The Best Property Manager for Your New Orleans Airbnb Rental Property
New Orleans is popular. The demand for short-term rentals in the Crescent City has proved just that. It’s also enabled more travelers to take advantage of the new wealth of lodging at this infamous destination. But as a short-term rental owner and host, can you really afford to continuously maintain and optimize your property, ensuring all guests have a great experience, and not miss out on the added value of your property? Do you want to get caught in traffic again in the Marigny or Uptown while on the way to handle that one tiny little thing for your guest?
Never fear! Hope abounds with a property service like Vacasa. Vacasa believes that “owning your second home shouldn’t be your second job.” They’re right. What’s the point of making a profit off of short term rentals when you’re losing more and more time maintaining them? In the city of “Do Whatcha Wanna,” don’t let your Airbnb do what it wants to you.
Vacasa grew from a small management company in the pacific northwest to one of the top property-management-service providers in the country. Having just raised $319 million in a new venture-funding round led by private-equity firm Silver Lake, Vacasa is now valued past $1 billion.
Their 2017 round of $103.5 million in Series B funding was invested in technology and on the ground service, which resulted in what the company offers short term rental owners today:
To host a successful Airbnb, rental owners need to spend between 8-10 hours a week, improving their rental’s status online, including price adjustments for the unit.
If you have the time to do that, kudos to you. If this project coincides with a full-time job, this part could be surprisingly aggravating. There are lots of festivals in New Orleans. It takes an extensive calendar to keep track of every boudin, bourbon, and beer festival, including Boudin, Bourbon & Beer. Besides that, you’re dealing with major festivals and holidays all year round. Not to mention, Mardi Gras.
Vacasa monitors price adjustments and seasonality, taking the guesswork out of when to increase prices and lower them. This feature sets Vacasa apart from other rental management companies. Remember the funding they dedicated to technology development? Their dynamic pricing tool takes into account everything from market performance to local events. Along with these tools, Vacasa boasts its ability to get short term rental owners, “31% more in their first year.”
The other time-consuming part of managing an Airbnb comes with guest communication and satisfaction. Hosting guests requires around-the-clock service to ensure all their needs are met, including the rare occasion of an emergency. Vacasa prides itself on customer service and strives to provide a “seamless, stress-free vacation for your guests,” from booking to stocking the necessities. Vacasa’s customer service team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When necessary, they’ll connect guests with a local manager in addition to a back up (just in case). No more worrying about trying to get across town to help a guest, only to be blocked by a random parade, or worse, the Sewerage & Water Board.
Housekeeping, being one of their main areas of focus for Vacasa, is the self-proclaimed “heart of the business.” The Vacasa housekeeping program hires, trains, and programmatically supports a team that maintains Vacasa’s reputation for high cleanliness satisfaction for guests. Vacasa employs teams of local professionals in each city, should a property owner choose to utilize their housekeeping services, that team will be ready on the spot.
Along the same lines as pricing, the marketability of a rental plays into not just whether a guest will stay, but how much time a prospective guest even spends on a rental’s page. New Orleans boasts some of the most unique properties in the country, with shotgun houses and dreamy porches juxtaposed to centuries-old oaks, laden with Spanish Moss. Unless the photo quality is up to par, none of that means anything to guests. Vacasa employs professional photographers to capture these spaces, taking a drab dimly lit apartment and picturing it as something akin to a luxury colonial French cottage.
Utilizing an experienced and responsible representative to manage your short-term rental also allows for on the ground protection for a property owner’s investment. Just like housekeeping, employing Vacasa keeps an extra set of eyes on your property. Vacasa also becomes another entity that cares about your investment. Live Uptown, but own a property in Mid-City? As with any big city, in New Orleans, we all know how helpful it is to keep an extra set of eyes on your property, especially when you can’t be there on a daily basis.
This notion also rings true for the guests that come into your home. As Vacasa ensures that incoming guests are taken care of, they begin by screening the guests themselves. An interesting aspect of Vacasa, their reservation system flags bookings with specific risk factors and assign them to a specially trained customer service representative for review and follow-up. They even use an identity verification service to screen guests before they’re even allowed to book.
Looking to avoid the nine-thousandth group of friends that turned out to be a rowdy bachelor party? Vacasa weeds that out for you.
Investing in the investment
The only drawback is the lack of a clear understanding of the Vacasa pricing structure and what this property management provider actually charges rental owners. On their website, Vacasa posits a flat-fee that helps the owner know exactly what they’re getting without being “nickel and dimed.” On the positive side, the number and quality of services a short term rental owner receives in return are enough to venture into the Vacasa property management service world and add some valuable time back into one’s life. That means more time at this weekend’s crawfish boil and less time obsessing over your short term rental.