Vacation Rental Management - To Do it Yourself Or Not?

Vacation Rental Management - To Do it Yourself Or Not?

By Deborah Catherine Nelson

Do-it-yourself or not? That is the question.

Many vacation home owners resist the idea of doing their own vacation rental management. Others are opting to maximize the income from their vacation rental property.

The truth is if you are retired or need a second income, going into this business part time, is an ideal solution for the following reasons:

1. Hire yourself to clean and earn extra money, depending on how much you need money. Otherwise hire a cleaning person.

2. You save from 25%-35% from each and every booking, that a vacation rental management firm normally charges; thus creating your second income.

3. Increase actual bookings. Even if you are not the best salesperson in the world, chances are you will close more bookings that even a “professional” would because you know much more about your property and can speak with potential guests intelligently and passionately. And if you are good talking with people you can increase your bookings over how much a firm would do.

4. It is a second income and flexible part time job that you can land without going through a lengthy job search process.

The downside to do-it-yourself management is the same as the upside…it is a job, and not a hobby. You will need a toll free number, computer, contracts, credit card processing systems, digital camera, cleaning and maintenance people, advertising, and an entire business infrastructure.

A lot of people think that you cannot do management from long distance. With a lap top, e-mail, the world wide web, and cell phones, this is no longer true! I have done it for five years quite successfully, while I was putting my daughter through college, it was just the third income stream I needed!

The big challenges are creating a vacation business infrastructure, but once you have set things up correctly, things will go quite smooth. If you decide to hire a property manager, I highly recommend one thing. Do not make this mistake of hiring a real estate person who is doing other things such as selling real estate, and doing regular lease rentals.

The Vacation rental business is unique. You will need a property management team who specializes solely in vacation rental property management.

Ms Nelson is a writer/entrepreneur, and has written “VROM-Vacation Rental Owners Manual-Do-it-Yourself Vacation Rental Management” available through Amazon and Vacation Rental Gurus. If you are a vacation property owner, go to her site at for a free guest etiquette book to give to your guests! Ms. Nelson is also a 2-time nominee of the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award given by WORKING WOMEN’S MAGAZINE, as well as a published author of 7 books available at

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