If you’d like to be an active Airbnb host who is engaged in the management of their property but gets some help from technology-driven tools, you might consider RedAwning. As a half-service short-term rental property management company, RedAwning focuses on marketing, reservations, and revenue management, leaving all other aspects fully under the control of the property owner.
Is RedAwning worth it? In brief, no! While the company charges a relatively low fee, it’s not worth it because of the limited score of services. In case you think this is not the right choice for your needs, we’ll review the top 3 RedAwning competitors in the US market.
Awning is the top nationwide property management company offering end-to-end services for Airbnb investors. Our services include 24/7 guest communication, dynamic pricing, calendar management, and more, and are available in all 50 states. Plus, our fees start at just 15% of your revenue, with no extra charges or fees. Call or text 415-223-2830 to learn more and get started.
What RedAwning Is
RedAwning is a technology-enabled platform that helps second home owners and property managers streamline managing their vacation rentals. Our RedAwning property management review shows we cannot really call this company an Airbnb property manager as it is not involved in the actual management of vacation rentals. Instead, they focus on marketing, reservation, and revenue services.
Tim Choate found RedAwning in 2010. The company headquarters are in Emeryville, CA, with the mission to redefine vacation hospitality by combining the benefits of hotel stays with the diversity and value of vacation rentals, improving both guest and host experiences. To achieve this purpose, the company relies heavily on technology.
Unlike most competitors, RedAwning helps both small and big individual investors and professional property managers. We rank RedAwning as the best half-service property manager for different professionals.
What RedAwning Property Management Is
RedAwning is a half-service vacation rental property management company. This means that they provide some core services to property owners, while other crucial services are absent. The services focus on listing creation and distribution, reservations and guest communication, pricing and revenue management, and property damage protection.
Property management is at the heart of the RedAwning business, so they have offered it since the establishment of the company in 2010.
At the moment, RedAwning has a portfolio of 20,000+ short-term rentals in 10,000 destinations, covering the entire US market. While this number makes RedAwning comparable to Vacasa and Evolve, keep in mind that the company provides only half-service and is not directly involved in the manual processes, similar to Evolve.
All vacation rentals managed by RedAwning are owned by real estate investors, supplied directly or through property managers. The company does not own properties itself, so the interests of investors and the company do not compete.
Where RedAwning Property Management Is Available
Our RedAwning property management review shows that their services are available in 10,000 destinations, across the whole US market. This is possible because the Airbnb property management company relies on technology - and not human touch - for its services. They lack most services associated with vacation rental management that require building local teams across markets.
Regarding property types, RedAwning works with various types of residential properties including studios, condos, apartments, and houses. They work with boutique hotels and resorts as well.
To make sure that their home qualifies, an owner needs to sign up and provide property details before getting approved by the RedAwning team.
How RedAwning Property Management Works
RedAwning property management includes the same services across markets and properties that are charged at a universal fee.
RedAwning offers the following services necessary for the successful and profitable management of short-term rentals:
Listing and Marketing
Marketing is at the core of the RedAwning business model and the primary service which the company provides to Airbnb hosts. RedAwning creates listings that are optimized for booking platforms. They coordinate professional photography of vacation rentals at a time convenient for property owners for images that accurately and effectively reflect the property’s value.
Meanwhile, if real estate investors want to be involved in the property listing including photos, title, and description, they can notify their account manager of requested adjustments. But they don’t have to be should they opt for a more passive approach.
Listing distribution is done on all major online global booking and travel platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, Expedia, Google Travel, and others. Some unique channels that most RedAwning competitors do not use include eBay, Amazon, and Vacation Rentals by Choice.
Importantly, RedAwning is a Preferred IT Partner on Booking.com, a Connectivity Provider on Expedia, and a certified partner for Google Advertising. This status helps RedAwning boost the reservations, occupancy rate, and overall performance of the short-term rentals it manages.
A service that’s not offered by many Airbnb management companies that RedAwning provides is creating your own vacation rental website. Using the technology embedded in the RedAwning platform, property owners can quickly and easily launch their own website with full property information and attributes and booking capabilities.
