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A company called Rove has added itself to the menagerie of companies serving as a conduit between vacation rental homes and investors.
The company, which calls itself the “remote work-friendly property brand,” announced the launch of its property marketplace in conjunction with closing on a $4 million round of seed funding in December.
The seed funding includes a group of founders and executives from Lattice, Mercury, Tock, Applovin, Demand Curve, Lev, Zocdoc, Indiegogo, BloomTech and more, according to an announcement sent to Inman.
Rove is in beta with a property sales portal, a marketplace, for selling short-term rental properties. Each listing’s financial filings are provided in full detail, such as rental income, expenses, fees and breakdowns of operational procedures and regulations. Additionally, the site offers a number of resources for would-be buyers to source, underwrite and verify historical rental income and compliance.
Rove’s model serves its investor clients by converting homes into high-end, furnished rentals ideally targeting longer-term remote workers, as well as general vacationers. The company was founded by its CEO, Jonah Hanig, who said he has found most vacation rentals to be improperly managed for the “experience modern travelers want.”
“At the same time, the experience of buying short term rental investment properties is extremely challenging and opaque,” Hanig said. “We built Rove to be the central place for short-term rentals for consumers and property owners alike.”
According to Hanig, the vacation rental segment is a $100 billion market, and it’s largely dominated by Airbnb and VRBO. However, a number of alternative takes on how to invest in a second or vacation home have emerged in the last 24 months, primarily on the heels of what Covid-19 did to people’s willingness to stay in one place.
Co-ownership company Pacaso has capitalized on such trends but doesn’t allow home-share owners to rent their homes. Its closest competitor, Ember, does. A company called Summer is a hybrid of Rove and Pacaso, making it easy for people to buy a vacation home by fully managing it for them. Owners of a Summer home have three years to determine if they want to fully purchase their property.
Perhaps the closest competitor to Rove is AvantStay, which provides a full-service marketing, booking and brokerage solution for rentable luxury vacation homes.
Launched in the first quarter of 2022 and earning a seed round of $5 million led by Fiat Ventures in July, Here is offering investment opportunities in properties located in a number of popular family-oriented destinations.
Even Jeff Bezos is finding inroads to the vacation property investment trend. His venture capital company, Bezos Expeditions, provided a $25 million influx to Arrived Homes, which offers fractional investment in short-term rentals. The company has fully funded over 150 properties in 27 markets, worth over $55 million, Inman reported.
“Rove bridges the gap between Airbnbs and hotels. Offering a ‘boutique hotel’ approach to vacation rentals, all managed homes include professionally designed spaces, premium amenities like well-equipped kitchens, ergonomic work spaces, fast wifi, as well as on-call customer service,“ the announcement stated.
The company has properties in New York City; the Hamptons; Miami; West Palm Beach; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Park City, Utah. Its first property was launched in the summer of 2021 and it now has close to 50. Within a year of launch, Rove achieved $5 million in run-rate booking revenue.
Rove’s managed properties generate 30-70 percent+ higher booking revenue annually for property owners than comparable residential rental property benchmarks, the company stated.