For Immediate Release
August 22, 2014
Contact: Kari Morlock
PORTLAND, OR—This week Inc. Magazine named Vacasa the 9th fastest-growing private company in the US, and the fastest-growing in the entire Travel and Hospitality industry.
Vacasa was founded in Portland in 2009, and their North Portland headquarters is home to 42 employees. The company has a strong presence in destinations like Mt. Hood, the Oregon Coast, Central Oregon, and the Columbia Gorge, and has been working to bring legal vacation rentals to the city of Portland itself. In total, Vacasa has 419 employees, with plans to triple that workforce over the coming year. The company is currently hiring for 83 roles. Specific opportunities can be found at vacasa.com/careers.
"We hire talented local people, and we support them with world-class technology, said CEO Eric Breon. "Our system both streamlines the management of homes and optimizes financial results for homeowners. This has attracted over 1,100 homes to Vacasa, which gives us a fantastic selection of properties for guests to choose from."
In interviews, Breon's most common question is "If you could design your own job here, what would it be?" With such rapid growth, Vacasa offers nearly unlimited opportunity for advancement, and is focused on creating the perfect role for every employee. Vacasa's Vice President of Operations, Kimberly Stapleton, started as a housekeeper while in graduate school. Now, less than four years later, she leads Vacasa's housekeeping and maintenance organization, which includes over 300 employees, and continues to grow rapidly.
Vacasa's rapid growth was due, in part, to the housing downturn. "We manage vacation homes, and prior to the financial downturn, people were buying vacation homes as an investment, without plans to rent them, said CEO Eric Breon. When the downturn hit, prices fell 40 percent. Combined with property taxes, maintenance, and more, homeowners were much more eager to explore renting their second home. This timing helped us quickly become one of the largest vacation rental companies in the country, and we now have owners earning over $100,000 annually by renting their home for periods it previously sat empty."
Beyond the financial benefits, homeowners have come to value the services provided by Vacasa. According to Tracey Baron, the owner of Great Blue Lodge on Mt. Hood and The Blue Pelican on the Oregon Coast, "Owning vacation homes is so much easier now that they are managed by Vacasa. I used to personally manage my vacation homes, and I would struggle to keep up with all of the deferred maintenance and management duties, but not anymore. Now, when I visit my properties, the lights are on waiting for me, the grounds are in good condition, and everything works properly. I reserve my family's stays through the online owner log-in, then simply show up and enjoy our properties. I also have the luxury of Vacasa's housekeepers to clean when we leave if we don't want to do it ourselves. My relationship with Vacasa has freed up a tremendous amount of my time and increased my revenue, which has allowed me to acquire additional properties and spend more time with my family. I trust in Vacasa to properly manage my vacation properties, and at the end of the day, that is what allows me to sleep at night."
On the other end of the spectrum, the financial performance offered by Vacasa has attracted savvy investors to the vacation rental space. Tony Hauser, a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, recently purchased a nine-bedroom oceanfront home in Newport, OR specifically for Vacasa to manage. According to Hauser, "Vacasa has totally changed the dynamics of investing in vacation-oriented real estate. Thanks to Vacasa, I'm able to realize 7% cash return on this investment, along with the appreciation associated with oceanfront property and two weeks per year of tax-free use for my family." Hauser also reported that since his initial investment in his Newport home, he has purchased three more condos on the Oregon Coast and is in the market for additional properties.
Many of the homes Vacasa manages were previously managed "by owner", and advertised on sites like VRBO, Airbnb, and similar listing services. "With our marketing and rate optimization technology, homeowners can earn considerably more from their homes, with us doing all of the work," said Breon. "We guarantee homeowners that currently 'rent by owner' that they'll earn more with Vacasa, even after our fees, or we will refund the difference. We also offer a fixed rent option, in which we pay homeowners a set monthly amount, without any risk or seasonality."
A key driver of Vacasa's exceptional results is their revenue optimization system. "Our revenue optimization system is similar to those employed by airlines to maximized both revenue and occupancy on every flight," said Chief Strategy Officer Scott Breon. "We use several hundred variables to set the optimal price for every night, at every home. This approach increases revenue by over 30% versus homes that use more basic revenue management techniques, like simply relying on peak and off-season prices."
While primarily designed to benefit homeowners, Vacasa's revenue optimization system also creates discounts and last-minute savings for guests. According to Scott Breon, "If the ski forecast isn't looking good for the coming weekend, our system will automatically discount last minute rates, so those people still planning a weekend trip can get a great deal."
When asked the secret of their success, Eric Breon said, "At Vacasa, we take an inherently local business - vacation rental property management - and do it over a wide geographic area. Building the systems that make this possible was a big investment, but this gives us economies of scale not otherwise found in our industry."
Vacasa believes their greatest growth is still in the future. According to COO Cliff Johnson, "Over the past few years, we've been figuring out what it takes to do growth right, and we now have it down to a science. We're launching in 15 new markets on September 1st, and we plan to continue accelerating our pace of growth."
Vacasa is a technology startup offering full-service vacation rental property management and marketing, based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2009, Vacasa currently provides professional rental management for over 1,200 homes throughout seven states, including many of the most desirable vacation destinations in the western U.S. From laid back beach cottages on the Oregon Coast to luxury ski chalets in Vail, Vacasa is proud to offer the perfect vacation rental for every taste and budget. With an emphasis on developing industry-leading technology and personalized customer service, Vacasa's motto- Vacation Rentals Made Easy- holds true for both homeowners and guests. Learn more about Vacasa: www.vacasa.ca