US: ShortTermRentalz speaks to NoiseAware director of business development, Michael Goldin, about the company’s recent integration with Guesty and the importance of self-regulation in the industry.
- At a time when we are seeing more regulations and restrictions being placed on vacation rentals worldwide, how is NoiseAware trying to promote responsible renting?
Regulations and restrictions are being passed and revoked, reinstated and then edited. It’s become the wild west to be honest. When someone who has worked long and hard to make their dream of owning a second / vacation home come true, only to find out their local government bans the activity a few months later, it’s devastating. NoiseAware was created to provide a cost-effective way for responsible hosts and managers to verify guest compliance with house / community rules around parties and noise, which ultimately addresses the number one concern of neighbours and communities.
We went one step further when our co-founder, David Krauss, helped build a campaign called “Rent Responsibly” that has partnered with hundreds of property managers and local advocacy groups across the US. The Rent Responsibly mission is to promote, protect, and celebrate the positive impacts of the short-term vacation rental industry. The campaign will praise the benefits short-term vacation rentals have on local communities, local economies, and travel experiences. The aim is to provide all the right resources to the stakeholders involved.
- In the past few months, you have launched your noise monitoring service with BeHome247, Guesty and your outdoor-enabled Gen 3 Model – how will these agreements help you with your goal to reduce excessive noise at rentals?
These integrations and product development are a result of the market telling us what it wants. We began the Gen 3 development after so many of our customers were insistent on us creating a solution to outdoor noise, along with what we were already able to help with, the indoor noise. Integrations with providers like BeHome247 and Guesty result from allowing further levels of ease for property managers who utilise both technologies.
I truly believe that NoiseAware should be in every short-term rental property out there. Our platform was built for individual owners with one property all the way to massive enterprise organisations with thousands of properties under management. When noise is solved, neighbour complaints decrease, insurance rates lower because parties that could cause tens of thousands of dollars can be proactively stopped, and homeowners feel more comfortable about renting out their properties resulting in management companies adding more units to their portfolio. It all plays in together and the ecosystem continues to grow stronger.
- How significant is your integration with Guesty’s marketplace? What will this mean as a result to the short-term rental industry?
Guesty’s growth trajectory, target markets and technology all align perfectly with NoiseAware’s current and future plans, which is why we chose to partner with Guesty first. The integration empowers Guesty customers to more easily onboard into NoiseAware and synchronise their data and alerts between the two platforms. Both companies want responsible managers to know exactly when, where, and who is creating noise issues in order to reach out to the guests immediately to remedy the situation. We have a number of additional strategic PMS integrations in the pipeline as well.
- To what degree do renters need to be self-regulating the industry themselves in ways that most regulatory bodies do not know how to?
Self-regulation is so important for our industry to thrive. I’ve sat in city hall meetings where the elected officials admitted to not ever having used Airbnb, Booking.com or HomeAway. It’s much more practical for the experts, those of us who live and breathe short-term rentals, to self-regulate and bring solutions that work to city hall instead of expecting elected officials, who only know the negative press our industry has garnered, come up with onerous regulation. If your city has a local advocacy group, join it. If not, create it. It is the single fastest way for acceptable regulations be agreed upon at the city and state levels.
- Sustainable tourism has become something of a buzzword in travel: what do you understand by this and how can the vacation rental industry lead efforts to maintain this?
Sustainable tourism is a major issue in many parts of the world and encompasses so many aspects from promoting eco-friendly practices, to being socially and economically responsible, and so much more. A key aspect of sustainable tourism is keeping the fabric of unique neighbourhoods from all over the world, unique. Travellers want the experiences of living like the locals do. A necessary way to make that happen and not be overly disturbing to the fabric of the community is with NoiseAware. Ensuring locals and travellers alike aren’t disturbed by bachelor(ette) parties, university students having one too many, or simply travellers choosing to ignore the rules and policies set out by the rental agency is vital to creating sustainability amongst the most cherished and unique areas of the world.
- How do you see the regulatory environment in the rental sector developing over the next year or so?
I’ve seen the regulatory environment see-saw endlessly over the past few years. It’s a complicated issue for each community. On one end, you have homeowners who have the right to use their property as an investment. On the other hand, you have ‘nimbys’ (not in my backyard) who argue against welcoming tourists into their community. The vast majority of complaints by these nimbys, in the US at least, boil down to trash, parking, and noise. Well, now with NoiseAware, noise is a solved problem. When you solve noise, often over-crowding on parking is solved and less trash is created. It’s key for all of us in the industry to focus on solving the issues that we can solve and then working with local governments to craft legislation that can allow short-term rentals to coexist in all communities. You won’t find many people in short-term rentals that are against regulation all together, but as Matt Curtis says time and time again, “onerous regulations drive black market activities”. Did you know that the automobile was banned from many urban locations when it was first developed? There weren’t systems like roads, traffic lights, and traffic laws to follow for a responsible driving experience. I expect that regulations will continue to see-saw over the next five to ten years, when each city will determine what’s best for its constituents AND property owners, much like they did with the automobile more than a hundred years ago.
For more information, visit the NoiseAware website here.