26 Jun 2020
Whether you are a prospective owner looking for a property management company or a current owner working with us already, we are happy to answer any of your questions! Here are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you are unable to find the answer you’re looking for below, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help!
What will Beach Properties do for me?
We pride ourselves on managing every aspect of keeping your vacation rental booked and ready for guests and owners to enjoy. Our goal is to enable you to maximize revenue from your rental without having to do any of the work involved with managing it. That means we do everything from taking photos, writing descriptions, marketing your vacation rental property to working with potential guests and making bookings, and managing logistics like reservations, payments, check-in and check-out, housekeeping, property upkeep, and dispatching emergency maintenance. We also manage maintenance technicians for regular maintenance, improvements, and emergencies. We make sure homeowners can sleep well at night, knowing their property is being taken care of and generating the most revenue possible in the Hilton Head vacation rental market.
What is the cost for these services?
National commission rates for property manager services average roughly 35% and range as low as 20% and as high as 60% depending on the type of home and market. There are two static costs to doing business with Beach Properties of Hilton Head; the commission and the cleaning cost. The commission will depend on several factors such as size, # of bedrooms, location, etc. We provide full-service management without cutting any corners, and we may offer new owners, during limited time promotions, lower commissions for their first year. Try it for a year, let us prove our quality and service excellence to you, and we're sure you'll continue, but if you decide not to, there are no strings attached.
How do we get started?
Getting started is easy and risk-free. We can activate homes that are existing vacation rentals, usually within a couple of business days. Our contract has no start-up fees. Activation includes taking new photos, putting together detailed listings, setting a rate structure, creating advertising marketing on the internet channels, and beginning to accept reservations—all in as little as a few days! This can take longer given a home owner's schedule, or if a home is in the process of being converted from a residence to long-term rental.
Can you help me convert my home to a vacation rental?
Yes, we will help in any way we can. A Beach Properties representative will help you finalize a variety of projects, including setting up your phone, cable, and internet. We are also willing to work with contractors and furniture companies on the interior design and styling to ensure a great looking property.
What kind of contract would be needed?
Our contract is an open-book, and we believe it should not have any onerous clauses. It is straight-forward and always posted online to view. It includes a 60 day out clause for any reason—if you are not happy with the service, you can leave with 2 months' notice. Please contact us, and we will be glad to send you our agreement for your review.
Do I have to allow for a certain amount of available weeks?
No. However, we do require that all homes that wish to use Beach Properties are year-round rentals. An owner, friend, or family member can use the space for weeks or even months at a time. Though, if you plan only to make it available occasionally, then your home is probably not right for our program. We also reserve the right to cancel a homeowner agreement if the property is predominantly unavailable for bookings.
Do the homes you represent have to be a specific size or quality?
To some degree, yes. Beach Properties of Hilton Head focuses on upper-end rentals in desirable locations. This could be a high-end one-bedroom villa, up to a large home that is a vacation destination at the beach. We will look at every property and let you know if we feel it will make a good rental. Contact us to see if your home qualifies.
What am I required to have in my home?
Guests expect a fully-functioning home when they arrive complete with furniture, appliances, cookware, glasses, silverware, internet, TV, etc. as well as a standard supply of bed linens, bath and hand towels, and typical consumables like light-bulbs and batteries. We will work with you to make sure that you have everything in place. We even have inventory forms to ensure you have the right quantity of each item. We do require internet and phone connections in every home. Nicely decorated homes tend to achieve more bookings, and we always encourage owners to have a home that shows well. A good test of whether or not you need to have something in your rental is to put yourself in a guest's shoes. If you were to stay somewhere for a week or so, what would you expect to have in that rental home? That is what we aim to provide to guests for their stay.
How do you set the pricing for my rental?
We look at nearby comparable rentals to gage pricing in the market. We also look at availability calendars to see how well others are booking at the pricing they have posted. We also rely on our internal data from other comparable rentals that we manage. Pricing is specific to the size of the property, the exact location, and the quality of the finishes. No pricing is ever set the first time perfectly—the key is to monitor and adjust pricing based on actual market demand. This is where Beach Properties excels—we monitor conversion rates of your rental at initial pricing and adjust up or down according to how well the property is booking. It is an ongoing process that is always a top priority. The more money our owners make, the more we make—so we try and do everything we can to maximize the revenue.
How do you communicate with the guests?
We have several ways for guests to communicate with Beach Properties. Our most prominent form of communication is our website and email. Second, we have employees ready to answer the phone around the clock. We have an after-hours emergency number to assist at any time in case of an emergency. We are always looking for ways to gather feedback from our guests. Beach Properties contacts each guest while they are in the house to ensure they're vacation experience is above expectations. We also provide both written and electronic comment cards for guests to complete. We share feedback with our owners to ensure each property can maximize its rental potential and address our guests' needs.
Can guests book my property online?
Yes, they can, although virtually all potential guests begin with an email or phone call. We do have the ability to allow guests to view a property online and secure their reservations with a credit card.
When and how do I get paid as an owner?
