So you are the proud owner of a holiday villa on the Orihuela Costa in Spain – congratulations. But just as with your own home, a holiday villa needs a lot of tender loving care. Who is going to look after it when you are away? And, perhaps, how is it going to pay its own way? Thoughts like these tend to push holiday villa owners into thinking about appointing a property management company. So what should you be looking for in a property manager, and how do you go about finding one with the qualities you want?
First and foremost, you have to decide if you just want the property taken care of, or if you also want it rented out. This will determine what kind of property management company you want, and whether you need to check their credentials for marketing your firm, or just for looking after it.
Assuming that you would like your home to generate some income for you, you need to look for several key capabilities:-
• A company which will ensure the highest standards of care and attention to the fabric and contents of your property. Lots of rental income will not make up for the damage caused by careless renters.
• Personal check-in and check-out of every rental no matter what the time of day or night, and not your keys being left under a plant pot.
• The highest standards of cleaning. Cleaning a property thoroughly is time-consuming and expensive. Many property management company´s cut corners here, and if they do, you will eventually pay the price in worn-out furniture and other forms of dilapidation.
• Superior marketing capabilities. Marketing holiday rental properties has become a sophisticated business these days. Make sure that the primary website on which your property will appear is ranked highly against the most popular keywords for your location. A local firm without much experience in search engine optimization may be able to take good care of your property but they won’t generate a lot of income since no-one will know that they exist.
• Great service for guests. Look for a manager who knows how to offer excellent service to guests: arrival baskets of food and drink, pre-booking of activities, restaurant reservations etc. If guests feel they are well looked-after, they will be more inclined to come again, but also feel more of an obligation to take good care of the property they are in.
• Great service to you. You should expect VIP treatment when you are using your own property, but also VIP service when you call up your property manager to enquire about availability, discuss renovation and maintenance issues, query your income statements or any other matter. Make sure you always have a dedicated point of contact, and ideally someone you have already personally met.
• The property management company is legal to operate in Spain and is fully insured.
• The fees you will be charged by the property management company are competitive for the area. To low compared to other company´s you should be suspicious of the quality of the service they will provide, if to high then they are just to expensive unless they are providing additional services that others are not.
Remember before signing any documents or agreements to always consult your Spanish solicitor. You should never use a solicitor recommend by the property management company due to impartiality.
Two final point always ensure that the fee you agree with the property management company is clearly defined both in price and scope, and any Spanish taxation or licences are in place to avoid any nasty surprises later.
Good luck with your search.