The Smart Website helps increase bookings by offering free website launch and upgrades, SEO, reservation and payment services, personalization options, and integration with all booking platforms used by RedAwning to avoid double bookings. Someone can easily share listings on your Smart Website to boost visibility and interaction.
Reservations and Guest Support
RedAwning half-service property management services include reservation generation and management. Their technology-driven listing distribution strategy helps boost bookings and occupancy rates. Once guests have booked, RedAwning supports them before, during, and after their stay.
Some standard services include inquiry responses, credit card processing, check-in and check-out instructions, and guest review responses. The company provides 24/7 guest support via phone, text, chat, and email. They have an AI-based agent bot that can help guests instantly.
Payment and Revenue Management
Another major service provided by RedAwning is financial management.
First, RedAwning has developed its own Dynamic Pricing mechanism in partnership with PriceLabs, a pricing tool for vacation rentals. The pricing method relies on internal data, competitive data, and human intelligence and is meant to optimize occupancy and revenue.
The RedAwning team works together with property owners during the onboarding process to ensure that they consider all necessary property characteristics in the pricing. Second home owners have the option to set up Dynamic Pricing with the help of RedAwning and forget about it or to adjust daily rates according to their own research through the Smart Portal.
Additionally, RedAwning handles all credit card payments from guests, so hosts don’t have to deal with and solve issues like declined credit cards. Then the company subtracts its fees and charges from the revenue before transferring the payout to owners.
RedAwning also helps with tax collection. During onboarding, investors provide the team with information on all applicable city, county, and state taxes so that they collect them from guests. Afterwards, taxes are sent to hosts so that they can remit them to the local authorities. While this helps somewhat simplify the tax process, it is not optimal as RedAwning does not provide support in finding out what taxes apply to each market or remitting them directly to relevant authorities.
With RedAwning, vacation rental property owners get access to a Smart Portal, where they can monitor and manage all revenue-related processes and factors. They can see and adjust daily rates, view itemized booking breakdown (including revenue, taxes, and fees), check performance, and check out upcoming payments.
Property Damage Protection
The last core service offered by RedAwning property management is accidental damage waiver protection of $3,000. This means that the company provides property owners with reimbursement for most types of damages caused by guests as long as they’re accidental (not intentional) and not caused by a breach of the rental agreement.
They provide this via a Damage Waiver, where guests pay a $50 damage waiver fee per booking. This has replaced the traditional security deposit as the RedAwning team has figured out that guests prefer a damage waiver, so this approach helps boost bookings.
To claim reimbursement, a property owner has to submit a claim through a single-page claim form including repair photos or invoices. Owners receive reimbursements via checks.
In this regard, RedAwning supplies all guests with rental agreements which clearly specify what is allowed and what is not in order to protect properties and their owners.
If damage is intentional, RedAwning will follow up with guests to make sure that they cover the incurred costs.
If accidental damage exceeds $3,000, property owners have to submit a claim to their homeowner’s insurance provider for the rest of the amount.
All short-term rental property management services provided by RedAwning are paid at a flat rate. However, there are two services which the company can help coordinate with their partners that are paid separately. This is an attempt to make up for some services that RedAwning does not offer.
The services Red Awning does not offer include:
Vacation Rental Cleaning
RedAwning has partnered with TurnoverBnB, a vacation rental cleaning platform, to help facilitate cleaning between guests. This partnership gives RedAwning property owners access to 25,000 experienced vacation rental house cleaners.
RedAwning does not provide details on the exact process and the associated fees. Most likely, owners have to be involved in the cleaning management. Before you opt for hiring RedAwning, inquire about this specific service, how it works, and how much it costs.
Additional Damage Coverage
RedAwning has also partnered with Safely, an exclusive vacation rental insurance provider. Additional intentional damage and theft damage waiver can cover up to $10,000 in coverage for the contents of a rental and up to $1 million in coverage for the structure of the property. Opting in for this additional short-term rental insurance means higher costs for guests, but it’s not clear whether hosts have to pay extra as well.
Missing RedAwning Property Management Services
As a half-service provider, RedAwning does not offer many services that full-service vacation rental property management companies do.
- Interior design: Designing the interior and exterior of your short-term rental in line with local market trends and demand can help enhance daily rates, occupancy, and revenue. For comparison, as a full-service provider, Awning provides interior design that is managed by the ex-Head of Design at Airbnb. As a result, vacation rentals designed and furnished by Awning outperform competitors by 50%.
