When you first hear the name Vacasa, it may sound like a villa or an Italian hotel. If this is your guess, you’re partially correct. Vacasa is a name that not many are acquainted with but it’s catching on quickly. In order to spread the world about his amazing company, here are twenty things that you didn’t know about Vacasa.
1. Vacasa is the best-kept secret in vacation rentals
Now with the cat out of the bag, you know what Vacasa is. It is a vacation rental management company. If you’re interested in going on a vacation and you need a place to stay, then Vacasa, in many cases will be a good solution to help you find the most ideal accommodations to suit your traveling needs. It’s not a company that is well known yet and if you ask someone on the street if they’ve heard about it, the odds are that they’ll give you a blank stare, then let you know it’s new to them.
2. They’re domestic and international
Vacasa is listed under the international vacation rental management industry. They offer services for vacation rentals within the United States and well as in several other countries throughout the world. They manage properties for vacation rentals in South Africa, South America, Central America, throughout Europe and within the United States. They have a broad coverage area.
3. They’re based in the Pacific Northwest
Vacasa has its base headquarters in the city of Portland, Oregon in the United States. The office is brand new and it was just announced in March of 2018, so if you live in the area and you haven’t heard about them yet, don’t feel bad because they’re fairly new to the area. The Portland office is a new addition to their network. The office is located in Portland’s Pearl District.
4. They offer mountain cabins
If you love adventures in the mountains then Vacasa can help you to find the ideal vacation location and set you up with a cabin rental. All of Vacasa’s cabin rentals are professionally managed so you can be assured that the accommodations you receive will conform to high standards. They even offer a guide that allows you to browse through their selection of cabins to choose the one that will be best suited to your individual needs and preferences. You can find them in all sizes so it doesn’t matter if you’re going solo, with a partner, with friends, family or with a larger group. Vacasa maintains a decent selection for you to choose from.
5. They offer homes for rent
If you’re planning to take an extended vacation with your family or a group of friends, then a vacation rental home may be the best solution. Vacasa also has a large selection of homes available for rent. Whether you’re planning to stay for a week, two weeks, a month or a little longer, they’ll be able to help you find the most suitable accommodations among the lovely vacation homes that they manage in their portfolio of managed properties.
6. Vacasa offers you peace of mind
When you go with a reputable company for securing a vacation rental home, it gives you the extra peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying your time away instead of worrying about what you’ll find upon your arrival. There have been so many vacation rental scams taking place in recent history, that it’s difficult for renters to know if they’re dealing with a legitimate person when they respond to rental ads. Vacasa takes all of the worries out of the process by handling it skillfully and professionally. They have a great track record for success and many happy customers throughout the world.
7. Vacasa has ample financial backing
One of the reasons that a guest who relies upon Vacasa to help them secure their vacation rental properties is because it isn’t a fly by night operation. Vacasa has secured plenty of financial backing with a Series A investor level equity fund of $35 million. This gave them the funds that were needed to invest in the development of their portfolio of properties as well as for training competent and talented staff to maintain and manage the properties to ensure that they are in good repair and ready for the next guests to arrive. In November of 2016, they were granted an extension of Series A round funding to $40 million with an additional $5 million in investment funds from Assurant. This gives everyone the assurance that they are financially solvent.
8. Vacasa received an extra boost in 2107 for their tech
In October of 2017, Vacasa was granted an additional round of Series B funding in the amount of $103.5 million. This gave them the boost that they needed to take care of the business at hand and build new facilities as well as to improve their current technology for running the rental management sector of the company. They not only manage vacation rentals, but they’re also experts in the tech industry in Oregon.
9. Vacasa has made an acquisition
Vacasa has been in business since 2009. They secured financial backing in a series of fundraising rounds which attracted multiple financial investors who believed in the potential of the company and were willing to take a risk on them to the tune of millions of dollars. After being in business for nine years, Vacasa acquired Oasis Collections. This company was the previous subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels Corp.
10. The Founders of Vacasa are Eric Breon and Cliff Johnson
It’s important for the public who is interested in knowing about Vacasa to know who started the company. Eric Breon, co-founder of Vacasa is the current CEO of the company. He began the new company in 2009. At the time he had experienced problems in the management of his Long Beach, Washington vacation home. This gave him the inspiration to make a difference for others in gaining better vacation rental management for both property owners as well as the persons who were renting the homes. The co-founder, Cliff Johnson is an attorney who assisted Breon in the development of the company. He left the company in 2018, in an abrupt departure for a position as the Chief Commercial Officer with the company Rented.com. Upon his departure, he urged the staff at Vacasa to improve their positive impact on local communities and he encouraged them to improve their relationships with others. This could lead one to assume that he was not pleased with the progress the company was making, nor with the company culture.
