Ward, Hayden

Going Back to School with Your Vacation Rental Business

blue book with glasses on top

The end of summer is approaching, and school is back in session. Consider “enrolling” in short-term rental school to learn all you can to increase bookings, market your vacation rental and manage your business most efficiently. Now is a great time to dive a little deeper into the vacation rental industry to help your business thrive. 

To help navigate which online courses, books, podcasts and YouTube channels will be most beneficial to expand your knowledge tailored to your business’ particular needs, we compiled a list of resources to explore. It’s never a bad idea to sharpen your skills and perfect your expertise. Vacation rental school is back in session; don’t be late for your first class!

Courses to Enroll in

Vacation Rental Management Association Certification and Accreditation

If you want to increase your industry knowledge, sharpen your management skills and gain a competitive edge need not look any further than the new Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) Certificate program. According to the VRMA, “This accessible, convenient, comprehensive, certificate program is a mark of distinction that serves to differentiate vacation rental managers who have acquired the requisite knowledge to professionally operate and manage vacation rental properties.”

To earn the certificate, vacation rental managers must complete the five-module online program in its entirety and achieve a passing score on the subsequent assessment. The modules are:

  • Business Operations
  • Business Planning & Organizational Management
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Guest Relations
  • Owner Relations

Through completing the certification, VRMA believes it will enhance your business’ reputation, growth and strengthen meeting guests' needs. 

VRMA Accredited Professional Property Management Company (APPMC) Program

This program complements the Vacation Rental Management Certificate program by defining industry metrics and best practices to operate a successful company. Developed by an experienced group of vacation rental professionals with vast experience in operating successful VRM companies, the standards address eight areas of the short-term rental business:

  • Accounting & Finance Management
  • Legal Compliance
  • Housekeeping & Maintenance
  • Human Resource & Personnel Management
  • Section 5: General Operations & Administration
  • Guest Relations
  • Owner Services
  • Marketing

Companies achieving accreditation are provided an accreditation toolkit with information on how to utilize and market their achievement to owners and guests in a meaningful way, including how to showcase their accredited status in their online listing. 

Vacation Rental Secrets: Fully Booked Formula 

From responding to difficult reviews to designing your website, Fully Booked Formula contains all the secrets to the tourism and hospitality industries. The founder, Antonio Bortolotti, has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and loads of tips to help grow your business. There are three different modules offered, each offered separately, meaning if there’s one you’re more interested in than the others, you don’t have to take all three. Each module is highly interactive and contains videos, tutorials and cheat sheets.  

Google Digital Marketing Courses

Marketing your vacation rental is a major factor that will play into your success. What better tool to turn to for marketing than Google itself? While these free courses aren’t specifically tailored to vacation rental owners, they can help you improve your digital marketing skills and scale your online presence.

The Vacation Rental University

New to the short-term rental industry or need to train your staff? The Vacation Rental University (VRU) offers over 340 free videos for those who want to expand their vacation rental knowledge. Their ultimate goal for students is to learn how to run a profitable vacation rental business. The VRU also has a certification program that will “allow you to be the leading expert in your market and help you close more deals.” Their program covers everything from attracting more clients and closing more sales to how to become a property manager. 

Listen & Learn

Thanks for Visiting

Want to stand out from the crowd? You won’t miss a single detail after listening to hosts Annette Grant and Sarah Karakaian. These Superhosts, tackle every subject you could think of when it comes to short-term rental ownership. From deciding between a sleeper sofa to laundry best practices, this podcast covers all ground! Thanks for Visiting also offers a free workshop on its website that teaches owners how to have their cake and eat it too.

AirBnB Automated

If you’re a visual and auditory learner, “AirBnB Automated” by Sean Rakidzich is your answer. He shares his hosting expertise on YouTube. Within his playlist of videos, you can expect to cover topics such as pricing strategies, pitching to landlords and how to design a home with the intention of guests.

Vacation Rental Reading List

Vacation Rental Success

Looking to add to your reading list? “Vacation Rental Success” by Joel Rasmussen is a great start. Joel is the president of one of North America’s biggest VR owner associations, and he’s seen it all. Expect to learn game-changing tips and advice from him and other well-known industry figures. This is the first book in the Vacation Rental Success series, highlighting everything you need to know to go from start to profit.

The Vacation Rental Goldmine: How to Maximize Your Rental Income with Great Guest Experiences

If you’re in the beginning stages of your vacation rental journey or if you need a refresher, this book is the perfect addition to your reading list. The author, Chris Debusk, breaks down different strategies for creating the ultimate guest experiences to help maximize your profitability. With detailed instructions, this book will guide you through creating your own vacation rental plan, building guest experiences, tracking with data and pricing your rental.

Extra Rental Resources

VRM Intel

Founded and run by Amy Hinote, a leading expert in property management, VRM Intel has a ton of articles and the latest info on vacation rentals. They also have a large library of educational resources and archived webinars. VRM Intel’s mission is “To provide relevant industry-specific news, information, and resources to help professionals build their businesses, to address the challenges and opportunities facing the industry, and to positively contribute to the vacation rental ecosystem.” Not to mention, they also have a magazine, live shows and dashboards for a benchmark reporting tool.

Sharpen Your Knowledge with CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance

Learning from industry experts will improve and enhance your vacation rental property business. As additional homework, check your short-term property insurance to ensure your policy marks off all the boxes and covers you from A-Z. Request a free quote today!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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About Us

CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.