VRMA's Member Spotlight series recognizes active members in the VRMA community. This week, read a Q&A with Anna Lewis, head of growth at Gulf Coast Beachfronts. Lewis shares why she joined VRMA, how VRMA’s benefits and opportunities have impacted her career, advice she would give to others in the industry and more.
Why did you join VRMA?
Our company joined VRMA last year to learn from other property managers, network with trusted suppliers in the industry and add value to other property managers in whatever way we can. We decided about two years ago that we wanted our company to achieve substantial growth, so we started re-evaluating some of our processes and practices. We realized that maybe the way we had been doing things for the last several years wasn't the most efficient.
When we started doing research, VRMA articles came up left and right, and we learned so much valuable information from them! Once we did our due diligence, we realized VRMA would fill a gap in our company, and that gap was continued education and development. Since joining last year, our company has experienced tremendous growth and we are now running more efficiently than ever!! We are so grateful for our friends at VRMA!
What is your favorite VRMA member benefit?
My personal favorite benefit is the access to an incredible network of vacation rental professionals. I now have friends all over that I bounce ideas off of, learn from and even just have Zoom happy hours with. The networking aspect of VRMA is fantastic!
How has VRMA impacted your career?
Since I work for a fairly small company (we only have two full-time employees, including myself), it is easy for me to lose sight of what's important and the value that I do add to the company. VRMA has reaffirmed my purpose in this company and this industry, and it has given me many resources to learn from as a professional to increase my productivity and impact on my company. VRMA has helped develop my own professional career tremendously in the past year, I can't wait to see how it impacts my career over 10 years!
"VRMA has reaffirmed my purpose in this company and this industry, and it has given me many resources to learn from as a professional to increase my productivity and impact on my company."
Would you recommend VRMA to others? If so, why?
Absolutely!! With VRMA, you have hundreds of colleagues that go through the same struggles and successes you do. Our industry is incredibly unique, and if you're anything like me, you've found yourself struggling to explain some [aspects of] work to friends in different industries.
For example, my friends didn't realize that as a property manager, I have two different target markets for my business to run properly — owners and guests. Both are equally important to the success of our businesses! But when you go to a VRMA conference, you'll find your conversations are effortless because everyone there knows what it's like to deal with an ornery owner or a ridiculously complicated guest! Yes, all of our businesses have unique selling points and we are all in a different niche for the most part, but the basics of our businesses are the same. You will learn so much from other members and you will be affirmed in your frustrations and successes more than you ever have been!
What advice do you/would you give to people new to the vacation rental industry?
Stay true to what has made you successful this far, whether that's in this industry or in another. If you are super personable and spend ample time taking clients to dinner or drinks, keep doing that. Don't get so caught up that you lose sight of what unique qualities brought you here. This is applicable to any business, but I would say it is vital in the vacation rental industry.
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