vacation rental conference

Keep your vacation rental knowledge fresh

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There is no doubt that the key to vacation rental mastery is knowledge.

When we started Sea Zen and attained 90% occupancy within 3 months in the hard winter season, the key was the knowledge we had accumulated over 12 year from various sources.

When a VR guru was asked what he would do differently if starting again, he wisely said get more knowledge by going to some conferences and networking with experts – and spend more time on the important things.   How do you know what the important things are?  Knowledge!

Newsletters like this are one source of knowledge, and I hope it is valuable for you. I also post most newsletter topics on my blog.  www.holidayrentalmastery.com

2022 vacation rental conference

Other sources of knowledge include: thought leaders, conferences, newsletters, eBooks, forums, podcasts, training courses.

Masterminds covered in a previous newsletter are another knowledge source.

Thought leaders – people to learn from

MATT LANDAU, based in Panama is outstanding.  He has a closed forum called the Inner Circle, a community of VR innovators, with courses, pdfs, ebooks.  He also has a newsletter/ blog, a podcast series and a video series.  www.vrmb.com

I met Matt in Panama in 2013 and stayed at his VR. He took us on a tour of his social program that finds work for local street gang members.   We talked about the future of the industry and it was clear then he had a strong vision for the future.  He was nurturing his online community which has grown since to be a leading incubator of VR innovation.

He continues to break new ground with concepts such as Limited Edition – original innovations by VR owners to provide unique experiences for their guests that can’t be replicated by the big OTAs.  His Sense of Place video series showcases VR innovators all around the world.

HEATHER BAYER, based in Ontario Canada is another outstanding industry thought leader.  She has a superb podcast called Vacation Rental Success with 250 episodes.

I was a guest in a few early episodes and in recent episodes she talks with a wide range of industry leaders and innovators.  Everything from remote sensing gadgets to AVROA, the Association of Vacation Rental Operators an Affiliates where she is heads up the learning arm.

Her podcast keeps a good balance between high level strategy and down to earth guest experiences that she tussles with as owner of an Ontario VR management company running over 200 widely dispersed properties.

She also runs the outstanding Vacation Rental Success Summit (VRSS), an annual conference for VR independent operators.  She also has books, courses and a newsletter. www.cottageblogger.com  www.vacationrentalformula.com


There are many other thought leaders like Alan Egan, David Angotti, Steve Milo, Tyan Marcink, Jasper Ribbers, Antonio Bortolotti and more, but Matt and Heather stand out.

Conferences for VR operators

Vacation Rental Success Summit organised by Heather Bayer and Mike Bayer, usually in North America. www.vacationrentalsuccesssummit.com

Vacation Rental World Summit organised by Antonio Bortolotti, excellent topics, usually held in Europe. https://www.vacationrentalworldsummit.com/

Vacation Rental Managers Association.  For VR managers, but small VR operators can sometimes attend.  Huge conferences at various venues and times during the year. www.vrma.org

Your local tourism organisation may have useful conferences, and although not fine-tuned to VR operators, will be a networking opportunity.


Vacation Rental Success podcast, by Heather Bayer.  www.cottageblogger.com

Get Paid for your pad podcast, by  Jasper Ribbers.  Airbnb theme.  www.getpaidforyourpad.com

Holiday Lets  Success Podcast, by Elaine Watts.  UK based.  hlspodcast.com



Almost all of the folks mentioned above have newsletters.

Smarthosts curate a weekly digest of interesting VR articles.  UK based.  www.smarthosts.org

Skift is an outstanding daily newsletter with international news on a broad range of travel topics from flights to accommodation. www.skift.com

You should be guarded in viewing newsletters from OTAs and vendors.  They are pushing a viewpoint.

What is right for you?

In the rapidly changing world of vacation rentals, you may want to get several sources of information.  Try several newsletters and a podcast, and prune back to a few that work for you.

Now that you are reading the Holiday Rental Mastery newsletter, let me know if there are any topics you would like covered.

