How to choose the best Airbnb management company from the top-5 in London?

Airbnb property management

Choosing the right partner to manage your property is the defining factor for the success of your listing. In this article I wanted to look at the top 5 ranked by google search term ‘airbnb management london’ and list my thoughts on pros and cons.

Number one in the list is the largest player – guestready.com

Launched in 2016, guestready is one of the largest management companies on the market. They cover multiple cities in the UK, not just London, but also Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Brighton and many others. They also have operations globally in Malaysia, the UAE, France, Switzerland and Portugal.

Pros:

-   Strong player in the market since 2016

-   Mobile dashboard to keep track of bookings and revenue

-   Property marketing and listing on all the largest channels – booking.com, expedia, Airbnb and others

-   Excellent reviews on trustpilot and google

 
Cons:

-   Large corporate structure

-   Commission from 18%, which includes the VAT

-   Not focused just on London, operate in multiple countries

-   Uncertain financial situation reported on companycheck.co.uk – net worth is negative at £-430k and liabilities of over £700k

-   Unclear if medium and longer term rentals, that are so crucial to generate income during the pandemic, are part of the strategy

 

Number 2 is another large company operating in the UK - passthekeys.co.uk. This company has the largest coverage of cities in the UK, they cover North England - Birmingham, Blackpool, Chester, Lake District, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, North West Norfolk Coast, Sunderland, York. Also Northern Ireland – Belfast, Scotland - East Fife, Edinburgh, Glasgow and South England - Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Canterbury, Christchurch, East Berkshire, Exeter, Guildford, Isle Of Wight, London, New Forest, Oxford, Poole. Reading, Southampton and also Wales – Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.

 

Pros:

-   Strong player since 2015

-   Excellent reviews on trustpilot and google

-   List with medium-term rental channels like homelike and spotahome

 

Cons:

-   Large corporate structure

-   Uncertain financial situation reported on companycheck.co.uk – net worth is negative at £-169k and liabilities of over £236k

-   Fees are pretty steep and could be as high as 28.8% including VAT, depending on the service package

-   Unclear if longer term rentals are part of the strategy, passthekeys don’t list with rightmove or zoopla

Number 3 in the search results of ‘airbnb management London’ is still hostmaker, even though this company ceased operation in March 2020. Ambitious marketing expenditures and poorly controlled costs are said to have been the main reasons for this top player in Airbnb management market in London to go under.

Number 4 in the list is cityrelay. Probably the best short, medium and longer term rental agent in London. Setup in 2015 this company focuses on maximising the revenue for the owner by combining short, medium and longer term rentals. Your property will be marketed on all the biggest channels - airbnb, booking.com, vrbo as well as medium term channels - thehomelike.com, spotahome and also the biggest long term rental websites in the UK - rightmove and zoopla. 

Pros

-   Focused on London

-   Detailed descriptions of services and pricing on the website

-   Excellent reviews on truspilot and google

 

Cons

-   Work with over 700 properties in London

-   Large corporate structure

-   Full-management service is quite pricey at 24% incl. VAT

 

Number 5 in the list is ivylettings.com

Last time the website has been updated was in 2016, it also contains little information on the company’s response to the challenges that the pandemic has brought. The website states that this company works with over 100 properties in London.

Pros:

-   Focused on London only

-   Small company, direct contact with owner/management

 

Cons:

-   Very little information on the website

-   No direct booking website, only possible to book directly via other channels

- unclear if medium and longer term channels are being used to market the property

Having looked at the top 5 airbnb management companies in London, how does one choose a property management company in the times of uncertainty? What should property investors consider to maximise their income and returns?

I can say with confidence that smaller management companies are better positioned to endure through difficult times and serve guests better. Here’s why:

 

  • small airbnb management companies can cut on costs very rapidly (e.g. no office, no shareholder or large investor expectations etc.) and generally have a more healthy cash flow and higher credit score (examples below)
  • more agile in changing the course of operation - for example, can refocus on marketing apartments to medium-stay (1-3 months) clients or domestic travelers
  • small airbnb management companies can devote more time to both host and guest management, provide tailor-made solutions and suggestions
  • small airbnb management companies value each client a lot more than large corporate management companies that have thousands of clients
  • As a rule, smaller management companies will also provide more rapid response to any maintenance issues that might arise at the property, they tend to also be more competitive at pricing such services, saving you a lot of money when for example boiler issues or any water leaks need to be resolved


StayinLondon provides full management services for short and monthly stays in London. By combining short, medium-term and longer term rentals we earn you more than traditional high-street estate agents. We have continued to guarantee income to our clients throughout 2020.

We are an alternative to large, corporate agencies that apply standard procedures to most of their properties. With a dedicated in-house team and 5-years of experience in the industry we guarantee a hassle-free experience for our clients.

Get in touch with us by filling out the contact form:
https://www.stayinlondon.co.uk/airbnb-management-london

Get in touch with us for advice and let's discuss the vision for your building!

Through mix of short, medium and longer-term bookings we strive to achieve at least 30% more than your current management company.

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