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    Navigating Uncertainty With Excitement

    It seems like only yesterday that I attended my first VRMA conference, where I got to see what this association was all about. That year, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans with devastating consequences. The Annual Conference, which was slated to be held there, was moved to Atlanta. At the time, I had just entered the vacation rental industry through a chance encounter with an industry icon, Stewart Couch from Hatteras Realty. When I started working for Stewart, I was fresh out of graduate school where I had just finished up my MBA. Needless to say, vacation rental management was not on my radar for potential career paths, and it humbled me pretty quick!

    Fast forward almost 13 years later, and I now find myself the owner of my own vacation rental management company and stepping into some big shoes as 2018’s VRMA President. Following some of my mentors and people who I have looked up to since day one, is a huge honor for me. This industry, and more importantly the people in it that I have met along the way, have been extremely good to me. My top priority is to try to return the favor by leading our association and continuing the progress we have made over the past few years.

    As my term official gets underway, I would be remiss if I did not address the large amount of change and uncertainly that has recently filtered into the professional vacation rental management industry as of late. Change is always hard. On one hand, change can lead to opportunities for new ways to reinvent yourselves and your companies. And on the other, change can lead to major shifts in the industry landscape that forces us to adapt or look for alternative operational paths. We are experiencing both of these types of change at the present moment, and in my opinion, it reinforces the need for an association of like-minded colleagues like VRMA even more so today.

    Moving into 2018, our goals at VRMA are to continue to be the go-to source for industry education and advocacy. These initiatives are as important as they have ever been. Our number one priority is to keep our members ahead of the competitive curve within the professional vacation rental industry. One of the best ways to do this is by utilizing the year-round content and educational opportunities available produced by the VRMA, as well as our ever-growing National Conference.

    Again, I’m incredibly excited to continue to work with our dedicated board members, volunteers, and Mike Copps and the VRMA staff to push VRMA forward. We truly have some outstanding, selfless people working behind the scenes on behalf of us all. And as a reminder, the best way to address change is to get involved. I hope to see everyone soon!

    Mike Harrington
    Topsail Realty Vacations

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