How Patriot Vacation Rentals Has Grown 700%, Maintained 90% Occupancy And Launched Veteran Initiatives Amid COVID-19
Establishing A Property Management Company With Veteran Initiatives At Its Core
Kevin Knight, Founder of Patriot Vacation Rentals, is an infantry Marine turned entrepreneur. Although he had worked with Vacasa before starting a successful career consulting for a variety of property management companies including Sojourn Hospitality and Vector Travel, in 2019 Kevin decided it was time to start his own business.
With his vast knowledge of short-term rentals, extensive experience in operations management and close relationships with many homeowners, Kevin founded Patriot VR in July 2020. The company’s mission is to provide industry-leading vacation rental management services to both guests and homeowners, while at the same time making an impact and giving back to the Veteran community.
Today, Kevin has a team of about ten, including cleaning and operations staff with 7 (soon be 8) private cabins and luxury cottages located in Big Bear, California. The company plans to add an additional 24 properties to its portfolio this year.
Despite having launched in the midst of COVID-19, Patriot VR has seen huge success in its first six months, growing from 0 to 500K bookings and achieving a commendable 90% occupancy throughout the pandemic. Demand from nearby cityscapers, families and digital nomads have thrown seasonality out the window as more travelers turn to drive-to destinations to get away all year round.
Kevin knew even before launching Patriot VR that he needed a reliable property management software to streamline his daily operational tasks, from guest communication to staff scheduling to dynamic pricing. He also knew that if he wanted to scale smartly, he would need a variety of integrations to enhance his offering.
Kevin had used Guesty in the past, at one of the companies he previously worked with, so he was already familiar with the platform. “I still looked at EVERY other PMS out there, comparing them all to Guesty,” said Kevin, “but in the end, it was important for me to work with a company that had been in the business for a while, and understands the needs of property managers.”
“Our first property went live on Guesty in July 2020,” he added, “We started from the very beginning with them and have been growing with them ever since.”
“Working with Guesty has been incredible, and very user-friendly. If I can figure it out and successfully run my company on it, anyone can,” said Kevin.
The multi-calendar has had a huge impact on Patriot VR’s success, organizing all existing reservations and inquiries in one place. “It’s been especially helpful when it comes to rate adjustments after newly canceled reservations. And the individual unit pages let us see occupancy for the next 90 days so we can plan accordingly,” said Kevin.
The Owners Portal ensures smooth relations with all of Patriot VR’s homeowners, keeping them in the loop with clear reports that detail each property’s yearly and monthly revenues.
And Guesty’s Automation Tools have streamlined guest communication and check-in procedures while the Unified Inbox makes sure that no guest inquiries go unanswered, always scoring the company high ratings in terms of communication.
PatriotVR has also already integrated with a variety of Guesty’s Marketplace partners, including dynamic pricing tool PriceLabs and operations management platform Breezeway. And next month, they plan to release their own direct booking website in partnership with Boostly.
“Guesty has really allowed us to scale as a relatively new operator, without needing to outsource. I can do everything myself,” said Kevin.
Patriot VR is on average, earning $140 more per night than its competitors, with 12% higher conversion rates. And occupancy levels are hovering around 90% – and have been consistent throughout the pandemic.
Since launching with one listing six months ago, Patriot VR has grown 700% and expects to onboard two additional properties every month this year. Kevin plans to expand into additional US destinations that are nearby lakes, mountains or the ocean, specifically Lake Tahoe, Nevada, San Diego, and Gatlinburg, TN.
Giving back to the community is at the heart of Kevin’s business. Starting this month, he plans to donate stays at his properties for at-risk veterans and their families, working with local organizations such as Save The Brave. Kevin also supports transitioning veterans in the Big Bear area, providing them with the opportunity to learn new industry skills such as operations management, customer service and housekeeping operations. Recently, Kevin was accepted into the Veterans in Residence Program, a partnership of WeWork and Bunker Labs, and plans to grow this initiative.
“My favorite thing about Guesty is definitely its ease of use and reliability,” said Kevin, “I would tell anyone looking to work with a PMS that Guesty has been instrumental in the growth and success of our company thus far, and I am confident that will continue as we grow even more and into multiple markets.”