Nestled in California's Sonoran Desert, Palm Springs is one of the nation's most sought-after travel destinations. The area is renowned for its upscale accommodations, luxury boutiques, and critically acclaimed restaurants along Palm Canyon Drive, and plenty of other attractions like hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling.
Palm Springs is just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, making this city a vacation hotspot among Southern Californians and out-of-state tourists alike, particularly those seeking a more upscale, luxurious vacation rental. As a result, a Palm Springs vacation home or Airbnb can be quite a profitable investment. Our 2016 short-term rental income report showed an estimated rental income of $44,600, with more than 200,000 renters traveling to the area each year.
A large percentage of Palm Springs homes fall into the “luxury” category, so you can expect your guests to be a bit more demanding than your “average Joe.” We’ve discovered that, when it comes to vacation rental properties in luxury travel destinations, guests tend to have higher standards. So in a world where a few negative online reviews can spell disaster, it's vital that you have someone who can serve as “boots on the ground,” ensuring that your vacation home doesn't disappoint.
Of course, not all property managers are created equal. So let's examine what points you should consider as you hire a Palm Springs property manager for your vacation home.
Read the Reviews and Consult With References
In Palm Springs, the travel accommodations industry is quite competitive and online reviews can have a significant impact on the number of bookings that you see for your vacation home. You want to ensure that the property manager you choose is capable of and committed to ensuring that your guests have a wonderful, positive experience. This is especially important in a highly competitive travel market such as Palm Springs, where you tend to see a more upscale demographic with higher expectations.
Therefore, ask prospective property managers for references to a few of the other Palm Springs vacation rentals that he or she manages. Look to see if these properties are receiving lots of positive reviews and feedback.
Also, take the time to call the property owners who are provided as references and ask them about their experiences with the property manager. Again, in a hyper-competitive vacation market such as Palm Springs, quality and attention to detail really matter, so you want to be absolutely certain you're turning to someone who can deliver.
Picturesque golf courses are one of many attractions that bring renters to Palm Springs year-round. Image: Pixabay user tpsdave
Choose a Property Manager Who Will Go the Extra Mile
If your Palm Springs vacation home caters to guests who are expecting luxury or upscale accommodations, then it's important that you deliver this type of experience. As the owner of a vacation rental, you do face some challenges because Palm Springs is world-renowned for its luxury hotels and resorts.
The competition is even stiffer if your per-person per-night rate is higher than what one might spend if they opted to stay at a Palm Springs hotel. This is often the case for smaller homes that may only sleep four or six people.
A vacation home is automatically at a disadvantage when compared to a hotel since you don't have many of the offerings, such as concierge services, room service, maid service, and in-room massages. But a good property manager can effectively compensate for these shortcomings, helping you provide similar offerings that will make you more competitive. This includes:
Offering personal concierge services. The property manager may offer these services personally, or he or she may contract with a personal concierge who is available to make dinner reservations and arrange excursions.
Offering maid and cleaning services. Most property management firms partner with local service providers so they can negotiate discounted rates for their clients. This includes maid and cleaning services.
Offering access to a personal chef and food delivery services. Your property manager can find a local chef who is available to cook for your guests as needed. Alternatively, the property management firm can contract with a Palm Springs food delivery service, which will get take-out from any one of the local restaurants, providing something akin to room service.
Offering access to massage and spa services. Palm Springs is very well known for its spas. So your property management firm may secure a contract with one or more local spas to offer services to your guests at a slightly discounted rate. Alternatively, you may find a local masseuse, aesthetician, and nail technician, so you can offer massage and spa services at home.
You need to hire a property manager who's willing to go the extra mile to secure these services on your behalf so you can be more competitive with the local hotels. The ideal property manager will do a little extra, such as arranging to have a gift basket delivered mid-way through your guests' stay. These extra touches go a long way toward making your guests feel pampered -- something that's extremely important in an upscale destination like Palm Springs.
Give Preference to a Property Manager Who Is Local
Palm Springs is a bit like an oasis in the Sonoran Desert. There is a very concentrated population in the city of Palm Springs, but the area surrounding the city is comparatively sparse. It's not entirely uncommon to receive offers from property managers who are not located immediately in Palm Springs but rather based in another area, like San Bernadino or in the area of Indio or Coachella.
When dealing with a wealthier demographic, the expectations are generally higher, so if a guest has a problem with a clogged toilet or your guests are accidentally locked out, you want to ensure that your property manager can respond in a very timely manner -- ideally within 15 to 20 minutes. Maintaining a fast response time can be challenging or impossible if the property manager is based 20 or 50 miles away. Therefore, when choosing a property manager for your Palm Springs home, it's generally best to give preference to property managers who live and manage other properties in the immediate area of Palm Springs.
Trusting your vacation home to a local native also offers a benefit in terms of the ability to offer advice and recommendations for activities, restaurants, and directions to nearby happenings. The Coachella Valley-Palm Springs area is well known for its music festivals, its shopping and restaurants, along with its outdoors activities like horseback riding and hiking. If your property manager has the ability to offer recommendations and guidance to guests, then this can make a very real difference in their satisfaction level.
A local property manager can provide advice to guests about restaurants, shopping, and other activities in Palm Springs, improving their experience. Image: Flickr CC user prayitno
Find a Property Manager Who Knows Online Marketing
Online marketing is an essential component in the recipe for success if you own a vacation rental. This is especially true for a city like Palm Springs, where you're selling more than just a place to stay; you're faced with the challenging task of selling a travel experience. That takes a fair amount of marketing experience and a strong understanding of what strategies work well and what approaches are less effective.
A majority of marketing is now done online and if your property manager doesn't have the right experience, the web can turn into a money pit where you're pouring in lots of money while seeing little by way of returns. The cost can be even more significant when you're promoting a Palm Springs vacation home or any other property in a highly competitive travel market.
Your property management team will need to leverage a number of different online marketing platforms, including social media marketing, marketing using websites and landing pages, and pay-per-click advertisements, to name a few.
When used in combination with a unique brand identity for your property, photos and videos will prove to be a vital element of your online marketing campaign, especially in an upscale or luxury travel market. It's these photos that will capture the attention of prospective guests while helping to convey that experiential element of the equation. So be sure you work with a property manager who understands the role of home staging, and professional photography and videography, and knows how to use these tools in an effective digital marketing campaign.
Pool maintenance and upkeep is a main duty of Palm Springs property managers, as luxury renters expect a high-end pool experience. Image: Unprofound user jim
Working with a Palm Springs Property Manager: What You’ll Pay and What You’ll Earn
According to our rental income report, vacation and Airbnb homeowners in Palm Springs can expect to pay 22 to 44% of their rental income in property management fees. With 64% of vacation rentals in the area being single-family homes, common property management services include landscaping, pool upkeep, in addition to the usual cleaning and maintenance tasks, and the luxury services discussed previously.
Still, in an area like Palm Springs, where year-round upkeep is essential to maintaining a luxury feel to your home, it pays to hire a property manager. The estimated revenue for Palm Springs vacation homes managed by Rented.com’s property managers is impressive. Many of our property managers offer a guaranteed income model, so the homeowner is guaranteed a set income regardless of bookings. Here's a look at some of the offers that Palm Springs property owners have received on Rented.com:
Ready to Find a Great Property Manager in Palm Springs?
If you're ready to find the perfect property manager for your Palm Springs vacation home, turn to Rented.com, where we match vacation homeowners with local property managers every day. To get started, just create a free profile. Then, property managers in the Palm Springs area can make offers for your business, and you can choose the one that’s right for you.
Lead image: Pixabay user tpsdave