Milo recognized for business growth

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Vacation Rental Pros informed Historic City News reporters that they have been named as the 14th “fastest-growing private company in northeast Florida” in the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 2011 “Top 50” list.

Boasting an annual revenue increase of more than 41% since it was founded in 2006; Vacation Rental Pros is one of the largest vacation rental companies in northeast Florida.

Founder and CEO Steve Milo has given credit for his success to his “technology-driven approach” to operations and marketing; as well as centralization of sales, marketing, IT, and accounting.

“Basically, my core competency is leveraging technology,” explains Milo. “I have a strong understanding of database management, email marketing, social marketing and the importance of consumer reviews.”

By replacing the traditional storefront and paper-catalog format with a content-rich website, Milo manages 430 vacation rental homes, condos, villas, and townhouses in Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, and Sarasota counties with a staff of just 30 full-time and 12 part-time employees.

“Steve Milo is literally an expert in computer modeling and advertisement,” says Bob Castro, a Realtor and mortgage consultant. “He’s created a model that is far superior to the majority of vacation rental companies around the country.”

The vacation rental business is an $85 billion market, according to 2011 Radius Global Market Research, and 20% of all vacation property rentals in the United States are in Florida.

VacationRentalPros.com makes it easy for visitors across the country to explore and reserve luxury vacation beach rentals at such popular coastal destinations as Ocean Hammock Resort in Palm Coast Florida, St. Augustine Beach Florida, Venice Florida, and Siesta Key Florida.

Featuring more than 3,000 customer reviews, plus lavish photos and detailed descriptions of each rental property, the website is compelling to browse and easy to use.

Milo notes that responding to customer feedback has been critical to his success. “When people said they wanted to rent bigger houses, I found bigger houses,” he explains. “When they complained that they couldn’t bring their pets, I added a pet-friendly vacation rental property niche.”

Within the past month Milo has turned his attention to increasing the presence of the Vacation Rental Pros Facebook page, which is adding fans by the hundreds each week.

Milo has also managed to turn economic challenges into opportunities. During 2009, when many businesses in the tourism industry slashed their budgets, he doubled the marketing and advertising budget of Vacation Rental Pros. And when the BP oil spill hit the Gulf Coast in 2010, Milo widened the scope of areas geo-targeted for new business, realizing that Vacation Rental Pros could potentially “get a larger-than-usual group of new customers.” During the first 5 months of 2011, revenue has increased 52% over the same period in 2010.

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