Vacation rental company Vacasa has partnered with online home goods retailer Wayfair to roll out its interior design program across the country.
The program, which has been in pilot mode over the past year, is designed to boost income for vacation homeowners and multifamily developers by linking them with Vacasa’s in-house design team to decorate and furnish their rentals.
According to the company, Vacasa is the only property management company to offer interior design assistance at such a scale.
Vacasa says participants in the pilot - which covered about 60 homeowner projects and 160 multifamily projects - maximized rental occupancy by an average of 12%, and some homeowners saw a revenue increase of more than 20%.
Through the interior design program, homeowners and developers with properties on the Vacasa platform can choose from three different package options: Guided, Curated and Full-furnish.
All packages include a consultation, custom mood boards and review rounds, but higher-budget packages include services such as interior sourcing and installation.
Kimberly White, Vacasa senior director of design services, says the Wayfair partnership is what allows the company to offer interior design services at scale - a differentiator among other design-focused vacation rental platforms - as the home goods site delivers across the country.
“We have this hub-and-spoke model where we have homes across the country and teams servicing those homes across the country … and we have to figure out how to scale the design process. The partnership with Wayfair makes that easy from a sourcing [perspective].”
Wayfair, she continues, is also “so easy to use. They have better filters than any website I’ve ever used … which saves my team a lot of time.”
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White’s team comprises four full-time designers, all based in Portland, so technology is key to outfitting properties remotely.
To that end, Vacasa has also partnered with Matterport to produce 3-D models of homes.
“The Matterport tours … we couldn’t scale without it, because designers in Portland can’t often do site visits,” White says.
With Matterport, designers can do things like create floorplans and check measurements, which has “allowed us to be really digital and quick in the design and programming and planning phases.”
Live like a local?
What many travelers want out of the vacation rental experience is the chance to live like a local, which White says Vacasa is still focused on despite the Wayfair deal.
Sourcing local artwork is of “extreme importance to the integrity of any design,” she says.
“In vacation rentals, [local character] is why people select specific areas. … We don’t ever do 100% out-of-the-box brand-new without incorporating local or vintage [finds],” she says. “It’s a balance for sure.”
Alhough the design team is currently slight, White says Vacasa will soon hire designers throughout the company’s top markets. “There are definite advantages to being entrenched in the community,” she says.
The interior design program is the latest undertaking in Vacasa’s quest to become the leading full-service vacation rental company.
In October, the company raised $64 million to grow globally, and a month later it launched a dedicated multifamily unit to expand into urban markets.
Founded in 2009, Vacasa bills itself as the largest vacation rental management company in North America with more than 13,000 vacation homes.
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