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!