top of page

About The Author

Hey there! We're Air Hostd, a bunch of Rhode Island real estate enthusiasts who stumbled upon home sharing back in 2015, and we haven't looked back since. Fast forward to today, and we've become the go-to folks for Airbnb management in the area. We've hostd tens of thousands of guests from all corners of the globe and helped hundreds of owners realize their short-term rental goals.

  • Air Hostd Google My Business Profile
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Youtube

How much are short term rental property management fees?

If you own a property and are considering renting it out for short-term rental, you may be wondering how much short-term rental property management fees are to handle all the responsibilities associated with the rental process. In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence the cost of short term rental property management and provide insights into what a fair price for management is. We will also delve into the value that short-term rental property managers bring to the table, ultimately helping you make an informed decision about whether hiring one is the right choice for you.

"The benefit of a great short-term rental property manager is that your rental property becomes a true passive income vehicle, and if you have a great short-term rental property manager, they will treat it like their own property"

Understanding the Role of Short-Term Rental Property Managers

Short-term rental property managers play a crucial role in ensuring that your rental property operates smoothly. They handle everything from listing creation and optimization to guest communication and property maintenance. With expertise in short-term rental management, they ensure your property meets industry standards and guests' expectations. By offloading these responsibilities to a property manager, you can focus on other aspects of your life while still reaping the financial benefits of owning a rental property.

Key Responsibilities of Vacation Rental Property Managers

Short-term rental property managers are responsible for various tasks. These responsibilities include:

Creating and managing the short-term rental listing.
  • Writing compelling descriptions and taking high-quality photos.

  • Setting competitive pricing and managing price adjustments according to your local market and specific neighborhood.

  • Optimizing the listing for category placements on vacation rentals like "Beach front" or "Golf" related trip experiences.

  • Monitoring your listings ranking on the top booking platforms.

Marketing your property
  • Taking professionally staged photos of your property.

  • Utilizing drone photography to show off your property.

  • Promoting the property on various booking platforms and social media.

  • Implementing strategies to increase occupancy rates and positive reviews.

Guest screening and vetting
  • Implementing thorough guest screening processes to ensure safety and minimize risks.

  • Using technology and background checks to verify guest identities and prevent fraudulent bookings.

Technology Integrations
  • Implementing smart home technology (smart locks, thermostats, security cameras) for enhanced guest convenience and security.

  • Utilizing advanced data analytics to optimize pricing strategies and maximize revenue.

  • Maintaining high-speed internet and ensuring reliable Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the property.

Responding to inquiries and booking requests.
  • Providing guests with check-in and check-out instructions.

  • Addressing guest questions and concerns promptly.

  • Providing 24/7 support for guests

  • Handling guest issues and complaints

Managing reservations and calendar availability.
  • Avoid double booking the property if it is listed on multiple booking websites like being on both Airbnb and VRBO at the same time.

  • Handling last-minute cancellations and modifications.

  • Coordinating guest check-ins and check-outs.

  • Offering self-check-in options or meeting guests in person.

  • Providing local recommendations and concierge services.

  • Offering welcome packs or gifts (e.g., snacks, toiletries, etc.).

Arranging regular cleaning and linen services between stays.
  • Ensuring the property is well-stocked with essentials (toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.).

  • Conducting routine maintenance and repairs.

  • Reporting damages in standardized reports

  • Managing landscaping and exterior upkeep.

Handling Property Emergencies
  • Providing 24/7 emergency support for guests (e.g. they get locked out of the house at midnight)

  • Coordinating urgent repairs (e.g., basement flooding, broken appliances, tree falling on the house).

  • Installing and maintaining safety equipment (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers).

  • Coordinating ongoing property maintenance like changing light bulbs or fixing light switches.

Performance monitoring and reporting
  • Providing homeowners with detailed performance reports, including occupancy rates, revenue, and guest feedback.

  • Conducting regular market analysis to stay competitive and adjust strategies accordingly.

Monitoring Important Regulation Changes
  • Ensuring the property complies with local regulations and short-term rental policies.

  • Each state and municipality has ever-changing rules surrounding the application process as well as the permitting regulations for short-term rentals in the area.

