Vacasa expanding into urban short-term rental market with Vacasa Multifamily

Worldwide: Vacasa is entering the multifamily market with Vacasa Multifamily by targeting developers and property owners who want to convert vacant units into stable revenue.

Joshua Viner, senior manager of Vacasa Multifamily, said: “We’re excited to bring our decade-long property management experience to the multifamily space and offer diverse inventory for business and leisure travellers, as well as families looking to stay in urban destinations.”

Vacasa Multifamily enters into long-term lease agreements with building owners and property managers who are seeking a professional entity to handle all aspects of managing short-term rentals including keeping up with the changing regulations for the short-term stay industry. The company targets both stabilised properties and those that are leasing up.

Viner said: “Some markets like Boston recently enacted quite restrictive regulations. Others are putting in some reasonable limits.

“Chicago has regulations in place that allow a certain percentage (of units) to be regulated as short term, no more than 25 per cent or a maximum of six units. That gives us a window to operate,” he added.

CEO & founder of Vacasa, Eric Breon, said Vacasa’s opportunities had increased due to the growth in demand for alternative accommodations.

He said: “The multifamily industry is on the rise and to be successful, property managers need to deliver a high-quality and consistent experience for guests, while providing stable revenue for building developers and landlords.

“What we’ve traditionally brought to the vacation rental industry, we’ll be offering in the multifamily space: provide great guest experiences and increased revenue for our owners,” he added.

Vacasa Multifamily offers services including:

• Compliance and legal teams to monitor changing regulations to ensure the firm has the required permits and licences for each unit
• Security technology partners like NoiseAware, Point Central and Virtual Key which help Vacasa to screen its guests, monitor noise and ensure everyone in its buildings is safe
• Local teams in every market to care for the properties and serve guests, homeowners and partners
• Interior design experts who work with developers and managers to furnish rental units
• Partnerships with booking platforms such as, Airbnb and Homeway to drive up annual bookings for Vacasa properties

Viner said the firm did not recognise the booking platforms as competitors: “We are not competing with them. We work with them.”

Vacasa Multifamily is to operate in urban markets such as Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Texas, Portland and Ore, where Vacasa has its main headquarters, as well as in Boise, Idaho, where the firm also has an office.

Viner said the company was looking to expanding its multifamily offering in the new year: “Our goal is to open up in a number of new markets in 2019.”

He said the firm was watching for any changes in regulations as well as in multifamily vacancy rates in downtown cores to assess whether there are opportunities to expand its operations.

While Vacasa does not have a minimum number of units it would operate in a multifamily property, Viner said it could go higher than its average of five.

He said: “The common complaint is we don’t want the building turned into a hotel and that’s fair. We find a way to try and work with the buildings to be a good tenant.”

Vacasa has been growing steadily since its formation nine years ago. It now manages a global portfolio of over 10,600 vacation homes across the United States, Europe, South and Central America and Africa.

Last month, Vacasa purchased home-sharing company Oasis Collections, which has allowed it to enter several new international markets like Barcelona and Paris. The acquisition also placed Vacasa ahead of Wyndham Vacation Rentals as the largest vacation rental company in North America.