- Vacation rental furnishing: Furnishing a short-term rental can take up to 12-16 weeks while not guaranteeing optimal furniture prices or design outcomes. Meanwhile, Awning can get properties finished within 4 weeks, with guaranteed results.
- Getting licenses and permits: Most US markets have enabled their own short-term rental laws, which occasionally change. It’s crucial for investors to be aligned with regulations and get all required licenses and permits before renting out. In most cases, short-term rental licenses and permits have to be renewed annually. This translates into a lot of work for hosts since RedAwning does not help with it.
- Remitting taxes: RedAwning does not provide insights on what taxes are required in the local market and does not remit them directly to authorities.
- Linen: Many full-service vacation rental property managers provide an initial set of linens and replacements, but RedAwning does not.
- Restocking: While real estate investors can opt for cleaning services through RedAwning’s partner TurnoverBnB, they remain responsible for restocking their vacation rental with necessary guest supplies.
- Property maintenance: Performing maintenance work on time is important to avoid zero bookings because of issues, negative guest reviews, and costly long-term costs because of property neglect. With RedAwning, owners have to maintain properties on their own.
- Inspections: Regular inspections are crucial to detect problems as soon as they arise and fix them before too much damage has been caused.
- Repairs: Hosts have to coordinate and manage home repairs on their own.
While the lack of crucial services is expected from a half-service property manager, it prevents owners from approaching a passive income investment.
RedAwning Property Management Services Onboarding
The onboarding process of RedAwning is relatively easy.
To get started, property owners need to:
- Fill in a sign-up form, providing information about their vacation rental.
- Get approved by a RedAwning vacation rental expert.
- Get access to the RedAwning marketing platform.
There is no startup cost when joining RedAwning.
RedAwning does not specify what the onboarding looks like if another company or software currently manages a property. That’s why it’s important to ask about the transfer details in case you work with another short-term rental property manager at the moment.
Property Reviews Generated by RedAwning Property Management
Like most alternatives, RedAwning lists properties under its brand name on booking platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and others. On the positive side, this allows vacation rental owners to benefit from the optimized host status of RedAwning on these websites. On the negative side, however, once you decide to opt out of working with RedAwning, you will lose all reviews that your property has generated in the meantime. This means you will have to start from scratch.
This is a trick that many Airbnb rental property management companies used to keep their customers for as long as possible. A noticeable exception is Awning, which lists properties under the owner’s name, so if you ever leave, you get to keep all reviews that your property has brought.
RedAwning Property Management Costs and Fees
RedAwning charges a single commission fee of 10% of booking revenue plus a 3% standard credit card processing fee. This property management pricing structure remains the same for all markets and property types. This model is like Evolve, another half-service vacation rental property management platform.
While this fee seems very low, compared to a full-service industry range of 20%-50%, keep in mind that the cost covers only a very limited number of services. Meanwhile, there are a lot of core services that you have to perform yourself or hire vendors.
RedAwning itself does not charge any additional fees, but they can connect you with their partners TurnoverBnB for cleaning management and Savely for additional damage waiver coverage. If you opt for these services, you will most likely have to pay separately, so you need to check with the RedAwning team first.
RedAwning does not have any onboarding or leaving fees. This is the industry-wide practice, except for Air Concierge (a full-service Airbnb property manager), which charges an onboarding fee of $300 and an early-termination fee of $3,500 or $7,500.
Regarding revenue collection and payouts, RedAwning collects all booking fees from guests including taxes and fees. Once they receive payments from guests and deduct their fees, they transfer the revenue payout to the owner. This includes the tax amounts payable to authorities. Unlike most competitors, RedAwning makes payments on a rolling basis rather than at the end of the month.
RedAwning Property Management Terms and Requirements
Working with RedAwning requires signing a contract. However, the company does not provide any details on the length of the agreement and how hosts can opt out of it.
According to the property management contract, RedAwning should provide services related to listing, marketing, finance management, and damage protection.
Meanwhile, hosts keep the right to use their second home as frequently as they want and for as long as they want.
