May 2, 2017
The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Property Manager for Your Park City, UT, Vacation Rental
Park City, Utah, is a winter sports mecca, situated about 20 miles outside of Salt Lake City and nestled amidst the mountains and ski slopes. And while winter is the prime tourism season for Park City travelers, this region also sees a fair number of summer tourists, particularly those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking. In fact, the Deer Valley Resort, the Park City Mountain resort, and Utah Olympic Park are open to visitors year-round, making this a location with year-round appeal.
Park City can be a very profitable destination for anyone who acquires a vacation rental home, but the winter weather, in particular, can pose some unique challenges for property owners—even owners who live relatively close to this location. Snowfall and sleet can turn a 30-minute drive into one that takes hours. But this is precisely where a Park City-based property manager can prove to be a valuable asset.
What’s more, Park City is home to a very competitive vacation home rental marketplace, which means you need an experienced team to oversee your marketing and promotions for your home. With the right property manager for your vacation property, you can see a significant boost in bookings and profits, along with a major improvement in guest satisfaction levels.
But choosing the right property manager for a Park City home can be a challenge. So where do you begin?
Inquire About the Property Manager’s Location and Residence Status
Park City and the surrounding region tends to see some wild winter weather, which can make for slow going on the roadways. This is also precisely when property managers need to visit the homes they manage to ensure the driveways, walkways, and even private roadways are shoveled, plowed, snow-blown, sanded, and salted. This can go a long way toward reducing liability and losses stemming from slip and fall incidents and other mishaps.
Unfortunately, this winter weather can make driving difficult, especially in the mountainous terrain. So you really need a property manager who is situated in the immediate area of your vacation home, so they can easily access your property when winter weather strikes.
It’s also important to note that Park City does have a fair number of seasonal residents, so it’s best to ensure that your property manager is available year-round if you plan to rent your home on a year-round basis. Park City is a location that’s growing increasingly popular among summertime visitors, particularly those who enjoy hiking, golfing, and other outdoor activities. Offering your vacation home year-round can maximize profits in a significant way, and working with the same individual throughout the year can provide a high degree of continuity that ultimately leads to a higher level of service.
What Tasks Will the Property Manager Handle?
Property management is not a one-size-fits-all service. Each property manager’s services will vary somewhat. You need to ensure that you hire a property manager who is experienced and prepared to help your vacation home to reach its full potential.
Park City property owners will need to inquire about the following services:
- Snow removal tasks
- Keeping the home supplied with firewood
- Landscaping and lawn care in the summer months
- Housekeeping and cleaning
- General maintenance and handyman tasks or minor repairs
- Performing walkthroughs and inventories
- Monitoring the property while guests are present
- Vetting and screening potential guests
- Greeting guests and overseeing key handoffs (or lockbox maintenance)
- Online marketing and advertising
- Creation of a brand identity for your vacation home and management of its website and social media accounts
You should be aware which tasks your property manager will be handling personally and which tasks will be outsourced. Homeowners will also need to know which services are included in their property management fees and which services are associated with an additional fee.
As a very competitive winter vacation destination, Park City vacation homeowners will be well-served by a property manager who has plenty of experience in the area of marketing and advertising because this is really essential for maintaining consistent bookings and maximizing profits. A vacation home that isn’t well-marketed online will fall woefully short of its full potential, so this is a key consideration for Park City property owners.
Park City is home to many condominiums and townhouses that are part of homeowner’s associations (HOA). If your vacation home falls into this category, then you will need to be clear on precisely what property management tasks and duties are handled by the condo association or HOA. This will enable you to provide your property manager with precise information on what tasks they will need to handle.
Call References and Learn More About the Property Manager’s Reputation
As a popular tourism destination, Park City is home to a competitive property management industry, so you’ll have many choices. Of course, not every property manager is created equal and the level of service can vary quite significantly. For this reason, it’s important that you hire a property manager with the experience, professionalism, and the commitment required to keep your property well-managed and profitable.
Make it a point to request references and follow up by actually calling those references. Ask questions such as:
- How long have you been working with this property manager?
- Does this property manager oversee your vacation home year-round?
- Have you seen an increase in bookings and profits?
- Would you recommend this property manager?
- Do you plan to renew your contract?
- Is the property manager responsive to you and to your guests?
- Have you experienced any challenges while working with this individual?
- Can I see your vacation home’s website and marketing materials?
These questions can reveal some good insight, but it’s important to remember that property managers are apt to give you references that are virtually certain to give a positive recommendation. For this reason, you should do a bit of additional research to see if you find any complaints or negative reviews about the property manager or their business name. These negative reviews can be very telling. You want a property manager who has worked hard to earn a positive reputation.
Finding a Property Manager Who Will Elevate Your Vacation Home
As a competitive winter vacation spot, Park City is home to many rental properties and resorts, so you’re tasked with competing with dozens of other vacation homes and some very well-marketed hotels and resorts. Therefore, it’s important to work with a property manager who’s willing to go above and beyond to your guests.
There are a number of strategies that you may discuss implementing with a property manager that make your home more competitive. Some of these ideas include:
Arranging discounts or perks for your guests, such as discounts to local ski resorts, restaurants, golf courses, and other popular Park City attractions. You may even include lift tickets or another bonus to sweeten the deal, making your vacation home more competitive.
Providing a loaner vehicle with four-wheel drive. Park City is a challenging location to navigate in the winter weather, especially with the mountainous, hilly terrain. So some vacation homeowners offer their guests access to a loaner vehicle. This may be included in the rental fee or charged as a separate item.
Keeping the home stocked with firewood and even ice that’s harvested from one of the local freshwater lakes.
Installing a hot tub, which will require some maintenance (and lots of promotion in your marketing materials). This is a very in-demand amenity among skiers, snowboarders, and other athletes and outdoors enthusiasts.
Providing hotel-like services, ranging from maid service and housekeeping to concierge services, food delivery (in place of room service), private chef services, or in-home facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages. Making these services available to your guests can go a long way toward maximizing your vacation home’s competitiveness, especially with the more luxurious ski resorts. After all, what guest wouldn’t enjoy a massage or a homemade meal after a long day on the slopes? Your property manager can contract with local service providers. Then, it’s as simple as making up a service binder with phone numbers to book each service.
A property manager who puts in the extra effort and takes initiative can go a long way toward helping you maximize your vacation home’s profits. What’s more, a property manager can also minimize losses. For example, your property manager may walk through to perform an inventory before and after each guest’s visit to determine if anything is missing or damaged. They can also make regular visits to the home during inclement weather to ensure the driveway, walkways, and private roads are clear and well-sanded or salted.
Find the Perfect Park City Property Manager on Rented.com
Connecting with the right property manager isn’t always easy, but that’s what Rented.com is here for. We specialize in helping vacation rental owners find the perfect property manager. Many of the property managers Rented.com works with offer a guaranteed income model, so you could receive a set amount of monthly income that remains constant regardless of actual bookings.
Here’s a look at some of the property management offers that Park City vacation property owners have received here on Rented.com.
If you’re ready to find a property manager for your Park City vacation home, get started today by creating a free profile on Rented.com.