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Vacasa, which helps hosts not only list but manage their rental homes, is thinking about becoming a publicly traded stock, multiple sources told CNBC, looking to take advantage of an expected recovery in the vacation business as Covid vaccinations accelerate in the U.S. and federal and state governments lift virus mitigation measures.
The Portland, Oregon-based company is considering an initial public offering, a direct listing, or merging with a SPAC, special purpose acquisition company, those sources said.
In a CNBC interview, Vacasa CEO Matt Roberts said “no comment” to questions about whether the company is planning go public. However, he did talk about Vacasa’s future from a business standpoint, saying the company expects to “generate more than $1.25 billion in gross bookings, an all-time high for us,” in 2021. That’s about double 2019, which closed out before the coronavirus pandemic decimated the travel industry.
From monitoring inquiries to fixing a broken toilet to increasing the number of nights a home is booked, Vacasa helps homeowners manage the whole end-to-end process of renting a property on a short- or long-term basis. The company — founded in 2009, one year after Airbnb — said it sets itself apart from the online rental giant and Expedia’s offerings by providing end-to-end services. While operating its own rental marketplace, Vacasa also feeds home rental supply to Airbnb and Expedia.
“We create supply for the market. Retail it through our distribution partners. … That’s what makes us different. We are actually the ones creating the product on the shelf,” Roberts said.
Danielle Martini, who has her Rockaway Beach, Oregon, home listed on Vacasa, told CNBC, “One of my favorite things is the owners’ portal … where I can compare my bookings to the previous year. I also get email notifications when there is a new booking. It’s pretty sweet.”
One of my favorite things is the owners’ portal … where I can compare my bookings to the previous year. I also get email notifications when there is a new booking. It’s pretty sweet.
Martini’s family lives in Spokane, Washington — seven hours away from their second home — making it difficult to manage the property on a regular basis.
“We basically breaking even … maybe making a little money,” Martini said of Vacasa, which charges a 35% commission. But that’s OK, she said, because she and her husband view their beachside property as a longer-term investment that they hope to retire in one day.
When her mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Danielle Martini started to think more seriously about the next phase in life. Last year, she and her husband cashed out part of their 401(k) money to buy their dream vacation home.
“I told my husband we can’t be like my parents. We need a place to retire. Need it to be managed …….