AvantStay Review: Is AvantStay Right for Hosts?

April 23, 2024

Many busy and remote vacation rental investors resort to professional property management services to take care of their investments. AvantStay has emerged as one of the best-known names in the short term rental management industry. But is AvantStay property management really worth it for owners and hosts? The short answer is no.

Summer, the top ranked vacation rental management company, is doing something different in the vacation rental management industry. The company is selective about the properties it signs based on its ability to operate a specific home. This results in a smaller portfolio of very valuable homes that consistently outperform both host and guest expectations. 

AvantStay Company Overview

AvantStay is a full-service vacation rental management company. Reuben Doetsch and Sean Breuner founded AvantStay in 2017, with headquarters in West Hollywood, CA. The company combines the use of technology with the efforts of local teams to deliver the services that it offers.

The AvantStay mission is to set a new standard in the short term rental industry by transforming beautiful homes into incredible experiences and unforgettable memories for guests. Meanwhile, hosts benefit from revenue management, distribution enhancements, comprehensive property care and safety, and local partners in each available market.

Unlike other best Airbnb property management companies, AvantStay specializes in the management of short term rentals designed for groups. This includes but is not limited to special occasions and company retreats.

An AvantStay review reveals that currently the company manages more than 1,800 properties located in over 100 markets across the US. The company portfolio includes more than $5 billion in managed assets.

AvantStay Property Management Overview

The core of the AvantStay business comprises the provision of full-service property management services to vacation rentals. The company works both with properties that are already operating as short term rentals but the owners would like to benefit from professional management and with properties that need to be transformed into vacation rentals.

AvantStay is able to help turn a primary home or an investment property into a vacation rental via professional interior design and furnishing services that are offered as an add-on.

Once properties are ready to welcome guests, the Airbnb property manager takes care of all necessary tasks, from dynamic pricing and listing optimization, all the way to cleaning, restocking, and maintaining rentals.

AvantStay aims to provide the following benefits to property owners:

AvantStay Property Management Market Coverage

As a boutique-style vacation rental property management company, AvantStay is not available in the entire US market.

The company focuses on 46 key destinations throughout the US that include:

AvantStay also operates in a few additional locations in the following states:

However, since AvantStay does not work in all locations in these states, interested owners need to confirm the availability of property management services in their market.

AvantStay Property Types for Management

AvantStay is able to manage 1) primary residences that are occasionally rented out on a short term basis, 2) vacation homes that have already been listed, and 3) investment properties that are now being converted into short term rentals.

As AvantStay caters to different kinds of guests, they work with various types of properties in order to be able to meet the needs of a wide range of travelers. The company specializes in group travels, so the majority of properties managed by them have four or more bedrooms. However, in some cases, they work with smaller properties that can fit couples and families too.

Some of the property types included in the AvantStay portfolio are:

Essential Airbnb amenities offered by AvantStay properties include air conditioning, heating, a washer, and a dryer. Common special features that many of the vacation rentals provide comprise a BBQ, a patio, a private pool, a private hot hut, a private yard, and an EV charger.

To qualify for AvantStay vacation rental management services, a property has to meet the company’s standards for comfort, convenience, and guest satisfaction.

The AvantStay pet policy is flexible, in line with hosts’ preferences. Property owners can decide whether to allow pets on their properties as well as the permitted pet number, pet size, pet breed, and the additional pet fees.

How AvantStay Property Management Works

As a full-service Airbnb management company, AvantStay covers a wide range of tasks that are needed to operate a short term rental property.

Core AvantStay Property Management Services

As part of the standard AvantStay vacation rental management packages, hosts get access to the following services:

To offer these services and optimize the performance of vacation homes, AvantStay uses a combination of technology and local teams.

Additional AvantStay Property Management Services

In addition to the standard services listed above, AvantStay provides some more options needed by certain hosts. The extra services are mostly related to getting new properties ready to welcome guests and be listed on Airbnb and other vacation rental websites.