  • We provide a guide for Rhode Island short-term rental permitting for homeowners to better understand your specific town's rules.

Financial Management of the Property
  • Collecting rental payments and security deposits.

  • Managing operating expenses and vendor payments.

  • Keeping records of all transactions and communications.

  • Providing monthly and annual financial statements for tax purposes.

  • Assisting homeowners with obtaining the necessary insurance coverage for short-term rentals.

Handling Inevitable Property Issues
  • Inspecting the property for damages after each stay.

  • Handling damage claims and disputes with short-term rentals.

  • Managing over-occupancy issues and guest misconduct.

Ask Yourself, "Why Am I Hiring A Short-Term Rental Property Management Company For My Vacation Rental?"

There are many reasons why someone might want to lighten their workload when it comes to managing their property. While you can manage your short-term rental property on your own, hiring a property manager can be a game-changer. Here’s why:

Property managers come with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the industry. They know how to optimize your listing, attract more guests, and boost your rental income. Their expertise can make your property stand out in a crowded market.

By taking care of all the guest communication, property maintenance, and daily tasks, property managers save you a ton of time. This means you can focus on other priorities or simply take a break from the constant demands of property management.

Having a property manager also brings peace of mind. They handle guest issues professionally and efficiently, resolving any problems that come up. This reduces your stress, knowing that your investment is in good hands.

A good property manager knows the local area well and can provide guests with valuable insights into attractions, events, and amenities. This local knowledge helps them make informed recommendations, enhancing the guest experience and potentially leading to positive reviews and repeat bookings.

Another significant advantage of hiring a property manager is their ability to navigate the legal and regulatory aspects of renting out your property. They stay updated on local laws and regulations, ensuring your property is compliant and helping you avoid legal issues. This is especially helpful if you’re new to the vacation rental business or own properties in different locations with varying regulations.

Property managers often have established relationships with local service providers, meaning they can quickly arrange for repairs, maintenance, and cleaning services. They have a network of trusted professionals ready to address any issues, keeping your property in top condition and ensuring a great experience for your guests.

In short, hiring a short-term rental property manager brings many benefits for property owners. They save you time and effort, provide peace of mind, and use their local knowledge to enhance the guest experience. Property managers play a crucial role in maximizing the success and profitability of your short-term rental property.

Factors Influencing How Much Are Short-Term Rental Property Management Charge

If you're wondering 'how much vacation rental property managers charge', then the answer varies based on many factors. Understanding these factors will help you determine a reasonable price range and negotiate effectively with property managers.

Location and Market Demand

The location of your rental property and the demand in that market play a significant role in determining the cost of short-term rental property management. Properties in popular tourist destinations or high-demand cities often have higher management fees compared to properties in less desirable locations. This is due to the increased amount of work that comes along with high demand / high turnover properties. A home that has many many bookings greatly increases the number of cleanings required, guest interactions/problems solved, supplies re-stocked, and wear and tear on the property to repair.

Our service area of expertise is in premiere properties in the state of Rhode Island. You will find that properties in high-demand areas like beachfronts typically cost more to manage. You can find out your own pricing for full-service short term rental management in Rhode Island here.

Air Hostd Airbnb Rating

Alt text: Stellar rating of Air Hostd, a leading vacation rental property management firm.

Size and Type of Property

The size and type of your property also influence the fees of short-term rental property management services. Larger properties with multiple units or bedrooms require more time and resources to manage effectively. As a result, short-term rental property managers may charge higher fees for larger properties.

Similarly, properties with unique features or specialized amenities may command higher management fees. For example, if your property includes a pool, a hot tub, or other luxury amenities, you can expect the cost of short-term rental management to be higher.

Range of Services Provided

Not all short-term rental property management companies offer the same range of services. Some may provide basic management tasks, such as guest communication and check-ins, while others may offer additional services like marketing, interior design, or property maintenance.

The more comprehensive the services, the higher the short-term rental management fees are likely to be. Consider the level of support you need and be prepared to pay more for additional services that enhance the guest experience and improve your rental income potential.

