Best Airbnb Management Companies in Malibu: In Depth Review

May 13, 2024, written by Dennis Shirshikov

With dozens of celebrity homes, broad sandy beaches, and tons of other attractions, Malibu, CA is one of the top locations to invest in a short term rental property. However, this hot market comes with high property prices and picky guests, which means that owners need to put extra effort into running a profitable vacation rental business. Alternatively, they can hire one of the best Malibu Airbnb management companies.

Summer, the top ranked Airbnb property management company in Malibu, 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 valuable homes that consistently outperform both host and guest expectations. 

The best Airbnb management companies in Malibu are:

How We Selected the Best Airbnb Property Managers in Malibu

Our ranking of the top short term rental management companies in Malibu is based on the following criteria:

Summer: Best Overall Airbnb Management Company in Malibu

Summer is a leading short term rental manager in the Malibu market because the company works only with properties where it can provide the excellent services expected from the best property manager. As a result, Summer-managed properties perform better than 95% of comps in the local market. This is achieved through customized, high-quality, comprehensive vacation rental management services, offered at competitive pricing. Summer maintains a 4.98 Airbnb rating and an Airbnb Superhost for all listings.

Summer Services

Summer offers more services than any other Airbnb manager in Malibu. This covers all must-have services in addition to unique options that maximize results for vacation rental owners.

To optimize the performance of each property in its portfolio, Summer takes care of:

Independent from the Airbnb management services, the Summer team offers the following services to hosts who need them:

With Summer, hosts can reserve their property for personal use as often as they want and for as long as they want. Moreover, as members of the Summer network, they can stay at other Summer homes nationwide by using their management account balance.

While Summer operates nationwide, the company offers local presence in Malibu as well as in all other markets where it works. In addition to cleaning and maintenance staff, Summer has a dedicated local manager who ensures that properties meet and even exceed the high standards of both hosts and guests at all times.

Summer Markets

Summer manages Airbnb properties in all areas of the Malibu market as well as surrounding areas in Los Angeles County. As a national short term rental property manager, Summer has established a local Malibu team to guarantee operational excellence.

Summer Property Types

Summer works with different types of single family homes and small multifamily homes rented out on a short term basis. The company only takes on homes that earn a minimum of $50,000 in rental revenue per year.

Summer carefully vets and analyzes properties before agreeing to manage them in order to make sure that it can provide the top-quality services expected from the best Malibu Airbnb property manager.

Summer Fees and Costs

Summer charges a single monthly fee, starting at 20% of booking revenue excluding cleaning fees. This makes Summer different from other Airbnb management companies in Malibu which calculate fees based on revenue including cleaning fees, which further inflates the overall cost. The Summer fee covers all ongoing services, and the exact amount depends on the operational complexity of the property and its performance. There are no hidden fees whatsoever.

The only other cost charged by Summer is for design and furnishing services, for hosts who need them. Prices start at $10,000 for smaller properties requiring only basic furniture. The final price depends on the property type and size, the number of rooms, the quality of furniture, and the delivery and installation options.

Summer Terms and Conditions

Summer does not require long term commitment from hosts. They are free to stay for as long as they are happy with the services provided by Summer and the performance of their property.

Once the company and the host have signed an agreement, the onboarding process takes 2-4 weeks. During this time, Summer inspects the property, makes sure that it is ready for guests, and creates an optimized listing. The Summer design and furnishing process, when needed, takes an average of 6-8 weeks, from beginning to end.

Summer Reviews

Summer members praise the deep quantitative analysis offered beforehand, the practical approach, and the affordable property management solutions.

On the Airbnb platform, Summer has an average rating of 4.98 stars, proving the positive experiences of thousands of guests. Since the beginning, the company has maintained a Superhost status as a result of the exceptional services provided to both guests and properties.

How to Get Started with Summer

Interested Malibu short term rental owners can schedule a free, one-on-one, personalized consultation with the Summer team. As part of the application process, Summer provides every applicant with a complete understanding of the projected revenue and ways to improve the property performance. 

Hosted by Sara: Best for Luxury Properties

Hosted by Sara is a local Airbnb property management company owned and operated by a Pasadena/Los Angeles native with experience in the real estate and vacation rental industry. The property manager has a small portfolio of about 45 properties in Malibu, Los Angeles, and Topanga and is able to provide boutique-style services to them. This could be a good fit for luxurious short term rentals which benefit from discounted management fees.

Hosted by Sara Services

Hosted by Sara provides the following services to Malibu vacation rental property owners:

The company also provides furnishing and interior decorating services, apart from vacation rental management.

