Home » Liza's Blog » Serving Two Masters

Serving Two Masters

Property manager are in the unenviable position of serving two masters - both integral parts of a successful vacation rental company.  Balancing the needs of the owners and guests can be a challenging situation. Like a large jigsaw puzzle, many different pieces have to fit together to make the whole picture work.


For the guest, some of the most common concerns are:

Will the property be as advertised?

Will the property have the amenities I'm used to?

Making a non-refundable deposit for a property they're not familiar with.


When embarking on a renovation wish list, owners should start with two lists:

  • Their first priority should be pleasing the guest, doing what it takes to make them comfortable and happy.
  • Hold off on improvements or upgrades they'd personally like to have, but won't have a big impact on the guest experience.  You must discuss your market, the location, and the amenities in the newest properties.  Does the décor reflect the area and current industry trends?  It takes careful planning to balance guest expectations with controlling costs and maximizing profits.
There is no "Do Over" button - it's their vacation.  Make guests happy.

I've had calls from owners who weren't happy with their rental revenue and didn't want to invest more money into their property based on the recommendations in my report.  My response was, "You are faced with a choice of whether you wish to effectively compete with newer properties or not.  If you wish to compete, then you must improve your property." You will not see the effects immediately but over time rates will likely increase if properties remain competitive with newer developments.


I been asked by property managers if there's any way to tell owners the truth about their old or dated property and avoid hurt feelings.  Not being honest doesn't serve the owner or guest; it just compounds the problem.  And not having written guidelines and standards makes it impossible to hold owners accountable.  Owners need to understand that upgrading is an on-going process that's never finished.


One of the distressing cases in point that I see far too often in my travels is the owner that genuinely tried to make improvements but didn't understand the priority of the upgrades.  The property manager had not communicated with them regarding industry trends and guest expectations.  For success, it's critical that the property manager communicate regularly.


Resort Rating Specialists is offering a 3-Day Intensive Training Seminar, March 19-21 in Virginia Beach. For details, click on the link - Seminar


15% Discount off full fee if registered by February 25, 2013.  Payment must be received within 7 days of registration. Certificate is good for one-time use only with each company or resort and may not be combined with any other offers or discounts.



Write a comment

  • Required fields are marked with *.

Alan Hammond
Posts: 1773
Serving Two Masters
Reply #1 on : Fri January 25, 2013, 14:09:00
Right on target. To stay competitive, upgrading will always be important. Owners need to work closely with their management company to properly prioritize maintenance needs and improvements.
Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 15:01:43 by lhogan  
Subscribe to this Blog*

*Click this link, or copy and paste the RSS feed link into your favorite news/blog reader to stay up-to-date with Liza's Blog!

Click here to learn more about RSS.

Copyright 2015, Resort Rating Specialists