January 27, 2015

Dear Mayor and Council,

Companies in Austin, and Austin’s overall economic vitality, will be impacted by your decision on short-term rentals.

You have seen an economic impact study which shows more than 2,500 jobs in Austin are supported by short-term rental activity and that the Austin area receives $234 million dollars per year in economic impact.

This does not include the innovative technology companies that choose to make Austin their home, including; HomeAway, TurnKey Vacation Rentals and many more. These companies employ more than 2,000 locals and are growing.

Austin has become a travel technology hub in part because of the success of HomeAway, which was recently acquired by Expedia. Because of homegrown innovators like HomeAway, other startups have moved here, or launched here such as KeyToAnywhere, BedandBreakfast.com, OnceThere, TurnKey, RideScout and Departure Lounge to name a few.

The technology eco-system which these companies created have the potential to turn Austin into a “Silicon Valley for Short-Term Rental Innovation” which will benefit tourists, homeowners, neighborhoods and businesses, both here in Austin and globally.

Your decision to turn an ordinance which was effective into an industry-killing regulation because of a small handful of problem operators will have a much larger effect; it will touch off a series of events causing employers to look elsewhere to locate, bringing their innovations, jobs and economic impact with them. You will effectively throw away the industry-leading legislative framework which the Council put in place over three years ago.

Please take time and consider the greater impact this decision will have on our community. Austin should not take our technology leadership status for granted. We are only here because our community draws great talent, and your decision will push talent and innovative businesses away.

Brent Bellm, Former President & COO HomeAway
Carl Shepherd, Co-Founder HomeAway
Chris Loughlin, Former CEO Travelzoo
Eric Goldreyer, Founder BedandBreakfast.com
John Banczak, Co-Founder TurnKey Vacation Rentals
John Weimer, Founder OnceThere
Kim Shrum, Founder KeyToAnywhere
T.J. Clark, Co-Founder TurnKey Vacation Rentals
June 10, 2014
Vacation Rentals Secures $3 Million in Seed Financing from Silverton Partners and Industry Angels for Market Expansion
Former executives of Hotwire.com and HomeAway are expanding their technology-enabled vacation rental management service that improves the vacation rental experience for rental owners and guests.

Via PR Newswire
Austin-based vacation rental management startup TurnKey Vacation Rentals (TurnKeyVR.com) has raised $3 million in seed funding fromSilverton Partners  and an impressive group of online travel executives.  These include:Rich Barton (co-founder Expedia, Zillow, Benchmark partner), Gregg Brockway (co-founder Hotwire, TripIt, Chairish), Alexis de Belloy (HomeAway, Accel executive in residence), Rob Greyber (President Egencia), Eric Goldreyer (BedandBreakfast.com founder), Joey Levin (CEO IAC Search & Applications), Karl Peterson (co-founder Hotwire, TPG partner), Spencer Rascoff (co-founder Hotwire, CEO Zillow), Russ Sach (Expedia) and Greg Slyngstad (co-founder Expedia, VacationSpot, Kayak board). The new funding brings TurnKey’s total seed funding to $4.8 million.

TurnKey empowers owners of vacation rental properties by managing the entire rental process – listing and booking the rental via the major guest sites such as HomeAway/VRBO, AirBnB and TripAdvisor; providing hotel-style rate management; handling guest support; and arranging cleaning and maintenance via mobile apps. Launched last year, TurnKey has grown to almost 200 rentals in three markets (Austin, TX, Port Aransas, TX and Santa Barbara, CA). It plans to use the new funds to launch ten new markets in ski, beach and metro locations.

Bill Wood, the founder of Silverton Partners who is joining TurnKey’s board stated, "This management team is unusually deep and experienced and we really like the market because it’s an opportunity to apply leading edge technology to an industry that has lagged in technology uptake.” TurnKey’s co-founder and Chairman John Banczak stated that, „We see a huge opportunity in delivering a better tech-enabled guest and owner solution, combined with lower fees, to this high-growth market.” Banczak added that, „Vacation rental homes are valuable income opportunities for millions of owners - and we believe that the owner can maximize their rental opportunity by taking advantage of leading edge technology and best practices.”  To TurnKey this means that guests need to see a professional online listing, market rates, secure online checkout and receive immediate responses both on the booking side and when they are staying in the property.  Co-founder and CEO T.J. Clark stated, it’s a full-time job and most owners either have a full-time job already or don’t live close to their rental.”

