Comparing Property Managements – what you should know before making your Choice
Choosing the right property management is a very important – if not the most important – decision for the future of your property. After all, you need a partner who can reliably support and advise you in the long term.
Customers often decide to change their management after only a short time. This can have a variety of reasons: for example, if certain expectations are not met, the property management works sloppily, maintains unfair business practices, or simply if the chemistry is not right.
We often meet clients who have purchased or built a property abroad for the first time, have only little experience and do not know what to look for when choosing their property management. This also applies to customers who already own a property outside the USA, but do not know the rules and customs in the States, which differ significantly from those in other countries.
In particular, topics such as increased wear and tear due to weather conditions or the risk of hurricanes in the summer are of great importance for house owners in Florida.
Of course, the cooperation between you as the owner and the property management is not the only important point. If you want to rent out your holiday home, it is also paramount to keep guests happy. Landlords who succeed in doing so can count on word-of-mouth propaganda and build up a reliable, long-term customer base.
For beginners, choosing the right offer from a multitude of competitors can be quite tricky. We know this – not only thanks to our professional relationships with customers. As builders, homeowners and landlords in Florida, we have personally dealt with these topics – and would like to share our experience with you.
In this article, you will learn which criteria are important when choosing your property management. For comparison, we will present our own services for each of the criteria. This way, you can check for yourself how our property management differs from other providers.
With regard to monthly costs, most property managements in Cape Coral do not differ significantly. For example, our basic monthly fee, which covers numerous services, is $150. When comparing companies, you should try to answer these questions, though: Which services are covered by the basic fee, which services must be paid extra, and how much will they cost? If you would like to know more about the services covered by our basic fee, we recommend reading through this website. Here, we lay out in detail how we will manage your property.
Charging a security deposit is still standard procedure for rental businesses in Florida. However, this practice comes with a number of disadvantages: First, tenants are burdened with additional expenses, as they have to withdraw money on site, exchange it or transfer it with high bank fees.
Secondly, security deposits result in more work for you, the landlord. You will need to manage the money, deposit it into an account if necessary, and transfer it back, which again entails fees. In addition, you should ask yourself: What will happen in case of damages that exceed the amount of the rental deposit? Litigation is expensive in Florida, and in the worst case, you will be left alone with the costs.
For these reasons, we refrain from using deposits altogether. Instead, damages to the rented property will be covered by rental damage insurance. Not only does this eliminate the cumbersome payment transactions between tenant and landlord. You can also be sure that damages exceeding standard security deposits are covered by the insurance – a convenient and fair solution for both parties.
Rental Agencies will help you rent out your property successfully, deal with formalities and attract more customers. However, these services are not free. On average, most companies charge a commission of 20 % per rental period. This is a lot of money, especially for owners renting out the house as an investment.
Thanks to modern, automated processes and systems, we are able to operate very efficiently. Therefore, we only charge 15 % commission. Extrapolate this amount to the sum of all rental periods, and you will easily save more than 10,000 USD per year – a lot of money that you can invest in new furniture or use to repay your loan, for example.
Offer for New Customers
The satisfaction of our customers is key for us – right from the beginning. Therefore, we offer an extensive range of services to new customers: If you choose our property management and rental service, you will get professional photos and videos of your property for free – together with drone shots, Facebook and Instagram accounts and even a high-quality website. This offer, which would normally cost thousands of dollars, is our special gift for you – and sets us apart from most competitors.
For comparison: A professional website alone can cost 2,000 USD or more. With our offer, however, you do not have to pay anything.
Booking and guests
There is no shortage of rental agencies in Florida. To sort the wheat from the chaff, however, it is important to know how customer-friendly the booking process really is. Unfortunately, many companies are lacking in this regard – and still insist on sending guests a rental contract to print out, sign and send back. This process is neither efficient nor particularly customer-friendly.
We have chosen a more modern and environmentally friendly approach: On our website, customers can carry out the entire booking process online – from selecting the house and making payments to the booking confirmation and, of course, signing the rental contract. This way, we save guests a lot of work and can respond much more flexibly to spontaneous booking requests.
When it comes to charging the rental fee, many rental agencies still rely on outdated procedures. Most often, customers will receive an invoice after their request, and then have to transfer the amount through their bank. Anyone who has ever wired money to the USA knows that this is not only cumbersome, but also associated with unnecessarily high bank fees.
We want to make it easier for customers, and therefore allow instant online payments. Customers only need to click on “Pay”. Then, they can transfer the amount with just a few mouse clicks. This way, booking a vacation home is easier and more comfortable than ever before.
Guests, especially those who book a holiday home in Florida for the first time, have many questions: not only about the property itself, but also about the Sunshine State in general. Unfortunately, many agencies operate by the mantra “Do it yourself”, and only provide customers with very basic information.
We have chosen a different route: In addition to our focus on property management and rentals, we operate our own website that covers all relevant topics for vacationers in Cape Coral and Florida in general: including sights, restaurants and shops, holiday destinations for the whole family, Visa regulations, flights, transportation and much more.
