Marketplace: TurnKey opens doors in Park City
July 29, 2016
TurnKey Vacation Rentals had already begun to make a name for itself nationally when the Austin, Texas, company contacted Michael Broussard about leading an expansion into Park City in 2014.
In Summit County, though, the brand was largely unknown. So Broussard was tasked with building the Park City branch from the ground up. Two years later, he said, that's exactly what he and his team have done.
"We've just gone out and recruited people who are interested in doing this, people who wanted to pay less commission and get better results," he said. "It's been quite a process, but today we are approaching 100 properties, either live or in development. It's a really nice milestone."
According to Broussard, TurnKey is a unique kind of vacation rental company. It lists all of the properties it manages on 16 websites, including VRBO and Airbnb, with technology that connects all of the listings. That means changes made to listings, such as bookings, are reflected across the entire platform. He said that's not something many smaller companies can boast.
"That's really cutting-edge technology," he said.
The company also employs technology that allows it adapt to a changing vacation rental landscape. Broussard said that a VRBO customer, for instance, used to be able to buy a membership package that would ensure their listing would be shown near the top of a search.
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Now, though, search results are based on criteria such as response rate, rates, reviews and housekeeping ratings — factors that could be hard to manage for an individual property owner.
"A company like ours can really help those people who are, all of a sudden, falling way down the ladder," he said. "When a lead comes in, we follow up in either real time or within five minutes. Then we have a six-point plan on following up because we're open 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Customers are also treated to a high level of personal service in their properties, Broussard said. For instance, TurnKey takes about 50 digital photos of a property after each time it's been rented, then compares them to photos that have been taken previously. The goal is to ensure everything in the home, down to the tiniest detail, is kept in tip-top shape, just like the owners like it.
"We'll have a picture of the couch that shows that the favorite red pillow is on the right side," he said. "And if they take the (new) photo and the pillow is on the left side, we'll discover that and say we can't process that photo so we can put the pillow back. Owners really like that. They can view all of these photos after every stay and see that their property is being very well taken care of and maintained."
Additionally, an online dashboard allows property owners to see all the reservations and information for their properties. Jon Nathan, the company's Park City account manager, said that is a favorite feature of clients who live out of state.
"A core pillar of what we do is provide a quality of service, but also transparency of that service," Nathan said. "Where we have owners that may live in California or Texas or New York, they just want to know that their property is in OK shape. So instead of just calling me and asking how it looks and me saying, 'Yeah, it looks good,' they can actually see it."
Broussard also touts the cost of TurnKey's services. Customers are charged 18 percent commission on all bookings, a price that's possible, he said, for a few reasons: Many of TurnKey's core services operate from its hub in Austin, making a large office in Park City, and the overhead that would come with it, unnecessary; and the company also believes it can make up the difference by booking a larger amount of rentals for its customers.
That means more revenue for TurnKey, but also more cash in the pocketbooks of customers.
"We think we can generate about 20 percent more revenue based on how we do marketing because we're getting better reach," he said.
TurnKey Vacation Rentals
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