Vacasa Property Management Review: Is Vacasa Worth It?

Vacasa property management offers vacation rental owners and Airbnb operators a full-service management solution. Learn more about Vacasa reviews, costs, terms, and services.

After you buy a vacation rental property, you need to decide how you’d like to manage it. Some investors opt to be DIY Airbnb hosts and manage their property on their own, while others hire a professional property management company. Still others opt to do both, with half-service managers. Which option you go for depends on many factors like your background, experience, skills, availability, location, and personal preference.

In case you’re considering working with a vacation rental property management company, you’ve probably heard of Vacasa from their ads across Google. In this Vacasa review we will look at what Vacasa is, what property management services it provides, which markets the company covers, how much it costs to work with them, what the usage terms and conditions are, what existing customers think of the company, and how it compares to the main Vacasa alternatives.

Ultimately, we’ll try to answer the question: Is Vacasa worth it for your short term rental property? In brief: No. There are other full-service property management companies that do more than Vacasa for a smaller cut of your revenue. Vacasa is also often blamed by vacation rental owners for poor performance and very high unexpected fees.

* Awning is an industry-leading full-service vacation rental property management company covering all top US markets. It also provides support in vacation rental furnishing. Start earning and enjoying truly passive rental income for a 15% fee.

What Vacasa Is

Vacasa is a full-service Airbnb management company. It goes as far as calling itself a premium full-service vacation rental manager. The company combines the best of both worlds by providing hands-on, personalized property and guest care together with cutting edge revenue-boosting technology. To do this, Vacasa hires dedicated professional teams in all markets that it covers in addition to using billions of vacation rental data points.

Furthermore, Vacasa provides other vacation rental real estate services. Namely, they help investors buy a vacation home by identifying the best locations, providing customized rental projections, and leveraging their vacation rental interior design expertise. 

Vacasa also supports investors when selling a vacation home. Homesellers can partner with local vacation rental experts, get professional listing photos and 3D tours, and get access to an active buyer network. Last but not least, Vacasa offers services to real estate agents too which help grow their business.

Vacasa was founded in 2009 by Eric Breon and Cliff Johnson and is headquartered in Portland, OR. The idea for the company came out of Eric’s own struggle to find efficient management for his family vacation home in Long Beach, WA. That's how he took on the mission to renovate the vacation rental industry by creating the best vacation home experience for everyone, everywhere.

In its history Vacasa has attracted $834.5 million in funding and acquired a total of 34 companies including TurnKey Vacation Rentals, Resort Lodging Company, Sea to Sky Rentals, and Oasis Collection. Vacasa is a publicly traded company (VCSA), it IPO’d in 2021.

What Vacasa Property Management Is

Even though Vacasa has branched out into other real estate services, Airbnb property management remains its main focus. That’s what they’ve been doing since the establishment of the firm. At the moment the company manages over 35,000 vacation homes in a few global  markets. It brings more than 3 million guests to its owners per year.

According to the company website, Vacasa property management helps investors increase their annual rental revenue by an average of 20%. Providing this number is a good sign of the company’s seriousness and dedication, however it’s unclear how much revenue optimization owners had already done before managing with Vacasa.

The properties managed by Vacasa are owned by small-scale and large-scale real estate investors. At the core of their customer base are part-time, remote vacation rental owners who don’t have the time, knowledge, and resources to take care of renting out their second homes on their own. Meanwhile, owners reserve the right to book their property for personal use as frequently as they wish, provided that this does not conflict with any existing guest bookings.

Vacasa vacation rental property management services include:

  • Preparing homes for renting
  • Creating professional listings
  • Vacation rental digital marketing
  • Managing reservations
  • Communicating with and servicing guests
  • Setting dynamic daily rates
  • Housekeeping
  • Property maintenance
  • Review management
  • Tax collection and filing
  • Financial reporting

This comprehensive list means that Vacasa takes care of all aspects of running a short term rental business on behalf of the owners they work with.

Where Vacasa Property Management Is Available

Vacasa vacation rental property management services are available in North America and Central America. They cover 35 US states in addition to Canada, Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica

In the US, Vacasa does not work in Arkansas,Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia.

