BBO (Book By Owner) is The Vacation Home-Owner’s Resource. We are a business-to-business (B2B), lifestyle business where you get to live in the town you wish to play in, (and retire in) and enjoy long-term relationships with your clients and local partners. You’ll also be surrounded by very nice vacation homes.
Finding a year-round recurring revenue stream in a resort town isn’t easy; this difficulty will keep the value of your business high. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme – your business will continually build over time and will take some effort. We believe every resort town and each franchise owner is unique; you’ll have the opportunity to add your own personal touch to your business while enjoying all the processes and tools we have developed. You won’t be alone – you’ll have us and a family of other Franchisees all over the country to support you.
Please, take time for an honest evaluation of our business and our company to see if we’re a good fit for each other.
What We Do
We provide our clients (Home-owners):
- Peace of Mind & Savings
- 24/7/365 Guest & Tenant Services
- Check-in and Check-out (Access Control)
- Housekeeping & Laundry Service
- Maintenance & Repair
- Keyless Lock install and Programming
- Rental Home Set-up Assistance
- Tax and Registration Compliance Assistance
What we DON’T provide clients:
- Marketing of Property – Homeowners can choose to book on their own or use a qualified partner. This is where we are really different from the old-school property managers. We don’t take a commission on the rent income.
- Selection of Guests – If they get a bad guest, we aren’t blamed, but we do rescue them.
- Collection of Rent – We refer to many companies that will do this for a small fee.
- Distribution of Expenses – The owners pay their own taxes and fees.
What we provide YOU, our Franchisees:
- Year-round, Recurring Revenue
- Training & Support
- Proven Processes & Software
- National Partners, Suppliers, and Advertising
- Additional Income Streams
- Exit Strategy When You’re Ready – we will help you sell your business
What our Franchisees say about us:
Brian – Winter Park, Colorado
“..I quit .., but” “I purchased the franchise for Winter Park with plans to move into the territory and operate a fantastic rental services business. Due to personal reasons, we were not able to move into the area, and I was left to run it from 2 hours away. Although the franchise did achieve much success in a short period of time, I realized that living in the territory was critical to the long term growth and success of our customers and the business. The Corporate office was very understanding and stepped in to take over all business operations during peak rental season, while they diligently searched for new owners for the Franchise. Their business knowledge, systems, and processes really helped to make the overall transaction a breeze. They went beyond what was required, and I am very happy to have been part of their family and would do it again if I could live in a territory.”
Trace & Brad – Breckenridge, Colorado
“…a family business…” “Book By Owner has been a great experience for all us. Brad and I were really looking for a family business that would get us to the mountains and we were quite happy to come across Book By Owner. The investment was reasonable, we truly believe in the concept and our customers are extremely happy. We all work in the business. It has grown beyond what we had expected.”
Ellen – Frisco, Colorado
“..flip-flops…” “Book by Owner has provided us a great business opportunity in an economy and resort area where jobs are hard to find and I love that I don’t have to wear suits to work – in fact, I wear flip flops almost every day (great for running in and out of properties). I also have lots of freedom and flexibility with my schedule”
Linda – Vail, Colorado
“..a perfect fit..“ “My decision to become the owner/operator of a Book By Owner franchise has provided me the opportunity to develop a local business with the structure and support of a larger business model. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the homeowners and their properties in addition to assisting their guests. With a background in interior design, customer service and sales, BBO was a perfect fit for me.”
When VRBO (aka Home-away) started in 2005 the goal was to enable individual property owners to market their properties directly through an easy-to-use web portal. This enabled individual owners to save money and to stay in control of their property. Additional, VRBO discovered that people simply enjoyed participating in the marketing role of their property.
VRBO “disrupted” the industry, whereas “traditional” property managers wanted a significant portion of the rent (up to 50%) for providing two essential services: 1) Marketing and 2) Ground Services. Although the marketing function was replaced by the Owners, the ground services still required a local property management company. Owners quickly became aware, that without living in the resort town, sourcing and managing ground services was both challenging and costly. And because owners typically own just one property, service providers don’t pay much attention to them. When an issue would arise, the cost and frustration were exacerbated and the guest experience was diminished. Examples of such problems are endless… The Bottom line – It’s virtually impossible to handle all these services, at a professional level, from a distance.
That’s where BBO comes in; as soon as the property is booked, we completely take over – we communicate with the guests, to arrange their check-in/check-out (through automated software). We perform thorough inspections between each guest to document damage, and ensure its ready for the next guest, as well as provide a copy to the homeowner. We coordinate housekeeping, and follow-up to ensure the home is suitable for the next renters, and perform maintenance as needed.
BBO quickly noticed the opportunity to fill the gap, and provide highly specialized, professional “on-the-ground services” needed to effectively maintain a property and ensure guests were having positive experiences. One of the primary challenges in adopting this model was pricing…how do charge for such unique services! We decided that the booking (rental) price was not critical to us, and rather cumbersome to monitor; so we simply charge a flat-fee based on the actual services provided. We have developed multiple flat-fee pricing structures, in order to fit the needs of all our customers; we are a one-stop-shop. Our cost can be less than half that of traditional property managers, and because we can focus narrowly on specialized services, we’re able to operate more efficiently and with superior quality.