Questions To Ask A Short-term Rental Property Management Company Before Hiring

  • Do you provide direct access to the short-term rental account?

  • Are you paid directly from vacation rental or do they accept all the revenue and pay out your portion afterward?

  • Are you on call 24/7 for the guest's stay?

  • Is your housekeeping in-house or do you contract everything (direct employees v contractors)

  • Do you have a direct booking website?

  • Do you handle pricing?

  • What’s the ADR of the homes you are looking to manage?

  • Who does the lawn maintenance, and pool/spa maintenance?

  • Do you provide interior design services?

  • Do you stock the property with supplies (toilet paper, paper towels, Is the PM paying for all the supplies, coffee, cleaning supplies, sheets and pillows when they need to be replaced, etc?

  • Do you have access to a handyman when needed?

  • What would you do if guests were having a party and ignoring your calls?

  • Will you follow up with damage claims by short-term rentals?

  • What is your average response time to messages from guests?

Half Service versus Full Service

When considering short-term rental management options, property owners can choose between half-service and full-service management. Each type offers different levels of support and involvement, catering to the varying needs and preferences of property owners.

Half-Service Vacation Rental Management

1. Scope of Services:

  • Listing Creation and Optimization: The management company may help with creating and optimizing the short-term rental listing, including writing descriptions and taking photos.

  • Pricing Strategy: Assistance with setting and adjusting pricing to stay competitive in the market.

  • Booking Management: Handling booking inquiries, reservations, and cancellations.

  • Basic Guest Communication: Responding to initial guest inquiries and providing booking confirmations.

2. Limited Onsite Services:

  • Check-In/Check-Out Coordination: Arranging guest check-ins and check-outs, often remotely.

  • Cleaner Coordination: Coordinating with cleaning services but not necessarily vetting or supervising cleaners.

  • Maintenance Requests: Reporting maintenance issues to the property owner without direct involvement in repairs.

3. Lower Fees:

  • Cost: Typically lower management fees compared to full-service management, making it a more affordable option for property owners who can handle some tasks themselves.

  • Responsibility: Owners retain more responsibility for the property's upkeep and guest experience.

4. Owner Involvement:

  • Higher Involvement Required: Property owners are more involved in day-to-day operations, such as handling emergencies, performing maintenance, and managing more detailed guest interactions.

  • Flexibility: Owners have more control over specific aspects of the property, such as maintenance schedules and vendor selection.

Full-Service Short-term Rental Management

1. Comprehensive Services:

  • End-to-End Management: Covers all aspects of vacation rental management, from listing creation to guest checkout and beyond.

  • Dynamic Pricing: Continuous monitoring and adjusting of prices based on market trends and demand.

  • Professional Marketing: Enhanced marketing efforts, including listing on multiple platforms and using high-quality media.

2. Onsite and Hands-On Services:

  • Guest Communication: 24/7 guest support, handling all inquiries, issues, and emergencies.

  • Check-In/Check-Out Assistance: Personal check-in/check-out services or reliable self-check-in options with direct guest interaction if needed.

  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Thoroughly vetted and supervised cleaning services, regular property inspections, and timely maintenance and repairs.

  • Vendor Management: Coordination and management of all service providers, including cleaners, landscapers, and repair technicians.

3. Higher Fees:

  • Cost: Higher management fees reflect the comprehensive nature of the services provided.

  • Value: Potentially higher overall revenue and lower vacancy rates due to professional management and enhanced guest experience.

4. Minimal Owner Involvement:

  • Low Involvement Required: Property owners can be as hands-off as they wish, with the short-term rental property management company taking care of virtually all aspects of property management.

  • Peace of Mind: Owners can enjoy peace of mind knowing their property is being professionally managed, leading to less stress and fewer day-to-day responsibilities.

Average Cost of Vacation Rental Property Management

When it comes to the cost structure of short-term rental property management, there are generally two main types: percentage-based fees and flat fees. It's important to understand the differences between these two structures before engaging with a vacation rental property manager.

