Everything You Need to Know about Maui Property Management
One of the most important aspects of owning a successful investment property on Maui is to find a reliable and motivated property management company or property manager. Fortunately, Maui has several great options in this department. Considering that most investment property owners on the island don’t actually live here, having trust and transparency in your property manager is paramount.
Beyond trust/transparency, you also want a company or individual skilled enough and motivated to get you top dollar along with the highest possible occupancy rates, we usually see 85% as a benchmark, but you can get that into the 90s. A few of my clients have chosen to self-manage and do very well self-managing, but it is a time-consuming process with a short-term rentable property. Unless you have a passion for it, experience, and time to devote, you’ll find that these companies earn their keep by freeing up your time and lowering your stress levels!
Short-Term Vs. Long Term Property Management on Maui
The two main types of investment properties on Maui are short-term rentals, which are primarily vacation condos for the millions of annual visitors we receive, and long-term rentals with 6-month minimum leases that are both condos and homes.
Both investment classes have their benefits and appeal to investors in different ways. Short-term rentable properties have historically outperformed long-term rentable properties in returns, however, some investors are just more comfortable and familiar with residential properties. Most property management companies on Maui offer services for both.
What Are The Most Important Aspects to Consider in Managing a Short Term Rentable Condo?
Usually, the first question is about cost. If you are currently paying above 25% for a short-term rentable property, you are overpaying. 25% has become the industry standard and rarely will a reputable and top-performing company make a deal and go below that. Some in-house property management companies that are on-site will charge more, I’ve heard up to 40%, but they can not provide 15% extra revenue and service.
Also, be clear on the contract term, most do not have a commitment other than a month-to-month deal and if things aren’t working out you should be able to go elsewhere. The main things a reputable short-term property management company will do are:
Marketing the Property Online and Keeping Rates Current
You will be on all major websites including AirBnb, Vrbo, etc. Many even do paid advertising out of their budget to increase occupancy rates. Along with marketing, they should be ensuring that your rate is at market price and not asleep at the wheel on rising rates. If you’ve been in the market recently or have been doing homework, you've seen that property prices have soared in recent years and if you’ve visited Maui recently, you’ve noticed the nightly rates have followed suit.
This is a very important component for operating a successful investment rental. Your property manager will coordinate check-ins/check-outs by communicating with the client. They should provide a welcoming experience and many do little welcome baskets and notes to the clients. These go a long way in getting the clients to leave positive reviews online which will give you momentum and credibility for future prospective renters.
There can be conflicts with clients and your manager should be firm with the policies, but also able to understand the occasional extenuating circumstance and be flexible when they need to be.
The costs of cleaning are passed on to the renters, but the management company is responsible for coordinating this and ensuring that everything is perfect when they check-in. Most providers will have in-house cleaning services and will have options for you if you prefer to have the linens/towels laundered off-site to reduce energy costs and the wear and tear on your washer and dryer.
They will also be your eyes and ears on the maintenance of your unit. If something gets damaged or needs replacing, such as an A/C or a dishwasher, you’ll want to know that they can handle it swiftly. Along with this, you’ll want to know that coordinating this is part of their agreement with you.
Your property manager will also handle collecting payments from clients and that includes taxes. They will assist you with making sure you are on top of making these payments timely and that you don’t have to spend your valuable time double-checking their work. They should provide a transparent view of the income and expenses.
Newest Maui Condos For Sale
How I Recommend These Services to My Clients
As a real estate professional, my sole mission is to help my clients get what they want. When it comes to referring service providers like a local Maui lender, a contractor, or a property management company, I like to give my clients a couple of great options that I know from experience be able to deliver the results they need.
I know it might seem like I’m biased as my brokerage is Coldwell Banker Island Properties, but our property management division Coldwell Banker Island Vacations (CBIV) is an exceptionally well ran organization with an ultra-responsive staff. Since we have the same ownership, I recommend them for the same reason I hang my license at Coldwell Banker. Everything they do as a company is first-class, results-oriented, and a seamless experience. They are always looking for ways to optimize every aspect of their business and it shows.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t other companies that can deliver great results, it’s just that having a great deal of personal experience working with many different property management companies, I can trust that my clients are in great hands with CBIV. After we close your transaction, I’ll still be here for you for anything you need, but they are going to take the wheel and become a very important relationship.
Consider Your Options and Find the Right Relationship For You
While CBIV is my go-to company, there are a handful of complexes and areas on Maui where I would recommend my clients also speak with a specialist in that complex to compare. Some complexes, like Kamaole Sands, have specialists like PMI Maui that I would recommend my clients consider. You are by no means limited in the number of companies you can vet for these services and at the end of the day I’m only giving recommendations, it's your choice who you trust with your business.
My only goal is to provide my clients with the best possible service from myself and those we work with to make this investment as solid as it can be. There are only a handful of companies I would strongly encourage my clients NOT to work with, I won’t name them here, but if we are working together, I’ll give you the inside scoop. After all, that’s what I’m here for!
Long Term Property Management
The going rate right now is 10%. Don’t pay more than that. Long-term property management is less labor-intensive and many choose to self-manage. It’s easier to self-manage a long-term rental as there are a lot fewer moving parts than a short-term rental, but doing so off-island can have its challenges.
There is an extreme shortage of housing on Maui and there are many able and willing renters out there. Selecting the right tenants is the most important aspect and in a well-maintained home, there shouldn’t be much trouble for you. I have a couple of options I can provide for you for long-term rentals as well.
Hope This Helps!
If you would like to discuss this or any other aspect of real estate on Maui, please feel free to reach out to me at any time in any way. There are a lot of important decisions to make when buying or selling a property and I would be honored to lend my experience to make that process as seamless as possible.
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Evan Harlow is a Realtor on Maui who has the expertise, experience, and work ethic to help you achieve all of your real estate buying or selling goals. We promise exceptional service and support from the beginning of the process through closing and beyond.