My name is Bill Ruester, yes my last name looks like it is pronounced Rooster, but it is actually pronounced Reester. In 2018 my wife became very interested in pursuing her passion in creating art. She is quite skilled and I wanted to help her be successful. As she honed her skills and started to create her paintings I came up with an idea that could help not only her, but other artists as well. We live in the Hampton Roads area in southeastern Virginia, which includes Virginia Beach. It is a large tourist destination with lots of rental homes. My idea was to place art from various local artists into rental homes that could be purchased by a renter with ease, and when they finished their vacation they could leave with the art they purchased. We were very excited about the idea, but at the same time realized what a difficult undertaking it would be to start out this business, so it just fell into a category of good idea, but unable to pursue at this time.
About Us continued
Fast forward to spring of 2021. The global COVID pandemic was beginning to ease and my wife has continued to pursue her art. I had been working a day job that I have been at for 25 years and had a side gig selling items on the internet that was quite successful for some added income. I began to think of our original idea, but I felt it needed something more. The easing of COVID restrictions had opened travel again and my heart was going out to all the hosts who lost so much income over the previous year. It was at this moment that it hit me. I could take the original idea and open it up for hosts to list whatever they wanted to sell, whether it was arts, crafts, services, or other goods. This would enable the hosts to increase their revenue stream, as well as provide additional value to their renters. I also liked this model because it would allow the hosts the ability to sell items that are locally made and thus help others in their community. I did some investigating online and found out there wasn’t a service that did this at a reasonable price. It was at this moment I had found my calling and Vacay Extras was born.
About Us continued
There are an estimated 5-6 million private rentals in the U.S. with an expected $18.5 billion in revenue by 2023, so travel is a huge industry, and it is growing. I personally have stayed at quite a few rentals, since I prefer that over a traditional hotel/motel and I know that having options to purchase something from those rentals as a souvenir is something I would absolutely do. My wife and I love to spend money on locally made items when we are staying somewhere, to help benefit the community. I quickly took the idea to a local website designer, and we worked together to make this a reality. It had to be something that was easy to use for hosts and renters, easy to market to renters, and inexpensive for the rental hosts with quick payments. VacayExtras.com is now a reality.
As I look forward, I will use my 30+ years in customer service to assist both hosts and renters in navigating this website and any challenges they may have. I will also look to utilize suggestions from our users and create new ideas to continually improve upon this concept and expand and grow without losing sight of the importance of customer service. I know that it is your success that will determine our success. I am committed to forming a strong relationship together so that we can mutually benefit. The future of travel is bright, so together, let’s provide the best possible experience we can.