When visiting Southwest Florida, many people begin daydreaming about having a vacation home there. Choosing a reliable Southwest Florida property management company is the key to making that dream come true. So, how do property management services work?
In essence, you, the property owner, give the keys over to the company and let them handle it all—from daily operations and administrative duties to marketing, housekeeping, and booking. If you decide to pursue your dream, we will be pleased to assist you, especially if you’re considering real estate in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, or Naples. Our team of Royal Shell experts can handle all your rental property needs.
Ensuring your home is tidy and ready for guests every day is challenging. On top of that, you also have to consider keeping track of arrivals and departers, handling unexpected situations and marketing it to potential guests. It takes a lot of time and effort, so it’s worth getting professional assistance.
A good Southwest Florida property management company can make all the difference. Some pros when hiring a professional property manager are 24\7 guest services and online booking, professional marketing and photography, damage protection, housekeeping, and peace of mind. Read below for more reasons why you should hire full-service property management and how to simplify your life while earning extra cash.
How to Choose a Property Management Company
Let’s say you are thinking about investing in a property in Fort Myers Beach or Cape Coral, but your permanent residence is in New York. It can quickly become overwhelming if you’re not fully prepared or present. In order to avoid the challenges that come with property management services, you should select a company with a good reputation, extensive experience, and outstanding customer service. Find out what to look for by reading these tips.
Customer Service and Experience Are Essential
As Michael Polly, president and managing broker for Royal Shell, stated, “For Royal Shell, ‘legendary customer service’ is not just a buzz phrase, it’s a calling, a way of life, and a belief.” Customer service is an essential piece of the puzzle, so when looking for a property management company, one crucial question is whether they’ve been in business for a long time. What is the number of properties they manage? What are their online reviews? Is their service satisfactory to their clients?
Check Their Reputation and Reviews
How does the public perceive this company? While it’s common for people to post negative reviews for minor reasons, an abundance of positive reviews can be a great indicator of a good property management company. You can obtain information about this online through sites like Angie’s List, Google, Zillow, and Glass Door for more detailed insights. Another great way to learn about a company is through word of mouth. Property management companies are widely used in Southwest Florida, so you can gain valuable insight by networking with other property owners and their friends or family.
Be Sure to Ask Many Questions
There is no doubt that a good property management company is flexible, responsive, and experienced in handling various property-related issues. During your conversation with them, don’t forget to ask questions such as: what marketing strategies do they use to reduce vacancies, how do they handle after-hours emergencies, and what steps are taken in the event of unexpected or significant damage to the property?
If you are looking for a company to manage your investment property, choose one with a lot of experience and local knowledge. In addition, they must know important laws on a federal, state, and municipal level. Also, working with someone who has strong ties to reputable vendors is preferable. A well-known, established property management company typically has a vast network of contacts that can resolve any issue that may arise.
Make Sure You Know What Services You Need
What’s important to you when it comes to renting out your home? A good marketing strategy, or perhaps 24/7 booking? Are you available to be at every check-in process, or would you prefer that the company be responsible for that? Considering your availability and time, you should find out precisely what the property management company can do for you on your behalf.
What Is the Average Property Management Fee in Florida
It’s easy to forget about these things while you’re on vacation, but when you consider purchasing a vacation home, be aware of property management fees. Typically, you will incur similar fees across the board, including initial, monthly, and additional fees. In addition, vacation rentals have a different fee structure than traditional long-term rentals. You can learn more about each by reading below.
If you find a company you trust and wish to work with, you will most likely need to pay an initial fee. Many companies call this a “tenant placement fee,” 50-100% of the first month’s rent. As a general rule, that’s pretty standard. Additionally, some companies charge start-up fees, which cover the cost of setting up your account with them or doing a property walk-through. Typically, these fees are around $500 or less.
Once the property management company has found and placed a tenant, they will charge a monthly fee. That would cover the day-to-day management of your property. Generally, the monthly fees are either a percentage of rent or a flat fee. The percentage is more common, usually between 8-12% of the rent for single-family homes and 4-7% for multifamily homes with over ten units. The other type, flat fees, is a set amount you pay monthly, often around $100, and is usually charged for properties that collect smaller rents. Finally, don’t be deterred if a company charges a higher fee, as that could include more services. Continuously research, ask what the fee consists of, and have a clear understanding before signing any contracts.
The final category is broad and can vary vastly across the board. In this case, you must ask many questions and thoroughly read the contract. The miscellaneous fees include many services, including renewals, evictions, maintenance calls and follow-ups, background checks, professional photography, and more. These fees often cost a few hundred dollars or less but can add up quickly.