TurnKey’s solutions professionalize the management of the owner’s vacation rental starting at 10-14% commissions vs. traditional property managers that charge between 20-50% commissions.  "We have the analytics and technology platforms to help our owners get more rental nights and often generate 30-50% more revenue than they were before - while we provide the key services and amenities that guests would expect from a luxury hotel” stated Clark. "We drive cost out of the rental process while increasing the quality of service - to offer an experience that’s better for everyone.”  TurnKey will reach more of these owners by expanding their service to many new markets over the next year.

About Silverton Partners:
Silverton Partners is an early stage venture capital firm based in Austin, Texas. Silverton collaborates with exceptional entrepreneurs who are committed to attacking growth markets with proprietary products or services. The principals of Silverton Partners have over five decades of venture experience, having been the start-up investors in Tivoli Systems (IPO), Silicon Labs (IPO), Motive Communications (IPO), Waveset (acquired by Sun Microsystems) and BlackLocus (acquired by The Home Depot).  More information on Silverton Partners can be found atwww.silvertonpartners.com.

About TurnKey Vacation Rentals:
TurnKey was founded by a team that loves vacation rentals. TurnKey is led by Executive Chairman John Banczak (HomeAway, BedandBreakfast.com, Hotwire), CEO T.J. Clark (Hotwire, IAC, CEO Limos.com) and VP of Engineering Doug Squires (HomeAway, BnB.com). We thought that the experience of booking and staying at a short-term rental should be better than a hotel. We feel the best way to grow the vacation rental market is to improve the homeowner and guest experience with better, less expensive management tools for owners, and a more consistent, easier to use vacation rental experience for consumers. Our mission is to provide the best and most value-conscious management experience for our homeowners and a luxury hotel experience for our guests that keeps them returning year after year.
August 8, 2013
Travel industry angels back TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a new service which helps people listing on HomeAway and AirBnB make more money, with less work.

Austin, Texas

Austin-based startup TurnKey Vacation Rentals (TurnKeyVR.com) today announced $1.5 million in seed funding from travel industry angel investors. “At TurnKey we help vacation rental homeowners make more money, while taking over the work of renting and managing their rental home,” stated T.J. Clark, Co-Founder and CEO. “Our goal is to improve financial returns to vacation rental owners, provide a better booking and experience for guests, by using technology to revolutionize the management of rentals across many rental markets.” TurnKey is developing mobile technology based marketing, management and logistics systems to deliver industry-lowest costs to homeowners and the highest quality of service to guests.

“Vacation rental homeowners have long asked for a better, more affordable management option and guests want their experience to be just as easy and reliable as booking and staying at hotel,” states John Banczak, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman. “We are building a modern technology infrastructure that enables us to deliver better value and a better guest experience at the same time.”

TurnKey launched its service in Austin, Texas in January 2013. Clark states that “we had our first guests for SXSW in March. We now have dozens of homes in our service and we're gearing up to launch new markets outside of Austin by the end of 2013.”

TurnKey is led by Executive Chairman John Banczak (HomeAway, BnB.com, Hotwire), CEO T.J. Clark (Hotwire, IAC, CEO Limos.com) and VP of Engineering Doug Squires (HomeAway, BnB.com). TurnKey’s investors include travel industry and web luminaries such as Richard Barton (Co-Founder Expedia, Co-Founder Zillow, Benchmark), Alexis De Belloy (HomeAway, Accel EIR), Barney Harford (CEO Orbitz), Robert Hohman (Expedia, CEO Hotwire, Co-Founder Glassdoor), Joey Levin (CEO, IAC Search), Karl Peterson (Co-Founder Hotwire, TPG), Spencer Rascoff (Co-Founder Hotwire, CEO Zillow) and Greg Slyngstad (Co-Founder Expedia, Founder VacationSpot, Kayak Board). Gregg Brockway (Co-Founder Hotwire, Co-Founder TripIt, Co-Founder Charish) and Eric Goldreyer (Founder BnB.com) are also investors and on TurnKey’s Board of Directors.