Percentage-Based Fee Structure

In a percentage-based fee structure, short-term rental property managers charge a percentage of your rental income as their fee. The typical range for this fee is between 10% and 30%, depending on the location, market demand, and level of services provided. This fee structure is ideal for property owners who want to align the short-term rental property manager's compensation with the performance of the rental property.

However, it's crucial to be aware that some short-term rental property managers may also charge additional fees on top of the percentage-based fee. These additional fees can include cleaning fees, maintenance fees, or marketing fees. Make sure to clarify all potential fees and their terms before signing any contracts.

Flat Fee Structure

In a flat fee structure, short-term rental property managers charge a fixed monthly or annual fee for their services, regardless of the rental income generated by your property. This fee structure provides greater predictability and can be advantageous for property owners with a steady rental income stream.

Similar to the percentage-based fee structure, flat fee structures may also have additional fees for specific services or tasks. It's essential to understand the scope of services included in the flat fee and any potential add-on fees that may be applicable.

Hidden Costs to Be Aware Of

While negotiating the cost of short-term rental property management, it's important to be aware of any potential hidden costs that may arise. These include the aforementioned additional fees, which are not always explicitly stated upfront. Make sure to have a clear understanding of all potential costs and outline them in the contract to avoid any surprises down the line.

Local Short-term Rental Management Companies Versus National Management Companies

5 Reasons Why Local Short-term Rental Management Is Better

1.) Reputation & Quality

Your local vacation rental property management company will care more about the quality of their work and their reputation than a very large national company that covers many different territories.

2.) Speed To Solve Problems

Having someone local who can quickly get to your property means you can avoid many of the possible nightmare scenarios of managing a short-term rental. For example a roof leak, a tree falling down on the house, or a guest getting locked out.

3.) Knowledge Of Your Specific Market

A local short-term rental property management company will know infinitely more about your specific area as they likely live there and/or grew up in that area. They will also be much more knowledgeable about the competing rentals available in that area.

4.) Short Term Rental Permitting Expertise

The local company will have an intimate knowledge of the permitting process for your specific area. For example, at Airhostd, we can not only guide you through the permitting process but we can probably even tell you who the specific person to email at your local town hall in Rhode Island is!

5.) Business Model Alignment

The biggest issue you will run into with a national or even very large management company is that their business model isn't aligned with taking extremely good care of your property and ensuring the guests have a splendid experience. Their business model is to get as many new properties under management as they can to outpace the number of owners who are canceling their service after being dissatisfied (churn). You want to partner with a company whose incentive structure is to keep long-term relationships with property owners and their portfolio of properties isn't so big that it makes it impossible to provide a 5-star level of service to each and every home.

Understanding The Contract Terms of Short-term Rental Property Managers

Before signing any contract with a short-term rental property manager, carefully review and understand the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to the duration of the contract, any cancellation fees, and the scope of services provided. If there are any ambiguous clauses or terms that you are unsure about, seek clarification from the property manager before proceeding.

Evaluating the Value of Vacation Rental Property Management

Finally, it's important to evaluate the value that vacation rental property management brings to the table and weigh it against the associated costs.

Time and Effort Saved

Consider the time and effort you would need to invest in managing your rental property if you were to do it yourself. Property managers can handle all the day-to-day tasks, freeing up your schedule for other commitments or even allowing you to pursue new opportunities. The time and effort saved can be invaluable.

Increased Rental Income Potential

A skilled short-term property manager knows how to optimize your listing, adjust pricing based on market demand, and attract more guests. This expertise can lead to increased rental income potential. Calculate the potential increase in rental income that a property manager can provide and evaluate whether it outweighs the cost of hiring one.

Peace of Mind for Property Owners

Lastly, consider the peace of mind that comes with having a property manager by your side. Knowing that your property is well taken care of and that any issues will be promptly resolved can significantly reduce stress and provide reassurance.

In conclusion, the cost of short-term rental property management can vary depending on factors such as location, property size, and the range of services provided. By understanding these factors and negotiating effectively, you can find a short-term rental property manager that meets your needs at a fair price. Evaluate the value that short-term rental property management brings, weighing it against the associated costs, to make an informed decision about whether hiring a short-term rental property manager is worthwhile for your vacation rental property.

5 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page