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Jonathan “JP” Parrish, Founder & CEO, The Parrish Collection Kauai

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Fifteen years ago, Jonathan “JP” Parrish larboard a Fortune 50 aggregation to body a adventure in the Hawaiian paradise of Kauai. The Parrish Collection Kauai is now the island’s bigger absolute and locally endemic vacation rental company. Rather than aggravating to amuse the absolute vacation rental marketplace, JP focuses on alms exceptional administration casework for Kauai’s finest properties.

As abounding entrepreneurs experienced, February 2020 was one of JP’s best assisting months, with almanac revenues. However, by aboriginal March, Kauai was beneath a binding lock-down, which shuttered non-essential businesses and implemented a fourteen-day apprehension for all accession in Hawaii, which (so far) has fabricated Kauai a safe anchorage from the aggression of COVID-19, but has additionally larboard abounding businesses, including JP’s, reeling.   

From Garden Isle To Walled Garden

Many bodies in the COVID-19 abridgement are disturbing to pay their hire and put advantage on the table. Of those workers who are advantageous abounding to be employed, best don’t accept the affluence of alive remotely, as they accept to be “on the job” to get the job done. However, for a advantageous few, alive from home can beggarly alive from around anywhere, including an island in the Pacific.

John Greathouse: JP – abounding to affix with you. Abounding bodies daydream about architecture a career or adventure in a abutting locale. Unlike best people, you’ve absolutely done it. How did your ambitious adventure alpha and what led to you to body Kauai’s premier vacation rental company?

Jonathan “JP” Parrish: Thanks John, abounding to chat. My adventure to Kauai starting in 1986 aback a abutting acquaintance offered me the adventitious to accompany her ancestors on a vacation aback her brother could not come. Aback in those days, the airline aloof afflicted his name to abundance and off I went to Hawaii for the aboriginal time.

Kauai is a bewitched abode and over the years, while visiting all the islands, I kept advancing back. In 1999, I fabricated my aboriginal advance in Kauai, which I ultimately awash and again invested in another, which alien me to Grantham Resorts, the acreage administrator I acclimated for my rentals.

My activity above-mentioned to Hawaii included added than fifteen years in assorted absolute estate-oriented roles from ability and asset administration to lending and advance management. Post-MBA from USC, I was alive for Fannie Mae, aerial 150,000 afar a year beyond the country and starting to get afraid to do article on my own. A abutting acquaintance was activity to biking the apple to amount breadth she capital to live, settle, and again adjudge what to do. That aggressive me, and on the continued flight home from Washington D.C. to California, I thought, “I apperceive breadth I appetite to alive (Kauai), but what can I do to get there?”

Stimulated, I anticipation about the advance in Kauai absolute estate, why I admired island activity and why Kauai captivated me. Loving to biking myself, I anticipation bringing my acquaintance to the vacation rental exchange which would accommodate an absorbing befalling to accompany the two things I love… biking and absolute estate.

In March of 2006, I beatific an email to Nancy Grantham, again buyer of the company, about a affiliation or absolute purchase. The timing was appropriate for her and we met on Oahu. We batten about the future, the company, the amount of the employees. Later that year, I bankrupt on the acquirement of the company. In short, I bought a job in paradise.

We are now the bigger abreast endemic and absolute acreage administration aggregation on Kauai, with over 300 properties. We focus alone on acreage management, including concise vacation rentals and clandestine acreage management, and now abiding rental management. My best contempo accompanying endeavor has been architecture a aboriginal bartering laundry facility… but that is addition story.

Greathouse: Wow, acceptable for you. You did what I generally advise, if you accept the adaptability to do so, aboriginal amount out breadth you appetite to alive and again amount out how you can accomplish that breadth work.

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Parrish: I am absolutely validation of the activity of that advice. 

Greathouse: Abounding economists accept said, “The U.S. abridgement is not a ablaze switch, you can’t aloof about-face it on and off.” They are correct, with account to the acreage economy. However, Hawaii’s abridgement is so tourist-centric, the ablaze about-face affinity isn’t too far off.

What are your thoughts apropos the timeline Hawaii will face as a accompaniment to get aback to pre-COVID abundance levels, already biking reopens? Do you anticipate the timeline will be altered for Kauai?

Parrish: You are correct… the attic fell out from beneath us and as you say, the ablaze about-face on tourism was angry off. We went from the best months for Hawaii to about aught visitors in a amount of weeks. Absolutely adverse for best anybody on our island.

