T.J. CLark, Cofounder and CEO of TurnKey
TurnKey was founded by travel technology veterans T.J. Clark (CEO) and John Banczak (Executive Chairman), who worked together on HotWire (which was acquired by IAC) already back in 2000. Early backers of the company include some legendary names of the travel technology industry, including Richard Barton (Co-Founder at Expedia and Zillow), Barney Harford (CEO Orbitz), Robert Hohman (Expedia, CEO Hotwire, Co-Founder Glassdoor), Joey Levin (CEO, IAC), Karl Peterson (Co-Founder Hotwire, TPG) and Spencer Rascoff (Co-Founder Hotwire, CEO Zillow).
TurnKey provides full-service vacation rental property management through smart home technology combined with local teams to deliver 24/7 service. The company’s proprietary technology platform integrates its smart locks, decibel monitors, FieldSync housekeeping scheduler and HomeDroid tablets installed in every TurnKey home to automate time-consuming property management tasks, giving homeowners and guests a reliable, fine hotel experience in a vacation rental. This combination of technology and refined management processes enables TurnKey to charge an industry-low commission rate, typically half the 35-50% charged by most vacation rental property managers.TurnKey is exceptional in that their rapid growth has been organic, as opposed to growing through acquisitions,” said Jeff Diehl, managing partner and head of investments at Adams Street Partners. “This is a seasoned online travel management team that knows how to scale and execute with precision in the $100 billion vacation rental industry. Our additional investment demonstrates our belief in the promise of the TurnKey brand, its leadership and its model.
The current financing round may sound low compared with competitor Vacasa’s last $103.5M financing round, but, on a call, Clark explained, that the company doesn't need the funding their competitors require. “We have a capital-efficient model that doesn't require a large amount of funding, which is part of the reason you see our existing investors continuing to invest in TurnKey. We plan on becoming profitable in the near term,” says Clark.
“Our growth is validation of our hospitality brand and our ability to delight guests each and every time they book a TurnKey property,” Clark continued. “Today, the hotel industry has a high percentage of bookings going through a few major brands. Homeowners and travelers are looking for a brand they can trust to deliver consistency and quality in vacation rentals as well, and this is what TurnKey provides.”
Clark indicates that the company plans on continuing its rapid growth and becoming the dominant player in the market: “By the end of 2018, we will be in 75 markets across the U.S. By the end of 2019, our goal is to be in 100 markets and become the largest-ever U.S. vacation rental property management company.”
According to Wells Fargo Private Equity Research, professional property management can drive more than a 20 percent improvement in net revenue for vacation rental homeowners when compared to self-management, yet fewer than half of vacation rental homes are currently property managed.
“The vacation rental industry is still in its infancy, but growing rapidly – by 2020, it will represent approximately 20 percent of total worldwide accommodation bookings,” said Jen Ford, Chief Financial Officer at TurnKey. “In the U.S alone, there are well over a million vacation rentals. This capital investment will enable us to bring our proprietary technology and best-in-class management to more of those homes.”