Seachange Vacation Rentals Creation Story

Prefer to watch and listen versus reading? Easy! Click below to watch this in video format. Settle in and get comfy. It’s a fun 20 minute video. It gets really fun beginning around the 5 minute mark. Don’t you quit on me!

Prefer to read and not gaze at Seachange Vacation Rentals President, Andy Meddick’s handsome, earnest face? For all you weird people, we still love you so included the text so that you can skip the video and read the content below…

Wondered why in the Wild West (or East) that is the muddled vacation rental market at the Delaware Beaches we needed another vacation rental agency? Oh my, we’re finally going to do this! We’re going to get into the real creation story – the how and the why that created Seachange Vacation Rentals.

Before I start. I just wanna say, ain’t nobody needing to call whine one one for any whaambulance! This is not some sour grape competitor bashing whiney rant. Just the facts, Ma’am. The facts. We appreciate our competitors and we thank you. We would not exist without you. Just because your business models are different, we believe there’s a good fit for all.

A long time ago in a distant galaxy, Andy Meddick (now Seachange Vacation Rentals President and Owner) owned a couple of vacation rental investment properties in Rehoboth Beach. He listed them on VRBO (verrbohh) much to the disdain of the vacation rental management agency he already had his properties listed with. You see they did not see the potential in the OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) such as VRBO. They feared it. Thought it was competition for them. This was Andy’s early inclination that things were not as they seem with the vacation rental management industry at the Delaware Beaches. It seems the vacation rental management agency that Andy was using to take care of his business was more concerned with their own business than the needs of Andy, his customer, and the needs of the Guests – the rental agency and the Andy the Property Owner’s customers.

There were other indications of unrest in the Kingdom of Legacy Delaware Vacation Rental Management companies. It seems the peasants (the Property Owners) were unruly, getting ideas above their station. It seems the Property Owners were under the impression that the Legacy Vacation Rental Management Companies would do the following:

  • Maximize rental revenue and occupancy.
  • Send an Agent to the property to check for damages, cleanliness, and routine maintenance issues.
  • Find damage before I do, or before a Guest discovers it and it spoils their vacation.
  • Be nice to me when I call in the office. Respond to my questions promptly without bouncing me around the company for days on end.
  • Be aware of and stay on top of the fast changing vacation rental industry.
  • Consult and advise me on how I need to set up and design my property to maximize revenue, occupancy, and Guest happiness.
  • Deliver on promises even in off seasons.
  • Get out of the office more than once year and visit my property.
  • Not pull me into the workload of managing my property, finding Guests, supporting Guest needs before, during and after their stay.
  • Advise me not just respond to me.
  • Research and recommend emerging technologies.

Our brave hero, Andy, he asked around. Talked to other legacy vacation rental management companies with the idea that maybe if he found another company, then maybe things would be different. The grass is never greener unless the landscaper is taking a different approach my friends! Turns out all the legacy vacation rental management companies worked the same way. The only discernible difference was their willingness to discount their management fees in a race to see who would go the lowest to get or keep business. Or, which Rental Agent would be willing to pay for something out of their own commission, or give an Owner a free service to settle a problem after the fact.

Then one day there seemed a glimmer of sun in an otherwise gloomy sky. One of the biggest, oldest legacy vacation rental management companies was hiring for rental agents. Our struggling hero, Andy thought, “Well, I’m kinda doing the job for free now for the company I hired, so why not? Lets get paid to do it. Our hero Andy started a new career with this legacy vacation rental management company, bright eyed, bushy tailed, eager beaver that he was. I should add that our hero also brought his vacation rental properties with him, handing them over to his new employer to manage.

Here’s where our story gets interesting my friends. This is the point in our adventure where the clouds clear, our hero gets to work alongside the other chirpy creatures of the vacation rental forest all working on vacation rental commission. Our hero is happy, working 7 days a week, following every lead, fielding questions from Property Owners and Guests alike. But something is up in Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land. There are whisperings from shadowy figures in the darker regions of the woods. Who could they be? Why won’t they leave me alone? Turns out they were the pesky Property Owners and Guests. Who are these maddening serfs pulling me away from busy work with their questions? Wait a minute. They’re questions, well, our hero is starting to see a pattern. There’s consistency in their questions. What’s our weary hero to do?

Our weary hero Andy, well, he’s asking questions of his own. What he’s hearing, seeing in the bullpen of rental agents he works in, well, it doesn’t make sense to him. Why do we do it this way? That’s not what Property Owners are telling me. That’s not what I hear Guests asking for. Our hero turns to The Internets – a land far away from Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land. Our hero scans the online reviews on the OTA listing sites. He wonders where the online reviews are for his own properties and those other properties he’s selling vacations at daily? He scans for consistency in the online reviews in The Internets Land. What are those pesky Guests consistently raving about? What are they consistently unhappy about?

