Guide to Vacation Rental Property Management Fees

Guide to Vacation Rental Property Management Fees

It’s critical to understand how vacations rental property management fees operate and how they will affect your rental earnings when choosing a property manager or property management business to handle your holiday rental.

There are several advantages to employing a property manager to handle your short-term rental properties. The cost structure and fees charged by vacation rental property management businesses will vary. However, before you proceed, ensure that this is the best course of action for your company and rental revenue objectives.

What are the management fees for vacation rental properties?

Vacation rentals are subject to various fees that hosts must pay to maintain them. Vacation rental property management fees are paid to a property manager to cover the expenses associated with managing your rental. These services may include reservation administration, guest communication, onsite maintenance, and so forth. This is often a recurring monthly payment given to the property management at a predetermined rate.

How much does it cost to run a vacation rental property on average?

Establishing an industry standard for vacation rental property management costs might be challenging. These criteria may include the kind of property (a home vs. an apartment) and the property’s location. They often fluctuate according to a variety of circumstances.

Despite this, clear patterns in property management costs are discernible.

Property management costs for holiday rentals are typically between 10% and 50% of monthly rental profits. Apart from property considerations, this variation may be explained by the level of property management supplied. Managers may provide full-service management (in which they take care of all property-related responsibilities) or merely partial management (only marketing or perhaps only customer service).

The most often reported range is between 20% and 40% of monthly rental revenue. On average, urban rentals have a cheaper vacation rental property management cost of 20% to 25%. Fees for beach rentals will vary between 25% and 30%. Mountain rentals often have a 30% to 35% higher management charge.

Rentals in cities often have reduced management costs. They’re more convenient to get to and need less care than coastal or mountain rentals.

What are the most frequently used charge structures?

A management company’s fee structure will vary. However, there are three widely used methodologies for calculating vacation rental property management fees:

Guaranteed income model: In a guaranteed income model, the property management pays the homeowner a predetermined monthly amount, even in months with few or no bookings. This concept guarantees that property owners get a steady passive income throughout the year.

The disadvantage of the guaranteed approach is that your earnings will remain constant regardless of the season. Profits beyond the agreed rate are paid to the manager or management business.

Fixed-rate model: If you choose a fixed-rate payment model for your manager, you and the management agree on a monthly fixed charge. This cost is fixed regardless of the number of reservations a property receives in a given month.

This may not seem to be the optimal layout during the low season. However, you will retain any revenues earned more than the vacation rental property management charge you pay during the busy season. The disadvantage of this pricing structure is that the set cost is sometimes accompanied by extra administration fees that increase the ultimate price.

The commission model is based on a percentage-based commission that you, the rental owner, will pay monthly to the property management. This is a common price structure since the monthly cost is exactly proportional to the revenue generated by your rental during that month.

The hidden cost is the precise proportion the management will charge for their services. As previously stated, commission rates vary according to the manager or firm you employ. Always ensure that you know the actual percentage they will charge for their service. Additionally, inquire if this percentage includes or excludes any other costs that you may be required to pay.

What services are included in the management fees for my vacation rental property listing?

It is critical to understand upfront which service expenses are included in the management fee and paid separately. A property management may give you a low monthly price but then present you with a list of additional expenses added to their rate. On the other hand, property management may charge an ostensibly expensive monthly cost, but it is all-inclusive.

The management cost per month may include the following services:

Vacation rental property managers earn a living by grasping the STR market and remaining current on industry developments. As a result, they have a strong grasp of how to promote a vacation rental effectively, whether to alter rates, which platforms to utilize, and how to attract perfect visitors to your home.

Some managers provide this service as part of their monthly cost for vacation rental property management, while others charge an extra fee. If you choose to opt-out of this service, you may contact your manager, but first, determine if you have the time and skills necessary to promote your property on your own.

Cleaning services are required each time visitors check out of your rental. Cleaning expenses may be included in the monthly rate charged by certain vacation rental managers. This implies that you will be responsible for the cost of the cleaning services.

Other property managers may include a cleaning fee in the rental price or charge visitors for cleaning services. Before employing a manager, ensure that you understand how the cleaning charge is structured and how it will be paid. The cleaning charge is determined by the property’s size, location, and amenities.

Maintenance and repair services are often included in the monthly management fees paid by managers. This is because repairs and maintenance are often required on short notice and with the utmost urgency. If a pipe breaks or the washing machine leaks, visitors will want it to be repaired immediately; otherwise, they will not give a positive review.

