Vacation Rental Management Company of the Year: Seaside Vacations & Sales
The VRMA Excellence Awards celebrate and recognize the incredible work, contributions, and impact that vacation rental professionals have made in the past year. We are highlighting each of the 12 award recipients in 2023, starting with vacation rental management company of the year Seaside Vacations & Sales.
In the world of vacation rental management, there are those who simply manage properties, and then there are visionaries who redefine the industry. Lance and Elaine Stitcher, the dynamic duo behind Seaside Vacations & Sales, firmly belong to the latter category. What began as a leap of faith in 2015 has blossomed into an extraordinary success story. With dreams and aspirations but limited financial resources, the Stitchers embarked on a mission to revolutionize the vacation rental experience. They believed there was a better way to manage properties—a way that offered superior hospitality, impeccable guest services, and unwavering support for property owners. Their belief in these principles formed the foundation of Seaside Vacations.
Starting small, they employed resourcefulness as their key tool. They cultivated deep roots within their community and harnessed free marketing tools like social media, community involvement, and volunteer work to establish a presence that resonated with their neighbors. They wanted their community to know that they cared, and that their commitment extended far beyond a single season. They focused on word of-mouth referrals, and the community embraced their ethos.
Over time, the Stitchers built a robust website, streamlined their processes, and welcomed their first property into their portfolio. Today, Seaside Vacations manages over 400 properties, with its main office nestled on Chincoteague Island and three additional offices in Ocean City, Maryland. Seaside Vacations & Sales is proud to be known as the most respected vacation rental managers in its market, often referred to as “the ones to work for.” The duo’s innovative spirit led them to become pioneers in their region, being the first to exclusively use professional photography and provide linens for all rentals, setting new industry standards.
Yet, their commitment extends beyond business success. They remain deeply engaged with their community and the vacation rental industry, actively participating in conferences, presenting their insights, and sharing knowledge with their peers. Education and personal growth are values they hold dear, which is why they send most of their team to at least two conferences annually.
One of their most significant challenges has been building their own laundry facility. Their island lacked a sewer system, forcing them to find an innovative solution. They converted a former church building into a laundry facility and built an off-island processing center, ensuring that each guest enjoys freshly laundered linens. They now process over 10,000 pounds of laundry weekly and have created job opportunities for more than 15 locals.
Lance and Elaine Stitcher are also striving to change the way businesses transition to new owners. Rather than selling their business someday, they plan to leave it to their employees. Those employees have been instrumental in building Seaside Vacations, they say, and it’s only fitting that they continue the company’s legacy. The Stitchers believe in keeping it local, ensuring that their community remains at the heart of what they do.