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Potential Pitfalls of VRBO vs. Full Service Property Management Companies

Okay, so you've made the big decision to come to Aspen for your next vacation. The next logical question has to be, "Where am I going to stay?" There's a lot of options out there, even in Aspen. You have two choices: Rent from a reputable property management company or rent from an individual owner, also known as vacation rental by owner (VRBO). Amidst a sea of websites and tons of information floating around out there. Luckily, our blog team is here to make some sense of it all from a vacationer's standpoint. In this week's blog, we analyze the matchup: Property Management Companies vs. VRBO.

The first difference between the two is dealing with a company versus dealing with an individual. Companies like us have trained professionals that have years of experience in very detail-oriented fields, everything from housekeeping and maintenance to reservations and sales. With a property management company like Frias, there are professionals in every field to assist you. With a VRBO, there's often times only one person who makes all the decisions. In that case, your vacation may be limited depending on that person's specific skill set. A VRBO owner may be good at marketing and sales, but be poor at legal formalities regarding leases. The second difference is service. Property management companies offer a wealth of extras that most VRBOs don't. Frias Properties of Aspen, for example, offer amenities like:

  • Complimentary Aspen Airport transfers (excludes the Independence Square hotel)
  • 24-hour maintenance
  • Full housekeeping services
  • Front desk check-in services
  • Concierge desk

A concierge desk can be very helpful. At Frias Properties, the concierge desk does everything from making dinner reservations to planning whitewater rafting excursions.

Property management companies often work with local retailers to provide specials and other goods or services at a discount or for free. This can include everything from coupons for discounted ski rentals all the way to some really sweet freebies. For example, all Frias Properties guests receive complimentary health club passes. The passes are good for your entire stay. In short, property management companies like Frias are more of a "one-stop shop" for everything related to vacation rentals.

Frias Properties principal owners Chuck Frias and Tim Clark will both tell you that many of Frias Properties' current homeowners started out by having their first Aspen vacation in a Frias-managed unit. Since 1974, Frias has been serving guests. How many on a VRBO site can make that claim?

The third difference is choice. Again, with VRBOs many times it is just one owner. Sure, there's plenty of units to choose from VRBO or AirBnB sites, but you just never know what (or who) you might get. Why roll the dice? It's your vacation, right? A property management company offers a much larger selection of condos and homes. Frias Properties currently has more than 200 condominiums, townhomes and private homes to choose from, all located near downtown Aspen. Save time by going to only one site instead of searching numerous sites.

Browse Frias Properties lodging options Let's hope the fourth difference never, ever happens. ... But what is something goes wrong? Should an emergency happen, would your VRBO representative be available? If you needed something - anything - would there be someone to help? Lots of questions here. And with an individual owner, you could be waiting hours (or days) for a resolution to your problem. Property management companies like Frias have a 24-hour maintenance and response team available 365 days a year. With Frias Properties of Aspen, help is never more than a phone call away. That's probably why the company's motto is "Experience Matters. Yours and Ours."