11. The Portland Office signals growth
Evidence of the success of Vacasa can be seen in the new Portland location which is housed in a new building that is 61,000 square feet of office space along with the addition of 400 new employees to run the Portland-based venture. They also have 36,000 square feet of space leased at the Rivertec building for a total of 97,000 square feet of operational space.
12. Vacasa is one of the fastest growing businesses in Portland
Vacasa made the list of the Portland Business Journal’s Fastest-Growing Private 100 companies. This is evidence of some fairly remarkable achievements. Their three-year rate of growth was pegged at a whopping 3,034.59%. This was a well-earned distinction and in August, just two months later in 2014, they were ranked as the ninth fastest growing private company by Inc. Magazine, making their 5000 lists. These were only two of the numerous accolades that Vacasa has received.
13. Most of Vacasa’s vacation home rentals are in small towns
Small towns are usually the places where most of their rental clients prefer to visit, and this is where they procure the rental homes that they manage. This means that the staff that they employ to manage the homes are usually people who live in the surrounding areas or the towns in which the homes are located. Vacasa must forge connections with their new staff who are often out of touch for periods of time and it limits the number of properties that can be included in one area because in some locations, there simply are not enough people living there to secure a large regional workforce.
14. Vacasa faces challenges with small town staff
Vacasa attempts to hire qualified and responsible agents to manage their small town rental properties. The challenges that they have recently faced are a lack of skills. While some excel at marketing, others are good at housekeeping or maintenance, but it is rare to find an individual who excels at all three. This bears no reflection upon the quality of work or good intentions of the workers, but we all have our specialties and few people are good at several things at once. Most often, properties are managed in a small area by just one or two persons so some aspects of their job may suffer a bit of neglect out of a lack of expertise in the area.
15. Vacasa operates on a simple concept that is hard to implement
The building of this business looks easy on paper or in an everyday discussion about starting a new business. It’s when you really get into the nuts and bolts of the operation that things get complicated. Breon shared that the easiest component of establishing the business was establishing the software platform which would keep things running smoothly. That’s a piece of cake. The hard part is in creating an organization that is service minded and building a crew of housekeeping and maintenance staff who are trustworthy and dedicated, which is what Vacasa requires to operate smoothly.
16. Vacasa is also a technology business
Vacasa is a vacation home rental management company, but this is only half of what they do. It’s also a tech company that has built its centralized control system from the ground up. It is every bit as much a tech business it is in vacation rentals. As Breon stated earlier, the tech business is the easy part.
17. Vacasa’s tech system is automated
The automated technology used in Vacasa’s system is based on automatic algorithms that have been built into the system. They are ideal in keeping the data in clear view to allow workers to know what needs to be done on a property next. In essence, it’s the glue that holds the company together when there is chaos in one sector of the business or another. It is the human factor that can sometimes become derailed.
18. The founder is a Pennsylvania native
Breon was raised in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. He attended college at the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute, which is located in Troy New York. He’s from the eastern part of the nation but he still has a good idea of what it takes to become a reckoning force in vacation rentals throughout the United States and throughout Europe as well. He became familiar with the Pacific Northwest in college. He’d regularly visit the Boise, Idaho area where he served as a rock climbing guide. He also served an internship at Highway 12 Ventures where he learned how to successfully run a business.
19. They’re nothing like AirBnB
One of the most common mistakes that people have made is to assume that Vacasa works on the same principles of Airbnb, but here is a major difference. Airbnb is a peer to peer listing service. There is no need for the business to spend millions on infrastructure and training. Vacasa, on the other hand, must spend copious amounts of time and money into building this infrastructure in each of the small communities that it serves. It must also ensure that each new staff and senior staff members receive adequate initial and ongoing training. This doesn’t need to happen as intensively with Airbnb.
20 Vacasa is a great entrepreneurial venture
Vacasa is one of those businesses that was born out of the founder’s frustration at the lack of vacation home rental management services available. Instead of staying angry, he did something about it. He knew what didn’t work and found out what did. Today, Vacasa is a thriving tech and vacation home rental business and it’s just beginning to take off. We have confidence that it’s going to be around for a long time.