Growing With Your People with Jim Bizily of I Love Vacations

May 22, 2024 | Property Managers Blog

Growing with Your People

We interviewed one of our partners to talk to him about his experience building up his highly successful vacation rental business. In this episode of The Vacation Rental Show: How We Grow, host Lynell Gordon sits down with Jim Bizily of I Love Vacations. Together, they explore how to build your business around your people and focus on your core values.

Jim Bizily is Founder and President of Utah-based I Love Vacations. He is also the Owner and Founder of Park City Rental Properties, I Love Hawaii, and I Love Sedona.

People = Key to Growth

“I think you need to be careful not to grow too quickly and to make sure that you don’t over leverage yourself.”

According to Jim, there are three core keys to growth:

  1. Be responsible
  2. Have a good quality inventory
  3. Surround yourself with skilled people

Although all three are important, I Love Vacations place particular emphasis on the third, on having a good, solid, highly skilled team.

In fact, every time Jim has broached out into a new territory, he has started with just one person. This person embodies the core values of the brand, and focuses on creating a solid foundation for the core business before bringing anyone else in. Then, the territory can grow slowly, almost organically, with new additions serving to strengthen the business.

With people-centric growth, I Love Vacations has had to work on refining their hiring process. After all, what would be the point in hiring someone who wasn’t suited to help build out into new territories?

They primarily use a culture index to make sure that the right person is hired for the right role and is given the right responsibilities. This has proved invaluable, but not just for hiring. Using a culture index has also helped the company’s existing employees find happiness and satisfaction in their roles.

Hiring is not the only important consideration for this type of growth though. Jim and his team also worked to define the business’ main goals, and then built roles around them. This then means that absolutely everyone is working towards the same thing, and makes hiring with the culture index far more straightforward.

“That’s another strong thing I would tell people that in the beginning is to decide, what is our mission? What are our core values? What is our core focus? And try to stick with that.”

Learning Where to Focus

Jim’s career in vacation rentals started off in a very sporadic manner. Driven by passion, he would start new projects quickly, and he was constantly led by spontaneity.

“I’ll always be like, ‘Oh, let’s open up an office in Big Sky now,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, can we just focus on what we’re doing and get those to profitability?’”

Although this clearly worked in his favor, he wouldn’t do the same thing again.

Instead, he would have established his core values and mission statement far earlier. Then, he would have focused on growing everything closer to the home front and then building it out from there, instead of venturing into new territories quickly.

He also would make sure that every system and process was nailed early on. That way, they could be replicable across every site, creating a streamlined, efficient, and sustainable business that could grow and grow whilst still aligning with the core goals.

To listen to the full conversation between Lynell and Jim on The Vacation Rental Show: How We Grow, follow the links here: