VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day
In approaching the 10th edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit, we’re releasing a series of interviews to leaders, key players and highly motivated people in our industry whose companies make a deep impact in our space and will be present at VRWS.
The aim is to get you some insight into these leaders and the company they founded, manage or work for, as well as getting some behind the scenes on their thinking, their motivation and their drive.
Describe your career in the vacation rental industry and how you reached your current position in the company.
I started my career in consulting. And while new projects and challenges were fun, I always felt like “A hired gun.” When I got the opportunity, at what was then HomeAway, I got excited about the potential of working in an industry that delivers some of the best experiences of people’s lives and enables “ordinary” people to own second homes. I joined HomeAway in 2015 prior to the company being purchased by Expedia Group and worked in the VR landscape for many years ultimately leading to me becoming the VP of Partner Success for all of Expedia Group’s vacation rental business. I’ve been in this role for a little more than a year now and I love having the chance to meet with our partners around the globe as we work together to provide the best traveler experiences for those staying in vacation rentals.
In your opinion, what are the main current challenges in the vacation rental industry, and how do you think your company can help overcome them?
I believe the following are current challenges we face in the industry:
1.Supply vs. demand
- We’ve seen a lot of supply – the most we’ve ever seen – come online since 2019. While overall demand is strong, the average demand per property is down. As such partners need to be prepared to stand out from the crowd and that may mean trying new things – more flexible cancellation policies, shorter minimum night stays, lower host fees, etc.
2. I think there are some in the business that forget we’re in the hospitality space, and that we’re here to deliver travelers the time of their lives. At Expedia Group and Vrbo, we believe that when the traveler wins, we all win, and we all need to keep that mindset, so vacation rentals continue to be part of the traveler’s consideration set when booking lodging.
3. Regulations: We’re seeing unbalanced regulations popping up all over the world and it’s an existential threat for our industry. For nearly three decades, Vrbo has served as the trusted short-term rental platform for travelers, homeowners, and community stakeholders. We believe that balanced short-term rental policies can be achieved in every market. We’re proud to partner with local governments to help find and implement tailored policy solutions that address neighborhood concerns while preserving the benefits of a healthy tourism economy.
What are your expectations for the 2023 edition of VRWS in Barcelona, and what makes you particularly interested in attending this specific edition?
My expectations for VRWS 2023 are the same for any conference I attend and that’s to have engaging conversations with our vacation rental partners. I’m excited for VRWS to learn more about the nuances and changing landscape in Europe. I learn so much from those one-to-one interactions…more so than reviewing PPTs or Excel files. So, if you see me, come up and say hi; let’s talk about your business.
Could you provide a brief preview of what attendees can expect from your participation during the Vacation Rental World Summit?
VRWS attendees can expect to hear and learn from me – in an open and candid way – what I think about the future of the vacation rental industry as I chat with others on the TechTalk panel!
You’ll have the opportunity to meet Tim directly at VRWS in Barcelona
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