Savvy Vacation Rental Management sprang from the marriage of entrepreneurship and hospitality. Learn the story of how the owners grew their business from renting out spare rooms to managing several rentals across multiple states.
Can you tell us a little bit about your history?
Savvy Vacation Rental Management started as a side-gig back in 2015... Mat and I were starting to rent out spare rooms on Airbnb for fun; a new and different way to earn extra money. We both had enthusiasm about the sharing economy and finding ways to create value from under-utilized assets. It was easy and lucrative, so we leaned into vacation rentals a bit more and bought our first property in Nashville, TN in 2018. It was a home run, so we started telling our friends about it, and they wanted to get in on the action. One by one, people asked us if we could manage their short-term rental or help them buy their first one. We said yes and focused on figuring out how to make the most out of what we had, whether it was a 500sf studio apartment or 5,000sf luxury villa. We learned a lot along the way and continue to learn more every day. Today, we manage dozens of vacation rentals across various states and love every minute of it!
What is your background?
My background is in hospitality. I started out in Orlando, FL and eventually moved to Las Vegas, NV—both world-renowned tourism destinations. I developed a passion for the guest experience and practiced different ways to go above and beyond for guests regardless of the industry I found myself in, whether it was restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, events, or even multinational casino resorts. Once I started learning about real estate and commercial development, vacation rentals popped up on my radar and I soon realized it was a perfect match. All the profitability and longevity of owning property paired with the warm, personal touch of hospitality... I had found my home.
What do you love the most about the VR business?
I love the unpredictability of the job. There's something new happening every day... a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new guest, and a new experience with each check-in. In this business, it's impossible to get bored and I learn something new every day.
What do you dislike the most about it?
NIMBYs! Those people who go out of their way to disparage the industry as a whole because of some personal preferences and clouded opinions about the impact of VRs on the community. We're starting to see a lot of regulation crop up around the country, much of which is baseless and rarely influenced by facts or data but instead by the people who speak the loudest and most consistently on the public forum. It takes an open and objective mind to look at the VR trend from many different angles and make an informed decision about how to move forward considering all stakeholders. I'm not seeing a whole lot of that going on lately.
How do you use OwnerRez to manage your business?
At Savvy VRM, we use OwnerRez to keep a pulse on nearly every aspect of our operation. Particularly helpful is the robust workflows for managing inquiries, quotes, and bookings to track conversion and pacing. And with an infinite number of custom messaging options, there's no message we can't send quickly and easily using their Templates and Triggers functions, which helps us increase communication efficiency and get the right info to the right people at the right time.
What is the most useful feature OwnerRez offers?
OwnerRez provides many useful features that we love to take advantage of, for example the easy plug-and-play hosted website option to start capturing direct bookings quickly and easily. When we first got started, we were only listing on Airbnb and Vrbo (separately) and we didn't have a solution for offering a direct booking option for guests who were asking us about it. With just a few clicks, we were able to set up a hosted website custom branded to our company, and start accepting reservations. The pre-built templates and workflows they have make for a seamless setup, from contact form to rental agreements and even professional payment collection pages.
Thanks, Mat and Michael! We love your story and how following your passions has led to such great success!