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    The Untold Stories of Vacation Rental Management

    This summer, I had the pleasure of staying at a vacation rental managed by a VRMA member. My family vacations in Bethany Beach, Delware, every year. It’s a nice 3.5-hour drive from Washington, D.C., which is manageable with young kids — this was especially important this summer, as we have a new family member, Owen, who was just seven weeks old on our trip. You can see a picture of my family about to go for a walk on the beach; my wife Katie and sons Colin, six; Charlie, four; and Owen. 

    What you can’t tell from the picture is the many stories behind it; the scrape on Colin’s nose from a misguided attempt at riding a wave that did not end well — and even more importantly, Colin getting right up and continuing to ride waves the rest of the week. Charlie’s kite — the Millennium Falcon, of course — ready to take off on its inaugural voyage. Owen’s first long walk in the baby Bjorn, which he fortunately adapted to very well. Katie and I looking relatively rested after getting some actual sleep the previous night, with apparent optimism that we would possibly get more that night. The fact that Katie and I used to come to this same beach when we were kids with our own families and how special it is to continue that tradition. It’s the things you can’t see that really tie everything together. 

    The same was true of our rental property. 

    The property we stayed at was managed by Wilgus Associates, VRMA member (and Eastern Regional attendee). This year’s stay took on a new level of attention to detail for me; during previous vacations, I was not serving in this role. Now, I’m looking at all the ways our members exemplify their professionalism. The customer service has always been excellent with Wilgus, which is why we keep coming back. 

    I could see the management company’s work everywhere. I realized everything that went into getting the house cleaned and turned around and ready for our arrival; the effort required to get someone out to fix a broken lock on a door or replace an empty propane tank; the clean linens waiting for us upon arrival; the sheer number of calls and requests coming in from all of the properties they manage in Bethany Beach. So much going on behind the scenes, while my family gets to eat a nice meal and go for a walk on the beach without having to worry about any of those things.

    This is the level of care and professionalism I have seen and heard about regarding our members. This is why VRMA is so focused on advocating for this industry, for the value it brings to renters and owners. This is the backbone of our government relations efforts, as well as our enhanced education and forthcoming certificate program (more about those items in this issue and at our upcoming events). Your professionalism. Everything you do, for the individual consumer as well as for the larger community and economy. There is so much industry history, data, and knowledge to share; many great stories to tell. We will continue to work toward delivering that message every day to ensure that these untold stories are shared.

    Thanks for everything you do, and thanks to Wilgus for all of the amazing memories.

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