Not yet signed up to the HRM newsletter?  Sign up here


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My name is Rex Brown. I live in Australia, on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. I run two of my holiday rentals here on the coast, and another in inner Melbourne . They are all quite different, but they all run at high occupancy. They are the sandpit that I play in, running constant experiments about what works and what doesn’t.

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Table of Contents

Dear Short-Term Rental Industry Member, Join Our Scalers Network

Our Mission

We bring together short-term rental industry members to create valuable business and personal relationships. With the support of vetted peers, you can deliver on your next individual project goals faster, work in private groups to share doubts and successes, and become a new voice that shapes the conversation about our industry.

Whether you are a property manager, an owner, an industry vendor, a listing site operator, an investor, or a consultant, you can become a member of our Rental Scale-Up family.  As property managers and industry vendors may not have the same needs, some of our activities work by affinity groups. For instance, we have one version of the mastermind group sessions reserved for property managers and owners, and another one for vendors and listing sites. This way, you get feedback from peers who understand your pains and can get you faster to getting results.

1. Action, Transformation & Results

  • Mastermind Group for Property Managers & Owners: A mastermind group is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. Facilitated by Rental Scale-Up. One session every 2 weeks with your group for a least 3 months.
  • Ask a Property Manager: Hosts, owners and property managers benefit from the experience of a successful property manager. (1 per month)
  • Groupwork: Report of the month co-creationA group of Scalers volunteer to write a report on the topic of the month. The result is published on RentalScaleUp.com, with full credits to each participants. (1 per month)
  • Mastermind Group for Industry Vendors & Listing Site Operators: A mastermind group is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. Facilitated by Rental Scale-Up. One session every 2 weeks with your group for a least 3 months.
  • Ask an Expert Anything (for vendors and listing sites): An outside expert (e.g. a copywriter) shares their experience on a topic in an Ask Me Anything (1 per month)

2. News & Live Discussions

  • Investment & Deals  Discussion: Thibault and an M&A specialist/VC go over recent deals, M&A, investment rounds. Live, monthly.
  • Curated news: Save time. We read the news for you, curate the articles, and add our exclusive comments (weekly, in the Network Newsletter)
  • US Trends & Data Discussion: We analyze AirDNA’s latest report on US trends and zoom in on key markets (e.g. urban vs vacation rental markets).  Network members share what they see in the markets. Live, monthly.
  • Monthly Live online conference: Every month, our Network deep dives into a topic that is crucial to the short-term rental industry. 3 experts share their insights, best practices and answer your questions live.
  • European Trends & Data Discussion: We analyze AirDNA’s latest report on European trends and zoom in on key markets (e.g. UK, France, Italy, Spain).  Network members share what they see in the markets. Live, monthly.
  • Weekly Teardown with Thibault: Rental Scale-Up founder tears down one business news, every week, live.  Networker members share their views. No filter.

3. Facilitated Networking

  • Networking Booster: Meet new business partners and improve your networking game at an online event. Our team facilitates the event to make it easy for you to connect with your peers. (monthly)
  • Business Profile: Each new Scaler gets their profile featured in a dedicated article on RentalScaleUp.com. Get more visibility and authority.
  • In-Person Meetups: We meet in real life, either during a large vacation rental conference or in a city of our choice (quarterly)
  • Job Offers: Network members can not only see job offers but also post theirs. If desired, job offers can be extended to all Rental Scale-Up readers (free and paid).

4. Deals on industry software and products

  • Get Discounts: Enjoy exclusive deals brought to you by fellow Network members. Only in our Deals section. Monthly.
  • Offer Deals and Discounts: Network members may offer exclusive deals to fellow members, from discounts on stays at their properties to lifetime deals on vacation rental software. Only in our Deals section. Monthly.

Ready to join right now?

Scalers comes in 3 levels:

  • Scalers Insights, the limited, content-only version of the network. Great those who just want to get the insights but have less time for business transformation.
  • Scalers Network: Transform your business and get results. Get more things done. You get support, accountability, networking, training, and investment opportunities
  • Scalers Network+ : Avoid the hassle of quarterly payments and pick an annual membership. Qualify for bonuses good for your business (e.g. lead generation)

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