Anyone experienced with VACASA?

42 Replies

I’ve purchased three cabins-beachfront-great location cabins on 1/2 acre. I want to develop Condos or townhomes but meanwhile vacation rent them to help cover costs. I’m finding a lockdown style 32-35% property management rate by local managers and I’m not impressed by what I’m hearing on reviews. VACASA is new to this area and wants to manage the cabins but still want 32% not including extra fees for maintanance etc. The properties were very mismanaged so I can’t go on past rents. Area rents are great occupancy summer and dead in winter. I travel-work a lot and don’t really want to manage myself unless absolutely must. Does anyone have experience with VACASA or have suggestions. The local municipality requires a property manager for absentee owners and state of WA requires property managers to be licensed real estate agents. I’ve thought of a couple ways to work around all that but if VACASA is as good at marketing as they say I’d lean that way. Thanks.

Put a "Help Wanted" ad up on CL or Angies List for a PM.  You might get a PM that works for someone else, that can now eliminate the middleman and work directly for you.

@Debbie Bone

Before I switched over to self managing I did use vacasa as a pm. This is what I found they did which I did not like and thought was sneaky. They would charge rent which they say is dynamic to optimize your profit but what they do is also add booking fees the guest pay on top of rent for another 10-20 percent they say this is for credit card fees and other admin charges but then what is the commission for? This raises the total cost Which is what people are looking at when they book. The rent they did charge seemed to be really low so they still could put all their fees in there and be competitive with the normal listings they did keep the place booked but that is how they did it.

I'm a bit alarmed at what I'd be paying at a 32% management fee - if they tack on another 10-20 percent for admin that's getting unbearable.  It looks like they are optimizing marketing by using a lot of online platforms. I have one other AirBnb property that used to be booked solid but this year is limpid as all these new management companies seem to be pushing their rentals to the top of the search heaps.... it's getting tougher for the little guy.

Hey, lots of good replies and ideas here. I'm going to post a Craigslist ad and I'm going to contact Evolve as well as a local vacation property manager. The difficulty here is the vacation part - if I want to rent them long term it seems it would be easier, but maybe less profitable.
You can manage your own properties. One property I'm dealing with is in a specific vacation town with it's own regulations and zoning and a property with multiple partners in an LLC.  That municipality wants a local licensed property manager on file with city hall.

Interesting thread, and surprising numbers? 

My wife and I were thinking about buying in Lincoln City, OR for a vacation rental. I know some cities have their own regs. Not sure what Oregon's regs. are? But to hear that they are charging 32-33% seems like it wouldn't cash flow very well? We are just starting our search, but glad to see some local numbers on all this?

We haven't decided if we will buy as a second home or use a portfolio loan designed for vacation rentals yet, so the more numbers I can obtain, the more clear the path will be? Good conversation everyone.

Happy investing!!!

@Debbie Bone ...I have used Vacasa in the past but was not impressed with the overall service provided for the exorbitant management fee paid. I ended up switching to Evolve and it has been much better for our business. The main difference is that with Evolve, you may need to be a little bit more involved but in my opinion it’s been worth it. They do often have service providers they recommend to handle turnover and maintenance and you can use a company like Avalara to file use sales taxes for you which would make management easier for you. Hope that helps.

Dont use Evolve, for multiple reasons.

Originally posted by @Debbie Bone :
Hey, lots of good replies and ideas here. I'm going to post a Craigslist ad and I'm going to contact Evolve as well as a local vacation property manager. The difficulty here is the vacation part - if I want to rent them long term it seems it would be easier, but maybe less profitable.

@José Dominguez thank you so much! I spent nine hours today interviewing cleaners and managers and am so far most impressed with the one hour I spent talking to an EVOLVE representative over the phone. Also, the cleaner I liked the best works with EVOLVE. seriously considering them

@Debbie Bone   Evolve does not provide full service management and are not 'on-the-ground'.  They only do the easy stuff-- communication and calendar management-- and leave the hard stuff for you!  Hardly a good value for 10% of your hard earned income in my opinion!  10% of revenue ends up being closer to 30% of your net profit-- So they take a 3rd of your income just to send a few messages?

Vacasa is a massive company that does not provide the personal touch and even competes with its clients by owning/managing its own units.  I'm close friends with the ex Head of Growth, and he confirmed the company's service is lacking.  I stayed at a Vacasa unit in Park City recently, and the place was a dust bowl.   They pay their cleaners minimum wage.  This is what happens when you raise a $300M equity round and grow at all costs.  They are forced to drive down costs on other fronts-- namely the cleaning and maintenance.  Their General Managers manage upwards of 50-75 units each and make meager pay.  

The value in the property management industry is finding a reasonable (20-25% of revenue) that does not have a million clients and which can provide truly personal service.  These are your homes after all. Good luck!

Run from Vacasa! I am a property owner and they are the worst company I have ever dealt with. They will ruin your home and cost you! Just Google them or look on FB or Bbb or sitejabber. You will see almost nothing but horrendous negative reviews! Zero integrity and zero accountability!

We have used them for the last two years in Hawaii. They have been good for us. Hold out for a lower rate. Ours is 25%, which is still too high but typical on Hawaii. I like them so far.

I have experience with them in Florida and they are horrible! Kept our house beyond filthy and ruined our pool and golf cart. They lied about it all the way up the ladder. Run from them!

I have Vacasa right now and am not happy. They take 30% and on top of that charge fees to the guests. I did some calculations and realized that for each stay, they actually take more than I do. Example: if my property is rented out for $125 a night for 3 nights, Vacasa will charge $112 in booking and cleaning fees. Then they take their 30% off of the daily rental. End result: Vacasa makes $275 and I make $263. That's insane to me considering that I am responsible for 100% of all of the costs and maintenance of the house. I'm making one last attempt to reduce my fees with them, and if they refuse, I'll find somewhere else to manage my property. 

I avoided Vacasa and I sure am glad.  The thing I can't seem to get away from is their sales rep that keeps contacting me every few weeks to try to win my business.

I use Grand Welcome in South Lake Tahoe.  If Grand Welcome is in your market, I'd give them a call