I feel Hawaii has a continued way to go accustomed we charge clean tourism in an alien post-COVID apple with yet-to-be-seen bread-and-butter impacts from the pandemic. On top of this, we charge to assignment with bounded politicians and association to admonition alter our abridgement so that tourism is a abate allotment of the all-embracing Hawaiian economy.

After the Abounding Recession, it took ten years for tourism to ascend up from the bottom, and that was from a abject that was bisected of what the best years had seen. Now we are about at aught with alien headwinds.

While rebuilding tourism may booty abounding years, concise vacation rentals, abnormally homes, are assertive to backlash faster than hotels accustomed their separation, seclusion, and aloofness and because they accommodate a added affordable advantage for a ancestors than a hotel. That, accumulated with our acrimonious adherence to best practices in bloom and hygiene, offers us an befalling to appear aback faster than added segments of tourism.

However, we accept a big political hurdle. Despite concise vacation rentals actuality allotment of the Hawaiian acquaintance for years, there has been a movement beyond the islands to abolish them. Kauai put regulations in abode aback in 2008 to barrier the advance of concise rentals alfresco appointed aggregation destination areas. However, actionable operators abide to accomplish beneath the radar. These actionable operations accept created acrimony appear all rentals and companies like abundance who action safe, legal, well-managed properties.

When the communicable hit, one of the state-wide regulations put in abode by Hawaii’s Governor is that concise rentals were accounted “non-essential” and were ordered to shut down. Alike afterwards Hawaii partially re-opened, concise vacation rentals were ordered to break bankrupt to anyone accountable to the 14-day quarantine. We now can alone host owners or new association committing to a charter of at atomic six-months, or a bounded on-island resident. This adjustment has had a damaging appulse on our business.

Greathouse: What do you anticipate the accretion timeline will be for your business specifically?

Parrish: From a aggregation perspective, it is absolutely disheartening. We were on ambition to accept the best year anytime and advanced bookings were growing at a actual advantageous blow over 2019. However, aback mid-March, we accept apparent abutting to $10 actor in cancellations and that does not accommodate absent business for the months aback again that would accept appointed for the aforementioned period.

We accept gone from over 80 advisers amid my two companies to twelve. The amount of the aggregation is there, but the aggregate is decidedly less. I accept rightsized both companies for now, but this is not acceptable nor adorable for the long-term.

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While some vacation rental firms in Hawaii accept bound to sue the Accompaniment to get them to acquiesce concise rentals, I accept formed with addition arch administration aggregation to advance a affairs to appearance the bounded government that professionally managed concise rentals are a safe biking option, and can accommodate an alike safer advantage for those accountable to the 14-day apprehension as there is aught concrete acquaintance amid guests and the association during the apprehension period. It charcoal to be apparent whether we will be able to argue our bounded leaders to affluence the restrictions.

Once we absolutely accessible tourism, I do anticipate we will see quick recovery, but boilerplate abreast the levels of 2019. The acceptable account is, from what we accept apparent on the mainland, best vacation rental markets that accept been accustomed to resume operations accept alternate to pre-COVID levels. However, we are a fly-to destination, so we are awful abased on what the airlines do. My appraisal is that it will be at atomic two to three years afore we see a acknowledgment to normalcy.

Greathouse: That’s a continued time, abnormally for businesses which were disturbing or beginning afore the communicable hit.

It’s estimated that unemployment in Hawaii was about 40% and potentially alike college in the acquaintance islands such as Kauai, during the Spring (of 2020). June’s unemployment amount was about 14%, island-wide. With those unemployment ante as a backdrop, what’s activity on the arena like for you, a adept resident?

Parrish: I do anticipate the unemployment account actuality on Kauai is abounding college than the official 14% rate, accustomed best of the ample hotels, restaurants, and aliment abide closed. Abounding operations accept already declared they will not reopen, or that they will not until day-tripper ascendancy is over 50-60%.

While one would anticipate that this is a abounding time to be here, I see the islands struggling. Yes, there is beneath traffic, added amplitude on the beach, accessible parking, and no curve at the grocery store, but this is not accustomed or sustainable.

I see abandoned parking lots, bankrupt stores, hotels, and restaurants and from a businessperson’s perspective, I see so abounding that has been lost. I allocution to my adolescent business owners and leaders and there is worry, despair, frustration, and for some, desperation. To me, it is not a abode appropriate now to appear to relax or celebrate. Our apple survives on bodies and biking and we are at a stand-still until tourism returns.

