Of the 20+ VRMA events we’ve sponsored since 2017, this year’s international show was the best one yet. It's never been a more exciting time for short-term rentals…and it showed at VRMA. The energy throughout every educational session, after-party, and exhibitor break was palpable.
A record 2,500+ operators came from around the world to attend the four-day event – from hosts managing just one rental home, to multinational brands with thousands of properties across several markets. Their goal was irrespective of size and location, though, which was to connect and learn from one-another on how best to meet guest demands for vacation rentals and provide more unique and memorable experiences.
Here are our top 3 takeaways from VRMA’s 2022 International Conference:
1) Advocacy for Quality & Safety Remains Center Stage
As the industry sees higher expectations from guests, owners, and regulators, VRMA remains dedicated to quality and safety.
In addition to several educational sessions (including Justin Ford’s ‘Vacation Rental Safety Inspections 101’), and the advocacy fund golf tournament and reception, VRMA announced the roll-out of several key initiatives and partnerships during its opening session. These programs included (1) a toolkit to help hosts and managers advocate for vacation rentals in their market, (2) an updated VRMA policy guide to help craft fair and balanced regulation, (3) a ‘Right to Rent’ fund to protect the rights of property owners and managers, and (4) a partnership with Breezeway to launch an exclusive property safety and quality training course.
“Promoting the quality and safety of our product – the beautiful homes in your inventory – is critical in maintaining the overwhelmingly positive consumer sentiment in our industry,” said Kimberly Miles, Executive Director of VRMA. “The more we do to ensure quality standards, the more we enable our members to confidently promote their business locally and ensure fair regulations.”
We’re incredibly excited about this partnership and the opportunity to work with VRMA to help its membership demonstrate their commitment and support for local advocacy efforts and a professional approach to property safety.
2) Hosts and Managers Are Leaning into Technology Partnerships
More than ever, managers are leaning into their technology partnerships to better run their business. Managers should “view themselves as hosts, and not technology companies,” said Jonah Bamberger, CEO of Viagem. “We rely on tech companies because they can build better tools. We’re constantly growing and changing, so we lean on different solutions that align with what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Managers are changing their perspective on how they view their return on investment from the tools they use. It’s no longer a direct cause-effect relationship, where the benefit must be dollars added to the bottom line. Instead, it’s about how you can shift the work done across your team, and the various efficiencies that stem from that.
If you’re a small operator, automating more work could allow you to hold off hiring another employee (a big benefit given today’s staff shortages). And if you’re medium-sized, technology can remove tedious, rudimentary work (like manually scheduling tasks and communicating with staff about issues and property readiness), carving more time for strategic initiatives. For enterprise managers, leveraging technology yields efficiency and scale, enabling operators to grow their portfolio without completely overhauling their processes.
3) We’re Proud of The Industry’s Dedication to Operational Excellence
When we first started beating the drum about property operations in 2017, we often got a sideways look. Sure, housekeeping and maintenance were part of the job, but many managers didn’t yet see the downstream (and upstream) impact of focusing on property care.
From attending many of the VRMA sessions, it’s clear this is no longer the case. It was rewarding to hear so many insights, comments, and best practices around how managers are leveraging air-tight operational workflows to influence most aspects of their business (e.g. business strategy, guest relations, owner relations, etc.).
In fact, we were humbled to have been recognized as part of this trend by receiving VRMA's Excellence Award for ‘Supplier Company of the Year’ (for exemplary customer service, innovation, and dedication to the vacation rental industry). We’ve grown alongside many of the industry’s leading managers since we started Breezeway six years ago, and are proud of our work in supporting operators in showcasing professionalism, driving quality, and delivering client service.
It was an exciting show for the industry, and for Breezeway, and we hope to see you at future events!