Hello, I’m Brian Harris – the owner and founder of Harris Vacation Rentals. For over 6 years, I have worked hard to provide only the top-quality property management and vacation rental services in Gulf Shores, Alabama. However, though the history of Harris Vacation Rentals began in 2013, my experience in the vacation rental industry goes back much further.
Founding Harris Vacation Rentals
Though I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, my parents bought our first Gulf Shores beach cottage in 1983 and named it “SH 59.” This is where it all began. I was just 4 months old when they bought SH 59 with my brother and I’s college fund, and we still have that cottage today (though it’s been renamed to Catalina). In other words, I have literally grown up in the business.
Armed with a lifetime of experience in the property management industry, I got my real estate license in 2010, with the sole goal of beginning the process of becoming a broker and starting a management company. I really felt like there was a need in the marketplace for a management company that focused on the owner/investor. As such, in 2013 we officially launched Harris Vacation Rentals and began adding owners onto the rental program. Since then, I became a licensed real estate broker in 2013, have been quoted in the WSJ and have been invited to be a member of the National Association of Vacation Rental Managers.
A Different Point of View
Being able to see the industry for so long and to see it from the owner’s perspective on such an intimate level gives me a different perspective. I was able to see the frustrations my parents had both as independent owners and as owners in management programs. I started thinking of ways to make it better from a very early age.
Now, as an investor myself, I have felt the same stress that my owners feel when they launch a new property. A few years ago, we invested in our first two properties. I knew my math was right on the investment side. I knew they would book. I trusted our systems and our team, but there I was every morning seeing if we had gotten any booking nervous as I could be. So, it’s easy for me to understand where the owners are coming from. That mortgage bill is coming, and we better have the rental income to cover it!
Born and raised in Birmingham, I’ve been in Alabama all my life and in the Gulf Shores area since 2009 (currently we live in Fairhope). Throughout our time here, we’ve experienced everything – from the best restaurants to the most underappreciated local attractions – and are always on the lookout to find worthy hot spots to recommend to our guests.
At the end of the day, you need a local perspective when looking for a property manager for your vacation rental, as well as someone who can truly understand what it means to be an owner. That’s why I founded Harris Vacation Rentals.