Hosted by Sara does not take care of amenities and supplies (such as toilet paper, paper towels, linens, towels, etc.), utilities, security cameras, repairs requiring an outside contractor, and collecting cleaning fees. Hosts still need to maintain a certain level of involvement in the management process.

Hosted by Sara Markets

Hosted by Sara serves the Malibu, Topanga, Venice, West Los Angeles, Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Downtown areas.

Hosted by Sara Property Types

Hosted by Sara manages different types of properties, both more and less luxurious. This is one of the best Malibu Airbnb management companies for high-end rentals because of the lower rates for properties with higher daily rates.

Hosted by Sara only accepts properties that meet their quality and design standards. The company can help some unqualified properties get there through furnishing and decorating services.

Hosted by Sara Fees and Costs

The short term rental property management fees charged by the company depend on the nightly rate of the property:

The discounted fees for luxury properties make Hosted by Sara a potentially good choice for the owners of high-end Malibu rentals.

The furnishing and decorating services prices are not available on the company website. Interested hosts can get a quote after a free consultation meeting.

Hosted by Sara Terms and Conditions

Hosted by Sara does not require long term obligations, and there are no minimum duration contracts.

Interested owners get a free consultation appointment and marketability assessment.

Hosted by Sara Reviews

There are very few online customer reviews on third-party websites.

Hosted by Sara reviews are available on:

Happy hosts highlight the professionalism, the attention to detail, the reliability, the great attitude to guests, and the high daily rates.

Unhappy guests complain about poor management of emergency situations, lack of interest in guest needs, and badly maintained properties.

How to Get Started with Hosted by Sara

Malibu short term rental owners can call or email Hosted by Sara via the company website to discuss their property and schedule a consultation meeting.

AvantStay: Best for Short Term Rentals Offering Group Stays

AvantStay is a popular name in the vacation rental property management industry which operates in Malibu as well as a number of other select locations across the US. The company specializes in group travels and thus mostly works with properties with 4+ bedrooms.

AvantStay Services

AvantStay offers full-service Airbnb management in Malibu which includes:

Additionally, AvantStay can provide the following services:

It’s important to note that the cost of the additional services is not necessarily included in the monthly management fee.

AvantStay Markets

AvantStay vacation rental management services are available in key tourist destinations in a few states in the US market, including Malibu, CA. It’s not clear if the company has a dedicated local manager in each location.

AvantStay Property Types

AvantStay can onboard both properties that are already operating as vacation rentals and those that need to be converted into ones. They specialize in beach houses, condos, and luxury estates with private amenities. AvantStay focuses on catering to traveling groups, so they manage primarily homes with 4+ bedrooms.

All qualifying properties need to have air conditioning, heating, a washer, and a dryer.

Property owners can decide on the pet policy for their rentals.

AvantStay Fees and Costs

AvantStay offers two property management packages:

Owners who need interior design, furnishing, and photography services pay for them separately.

AvantStay Terms and Conditions

AvantStay requires hosts to sign a written vacation rental management agreement. The terms are supposed to be flexible, but there are no details on the company website.

Onboarding takes a few weeks, on average.

AvantStay Reviews

AvantStay reviews by hosts and guests are available on:

Satisfied hosts and guests write about the quality services, the accurate listings, the top properties, the positive experiences, the well-furnished and stocked rentals, the excellent cleaning practices, and the smooth processes.

Dissatisfied customers mention poor services, scammy practices, poorly maintained properties, unworking utilities, broken appliances, undue charges, last-minute cancellations, and lack of customer support.

How to Get Started with AvantStay

To get started, interested property owners can fill in an online form to receive a free income report. Afterwards, they can text/call the company or book a meeting via the website, if they think it might be worth it for their needs.

Air Concierge: Best for Airbnb Longer-Term Rentals

Air Concierge is a vacation rental management company operating in select locations in California as well as in Seattle, WA. Mid-term rentals (rented out for 30-90 days) benefit from discounted property management fees, which makes this company a potentially good option for owners operating Airbnb long-term rentals.

Air Concierge Services

The end-to-end Airbnb management services offered by Air Concierge in Malibu cover:

Extra services include:

Off-site management - or half-service management - is also available for hosts who’d like to remain personally engaged in their Airbnb business.

Air Concierge Markets

Air Concierge focuses on the California market, and Malibu is one of their core locations.

Air Concierge Property Types

Air Concierge works with different property types, both standard and luxury. They manage properties rented out on a nightly basis as well as such rented out for 30, 60, 90, or more days.

Air Concierge Fees and Costs

For off-site property management services, Air Concierge charges a single 10% monthly fee.

