Monthly's 2013 official PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Guide

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The right company can turn your dream home into your nest egg

propertymanagementHilton Head Island hosts more than 2.4 million visitors annually and over 40 percent of those guests stay in Home and villa rental properties

There are tremendous rewards for owning rental property on Hilton Head Island. It starts with being able to enjoy your own piece of paradise; a place to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with family and friends. As an island property owner you can take advantage of beach parks built just for you and enjoy discounts on golf, retail and restaurants. Your property can be a place to create long lasting memories for years to come, and may become your future retirement home.

The financial reward for rental property owners begins with asset appreciation. For prospective rental property buyers, real estate transactions have been steadily increasing the past few years, but median pricing has remained relatively flat. Couple the current pricing with low interest rates for financing and an incredible amount of renovation and redevelopment momentum on the island and you have a high probability to build equity in your property in a relatively short period of time. The income generated from rental activity will help offset taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses. Consult your lawyer and tax accountant to understand tax benefits of owning rental property and how to best structure the property’s ownership.

If you are considering purchasing or already own a rental property, you have two options; renting it shortterm as a vacation rental or long-term with a residential tenant. There are certain advantages and benefits to both.

HIRING AN EFFECTIVE VACATION MANAGER CAN GREATLY EASE THE BURDEN OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Long-term rental works very well for the owner or investor that does not care to use the property regularly, the benefits of a fixed; regular rent check is very appealing and your property may not receive as much normal wear and tear as would a short-term property. Long-term rental managers can make ownership extremely easy and their fees are usually well worth avoiding the time, energy and problem-solving skills necessary to manage your long-term rental.

If you need more flexibility in the use of your property, then the short-term vacation rental option is for you. Hilton Head Island hosts more than 2.4 million visitors annually and over 40 percent of those guests stay in home and villa rental properties. Renting your property short-term also has the potential upside of higher annual revenue vs. a long-term rental.

In today’s technology and Internet-driven world, more and more owners of vacation rental properties are attempting to book and manage their properties on their own. But what often happens is these owners can soon get overwhelmed with responding to reservation requests, maintenance and housekeeping issues and even late night phone calls if for example, a rental guest has locked themselves out of their property. What started as a “hobby” can quickly turn into an overwhelming full-time job. The good news is there are a dozens of very well run vacation rental management companies on Hilton Head Island.

Hiring an effective vacation manager can greatly ease the burden of property management and fees for their services can often pay for themselves through increased revenues, peace of mind, and may even have tax benefi ts for you annually. So how do you choose the right company and what are the top functions you can expect from your vacation rental manager?

Good vacation rental management companies are first and foremost all about marketing. Look for a company that not only has a good website to book your property but also has a mobile website, a mobile app and a social and local Internet marketing strategy. Your property should be marketed globally utilizing the hundreds of vacation rental distribution channels readily available. Your vacation rental management company should provide 24/7/365 phone vacation specialist availability to take advantage of every opportunity to book your home.

Next, your vacation rental manager should take care of your property like it’s their own. Look for a company that has their own housekeeping and maintenance crews on staff. When these functions are outsourced to contractors, the owner usually ends up paying more and the quality of services is much harder to control than when these functions are staffed by the company themselves. Your manager should inspect your unit weekly if it’s not booked and be able to tell you what improvements you should do in an annual assessment of needed upgrades and improvements to maximize revenue and your enjoyment of your Hilton Head Island rental property.