Property Management Company vs. For Rent By Owner

When you are planning your next Arizona vacation is it best to use a property management company to secure your Arizona rental home? We think the answer is yes and it’s not just because we are in the business. Once you weigh the pros and cons the decision is easy to make.

The Pros.

  1. Licensing: Arizona requires that a Property Managers be a Licensed Real Estate Entity with a Licensed Real Estate Broker to oversee the day to day operations of the business. You will come across companies offering homes for rent without proper Real Estate Licensing and without a Broker. These companies will tell you “We are not Property Managers, We are simply advertising the property for By Owner Vacation Properties.”  The Arizona Department of Real Estate Law Book defines that  a “Finger Pointer/Advertiser” must put the consumer in direct contact with the Owner/Landlord and or a Management Company and not act as a intermediary in the discussion or negotiations in price the procuring of a rental home on behalf of the owner. These companies are in violation of Arizona State Law.
  2. Trust Account. Licensed Management Companies are required by the Arizona Department of Real Estate to maintain a Trust Account to hold the rental proceeds and security deposits. I would sleep better at night knowing my hard earned money is being held in the Trust Account of a licensed Broker rather then a company operating in the grey or a for Rent By Owner’s personal checking account.
  3. Transparency. A Property manager will give you the physical address of the property you have rented and that address should be on your rental agreement. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be given this information up front. If anyone ever tells you a story why they don’t give out the address in advance you should be suspicious and proceed with caution. One excuse I’ve heard for not giving out the address is “This policy has become necessary because we have had guests arrive days or weeks before their scheduled arrival date disturbing the privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the current guests.” I’ve been in this business for over 10 years and I’ve never had that happen to me. I seriously doubt that this is such a out of control problem that a policy had to be implemented to cure the problem. The real reason behind this policy is bait and switch. Pay for one home and get another when you arrive.  This way you have no legal recourse for a refund should you not be happy with your “Bait and Switch” Rental.
  4. Brand Name:A professionally licensed Property Management company will have spent a lot of time and effort into their Trade Name and the Broker for the company will be tied to that name.  These companies have a reputation to uphold and any official complaint of illegal activity that is found to have any merit will stay with that Broker for the rest of his life.
  5. Staff: A Property Manager will have regular office hours with a team of qualified Rental Agents, Managing Broker, On Call Maintenance Staff, Professional Cleaning Staff and an Accounting department to oversee the Trust Account and the Operations Account. A Property Manager will always have an after hours emergency contact number that you can call for assistance.

The Cons:

  1. Money: You just gave a large sum of money, months in advance of your reservation to a private owner or unlicensed company offering homes for rent. In this economy with the number of foreclosures on the market, businesses closing their doors every day and not to mention online schemers posing as For Rent By Owners. Who is watching out for you and protecting your best interest? I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night thinking about it.
  2. Reputation: It would be very difficult to research a private owner online to see if they have a lot of complaints against them. Good luck trying to find anything about them if their name happens to be a really common name like John Smith. If you are unhappy with your rental what possible reason would a private owner have for trying to come to a favorable conclusion to the problem? They don’t have a trade name to protect, a manager to answer to or any official government licensing division that protects consumers. How could you escalate this to the next level if need be?
  3. After Hours Maintenance and Emergencies. Who you gonna call when a pipe breaks at 2:00 am? Is the homeowner/landlord your only means of communication during a maintenance emergency? What if the owner/landlord is traveling or out of the country? Chances are if someone owns a vacation home they are also a busy professional dealing with the day to day demands from their own life’s and families. How fast are they going to respond to your maintenance emergency? Do they have back up accommodations for you should something happen to your rental home? Are you going to spend the day trying to find another property or spend the day trying to find a decent hotel/resort with vacancy?

I hope my Pros and Cons list didn’t come across as to Biased. I welcome any discussion you wish to have on the matter. My qualifications are over 10 years in the Vacation Rental Property Management Business. Chances are if it can happen I’ve been through it already. My email is info @ arizona lodging experts . com (take out all the spaces)

In the interest of full transperancy here are some useful links that you can use to do research on the company or owner of the vacation rental you are planning on renting.

ADRE: http://www.re.state.az.us/ Here you can look up Licensed Realtors, Brokers and Real Estate Entities. If there are any complaints against the Licensee you can find it here.

Arizona Corporation Commission: http://www.cc.state.az.us/ Here you can look up a Corporation or LLC and see if they are currently licensed and in good standing.

Maricopa County Assessor: http://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/the-assessor/ Here you can look up Deeds, Tax Records, and other official Documents pertaining to Residential Real Estate.

Arizona Lodging Experts has the best and largest selection of homes, condos, and apartments throughout the valley. We have rentals in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, and other locations. It is quick and easy for us to find exactly what you are looking for so you can enjoy your next rental in Arizona. We have an inventory from 1 bedroom condos to 6 bedroom estates and everything in between. You can find amenities like heated pools, hot tubs, golf course and mountain views, and much more. It really is easy to find a rental by calling Arizona Lodging Experts.

Arizona Lodging Experts is the premier Phoenix Rental Property Management company in Arizona. We value ourselves in having the best customer service and finest inventory of Arizona Vacation Rentals in the valley. We can update you on all the great activities and current events for you to enjoy in Arizona during your stay. Our staff is knowledgeable about the homes and we make it very easy for you to find the ideal rental vacation spot for you.