Rent Responsibly and College of Charleston launch rental survey

US: Short-term rental advocacy organisation Rent Responsibly and the College of Charleston have teamed up to launch the State of the STR Community Survey, the second phase of a first-of-its-kind nationwide study exploring the perspectives of short-term and vacation rental operators and local government staff on municipal management and regulation of short-term rentals.

Short-term rental [STR] owners and managers in the USA are invited to participate in the anonymous survey. Upon completion of the survey, respondents can opt to enter a cash prize of $500 to the winner plus $500 to a local sustainability cause of his or her choice. 

The survey will quantify the economic and employment impacts that short-term rentals have on their communities, distill the challenges of navigating local regulations, and uncover solutions for how our industry can work more collaboratively and effectively with local governments.

Rent Responsibly co-founder and CEO, David Krauss, said: “The desire to improve systems and solve challenges is in the DNA of the short-term rental community. I’m excited we have launched this survey because with this research, we’ll better understand the challenges and the opportunities that exist between short-term rentals and our communities.”

The survey is the second of two phases. In the first, researchers conducted in-depth interviews and panel discussions with municipal staff from varied markets across the US to uncover their perspectives, needs and challenges. 

Insights from these discussions and the survey results will be published in the upcoming 2022 State of the STR Community Report in mid-December.

In addition to the report, Rent Responsibly will use the findings to produce educational initiatives and build tools to improve the ecosystem for all, Krauss said.

Rent Responsibly is partnered with the Riley Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston on this research. 

Dr. Brumby McLeod, Riley Center Research Fellow, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management in the School of Business at the College of Charleston, said: “This study is really at the forefront of answering the question that more and more communities have, which is ‘How do we effectively manage short-term rentals to increase livability for all residents?’  

“Cities and towns have to come to their own answers in an engaged conversation between municipal staff, short-term rental operators and community members, and this research will help inform and shape that conversation,” added McLeod.

The State of the STR Community research is being conducted with the financial support of online travel agency Expedia Group, operations platform Futurestay, and other partners.

Philip Minardi, director of public affairs at Expedia Group, said: “The vacation rental industry is at a critical inflection point. With category awareness and demand at an all-time high, and as communities work to restart their local economies, we have an opportunity to find consensus on common sense policy solutions.

“This research will give us new insights to find that common ground and drive our industry forward,” he added.

Philip Kennard, co-founder and CEO of Futurestay, said: “The short-term rental industry creates more new entrepreneurs per day than any other vertical. To truly democratise access, our industry must include all stakeholders across the community spectrum.

“Finding better ways to work together with our local governments to create sustainable growth is key not just for these thousands of new entrepreneurs but also for our broader communities, and that’s why Futurestay is proud and excited to support this critical research,” he added.

Respondents can take the survey here between 8-12 November 2021.

Support for the State of the STR Community research has also been provided by: OwnerRez, Autohost, Ascent Payment Solutions, HostGPO, C2G Advisors, Evolve and Breezeway.

Founded in 2019, Rent Responsibly is a community building and education platform for local short-term rental alliances. Its tools and alliance management services are designed to equip local leaders to build successful, self-sustaining organisations of short-term rental hosts, managers and all other stakeholders in their communities.