SkyRun Vacation Rentals is a rapidly growing vacation rental property management franchise with more than 1,200 homes under management in over 40 independently owned and operated locations. The brand represents the best of both worlds when it comes to short term rental management by combining the advantages of local ownership and management with the efficiency, technology, and support of a national brand.
But how did such a niche franchise concept arrive at this point, you may be wondering? Well, in 2004, Barry Cox and Steve Falk created SkyRun Vacation Rentals, a single location property management company based out of Keystone, Colorado. The real story of their success came once they realized the value that their proprietary software and service model would have for other short term rental property managers. And so, they began licensing the brand and its processes to fellow entrepreneurs operating in the industry
Now, 19 years down the line, the franchise is enjoying a record-breaking year of nationwide development. Since the start of the year, SkyRun has welcomed 13 new franchisees to their system, reflecting a 46% YOY rate of growth for the brand and officially marking 2023 as their heaviest year for brand expansion.
Much of this growth comes as the short-term rental market finds itself in the national spotlight for business development and economic performance. A boom in the vacation rental industry post-pandemic has sparked an evolution in the business of owning a vacation home, leading homeowners to recognize the value of having a professional management company as a partner for their property.
That shouldn’t be surprising; after all, more and more guests are choosing to stay in short term rental properties and are challenging what level of service and amenities they should come to expect during their stay. With increased bookings and revenue flowing through the industry, more investors have purchased second homes to rent on Airbnb and Vrbo in the hopes of turning a fast profit. And as these new homes are listed, pressure is on to stand out from the crowd, so new software and tools have emerged in the space to help homeowners maximize their opportunity. The days of listing your property on one site, setting your price, and watching the bookings roll in are over—and homeowners need a partner to help them navigate it all.
A recent report from Cornell University on the consolidation of the U.S. short-term rental market found that “professional property managers represent only 1% of all Airbnb hosts, but they manage 23% of available listings and generate 28% of total revenue, which may signal a move away from non-professional hosts for the booking platform.”
This increased interest in professional management has helped SkyRun break into more than a dozen new markets so far this year, including Orlando, FL, Kona Coast, HI, and South Orange County, CA. The rapid development of the SkyRun franchise signals the opportunity that exists for new and experienced entrepreneurs alike to invest in one of the country’s fastest-growing and untapped economic sectors at a moment where there is still quite a bit of white space ahead.
Reports indicate that the global vacation rental market size was estimated at $91.2 billion as of 2021, with the industry projected to reach $315 billion by 2031. Overall, it showcases a staggering degree of growth that’s largely being driven by rising levels of consumer travel, increased expenditure, and a growing preference for the home-like experience that a vacation rental provides, as opposed to more traditional hotel accommodations.
“What has become abundantly clear for many vacation rental owners is the value and simplicity that professional property management can bring to an increasingly complex industry,” said Lukas Krause, CEO of SkyRun Vacation Rentals. “Between evolving pricing strategies, heightened guest expectations, an increase in booking channels, and complicated regional regulations, more and more homeowners are seeking a partner who can help their second home stand out in the crowd and earn more revenue with less hassle.”
The SkyRun team is capitalizing on this growing public interest in professional property management by investing in new marketing strategies and technology to streamline and scale the management of short-term rentals. These investments will continue to help SkyRun franchisees launch and grow successful short term rental management businesses faster and with greater ease than if they were to do so on their own, alongside the support of a community of peers and experts in the field.
“With the SkyRun name expanding to over 40 locations with more than 1,200 vacation rentals nationwide, our growth is going into overdrive,” said Maura Wall, Director of Marketing for SkyRun Vacation Rentals. “As the industry evolves, professional management companies like SkyRun have the opportunity to shape the future of vacation rentals for the better. It is exciting to be a part of, and our numbers show it—savvy entrepreneurs see the chance to build something special at an opportune time. We anticipate continued growth at this pace through 2024 and beyond.”
As a result of their proven business model, SkyRun been named one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. 5000 and the majority of their franchisees are Vrbo Premier Hosts and/or Airbnb Superhosts. SkyRun has also been awarded “Best Property Management Company” in several markets and maintains one of the highest guest review scores in the industry at 4.8 out of 5 stars.