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The Dangers of Self Managed Vacation Property Rental

  • 2016-12-20

With tools such as Airbnb continuing to rise, self managed vacation property rental has become a seemingly easy way to bring in extra cash while renting out a spare bedroom. Almost everyone knows of a friend or a friend’s friend who has had plenty of rewarding stories to tell about interesting strangers staying for a while. It’s a great idea for those who enjoy meeting new people… in theory, anyway. While it is true that you can make a decent living from vacation rentals, you should never have to put your safety at risk.

What do you need to know about trying to manage your own vacation property rental, and what are some of the dangers that you will need to take into account? Let’s take a look.

Why Managed Vacation Property Rental is Always the Safest Route

When we talk about self managed vs managed vacation property rental, what we mean is whether you are choosing to manage your property completely on your own or hiring a professional manager to assist. Management entails a number of things. On a day to day basis, it means ensuring that guests are happy, and that the property is clean and fully maintained. Managed rentals also have the benefit of reservations management, which means that bookings are handled from the initial enquiry all the way to confirmation and check-in. Then there are things such as concierge service, security and guest services that are also included under the management of the property.

The Dangers of Self Managed Vacation Property Rental

An experienced company who deals with all aspects of rental management on a regular basis has the advantage of a team, while a property owner trying to do it all alone is just one person. That means that you have to take on many roles when renting out your property to vacationers. You need to be able to screen potential guests, handle enquiries and bookings, see to it that guests are kept happy throughout their stay, handle tasks such as drips, leaks, housekeeping and noise complaints from neighbours. The dangers of trying to do everything yourself include the following:

  • Not screening guests sufficiently. Just because a guest appears to have an Airbnb profile that looks ‘cool’, it does not mean that they are automatically who they say they are. The risk of not having any screening policy in place ranges from falling victim to scams, having guests default on payments, having complaints from neighbours, having guests who steal or damage your property and even putting yourself at risk by dealing with a stranger who is not who they claim to be.
  • Not having a cohesive booking policy. You may have a vague policy in place on when bookings are confirmed. Perhaps it is when the deposit arrives in your bank account; maybe it is a few days afterwards to ensure that the payment clears. You might ask for half of the payment upfront, or all of it. Even if you have a clear policy in place, enforcing it is not always as easy for one lone person to do as it is for a company to do. This can make it harder to deal with defaulted payments or other related booking challenges.
  • Not having security and concierge services. Unless you can afford your own concierge and security detail, chances are good that you do not have either of these in place. Keeping your guests safe during their stay is essential. If you have an alarm company and your property is in a secure complex, security will be better. But if your property is a free standing villa and your only protection is a panic button, it may not provide as much peace of mind for guests.


A dedicated vacation rental manager will not only give your guests peace of mind – they will give you peace of mind as well. In addition to providing a host of services such as day to day management, calendar management and concierge, a good property manager will also offer value added solutions such as active marketing across multiple channels to help maximise your booking potential.

If you’re ready to find out more about working with a managed vacation property rental expert, contact Totalstay today to arrange an evaluation of your property.