Vacation Rental Companies can compare themselves to Condo- Hotel Maintenance Departments. Each possesses a unique opportunity that traditional hotels DO NOT... the Vacation Rental maintenqance department can be viewed as a PROFIT CENTER.

The Mainteance Department as "a Profit Center"

Every Vacation Rental apartment is owned by someone.  During the term of a Rental Management Agreement apartments/homes will require repairs and maintenence and need furniture, fixtures & equipment to be replaced.

 

What I have observed in over 25 years is that Vacation Rental Companies are hesitant when they have to call unit owners about spending money.  

 

 Putting off the call serves no one.  If costs are not large you can offer to have the unit owner pay through revenues.  If cash allows I've at times let owners pay in 3 installments from proceeds.

 

No apartment owner should be able to find fault in the following statement.. "Vacation Rental Companies are in business to make a fair profit."  

 

In turn, any time your Vacation Rental maintenance staff is required to take action in an apartment that involves over an hour of work the unit owner should pay a fair fee that includes a profit.

 

Please note that if a refrigerator has to be replaced and one of the maintenance men has to dedicate time to receiving it, unboxing it, building shelves around it and attaching a filtered water hose to the ice maker I charged 125% of my full labor cost.  That cost is almost always less than the owner would be to a 3rd party.

 

The moment any Vacation Rental company begins to absorb these charges they begin down the path to unprofitable operations.  If your providing an owner with 65%-75% of the gross reservation revenues then your profit margin needs to be guarded.

 

I have always asked my chief engineer to account for all maintenance time.  Some of it, of course, is time that will be charged to the Vacation Rental company.  But all work specifically for an owner, over an established time threashold, should have a Work Order written and that is sent to accounting or the Owner Coordinator so that it can be appropriately billed to the apartment/home owner at month end.

 

Instead of charging unit owners each time you change a light bulb or battery or paint a wall scuff consider billing a small monthly fee for these repairs.  I've charged $25-$30 per month instead of itemizing owner statements.

 

This could be looked at as a busines within a business and will serve to offset maintenance work that the Vacation Rental company absorbes.