30 Jul 2021
The largest vacation cottage rental agency in Seaside, Florida, is Homeowner's Collection, and the reason it has grown to this stature is simply that the agency is owned by its cottage owners. It's that pride of ownership that puts the shine into every Seaside cottage booked from Homeowner's Collection. This is what adds that extra touch that visitors enjoy, as they settle in to live like locals during their vacation stay in Seaside.
Starting from a small collective, Homeowner's Collection has grown over time, and now manages more than half of the vacation rentals in Seaside. So how exactly did this serendipitous organization come to be?
A recent interview with co-founder and CEO, Amy Wise-Coble, spells out the answers. Conducted by Rent Responsibly, a platform dedicated to owner alliances such as our very own, the interview tells the story of the founding of Homeowner's Collection by local homeowner Max Watson, together with Amy.
Max was not a landlord but learned from his neighbors how disappointed they were with the performance of rental agencies for their properties, and he wanted to help. This is where luck stepped in, because Max knew Amy, who had long-standing experience with community renting. Together they founded the new agency co-owned by every homeowner member.
Homeowner's Collection is shareholder-driven, with each new homeowner required to buy an equal share of stock. Elected representatives constitute the board of directors. The model has proved extremely successful, as directors decide on details as small as the standard of linens to be used. And the end result is quality.
The "alliance" model of rental owners joining in collaboration to maintain standards was probably not pioneered by Homeowner's Collection, but it's a model that's now gaining ground throughout the short-term rental environment. Rent Responsibly embodies, and enables, this growing trend.
And as we have found here in Seaside, a model that works can sometimes seem counter-intuitive. The collaborative efforts of many homeowners pushing the quality up has also pushed the cost down, delivering better quality experience for guests without additional costs.
Homeowner's Collection is driven by results, and hard data. With metrics gathered by Key Data, the owners can see exactly how well the agency effort is doing compared with other operators in town and along all of the 30A corridor.
Best Vacation Rental Investment
Speaking of that corridor, it ranked as the #1 place to own a vacation rental in the 2020 report of Rented Research and Weiss Analytics. The Emerald Coast in northwest Florida, with its fine white sand running along the teal-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, was top of the list of "100 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental".
So, some of the success of Homeowner's Collection comes from being on this beautiful coast, and living in this amazingly perfect small town. But the rest comes from the hard work of people who want visitors to feel as comfortable as a local - and as indulged as a guest - when they stay here. And it seems to be working!