What makes for a great property management company in Amelia Island and serving Fernandina Beach and the surrounding areas?
What about fees? Communication? Reputation?
The questions are endless. The answers are right here 🙂 Let’s dive in, and reach out if you’re looking for a local property management company in Amelia Island!
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Factors in choosing a property management company
You don’t want someone vacationers actively avoid. Here’s Q&A on related topics and interests.
Does a company need to be licensed to manage properties?
Yes, a person needs a license – but its a real estate broker’s license, not a property management one (source: Florida Real Estate Commission).
It’s not uncommon for companies with staff who work in both areas of buying/selling homes while helping other clients rent theirs out.
How can you tell an established property management company from others?
Three initial steps to take in your research:
- Find their headquarters. Often, you’ll discover a company’s HQ is somewhere else in the state vs. within the local market you’re hoping to rent your property. Companies within your local market can be more responsive and a stronger local knowledge to get help when you need it.
- The background of those running the company. Some may be realtors, but others can come from all walks of life. There’s not necessarily a “right” background (for example, a person who has been a waiter/waitress likely provides great customer service) but property-specific experience does help.
- Look up reviews, especially on Google. These reviews are typically from customers who have rented through the business. Look at what people say in their positive reviews, and if you find a negative review, read the company’s response to that as well.
But don’t stop there. Once you have a list of options, it’s time to interview any company you’re considering working with.
Ask them their approach to getting the best guests, how they handled a recent situation that went poorly, etc. You’ll be amazed how quickly you discover great options vs. some who just aren’t the right fit.
Is a larger or smaller property management company better?
That depends on a few factors, such as what kind of experience you’re looking for and the status of your local market.
Smaller companies provide a more personal experience, usually with the same few staff anytime you reach out. They also are typically local to the market and will know where you’re located in the city, what’s nearby, etc. Their fees are less due to having less overhead.
Larger companies can provide 24/7 customer support, have more well-known brands, and possibly more complex marketing tactics to its existing customer base.
What other factors should I consider?
Look over their current listings and see if the company in question works with properties similar to what you’re hoping to bring to market. For example, a company that usually works with condos may not be the right fit for you if you’re hoping to rent a vacation home!
Also: how responsive are they if you reach out? Sometimes, that initial response time can be telling.
What property management companies provide
Curious how companies like us make life far easier for you to rent a property? This is the section for you!
How does a property management company make my life easier?
In multiple ways! Let’s dig into each:
A company has a system in place ready to accept a guest’s booking, get it processed, confirm their stay, and make sure the property is clean and vacant when they arrive. In addition, they
Does a guest run into an issue? Do they have burning questions before they arrive? Your property management company handles it all to turn what could be a deal-breaker into a smile.
If the air conditioning fails, a tenant gets locked out, or something last-minute comes up and they can’t make it, then the company is their first line of contact in making sure all parties involved get what they need – and fast.
Well-maintained properties generate higher prices, which means more profit for you. And those with raving guest reviews make it easier to get return visitors and draw in new guests, too.
Rental rates, managing expenses, calculating taxes … it’s all part of the job. You’re looking for a strong return on your investment, and this aspect of management makes it clear if you are.
There’s a sea of options available to guests looking at the Florida coast. How will you stand out?
A good company has an answer, a brand to back it up, and has a base of guests you can tap into. Marketing materials – from photos to property descriptions to design – also helps differentiate your property from others out there.
And getting those 5-star customer reviews that are must-haves? Yep, that’s also part of marketing.
In short, the marketing a property management company provides helps reduce vacancy rates and boost your bottom line.
If any changes occur in safety or building codes or local laws, then your company will know how they affect you and your property. Proactive action can save you from fines or complaints!
There’s two angles to this. The first is opportunity cost: if you manage your own properties, what could you be doing with the time spent managing them? (And how valuable is that to you?) More time to run errands, be with family, enjoy your hobbies, hang out with friends, or just catch up on sleep you always seem to be missing.
The second is putting a value on your time itself. If time is money, how much would you spend on a weekly or monthly basis managing it all on your own?
Here’s an example: Let’s say Joyce values her time at $50/hour. With a rental property she’s managing, she spends per week:
- 2 hours communicating with guests
- 2 hours processing bookings
- 1-4 hours maintaining the property, depending on what’s needed
- 1 hour marketing
- 3 hours on miscellaneous activities, such as organization, state filings, updating the property, market research, etc.
- (Sometimes) 2-5 hours troubleshooting when something goes wrong, such as if something in the house fails.
This is a ballpark figure and varies by week, of course, but quick math shows Joyce spending anywhere from $500-1,000 a week … if nothing goes wrong. It’s far more when something does!
A company removes this uncertainty and stress.
Common questions we’ve seen people asking or been asked ourselves.
Who governs property management companies in Florida?
The Florida Real Estate Commission handles licensing, continued education, and governance of these companies. Guest Cottage included!
What is the average property management fee?
You’ll find a range, typically a percentage of the rent you charge. On top of this, you’ll pay a monthly operations fee which covers the daily maintenance, communication, and all customer-facing interactions. If your property is in an HOA, the property management company also helps if any issues come up.
Are VRBO and AirBnB property management companies?
No. These are online marketplaces that collect listings into an easy-to-use platform for potential guests. But they do not manage the properties themselves.