You may have heard that this past April, in a unanimous vote of the members of Vacation Rental Managers of Washington, the decision was made to officially change our name to the Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals (NWVRP). To some, that might not seem like all that big of a deal. But to our members, the name change represents a renewed sense of strength and unity. Allow me to take a moment to tell you a bit more about why that is true—and how this change ultimately came about.
Our organization was founded in 2010 by five VR property managers who saw that potential regulations were on the horizon and sought to organize and educate to help offset the threat of regulations. Something unique about our organization is our cooperation and willingness to share. We've coined the term “Co-Opetition”. In our conferences and networking you will see competitors sharing freely amongst each other, under the idea that a rising tide raises all ships, and the belief that for the health and growth of our industry it is vital that we increase education and professionalism.
We started out as a Washington State member organization only, but have always allowed VRMs from other states to attend our conferences. We were getting positive feedback from conference attendees from Oregon and British Columbia who were coming back year after year, who asked us about the possibility of expanding to allow them to become members. We saw the opportunity to add resources to a strictly volunteer-run organization with an additional base of smart and well respected VRMs who had the potential to add a lot of value to our organization.
We've been working to create that expansion the last two years and were pleased that our members supported that with a unanimous vote to add Oregon, British Columbia, and Idaho as full members of the organization and with that a name change to the Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals.
So, you may ask, why an organization strictly for the Northwest? You see, in this region, the vacation rental industry hasn't been around as long as other areas of the country. And typically our businesses are much smaller than others across the nation—for example, a business managing more than 100 units would be considered large here. This all creates a rather unique set of needs and concerns for our members.
Because of these factors we feel like we still have a lot to learn about the vacation rental business. While we are often early adopters to the current technology available, we don't have the breadth and depth of experience as those PMs in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country. Therefore, it is the mission of our organization to "empower and inspire our members so that they can provide world class vacation experiences!"
As an organization we are doing this through education, networking opportunities, and support in fighting regulations. We believe that together we are stronger—and now with the inclusion of the entire region, that sense of being together is even stronger.