These additional services include:

These services are not included in the monthly management fees. For them, if needed, property owners need to pay a one-time fee. AvantStay does not specify the range of the cost to furnish a house to rent out on a short term basis.

Onboarding with AvantStay

As a first step in starting working with AvantStay, property owners can fill in an online form on the company website to get a free income report. This report estimates the monthly rental revenue that hosts can expect to earn with AvantStay based on their property’s location and features.

To discuss the details of the property management process and agreement, interested short term rental hosts can call or text AvantStay or book a meeting via the company website.

During the onboarding process, investors get access to the AvantStay proprietary owner portal, Lighthouse. There they can check and track the status and performance of their property in real time.

Getting a new property listed and ready to welcome guests takes an average of a few weeks.

AvantStay Property Management Fees and Costs

AvantStay offers two different arrangements that property owners can choose between. Each option comes with its own fees and owner payout structure and process.

The two possible arrangements are:

Master Lease

Under the Master Lease option, AvantStay and property owners agree on a fixed monthly rental income that is determined based on the rental’s location, amenities, and other features. The host receives the same amount of money month after month, regardless of the season and the changes in the local short term rental market.

The AvantStay fees comprise the difference between the actual listing earnings and the owner payout in addition to all works and costs handled by the Airbnb manager.

This could be a good option for investors who are looking for a predictable, reliable income stream.

Vacation Rental Management

Under the Vacation Rental Management, AvantStay charges a fixed share of the monthly rental income, while the owner gets their own portion of the monthly revenue. In this case, the owner payout varies from month to month, depending on seasonal demand and the number of bookings.

AvantStay does not specify the exact percentage that they charge under this arrangement. Property owners who have worked with the company report a minimum rate of 20%, which can go up depending on the market, the property, and the provided services.

This property management model could work out for hosts who are interested in maximizing their earnings, when possible.

With both vacation rental management models, additional AvantStay interior design, furnishing, and photography services are available for properties that need them. They are paid for separately, and owners benefit from the discounted rates available to the professional property manager.

AvantStay Property Management Terms and Requirements

Short term rental property owners need to sign a written property management contract in order to work with AvantStay. The terms of the agreement are flexible and depend on which model hosts choose: Master Lease or Vacation Rental Management.

However, the AvantStay website does not provide a copy of the contract and does not specify the terms. It is not clear whether it’s a monthly or an annual agreement and what is required to cancel the contract in case owners are not completely satisfied with the quality of the services and the performance of their property.

Before deciding to hire AvantStay, property owners should ask for a copy of the contract that they can review carefully to understand the exact terms and conditions.

AvantStay Reviews

When deciding whether to hire AvantStay or another property management company, hosts need to take into consideration the experiences of other owners that have worked with this property manager. It’s also important to see what guests have shared about their stays at AvantStay-managed properties. This is best done by checking out AvantStay reviews on trustworthy third-party review websites.

AvantStay customer reviews are available on:

AvantStay has generally good ratings on online review websites, like Trustpilot, Yelp, and BBB. However, host and guest reviews show a mix of positive and negative experiences.

Positive reviews highlight the top-notch services, the perfect matches between listings and properties, the unique experiences, the excellent properties, the well-prepared rentals, the excellent locations, the cleanliness, the comfortable furniture, the well-maintained amenities and appliances, the easy processes, the thorough communication, and the available AvantStay staff.

Negative reviews, on the other hand, talk about terrible services, scammy practices, last-minute cancellations, poorly maintained rentals, dirty homes, multiple problems with properties, lack of hot water and gas, unusable cookware, unworking appliances and amenities, unexpected charges, unavailable customer support, and insensitive staff.

Furthermore, over the last four years, property owners and hosts have filed numerous complaints about AvantStay via the BBB website. Complaints focus on the poor app interface and user experience, the painful processes, the absence of utilities, the filthy properties, the presence of pests, the incompetent maintenance staff, violations of local noise ordinances, and the lack of advertised amenities.

AvantStay Competitors and Alternatives

A review of AvantStay shows that their property management services might be a good match for the owners of large vacation rental properties tailored to the needs of group travelers. But even these owners need to consider the negative AvantStay reviews written by some hosts and guests.

