On May 14, 2021, the VRMA community was finally able to gather, in person, and again experience something long dormant and desperately missed within the vacation rental industry. As I stood on the stage at VRMA’s Connect – Florida event at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach—in front of 200 of my colleagues, welcoming them to the first in person event for our vacation rental community in over a year—I was overcome with emotion and filled with hope for our future.
The rounds were filled with the smiling faces of professional vacation rental property managers from around the country, all eager to hug, share, listen, and learn from each other after such a long hiatus. The energy and excitement of those in the room was a validation of our decision to move forward with an event as we exit a pandemic, and built confidence that as we progress through 2021 and into 2022, we can and will return to normal.
As part of our continued push towards establishing enhanced engagement opportunities, VRMA is bringing forward several events in the second half of 2021. These events will consist of different formats and educational opportunities, in various areas across the nation, and will each bring additional opportunities for our members to gather and engage as a community.
We were in Breckenridge Colorado for our second VRMA Connect in June, continuing the theme of bringing a more localized approach to education and engagement. We will be bringing back the VRMA International event this year as well, coming to you in San Antonio on October 3 to 6. At VRMA International, I will be passing the gavel to our President Elect Miller Hawkins, and also turning 46 years old—so I hope to celebrate both milestones with all of you.
Finally, we will be returning to the sunny SoCal November 17 to 19, bringing an executive level track of education to an oceanfront location (the Terreana Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California). The VRMA Executive Summit brings executive level leaders (exclusively owners and chief executives) who are focused on business strategy, organizational excellence, sustained growth, and charting a vision for their company’s future— engaging content and intimate networking in a beautiful, relaxed setting.
Despite the progress we made in 2021 as we began to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, the year still started with a great deal of uncertainty. But based on what I witnessed in Sandestin and what the VRMA is offering moving forward, 2021 is going to be a very fulfilling and exciting year for our VRMA community.
Focusing forward is the mantra we should each carry with us as we continue to heal, grow, and find success within our businesses and ourselves. As we focus on the future, let’s remember what we learned collectively and individually as we struggled, and use the lessons learned to achieve a better tomorrow for ourselves and our community.