The big change in home rentals that could lead to more Marriott properties

Mar 12, 2021

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Vacation home rental company Vacasa has announced its intent to purchase TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a smaller but significant player in the space with 6,000+ rental properties under management.

According to reporting from Skift, the two companies could complete the merger deal by the end of this year, and TurnKey would maintain its brand after the acquisition is complete.

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After an initial pandemic-induced dip in activity in 2020, TurnKey has made a full recovery and then some, with travelers seeking larger spaces for their friends and family to spread out away from the relatively tighter confines of hotels and resorts. This is likely what led Vacasa to make a play to acquire its smaller competitor, along with the fact that the deal will bring Vacasa into markets where it previously had no foothold, like Napa, California; Asheville, North Carolina; and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Thursday’s announcement comes amid a burst of investment of private capital into home-rental companies. In fact, Skift reports that the level of investment in these types of companies is up “about 40 percent above the most recent investing peak in 2018.” And, despite the pandemic, Airbnb went public at the end of last year with an initial public offering in excess of $100 billion.

This isn’t the first acquisition for Vacasa, either. The company “has doubled in size to 6,000 employees since early 2019, partly through dozens of acquisitions,” according to Skift.

The takeover of TurnKey will result in Vacasa being “the largest full-service property manager for whole-home vacation rentals in the U.S.” And, interestingly, TurnKey manages many of the rental properties that fall under Marriott’s relatively new Homes and Villas collection.

So while it remains to be seen if the TurnKey deal will result in deeper cooperation between Homes and Villas and Vacasa itself, it’s reasonable to expect that those with Bonvoy points burning a hole in their wallet will soon have many more options for using those points (and earning them) at home rentals in new locations.

Homes and Villas by Marriott has grown at an impressive clip over the last few years. It started with just 2,000 homes in about 100 destinations around the world, but by February of this year, that portfolio had increased eightfold to over 16,000 rental properties. Despite the expectation of a return to some sort of normalcy in the world this year, we can expect the popularity of home rentals to remain strong among people who aren’t quite ready to get back on planes and into more-crowded hotels.

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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