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Determining the Appropriate Vacation Rental Management Fees

The range of vacation rental management fees is broad, with some companies charging as low as 10% and others as high as 50% of the booking price. This variation can be attributed to factors such as using a traditional property manager or an unbundled service like 5 Star STR. This article strives to help you understand the various fees vacation management companies charge and what they provide.

Fee Structure and Inclusions

The wide disparity in vacation rental management fees stems from the different services offered by traditional property managers and unbundled services like 5 Star STR. To help you decide if you are receiving value for your money, we have compiled a list of management fees and their related services.

Promotional Services

A well-crafted property listing, complete with professional photographs, ensures that your property looks attractive and is easily discoverable by potential guests searching for vacation rentals.


Ensure that your property is listed on relevant websites, including the management company's site, local tourism boards, and popular platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. Remember that additional fees may be set for listing on such platforms, either as part of the management company's booking services or as a separate charge. This article provides more information on listing fee costs.

Reservation Services

A responsive management company can quickly secure bookings by replying to guest inquiries within 15 minutes, preventing potential guests from seeking alternative accommodations.

Dynamic Pricing

A competent management company may offer dynamic pricing strategies that adjust rates based on demand, seasonality, and local competition.

Guest Communication

Vacation rental managers should provide guests with booking confirmations and check-in instructions before their arrival.

On-site Guest Support

Some management companies include on-site guest support as part of their commission, providing key handovers and assistance during the guests' stay. If your chosen company does not offer comprehensive vacation rental services, you may need to hire a guest contact for an additional fee, typically around $50 per booking. If this is the case, it may be worth reconsidering your choice of management company.

Additional Vacation Rental Management Fees

Your management company may also offer optionally a la carte services to supplement their standard offerings. Here are some examples of these extras and their associated costs:

  • Cleaning: Although cleaning fees are usually included in the nightly rate, they can vary based on factors such as property size and location. Ensure that your cleaning fees remain competitive within your area and that your service provider maintains a high reputation.

  • Maintenance: When considering management companies with higher commissions, inquire about the scope of their maintenance services. Be aware of any exclusions or extra charges for certain repairs or routine maintenance tasks. Additionally, the basic fees may not include services such as snow removal and landscaping.

  • Stocking: Stocking costs for vacation rentals can range from $5 to $25, depending on the property size and required supplies. Check your management agreement to determine if the stocking is automatically included or if it can be added as an optional service. Alternatively, you can also handle stocking yourself to save money.

  • Payment Processing: Payment processing companies typically charge a 3-5% fee for processing debit or credit card payments, separate from the booking or commission fees collected by the management company. Payments are usually processed by companies such as Stripe or VacationRentPayment.

Ultimately, your choice of vacation rental management company will depend on your budget, time limitations, and revenue objectives.

Consider whether you prefer a low-cost service with limited options or a more flexible service that enables you to allocate your resources more strategically to maximize revenue.

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