If you don’t want to be a DIY Airbnb host, choose the best short-term rental property manager in your area. The past decade has seen a major rise in the number of local and national property management companies working with vacation rentals in specific. If you’re looking for a hybrid approach combining the benefits of both local and national property managers, it’s worth checking out SkyRun.
So, is SkyRun worth it? In brief, no. Although SkyRun is a full-service property management company, it doesn’t offer the optimal value for money in the US market.
What SkyRun Is
SkyRun is a locally owned and operated full-service vacation rental property management company. Steve Falk and Barry Cox founded it in 2004, and the headquarters are in Boulder, CO. The company operates in 28 markets in the US and Canada.
The mission of SkyRun is to provide new, better ways to help second home owners get the most out of their properties while helping guests get the most out of their vacation experiences.
To achieve this goal, SkyRun property management relies on a mix of proprietary software with a local and personal touch.
What sets SkyRun apart from other Airbnb management companies is that it operates as a network of local entrepreneurs who buy into the business to become property managers. In this way, the company combines the advantages of local property managers and larger-scale property management companies.
Specifically, cooperating with local entrepreneurs ensures that investors and their properties benefit from a personal approach and care. There is a nationwide process and accountability. That’s why our SkyRun property management review ranks it as the best local Airbnb property manager.
What SkyRun Property Management Is
SkyRun is a full-service short-term rental property management company. The company has been managing vacation rentals since its establishment in 2004 as its core business. This means that SkyRun has been around for longer than many of its major competitors like Vacasa and Evolve.
SkyRun manages over 1,000 vacation rentals in 25 destinations. This is not a large portfolio considering the 18-year history of the company and the 25 independently owned and operated businesses. This makes SkyRun bigger than Rabbu and Air Concierge but significantly smaller than Vacasa and Evolve.
All properties managed by SkyRun are only owned by real estate investors and not the company itself. This avoids a conflict of interest between investors and the company.
SkyRun does not say what average increase in revenue hosts can expect once they hire them. Instead, property owners can contact the team, provide details on their home, and get a revenue estimate.
Where SkyRun Property Management Is Available
SkyRun property management services are available in 28 markets including 11 US states and Canada. They achieve this market coverage through 25 independent local short-term rental property management businesses supported by a team of national experts. The company considers its unique approach of combining local ownership with national reach as its primary advantage over competitors.
SkyRun does not specify what types of properties it operates. Owners need to tell the team about their property in order to see if it’s eligible. Unlike Casago, this company focuses on short-term rentals only.
How SkyRun Property Management Works
SkyRun property management review reveals a hybrid method between a local property manager and a national property management company. This can come with many benefits, but it might also come with drawbacks, so it’s important to know what other hosts think about SkyRun before deciding whether to hire them.
The major risk is that the level and quality of the provided services might vary widely as it depends on the commitment and professionalism of the local team despite the national oversight and accountability.
Core SkyRun Property Management Services
As a full-service vacation rental property manager, SkyRun provides most tasks required from hosts. Their services include:
- Property listing: SkyRun creates a rental listing that is optimized to outperform comps.
- Vacation rental marketing: SkyRun manages property listings on 65+ major online booking platforms. The team undergoes special training from the leading short-term rental marketplaces.
- Supporting owners in licensing and permitting: SkyRun teams are familiar with the local regulations and guide hosts through obtaining and maintaining required licenses, permits, and other documentation. This is an important benefit which not all SkyRun alternatives provide. Local authorities continue introducing new and changing existing short-term rental laws, so it’s crucial to have a local expert who can keep you on track.
- Housekeeping: SkyRun has a thorough process to prepare properties between stays.
- Providing linens and towels: SkyRun supplies vacation rentals with high-quality linen and washes it between guests.
- Restocking: SkyRun restocks disposable supplies between stays.
- Cleaning: SkyRun cleans properties after guests.
- Communicating with guests: SkyRun is available to communicate with guests before, during, and after stays via phone, email, and text.
- Supporting guests 24/7: SkyRun is available to assist guests at all times to generate positive reviews. However, you should know that you will lose the reviews that the company gets for your property once you stop working with them. Since SkyRun lists properties under its brand name on Airbnb, VRBO, and other booking websites, the reviews of your property will stay with them if you discontinue the agreement.
- Managing revenue: SkyRun combines proprietary software using nationwide data with local market intelligence to optimize pricing and maximize margins.
- Assisting with taxes and accounting: SkyRun collects necessary taxes from guests and pays them to the state and local authorities on behalf of hosts. They also organize and prepare end-of-year tax documents.
