November 30, 2021
Meet the Women of the Vacation Rental Industry: Tera Lorimer
Tera Lorimer, founder, and CEO of Luxury Getaways, tells us how running a construction company with her husband led to filling a need for luxury vacation rentals in our women in the VRM industry series.
Leading up to the Vacation Rental Women’s Summit, we’re catching up with the women in our industry to learn more about their journey and passion for the vacation rental space, let’s learn more about Tera!
About Luxury Getaways:
Luxury Getaways is a full-service, boutique lodging, and management company located in the heart of the Mt. Baker Recreational Area. From Rustic Cabins to Waterfront Chalets, Luxury Getaways offers a variety of properties to suit anyone’s mood. Come join us; curl up by the fire or soak in the hot tub after a long day of skiing and make our exceptional houses feel like your home away from home.
Tera is the founder of Luxury Getaways, a vacation rental property management company in Whatcom County. Having been born into a property management company founded by her mother in 1978, Tera has spent a lifetime in the industry.
Early in her career, Tera became a licensed Real Estate professional to broaden her skills and knowledge in the business. After moving to Seattle, she was recruited by a REIT to manage large apartment complexes in Seattle, WA.
Tera returned to Whatcom County in 2003 where she married and started a construction company, Kestrel Homes, with her husband specializing in building ski chalets in the foothills of Mt. Baker. Tera saw a need for an upscale vacation home management company. She founded Luxury Getaways in 2008 to provide a new ‘ hands-on’ alternative for luxury vacation rentals in Glacier and surrounding areas.
Tera has grown Luxury Getaways to over 30 select properties and she herself has reached SuperHost status on AirBNB. She also sits on the board of directors for Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals.
When Tera and her husband Ryan are not in the mountains, they are raising goats, beekeeping, and adventuring with their four boys.
Let’s Learn More about Tera!
How did you begin your career in the vacation rental industry?
We built our first vacation home in 2008 and opened Luxury Getaways for a few reasons. I was running a construction company with my husband, and it became a “see a need, fill a need” situation. There was zero competition in the area compared to the high-end homes we were building. At the same time, I had a child with several life-threatening allergies, which really changed the way that we traveled. We couldn’t stay in motels, we couldn’t fly anywhere, and we couldn’t eat out. So we were looking into vacation homes more seriously.
What was your experience as a female-identifying person (FIP) then vs now?
When I started I didn’t have anyone to look up to—I was flying blind and figuring it out as I went (talk about “the school of hard knocks”). And starting in the construction industry was particularly tough since it was a male-dominated industry. I learned to have a pretty thick skin and to learn, politely, to tell people to **** off. I’m going to do it my way. And at 26 I pushed to build luxury in a market that was begging for it. Even when owners didn’t think we could.
Who mentored you and your career? Were there FIP’s in leadership roles around you?
I went to the Women’s Conference in 2019 and started following Amy Hinote—reading her articles pretty religiously—and was inspired by her independence and her outspokenness to pave my own way. People can either get on board or step aside.
What is your advice for FIP’s looking to grow their career in the VRM industry?
It’s not so much about following your dreams. It’s more about going with whatever makes you the most exceptional. Sometimes you just have to make yourself the unicorn, even if what you do doesn’t work for anybody else. As long as it works for you, that’s what matters.
Rented is proud to sponsor the Vacation Rental Women’s Summit this December 2-3 in New Orleans. There’s still time to register here, and join us for an amazing conference different from any other!