VRS457 – Hitting The Ground Running…Buying a Property Management Company – with Justin Keller-Hobson

How does someone with no experience in the short-term rental business, buy a company, close on the deal at the beginning of the busiest season in the company’s history, and sail through the summer with a record intake of new owners…..and live to tell the tale?

The team at Pillar 49,  a Toronto investment company, came upon a listing for a cottage rental management agency in January of 2022.  With a focus on acquiring small to medium companies, the size of the business was on their radar, and following four long months of due diligence, closed at the beginning of June.

The entire team was retained and the selling partners entered a transition period so were available for support and occasional manpower through the busy period.

However, the new CEO, Justin Keller-Hobson hit the ground running.  He delved into every aspect of the business, got out on the road meeting cottage owners, and helped with issue management.  And as we approach the end of the summer season, he shares the story behind purchasing the company and the ups and downs of the first three months of ownership.

The company is CottageLINK Rental Management and was owned by your host of the Vacation Rental Success podcast, Heather Bayer.

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • What made Justin & team decide to pursue the purchase of a cottage rental company?
  • How due diligence confirmed their initial decision to purchase was the right one.
  • Justin’s reflections on the busiest season in its history and the steep learning curve to enter the industry.
  • How a tornado reduced the inventory just prior to closing and the impact of the subsequent summer of storms.
  • Screening and owner management and why culling is sometimes the only option.
  • Advice to a business that may be looking to sell down the line from a seasoned business buyer.

Links Mentioned:

CottageLINK Rental Management

Pillar 49