Why Stay in an Owner-Managed Vacation Rental

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Why Stay in an Owner Managed Vacation Rental

Last updated 9/6/2023

Vacation rentals have become a popular choice for travelers looking for a unique and personalized experience.  However, not all vacation rentals are created equal. In this blog post, we’ll explore why staying in an owner-managed vacation rental is often a better choice than one managed by a large property manager.

Soundfront beach grass

VRBO, Airbnb, Vacasa, & Big Box Managers

With the rise of online platforms like VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway, travelers have more options than ever before when it comes to choosing a vacation rental. On Hatteras Island, travelers also have the choice of using a large, local property manager such as Surf or Sound, Sun Realty, or Midgett Realty.  More recent vacation rental options also exist such as Vacasa.


First and foremost, when you stay in an owner-managed vacation rental, you’re dealing directly with the person who owns the property. This means that you’re more likely to get a personalized and responsive experience. When you have questions or concerns about your vacation rental amenities, you can reach out to the owner directly and get a timely response.

This level of communication is often lacking when you’re dealing with a large property manager. With a large property manager, you may have to navigate a complex system of customer service representatives and support teams before you can get a response to your question or concern.

Superior Maintenance & Cleaning

In addition to more personalized communication, staying in an owner-managed vacation rental often means that you’re staying in a property that’s been well cared for. Owners who manage their own vacation rentals have a personal stake in ensuring that their property is clean, well-maintained, and comfortable for guests. They take pride in their property and want their guests to have a positive experience.

On the other hand, large property management companies may be more focused on maximizing profits than on providing a high-quality guest experience. They may cut corners when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, which can result in a less-than-ideal stay for guests.

Cleaning vacation rental

Local Restaurants, Activities & Attractions

Another advantage of staying in an owner-managed vacation rental is that you’re more likely to get insider tips and recommendations for local activities and attractions. Owners who live in the area and manage their own vacation rentals are often passionate about their community and are eager to share their knowledge with guests. They may be able to recommend hidden gems that you wouldn’t find in a guidebook or on a tourist website. In contrast, large property managers may have a more impersonal approach to guest relations and may not have as much knowledge about the local area.

Less Expensive

Staying in an owner-managed vacation rental is a much more cost-effective option. When you book through VRBO, Airbnb, or similar web sites, many travelers don't realize you are paying up to 15% extra for your trip, which can amount to thousands of dollars.  When you book through a large property management company, you are also paying a premium for their services and overhead. When you book directly with an owner, you don't pay these fees or overhead costs.  Booking direct can also get you a lower rate or additional perks, such as early check-in or late check-out. Additionally, some owners may be willing to reduce certain fees, such as booking fees, for guests who book directly with them.

Cape Hatteras Motel & Hotels

Hotels and Motels on Hatteras Island are actually more expensive than an owner-managed vacation home when you can split the cost with other family members or friends.

High Quality, Unique Vacation Homes

Finally, staying in an owner-managed vacation rental can be a more authentic and unique experience. When you stay in a property that’s managed by an owner, you’re often staying in a space that reflects their personality and style. These properties can be full of character and charm, with unique touches that you wouldn’t find in a cookie-cutter hotel room or vacation rental managed by a large property manager. In contrast, properties managed by large property managers can feel sterile and impersonal, lacking the personal touches that make a vacation rental feel like a home away from home.

Potential Downsides

Of course, there are some downsides to staying in an owner-managed vacation rental. For example, some owners attempt to do everything themselves, which can lead to burnout, issues such as poor communication, or inadequate cleaning and maintenance. This is not the case with homes at Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals. Our homes all have professional maintenance and cleaning, professionally managed wireless internet, and each home is managed by someone who has a personal stake in your comfort and satisfaction: the owner himself.  No shortcuts are taken here.

Another downside of some owner-manage properties is when the owner doesn't allow dogs.  That is not the case at Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals because all of our properties are pet-friendly.


In conclusion, staying in an owner-managed vacation rental is the best choice for travelers who value personalized communication, well-maintained properties, insider tips and recommendations, cost-effectiveness, and unique experiences. While there are some potential downsides to consider, the benefits of staying in an owner-managed vacation rental often outweigh these drawbacks. By choosing an owner-managed vacation rental, travelers can enjoy a more authentic and personalized vacation experience, and may even make new connections with their hosts. So the next time you’re planning a vacation, consider booking an owner-managed vacation rental for a one-of-a-kind stay

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