The VIR Group / VIR Vacation Rentals – About Us
VIR Vacation Rentals / The VIR Group was launched in 2012 when founders Alistair & Jeff Barrett-Powell realized that the vacation rental industry was primarily made up of long term property management companies turned vacation rental managers.
“The vacation rental industry is not classified under real estate, it’s a travel & hospitality industry where our competition is hotels. Fortunately for us, we already had an advantage as our forté has always been in marketing, travel and client hospitality.
We researched for 3-6 months what was wrong with the competition and how we could make it better – we wanted to create the experience, cleanliness, convenience and guest service of a 5* hotel for vacation rentals. It was imperative for us to implement strategic alliances that now allow us to have double the occupancy of our competitors, triple the number of repeat guests and more 5* reviews from guests than any other company in Florida.
Jeff and I have lived in London, Dubai, Washington DC, New York and Miami so we’re used people around us being cash rich & time poor. These are the guests and owners we understand and know how to relate to. Our guests want an easy & automated experience from booking to contract e-signing, from automated payments to secure guest specific door codes on electronic locks but if the guest/client needs us, we’re there 24/7/365 – by phone, live chat or even text. It’s important for our guests to know that check-ins at 4am are just as easy as 4pm.
What’s more, we proved that by taking our profits and investing as a business in technology, we could give our owners excellent service and an industry leading ROI on their investment, for a fraction of the vacation rental industry standard 35-40% booking commission.”
98% of our guests would recommend us to friends and family and we’re grateful for the other 2% as they keep us on our toes…“
– Alistair & Jeff Barrett-Powell
V = VALUE
We will always strive not to be a success, but rather to be of the highest value to our guests and owners. Our value at VIR must be calculated as the difference in what we give and what we expect in return.
I = INTEGRITY
We will always operate with honesty, transparency & trust and our entire team shall have the strongest moral principles. Success doesn’t county unless you earn it fair and square. We will never extinguish someone else’s flame to make ours shine brighter.
R = RESULTS
We will always produce results for our guests and owners better, faster and higher than the day before. Whether occupancy, cost, service level or financial, we shall never plateau.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive of The VIR Group
Alistair left Sotheby’s International Realty in 2012 to co-found The VIR Group. He started his career as the Marketing Director of The Triple Point Group in London, a specialist investment firm now with over $1bn assets under management. Alistair realized his passion was combining marketing with investment real estate and consequently became the youngest ever Sales Manager at Hamptons International in Central London covering Chelsea, Knightsbridge and South Kensington. Alistair founded international real estate and REIT investment firm, 7CI in 2006 and in addition was one of the private real estate advisors to the Dubai Royal Family.
Alistair moved to the United States in 2009 to take care of an unwell family member and decided to stay after being offered a highly coveted position at Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami Beach. Alistair Powell married in 2014 and as a result became Alistair Barrett-Powell. He is one of the United States Power 30 under 30 (2012) and was awarded 2008 London’s Young Guns Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Other beneficiaries of this prestigious award over the years, that have become household names in their fields, include Ed Boyes and Patrick Drake of Hello Fresh; Graham Bosher of Graze; and Greg Marsh and Tim Davey of onefinestay.
Alistair is the epitome of business and marketing agility and furthermore his proficiency to adjust his business models to global trends is unparalleled. He excels at rapid adaptability of marketing models for his clients which enable him to capitalize on events and market fluctuations to maximize their revenue. Alistair thrives in providing state of the art services with an unforgettable experience, values honesty, is a perfectionist in all he undertakes, and his work speaks for itself. Under Alistair’s stewardship, his teams have sold over half a billion dollars in real estate around the globe and most noteworthy, VIR Vacation Rental’s guests constantly offer 5* reviews for their stays.
Co-Founder and President of The VIR Group
Jeff is Co-Founder / President of The VIR Group and a Registered Nurse. For over 20 years, Jeff was an International Service Manager for United Airlines (Continental), traveling across the globe many times a week. It is this position that Jeff was personally requested by travelers such as Bill Clinton, Kate Winslet, Josh Duhamel and more. His position at United granted him a unique perspective on the complexities of a multi-cultural customer base while understanding the most important values of those different clients.
Retiring from this airline career in 2015, he decided to pursue a lifelong passion to help people and make a difference as a Registered Nurse and what is especially relevant is that Nursing perfectly complements his responsibilities at The VIR Group. It helps him with his daily tasks of being part of the leadership team of a service-oriented business like VIR. Every reservation, family, owner, vacation and property are different, and so are his patients therefore each requires custom made and undivided attention and all demand stellar results. To him, thinking out if the box is more of the norm than an exception if he is to make quick decisions that are beneficial to both the company and the client and to Jeff and as a result all that matters is making a positive impact in the lives of the people he touches.
Jeff’s career tells of devoted service to diverse clientele; one whose end goal is happiness, success, relaxation and health. He has worked in diverse fields; each complementary to the other, making him the professional that he is today. Jeff is a stickler for excellence. To achieve this, he’s had to surround himself with like-minded, driven and focused individuals who share in a great vision – people who will challenge him to aim higher. Jeff holds true to the words by John Wooden, “Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”
Chief Operating Officer at The VIR Group
Mike Powell is the Chief Operating Officer of The VIR Group / VIR Vacation Rentals. His key roles include maximizing company and owner profits, consistently providing excellent service to owners and guests, recruiting new owners in order to grow the company, and act as sounding board to the CEO and President as new growth strategies are planned.
Mike’s career speaks volumes of an acquired empiricism; with a span of 50 years in business operations and finance.
- Chief Executive of OSI Group – facilitating the sale of the business to FI Group for $224m.
- Member of the Board of Directors for Oracle Corporation.
- Partner-in-charge at PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Elected member of the European Board of Directors for PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Director of Consulting for CSC – Computer Sciences Corporation. CSC merged with HP Enterprise Services to create DXC Technology with an annual revenue of $25bn.
Mike swears by hard work, acclimation and resilience. “Great ideas need to be implemented, even if it results to disruption of the status quo,” he quips. To drive change through the companies he has worked in, has had to take the bull by its horns, brave through all resistance to ensure the companies thrive through the changing tides.
Mike is unrelenting in tolerating only the best behavior and loyalty from all his team members; demurring any subversion. He is skilled at balancing the skills of his team members; positioning their varying strengths and skills to achieve goals set. Mike is known to openly discuss pertinent issues with the team members and is always prepared to modify his position based on reasoned discussions as well as implement the decision agreed upon with much enthusiasm. His work ethic is defined by loyalty, hard work and strictness. Mike is undeniably a man of exceptional vision, has a great set of analytical skills, is good at reading people and is a shrewd businessman.