Short-term rental ‘avengers’ seek fair regulation with new playbook

US: Twenty short-term rental advocacy figureheads have teamed up to create a video playbook of actionable initiatives that aims to unite the industry in prompting local governments to enforce more consistent and fair regulations affecting short-term rentals.

The participants in the Vacation Rental Advocate’s Playbook include figureheads that are regarded as “the nation’s most effective destination leaders, the most progressive academics, thought-leaders and service providers that empower them”. While there is no single owner of the playbook, the group informally refers to itself as the “avengers”.

Each industry figurehead explains an initiative that they have executed to protect the livelihood of the short-term rental industry in an easy-access video library, which is divided into five main advocacy themes: Legislation, Money, Stakeholders, Data and PR.

Speaking exclusively to ShortTermRentalz, Matt Landau, who initially created the project, said that “advocacy efforts are fragmented and best practices are rarely shared across borders, making information transfer a major Achilles heel for the future of the industry”, hence the creation of the video playbook.

Landau said: “Regulation is the short-term rental industry’s greatest threat: unfair or inconsistent regulation puts every independent vacation rental business at risk. Even hosts attempting to contribute honestly and professionally are currently being be affected and the livelihood of the movement is in danger.

“This harsh reality was the impetus for a private meeting late last year of twenty short-term rental advocates — from academics to destination leaders to the service providers that empower them — with the goal of creating a playbook of their collective wisdom for the broader short-term rental community to mobilise and effectuate change,” he added.
Nashville Area STR Association president Megan McCrea said: “While it can’t stop legislative changes from happening, the playbook will help short-term rental owners, managers and advocacy groups be better equipped in advocating for themselves when threats arise.”
AirDNA founder Scott Shatford said: “Short-term rental operators have been losing key local battles against the hotel industry for too long. AirDNA wanted to contribute to creating the first grassroots playbook in order to motivate vacation rental operators to get involved, accelerate their success, and swing the pendulum back in the favour of legalised private accommodations.”
NetChoice president Steve DelBianco said: “If homeowners want to host paying guests, they need to understand concerns raised by neighbours and local government officials, and be ready to respond with real data and smart policy solutions. That’s why this playbook is an indispensable resource.” CCO Cliff Johnson said: “Having a consistent approach with vacation rental regulations has long been a challenge as each community has unique qualities. The playbook will save cities time and money and prevent headaches from poorly constructed laws that are hard to enforce and scare away the good, rule abiding businesses in the vacation rental community.”
Great Ocean Condos and Homes owner Jennifer Frankenstein-Harris said: “Bringing together these voices of vacation rental advocacy in our industry was important. It was a day of focused and passionate collaboration that produced a plan to bring together and move forward the short-term rental community.”
Rent Responsibly founder David Krauss said: “Historically, advocating for short-term rentals has been an uphill battle with each local group fighting their local fight, often without much success. This playbook serves as a line in the sand signifying that we are pooling our lessons learned and uniting our voices.
“As a community of short-term rental stakeholders, we have decided to no longer let our fate be decided for us. The time to unify our efforts and our message is now.
“This playbook is the embodiment of that change and we hope it is shared widely,” he added.
VRMA government relations director Greg Holcomb said: “The advocacy playbook features some of the vacation rental industry’s most prominent individuals. Having their advice on fighting cumbersome regulation, creating good rules and being a voice for the industry, in an advocacy playbook will be a benefit for anyone who short-term rents.
“VRMA looks forward to adding the pieces of the playbook to our existing advocacy resources to help the industry push for fair and reasonable regulation,” he added.
For more information, visit the Vacation Rental Advocacy website here.