The cost of the end-to-end services depends on the type of property, the length of reservations, and the duration of the contract. The standard monthly fee for three-month contracts is 25%, while it is 22% for one-year contracts. The price is lower for luxury rentals (with nightly fees of $1,000+) and for long-term stays (30, 60, 90, or more days).

Mid-term rentals can be managed for as low as 10% of monthly revenue with annual property management agreements.

In addition, there is a $300 onboarding fee, which is rather untypical in the industry.

Design services as well as all other extra services are charged separately, based on the property features and needs.

Air Concierge Terms and Conditions

Air Concierge offers three-month and one-year contracts, limiting flexibility for hosts. Early termination is subject to a hefty fee: $3,500 for three-month contracts and $7,500 for one-year contracts.

Air Concierge Reviews

Air Concierge customer reviews are available on:

Positive reviews talk about the good services, the professional account management, the driven team, the optimized results, and the excellent processes.

Negative reviews focus on bad experiences, properties in poor conditions, no on-site inspections, outdated information on the online portal, and unexpected charges.

How to Get Started with Air Concierge

Malibu Airbnb hosts can fill in an online form on the Air Concierge website to check if their property qualifies.

Speed Keys: Best for Affordable Airbnb Management

Speed Keys is a local Airbnb property management company working in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Monthly management fees start at 8% of rental revenue, making this one of the most affordable options for Malibu Airbnb hosts.

Speed Keys Services

The Malibu Airbnb management services provided by Speed Keys include:

Additional services comprise:

Services are customized based on the needs of the property and the preferences of the host.

Speed Keys Markets

Speed Keys manages short term rentals in Los Angeles County (Malibu, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Venice Beach) and Orange County.

Speed Keys Property Types

Speed Keys works with various types of short term rentals in Malibu and surrounding areas.

Speed Keys Fees and Costs

Speed Keys charges a single monthly management fee that ranges between 8% and 20% of monthly income. The exact percentage depends on the location of the property, the number of rentals managed by the company, and the required services.

Speed Keys charges less than all other best Malibu Airbnb management companies, but it’s not clear if the lowest fee covers all services.

Speed Keys Terms and Conditions

Owners can cancel the vacation rental management agreement with a 60-day notice. They have to honor all reservations over the 60-day period.

Speed Keys Reviews

There are no online reviews of Speed Keys on third-party websites. It’s recommended for interested hosts to find owners who have worked with the company and ask about their experiences before making a final decision.

How to Get Started with Speed Keys

Airbnb property owners can call the company or submit an online form via the website.

MasterHost: Best for Flexible Plans

MasterHost is a Canadian vacation rental management company that operates in a number of locations in the US market, including Malibu. Among the top Airbnb management companies in Malibu, MasterHost offers the most flexibility to hosts.

MasterHost Services

MasterHost offers a wide range of services, but not all of them are covered in all packages. These include:

Hosts can choose from three different packages to get the services that they need.

MasterHost Markets

MasterHost operates internationally, and it has a strong presence in the Malibu market.

MasterHost Property Types

MasterHouse manages many types of properties rented out on a short term basis in Malibu.

MasterHost Fees and Costs

MasterHost offers three packages with the following pricing:

MasterHost charges less than most other Airbnb management companies in Malibu. However, it’s not clear whether the company has a full local team and how personalized their services are in line with local trends.

MasterHost Terms and Conditions

In order to cancel the property management agreement, hosts need to provide a one-month notice.

MasterHost Reviews

MasterHost customer reviews are available on:

Hosts and guests that liked MasterHost services praise the wonderful experiences, the nice properties, the good cleaning services, the excelling hosting, and the responsive team.

Meanwhile, some customers report minimal service, platform restrictions, forceful cancellations, calendar mismanagement, higher-than-expected fees, and lack of communication.

How to Get Started with MasterHost

Interested Malibu vacation rental property owners can call MasterHost or fill an online form on the company website.

The Bottom Line

These are the 6 best Malibu Airbnb management companies for different hosts and properties. The owners of luxury rentals can check out Hosted by Sara, while those with mid-term rentals can contact Air Concierge. AvantStay might be a good fit for hosts with larger properties, and Speed Keys might work for those looking for affordable fees. Meanwhile, MasterHost allows hosts to choose between three different service packages.

However, hosts who want comprehensive, top-quality services that optimize revenue should get in touch with Summer. As the best vacation rental manager in Malibu, Summer does everything, from design and furnishing, all the way to guest support and property maintenance. Pricing is competitive, starting at only 20% of booking revenue excluding cleaning fees.

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This article was written by
Dennis Shirshikov

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