It is with great sadness that I tell you this will be my last blog post with HomeAway.
Nearly seven years ago, when I met Brian Sharples and Carl Shepherd (co-founders of HomeAway), they were new to the vacation rental industry. They had a million questions and spent a huge amount of time learning about this space. I was happily working on my own, writing books and holding seminars when they offered me a job – which I declined.
I was very concerned about the individual owners — I wanted to make sure that the owners were considered and protected as they grew the business. And I could see that this company was on its way to doing some incredible things. For these reasons, I joined the HomeAway team in 2005.
During my tenure at HomeAway, there are many things that I am especially proud of. I created the Owner Community website (www.OwnerCommunity.com), a resource center for vacation rental owners. I conducted countless seminars for vacation owners, a weekly podcast series, created over a thousand articles, and championed and executed HomeAway’s first-ever owners conference (HomeAway Summit). In November of 2010, under my direction a new community forum was built so that owners could finally communicate with each other online (www.community.homeaway.com ).
I also worked behind the scenes as an internal consultant for products and services pertaining to vacation rental owners. Basically, my role was to make sure that the voice of vacation rental owners was heard internally (even when it wasn’t easy to hear). And I was an advisor to the executive team– who relied on my perspective for a myriad of key decisions that helped shape and influence what HomeAway has become today.
When I joined HomeAway, it was a very small company—only a handful of employees. Today it’s a large corporation with over 900 employees. We have come full circle and it’s time for me to once again work on my own in order to develop concepts and ideas for the vacation rental industry which I am very excited about.
It was a pleasure working with, for and on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of vacation rental owners over the years. I look forward to continuing our relationships as we work together to make the vacation rental industry better and bigger than it is today.