In addition, customers can also access a lot of information through our app that we particularly designed for guests. With this app, they cannot only find out more about their booking, the check-in process and the holiday home, but also about boat rentals, discounts, news from Cape Coral and useful travel tips. We are proud to be one of the very few rental agencies offering such an app.
Many rental agencies promise extensive customer support. When it comes to the check-in, however, this promise turns out to be somewhat untrue. Again and again, we hear of customers having to wait a long time for the check-in; or the check-in is postponed to the next day due to other priorities. This often results in guests feeling left alone with their questions.
The happiness of your guests is paramount to us. Therefore, we do everything in our power to perform the check-in immediately upon arrival. A friendly welcome, explaining the technical processes, answering questions – all these things make guests feel at home and help them start their well-deserved holiday in a relaxed manner. Even if a check-in on the day of arrival is not possible, this is no problem. We always stay in touch with customers and send them all relevant information. In doing so, we play our part so that guests can enjoy an unforgettable stay in your vacation home.
The check-out and check-in of guests needs to be well coordinated. After all, the cleaning team and property management need enough time to prepare the vacation home for the next customers. For this reason, many providers try to avoid departures and arrivals on the same day. This may be convenient for the property management; but for you, the landlord, it means losing days when the house could have been rented out – which in turn means losing income. If you are unlucky, this business practice is not even mentioned in the contract, but taken for granted.
Our policy is different: We will coordinate the check-out of the old and the check-in of the new guests on the same day in a smooth and efficient manner. In doing so, we cannot only count on the help of our professional, reliable employees – but also on the constant communication with guests. This way, we play our part to ensure that your property yields maximum profit and becomes a fruitful investment.
Property Management Account
In most cases, the property management will maintain an escrow account and ask you to make a first payment at the start of the contract – ensuring that the property management does not have to make advance payments. With the money on said account, the management will pay all invoices, insurance, taxes, etc. Usually, rental income is also kept in this account. However, before closing the contract, you should ask yourself: Who owns this account? Can you view and control all transactions at any time – or is your role limited to depositing? How transparently does the property management document the payments? Do you receive all invoices, or do you only see a monthly balance of expenses? How is your revenue paid out?
Transparency in financial matters is paramount to us. This is why we take a different approach: Together with you as the homeowner, we will open an account over which you have full control. You can also withdraw money without any problems. Nevertheless, you do not have to worry about each payment yourself: instead, you will grant us limited power of control to pay all due invoices from the amount in the account. There are no hidden costs for you. We will break down all regular and extracurricular expenses in detail, so they do not get mixed with the invoices for external services.
Exchange of information between management and homeowners
Our promise of transparency also applies to the exchange of information. As a homeowner, you will have access to the Owner Area on our app. There, you can quickly view all relevant messages – from anywhere in the world, thanks to Cloud technology. You will, for instance, find reports for all repairs, sorted by priority and with invoices or estimated costs. But our app is even more versatile: You can, for example, see your monthly bills or check the occupancy rate of your property. Do you need the vacation home for yourself? No problem. Simply reserve specific booking periods, which are then automatically updated in our system.
How do other competitors fare in this comparison, you might ask? In most cases, the exchange of information is limited to sending e-mails back and forth. This way, important information can be lost, and unnecessary errors might occur – not to mention the lack of overview for you as the customer.
Help with the furnishing of your property
If you buy a property as an investment and want to rent it out successfully, you should already consider certain things in the construction phase. This starts with the furnishings: electronic door locks, cameras, a pool with spa, and a boat dock – thanks to many years of experience, we know what holiday guests look for when choosing their accommodation.
We are more than happy to help you select your furniture. If you want, we will also be present when the furniture is being delivered. This way, wen can check the quality and, if necessary, make a complaint. We offer you wide-range support in the earliest stages of construction and leave nothing to chance when it comes to making your house attractive for guests.
Support from external service providers
As a full-service agency, we offer you a wide range of services. But of course, our business activities are limited due to technical and legal reasons. Thus, when it comes to tasks such as tax advice, insurance, legal advice and banking, we will recommend external partners that we have been working with for years. On request, we can also establish contact with German-speaking providers, so that the language barrier is no problem at all. Sometimes, it is financially beneficial to operate the property not privately, but as part of a company. In this case, we are happy to refer you to experts that can help you start a business in Florida.
When connecting you with external partners, we rely on our large network of experts – something that sets us apart from most real estate companies. This way, you can be sure to receive the best services from trustworthy providers – only if you are satisfied, our job is done.
Transparency of services
Many competitors offer both professional rental support and property management. However, differences in quality already become apparent when looking at the transparency and the description of the services. Only if these services are presented in detail, can you as a customer choose the right provider.
For this reason, we take great pains to list our services as detailed as possible.
Choosing the right property management is key to make sure your home is in good hands. Therefore, we advise you to take your time, gather enough information and compare multiple property managements. Only then can you make the right decision.
Do you have any questions that have not yet been answered on our website? No problem. You can not only reach us via E-Mail, but also talk to us in person.