VTrips Acquires Southern Vacation Rentals
VTrips acquired Vacation Rentals in South, one of Florida’s largest independent property management companies. Founded in 1995, Southern Vacation Rentals (Southern) has 123 employees and manages 1,120 full vacation rentals along the northern Gulf Coast, from Fort Morgan, Alabama to Panama City Beach, Florida.
Southern is just the latest in a series of significant acquisitions for VTrips, which includes Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations in Maryland and Ryson Vacations Rentals in Texas. Less than a year ago, VTrips purchased Resort Collection, an 800-unit property management company also in Northwest Florida. These four acquisitions doubled the number of properties for VTrips.
According to CEO Steve Milo, VTrips now manages 5,000 vacation rentals in eight states and 35 markets. The company employs 600 people.
The Southern Vacation Rentals story began 27 years ago when two brothers, Mike and Brad Shoults, started Pointe South, a real estate and vacation rental business on Florida’s Northwest Gulf Coast, with properties ranging from Destin to Perdido Key beaches. Around this time, Kevin and Kerry Veach, another group of brothers with similar aspirations, formed the rental and real estate company Southern. In 2001, after years of friendly competition, the sets of brothers joined forces and Southern Vacation Rentals was born. CEO Scott Seay came on board in 2013 after more than 30 years of operating major brands (Home Depot, Comp USA, Kinkos and Build-A-Bear Workshop).
“Southern was established 27 years ago and has built a legacy in the communities we serve for excellent service to our customers and owners,” Seay said. “Like many large regional players, we have not been able to scale beyond our current markets for several reasons. Steve and Vtrips have successfully conquered this wall and grown through technology, innovation and disciplined execution. Not only have they achieved great success, but they have enabled these well-established brands to continue operating, while providing valuable resources and support to ensure continued profitable growth.
Seay added: “We at Southern are delighted to be the newest addition to the Vtrips team and look forward to working with Steve and the exceptional staff he has assembled to build a world-class vacation rental company. .”
With this change in ownership, the founders are leaving the company and Scott Seay will take on the role of Chief Strategy Officer at VTrips. Other key executives are transitioning to the following roles: Scott Kyzar, CFO of M&A; Chad Blankenship, vice president of revenue management and innovation; Richard Lamar, vice president of regional operations; and Michael Prescott, IT Director.
A few years ago, Southern took a stake in TravelNet Solutions with an investment in the TRACK software platform. We asked if this equity was being transferred to VTrips and was told, “We have entered into an asset purchase agreement [and] I can’t go into more detail on the details.