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Vacasa CEO sees an ‘epic summer’ for its vacation rental reservations

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Matt Roberts, Vacasa CEO, joins Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Kristin Myers to discuss vacation rental trends in the upcoming months and Vacasa’s latest acquisition.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Well summer is on the way and people are traveling at some of the highest levels since the pandemic began. So let's bring in Matthew Roberts, CEO of the vacation rental platform Vacasa. So Matthew, we have so much to talk to you about, including an acquisition that you guys made. But I want to start with how Vacasa has been doing lately, if you guys have seen an uptick in bookings, especially as we're seeing from the TSA that more and more people are traveling than they have over the last year.

MATT ROBERTS: Yeah, absolutely. We're seeing-- I mean, this is going to be an epic summer. We're seeing blockbuster creations for us. We're running at 2 times our average creations or new reservations per listing than we did in 2019, same period. So for example, we're up 213% March of '21, over March of 2019. And we're also seeing really high rates, higher rates than 2019 and higher occupancy as well. So business is booming. It's great.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Give us a feel for what business is like versus pre-pandemic. I mean, are you seeing people going after the same kinds of properties as they were pre-pandemic? And what about where they're looking for these properties in terms of geography?

MATT ROBERTS: Well, there's definitely a lot of centered focus on the beach. People are still very excited to get out to the beach as would be expected at this time of year as well. But they're also staying longer. They're booking longer summer vacations. So I think we're trending right now about 13% higher lengths of stay than we did in 2019.

KRISTIN MYERS: So, Matthew, talk to me about the acquisition of TurnKey. How will that help position you guys going forward, especially as you have such a boom in the bookings?

MATT ROBERTS: Yeah, it's great. I mean, it's coming at a right time because there's so much demand, and there's not as much supply as necessary to really meet all the demand. We're so excited about the combination with TurnKey. We're adding 6,000 properties to our platform. We're getting up to 30,000 now. We're the category leader for sure. They're just a great cultural fit, too, a lot of complimentary, both technologies and also locations. We get to add new markets as well. So definitely the right time and the right team to come together.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: What's happening in terms of supply and demand? I mean, is there enough supply out there to meet the rush of demand you're seeing for summer rentals? And what is that doing to prices?

MATT ROBERTS: Yeah, well, we're working on it. I mean, that's our job. That's what we focus on, is adding supply and bringing that availability online for guests. But it is going to be crunched this summer across the board because there's so much pent-up demand for people to travel. I think overall, though, we feel really good that we'll be able to manage the occupancy. We're seeing occupancy rates up in the 90% already in a couple of geographies. And rates are up. Rates are definitely up versus 2019 levels, too.

KRISTIN MYERS: So Matthew, I have to ask, especially as you have this acquisition, we saw Airbnb go public. Any plans for Vacasa to do the same any time soon?

MATT ROBERTS: Well, right now, I mean, we just talked about all the work that we have to do just to meet the current epic summer that we're going to have. Look, we are doing well. The business is strong business. We continue to progress well. And with that, options are available to us. And we'll be ready to decide-- when we decide to go, but you know, right now, it's really about just executing and doing the best that we can to serve our homeowners and guests.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Well, you say that-- I love that you're calling this an epic summer. What's going to make it so epic, Matthew?

MATT ROBERTS: Well, just a couple of things. One, I think it's just exciting to see people back. You know, I think that they're excited to travel again. And it's great to be able to support that. And just the actual volume of reservations, they're all-time highs for us.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, Matthew Roberts, CEO of Vacasa. Thanks so much for joining us today.