Boulder-based InvitedHome works like a high-tech Airbnb for million-dollar homes

BOULDER, Colo. – It’s safe to say that Airbnb is one of the best-known names in vacation rentals but a Boulder company is quickly making a name for itself as a leader in the high-end rental space.

InvitedHome began in 2008 as a vacation rental management company in Lake Tahoe and has since grown into a full-service management and booking service for million-dollar homes in some of the country’s most popular destinations.

CEO and co-founder Michael Joseph says the company grew out of a desire to make it easier for homeowners to rent out properties they don’t use during most of the year.

“Owners of high-end luxury homes needed a company that could care for their home and maintain their home and really be the primary caretaker of the property,” Joseph said. InvitedHome does all that and moved the entire process online.

Unlike similar services like Airbnb and VRBO, InvitedHome takes care of every aspect of the rental, from marketing and reservations to cleaning and maintenance. A property’s owner barely has to lift a thumb and guests can rest assured that everything will be on the up-and-up.

“We made it as easy as staying at a hotel,” Joseph said.

Given the high level of service and the fact that homes rented out through InvitedHome are generally valued in the $1 to $10 million range, the price tag is higher than Airbnb and other services. Joseph said the average price per night in Telluride last winter was $970 a night. In Telluride alone, hosts earned $1.9 million during the season, compared to $1.4 million for Airbnb hosts, and with far less inventory.

“Our homes are all hand-picked and we focus only on high-end luxury homes in luxury resort destinations,” Joseph said.

The service is currently available in 10 locations: Vail, Colorado; Beavercreek, Colorado; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Breckenridge, Colorado; Maui, Hawaii; Telluride, Colorado; Santa Barbara, California; Lake Tahoe, California; Steamboat, Colorado; and Emerald Coast, Florida.

In each city, InvitedHome has staff who can help with any issues or even make recommendations for places to eat or things to do.

A big part of what sets InvitedHome apart is its recently-launched proprietary HomeCraft technology, which Joseph said is “purpose-built for the needs of luxury homeowners.” The system tracks everything you can possibly imagine: What’s stocked in the kitchen, individual cleaning needs of each room, the make and model of every appliance and instructions for using various pieces of equipment. It even determines rates based on supply and demand.

The system coordinates cleaning before and after a rental and also keeps track of everything in a home that might need maintenance – like appliances or the home’s roof – and sends the homeowner an alert when an item needs to be serviced or replaced.

“It’s the equivalent of going straight from horse and buggy to driverless car,” Joseph said.

Joseph said InvitedHome has lofty goals for the future. The company aims to make its way to more of the country’s top vacation destinations – think Utah ski towns, California wine country and the eastern seaboard – within the next two or three years.

“Our goal is to really become the undisputed leader in luxury vacation rentals,” he said.

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