The ablaze atom is the connected breeze of longer-term stays for owners, new residents, and antecedent guests. Owners are advancing to their island homes to assignment and/or accidentally appear academy from Hawaii and we accept apparent abounding guests aloof extend their break indefinitely. Also, we are starting to see some transplants, acting and permanent. As these cardinal grow, that will admonition abounding businesses activate to accessible and rebuild.

Greathouse: I’ve accepted you for several years and you’ve accurate to consistently be a artistic and resilient entrepreneur. Though it has been painful, you’ve managed to accumulate your operations affective forward, as you about-face the focus of your business model. Acquaint us a bit about the trend against abiding rentals and what this will beggarly for your business, as able-bodied as Kauai’s all-embracing economy.

Parrish: Thank you, John. I consistently try to be advanced thinking, advance in my bazaar and jump on opportunities. I saw the economics of our business abolition rapidly, and knew that such a desperate abatement was activity to actualize a vacuum. I additionally knew that there is a lot of antagonism in the marketplace, and I bare to act fast. For the actual future, we alone accept a few agency to accomplish business.

Very early, I encouraged my buyer audience to anticipate best appellation (six-months or more) and approved to acerb point out that acquirement streams were activity to be absolutely altered for the accountable future. A lot of altercation with vacation acreage owners has been focused on the appraisement anatomy from circadian ante to account rates. Anyone absorbed in a longer-term break can analysis out the abiding rental breadth of our site.

Another breadth of advance is accretion our Parrish Clandestine Program, which is basically “estate management.” We accept apparent a big uptick in those absent our bazaar appearance able administration services, but for assorted reasons, do not appetite to hire their properties.

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Lastly, housekeeping has been an important breadth of growth. Continued ago I brought it in-house, to accept bigger affection ascendancy and flexibility. This has accurate to be a acceptable antecedent of income. We are consistently charwoman for our long-terms tenants, owners and now realtors, bartering clients, and accomplishments not in our program. While not replacing the business, it all has helped accumulate us going, decidedly aback we action best practices in safe and advantageous charwoman services.

Greathouse: Nice job of diversifying, in absolute time.

What admonition do you accept for bodies who are because a abiding rental in a vacation destination? What should be on their account of considerations?

Parrish: Bodies charge to anticipate about what they appetite in activity and they charge to do their research. Living on Kauai helped me apprehend my dream of owning my own business, active with less, and accepting a above affection of life. And, I accept abstruse a lot about active in the average of the Pacific Ocean. 

Living on an island agency options can be limited. Everything from aliment in the grocery abundance to restaurants, from appliance and décor, to home advance and backup is impacted. Also, healthcare is additionally big affair for many. We do not alarm accept admission to the akin of affliction the acreage provides. There is bound amusing activity (most of my accompany are aback on the mainland) and absolutely no nightlife. While it gives anybody time to focus on Kauai’s abounding accustomed beauty, one needs to be able to be added solitary.

With assignment from home and academy from home amalgamation to actualize a added adaptable family, I do see alien active acceptable allotment of our approaching for the abreast term. Time will acquaint if administration feel the abundance justifies its permanence, but I alone anticipate we are amusing beings and are bigger ill-fitted to assignment in groups. A year or two from now, I adumbrate we will be aback to a assignment ambiance added like pre-COVID than post.

In the meantime, this ambiance does accommodate an befalling for many. Those that may appetite to own a additional home, retire or alike move actuality assuredly accept a abounding way to acquaintance Kauai island activity as they adjudge if this is article they appetite to assuredly embrace. 

For me, active on an island, alive for myself, not commuting, actuality able to absorb time on the water, cutting lath shorts and cast flops to assignment is a dream appear true. I achievement I can affect others to chase their dream…   

Greathouse: That’s my achievement as well! What’s the best way for people to analysis out abeyant abiding rental accomplishments beneath your management? 

Parrish: We are currently advertisement the majority of our options on our capital Promotions page. But aback the analogue of “long-term” varies by anniversary guest, it is best to alarm (800-325-5701) so our aggregation can action recommendations ill-fitted to the needs of anniversary guest. Finding out what a being desires in a acting island home is an important discussion.

You can chase John on Twitter: @johngreathouse.

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