Eric Breon (left), co-founder and CEO of Vacasa, appeared at the Skift Global Forum in New York City September 27, 2017. Skift travel tech editor Sean O’Neill interviewed him. Skift

Skift Take: Competing against the vacation rental incumbents is pretty tough, but Vacasa's CEO believes there is more than enough business to go around, especially if you can offer owners and consumers something different.

— Patrick Whyte

Mention vacation rentals and most people inside the travel industry probably think of HomeAway, and Airbnb.

Although these companies are market leaders, the sector is so fragmented that there is plenty of room for smaller operators.

Vacasa is one of those businesses trying make a dent in a crowded market, and for CEO Eric Breon the best way to do that is to stick with the traditional.

“I know it’s hard to imagine in this Airbnb world that there were vacation rentals more than  10 years ago. There’ve been beach houses for generations, there’ve been ski condos for decades. It’s been around for forever and that’s the market we play in. Tt’s the ski houses, the beach houses,” Breon told the audience at the Skift Global Forum in New York in September.

Rather than acting as a marketplace like Airbnb, Vacasa manages the whole rental process for homeowners, which brings with it a different type of competition.

“It’s a ridiculously fragmented market. It’s not really the big players out there that we’re competing with, it’s the small local players,” Breon said.

To that point, Vacasa has acquired around 60 small businesses, giving it a slice of the U.S domestic market on par with Wyndham.

Vacasa, which recently raised $103.5 million in Series B funding, is now plotting how it can add to the 15 countries it is already in.

“There’s increasing demand for offering internationally. When you look domestically… you want somebody who can take care of that house for you but if you’ve just bought a house in Mexico, who are you going to leave those keys with when you get  back on the flight to New York? That is a scary proposition and there’s a ton of pent-up demand on the homeowner side there. So that’s something we’re very excited about,” Breon said.

You can watch the entire interview above, and read more coverage of Skift Global Forum.

At this year’s Skift Global Forum in New York City, travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration, information, and conversation for panels such as this, as well as solo TED-like talks on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2018 events.