Thunder rumbles overhead in Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land. Clouds are gathering. The sky rips open with flashes of lightning bolts illuminating our vexed hero bothering his Supervisors with endless questions. Why do we do it this way? Where are my property reviews? Why did I, the Property Owner Prince find the damage to my sofa and the Rental Agent Serf didn’t? What are we doing? It doesn’t match what I’m hearing. I’m confused. As the lightning flashes, our hero sees the alarm on his Rental Manager’s face. Our hero asks in a department staff meeting, “Aren’t we managing our portfolio of vacation rental properties as revenue centers for our noble Property Owner Prince and Princesses of the Realm?” The forest Rental Agent creatures go quiet. They look from our hero to their Rental Manager Bosses and they cower. It actually happened dear listeners/viewers. Only no one cowered. They all looked on in disdain, boredom and confusion. Who is this serf? Of what other vacation rental land does he hail? Of what language does he speak? Who cares? It doesn’t affect me. I’m busy. Back to the forest, there’s plenty of fires to tend to.

In the flash of lightning between the dark clouds, our hero, Andy sees a glass bottle. It says, “Drink me!” No, not a poisoned chalice. It’s the clear liquid of an idea forming. Andy drinks. He smiles. He sits cross legged on the forest floor and scribes out his Vacation Rental Manifesto. “I like the creatures of the forest” our hero thinks. “I can make this work. Maybe, just maybe there’s a different way of managing vacation rental land. Maybe the Lords and Ladies of the Manor would see the potential of my plan.”

Our brave hero, Andy pitches his plan of a sunny, bright path through the dark confusing forest of Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land to the sunny shores of A New Delaware Beaches Vacation Rental Land – a contemporary response to the fast changing Vacation Rental Industry World outside the forest.

Oh no! The clouds thicken. A monster rears up! Monster, thy name is, “Denial!” The great monster Denial, his vision is clouded by success. His vision obscured by a great filter known as, “We’ve always done it this way. We have more than enough business that we can handle. Great ideas, Andy, but we don’t need to do this. Get back to your labors on the land.”

Toy Dinosaurs with map of Rehoboth Beach behind

A lightning bolt pierces the clouds. Our hero sees a path ahead with a fork in the path illuminated. The great monster Denial pushes our hero along the path to the fork ahead. Denial smile. Our hero cowers and coughs from the fear breathing smiling Denial monster.

Our hero rises up. He hails loudly to the chattering creatures of the gloomy vacation rental forest, “Who’s coming with me?” Not one creature replies. They scamper back to their desks, chirping gaily, “This doesn’t affect me. He’s no hero. He’s a loser. He’ll never make a difference. There’s no difference needed in Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land. There’s no monster here. Denial is our friend.

What’s our hero to do? He stands at a fork in the road, goldfish in plastic bag in hand. Confusion and indecision step out of the shadows to keep him company. The noble Duke of Doubt shines brightly through the gloom all around. Our hero stands tall. He leaps not quite into the unknown. He leaps into the path of choice. The road less travelled opens up to greet him. The other path on through the crowded, murky forest of Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land, it closes behind him as the serfs all shriek at once, “Don’t let the gate bang you on the ass on the way out of our land, loser! You failed at vacation rentals.”

Our hero doesn’t look back. He takes one step. Then another. The walk is not easy. The path unfamiliar, lightly travelled. He smiles to himself, thinking,”We’re sales people Jerry. We sell!” Show me the money, Jerry! Show me the money!

And so ends the tale…

You’ve read the story of our hero, Andy (AKA, “Jerry”). Andy developed his own, ‘manifesto’ with a bold, daring vision of how vacation rentals could be done differently at the Delaware Beaches. A vision developed in direct reponse to the needs of the real drivers of the vacation rental business – the Guests.

Seachange Vacation Rentals lives at the intersection of Real Estate and Hospitality. It’s not an easy address to occupy but it’s intuitive if we keep our focus on our customers and not our competition.

Fast forward five years since our hero, Andy left the dark forests of Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land. The vacation rental industry has changed with an ever quickening pace that even our hero has to work hard to adapt, develop smart industry responsive, Guest and Property Owner driven business practices.

One bright, brave idea leads to another, and another…

The past five years have taken the vacation rental industry, globally and across North America into territories that the dark recesses of Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land just does not seem to consider affects their corner of the Kingdom. That does not mean that all those living and working in Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land are bad at their jobs. There’s a big, bright new world of vacation rentals outside of Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land. Savvy Property Owners and Property Managers recognize that vacation rental properties designed with the needs of vacation rental Guests first and foremost will rent quicker bringing in higher revenue from repeat happy Guests than the crowded competition hiding in the forests of Delaware Beaches Legacy Vacation Rental Land.