Women entrepreneurs have played significant roles in the development of the short-term rental industry from its beginnings. Contributors include Aurelie Lepercq, CEO of Edge Retreats in London, who oversaw HomeAway's Europe business for a half-dozen years. "In my 16 years in the vacation rentals industry, I have not personally experienced an old boys' network or sexism," she says. "Quite the contrary: the two founders of the leading vacation rentals business I worked with in particular are not only exceptional professionals but also supportive human beings. The Board also had women representation very early on in the journey of the business." Jennifer Hsieh, President of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, played a key role in demonstrating the benefits of the concept to Marriott's leadership, and then rolling out the brand. UnderTheDoormat Group CEO Merilee Karr agrees with Lepercq that male investors tend to favor people with similar profiles, and acknowledges that "there are more people who see themselves in male entrepreneurs than females." Newman-Dailey Resort Properties CEO Jeanne Dailey recalls game-changing developments in the late 1990s when Florida eased vacation rental regulations, while the Internet revolutionized how people found and booked vacation homes. Former Airbnb Communications Director Kim Rubey says the company's leaders "were big believers in the power of public relations from the very beginning," adding that they had a mandate to "build out a world-class team, find us ways to get as much exposure as possible, and really use PR to help shape the brand."
Skift.com (07/06/22) Dennis Schaal