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The vacation rental industry has exploded in the last few years with big players. Big players like AirBnB, HomeAway & have been rapidly consolidating the industry, creating an industry with more familiarity that’s palatable to the average consumer. But what does this mean for the “mom-and-pop” style businesses who don’t want to grow? Those who would rather create a small limited edition business infused with personality. In this round-table episode, we discuss the big picture history of the hospitality industry Andrew McConnell. We’ll learn how Kristie Wolfe creates and operates a boutique tiny home vacation rental business, and how Tara & Josh Conger walk the fine line of creating a scalable business while preserving their unique experiences.

Show Notes

Andrew McConnell

  • Understanding the differences between commodity and limited edition vacation rentals
  • How fragmented the vacation rental industry is
  • Andrew McConnell discusses the history of the “cottage industry”
  • How fragmented industries tend to consolidate
  • What the “big players” in the hospitality industry did that the “small players” didn’t
  • Building a lifestyle business versus a major venture backed business
  • How the nature of vacation rentals is designed not to scale
  • The hazards of being “stuck-in-the-middle” of a boutique personality based business versus a growing commodity business
  • Discussing the potential winners and losers in the future of the industry
  • Being unique versus pretending to be unique
  • Being something to everyone, versus being everything to someone

Kristie Wolfe

  • On building and designing tiny-home vacation rentals
  • Why Kristie prefers to not meet guests at her unique homes
  • How Kristie designs unique experiences for her guests (that sometimes involve trespassing)
  • Kristie’s unique advantage when building tiny homes
  • Kristie’s advice on doing vacation rental projects that get you excited

Tara & Josh Conger

  • Creating a limited edition vacation rental company that can scale
  • Having a private island as a vacation rental
  • Building custom homes to be vacation rentals
  • How Tara & Josh leverage concierge services
  • Building a new website for the business
  • Balancing the scaling of a business while maintaining a boutique personal touch
  • Using CRM systems to improve guest experiences

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