Vacasa does not impose any restrictions and specific requirements on the homes that it agrees to manage. Owners can contact Vacasa by email or phone to speak with a Homeowner Consultant to make sure that the two parties are a good fit.

Some of the vacation home rental types managed by Vacasa include:

  • Bungalow rentals
  • Cabins
  • Chalets
  • Cottages
  • Studios
  • Condos
  • Duplexes
  • Townhouses
  • Motel rooms
  • Waterfront vacation rentals
  • Lake house rentals
  • Mountain cabins
  • Snowbird vacation rentals
  • Golf vacation rentals and villas
  • Vacation rentals with a hot tub
  • Vacation rentals with a fireplace

How Vacasa Property Management Works

The full-service vacation rental property management work done by Vacasa includes:

Getting Your Property Guest-Ready

As part of its core services and additional assistance, the Vacasa property management team helps hosts prepare their short term rental for renting out. This includes interior design services as well as setting up a smart home. 

Vacasa can help with obtaining local short term rental permits and licenses as different states, counties, and cities have varying requirements. Vacasa will also take care of the cleaning, providing linen, and stocking your vacation home before the listing photos are taken and the first guests arrive.

Importantly, the company offers useful vacation homeowner guides on its website.

Best-in-Class Optimized Property Listing

Vacasa creates optimal vacation rental listings which include but are not limited to high-definition photos, 3D virtual property tours, custom copywriting, and local search engine optimization (SEO).

Properties for rent get listed on the Vacasa vacation rental marketplace as well as on channel partners like Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, and others. Listings on multiple platforms maximizes exposure and bookings.

Furthermore, Vacasa uses targeted digital marketing strategies such as Google ads, Facebook ads, and email marketing to reach a maximum number of potential guests.

Managing Bookings and Guests

Vacasa has a team of dedicated reservation agents who help address potential guest questions and manage bookings. The company also screens guests and approves/declines requests. During the stay, Vacasa property management local teams are responsible for addressing all guest needs through a 24/7 guest service. After the stay, they handle reviews in order to optimize listings on their website and other platforms.

Dynamic Pricing

Vacasa deploys technology and billions of short term rental data points to set up the optimal nightly rate each and every day. The rates are determined by factors such as seasonality, local events, weather, and others and aim to strike the right balance between occupancy and daily income. The dynamic pricing mechanism allows the company to boost owner’s rental income by an average of 20% compared to self-managing or using another vacation rental property management company.

Moreover, Vacasa processes the payments on behalf of investors.

Property Cleaning and Restocking

Vacasa is proud of the premium cleaning between guests services that they offer in every market. This demonstrates the company’s understanding of the importance of cleanliness and hygiene for guest experience, before, during, and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The cleaning process applied by Vacasa meets or exceeds the CDC requirements.

In addition, the company manages the changing and washing of linen as well as the stocking of supplies in all rooms between stays.

As you’ll learn later in the reviews section, this is also the service that guests most often complain about or discover is incomplete upon arrival. 

Vacation Rental Inspecting and Maintaining

Unlike half-service Airbnb property management companies, Vacasa conducts regular property inspections to make sure that everything is fine and detect any issues early on. Upon detecting missing items or damages, the local team handles the repair process on their own or coordinates with the right specialist.

Providing proper upkeep is an essential part of meeting guests’ expectations as well as preventing expensive property repair work in the future.

Helping with Taxes

In addition to offering guides with vacation rental tax filing tips, Vacasa also provides practical help with taxes. Vacasa collects the necessary taxes from stays on behalf of owners. They also provide a tax preparation form as well as annual rental and income data which makes filing taxes much easier.