In recent years, we’ve noticed another change: Owners are now hiring third-parties to do the marketing piece. Whether it’s a professional marketing firm or just a friend or family member, they still desperately require the ground services.
Why Vacation Rental Services
Join an ever-growing market in a very popular industry. More and more, people are realizing that they can invest in real estate AND enjoy their investment. The trend is exciting – today’s investors are younger and more involved with their properties. Compare the price of real estate over 5, 10 or 20 years; the equity growth is very high in most areas. Many investors are buying multiple properties in multiple areas.
The US Vacation Rental market currently consists of more than 3 million vacation homes and generates more than $24 billion in annual rental revenue from travelers seeking alternatives to hotel rooms. Although this is significant revenue there is still plenty of room for growth. Roughly 50% of vacation rental homes are booked online vs 90% of hotels.
Vacation Rentals currently represent only 20% of annual US lodging revenue and 90% of travelers have still never booked a vacation rental. In addition, over the last 5 years over a Billion dollars has been invested into online marketplaces for vacation rentals by companies anticipating the continued growth of the industry. As more vacation rentals come online the demand for the services and solutions Book by Owner provides will continue to grow.
We strongly believe in the entrepreneurial spirit of business ownership. Although the marketing of a property can easily be done remotely (by the owner, or professional service provider) the ground services clearly require people nearby. Anyone that travels, or has lived in different places knows that each town is unique, and carries its own “vibe” or “character”. Each town also has unique needs and opportunities. Most small businesses in resort towns are locally owned and operated. A BBO Franchise Owner is a local business owner and is part of the fraternity of other local business owners and can respond quickly to local needs.
A vacation property owner is a small business owner, as well. They understand the great investment, risk, and reward associated with their business venture of a vacation rental property. Our Franchisees relate well with property owners, and with other local business owners. We live in the resort town because we want to, and the property owner purchased a home in the resort town because they desire to spend time in this town. Many look forward to the day on which they can spend much more time enjoying their second home. You will build long-term relationships with your clients who carry this dream. We encourage our Franchisees to acquire homes for their own portfolio.
BBO has spent many years developing systems and processes to care for short-term rental properties and can handle the care of seasonal and long-term rentals, as well. You may have clients that will rent short-term for a long while, then find a tenant for a longer period, during the off-season, perhaps – we can do both. Although there are national, corporate-owned property management companies with offices in many of the resort towns, they simply don’t operate like a locally owned unit. They tend to turn-over managers and staff quite often, and without investment in their trade, often neglect their customers. Our clients long for local support, yet appreciate our national coverage.
We provide the training, support, and networking tools to successfully build your local business; and when it’s time for you to retire, we can help you sell the business. Year-round revenue from recurring clients helps to provide significant value for the business. Many of our existing Franchisees are looking to expand by opening additional offices – ironically, far away from their current territory – we encourage this once a well-managed office has been established.
Who We Want (about you)
It is critically important that both BBO and Potential Franchisees mesh well. Please consider the following honestly. If you believe you fit – please give us a call.
- Live Locally (in town) – We require that you live within 20 miles of the territory. We prefer that you actually live in the territory, but we realize that the price of homes in many resort towns makes that difficult. It’s important that you become a local expert and connect with the community. Sadly, we’ve made the mistake of selling a few franchises to folks who never moved to the resort town – they simply didn’t work out…
- Servant’s Heart – Do you enjoy pleasing others? Are you willing to answer your phone late at night and on weekends? Although we provide a 24/7 answering service, there are times when a real, local person must get involved. In the early growth stages of your business, you need to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get involved personally; as the business grows and you can trust your employees and vendors, this need will reside.
- Passion for Travel, Recreation and Real Estate – You must appreciate the guest’s desire to enjoy their vacation, as well as the Homeowner’s need to enjoy their property when they are visiting (they shouldn’t be working on their home when they are in town; unless they really want to). Be that “local guy” that knows all the great things to do while in town. An interest in real estate and a passion for interior design is helpful and you’ll enjoy being around nice properties.
- Organizational & Management Skills – Although we provide tools and processes, it’s important that you can keep track of multiple projects at any given time. You will be coordinating the efforts of employees and sub-contractors, among others.
- Sales, Networking & People Skills – Connecting with the clients, vendors, employees and referral sources will continually grow the business.
- Team Player – It’s very important that you want to be part of a something bigger. You not only benefit from our experience, but you’ll contribute to the team. We want people that are willing to collaborate. We don’t want people that wish to change all the rules. We’ve developed a proven system that works best when we have people that appreciate what we’ve created and roll with it. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel, just drive the bus.
- Skills you DON’T need: Property Management, Cleaning, Handyman, Accounting, Marketing, and more…. we will teach you what you need to know…. You will not be alone. Our network of other Franchisees is important. We’ve seen it all, and are willing/able to help!
