Updated for 2016
The purpose of this post is not to knock local Orlando vacation rental management companies as their are a few good apples out there however, it’s been my experience that vacation rental property management companies should stick to what they do best and that’s managing vacation properties. Here are some of the real life issues I’ve ran into with homes that are listed by Orlando vacation home management companies that also have a real estate side. These are not made up, I have actually dealt with every single one of these unfortunately.
1. Scheduling Conflicts: I’ve never had more issues trying to get into houses than I have with ones that are listed with Orlando management companies. It’s inevitable for everyone that if your home is being actively booked there will be times it can not be shown however, the vacation rental management companies I have had the pleasure of doing business with seemed much more concerned about the bookings than actually showing the home to prospective buyers. It seemed as though they only wanted to sell the home to their clients who were staying in it (they will make more money that way) than to expose the home to as many buyers as possible in order to get it sold quickly and for the best price. This is certainly not in the sellers best interest.
2. Not a Specialized Process: Yes many management companies have a real estate division however it is NOT their specialty. When it comes to selling an Orlando vacation rental, marketing is one of the most important skills a real estate company/associate can possess. Aside from slapping an MLS print out of the property in their window and throwing the home up on their website (that doesn’t get any traffic anyway) I haven’t seen any vacation homes listed by Orlando vacation rental management companies that are being marketed effectively, uniquely or heavily. A dentist and an orthodontist both work on teeth, however I’m not going to go to a dentist for braces I’m going to go to an Orthodontist.
3. Orlando Vacation Rental Management Companies Are Under-staffed: Wow, this has been a huge problem I have been running into when trying to sell vacation rental homes listed with Orlando vacation rental management companies. Their staff operating hours are from 9am until 5pm Mon-Fri and if you call on the off hours you get a voice mail that won’t be checked until the next business day. When do you think most of your property showings and contracts will be coming in? It’s usually on the weekends or after 5pm and if your agent/broker is unavailable during those times you wont be hearing about any offers until it’s most likely expired. Take in consideration time differences as well if you are living in another country, by the time everyone gets on the same page the buyers have moved onto a different property.
4. Poor Marketing: This reiterates what I recently stated in number 2, due to the fact that 99% of Orlando vacation rental management companies main source of income comes from the management end, they don’t dump too much time and money into their real estate marketing or train their agents how to market and sell Orlando vacation property (if any at all). The property sales are a bonus income for them and from what I have seen the listings get slapped into MLS and that’s about as much marketing as you’re going to get. Why would you want to pay a full service real estate commission for a half service job and wait even longer for your vacation home to sell? It sounds convenient at the time to just list with the company who is managing your Disney area vacation rental however, this can be one of the most costly mistakes you can make when selling your home.
5. Ulterior Motives: Management companies are not trained to sell homes they are trained to book vacation stays. It’s the difference between hospitality management and business marketing. They are two completely different animals and therefore you run the risk of ending up with a Realtor who’s sole purpose in selling your home is to secure vacation home management with their company (Yes, this happens!). If you have two buyers both placing offers on your home, Buyer A wants to use their management company after closing and Buyer B does not but buyer B is willing to pay more or offer better terms which offer do you think you’re going to hear about first? Though it is illegal to withhold offers from the seller, I have seen Realtors wait until after the one that was in their company’s favor was accepted and then present the higher offer afterward when it’s too late to accept it. I’m not saying they all do this but I have seen it happen and you always run the risk of this whenever there are ulterior motives with the manager or agent (kickbacks, quotas etc).
: This has to be one of the most common reasons why it’s so complicated to sell properties listed with Orlando management companies. Many of them do not utilize the lock box system and insist on meeting you out at the property to show the home (even when it’s vacant). This means you have to work within their restricted schedule and most of the time the buyers are only here for a very short time. I recently ran into a situation where there were two townhouses listed in a resort community that my buyers really wanted to see. They were only in town for 48 hours and for the sole purpose of finding a vacation rental property. The management company who had these townhouses listed was not able to reschedule their day or free up some time to meet us at the properties within that 48 hour time period. My clients did not see those town homes and purchased something else instead. Do you think the management company went back and reported that to the seller during their weekly feedback session? Probably not.
As you can see these are just some of the most common sense reasons why it does not make sense to list your property with an Orlando vacation rental management company in the Kissimmee, Davenport or Clermont areas. It’s vital to the sales process to stick with a specialized firm who has a website with excellent Google placement, specialized marketing techniques, a steady flow of vacation home buyers and is specifically trained in the sales and marketing process for Disney area vacation homes.
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