Leveraging 3rd-Party Vendors

Ben Firn
Ben Firn

June 1, 2018

Let’s imagine that it’s peak season for vacation rentals and business is booming. Reservations and rates have ticked up, and owners are eager to sign next year’s property management agreement. But then suddenly things start going wrong. Housekeepers are no-shows or have become complacent with standard service. The maintenance department is backlogged on work orders, and now you’re stuck juggling a million different things. The work starts to pile up and your resources are limited…

Consider 3rd-Party Partnerships

It’s clear from the above scenario that the property management industry goes beyond the walls of a reservation call center. Like other service businesses, the influx of demand can wear out your inventory and staff, and can leave you scratching your head. Your responsibilities are abundant, and include reservations, owner retention, inventory growth, marketing, housekeeping and maintenance. That’s a huge list, and its near impossible to accomplish alone. Understanding when and how to use 3rd party vendors can keep your operation running smoothly and maintain your business reputation.

Saving time and resources aren’t the only reasons why you should consider these strategic partnerships. Outsourcing property maintenance can save you significant money on salaries, worker’s compensation insurance, supply costs, training costs, and unemployment compensation (if applicable). And while some companies shy away from contracts because they fear a lack of control, in-house inspections and communication will give your management company full transparency.

Types of Property Manager Partners

A reliable service partnership is one that makes your life easier and betters your guests’ stay. It’s one that elevates the quality of your customer service and showcases the value of your brand. Connect 3rd party providers with your company’s operations and watch your client satisfaction soar. Here are some tips: 

  • Grocery delivery: The guests shop online in advance and arrive at their vacation homes with a fully stocked fridge and pantry
  • Equipment rentals: There is no need to order extra cribs, beach chairs, or bikes. These create storage space issues and are an unnecessary expense
  • Appliance & HVAC partnerships: Align your business with local companies so that your work order requests are prioritized
  • Restaurants, tour guides, and local attractions: Offer your guests coupons, or request gift certificates in exchange for direct marketing to your customers
  • Cleaning contractors: Alleviate the burden of preparing homes. You don’t have to let go of your housekeeping department, just loosen the belt a little

Hiring Vendors

Like most big decisions in your business, it pays to do due-diligence. References and reviews are key, and the best vendors are found through word of mouth referrals. Don’t be timid about asking fellow property managers what service companies they work with.

That said, it’s important to understand the risks. Just like a sour staff member can damage a company’s reputation, companies you work with might negative light on your business. Explain your company’s policies and expectations at the beginning of your relationship, and don’t hesitate to move on if you don’t feel it’s a good fit.