Ward, Hayden

Vacation Rental Summer School: Expand Your Knowledge

Summer School for Vacation Rentals

Summer is in full swing, making it the perfect time to take advantage of the extra hours of daylight. Consider “enrolling” in short-term rental summer school and learning all you can to increase bookings, marketing your vacation rental, and managing your business in the most efficient way. While the travel and hospitality worlds are beginning to make their COVID-19 return, now is a great time to dive a little deeper into the short-term rental industry to help your business come back successfully. 

To help navigate which online courses, websites, and podcasts are most beneficial to your business’ particular needs, we compiled a list of 12 resources you can explore to expand your knowledge. It’s never a bad idea to sharpen your skills and perfect your expertise. Vacation rental summer school is now in session!

1. VRMA Certification and Accreditation

Property managers looking to increase their industry knowledge, sharpen their management skills, and gain 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 successfully complete the five online module program in its entirety and achieve a passing score on the subsequent assessment.

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

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

The recently introduced VRMA Accredited Professional Property Management Company (APPMC) program compliments 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 as follows:

  • Section 1: Accounting and Finance Management
  • Section 2: Legal Compliance
  • Section 3: Housekeeping and Maintenance
  • Section 4: Human Resource and Personnel Management
  • Section 5: General Operations and Administration
  • Section 6: Guest Relations
  • Section 7: Owner Services
  • Section 8: Marketing

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

2. VRM Intel

Founded and ran 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.


Looking to expand your marketing knowledge? A free resource for vacation rental owners is VRMB (Vacation Rental Marketing Blog). According to their website, they have helped more than 1000 short-term property owners build sustainable businesses. Their goal is to help close the learning gap between those with successful vacation rental properties and those just starting out with their first property. VRMB offers everything from case studies to learning exercises and video. If you are wanting to be a star student, then you might consider subscribing to the Inner Circle run by Matt Landau, the founder of VRMB. 


Short Term Rental University (STRU) was founded by Richard Fertig, a real estate phenomenon that has produced more than $500k a year to finance his retirement by using Airbnb and VRBO. You can watch STRU videos on YouTube, listen to their podcast, or read their insightful articles on their blog. Richard’s expertise in buying, renovating, selling, and renting properties is extremely helpful and useful no matter if you are new to the short-term rental world or not. There is also a Facebook page that you can join and get real life advice and interaction with other owners.

5. The VRU

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 are looking 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, closing more sales, and how to become a property manager. 

6. Padlifter

Not sure where to begin or what topic interests you the most? Padlifter has everything to answer any question that you may have. With their main goal being to simplify your life, they have sifted through the Internet for the best practices and resources to help your vacation rental business. According to Padlifter, their curated list of resources, “Helps you simplify your life, enhance your guests’ experience, and make you more money with your short-term or vacation rental.” Any question you may have about your business is most likely covered on Padlifter.

7. The Airbnb Course

The Airbnb Course was created by Nathan Rice after experiencing two major life setbacks and finding hope within the vacation rental world. His free 3-part video course is packed full of real life experience and useful guidance to help achieve your short-term rental property’s business goals. As a bonus feature, he offers 1-1 coaching which provides more insight on how to set pricing and the ins and outs on using software to help automate your listings. This is a step-by-step system for new and existing vacation rental hosts. 

8.  Fully Booked Course

Heidi Miget, a marketing strategist for vacation rental property owners, designed a quality education program that includes videos with real listing examples on Airbnb and HomeAway. Her 5 step modules cover information such as evaluating your market to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to photos, descriptions, and hosting styles. Heidi Miget’s goal is to teach you the steps for successfully setting up a profitable vacation rental listing. This paid course offers you lifetime access and 13 total downloads to help implement her teaching strategies. The extra credit bonus upon completion of the modules is that she will review one of your listings and provide feedback. The Barely Booked to Fully Booked Course is perfect for those who are new to the vacation rental industry. It covers the top mistakes owners make, how to create a strong framework, and where to focus most of your efforts in order to get noticed. 

10. Vacation Rental Success

Considered one of the top 7 best vacation rental podcasts in the industry, Heather Bayer’s Vacation Rental Success never fails to deliver informative content. She is the author of Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit, the CEO of a cottage rental agency, a blogger, and podcaster. As the owner of six vacation rental properties and the manager of over 220 rentals, she shares her views and business advice on short-term rentals along with interviews from industry experts. This podcast is bursting full of useful tricks that can be put into action right away. 

Podcasts are free and can be listened to anywhere. Many podcast listeners turn on programs while working. It is a convenient way to learn and complete small tasks at the same time. A pro tip to help you navigate through the podcast’s episodes is to read the descriptions of each one and download those that interest you most. 

11. The Hosting Journey

The Hosting Journey podcast by Evelyn Badia, is an informative guide for Airbnb hosts to help maximize their home sharing profits, according to her website. As an Airbnb Superhost, Evelyn Badia shares a wealth of knowledge from her 10 years as a proprietor of vacation rentals. She discusses topics such as dealing with difficult guests to Airbnb updates, and even general hosting recommendations like “which WiFi door lock is right for me.” 

Her website includes courses and products such as templates for creating a house manual. Evelyn’s goal is to help create ease in owning a short-term rental property. As a bonus, she answers questions you may have on her Facebook page, The Hosting Journey. Discover a wealth of resources on her podcast, website, and Facebook page. 

12. Hosting Your Home

If you are looking for a podcast from experienced and knowledgeable vacation rental owners, Debi and Rob Hertert may provide exactly the content you need. The dynamic duo own four vacation rentals and share stories along with advice on listing your properties for business. While many of the tales are Portland and Oregon based, owners from all over the nation can relate to the ins and outs of managing their short-term rentals.

For some extra credit, join their Facebook page, Hosting Your Home, with worldwide membership. It is a perfect way to network and receive guidance on obstacles you may have encountered. 

Put Your Knowledge to the Test

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.