StayMarquis, a vacation rental company based in Southampton Village, is expanding its offerings with a new house watching and property management service.
Named Home Vision, the service was piloted over the summer and is and now rolling out broadly on the South Fork to both homeowners who use StayMarquis to manage renting out their houses and to new clients who don’t necessarily use StayMarquis for rental management.
“It’s our version of property management, which in speaking with a lot of the homeowners that we work with, a lot of people just tend to rely on their neighbor to do periodic check-ins or the person down the street,” StayMarquis co-founder and managing partner Bryan Fedner said this month. “… Going that approach isn’t really the best solution because there’s really no oversight over what that person’s doing. Usually, that person isn’t necessarily a trained professional that knows exactly what to look out for, and there’s really no transparency in that industry.”
To create Home Vision, StayMarquis adapted the underlying technology that powers its “on the ground” rental management software so that it can be used for property management and house watching, Mr. Fedner said.
“Each owner will have their own personal field manager that they can contact for any issues or any questions, and that field manager is performing weekly inspections,” he explained. “During that inspection, they are completing a checklist directly from their mobile tablet.”
The checklist has about 120 points and can be customized to the home.
“So if a property has a hot tub and the owner wants to make sure we’re checking to make sure it’s 99 degrees, we would add that specific checklist item,” Mr. Fedner said, “and as the field manager is going through the home, we can even mandate that the field manager takes a photo of the temperature on the hot tub to confirm.”
After the inspection, a report is sent to the homeowner with any photos or videos that the field manager took.
“It’s giving the owner a much more in-depth view of their home,” Mr. Fedner said.
The field managers are locals with experience in house watching and property management, including some experienced in commercial property management, he said, adding that the field managers are familiar with the villages and the vendors on the South Fork.
“We’re able to negotiate, because of our scale, really attractive rates with some of the better vendors out here — so propane companies, electricians, landscapers, pool service — and we’re able to pass those savings along to owners who are part of our Home Vision program.”
If a field manager discovers an issue such as a leak, the manager will try to resolve the problem then and there. But if it proves to be more complicated, the issue will be reported to the homeowner, who may then give permission for StayMarquis to hire a professional.
The rate for a handyman or skilled labor is $70 an hour. If the homeowner needs a task done that doesn’t require skilled labor — such us picking up a light bulb or dropping off a propane tank — the rate for a generalist is $40 an hour, Mr. Fedner said. The price for these services is on top of the monthly retainer for Home Vision, but the field manager’s time to coordinate these extra services is included, he added.
Mr. Fedner said Home Vision clients can sign up for three months, six months or a year, and if they want to pause the service while they occupy the homes themselves, StayMarquis will accommodate them.
Home Vision clients may also enlist the service to manage rentals, though the rentals do not need to be booked through StayMarquis, Mr. Fedner said. The stays could be booked through Airbnb, VRBO or by other means, but StayMarquis will prepare the house for guests, greet them and walk them through the home, be the point of contact for the duration of the stay, perform a post-departure inspection and coordinate cleaning. That service is $350 plus $25 per day.
This is the first time StayMarquis has offered rental management to anyone outside of its own platform, Mr. Fedner said.
In addition to basic inspection service and any rental management help that Home Vision clients may want, StayMarquis can arrange spring and fall cleanups and winterization.
“It’s really very flexible with whatever homeowners may need,” Mr. Fedner said.
StayMarquis, which has an office on Windmill Lane in Southampton Village, has about 600 properties in its network, 95 percent of which are on the South Fork. The other 5 percent of homes are mostly on the North Fork and Shelter Island, and just recently, StayMarquis added 17 properties in Aspen, Colorado.
“What we’re really trying to do is expand to other complementary markets — luxury markets, like the Hamptons, such as Aspen, Park City, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard — and what we realized is that renters that go to all those markets, they’re very similar demographics, and people who go out to the Hamptons also go out to Aspen.”
Mr. Fedner said StayMarquis expects to expand into those markets in the next one to three years.
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