How to Choose the Right Property Management Company for You

If you own a vacation rental home in the Smoky Mountains— or are considering buying one— property management is on your mind. Perhaps you’re an owner who is unhappy with their current management team, and thinking about making a switch? Or you’re a new vacation rental owner who knows you need some help in maximizing your investment? Or maybe you’ve been managing your own home for a while— and you’re getting tired of all the work?

Whatever your vacation rental situation, the experts at Eden Crest are here to help. We’ve put together six insider tips to help you pick the property management company that best fits your needs. And will help you get the greatest return on your vacation rental investment.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to property management, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Signing with a huge property management company can sometimes mean you get lost in the shuffle. One red flag to look for include homes that have “codes” instead of names— like “CF350” instead of “Rising Eagle Lodge.” Look for a vacation rental company that strives to present each of its homes as unique and interesting. 

Going with more of a boutique management experience— as opposed to a huge conglomerate— can make all the difference in maximizing your return. Although it can be tempting to go with a big company with hundreds— even thousands!— of properties, sometimes going smaller is the smarter choice. 

A Focus on Bespoke Marketing— Not OTAs

It’s no secret that online travel agencies (OTAs) like Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), FlipKey, and Airbnb are massive, popular platforms for people to book vacation rental homes online. They have huge marketing budgets and national campaigns— so it feels like they’re everywhere. 

But a mistake that some property management companies make is focusing only on these OTA booking platforms— at the expense of their own website and custom marketing. Make sure your property management team has a gorgeous, functioning website that’s up-to-date and easy to navigate. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages too. Make sure their social pages are current, with lots of engagement, likes, and comments. Choose a property management company that works to secure more direct bookings and doesn’t just rely on OTAs.

Locally Owned and Operated

Certain larger, national property management companies are growing at a swift and breathless pace. They are snapping up vacation rental homes left and right. They leverage their national branding and a larger budget to cast a wide net for bookings. 

While they may be successful initially, most guests find that renting with a national company can leave them feeling a little lost once they arrive at their destination. So we recommend picking a locally-operated property management company that prides itself on Smoky Mountain knowledge and expertise. This will leave you with satisfied guests that return again and again— and a happy bottom line.

White-Glove Housekeeping

There’s one important thing that every single guest wants from their vacation rental home— cleanliness. Make sure your vacation rental management company has a top-of-the-line cleaning process in place. 

Vacation rental guests are looking for the comfort and coziness of a home— combined with the meticulous cleanliness of a five-star hotel. It’s a tall order! Keep in mind that the key to successful housekeeping is not the cleaners— it’s the inspector. Your property management company should use inspectors that check each home after the housekeepers have left. And perform a thorough inspection.

For more insight, take a look at the guest reviews of some of their properties. Pay close attention to the comments about cleanliness.

Exceptional Customer Service

As an owner, you should feel welcome, valued, and taken care of— from the moment you contact the vacation rental management company you are thinking about signing with. Exceptional customer service should not only be for the guests that are staying in the homes. It should also extend to the home-owners— like you— as well. 

Make sure your phone calls and emails are being returned, your questions are being answered, and you feel important and valued by the team.


In today’s vacation rental market, it’s not feasible— or good business— to be “behind-the-times” when it comes to technology. Your property management company should have a few key systems in place to cater to the tech-savvy traveler. 

A gorgeous, well-designed website is essential. Keep in mind that it should also be mobile-friendly, so check out what it looks like on your phone. Go through the process of booking a house from your phone— was it a simple and easy process?  Or full of glitches and roadblocks? You should also have access to things like emailed monthly statements and easy, direct deposit for your income. 

Bottom Line

Your vacation rental management company should be one that fits in with your personal investment goals and makes you feel valued. Ask these specific questions when you’re interviewing a property management prospect:

  • How much is the management commission fee?
  • What does the monthly reporting include? Can I see an example of one?
  • How often are owner proceeds disbursed?
  • Do you handle the coordination of maintenance, repairs, or renovations?
  • What does my annual income reporting include?

Here at Eden Crest, we only represent a limited number of up-market vacation homes. Each owner in our rental program receives personal attention. 

In fact, we have no desire to be the largest property management company in the Smoky Mountains— just the best. If you own a vacation rental home in the Smoky Mountains, let the experts at Eden Crest help you choose the property management company that’s right for you. 

We’re a full-service vacation rental company— not only for our amazing guests but for each of our valued owners as well. Our team services include maintenance, housekeeping, reservations, concierge, marketing, owner liaison services, and IT. We treat each vacation rental home as if they were our own. We are vested in your success. With an entire team of vacation rental professionals working for you and your home, you’ll have complete peace of mind— and a growing profit margin!

Contact our team today to get started.

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