How NDM Hospitality CEO Nick Falcone Is Disrupting the Vacation Home Model
The angle: rentals with hotel-style amenities
As the son of a real estate developer, NDM Hospitality CEO Nick Falcone always knew he wanted to work in the field himself, but he wanted to do it his way. “I grew up around real estate and hardworking people,” the South Florida native says. “I always had ambitions to start my own company.”
After graduating from Florida State University in 2010 and gaining experience at a food and beverage firm, he did just that. Nick Falcone, along with his brothers, Daniel and Matthew, launched NDM Hospitality as a holding company in 2011. Its first ownership venture was the burger-and-brew concept BurgerFi, which quickly proved to be a lucrative investment. Starting with one franchise, NDM now owns seven, with three more slated to open over the next year.
Fired up by this early win, Falcone began searching for the next big idea. It came during a conversation with his father about his latest project in Orlando. “The single-family homes my dad developed would typically be sold to people who wanted to live in them,” he explains. “This was the first time in his career where 99% of the buyers just wanted to rent them out and make a return.”
Falcone sensed opportunity in the shifting market.
“The vacation home industry is controlled mainly by small rental companies with a couple big distribution platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo,” he explains. “We could be the first brand dedicated to homes but mixing them with resort experiences and making a more mainstream product—something institutional capital could invest in.”
Falcone envisioned a company that could offer full properties of vacation homes rented as a commercial resort through a centralized system, all while adhering to one guiding principle. “We use the term ‘controlling the content’ of real estate,” he says, referring to the benefits of having control of what goes inside a property and how it’s positioned. “Developers are building these great places and want to make sure they’re operated properly to increase the value.”
The result, launched in 2015, was Rentyl Resorts, now NDM’s biggest and fastest-growing business. An asset-light company, Rentyl doesn’t own anything on its balance sheet. Instead, it works with owners and developers to offer turnkey services to convert existing properties into residential resorts or build new properties, then operate them with a suite of resort-style amenities. Controlling the content, in other words.
With rentylresorts.com, consumers looking for a vacation rental have a portal through which to discover and book the home and amenities of their choice. For owners, several tiers of services are available, from a full-brand package that includes management; to sales, marketing and revenue; to a distribution model for those who just want additional exposure in bookings.
“We’ll consult on how to put together the site plan, the legal documents, the sales strategy, the financing—everything,” he says. “Once the project goes live, we offer brand and management services, so we can stay with the developer from vision all the way to operation.”
Rentyl is capitalizing on a trend that accelerated during the pandemic: the desire for private vacation homes suitable for both multi-generational travel and remote work. “People are looking for ways they can be isolated when they want to be, but also a bit more social,” Falcone explains. “Our product provides the best of both worlds.”
Renters have access to a suite of in-home services and amenities—from housekeeping and private chefs to mixology lessons and spa services—as well as nearby restaurants, pools, and recreation facilities. The company enjoys partnerships with well-known resorts, including Margaritaville Resort Orlando, Bear’s Den Orlando and Encore Resort at Reunion, and has recently expanded internationally, with destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and beyond.
“Since January, we’ve expanded from five resorts in Orlando to 83 resorts in 24 different markets, about half domestic, half international,” he says. Crucial to the company’s growth is its ability to provide value to vacationers and property owners as well as the hotels and resorts they partner with, which often view rental homes as competitors.
“We’re hotel-friendly—we’re working with them to say, either build new homes with us that can attach to your hotels or do an amenity agreement,” Falcone explains. “You give our renters access to your amenities, and we’ll take homes in proximity to your hotel and connect them so you’re getting your share of revenue.”
What does the future hold for Rentyl Resorts? Further expansion for one. (“We’ll have a few hundred resorts on the platform by the end of 2023,” Falcone says.) He’s also excited about the rollout of a loyalty program.
“It’s a multi-industry loyalty program, so a developer could offer points for the sale of a home that you can then use in the ecosystem,” Falcone says. “You can get points for your biggest transactions and put them toward travel, dining, shopping, or vice versa.”