RedAwning Property Management Reviews
RedAwning’s online presence is rather poor. Reviews are available on several websites, and the overall scores are bad.
You can find some online RedAwning reviews on:
- TrustPilot: Currently 3.8/5 stars based on 4,866 reviews
- BBB.org: Currently 1.04/5 stars based on 104 reviews
- ResellerRatings: Currently 1.0/5 stars based on 70 reviews
- Reviews.io: Currently 1.0/5 stars based on 11 reviews
- Yelp: Currently 1.0/5 stars based on 4 reviews
Positive RedAwning reviews are mostly written by guests, who highlight the easy reservation process, the great properties, and the perfect locations.
Unhappy customers complain about misleading booking prices and fees, discrepancies between listing photos/descriptions and reality, dirty and poorly managed properties, double bookings, and unexpected cancellations.
Many of these reviews relate to the services provided by property owners and/or third-party vendors as RedAwning does not do much besides marketing and revenue collection.
Overall, the company’s online reputation should make investors stay away and consider using one of RedAwning alternatives instead.
As RedAwning does not provide the best value for money in the US vacation rental property management industry and has poor online reputation, it’s worth considering one of its competitors.
We have reviewed two of RedAwning major alternatives so that you can decide whether they fit your needs better.
Evolve vs RedAwning
Evolve is the most widely known half-service vacation rental property management company in the US. It operates in 750 US markets (less than RedAwning) but also in some places in Mexico. They manage 24,000+ short-term rentals, which makes it comparable to RedAwning.
Our Evolve property management review shows that the services it provides are very similar to the services offered by RedAwning. One thing that Evolve does better is covering up to $1 million in liability as part of the standard short-term rental insurance. Also, Evolve offers to connect property owners with vetted local vendors for all the services they don’t take care of (cleaning, repairs, etc.), while RedAwning works with TurnoverBnB house cleaners only.
Meanwhile, the dynamic pricing model set up by Evolve relies only on an automated, technology-driven third-party service with no human review. This makes it worse than the RedAwning model.
Regarding fees, the RedAwning competitor charges a single fee of 10% of revenue, without credit card processing fees, so it’s cheaper.
We expect hosts to agree with Evolve and stay with the company for a minimum of 90 days. If they want to cancel during the first 90 days, they have to pay a cancellation fee of $200. This sounds reasonable as 90 days are just about the right time to understand if a property manager is helping you boost your vacation rental’s performance or not.
Evolve has a lot of online reviews that are slightly better than RedAwning reviews but not excellent.
We rank Evolve as the better half-service short-term rental property manager for owners.
AvantStay vs RedAwning
Unlike RedAwning, AvantStay is a full-service short-term rental property management company. It is significantly smaller than RedAwning as it manages only 600+ rentals in 70+ cities in the US and Mexico. However, this is understandable as AvantStay has to set up local teams in markets where it is available, while RedAwning relies almost exclusively on data points for its operation.
As a full-service provider, AvantStay helps property owners get their rentals ready, creates and manages listings, offers vacation rental insurance, vets guests, supports and communicates with guests, cleans and restocks between guests, maintains and repairs properties, and manages revenue.
A major advantage of hiring AvantStay over RedAwning is the in-house award-winning interior design program. The former can help you furnish your vacation rental to boost positive reviews, daily rates, occupancy rates, and profitability.
AvantStay does not expect long-term commitment from hosts who can cancel with a 90-day notice.
AvantStay does not publish its property management fee structure on the company website, and online reviews by property owners do not provide information on this.
While AvantStay reviews are significantly fewer, they are much more positive than the RedAwning reviews.
Overall, AvantStay is a better choice for second home owners investing out of state or looking for passive income. However, AvantStay is not necessarily the best full-service property manager in the US market.
Our RedAwning property management review reveals that this is a relatively large player in the vacation rental industry in the US, comparable to Vacasa and Evolve. The services that the company provides could be of help to investors who buy properties close to home and would like to remain involved in the management of their vacation rental portfolios. However, the poor online presence of RedAwning makes us doubt that this is the best half-service Airbnb property management provider.
* If you’re looking for the top vacation rental management company in the US market, Awning provides comprehensive services which allow investors to make truly passive income, at an industry-low fee of 15% of monthly revenue.