Who We Are (about us)
I’ve spent nearly 30 years working in resort towns and have really come to appreciate the heartfelt desire to live and work in such towns – it truly is a “lifestyle business” they are seeking. I also own many income properties so I know how difficult it is to hire and maintain services in resort towns, especially when you don’t own dozens of local properties. My combined passion for business development, travel, real estate and construction excited me with this business model. However, my experiences as a Vacation Property-Owner (and Customer) gave me the most appreciation for what we offer our clients: peace-of-mind. The demand for our services continues to grow as more people invest in second homes in resort towns and better systems are developed to help them market their property remotely.
Founder / Owner / Franchisee
My wife and I founded BBO in 2001 as a single office in Silverthorne, Colorado. Our model was simple, yet groundbreaking – we wanted to give owners more control and more profit by letting them be the marketing arm of their vacation rental business. The demand grew beyond what we ever dreamed of – so we decided to expand to other cities – but we soon discovered that Managers don’t treat the business the way Owners do, so in 2003 we turned to Franchising. We moved slowly and only added one store each year. We’ve learned a lot and made some mistakes, we expanded the team with other partners and great Franchisees. We learned one of the most important factors was that Franchisee must live in the town they serve. We have thoroughly enjoyed helping other Entrepreneurs “live the dream”. We decided to retire to Arizona – but we love this business so much that we are running our own local BBO Franchise. We have made life-long friends of Home-owners and Franchisees.
I founded and manage Handy-Man Matters Franchising. We currently have over a hundred locations and are still growing. Most of our locations are in large metropolitan areas, but we get calls from all over the country where vacation home-owners are looking for handyman services, we refer these clients directly to BBO. I joined the team because I see a great and growing opportunity for BBO. I’m proud to be part of a team delivering such an innovative service.
Franchise Development Manager
Spending the majority of my career, traveling while working/competing in the mountain bike industry, I have developed a keen sense for what an excellent vacation rental should be. I have the privilege of hearing from property owners, and working with franchisees every day, to better complement our model, and serve both parties. Book By Owner has brought the vacation rental industry to a professional level, and it’s an honor to participate in the process of further bettering our services.
Accounting Manager / Trainer
I love helping new Entrepreneurs set up and run their new business books. I hold your hand all the way through the process. I’ll also help you with items such as automatic payments from clients, invoicing and financial reports. I have owned my own business for many years so I know first hand how daunting it first appears but how rewarding it is.
Where We Need YOU
Let us know what town you are interested in. We will do the research on your desired target, and let you know if it fits our model. If the territory is open you will need to visit the area for an extended time (if you don’t already know it). We don’t want to sell you a territory if you haven’t spent time in it. We believe that all towns are like people, they have unique personalities and you must fit in.
Just a few locations where we can use you:
- Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000 to $50,000 – this varies by territory size
- Monthly Fees:
- Royalty of 6% of Gross Sales
- $200/mo Technology Fee (for software)
- Additional Costs:
- $1,000 per month for local advertising (you determine where to spend this).
- Overhead Costs – Work from Home and hire who you want
- We charge our clients a flat monthly fee of $75 to $300 per month (depending on the size of home and services provided). This covers all the guest/tenant communication and access to our services. This revenue is year-round.
- We also charge a fair margin on housekeeping and maintenance services. We typically provide the client with a flat fee for each occurrence. These fees fluctuate with the seasons; more services are needed during the high-volume periods. We also provide services during the off-seasons (such as deep cleanings and annual maintenance).
- Our Inspection fee is $30 to $50 per occurrence. The inspection delivers extreme value to the owner – it provides constant communication with the owner. We will identify worn-out items so they can plan and budget. For seasonal and long-term rentals or when the property is not occupied at all, we provide a random inspection by to ensure the property is OK. We always make sure it’s ready for the next guest or an owner stay.
- Many home owners like to perform maintenance tasks on their own – we support this by providing whatever assistance they need and we charge accordingly.
- You can also add service items unique to your market or your personal capability. For example; in Colorado where the elevation exceeds 10,000 feet, we rent oxygen tanks. You could provide tourist attractions, rental equipment or catering or cooking services. We will stock the fridge for the family traveler that arrives too late to go shopping.
- Net Profit depends on you. We can help you build a proforma for your specific market. We are limited by Federal laws on what we can disclose about independently owned offices but we will put you in touch with them so you can discuss how they are doing.
How to Proceed – call 970-305-3166
If you like our model and think you fit in – let’s start with a simple phone call to our Headquarters are in Fort Collins, Colorado.
We will walk you through the qualification and the application process.
We have SBA (Small Business Administration) Preferred Lenders that know our business and can also assist with 401K/IRA Rollovers to fund your business.
We don’t have thousands of locations and layer upon layer of management– In franchising terms, we are quite small. You won’t get lost in a sea of too many fish! You will get to meet all the Corporate Managers and you can visit with our existing Franchisees. We will train you both at your location and at our existing locations so you will see real business in action.
We will bring you to one of our regional offices for hands-on training. You will stay in one of our managed properties – where we’ll treat you like a guest. You’ll see first hand how we operate. We will set up your books and systems. We will also work with you in your territory where we will obtain your first group of clients and vendors and teach you everything you’ll need to know.