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    Balancing Innovation with Humanity

    If you are reading this message at the 2023 VRMA International Conference in Orlando — welcome!

    As we continue to navigate through the ever-evolving landscape of the short-term vacation rental industry, I want to touch on an exciting and transformative aspect of our future — the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). Our cover story for this issue is focused on this topic, and it’s one that will continue to be discussed for some time.

    I’ve already heard stories of the strides AI has made in changing the way we operate in our industry. From dynamic pricing algorithms that optimize rental rates to smart chatbots that streamline guest communication, AI has been able to enhance efficiency and convenience in vacation rental management for both property managers and suppliers.

    The technology has proven to be a powerful tool in providing better customer experiences, streamlining operations, and optimizing revenue generation. However, amid this era of rapid technological advancement, let us never forget one of the core foundations that has shaped our industry — the power of human connection.

    While AI can handle certain tasks with remarkable precision and speed, it will be hard to fully replace the authenticity that comes from genuine human interactions. Our guests cherish the memories they create during their stay, and it is the personal touch, the empathy, and the care we extend to them that leave a lasting impression.

    As an association, we pride ourselves on fostering a community that celebrates the value of human connections. Our in-person events have always demonstrated this principle. Whether it’s the annual VRMA International Conference, regional VRMA Connect events, or other networking gatherings, these occasions offer unique opportunities to forge meaningful relationships, share insights, and collaborate on shaping the future of our industry.

    As we move forward into the AI era, let us keep our commitment to balancing technology’s potential with the warmth of human hospitality. We can leverage AI to enhance our efficiency while preserving the essence of what makes the vacation rental experience so special.

    VRMA stands as a testament to the strength of our human connections, and together, we will embrace the possibilities that AI brings while cherishing the timeless value of personal engagement.

    As my term as VRMA chair comes to a close, I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for being part of this dynamic and thriving community. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of attending many regional and national VRMA conferences, meeting leaders and members who are collaborating and sharing their ideas and successes. Each time, I brought energy and ideas to the meetings and, each time, I found they returned energy and ideas to me. Our goal is to reflect on our industry, keeping what is working best while being visionary and proactive for the future.

    I especially want to thank the VRMA Board of Directors, VRMA’s President and CEO Kimberly Miles, the VRMA staff team, and the committee members whom I’ve spent meaningful time with during my term. VRMA has been like a second family to me during the past six years of my tenure on the board. The vacation rental industry is one that I am immensely passionate about and have the utmost respect and admiration for. I have the highest regard for this industry and the community we’ve built within it. I am tremendously proud of how far we have come as an organization, and I’m excited to see the new heights we will reach in the future.

    We’ve accomplished a lot together over the past year, and I’m glad to still be involved as your immediate past chair over the next year. I look forward to seeing you and catching up at our upcoming in-person events, if not right here in Orlando.

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