Additional Vacasa Property Management Services

Vacasa provides a number of additional facilities to owners for an extra fee:

  • Online account and app: Through an online homeowner account, you can access your vacation rental calendar, observe financial performance, view and download monthly statements, request maintenance, get home information, update taxpayer information, and personalize settings.
  • Smart home program: You can get smart locks, noise monitoring devices, and a Vacasa-branded network WiFi router while saving $500 on devices.
  • Vacation rental insurance: For a fee of $7 to $9 per booked night, you get $1 million in liability coverage, $1 million in damage coverage for your home, $25,000 in eligible coverage for your personal property, and $15,000 in comprehensive bed bug coverage.
  • Interior design: You can get guided design for your vacation rental property for $99 or curated design for $599-$1,199 including introduction, reservation, design, collaboration, cooperation, and installation.
  • Linen program: You benefit from supplying your property with bedding and towels, laundering them, changing linen between guests, ordering new items when needed, and replacing all sheets and towels annually.
  • Hot tub maintenance and management: You can earn 15% to 20% more revenue through this most demanded amenity while Vacasa takes care of water testing, chemical levels balancing, water draining and refilling, hot tub cover checking for wear and tear, and repairs arranging.

These additional Airbnb property management services are available for an extra fee. Unless you opt for these, you will need to do some of the work on your own, which means that promoting Vacasa as a full-service property management company is a bit misleading. 

Before you decide to hire Vacasa, make sure to get a detailed list of what exactly is included in the standard management package and what comes at an extra cost.

Getting Started with Vacasa

If you are considering working with Vacasa, you can enter your property address on their website to get an estimate of the rental income they expect to generate on your behalf. This will give you a good idea whether hiring the company will enhance revenue or not.

You can fill in an online form or call to obtain additional information. You can have a call with a Homeowner Consultant who will answer all your questions to allow you to decide if Vacasa is a good fit for your investment aspirations. Keep in mind that this is not a licensed agent and does not have fiduciary duty toward you.

If you decide to engage Vacasa, you will be connected with a local market expert to go over the income potential of your vacation rental, the management fees, and the local team.

The onboarding process is meant to be homeowner-driven and as effortless as possible for the investor.

Vacasa Property Management Costs and Fees

Vacasa states that it charges a single vacation rental property management fee for its full-service work. However, this fee varies between locations, property sizes, and property types. An owner gets a quote after contacting the Vacasa team. The management fee is charged on the basis of the generated revenue.

Although Vacasa claims to charge a single fee, the additional services listed above are paid separately. Owners need to inquire about their costs as well if they plan to use them to secure themselves a completely hands-off approach to vacation rental ownership.

Before hiring Vacasa property management, it’s important to understand that they will collect income from guests on your behalf. That’s where they will subtract their management fees from. As a homeowner, you will receive your payout on a monthly basis, through a direct deposit or a check.

Vacasa Property Management Terms and Requirements

Vacasa doesn’t have specific requirements for qualifying vacation rental homes. However, there will be an initial call with a Homeowner Consultant to make sure the company is a good fit for the investor’s goals.

To work with them, you need to sign an agreement, but there is no long-term contract. You can cancel the agreement at any point with a 90-day notice. As an owner, you are obliged to honor any reservations already made for the 90-day period. By comparison, this is longer than the 30-day notice required by Evolve.

Having your second home managed by Vacasa still allows you to use it for personal reasons. All you have to do is to block the days you want for personal use on the calendar, making sure they are not already booked by guests.

Vacasa Property Management Reviews

Vacasa property management services are reviewed on a number of popular customer review websites. Most Vacasa reviews are provided by guests rather than investors. Guest reviews are, nevertheless, very helpful for vacation rental owners as they can see whether what the company promises and what it delivers match. Moreover, owners get to know if their guests will be happy and satisfied.

The company has achieved an average TrustScore of 4.1, based on 8,699 Vacasa customer reviews. This ranking is considered great. The positive reviews focus on good guest experiences in nice, well-prepared properties, in convenient locations, with beautiful views. 

Meanwhile, the negative reviews highlight absent customer support, uncleaned vacation rentals, mismatches between listing photos and actual property condition, hidden fees, false damage claims, inflexible check-in and check-out times, lack of refunds in case of must-have cancellations, and others.

