Sheila Hauser, Marketing Director for Collins Vacation Rentals, Inc. answers three big questions about legislation, competition and technology in the vacation rental industry.
1. What are some of the biggest legislative issues that vacation rental managers should be monitoring right now?
Hauser: Technology has grown tremendously in recent years, and this has had an effect on our industry as well. As more short-term rental options have become available, different cities have proposed various legislation in an attempt to regulate vacation industries, and these can affect both newcomers and established businesses. These proposals vary from state to state, so even though it's a country-wide trend, it's very important for people in our industry to keep an eye on local laws and proposals that might affect our business and staying active in organizations such as VRMA.
2. In what ways can professionals in this space best position themselves against new competition coming into the space?
Hauser: Vacation rental management companies can best position themselves against the new competition coming into this space by staying on top of the latest mobile trends in the industry. By delivering consistent, positive experiences for their guests, providing excellent customer service and positioning themselves as the local experts on their destination, companies can truly distinguish themselves. Having a strong new home acquisitions strategy and marketing plan in place in order to grow their inventory has a huge effect on a company's ability to increase booking and revenue generation. Staying on top of the latest trends with marketing and technology and having your staff trained in these areas. And always, be sure your guests have an exceptional experience with their vacation property and your company so they will return year after year.
3. What is the most valuable role that technology can play in this space going forward?
Hauser: As technology consistently changes on a daily basis in this market, vacation rental managers need to stay active and involved with their local, state, and national organizations such as FVRMA and VRMA to keep up with the latest advancements in the technology field. There are many important advances, from smart homes, to the latest management software, to advanced data management systems, and being knowledgeable and educated in the future technology trends will keep your company in the forefront of your competitors in guest data, bookings, and new home acquisitions. Technology is always changing, but companies can distinguish themselves as leaders in their market by staying in touch with the latest technology advancements in our industry.