- Property maintaining: SkyRun conducts thorough inspections and routine service to ensure preventive maintenance. They rely on smart home technology to keep rentals in good shape.
- Running an owner portal: SkyRun offers a comprehensive owner portal where hosts can access 24/7, 360-degree view of their second home, reservations, KPIs, monthly statements, 1099s, and annual reports.
Additional SkyRun Property Management Services
SkyRun does not provide any extra vacation rental property management services that are paid separately. The monthly fee covers all their work. However, one reason they don’t charge extra fees is that they don’t provide some important services to be considered a truly full-service property manager.
Omitted SkyRun Property Management Services
There are two primary services that are missing from the SkyRun property management portfolio.
First, SkyRun does not help with interior design, so real estate investors have to prepare their properties for listing on their own. This is a major drawback as it’s important to follow local trends and demand when furnishing a short-term rental to boost occupancy, optimize daily rates and generate positive guest reviews. As an investor though, you cannot always be familiar with local demand unless you already have experience in the market.
Second, SkyRun does not provide vacation rental insurance. Some top competitors don’t include this service either, but they offer to connect hosts with the best insurance providers in the local market. Another company that does not offer any help is Casago.
Benefits of SkyRun Property Management
The major advantages which SkyRun property management provides to owners include:
- Bringing together local ownership and national reach. We consider this to be the biggest pro of hiring this company. Our SkyRun property management review shows that this is a truly unique business model in the US short-term rental market.
- Combining hands-on personal care with innovative technology.
- Benefiting from nearly two decades of vacation rental property experience.
- Working together with property owners at all stages of the process.
- Building long-term relations between hosts and local staff who are always available.
SkyRun Property Management Onboarding
Getting started with SkyRun requires a few steps:
- Investors need to tell SkyRun about their property to check if it qualifies.
- SkyRun and investors create a customized rental agreement.
- There is an onboarding process to get the property and the host ready.
- The rental listing goes live on 65+ platforms, so bookings can start.
SkyRun does not specify how transferring a vacation rental from another property manager to them works. So, in case someone else currently manages your property, you should ask about the specific steps before committing to SkyRun.
How Much SkyRun Property Management Costs and Fees
SkyRun property management services are paid at a base commission rate which varies by market, starting at 15% of revenue. While this number is low by industry standards for full-service Airbnb property managers, it is not clear how high it can get. The company website does not provide a specific pricing structure by location.
This is the only cost which investors have to cover. There are no onboarding and leaving costs, which is the standard in the industry. One major exception is Air Concierge, which charges an onboarding fee of $300 and an early-termination fee between $3,500 and $7,500. This is a poor practice as owners should be able to opt out at any point if they are not 100% satisfied with the services their property receives.
The company prides itself in having transparent terms and no surprise charges. However, part of the reason for the lack of additional charges is that they don’t offer services like interior design and insurance, which many SkyRun competitors charge separately for.
SkyRun does not explain how revenue collection and owner payouts work.
SkyRun Property Management Terms and Requirements
We expect property owners to sign a contract before working with the SkyRun property management company. This is a good thing as it means that investors will know exactly what to expect from their property manager as well as what’s required from them.
They customize the contract to the specific property and the individual needs of the investor. According to the contract, SkyRun is expected to provide full-service property management.
SkyRun does not expect long-term commitment on behalf of investors. The company does not specify if there is an expected advance notice. When hiring a property manager, it is important to keep the flexibility to leave at any point when you decide their services are not what you expected.
However, keep in mind that if you leave SkyRun, you will lose all the reviews and rankings that they generated for your property. This is because listings on websites like Airbnb and VRBO are created under the SkyRun name and not your name.
Under the terms of the SkyRun property management agreement, owners reserve the right to use their second home for personal reasons for as many days per year as they wish.
SkyRun Property Management Reviews
Despite its long history, SkyRun doesn’t have the same strong online presence like some of its key competitors. In addition, most SkyRun reviews refer to local entrepreneurs working under the brand rather than the national company.
Some places to find online SkyRun customer reviews include:
- Facebook: Currently 4.0/5 stars based on 53 reviews of SkyRun Keystone
- Yelp: Currently 2.0/5 stars based on 19 reviews of SkyRun Keystone
- Facebook: Currently 2.6/5 stars based on 5 reviews of SkyRun Vail
- Facebook: Currently 3.5/5 stars based on 4 reviews of SkyRun Aspen
Positive SkyRun reviews from guests comment on excellent properties. However, most guest reviews are negative. Guests complain about “disgusting” and “filthy” rentals, broken appliances, lack of supplies, cancellations on behalf of the company, inability to cancel under extreme circumstances, and poor customer support.
