By Meghan Hall
The advent of vacation rental-based technology companies has revolutionized the commercial real estate industry in that now, almost anyone can break into the hospitality CRE market through vacation rentals. Property owners can easily offer up extra space—or even their own home—for rent for any period of time, and more than ever, vacation rentals have become a viable source of income. The Registry spoke with Colin Carvey, the founder of Revedy, a curated listing service and data analytics platform aimed at helping potential buyers with the process of buying and maintaining vacation rentals.
Colin, please tell The Registry a little bit about Revedy. Where did the inspiration to create a listing service specifically catered to vacation rentals come from?
I always dreamed of buying a vacation home. My wife and I looked through hundreds, thousands, of renovated kitchens, spacious patios, and spa bathrooms. We didn’t know what mattered and what to actually look for in a vacation home. So, when life placed me at a job working to grow the largest vacation rental management company in the United States., I finally understood I was not alone.
We are also not just a listing service. We are about making it simple for buyers to find their second home based on their needs. Our technology and our knowledgeable team customizes searches for each individual.
What pain points were you hoping to resolve by creating a platform that “demystifies” the process of purchasing and maintaining a vacation rental property
When looking for a vacation rental property there are a handful of things you need to look for, but the first step is understanding your specific situation and desires. For example, you may think 20 percent is the down payment you need and that will dictate what house you can afford. That is not necessarily the case. With revenue generated from exceptional vacation homes, it may be a wiser financial decision to choose a more expensive house that produces enough cash flow to justify only 10 percent down. You also have to worry about regulations, location, mortgage type, vacation rental insurance, who should be your property manager… and so on. For someone who does not have robust vacation rental experience, the process can be confusing and frustrating. Licensed agents in vacation rental markets often lack experience as to what makes a great vacation rental and how the house performs. We make it simple and help you find the right house with the right manager and everything in between.
Why do you think it is important for buyers to have more accessibility to the vacation rental market?
The vacation rental market can be a great source of passive income as well as provide a vacation home for you to enjoy with your family and friends. There is an opportunity for more Americans to be part of the growing real estate investment class in a home they can also enjoy.
As a platform, how does Revedy’s technology work to find the best properties for buyers? In an age of technology where there are an increasing number of property search engines, proptech companies and services, how does Revedy differentiate itself from the competition?
First and foremost, we are a company focused on building technology and processes that educate and simplify the process for anyone who wants to buy a vacation rental property. A smart, limited and exclusive listing site, complete with rental income estimates, expenses and cash flows, is just one piece of the puzzle. Being connected with our vetted and proven network of partners is another important component. Our technology, along with our experienced service team, brings all the components together to ensure you understand your options and makes the process simple. Anyone can build a listing site, but Revedy is not just anyone. We have built technology to help calculate and identify the right house based on the custom needs of each individual. We built our technology and network to ensure our customers get connected with the right Vacation Rental Manager, Real Estate agents, and other partners to ensure our clients get the very best vacation home specifically tailored to their individual goals.
Who are some of the Vacation Rental Managers that Revedy has chosen to partner with? Why were these partnerships appealing?
We look for Vacation Rental Managers who will help our clients realize their goals. We have relationships with all the large players and are continually building our network with local Vacation Rental Managers. The same is true of our real estate agents. However, we will only add professionals to our network that we have confirmed understand the vacation rental market, have proven results and high levels of service. We need to have confidence that our clients will be taken care of and achieve their personal and financial goals.
How are their services integrated into Revedy?
We have a dynamic database incorporating dozens of critical data elements. Our proprietary algorithms evaluate each property according to individual client objectives, from identifying a property to connecting them with knowledgeable agents in the area to setting them up with the best local management companies. Our one-stop-shop optimizes and simplifies the selection process for buyers of vacation rental properties to make the process that much simpler.
What is your current perspective on the nation’s vacation rental market?
The vacation rental market is an underutilized investment asset class. It is also an asset class that can be diversified simpler than long term rentals and can produce higher returns than long term rentals. We continue to see three things in overall space:
Two-Sided Organic Growth: more people are willing to rent out and/or own a vacation rental homes, and more people are willing to rent a short-term vacation property.
Technology Disruption: Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO, Vacasa, Evolve, Beyond-Pricing – to name a few – are all helping drive innovation. 5 years ago, you could survive with just service. Those days are over. If you don’t have technology, you will struggle to survive.
Increased Revenue: With more and more data available, marketing and pricing tools are becoming smarter every day. Combine that with the increase in demand for exceptional homes, the revenue being generated by these exceptional properties is climbing.
In the future, how do you think vacation rentals will continue to evolve into a more significant commercial real estate sector?
The two-sided organic growth trend will continue. We will begin to see it grow as an actual investment class, not only with individuals, but also with larger and more sophisticated investors. This is an industry that is coming out of the dark ages. We will continue to see it become more and more sophisticated and see more and more investments in technology and process. The owner and guest experience will continue to evolve at a rapid pace.
Is there anything else you would like to add that The Registry did not ask or mention?
Today, there are really two real estate classifications: commercial and residential. The platforms, processes and tools built for these classifications do not cross over well into vacation rental real estate. We are changing that by revolutionizing the way you think and interact with the idea of buying a 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th….) home. We are a company founded on the principle of simplifying processes. Our team are experts in the Vacation rental space. Unlike other large industry players, we are not solely reliant on algorithms. We want to find the exceptional properties for our investors, not the average property. A lot more people can afford to buy a 2nd or 3rd home than most folks realize. We want to make that dream come true for more people.