Although managing your own vacation rental can be rewarding and, in some ways, economical, it is very time consuming and demands a high degree of attention for it to be successful. This is where rental management companies can offer a great alternative, or become an additional tool in your marketing plan. Choosing the right one at the outset can save a lot of time and hassle. Here’s a few pointers to getting it right first time.

Agencies have two distinct types of customer: the owner, for whom they deliver a range of services, and the renter, for whom the agency supplies information and reservation facilities. The agency that represents your property should not only Ferienwohnung Verwaltung Leipzig deal promptly with your queries and concerns but must also provide excellent service to the people that want to rent. If it doesn’t do that, you won’t get the customers you need to rent your cottage effectively. Good agencies should pay equal attention to both owners and renters, and if they are acting efficiently on your behalf you should expect a high level of service from them.

Most agencies will offer an information package but it’s always best to call and speak to them directly. This way you get to check out how they answer the phone; if your call goes to voice mail (always a turn-off for renters), and if the person you speak to has a pleasant and welcoming attitude. The following are some questions you should ask:

Are they operating legally?

Before you start looking for an agency to represent your property check whether there is any legislation regarding vacation rentals or agencies in your province or state. By law any rental management agency operating in Ontario must be registered with The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) and must abide by its strict rules of practice. TICO is an organization mandated by the Ontario government to administer the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002, which governs all of the approximately 3,000 travel retailers and travel wholesalers registered in Ontario. In addition, TICO administers an industry-financed Travel Compensation Fund. There are a number of agencies operated illegally in Ontario that may tell you they do not have to be registered – if you are in any doubt check directly with TICO.

What are their opening hours?

Renters call at all times of the day and night and are often looking for immediate information. If they don’t get it, they will simply move on to the next web site or listing. Some agencies use local call centres with operators able to answer questions and guide potential renters to the appropriate place on the web site. Renters never get a voice mail message which is a huge bonus.

How will your property be marketed?

Your property should be listed on the agencies web site as well as other listing sources. Good agencies will market widely with a range of listing sites including their information. The goal is to have as many sources linking back to their web site, as possible.

What are their visitor statistics?

Find out how many visitors come to their web site on a peak day? What can they tell you about their online marketing tactics?

What social media channels are they using?

Do they use YouTube to promote their company (and of course your property); have they got a Facebook fan page; are they active on Twitter; do they use a blog to promote new listings and last minute rentals? Agencies must be using a range of social media networks if they are to promote effectively.

Agency rates

Agency rates vary, though not as widely as it may seem from a first glance at their rate sheets or websites. Some charge a flat commission rate that is payable only when the cottage is rented; a few have an initial set up fee and advertising charge, with a variable administration fee per week; and most charge renters a fee for booking. Commission rates vary from 12% to 30%, with a renter’s booking charge of between C$25 and C$65 per week. Doing your homework thoroughly will indicate where you will get the best value whilst remembering that the old adage also applies, ‘You get what you pay for’. Good marketing is expensive and what you get for an extra 1% or 2% may be maximum occupancy compared to empty weeks.


When you contact agencies, they will want to arrange a viewing of your property. Even if you are inviting several agencies to view, expect them all to take photographs and carefully question you on the facilities and amenities available, and any restrictions you may want to impose. When you appoint the agency, they will have the photographs and information so will not need to revisit. Make sure the cottage looks its best for a viewing, as the photographs will reflect the way it looks on that day. If the weather is poor, or the season prevents the best exterior shots from being taken, have a selection of your best cottage photographs available for the agency representative to view.

Well in advance of the viewing, prepare a detailed sheet listing room dimensions, bed configurations, additional features and kitchen appliances. Some agencies will provide you with a form on which you can complete all the relevant details.

Making the decision

Good agencies will provide you with references from their clients, so look at their websites and property lists and ask for references from cottage owners of your choosing. Select properties in your rental price bracket, but also take the time to Vermietungsagentur Leipzig talk to people who have cottages at other ends of the spectrum. This will give you an idea of how the agency operates. Don’t just rely on the testimonials on the site. Although these are likely to be genuine, they will be biased towards the positive end and you want to find out what other clients don’t like as well as what they do. That way, you’ll get a balanced view of the agency, which will enable you to make a really informed decision.

With growing competition, agencies need to offer top class customer service to generate good feedback from renters, and consequently generate more potential renters through word of mouth recommendations.