From a property management vacation rental firm, you'll want service and professionalism and up-to-date technology to help maximize the return on your big investment. For peace of mind, you will want to partner with a firm where business is conducted with integrity.
Here are a number of questions you will want to ask as you evaluate companies to manage your property in Costa Rica.
Are the management firm's employees empowered to solve problems? Do they exhibit a genuine sense of caring; a desire to resolve the issue? When problems arise-and they inevitably will -how efficiently and effectively will they be handled? Do live people answer the phone 24/7 (not just for an emergency, but for any reason, including to book a reservation or to answer casual inquiries)? Is a welcome packet provided. with helpful information about the property, local attractions, hospital and medical clinics, airlines and taxi service, places of worship? Do the office location and its furnishings reflect the desired total guest experience? Are the firm's owners active and hands-on?
Excellent service should extend to you, the property owner, as well. Can property owner's log on to the web site to book their own dates, view dates for existing reservations, see status of maintenance and repairs, check expenditures from deposits to the owner's reserve account?
Renters at vacation properties expect daily maid service, just as they would find at a hotel or even at a modest motel in Costa Rica. A firm must provide reliable and thorough cleaning that meets or exceeds the standards of international travellers. Do supervisors inspect after cleaning? How has the staff been trained? In Costa Rica's tropical climate, regular cleaning is required-even during periods of vacancy! Is this provided?
As with any home, there are many details that must be attended to. Renters expect everything to be in proper order. For them, it's understandably about their vacation. It's not acceptable that the coffee maker will be replaced next week. They will be back to work then, recounting their experiences to others. Therefore, the property service should be entrusted with these tasks. Some necessities include key holding, insurance, property taxes, bank account management, utility set up and payment.
Another area of importance is inventory. Every spoon, every placemat, every piece of furniture and all other valuables in your rental must be kept on an inventory list and checked physically each time guests depart. Does the firm conduct such an inventory?
How often do they check the property during periods of vacancy? What is the schedule for routine maintenance? How quickly do they respond in an emergency?
Have they identified the nice markets-the various types of renters (family vacationers, sports fishermen, adventure travellers, surfers, wedding parties) and tailored marketing to reach the targets? Do they run ads in foreign print publications? Is their web site attractive, easy to navigate and fully functional? Can a renter complete the reservation online, including making the rental deposit by credit card on a secured page?
Carefully considering which Costa Rican property management firm is right for you and the best fit for your property can assure that your investment is not only protected, but produces the maximum return. What is more, your guests and renters will have a memorable experience for all the right reasons!