Business as Usual: Snowmass resident opens property management office
Editor’s note: Business as Usual is a series highlighting businesses in Snowmass Village. It is published weekly in the Snowmass Sun.
Homeowners and renters have lots of options for property management services in Snowmass, but Mark Viola believes he has something special to offer. The 25-year resident of the village just started a local branch of TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a short-term rental business that aims to use technology to operate more efficiently and save costs for its owners.
Snowmass Sun: How did your business start?
Mark Viola: TurnKey Vacation Rentals was founded in Austin, Texas, by former HomeAway and Hotwire execs with the premise that owners pay way too much for their property management services. At 14 percent commission the first year and 18 percent every year after, we are constantly asking the owners, “How much money are you leaving on the table today?” We are a tech-enabled company that leverages our development team to efficiently and cost-effectively manage their short term rental units. We achieve this by doing three things very well: marketing and reservations, managing the guest experience and protecting owners’ investments while maximizing their return.
Snowmass Sun: What services or goods do you sell?
Mark Viola: We are an innovative and tech-enabled full service vacation rental management company. Again, the company was founded by vacation rental industry folks who feel that owners pay way too much for poor service. Truly owner-centric, we feel that it is the owner’s investment and therefore they should make the most money. Our goal is maximize revenue while removing the work.
Snowmass Sun: What makes your business unique?
Mark Viola: Few property management companies have their own software development division to continually increase communication tools for owners and guests, help drive efficient processes and reduce overhead. We are constantly striving to find the best way(s) to keep our owners’ expenses in check. At 14 percent commission for year one and 18 percent every year after it makes it easy to see how we are competitive. We also offer an immediate cancellation clause in the event we are not earning our owners’ business each and every month. Not many companies in our area can offer that.
Snowmass Sun: Who is your primary clientele?
Mark Viola: Great question! We have two primary clients: homeowners and guests. Any owner who is interested in renting their home or unit short term is a potential client. And on the guest side, any families or individuals interested in having Snowmass Village as a destination for their vacation. We love connecting the two to make memorable vacations. We know guests are more likely to come back to Snowmass Village with a positive experience. That is what we strive for as well.
Both owners and guests love the technology we offer to each of them. For owners we have an amazing owner dashboard that has everything from past statements, revenues and inquiries to housekeeping images shared immediately upon completion, work orders, etc. For guests — and owners — we purchase and install a tablet in the unit to not only help share how things work in the unit but is also a great tool for telling them where the pharmacy is to where the closest hospital is to where the best restaurants or shops are located to offering them a quick way to do reviews, etc. The list goes on and on.
Snowmass Sun: What is the best thing about running a business in Snowmass?
Mark Viola: It has to be the people! Seeing guests’ smile while enjoying their time in Snowmass Village in one of our units. Sharing with them our favorite places to eat or ski and reconnecting to see if they felt the same way. Skiing and relaxing with owners when they are in town and helping them achieve their goals. And we get to do it all right here in Snowmass Village. What could be better?