Founded in 2001 in Ocean Grove, New Jersey by John Sosenko and Jennifer Boyd, Our Town Rentals began as an internet experiment marketing our home for a few summer weeks while visiting family in Colorado. The Asbury Park Press and New York Times charged hundreds of dollars to run a weekend ad in their classifieds with no results. Fortunately, our son, Evan Sosenko, was already a brilliant, self-taught programmer. (Evan now has a Ph.D. in Physics and is a Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco's financial district.) Together, he and John launched a vacation rental website. To our delight, within one week of going online, we had the three weeks in August rented to three lovely families --- two from North Jersey and one from Pennsylvania.
They say in Ocean Grove, you don't have to mind your own business because everyone else does it for you. That proved true. Word of our success spread, and several neighbors asked to advertise on the site. Friends told friends. Before long, Our Town Rentals was advertising beach houses, condos, apartment rentals, summer, and winter rentals, from Bradley Beach to Brigantine
As a writer, wife, mother, and family accountant, I was tasked with marketing, customer sales, and support. This was in the early days of online when some users sent us photos to scan and paid by mail. We continually invested in programmers and designers to upgrade and streamline with the latest tech innovations. The public's increasing comfort level and computer savvy made by-owner vacation rentals an immensely popular option.
Over two decades, Our Town Rentals grew into a Jersey Shore institution for vacation rentals by owner. We took the business with us when our family relocated to Valencia, CA, and, more recently, to Austin, Texas. Ironically, Vrbo is also based in Austin. But, Vrbo changed its business model. They collect booking fees and inflate rates, cut into rental income, and dictate terms to property owners. Our Town Rentals stayed true to our original purpose. Owners control all aspects of their property rental. And vacation-seekers get the best rate.Today, our team includes programmers, and digital designer, Jia Gao. On June 2nd, 2020, we launched a robust new platform that incorporates many new features. Our responsive web design (RWS) for mobile devices excels on the internet, Google, Bing, and Safari. Nearly fifty percent of users are on mobile devices. In this way, we continue to grow a vibrant following of Jersey Shore vacationers and homeowners. That's our story, and we invite you to become part of it.