Vacation Home Fees
If you’re considering a vacation home, this is where it gets interesting. Typically, these homes have a different fee structure than traditional long-term ones. Most vacation property management companies use a commission fee model and charge between 10% and 50% of the total booking. As a result, property management fees are usually lower in urban areas than in beach areas such as Southwest Florida. Although some fees may seem high, they cover many things, such as marketing, guest services, housekeeping, and upkeep. Another vacation fee model includes fixed-rate, which benefits owners in peak seasons but not so much in low seasons. Again, this is not very common, so you should always ask what other fees the company charges if you come across them. Lastly, there’s the guaranteed income model. In this case, the property management company pays the owner an agreed monthly sum. Any sum collected over or under that sum is profit or loss to the property management company.
What Are the 4 Types of Property Management?
The property management company takes care of the landlords’ side of the business with tasks including finding tenants, collecting rent, and arranging repairs. With this in mind, not all properties are the same and have the exact same needs. There are four types of property management – residential, commercial, industrial, and special-purpose, each having its own requirements and regulations.
Residential property managers take care of single-family homes, vacation rentals, multi-family homes, condos, apartments, townhomes, manufactured homes, and REO properties. A good property management company will analyze the area and know the trends to generate the best rate for its clients. Additionally, it will take care of all the property marketing and select the best tenant possible. Similarly, with vacation properties, they will be able to attract visitors and keep the rental unit occupied as much as possible to ensure the owner collects the highest potential revenue. In addition, a full-service property management company will conduct all communication with tenants or guests, ensuring all repairs are complete and everything is up to standards.
Commercial properties include hotels, restaurants, malls, gas stations, office buildings, co-working spaces, and much more. Although commercial and residential properties have some similar needs, such as collecting rent and conducting repairs, there are also many differences between them. For example, commercial properties tend to have longer leases (typically 5, 10, or 15 years); hence, a professional property manager needs to find a tenant who can fulfill the lease term and enhance and upkeep the property for a long time. As a result, a commercial property management company tends to spend more time selecting a tenant first and after focusing on upkeep and maintenance. Finally, commercial properties have different financial and legal needs, so the property management company must have the appropriate certifications and professionals trained in that area.
Industrial properties include warehouses, distribution facilities, light manufacturing facilities (like food packaging), and heavy manufacturing facilities like car plants. While some real estate aspects of the business are similar to residential and commercial, such as finding tenants, marketing, and collecting rent, there are other aspects that the property manager needs to be able to do. For example, it is crucial to understand the property and its potential uses. It also includes the types of machinery and equipment that can be installed and used. Additionally, ensuring that tenants follow government regulations and laws regarding space usage is essential. Moreover, a professional property manager must know how to enhance the property to increase profits, including improving the parking and landscaping.
Special-purpose properties are properties that do not fit into the mentioned categories. Often, these are short-term, limited, or meant for one type of use. Also, these properties might have unique designs, building materials, or other features that limit their potential usage. That includes sports arenas, theaters, music venues, places of worship, resorts, senior care facilities, and more. That’s why property management services that specialize in these properties must have highly trained officers and managers who are educated and certified in the field.
Do You Need a License to Be a Property Manager?
In the Sunshine State, you must obtain a real estate broker’s license, as there is no separate property management license. Florida’s laws consider most of the significant responsibilities of a professional property manager to be real estate services or activities. For example, you need a license to lease or rent another person’s property or advertise it on their behalf. In addition, you need a real estate broker’s license if you’re receiving payment for your services. To obtain a Florida real estate license, you must complete a 63-hour pre-license course. Afterward, you must fill out an application, submit fingerprints, and take an exam after approval. Once you pass the exam, you must activate it by attending another 45-hour minimum course. If you hire the right property management company, you won’t have to worry about any of that; the company will handle everything for you.
Let’s Show You What Royal Shell Is All About
So what are you waiting for? With the proper guidance, you can invest in your dream vacation home that you can use whenever you wish and get extra income from renting it out. That sounds great, doesn’t it?
There’s no need to look further if you’re looking for the best Southwest Florida property management company. Roya Shell has over 25 years of experience making clients happy nationwide. So instead of worrying about who will provide your investment property’s daily cleaning and maintenance, you can just sit back and relax while we take care of the marketing, booking, and check-in for you.
Royal Shell’s got a whole team of professionals to assist any guest needs, and even after business hours, you can reach us on our 24-hour hotline for remote or on-site assistance.