Meanwhile, there are a number of AvantStay alternatives that might be better suited to meet the needs of various short term rental investors.

The top AvantStay competitors include:

AvantStay vs Summer

Summer offers complete vacation home solutions that can be used both by owners who have just purchased an investment property and want to convert it into a short term rental and hosts who are already operating an Airbnb business and want to enhance its performance.

Summer property management services are comprehensive, yet flexible to adjust to the specific needs and requirements of each owner and each property. The company can help get properties ready for renting out and listing through best-in-class Airbnb interior design and furnishing services.

Ongoing services include but are not limited to listing optimization, dynamic pricing (combining the use of tech-based data analysis with manual reviews and adjustments), revenue enhancement, guest communication and support, booking management, payment processing, cleaning and restocking between guests, property maintenance and repairs, and others. As a result of the superior property management services, Summer is able to boost monthly revenue by an average of 20%.

Summer operates in the best short term rental markets nationwide through local teams. If the company doesn’t currently have a team in your market, they will consider starting one, provided that operational excellence can be guaranteed. Summer manages different types of vacation rental properties that earn a minimum of $50,000 per year.

The monthly management fee starts at 20% of revenue excluding cleaning fees, while other property managers include the cleaning fee. Home design and furnishing services are charged separately.

Current customers praise the detailed investment analysis, the made-easy approach to second homeownership, and the high-value-for-money solutions to vacation rental management.

AvantStay vs Vacasa

Vacasa is the largest AvantStay competitor in the US market, currently managing over 44,000 short term rentals. Once again, this is a full-service Airbnb management company that has recently ventured into the management of long-term stays too.

The main services offered by Vacasa property management include listing, marketing, dynamic pricing, guest screening, cleaning, supply stocking, property inspections, maintenance, help with permits and licenses, and payment processing. Unlike AvantStay and Summer, Vacasa does not provide interior design and furnishing services. It’s important to note that some services like hot tub maintenance and the linen program are not included in the standard packages and incur additional fees.

Vacasa works in a number of markets in 35 US states plus some locations in Canada, Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica. They manage various kinds of properties.

Vacasa property management fees depend on the location and the property size and type. The range is not available on the company website. Hosts report that the average fees exceed 25% and sometimes even 35% of monthly revenue. Additionally, certain services are charged separately.

AvantStay vs Evolve

Evolve is another widely used AvantStay alternative. Unlike AvantStay, this is a half-service short term rental property manager that focuses on the automation of certain tasks but does not provide passive income to Airbnb investors.

Evolve services include listing creation and optimization, listing promotion, marketing, dynamic pricing, revenue optimization, guest communication automation, and property damage and liability protection. In addition, Evolve reviews show that the company can connect property owners with local vendors for the provision of cleaning, laundry, restocking, and maintenance services. Nevertheless, hosts need to continue managing and coordinating the work of their property management team.

Different properties in more than 750 US markets as well as select locations in Canada and Mexico are eligible for Evolve property management. The company requires rentals to be clean, safe, guest ready, and as advertised.

Evolve charges a universal fee of 10% of monthly income. While this might sound like a very affordable fee, hosts should keep in mind that they still need to be actively involved in the management of their vacation rental. This makes Evolve a potentially good choice for investors who want to participate in all decisions regarding their rentals.

Bottom Line

A diligent AvantStay review shows that this is a full-service vacation rental property management company that specializes in larger properties and group travels. The company seems to cover all tasks and activities that are required to operate an Airbnb business, from design and furnishing, through listing optimization and guest communication, all the way to cleaning and maintenance. However, the lack of specific AvantStay pricing information and the presence of multiple complaints by hosts and guests might make owners doubt whether this is the best fit for their needs.

Meanwhile, Summer offers comprehensive, yet flexible services that are highly valued and praised by existing owners. The Summer pricing model is extremely transparent, with a fixed monthly fee of 25% for all property types and in all markets. This excludes home design and furnishing services that are priced competitively.

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