The Downside of Large Log Cabin Vacation Rental Management Companies.
Large Vacation Rental Companies The Inside Story
You have a vacation rental cabin in the Blue Ridge area and you have decided that you want to earn some income to offset the expense so you are thinking about hiring a vacation rental company to help you. How do you decide which one is best for you? What should you look for and what should you look out for?
I have been on both sides as an owner who hired a different management companies and now as a management company owner. In the Blue Ridge, GA area there are a few very large vacation rental management companies and many smaller companies. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
We want to take a look at the larger log cabin vacation rental companies exploring the advantages and disadvantages. Many owners make the assumption that “if they are bigger they must be better”. Larger companies receive a lot of traffic on their websites and usually pay to do Internet marketing they get greater exposure on Internet searches by potential guests. They often do a good amount of additional advertising such as billboards in the community. Larger log cabin rental companies have fulltime staff to handle emergencies as they come up. Many will offer professional photography and copywriting at no charge to gain your listing if you contract for a year of representation. We believe that high quality photographs and copy are essential to your success so this is a huge bonus. Often larger vacation rental companies have staff handymen and women as well as property managers to oversee listings.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the negatives of the larger vacation rental companies. Using the analogy of a pie, when you are listed with a very large company you are a very small slice of a very large pie. If the vacation rental company has 200 listings then you are one two hundredth of the pie. To earn a profit larger companies often add undisclosed fees like lawn care and trash removal. They also often collect guest service fees and additional guest fees to offset expenses incurred due to staff, insurance, and advertising expenses. This increases your actual per night rental rate and that does not aide in renting your cabin more nights per year.
Logically, there is not a great deal of concern for each individual owner rather a concern for profits and margins. It can also be difficult to reach your contact person because after all they have 200 owners to communicate with and that is not easy for the one or two main sales people. One of the largest problems we have come across, in the North Georgia Mountain area, is hiring honest, reliable, drug and crime free staff. Cleaners are particularly hard to find. The question is what percent of the cleaners hired by a large vacation rental company have a problem with crime or drugs. Since the large company requires a huge number of cleaners and cleaners work outside the office it is difficult to insure that there are not many bad apples in the bunch until after something bad happens. Larger companies are highly concerned with the bottom line so they tend to pay cleaners and non-income producing staff lower wages. The combination of low wages and poorly screened staff contribute to problems such as theft.
Log Cabin Rentals Blue Ridge hires fully screened staff that are paid well and have worked with us for a long time. We treat you cabin as if it were our own. We don’t have any hidden fees for owners or guests and we are still able to provide free photography, advertising and copywriting to owners. Because we are small each owner is important and a large piece of our very successful small pie.