Self-Management vs. Hiring a Property Manager

I get this question ALL the time! Should I try to manage my vacation rental myself, or should I hire someone to do it for me?

What should I do?… Should I just try to save money and do it myself? What does a property manager even do anyway?… Maybe I should try for a while myself and then go with one if it doesn’t work out… Maybe I should go with one and then try to do it myself…

This blog post isn’t going to spell out how you do it yourself or to hire one (you can find this in my book Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide or in my VRA Course), but this will help you decide which direction what is right for you!

We hired a property manager for our first one since it was 1000 miles away from our home (Villa Bella Mermaid). They handled everything – pictures, marketing, communication with all guests for problems or access, coordination with the maintenance and cleaning companies, etc. We just had to keep our bills paid and property maintained, and they sent us money every month. For our second one, (Sky High Chalet) we started from scratch ourselves and managed it ourselves – everything.

 Before you choose either, I want you to think for a minute…

  1. What do you currently have on your plate with your job, family, schedule, etc?
  2. Can you be readily available for guest calls? (Bookings, requests, maintenance, and sometimes emergencies)
  3. How close do you live to your desired location?
  4. Are there VR property managers available in your desired location?
  5. Can you consistently make time to manage it?
  • Clean/schedule with cleaning company?
  • Schedule turnovers for maintenance?
  • Market it?
  • Strategically price it?
  • Network to local organizations to link your VR to

I always say – Time is Money! And if your time is worth money, can your property be promoted better if you have someone else handle the less glamorous side of owning and operating vacation rentals, or should you really be the one to manage it?

After self-managing the Chalet, I realized that for me to scale and add more, I needed to change my plan. We own and operate multiple businesses and there are only so many hours in a day. For me to really enjoy the best perks of owning VR’s I needed to work smarter, or I would hold us back with my schedule and time to be able to dedicate to it all. That is when I decided to have any future ones that I own locally be managed by the new company that I had created. We also, of course, use property managers for all other areas around the country too.

I am NOT saying to just go hire a property manager, and I am definitely not saying to start an entire company, but I am saying that it is good to be realistic with what your individual needs and availability are.

If you could have someone to do the more tedious jobs for a percentage and you get to reap all the rewards, would you? Or do you truly have the time to dedicate to this amazing endeavor 100%?

Refer to my book and course for more in-depth information on both options and please share this on social and connect with me on there, if you get a chance! Don’t ever hesitate to message me if you ever have a topic that you want more info or clarity on.


P.S. Make sure that you sign up below for future blog posts and to stay up to date on all things happening at Vacation Rental Academy. Would love to connect with you! Facebook MsChristinaVanDergrift and Instagram christinavandergrift 

Author: Christina VanDergrift

CHPC | Author | RE Broker | Serial Entrepreneur

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    Welcome to my Blog!

    For those that don’t know me, I am a wife, mama of 3 boys, Certified High Performance Coach, Author, RE Broker, Serial Entrepreneur and am obsessed with all things real estate and business.


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