VRS132 – Vacation Rental Property Management with a Difference with Darik Eaton

I had the pleasure of co-presenting a workshop session at the Vacation Rental Success Summit with Darik Eaton of Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals.

In my discussions with Darik beforehand we explored the differences between our two companies and they could not have been wider. In this episode he explains why his model works and how his clients benefit from the control he takes over their properties.

Our discussion covers how he started his company which now manages 40 properties in urban Seattle, and how he works with his wife – an interior designer and stager – to bring a consistently high standard of property to his guests.

We talk about his approach which is very different from most property management companies; the design options the company offers; what he outsources and what he keeps in-house, his choice of reservations systems, and why has always has a Plan B!

Darik shares:

  • The lawsuit that started it all
  • How the combination of his business acumen and his wife’s design and staging expertise helped them achieve 80% occupancy of their condo in the first year.
  • His varied business models and how they combine to create a successful whole
  • Why he wins owners and guests with a unique model
  • The design options his owners can choose
  • Why he has a list of 1500 items essential for vacation rental
  • Why IKEA is a four letter word
  • His arguments against paying for an owner’s poor choices
  • How and why 2 condos with the same floorplan consistently show a $3K – 5k difference in income when the only difference is design
  • His method of attracting investors
  • Why he has a high staff to owner ratio
  • The challenges of success and the battle between operations and marketing
  • How design pays for itself in terms of income as well in an increase in the value of the property
  • Why he doesn’t write his own blog posts
  • His reservation systems – and why he chose the one his competition wasn’t using
  • The #1 question to ask when looking for a new reservation system
  • Why having a Plan B is always worthwhile


Links mentioned in this episode:

Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentology

Seattle Oasis on Youtube

Where you can find Darik:









Terry Whyte

Really enjoyed it Heather. Thx.


I totally agree with the tips about designing a VR. Outshining your competition with better amenities and interior/exterior furnishings will get you more bookings every time!

    Darik Eaton

    Reviews, repeat guests, and raging fans. That’s what we have found to really pay off over time!

Teena NH

Pictures… I was challenged years ago (thanks Matt) to have professional photos done. We’ll see how my new color scheme and arrangement works. We just refurbished our Lodge and new photos will be taken next week. 🙂 Great podcast Heather and Darik. Thanks!

    Darik Eaton

    Most of the time I’d say professional photos pay off in the first month of getting them online! This is even more true in some areas where there aren’t a lot of owners using great photos. HomeAway for example wants full rez photos now upto 20 MB a piece!


Hi, I’ve owned two Vacation Rental Condos In Santa Cruz since 2011 and have had a great experience. In fact, I’m in the
process of pulling equity out of those condos to buy a third! No, I
don’t have the third picked out yet. I’m hunting around for good deals
in CA.

Orlando Vacation

A quick thanks for this article. Before you search for a rental property management company, you must know first the scope of the services they will provide you. These services may include the daily overseeing of the maintenance of your properties, the collection of monthly fees, and it may also involve the hiring of exterminator just in case there is a wave of bugs that attack the house.

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