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Introduction

July 11, 2009

Many people ask me what I am doing running a Vacation Rental Company (especially now that the economy has tanked!). The simple answer is because I love vacation rentals. My fondest childhood memories are of family vacations in exciting new places – renting a small beach cottage in Montauk, Long Island or a ski cabin near Canada’s Mont Tremblant. Later in life, I continued this tradition with my friends – becoming the “designated finder” for vacations – organizing group trips to ski resorts like Killington, Whistler, Mammoth and Park City, or beach trips to the Jersey Shore, Cape Hatteras, Aruba and St Thomas.   Now that I have a family of my own, I am once again seeking out the perfect vacation homes in far away places.

What I learned in all of these years of searching is that finding the perfect vacation rental is like finding a treasure. The right vacation home creates experiences and memories that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the experience of finding them was often as complicated as following an old fashion treasure map! A typical treasure hunt would go something like this:

  1. Find a friend or relative that has bragged about finding a great vacation home at the destination you are considering.
  2. Determine how much to rely on their recommendation (Does the home meet your specific needs vs. theirs, is it in the specific part of the resort or beach you want to stay at?).
  3. See if they can remember where they found it or put you in touch with the source.
  4. Start dialing for more information – maybe the source would tell you what you needed to know, perhaps they’d offer to send you a catalog!
  5. The internet made things easier – just go online and look…. Uh oh… which of these 20 sources did they say they used? Was it this individual listing, this real estate agency, that property manger?
  6. Start bookmarking 5-10 different websites and taking notes.
  7. Hmmm – can’t book online, or don’t have enough information to be confident enough to do so – back to the phone……. Get the picture??

There has to be a better way! We launched VacationRoost to create that better way. Our goal is to make finding and booking a vacation rental for your next vacation as easy as booking an airline ticket online. We are passionate about vacation rentals and want to help more people enjoy them. In fact, we are confident that once this great product and experience is made more accessible to the traveler, their popularity will grow! Last year, PhocusWright -the leading travel industry research firm published a study on the Vacation Rental industry.  This study showed that vacation rentals had very low awareness – they are hard to find (Treasure Map not included), but that those who did find them – loved them (over 90% positive responses for the experience). We are launching this blog to share the experience of building VacationRoost, and share our opinions and thoughts about this type of travel and vacation experience that we love. We’ll have multiple folks from VacationRoost contribute, and will probably each have our own set of topics to discuss. We expect to learn a lot on this journey and will look to share much of it in this forum. We also look forward to feedback and interaction with others in the industry, and most importantly – other fellow travelers who enjoy vacation rentals!

Julian Castelli, CEO

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michele Gartland permalink
    July 25, 2009 12:47 pm

    Julian,

    It sounds like you have a great product and I am interested in renting a home through vacationroost.com, however I am nervous because there is not an established broker to contact if there are problems. How do I know that you have the right to rent the unit you are offering on your site? How can I be sure that the unit or house that I think I am renting is the actual unit I will get? Is there are detailed lease that will offer me protection? What recourse do I have if something goes wrong?

    Thanks very much for answering my questions. I hope to rent from vacationroost.com upon receiving the necessary assurances.

    Best regards,
    Michele Gartland

  2. VacationRoost permalink
    August 3, 2009 4:46 pm

    Hi Michele

    We only work with reputable property management companies, so there is on-site management in each market to help with any issues that arise. If for any reason, you are not able to resolve an issues with the management company, we at VacationRoost are also available (24-7 customer support) to help insure your vacation goes smoothly. In regard to your other specific questions: We only list properties on our site that we are authorized and contracted to market and rent. If you would like confirmation for any specific unit or house, we would be happy to provide that during the booking process. We do not require lengthy leases to rent our properties, but we do have a Vacation Authorization Contract that specifies exactly what you are renting and all of the terms. We process the majority of our bookings with customers using credit cards, and this method provides our customers with additional protections.

    We look forward to helping you find your perfect Vacation Home!

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