VRS261 – The Future for Start-up Vacation Rental Property Managers With Simon Lehmann

In this episode, I’m joined by industry strategist and consultant, Simon Lehmann to discuss what the future holds for start-up property managers – those with a couple of properties now who are focusing on growth in the future.

There were 500 new attendees at the Vacation Rental Managers Association Conference this year in Las Vegas. While a proportion of them were new suppliers to the industry – the bulk of the first-timers were smaller property management companies, some with as few as two properties. From those I talked to, their goal was to learn as much as they could about the industry and to plan for future expansion.

Simon shares his thoughts on the spectacular growth record of our business and reflects on the nature of property management. With over 1.4 million properties available for rental, 600,000 of them are professionally managed, and while consolidators such as Vacasa and Turnkey are in the business of buying up PM companies, for each one they acquire, many more are launched.

When you consider that Vacasa raised $200M In capital to grow their business, yet still only control 1% of the US market, there is a lot of scope for a new property manager to build inventory.

Simon talks about:

  • Why he sees more micro-property managers starting up
  • Coping with the complexity of management in a fast-changing world
  • The difficulties consolidators have at building business at scale
  • How PMs are becoming more hyper-local
  • The two types of property manager and why you should know which camp you are in
  • The biggest mistake start-ups make
  • Margin compression and why it’s a threat to all property managers
  • The importance of building a brand around your business
  • Why you need to define customer acquisition cost
  • The difficulty of imposing standards on the industry
  • The difference between ratings and reviews


Simon Lehmann (Linked In Profile)




Simon Lehmann ( on consolidation of VR sector filmed at VRMA Europe 2018)