While host reviews are few, they are negative. Property owners who have worked with SkyRun complain about guest damages, absence of inspections, poor communication, and abrupt contract termination upon asking about the reasons behind the awful state of the property.
There are many guest reviews on Airbnb, but they all come under different SkyRun host profiles as each SkyRun local office has its own Airbnb account. The company claims to have an average guest score of 4.8/5 stars. Aso, they’ve been recognized as an Airbnb Superhost, Vrbo Premier Host, and Vrbo Preferred Connectivity Partner.
Hiring SkyRun as your Airbnb property manager could bring advantages because of their approach combining local ownership with national reach. However, SkyRun reviews by property owners and guests make one doubt if this is the best choice in the US vacation rental market. Thus, it’s worth looking at SkyRun alternatives to see what they do better and what they do worse.
Awning vs SkyRun
Our Awning property management review shows that this is the top Airbnb property manager in the US because it provides the best value for money. Awning is a full-service company which really offers all services necessary to turn a short-term rental business into a source of passive income. They help get properties ready for listing and welcoming guests and take care of all ongoing tasks and responsibilities.
Unlike SkyRun, Awning has nationwide coverage within the US by vetting and setting up local teams of vendors before even taking on properties in a market. The SkyRun competitor manages all conventional property types.
One advantage of Awning that’s worth highlighting is the interior design and vacation rental furnishing service. This is managed by the ex-Head of Design at Airbnb, so Awning-furnished vacation rentals generate 50% more income than comps.
Similar to SkyRun, Awning also applies a two-part dynamic pricing strategy. Local revenue experts review the latest technology-generated numbers to confirm optimal daily rates that maximize occupancy and revenue.
Contrary to SkyRun, Awning charges an industry-low full-service property management fee of 15% of revenue. The percentage remains the same regardless of the market and the property type. This covers all services provided by Awning except for design and furnishing. If hosts opt for this option, they will set a budget together with the Awning team.
Overall, Awning is an optimal choice for investors in short-term rental properties in all US markets and of all types.
Evolve vs SkyRun
Evolve is not a direct SkyRun competitor because it is a half-service vacation rental property management company. This means that they do not cover all services necessary for passive real estate investments. Evolve property management services focus on listing, marketing, dynamic pricing, and vacation rental insurance.
Evolve is a much larger company than SkyRun as it manages 24,000+ vacation rentals in 750 US markets and Mexico. Although it’s one of the biggest property managers in North America, Evolve reviews by property owners and guests raise a lot of red flags.
Unlike SkyRun, Evolve charges the same short-term rental property management fee of 10% of revenue in all locations and for all property sizes. This sounds like a tiny fee, but it covers fewer services than those provided by SkyRun alternatives. You should know that Evolve can help connect you with vetted local vendors for the services not provided by the company. But this means that you will need to remain actively involved with your vacation rental, managing and supervising the work of all vendors.
Based on our Evolve property management review, this can be a good choice for investors who live close to their second home and would like to take part in its management.
Vacasa vs SkyRun
Vacasa is a close SkyRun alternative as a full-service Airbnb property manager. This is the largest short-term rental property management company in North America, with 35,000+ rentals in its portfolio.
Vacasa has a wider geographical coverage than SkyRun because it operates in 35 US states, Canada, Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica. Vacasa works with most property types and covers most services expected from a full-service provider.
Similar to SkyRun, Vacasa fees vary between markets and property types. However, the SkyRun competitor does not publish on its website how much the fee starts from. Vacasa reviews by property owners reveal that management fees range between 25% and 35%. Things like interior design, linen, and insurance are paid separately. Hosts report unexpected, unclear charges on their bills.
The company is widely present online, with many Vacasa reviews by both hosts and guests. These include many Vacasa complaints highlighting many problems with rentals managed by Vacasa and poor customer support.
Vacasa doesn’t seem to provide good value for money despite their status as the most popular property management company in North America.
Our SkyRun property management review shows a truly unique business model putting together a national reach with local ownership and entrepreneurship. Overall, we rank SkyRun as a local Airbnb property manager as each branch operates as its own entity, has its own account on booking websites, and generates its own customer reviews. While SkyRun offers a good range of services, it’s not clear how much exactly they will charge before they evaluate a property. Their online presence is rather scarce for 18 years in the industry, and reviews are generally bad.
* If you’re looking for the top vacation rental property management company in the US market, Awning provides comprehensive services which allow investors to make truly passive income, at an industry-low fee of 15% of monthly revenue.