VacationFutures offers vacation homeowners a risk-free, easy way to make money from their properties by linking them with investors and property managers who receive access to the market and a simple way to diversify and expand holdings.
A few weeks ago we gave you a rundown of the company from co-founder Andrew McConnell. Check it out, and then continue reading his answers below to learn about Vacation Futures’ tools & processes, how they stay on top of trends, built a customer-centric culture, and what they need most right now.
How’d You Get The Idea For It:
I was having lunch with some family friends who started discussing their vacation homes. They both used VRBO, and thought it was great because they didn’t have to pay any commissions to property managers. The more they talked about what managing the homes themselves actually meant, the more they started complaining about the time commitment. Both of these guys are professionals – one is a physician, the other a dentist. I asked them how much their time was worth per hour, and it was a lot. I then asked how much time they spent managing their properties, and again it was a lot. And then I asked if they thought they were as good as managing the homes as those professionals they fired, and they said no.
I called my Co-Founder, Mickey, later that day to run the idea by him. We have known each other since college, and after he finished playing professional baseball he has always been in the real estate space. Together we investigated it more, saw there was nothing like it, kept hearing from homeowners and property managers that they wanted it, and got a better idea of just how big this industry was, and so VacationFutures was born.
Collaboration Tools & Processes Do You Use:
We use Trello, and share basically everything we do as a team through Google Drive/Docs.
Where do you gain your insights from and how do you stay on top of emerging trends?
Mostly speaking with our customers. They are the ones best positioned to tell us what they want and need. For more macro trends we participate in industry bodies/events (VRMA, PhoCusWright, etc.), and read sources like Skift and Tnooz.
What’s Unique About Your Company Culture:
Every company wants to say that its culture is “unique,” but we all shoot for the same things: a fun, open environment; people who are hard working, and take a customer-centric approach to everything they do; and results-oriented. We are those things, but I seriously hope that doesn’t make us unique, or that would be really depressing for people working in other companies.
What You Need Most Right Now:
More sales help. There is a ton of demand for what we are doing, we could use all the help we can get to keep up with it.
[Photo Credit: Whitlock/Hypepotamus]