After visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina growing up, Presley S. became fascinated with the area’s pristine beaches and natural, untouched landscape.
“Back in the day, we had the ferries and it was a pretty sparse location. It was anything but crowded, and the natural beauty of the place sticks in your mind as a kid.”
That appreciation and nostalgic longing for his earliest memories of the Outer Banks inspire Presley’s desire to have a traditional, well-maintained vacation rental, reminiscent of those he first visited as a child.
Presley purchased an oceanfront home in 2002 on the shores of Hatteras Island, long considered the heart of the Outer Banks. The home was basic and small, but the location, right on the beach, was outstanding.
Little by little, Presley made updates and additions to the home, and strives to keep it in excellent condition for his guests, his family, and guests he considers family. As a result, his home Que' Sera', blends classic beach style with contemporary conveniences.
His goal as a vacation rental homeowner is simple:
“My main goal in this house is to maintain its market value and to maintain its reputation,” Presley explains. “The rates have gone up and, certainly, that helps cover increased expenses. The financials at present are more favorable than before. However, my main goal remains the same.”
Preserving the traditional beachy charm and integrity of his home became a labor of love for Presley and his family.
“It's amazing what a house can mean to a person's family if you dedicate yourself to it,” he states. “And that’s not just the owners, it’s the renters. I mean you get a lot of renters who really want to focus on one house and they come to appreciate it almost as much as the owners. Those are the renters you want.”
Presley worked exclusively with local management firm Hatteras Realty from 2002 until the firm was acquired by Vacasa in 2019. A traditionalist, he explains that the transition has been smooth because Vacasa made it a priority to keep his local team intact, so he still has the same people in place to support him and his goals for his home.
“It's been an easy transition for me because the relationships I have with my local team haven't changed that drastically. I've never had trouble getting things done from Vacasa when I needed them. It's very smooth.”
Even though he spends a lot of time at the home himself and puts a lot of attention into its upkeep, Presley looks forward to his annual inspection by the local Vacasa team.
“Everybody should be able to work with their local team like I do,” Presley says. “It's just that I'm down there a lot. But they're wonderful. They're fast, they're responsive and their advice is spot on. And they're helpful. One of the great things I enjoy about owning my house is I have the support from Vacasa that I feel I need. And they come through for me every time. I've never been disappointed.”
After years of heavy renting, Presley and his wife decided to take a break and stopped renting out their home for one year. Presley spoke to his local team about taking the home off the rental market completely.
“My local manager Holly was getting ready to remove me right off the program and I asked her, ‘Well how about we rent it out for just four weeks?’ and she said, ‘Fine.’”
That's when things really changed for Presley. He appreciated that Vacasa was willing to work with his specific needs. The reduced rental commitment allowed him to focus on the quality of his home for his peak-season renters and enjoy the property with his family for the rest of the time.
“That's when everybody is happy. So we just do the six main weeks, which generally is satisfactory to Vacasa and satisfactory to us.”
Over the years, managing expectations has been a critical element in the success of Presley’s relationships with his local team and with his renters. Open communication with his local managers allowed Presley to wisely invest in worthwhile upgrades to the home while preserving the look and feel of a traditional Outer Banks beach cottage. And it doesn’t hurt that his local team cares as much about his goals as he does.
“Years ago, I had a sit down with Amy, the general manager for our region, because she wanted to go through guest comments with me and what I was going to do about them. That was a great conversation. I remember that to this day.”
Understanding the guest and owner expectations helped the pair plan modifications to his home that benefit everyone. Presley’s vacation rental offers guests a traditional Hatteras look and feel with nice upgrades like modern floors and a bright, clean kitchen with new appliances. And the great recommendations don’t stop at the home upgrades themselves.
“When I've gotten contractors, I've gone through Vacasa to see who they might recommend and every time it's worked out, every time.”
Presley credits his local team specifically for helping him find success with his vacation rental. “The people at Vacasa are easy to get to know, easy to work with, and they're responsive. I can go down the list of all of them and they're all wonderful to work with.”
The opinions and experiences in this article represent the author’s viewpoint and do not necessarily reflect Vacasa policies.
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