On the Better Business Bureau website, Vacasa has scored an average ranking of 4.04, on the basis of 2,177 reviews. The good and bad Vacasa property management reviews are very similar to those on Trustpilot. While some guests praise the properties, the views, and the locations, others complain about the lack of cleanliness, poor communication, misleading information, and lack of sympathy. 

Customers have filed a total of 1,156 complaints over the course of the last three years. Some of these complaints include safety issues due to broken doors, not working locks, and chemical smells.

Meanwhile, Vacasa has generated over 500,000 5-star guest reviews for properties listed on their website. This is supposed to be the result of well-managed vacation rentals as well as intentional efforts to collect reviews post guest stays. Vacasa does not report the average review score that it receives for properties under management. 

Vacasa Competitors and Alternatives

Vacasa was founded just a couple of years after the establishment of Airbnb, which marked the beginning of the vacation rental industry boom. This early start gave Vacasa the opportunity to gain and solidify a position as one of the leading and biggest short term rental property management companies in the North America market. 

Nonetheless, there are many Vacasa alternatives which Airbnb hosts can choose from, depending on their needs and expectations. Here we will compare Vacasa with three of its main competitors: Awning, Evolve and AvantStay.

Awning vs Vacasa

Like Vacasa, Awning offers design and furnishing services and full-service property management. Unlike Vacasa, Awning doesn't charge additional fees for hot tub maintenance and other property care for short term rentals.

Awning also charges a substantially lower fee of 15% of revenue and property management is available nationwide.

Evolve vs Vacasa

Evolve is easily one of the largest competitors of Vacasa in the US vacation rental market. Unlike Vacasa though, Evolve vacation rental property management half-service.

The company does not help get the property guest-ready, assure legal compliance, clean, restock, help with taxes, and maintain. Instead, our Evolve review shows that the company focuses on listings, marketing, bookings, dynamic pricing, guest communication and support, and reviews. 

All these services are covered by Vacasa too. Thus, Vacasa is better fitted to meet the requirements of part-time, remote, full-time employed short term rental owners with limited expertise in real estate and hospitality.

In terms of geographic coverage, Evolve is not present in Canada, Belize, and Rosta Rica, while Vacasa works in these markets.

Overall, Evolve is more transparent about its management fees structure and the required vacation rental management agreement. Evolve’s website shows a universal property management fee of 10% of rental income, which is an industry-low. Moreover, the contract which owners need to sign is available on the Evolve website.

Meanwhile, Vacasa charges various fees across different markets and properties, and the range is not made publicly available. The Airbnb property management agreement is not found on their website either. This lack of transparency raises a red flag that real estate investors need to consider.

AvantStay vs Vacasa

Comparing Vacasa vs AvantStay shows that they provide comparable vacation rental property management services. Both companies are full-service, so they help investors earn passive income. Owners can expect help with interior design, furnishing, listings, marketing, bookings, dynamic pricing, guest management, reviews, and property maintenance. These make the services offered by the two managers appropriate for investors in search of a hands-off experience.

Both AvantStay and Vacasa use their websites in addition to channel partners like Airbnb and Vrbo to list and market short term rentals.

With regards to coverage, our AvantStay review reveals that the service is available in 11 US states and Mexico, while Vacasa’s footprint is larger, including 35 US states, Canada, Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica.

AvantStay charges a single fee of 15% of monthly rental revenue, and this number is provided on the company website. At the same time, Vacasa’s management fees vary and are not publicized. Furthermore, some additional services are charged separately.

Takeaway

Our Vacasa property management review shows that this is a popular full-service company with a large customer base in North America and Central America. However, the company website and the customer reviews do not provide enough information to allow vacation rental owners to opt for Vacasa with an ease of mind and confidence. Thus, it’s worth taking a look elsewhere when searching for the top Airbnb management company in the US.

* Awning is an industry-leading full-service vacation rental property management company covering all top US markets. It also provides support in vacation rental furnishing. Start earning and enjoying truly passive rental income for a 15% fee.

Ownership, without the hassle.

Starting a rental portfolio should be as pain-free as investing in the market.
That’s why we are here.
Are you ready to experience the difference?

Get started