So you’ve decided you want to hire an Airbnb property management company to host your listings on your behalf. You’re not the only one who has been there and done that. But how do you ensure you hire the right management company to minimize your workload while enhancing guest experiences?

Hiring an Airbnb management company can be a big decision. Here are a few things to consider before signing a contract with your new property manager.

How many properties do they manage?

You probably want to steer clear of a so-called “Airbnb management company” that only has one listing. Seek out companies that have prior experience managing 10+ properties. Knowing that your management company is experienced in hosting multiple properties can make you feel better in knowing they have all the right skills under their belt.

Do they have personal experience hosting Airbnbs?

Unless you’ve hosted an Airbnb before, you likely won’t understand the level of detail, precision, and responsiveness that goes into running a successful and well-received Airbnb. As the short term rental industry (and it’s profitability potential) continues to grow, there will be many outsiders that try to enter the industry and capitalize off of its viability. Look for property management companies where the founders started off as Airbnb hosts themselves.

How long have they been in the industry for?

The Airbnb industry is still young, so you aren’t going to come across a decades old company that has been passing down the family Airbnb management business for generations. But you still should pay attention to how long the company has been managing short term rentals for. A property management company that has been in the industry for longer has likely handled every and all scenario that can possibly been thrown at you when you are running an Airbnb.

What suite of tools are they using?

The best property managers are using modern technology to enable better operations and automation for their owners. Look for property managers that power their work with tools and technology like property management system, market data analyzers, dynamic pricing tools and smart home devices.

Are their listings attractive?

The appeal of an Airbnb listing is at the core of its success. Ask your potential property management company to share examples of Airbnb listings they manage. While the number and rating of reviews can tell you their effectiveness at creating a listing, review their pictures and copy to see if their creative work matches how you would want your listing to be represented in front of potential guests.

Are they getting mostly positive reviews?

While you have access to the listing, look at the reviews. Are the majority positive? If there are negative reviews, what was the reasoning? Did it sound out of the hosts control or like something they could have prevented? Did they appropriately respond to any unhappy guests? Guest experience is king, so you want a company that cares about how guest’s feel about their stay at your property.

What level of insight will you have with the management team?

Pay attention to how the property management company communicates with you while you are evaluating them. This will give you a preview of what it will be like to work with the company in the future. Are they respectful and responsive? Or will they leave you in the dark once you sign your contract?

How much are they charging?

Look for a fine balance when it comes to splitting profits between you and your property manager. While a 10% commission rate might sound ideal, you probably end up getting what you pay for. The right property management company is putting in the work that deserves them a commission rate anywhere from 25-35%.

Choosing a property manager that operates on a commission model is ideal. When your property management’s payment is based on how much revenue they make for you, it incentivizes them to work hard at increasing your income. That makes a win-win for both sides.

Can they provide references?

A great way to evaluate your potential Airbnb property management company would be to connect with fellow homeowners and property investors that have used the company’s services. Any reputable management company should be more than willing to connect you to client references.

Choosing a property manager can seem like a big decision. While Airbnb management companies aren't always one-size-fits-all, you can find your right fit by evaluating your need, wants, and goals, and whether or not your potential manager can align with them.

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