If management charges a maintenance fee, make careful to inquire about the price’s scope. Determine if they use their maintenance staff or subcontract and whether the monthly charge includes all essential repairs. The last thing you want to do is pay an additional maintenance cost if it expires during the month.

Which extra expenses may be incurred by a holiday rental owner?

Frequently, property management firms for short-term rentals demand extra property management costs in addition to the standard ones. Additional costs apply to services beyond the property manager’s standard cleaning, maintenance, and guest management.

Additional costs may include the following:

  • If a visitor secures a stay at your property via your manager rather than directly through your listing, you will be charged a booking fee.
  • Fees for exterior facilities include the upkeep and repair of a garden, a pool, or a hot tub.
  • Customer service fees may include costs associated with communicating with guests and supervising check-ins.
  • Should I outsource the management of my vacation rental company to a third party?

Before you hire a property manager and pay the associated vacation rental property management costs, consider the following:

  • What yearly occupancy rate am I looking for with my rental properties? Am I capable of allocating the time required to maintain my properties?
  • If you own a few vacation rental homes, self-management and oversight will be much simpler than if you own several properties.

Your choice should also be impacted by the amount of time you have available to manage your listings. Managing a vacation rental company is time-consuming. If you already have a full-time job, you may find yourself with less time to devote to your listings.

If your major concentration is on holiday rentals, you may be able to manage the workload without the assistance of a manager. In this instance, it may be prudent to pay a monthly management fee to a professional manager. This will alleviate your concerns, as they will manage all important tasks.

Finally, your rental objectives should factor into your choice to choose management. You may be able to handle your rental property on your own if you reside in it and simply rent it out when you travel. On the other hand, if your listings are unoccupied and you want to optimize their occupancy potential, hiring a manager to handle all activities makes more sense.

Individual manager vs. management company: costs, advantages, and disadvantages

Management Fees for Individual Managers:

  • More likely than a firm to charge a cheaper vacation rental property management cost.
  • Additionally, they may be more forthcoming regarding overall fees.


  • Will provide the same services as a business.
  • It may be more adaptable in tailoring the range of services to your specific needs.


  • Perhaps not as well-established as an industry firm.

Fees Guaranteed:

  • Will not be required to preserve the same degree of brand identification as a business.

Management Fees for Company Management:

  • I will almost certainly charge more than a freelance manager.
  • Additionally, they may be more likely to levy extra costs in addition to the monthly rate.


  • We will almost certainly provide both partial and full-service management.
  • Less likely to be amenable to service negotiations.


  • Will almost certainly have a higher reputation than an independent manager.
  • Should be able to provide effective case studies from previous or present customers.

Fees Guaranteed:

  • It will more likely ensure managerial success due to the company’s desire to safeguard its brand identity and reputation.

There is no right or wrong way to choose a property manager; it depends entirely on your property’s demands and business objectives. In any case, it’s a good idea to do some research on the person or organization after discussing their vacation rental property management costs and services.

Request comments from other vacation rental owners who have dealt with the management or firm you consider.

What are the critical questions I should ask while determining the fee?

Before selecting a vacation rental management business, it’s a good idea for rental owners to inquire about the specific services they provide. You may ascertain the precise amount of vacation rental property management expenses you will incur by asking certain inquiries.

Several pertinent questions include the following:

  • What are your major management services?
  • What are more management services available?
  • Which one of these services will be included in your monthly management charge for vacation rental properties?
  • Which of these services are payable in addition to the management fee (if any)?
  • Are there any additional administrative expenses that I should be aware of?
  • Is your monthly management charge set at a fixed rate or based on commission?
  • How do you manage properties? What platforms and technologies do you use?
  • How will you advertise my property?
  • How do you maintain your property?
  • How often do you examine properties, and do you utilize a checklist?
  • How do you manage reservations for guests?
  • How do you communicate with your guests?
  • Which security precautions will you use to safeguard my property?
  • How will you contact me in the case of property damage or an emergency?
  • How long have you been in property management?
  • Permit me to get references from previous and present clients.

How to reduce the maintenance charge for a holiday rental

If you’re not interested in paying ongoing management fees to professional managers, consider adopting vacation rental software to manage your properties. Vacation rental software such as Lodgable simplifies property management by providing, calendar sync to avoid multiple reservations, channel manager, and financial reporting.

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