Mike A. decided to give it a year.
His local vacation rental manager in Park City, Utah, had just sold the business. Mike wasn’t sure the new manager, Vacasa, would be able to deliver the kind of care he wanted.
“It went from working with one local expert who did everything, to a bigger company with local team members but headquartered out-of-town,” he said. “I was concerned. What do they know about the market? What do they know about pricing? What do they know about all the contacts that my local guy had?”
That was in 2014—now, Mike trusts Vacasa to manage his two homes in Park City.
Mike has a long history of investing in rental properties. But he soon realized he wanted more than the revenue.
“I would ask myself: I own these rental properties, but what enjoyment am I getting out of it?” he said. “So, I bought a second home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which is about a two hour drive from my home.”
His family loved visiting, but ultimately owning a home they couldn’t rent out short-term presented some unique challenges.
“I felt like I was wasting time, money, and effort to keep a place we’d use less than 30 days a year,” he said. “And when a house sits vacant, you get issues. Stuff gets dirty, things break from lack of use. The fact that I wasn’t there was a problem, too—what if it's flooding? I had to spend money to have people come and check on it.”
Mike knew his lake house wasn’t all he hoped it would be. And it was a weekend in Park City won at a silent auction that opened his eyes to new possibilities.
change in gross rent since 2015
average daily rate increase
“I fell in love with Park City on that trip—you can literally fly in in the morning and be on the mountain skiing that afternoon,” Mike said.
Soon, he bought a vacation rental and started managing it with a small, local company. Then, Vacasa arrived.
“To be honest, I was a little skeptical. I had been in the Park City vacation rental market for about two years and had a really good experience. I didn't want my old company to sell, so I had to go in with an open mind,” he said.
But soon he started to rethink his doubts about Vacasa.
“I had heard about how Vacasa does digital marketing, but I didn’t really understand the value until I saw it firsthand,” Mike said.
“I was showing someone my property on a work laptop—it was the only time I searched for it on there,” he continued. “For months after, my property would pop up on my screen. Vacasa talks about marketing and the ability to target potential guests. It was kind of like Amazon’s suggestions that eventually tempt you into buying—and it impressed me.”
Over the years, through innovations like digital retargeting, virtual tours and its proprietary yield management system, Mike has seen how Vacasa has helped him keep ahead of the evolving vacation rental landscape.
“I'm earning more revenue than if I had tried to do it myself or had a local mom and pop shop manage for me,” said Mike. “You couldn’t compete any other way. Vacasa’s digital marketing makes a huge difference in pricing, visibility, and search engine optimization. It's simplified the way I own properties—this is a relationship where the common goal is to increase revenue and create an awesome rental experience.”
Now, Mike and his family can enjoy their homes for their true value: as an escape from the day-to-day.
“I love rental properties as a source of income, but now I get to utilize it whenever I want,” he said. “And because there's someone there all the time, my stress level is way down, too.
Mike thinks his local Vacasa team is the key to making it work.
“If I get a notice from the city about something and forward it to my managers, they’re already on it,” he continued. “The houses are very well cared for. I work together with my local manager, and it’s easy to resolve minor housekeeping or house maintenance items quickly, fairly, and reasonably.”
Mike has seen how having someone on-the-ground 24/7 takes a lot of the guesswork and stress out of owning a vacation home, nevermind a vacation rental.
“When I had my properties, I had to go find someone for everything,” Mike said. “So even though Lake Geneva is only 70 miles from my house, I feel more connected to my home that’s a three-hour flight away because of my Vacasa local team.”
But it’s not just the people in Park City: Vacasa’s suite of homeowner tools and programming help keep Mike in the driver’s seat, too.
“With the Homeowner app, I can block out dates to vacation at my house, see performance year-over-year, and review and adjust rates,” he said.
“And then there are big picture things,” he continued. “Vacasa’s webinars educated me about the vacation rental forecast and industry trends. One even inspired me to buy another property when I was on the fence.”
Mike’s take on his time with Vacasa is as straightforward as the service itself.
“What has Vacasa done for me?” he asked. “It's made having a second home simple.”
The opinions and experiences in this article represent the author’s viewpoint and do not necessarily reflect Vacasa policies.
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Call 888-711-0781 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.
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