Island Real Estate sells vacation rental operation

Island Real Estate sale
Island Real Estate has sold its vacation rental management operations to Vacasa. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Island Real Estate owner Larry Chatt has sold the vacation rental portion of his Island Real Estate business operation to Vacasa, an Oregon-based vacation rental management company.

“Vacasa will take over operations of Island Real Estate’s vacation rentals, adding nearly 300 Florida properties to the company’s growing portfolio. All real estate sales and property and condominium management will continue to be overseen by Island Real Estate. Vacasa plans to retain Island Real Estate’s current staff,” according to a Nov. 20 press release.

“I’ve owned and operated Island Real Estate for almost a decade and each year I drive the organization to adapt and improve to the fast-changing vacation rental industry,” Chatt said in the press release. “Vacasa continues my crusade to lead advancements in the southwest Florida market that provides unmatched value to our vacation rental business, increased revenue for homeowners, world-class service for guests and industry-leading benefits for employees,” he added.

When contacted, Chatt said he will lease his blue, multi-story building in Holmes Beach to Vacasa, which will retain the use of the building as a headquarters for laundry and housekeeping operations.

“We’re thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Island Real Estate and look forward to being part of the community in Anna Maria Island,” said Gerard Lester, director of Homeowner Experience at Vacasa.

Vacasa is a full-service vacation rental property management company that utilizes algorithm-based analytics to help determine rental rates and optimize revenue for its clients.

When contacted by email last week, Lester provided additional comments on the purchase.

“Larry saw an opportunity to bring in an operational and marketing expert to help manage the vacation rental side of his business. Larry has been working closely with Vacasa’s partnership and acquisitions team and will continue to be a resource to us as we transition all of Island Real Estate’s vacation rental business operations over to Vacasa,” Lester’s email said.

Lester also provided additional insight on Vacasa’s use of analytics.

“For a long time, the vacation rental industry lacked dynamic pricing, leaving money on the table for homeowners,” Lester said of the rental rate optimization algorithm Vacasa began utilizing in 2009.

“In April, we launched Yield Management 2.0, a machine learning-driven algorithm that optimizes rental rates throughout the day by automatically adapting to a variety of factors. Yield Management 2.0 is constantly evaluating and making real-time changes to rental rates based on millions of data points such as weather forecasts, location-specific events, holidays, occupancy, competitor prices, etc. Vacasa’s technology not only benefits the homeowner by revenue optimization, but also ensures guests are getting the best rates,” Lester said.

Vacasa currently manages more than 900 vacation properties throughout the state of Florida, including homes in Sarasota and Bradenton. Founded in 2009 and based in Portland, Vacasa and its subsidiaries manage more than 7,000 vacation homes in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and Central and South America.