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With a Rolodex featuring 6,000 properties in 110 destinations from Bali to Palm Springs, some owned by talent and studio/network execs, Villaway offers places like a 7,000-square-foot modern estate above Runyon Canyon and Steve McQueen’s former Hollywood Hills outpost.
VIP services include security detail and concierges who stock gluten-free foods, provide Lamborghini Murcielagos and arrange for French-speaking private chefs, nannies and tennis instructors, among other amenities.
Vacationer and Walt Disney Co. vp Marlo Carruth testifies that the “exceptional, unique properties allow you to feel like a resident while enjoying hotel-like luxuries,” while Sony Pictures Entertainment exec vp Paul Littmann, a Villaway homeowner, says, “Several friends and I use it to manage our short-term vacation rentals, as Villaway does so with white-glove treatment, including vetting the guests while keeping our homes in immaculate shape.”
CEO Joe Liebke says the site is used by “people who will literally come out and spend their life savings for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation”; by interested buyers who want to try out a property; and for extended stays: “We have producers and actors that remain for months while they’re filming.”
The L.A.-based company launched in August 2015 after Liebke, a real estate broker, began renting out Orson Welles’ Hollywood Hills home (which former owner, composer Paul Williams, listed for $2 million in 2004, the year Liebke purchased it). Costs range from $500 to $15,000 per night, and homeowners typically earn 75 percent of the end profits.
This story first appeared in the Oct. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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