An article published over the weekend has shed a promising light on the vacation rental industry. In an interview with Carl Shepherd, co-founder of Homeaway, said that he and his company believes that vacation rentals are the future of the vacation industry.
"The vacation rental industry primarily consists of second-home owners and small vacation rental management companies (overseeing 10 or fewer properties). As evident by HomeAway’s year-over-year paid listing increase of 11% and the 22.1% increase in website visits, the market continues to grow. However, awareness remains the biggest obstacle to consideration among travelers." -Carl Shepherd
It seems that all signs are pointing to an excellent and record few years for this industry. Several markets have reported great growth, the industry is coming back, and the co-founder of one of the largest rental portal sites is banking on vacation rentals dominating the industry. When you look at all this, one thing becomes apparent, that now is the time to push your company to grow. Getting by has been acceptable in years past, but with the recent flourish of activity, the time to grow is quickly flying by.
Barefoot often talks about exit strategies and how large players have been buying up smaller property and asset management companies. Large players, like Wyndham have been buying up management companies for the same reason that Homeaway has been buying smaller portal players. "HomeAway acquired local market leaders in markets where the vacation/holiday rental industry... Like any other online marketplace, the goal was to develop the largest possible network of buyers and sellers in the shortest amount of time" said Carl Shepherd. Additionally, specific to vacation rental companies, buying smaller players allows the large company to maintain the local expertise while saving money when compared to building a hotel. If you are not looking at ways to grow your business you are falling behind. Rental success is becoming a mere indicator for potential buyouts and your company needs to be ahead of your local competition.