14 Mar 2019
Does Choosing a Property Manager Sometimes Feel Like Tinder?
Our recent expansion to offer property management in the Vail Valley was preceded by multiple brainstorming sessions about what sets us apart as a property management company. Why, in a market that has an abundance of managers and rental companies already (and seemingly more knocking on the door every day) should existing or new homeowners make the switch to Moving Mountains?
After several category lists were made, research conducted, and a general feel for what it takes to be successful in this valley, we realized we basically had just created a series of Tinder-like profiles for not only ourselves but our competitors as well. It read like this:
Based in Vail. 10 years old. Comprised of a small and intimate staff, contracts housekeeping and snow removal services.
From Boulder. 4 years old. Trust-funder. Has dialed in the front range market and is now expanding into mountain communities. Can handle all inspections through integrated apps and on-site cameras. Also, have unlimited resources and cash flow for marketing strategies.
Vail is our home. 11 years old. Doubled the rental revenue the past two years, plays nice with others (aka we aren’t afraid to put guests in other company’s properties), uses a 3rd party for concierge services.
So now the big question in Tinder-speak of “who would you want to swipe-right [accept]?” sits before us. Now comes the critical evaluation, weighing up pros and cons and understanding who is the best fit for the lasting and satisfying relationship you are really seeking. Here’s our quick analysis:
Local companies definitely sound attractive when it comes to providing attention to your home. But what does running a “small team” or a “tight ship” do for you if they are contracting most of the work out to others? Don’t get us wrong, we think it is great to support other local businesses, but as a homeowner, we think you would want to know that your manager personally knows everyone that is in your home. Even though based in Vail, we’d have to swipe left on company J.
Since they’ve been in Boulder such a short time we wonder how experienced they really are? Does what works on the Front Range translate to the more challenging environment of the mountains? The big red flag here is that they appear to be light on the ground when it comes to support, so we really question if they have what it takes when dealing with a challenging guest or systems-related emergency. What if there is a sudden major snowstorm (like happened last weekend) and they are stranded on the other side of a mountain pass that is closed? They promise new technology and innovative strategies to manage your home and are throwing around a large marketing budget, funded by their parent company, to sell their story, but are they really spending money to drive business for you, or simply trying to buy their way in to your favor with big talk and fancy words? With four years of history and only a light presence in the mountains, we doubt that they have yet developed a true following of loyal guests. Swiping left again.
Seems like they have it going on when it comes to renting vacation properties. If they don’t have a home that suits a guest’s needs they aren’t afraid to go outside of their portfolio. Great for their bottom line, but perhaps not yours if renting your home is no longer their first priority. With this model, there’s also no way for them to effectively manage the guest experience. If they’re putting a guest in a home they don’t directly manage they are now relying on that company’s housekeeping, that company’s response time, and a plethora of other maintenance items that can directly impact a guest’s vacation. They may have made the booking this time and collected the commission, but the chances are not high that they are retaining lifelong guests or a high volume of repeat clientele, especially because they also delegate the final step of hospitality - arranging all the details of the guest’s stay to an outside concierge. These are the things that the guest will actually remember about their vacation. Too shallow when it really matters. Swipe left.
But wait, there's another option...
Raised in Steamboat Springs, but recently moved to establish a local office in Vail. Experienced and mature - Over 20 years old with a great vision about what it takes to form a lasting relationship.
We like Company M. A small locally based professional team, backed by a family of dedicated hospitality experts who have created a vision of the perfect guest experience from start to finish who delivers on this promise daily. This company doesn’t cut corners and will move-a-mountain to satisfy its guests and homeowners. Built from the ground up, from one home to over eighty, this company has a legion of loyal guests waiting to follow them to the next destination.
Company M may be a new brand in the Vail Valley, but their staff are not so new to town. They are long-time locals entwined in the community with insight into every neighborhood; which only helps when lining up concierge services and planning for vacation rentals. Their “new” brand may definitely have some homeowners hesitating, but their proven level of expertise in just one sector of the market - true upper-end luxury homes should ease some of that finger twitching. They are not lacking for marketing resources so don’t need to waste money buying their way into the market like some of the recently created virtual property managers who are rushing to consolidate low-end rental inventory into large commoditized portfolios of “units”. They do have a loyal client list stretching back two decades, comprised specifically of guests seeking luxury experiences in ultra-luxury homes and mountain chalets. And like the rest of their family in Steamboat, they personally deliver incredible experiences for their guests. It’s the perfect fit for Vail and Beaver Creek homeowners and people who want to stay in their homes. You’ll love them.
So, as we would say on Tinder - swipe right on Company M!