to be called, the guest figured out how to get into the house with out a key.

    Terrible cleaning services including beds missing sheets or sheets not changed on beds.

    Charging for work not performed such as changing a/c filters and light bulbs.

    Leaving the the owners storage area unlocked for guests to access.

    Not boarding the house during hurricane prep. After the fact, an a agency manager actually told me that they were a rental agency not a property management agency. Hmmm thats reassuring.


    You get the point. I have many more instances of poor effort and a poor job done. Its the rule , not the exception.

    There is good news!!!!!

    There are a lot of good people in the area who will provide services needed and do a great job. Do yourself a favor, go down to the area for several days do some research, then interview the service companies of interest. Ultimately, You will end up with less stress.
     
  18. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

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    We have a couple of houses with Southern Resorts and they are doing a very good job. Had a terrible experience with Rivard and have heard very bad things about Beach Rentals.

    Southern Resorts does little things that other agencies don't. For instance, they pick up the garbage on check-out day so the new guests have empty garbage cans. Most other agencies don't do this and as a result, the garbage cans are overflowing with other peoples' garbage, which is rather disgusting.
     
  19. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Let's keep hearsay out of it. Firsthand only - good or bad.

    I hear a LOT of info - good and bad, but mostly it seems the bad is the cost of doing business. When people ask me who to use I tell them to go to several places and do their homework.

    http://sowal.com/rental-agencies.html

    BTW - I hear more bad stories about owners and renters and subs than I do about rental agents. In this crazy market you might want to take what you hear with a grain of salt. Competition has gotten fierce and so has the workload.

    I tell everyone, whether you rent yourself or through an agent, you have to do some marketing on your own. Here's a page with some tips:
    http://www.mooncreek.com/rentals.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2005
  20. tynanr

    tynanr Beach Crab

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    We currently use Dune Allen Realty and they have worked well for us. The house is in Dune Allen which may help the situation. Overall, they booked the house this season and follow through on the basics. Doesnt sound like a big deal but I can say from first hand experience that this doesnt always happen. We started with Beach Rentals of South Walton and received the worst service I have experienced in my personal life and professional career. They basically were incapable of even returning a phone call let alone the more difficult actions of booking the house and, believe it or not, charging customers for the stay. The differences are basic but can be staggering.
     

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