August 16, 2018
Bella Beginnings: The Story of Margie Van Zee and Bella Palazzo
If you were to peruse short-term rentals on the west coast in hopes of finding the perfect place to stay for a week long vacation with the family, there’s a chance that a gorgeous home will catch your eye and make you want to pack your bags immediately. If that home happens to be managed by Margie Van Zee and Bella Palazzo, you’re in for a great stay at a wonderful home with a “personal touch” that will make your trip that much more memorable.
Margie Van Zee has been in the short-term rental industry for over 15 years. She was working as an art director at Home & Garden when she recalls hearing someone explain how there was a need for private homes that opened their doors to people who were attending corporate events. And, like a bolt of lightning, Margie’s career in property management was born. The very next day, after a friend of hers spread word of Margie’s beginning in the property management space, she was bombarded by what would be her initial contacts in the industry. She continued to work for Home & Garden for the next three years until she felt the property management business was lucrative enough for her to transition while also continuing to support her family.
“It was a tough move.”
It was Margie’s passion that gave her the courage. She simply wanted to make people’s lives easier; and since her move, that’s exactly what she’s been doing.
Bella Palazzo became forerunners in their market and the industry as a whole by creating a unique boutique experience while also laying “basic groundwork for a good, honest hospitality business”. Rather than looking to expand across the country, Van Zee opted to keep Bella Palazzo a boutique business in order to maintain the relationship with her owners and guests.
“Oh my gosh. This made it for me.”
Margie began working with Rented.com after a VRMA Portland Western Conference. She was seeking a smooth support system that would make her life just as easy as she’d been trying to do for her guests. The Rented Capital model allowed her to negotiate more well-structured deals with owners because of her ability to now guarantee their income. This change lead to a better process for everyone involved and was a new innovation Margie Van Zee was more than willing to adopt.
Through her time in the industry, she’s seen it grow and change in many ways. Bella Palazzo began as a company that would simply cold call owners and attempt to convert them, but after overcoming some trepidation, the company is now wholly invested in the OTA revolution.
“It’s all about trust in this industry.”
Margie Van Zee has a vision for where the space may be going and she thinks it centers around streamlined procedures and standardization of practices. She also would like OTAs to handle even more of the booking process so managers like herself can focus their attention on cultivating the experience of day-to-day guests.
Though there is more growth on the horizon, Margie hasn’t forgotten the most important aspect of the business, and she doesn’t want anyone else to either. Her passion is creating personal relationships and bonds with people who are trying to have a great experience. “They say to me, ‘You know Marge, we like you. We trust you. You’re going to lock up properly, and you’re going to make sure the alarm is on. It’s you.’ and that means a lot to me”. A personal touch is the nugget of success for Margie Van Zee and Bella Palazzo. And that level of care is what they believe sets them apart.