Case Study

Seacoast Vacation Rentals

Chris Petzy, Seacoast Vacation Rentals: Working with Keystone Bookkeepers is a “No-Brainer”

Founded in 2019 by Sean Bakhtiari, Seacoast Vacation Rentals is a full-service, short-term rental management company. They implement technology, tools, and systems to help homeowners and real estate investors earn more money with less stress. Rather than worrying about managing guests, coordinating cleaners, and scheduling check-ins, owners can relax and enjoy their investment without the hassle.

No Meaningful Way to Make Financial Business Decisions

As a modern, tech-driven company focused on short-term rentals, Seacoast Vacation Rentals faced numerous transactions each month, which took up a lot of time and increased the risk of error. Because the company was initially small, they did all their bookkeeping manually, however, the effort and time required, combined with the fact that manual bookkeeping offered them no insight into growing their business, led them to consider hiring a bookkeeper. 

“There was no rhyme or reason to our books,” Chris Petzy, co-owner of Seacoast Vacation Rentals, says. “We didn’t even have QuickBooks Online for two years. We would just hand over a mess to our CPA but we had no real insight into the health of our business, no oversight into our expenses, and no ability to do analysis. We have 40 properties and the key in this business is making sure it makes sense to manage them all. If a property is too expensive to manage, there’s no point to it.”

As the number of properties they managed grew, their monthly transactions did as well. They soon found themselves responsible for many transactions at different properties at varying fee rates, and realized they weren’t working as efficiently or effectively as they could. Chris and Sean began using QuickBooks in the summer of 2021, but they quickly discovered that with the high number of transactions each month, it made more sense to hire a bookkeeper.

Their CPA recommended Keystone Bookkeepers based on their work with shared clients. After considering a few other options, in November 2021 Seacoast Vacation Rentals hired Keystone Bookkeepers.

“Hiring Keystone Bookkeepers is the best decision I’ve made in the past year.” — Chris Petzy, co-owner of Seacoast Vacation Rentals

Streamlining Seacoast’s Systems Eliminated the Bottleneck

Ben Coons, founder of Keystone Bookkeepers, took over Seacoast’s bookkeeping, vendor bill payments, and monthly owner disbursements. He determined what level subscription of QuickBooks Online Seacoast needed, recommended automated software to track transactions, and set up a chart of accounts so Seacoast could see their own profits and losses separate from owners’ transactions. Seacoast now has all invoices received through a software tool, Dext, which is processed weekly and sent to Chris for approval before Keystone Bookkeepers pays them out. Monthly disbursements are then sent to property owners based on Keystone’s reporting.

In addition to saving Chris and his team time, the automated systems enhance accuracy and ensure there is one source of data for all transactions. The solutions recommended by Ben are also scalable, so they work just as well whether Seacoast has one property or 100 properties.

“The quality of our books is so much better since working with Keystone Bookkeepers. We can do real analysis on our business. Instead of our time being split up 90% on books and 10% on analysis, it’s the opposite now for us. He takes care of the transactional work so we can focus on making decisions based on data he gives us.”

Ultimately, Chris says eliminating the bottleneck caused by bookkeeping has had a massive impact on his business and saved him the time and headache of managing hundreds of transactions a month.

“If you don’t invest in flexible architecture early on, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll send the wrong payment to someone. It’s a no-brainer move once you get more than 10 listings in this industry. If you don’t want to grow, you could probably survive, but if you work in a 10-plus listing space, there’s no better solution out there. I’ve referred people to him and I’ve had five or six peers sign up. Hiring Keystone Bookkeepers is the best decision I’ve made in the past year.”