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What do you pay a property manager?

I not only operate several AirBnb’s, I own several long-term apartment buildings. Managing an apartment building is similar to managing an AirBnb but there are some big differences. What I’ve learned from both is that there is a rather big discrepancy between the high premiums owners of AirBnb’s pay their managers and what property owners of long-term rental income properties pay. Managing an AirBnb is certainly more hands-on but at the same time, much of the work is done from your phone or laptop… sending answers to guests, etc. When you rent an apartment, the property manager must be there to meet prospective tenants, then have them fill out applications, run credit checks, and spend a big chunk of time vetting your prospective tenant. An AirBnb host, for the most part, just sends a copy and past intro email. It takes 15 seconds. My point is that AirBnb hosts tend to be overpaid compared to property managers but do a very similar job and, in my opinion, the property manager job of a long-term income property manager takes much more skill and study. My estimate is that it takes 3-6 hours a week to manage my AirBnb’s (per AirBnb) after 2 years of managing them myself and hiring managers and looking at their time. I have one AirBnb that makes $20,000 a month gross. To pay an AirBnb manager 30% of that would be $6,000 a month. Even if they spent 10 hours a month managing that property, which would be a ridiculously high estimate, they would be making $138.46 an hour. A crushing waste of money when you consider that most of the work is back and messaging you can do standing in line at the coffee shop.

Of course, lower income properties are nearly just as much work and your income as a manager would be much lower if the gross was a lot less. If you are an owner, do your homework. Don’t just pay these massively high percentages. Figure out what the job is really worth. Perhaps $25 an hour or perhaps even $35. and figure out how much time you think the manager will spend managing and base your % on that number!


Hey John, question did you actively start with both strategies? Buying buildings then Airbnb? I am pursuing both strategies. Currently have 3 airbnbs , I work full a time job. Seems like Airbnb is the fastest way out.

Hey guys, so I am a fairly new property manager on Airbnb for my friends two properties and a client. My situation is different, I am actually thinking I get paid pennies seeing all the responses and before I confront my boss/friend I want to make sure I am not the only one seeing something wrong. I hope to get some helpful replies. I will start off with what I do for the business… I handle all communication on the Airbnb platform (have to respond within 30min 9am-10pm. I handle work orders from hiring plumbers, electricians and handle payment, I am on call 24/7 if there is an emergency with a guest. I handle purchases for the home if it can’t be bought online by his mom(she handles payroll and other admin) Communicate with clients as needed, schedule cleaners, (I also clean and get compensated separately). I edit, manage listings from pricing to changing availability. Those are the main things, of course I run into things like guests needing extra towels and maybe linens. My pay is $25 per booking and $10 for individual rooms.

Our situation is a bit different but here is our perspective. Our neighbor is our HOA president and a neighborhood fireman. He kinda came with the house :blush:. When we bought the house he met our realtor and took ownership of being our go-to guy.

He cleans, picks up supplies as needed, and if there is a problem he has contacts that he can get to the house for repairs etc.

I handle all communication, billing, payments, etc.

He asked for $20/hr and I didn’t even hesitate. He has become a friend and my trusted advisor.

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$25 for all that work! Are you serious? How can you do all that work for $25. You are getting grossly underpaid!

The problem though is - there may not be enough money in it for them to pay you much more. And certainly not enough to pay you what you’re worth.

If they’re charging $70 a night and get a one-night reservation and pay you $25 or $35 - that’s pretty much half of what they made! If it’s a situation like that, then they simply aren’t making enough off the rooms to pay anyone what they’re worth.

For all that work, you should be getting at least half of what they’re making. You’re doing ALL the work. For them not to give you at least half of it sounds like highway robbery to me.


I am a manager and charge 20%.

Hi, I am considering helping host a property for an elderly couple as I myself am a host of my own property in season. I am learning from this forum and my question to you is: is the property listed by you as host…or are you co-host? one gives you entire control of the money coming in, and one gives the host entire control and then they pay you your ‘fee’ independently. Which is the best option and why…TIA

The best for the host , is for them to set up the listing and add you as a co-host @Jennifer_de_Charmoy

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I manage several listings. The way I do it, to be transparent, is create the listing on owners name and give them all the credentials so they can log in and check things any time. I charge 10%. I’ve done this for a long time, so it’s easy for me, and I’ve been very successful, while the owners are very happy with the low fee. Win-win! :slight_smile:

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For my own shared house, it takes me at least two hours to clean/setup a room, then at least one hour communicating with guests. You also have to include time writing reviews, shopping supplies, tweaking prices, descriptions, repairing things. On average at least four hours per booking. I don’t know how people can do all this for $25, that is like $5-6 an hour. I believe even McDonald pays $15 an hour, right? If the booking is 6 days, I would imagine more time has to be invested. Percentage is more fair than per booking in that case.

For those who don’t do the cleaning, do you do the setup (making beds, tidy up the room etc)?

How are you paid? Is it monthly? do the owners receive the funds and then send it to you?

Did you ever go through with this scenario? are they collecting the fees and paying you independently?

Airbnb has a routing option, so I set it up from the start so that 90% goes to the owner and 10% goes directly to my account. This makes things fast and easy. When I book via other platforms, VRBO for example, that don’t have this routing option, then I bill the owners monthly. Most of my bookings though are via Airbnb, which is by far the most advanced and sophisticated platform, and brings the highest income if you know how their algorithms work and how to take advantage of them.

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Thank you for explaining that!

We have used a few property managers for our home in park city. We own a few properties here and self manage about half of them.

For the ones we self manage, it is usually our smaller ones that are easier to deal with.

We use Soma Vacation Rentals for our larger house and they charge us around 25% for full service.

Typically the mountain properties go for a bit more on the management side of things as well.

I decided to help someone with two houses and he pays me $75 a month to “host” which means I am on call 24/7 and pays me $35 for each cleaning. I am more like a landlord as I am fixing stuff, arranging maint. appts, mowing, purchasing supplies. Check in at 3 checkout at 12 so I have 3 hrs to clean a 3 bd rm/2 bath house, do laundry., make all beds and so on.
If I am out of town he wants me communicating with the guests, asking them for recommendations. Too much for the pay. He charges them the $35 so he is only out of pocket $150 a month to pay me

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Excelente. Wanna job in Espana?



You might want to jot down how much time you spend on all that stuff and calculate how much you make per hour. It sure sounds like you’re getting paid too little.

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Why on earth would you work for those sort of low rates? Where are you based? @dude67

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I’m starting out as a property manager but am charging 20%. We offer a super service to some of the other guys out there - with in person check-in, note for guests etc.

10% is not viable. From research I have found that the margins are pretty tight, so 10% is probably loss-making! In the UK at least…

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