Owners can expect to receive their rental income monthly. We release all statements and funds by the 8th day of the following month. Expect to receive an owner statement and an automatic direct deposit to your bank account. You can also view an electronic version of your statement once we post it in the website's owner area. This statement and deposit will cover all guests that check-out during that month. If you have a guest crossing over one month to the next, the payment for that reservation will fall in the month that they check-out. Your statement will also include a breakdown of expenses and maintenance costs, including any invoices from your preferred outside vendors.
What if I already had previous bookings made at my home?
Not a problem! Beach Properties will charge a reduced rate of 10% if you want us to manage those guests (i.e., new collections, customer service, check-ins, check-outs, scheduling cleaning, etc.). We will work directly with you to gather all the details we need. Beach Properties will fully manage these bookings for you, just like any booking we made. We may need to collect the cleaning fee from the owner as well as taxes to remit, assuming those amounts have already been paid. If not, we can collect any outstanding amounts. If you wish to manage the guest or your former property manager will do it on your behalf, we will block those bookings off in our calendar, and no charges will apply. Also, should you transfer from another company, we can manage any confirmed bookings at the time of transfer to Beach Properties at no additional charge.
What kind of updating/reports will I get on my unit?
Initially, you will get a monthly statement from us that details how much rental revenue you earned, including any charges incurred during the month (i.e., if you want it cleaned for your own stay, or if you had us install a new TV, etc.). Anytime you have an inquiry, you can contact your personally assigned property manager to address any and all questions. We also provide annual feedback in the form of a property evaluation completed each fall; this includes feedback from the guests, reviews your maintenance history, and suggested updates to help maximize the property's rental potential.
Do I have to handle paying any lodging taxes?
No, we handle that for you. We collect the taxes, put them into our owner escrow account, and remit on your behalf. Each reservation has taxes added to the amount of the rental. So, when you see a rental dollar amount, you can rest assured that we have collected and will remit tax on top of that. You do not need to send us extra money to pay taxes, nor do you need to file with your lodging authority.
What about cleaning fees?
Each owner pays for the costs of the departure clean, and we pay the cleaners. There is nothing you need to do to schedule or pay for them. If you wish to have your home cleaned while you, a family member, or a friend are staying at the property, just let us know, and we will clean and bill you for it as part of your monthly statement.
Do I need to provide a cleaner?
If you have a cleaner that you prefer, we may utilize them for your rental. In general, we have cleaners contracted with whom we set up in our work order and maintenance system who have proven to be fast, flexible, and reliable. So if you do not have a regular cleaner, we will have one ready for your usage. We provide our own set of cleaning standards to which each cleaner abides when working with Beach Properties.
Do I need to do my own laundry?
No, our cleaning fees cover laundry service for linens, towels, and other amenities with every clean. All of our cleaners have their own professional laundry facilities or have the linens and terry laundered professionally off-site to avoid any usage of your washer or dryer.
Do I need to provide the amenities?
No. You don't need to worry about these items. Beach Properties ensures your home remains fully stocked. We require that our vacation rental homes come with an initial set of amenities provided by the cleaners, so when guests arrive, they don't need to head straight to a market. That set includes several rolls of toilet paper per bathroom, a roll of paper towels, small sizes of soap, shampoo & conditioner, dish soap, dishwasher detergent tabs, and trash bags in the kitchen. Our cleaners purchase hotel amenities in bulk and restock these for every stay. Beach Properties bills these items included in the cost of the departure clean rather than having an owner manage and maintain.
What if I want to do some decorating/remodeling?
We love it when owners stay involved with decorating and improving their homes. Just make sure to check that the home is not booked, and you can easily access it whenever you want! Our property managers can assist with contacting licensed contractors and designers to help complete the project, just as you imagine.
What if there is an emergency? Who do the guests call?
The guest will always call Beach Properties. The guest will never know the owner's name for privacy reasons (unless you prefer otherwise). We take the call and dispatch the appropriate maintenance technician or vendor. We pay the vendor and add the bill to your homeowner statement, taking out of the revenue owed to you during the month—that way, you don't have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for anything unless it happens to be a significant repair. We charge a small fee for these types of emergency jobs, generally around $25, but sometimes more if we have to have someone on-site for extended periods.
What about regular maintenance?
Beach Properties provides guest servicing and management and property management to owners, but we are not a maintenance company. We handle a 24/7 call center, reservation management, guest support, regular housekeeping scheduling and inspections, dispatch of qualified maintenance personnel, monitor internet up-time, indoor temperature when equipped, pool temps when provided, maintain electronic locks, etc. Our Property Managers are all SC Licensed as well. During inspections, we will restock light bulbs and even perform simple maintenance like changing remote control batteries or light bulbs for lamp fixtures or ceilings 8' or lower in height if spares are available on site. Our inspection process is comprehensive, and we attempt to address as much as possible to minimize costs to owners.
Get a Free Property Income Analysis
Building trust is an essential step in choosing the right property management company. Contact us, and we will break down the estimated gross income of your property. We do this by sharing a projected vacation rental income document for one of our properties that is similar to yours, in which we are able to break the estimated gross income by season. Reach out to us today for a free property income analysis!