I am a software developer by trade but have gained a lot of experience in the past 7 years in managing my properties. I originally had only 1 vacation rental property In Deep Creek Lake, MD and I used a rental company to manage it. That lasted less than a year as I was very unhappy with how rental companies use your house as just another income stream rather than caring for it like it was my home. Their accidental damage insurance lined their pockets while it never paid out anything and my property was slowing deteriorating.
Here's an example. I arrived at the property after a renter to find a pool stick broken completely in two. Their inspector did not even notice. I called them and asked if they were going to replace it under the damage insurance and they said no, pool sticks are wear and tear items. I explained that breaking a stick in half does not constitute wear and tear. I got a new pool stick but only after wasting much of my time arguing with everyone up the chain of command and a warning that no further pool sticks would be covered. Another time, college kids had their parents rent my property and pick up keys from the rental company then turned around and left, gave the house to the college kids. The hot tub service rep noticed all these underage kids drinking with no adults and called the rental agency. The manager went up and found the fraudulent situation and rather than evict them, they let them stay as long as they signed a waiver saying they were responsible for damages. The result? Broken air hockey table, broken chair, stained pool table felt, vomit on a couch, missing linens where they cleaned vomit and threw them away, 30-40 bags of trash piled up by the single trash can, cigarette butts everywhere etc. The rental agency's response to me? You should sue them. That was the last straw and I terminated with the rental agency and began managing my property myself. I have been doing so for 7 years now and have obtained a 2nd and 3rd vacation home at Deep Creek Lake.
I wrote my own software to generate quotes quickly, created a website for my property, advertised with google adwords and the local chamber of commerce and have literally tripled the rental income, all the while maintaining an ever better condition of the house.
If you are ready to increase your rental income, decrease the damage your home incurs and have peace of mind like me then let me help you with the experiences I have gained over the last 7 years.