Property Management / Starting Out

Which property management solution is best for you?

Some aspects of running a property rental business in the French Alps can only be managed locally. Before finding the ideal property management solution for you, consider:

Read on to discover which local property management solution best suits you…

8 key factors which may impact your choice of property manager:

1. Your tax regime

Some regimes require you to provide specific services for guests. For example, the ‘Parahotellerie’ regime requires three out of five of their services to be available for guests. 

How can we help?

  • Accountants such as SAREG, can advise on which regime is best to follow depending on an individual owners’ business portfolio
  • OVO Network can often recommend available managers we already work with
  • New managers and recruits undergo selection and training and agree to work to our Manager Charter before we recommend them

2. Local supply

The service you want to provide may not be available locally. Some resorts have national or international property management company solutions on offer. Often guest management is provided by:

  • Local auto-entrepreneurs
  • Owners and local teams
  • Small local concierge companies offering bespoke services

Tourist Offices and online research may be able to suggest various property management solutions, however word of mouth is even better, giving additional confidence and references . Owners can also check the managers’ websites and local Facebook pages, etc. You can also check the SIRET number of companies online.

How can we help?

  • We meet all managers before we recommend them to owners
  • Before we make an introduction, all property managers agree to work to our Manager Charter

3. Local costs

Some owners are surprised at the cost of local services, compared to the price for similar services ‘back home’. Local Property Manager rates vary across the Alps, depending on destination, services included and the business structure of the property management solution. 

Some resorts will be busy mainly in peak seasons, whereas others are busy all year round. Owners should consider how their planned occupancy and sales targets impact on the chalet team’s ability to make a living. 

How can we help?

  • We can often provide examples or average figures of local rates for key services provided by local partners
  • We can provide a structure to use when discussing required services

4. Best value

It can be difficult to compare costs as companies present their rates differently. Many property managers do not charge for their service while the owners are staying in the property. However, cleaning and laundry services are payable. Some managers ask for monthly retainers. Others charge per booking, and (mainly agencies) ask for a percentage of booking value.

How can we help?

  • We provide owners with a guide to expected mandatory costs, including management costs, to help them calculate their overheads.
  • We explain extra tasks triggered by an event, that managers are often expected to carry out. These will need to be discussed with the manager.

5. Availability

Some owners frequently reserve the property for their own use, whereas other properties are purely investment properties. If too few nights are sold, this may not provide adequate earning potential for owners or managers and their teams. Too many nights sold may not suit the team’s family lifestyle, or availability. 

Managers sometimes have several jobs and fixed hours. Therefore, they may not have the flexibility to be available to manage short stays with variable arrival and departure times.

Once UK-based owners are able to easily use their properties again, patterns of use may change due to Brexit rules.

How can we help?

Our statistics show:

  • Most ski rental properties are fully booked for the 35 peak winter nights
  • Properties with great outdoor areas and extra facilities can also attract 35 peak summer nights
  • Demand and pricing is higher in winter than summer, but most OVO Network Complete properties appeal to guests in both winter and summer
  • Arrival days tend to be Saturday or Sunday 
  • Generally, owner occupancy varies between 14 to 56 nights per year

6. Legal status

Local employment requirements and interpretations can impact some services that managers provide. Owners cannot ask or expect managers to overstep their permitted roles. For example, some managers do not handle money intended for owners, local tourist taxes, give keys, or take inventories. Concierge, estate agency and property management partners may do so as they have different structures. 

Many British companies previously operating in France have been impacted by local employment laws and Brexit, as well as Covid-19. Some resorts have felt this impact more than others.

How can we help?

  • We can advise on the local situation
  • Our flexible tools, support and procedures are developed to enable owners to run their own property rental business legally, and for managers to work within the law

7. Owner and guest expectations

You may not agree with what one company promotes as a high end service. Also, this may not be what you require for your guests. Remember to ask questions about the following before making your choice:

  • The minimum level of service on offer
  • Previous experience
  • Procedures and protocols
  • Extra services possible
  • Fees

How can we help?

Our online and in-chalet training courses form a solid framework for the whole team. They have been developed to share best practice and to incorporate government guidelines.  

8. Sustainability

Owners and managers focus on creating safe environments for guests by using the correct products for different tasks, and using products that are kind to the environment.

How can we help?

  • Like all other responsible businesses, we regularly review the fast evolving advice and guidelines regarding Covid-19 from a human, environmental and governmental point of view 
  • We also share contact details of companies offering supplies we think owners and managers would be interested in, via our bimonthly newsletters

How do OVO Network owners find managers?

With good communications and tools, mutual respect and clearly defined expectations of roles, our owners and managers commit to abide by our Manager Charter. All are clear on what their responsibilities are to both guests and each other. We each focus on our strengths and what we enjoy. It’s a network! 

Our flexible solutions and systems support four main different types of property manager: 

Owner Managers

Some owners live locally, and really enjoy meeting all of their guests. This type of manager is passionate about looking after their guests and their property themselves. They do this with help from their local network. 

Independent property managers 

These managers are the owners’ local representatives. They are on hand to organise/ carry out:

  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Snow clearing
  • Deliveries
  • Garden services and more!

How does OVO Network support its Owner Managers and independent Managers? 

Owner Managers and Independent Property Managers take care of the properties and the guests according to our Manager Charter, guides, training and support. Our business solutions, systems and procedures take care of everything else, in two languages.

Estate Agents (Agence Immobilier)

Some Estate Agency partners also offer Property Management services. Some simply provide clean bed linens and cleaning services on changeover day. However others take bookings and reservations, collect payments which are passed on to owners, manage security deposits/inventories, and manage adverts on one or more Online Travel Agency (OTA) website.

Specialist Independent Property Management / Concierge companies

These companies tend to focus on providing extra guest services including: housekeeping, supplementary laundry and cleaning services, as well as breakfast and other meal deliveries. They will also organise activities, sports equipment hire, lift passes, home chefs, babysitters, tickets for events and more!

They generally have great networks of local service providers, as well as excellent local knowledge. 

How does OVO Network work with estate agencies and concierge company partners?

Our systems and solutions manage the administration and translation of all listings and booking processes, without risk of double bookings. We extend the marketing reach and other advertising of our partner properties.

Our team focuses on keeping up to date with national, local and international developments in our industry, search engine optimisation (SEO), marketing and PR. As well as this, we manage and create web pages in two languages, which is not always possible for smaller housekeepers who prefer working with guests.  

To find out more about our Manager Training Courses, our Manager Charter and our different business solutions available, follow the link below.

OVO Network focuses on what we do best and we partner with those who share our values and approaches.

Interested in learning more? Take a look at our business solutions here. You can also follow us on LinkedIn for more company updates and tips on running a successful rental business in the French Alps.

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