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Airbnb Tries to Grow by the Beach

Vacasa, a Portland, Oregon-based startup, manages about 4,300 vacation homes around the world in ski towns like Beaver Creek, Colorado, and beachside villages around the Mediterranean Sea. And for the first time next year, the company plans to start listing some of its homes on Airbnb.

It’s the sort of business Airbnb needs to win to justify its $30 billion valuation and maintain its revenue growth rate, projected by Cowen & Co. That growth rate is expected to slow to 76% this year from 87% in 2015. The company has got plenty of homeowners to rent out their spare bedrooms or their entire homes temporarily. But when it comes to people or companies like Vacasa that own properties rented out full-time to vacationers, particularly in rural areas, Airbnb lags far behind rivals like HomeAway, VRBO and FlipKey.

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“This month is one of the slowest months of the year, and I’ve got five Airbnb bookings in a condo but zero on HomeAway and zero on VRBO,” Mr. Clinton said.

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“For a while Airbnb wasn’t sure what they thought of the professionally managed industry. They’ve come around on that.”