Vacation rental forums are a great place to get insights into the structure, operations, and management of a short-term rental business. Forums are also an excellent way for new hosts or managers to learn from more experienced peers. But as we’ll see below, vacation rental owner forums are an old thing. Nowadays, it’s all about Facebook and Linkedin.
What is a vacation rental forum?
Forums are a way to grow your network and communicate with others about a like-minded subject. In this case, it would be vacation rentals. You can connect with other property owners and share information, exchange messages, and the like. If you have a burning question about vacation rentals, ask it on the forum. You’re bound to get a response. If you just had the renter you only hear about in horror stories, share it. You’re likely to get a lot of advice from the forum community as many of them may have experienced the same as you. Got a negative review? The collective community will help you compose your reply. Whether you’re looking to achieve more direct bookings or reduce the carbon footprint of your home, it’s worth tapping into the knowledge of people who have already done it. Basically, people in the vacation rental forums can prove to be of value for various reasons. They also keep you connected and it also helps to build your social network.
Old-fashioned Airbnb host forums are fading away
While online forums were once excellent mediums for sharing information and receiving support, that’s no longer the case. Compared to the alternatives (Facebook and Linkedin groups), many of them are outdated and clunky. Plus, forums operate as standalone sites. So you’ll have to register and keep track of log-in and passwords for what will feel like 1000s of sites. On the other hand, with Facebook and Linkedin, you get a huge amount of curated content delivered straight to your feed. No logins, and you can keep track of the discussions on mobile too.
Still, this one forum is worth looking into
If you want to join a traditional forum, then look into Matt Landau’s VRMB. The forum members are some of the industry’s top-performing vacation rental managers. It’s a close-knit community of professionals that are incredibly upbeat and positive. The forum members openly discuss challenges, successes, emerging trends, and creative ways to grow in competitive markets.
If you’re hesitant to join a forum, then at least check Matt’s midweek motivation thread. Once a week, Matt posts one idea to challenge the status quo and make you think about innovation, growth, or profitability in your vacation rental business. It’s worth bookmarking that page and checking in regularly.
The alternative to Airbnb host forums
We already hinted at it twice: Facebook and Linkedin. For Facebook, we recommend joining the list of groups listed below. And for Linkedin, there are a few key industry figures that everyone should follow. But before you dive into the list, first check if your property management platform has a user group. It’s a great place to see how others are using the software. Plus, you might learn about features you had overlooked but which can save you tons of time.
The best vacation rental Facebook groups
Whether you’re looking for a community to act as a soundboard to your rental woes or you’re a beginner wanting to learn insider tips and tricks, there’s a group for you. Each of these vacation rental forums will have different niches of interest.
Focusing on learning
The Hosts of Airbnb Automated
Hosts of Airbnb Automated is about much more than automation. Here you’ll also learn how to increase the number of bookings, manage low seasons, and scale your marketing. Sean Rakidzich and the Million Dollar Renter Team moderate this vacation rental manager Facebook group. The content is always engaging, so don’t miss out.
Short-Term Rental University
This group has a high number of members, so it’s very active. STRU was created as an environment where you can ask and answer questions, receive support, and learn from others with varying perspectives and opinions. We like seeing the outpouring of help when a group member asks for feedback on a listing. It’s a crowd-sourced masterclass in vacation rental marketing!
Rental Scale-Up Community
If you want something on the smaller side, this group has fewer members. But don’t be fooled by the size. Some of the discussions will make you think twice about how you structure and manage your vacation rental operations. Thibault Masson, the founder of Rental Scale-Up, is also a hugely knowledgeable figure in the short-term rental industry. So you’ll always get informative content.
The Business of Short-Term Rental & Property Management
This vacation rental forum is for people interested in growing a property management business. The discussions focus primarily on multi-unit management rather than single-property hosting. Mike Bayer, the group administrator, does a great job keeping the conversations on-topic and engaging.
Airbnb Whole Home Hosts
As the name suggests, it’s a vacation rental forum for hosts marketing an entire home. The administrators created this group because managing a house, villa, or cottage is fundamentally different from a condo unit in a highrise. The community here is excellent and very active. If you need advice, you’ll get tons of support here.
The Host Nation
If you’re a new host, this group is a great place to help you get started. You’ll find it all: from how to manage linens to setting up your business for peak automation and scalability. Julian Sage, the founder of this group, is a true short-term entrepreneur himself. And that means the advice you get here isn’t theoretical.
Short-Term Rental Mastery
Founded by J. Massey (a successful short-term rental operator that practices what he preaches), Short-Term Rental Mastery is a great place to learn essential skills in the trade. J. Massey also offers a free course every newcomer to the industry should check out. In general, this vacation rental forum will teach you structured guidance for growth.
The Business of Short-Term Rental & Property Management
This is another fantastic vacation rental operations group if you’re starting in the property management business, with members offering helpful tips for managers and would-be managers to grow professionally. Although the focus is on property management, you’ll still find great conversation threads on universal topics that affect every vacation rental operation like marketing, pricing, turnover and cleaning, etc.
Vacation rental Distribution & Marketing
This is a small group compared to the others, but that doesn’t stop it from being a helpful resource when it comes to finding out as much as you can about vacation rentals and how to market them.
Vacation Rental News & Information
This group helps property managers and owners stay up to speed with what’s going on in the world of vacation rentals, and has nearly 3,000 members.
Focus on finance & investing
Airbnb / HomeAway / Vacation Rental Mastermind Group
If finances are your focus, this is the group for you. Join in a broader discussion about finances in an Airbnb forum available to you with many members.
Vacation Rental & Airbnb Investors
Airbnb Empire Start-Up Community
This vacation rental group could have fallen under any of the 3 categories we have provided here: you can receive valuable advice if you are interested in setting up and growing your Airbnb business. The focus shifts towards the financial aspect in this Airbnb forum, explaining how you can increase your passive income and gain financial independence through Airbnb in the future.
Linkedin accounts to follow
Linkedin is another great source of information. Here, it’s more a question of following industry influencers that drop valuable information in their posts. Here are a few accounts we follow:
- Simon Lehman – AJL Atelier – Simon has great insights into revenue vs. profitability and how management companies should optimize their processes for long-term growth.
- Thibault Masson – Rental Scale-Up – The content Thibault pushes is always actionable and applicable for companies of all sizes. A great personality to follow to stay ahead of industry news.
- Matt Landau – VRMB – Matt runs his own vacation rental management forum on VRMB, but that doesn’t stop him from commenting on important industry trends.
- Wil Slickers – Slick Talk Podcast – A newcomer in the vacation rental industry influencer world. Wil always finds great topics to discuss and hosts conversations with experts of the industry.
- Mark Simpson – Boostly – If you want to learn all there is about marketing tactics for your direct booking site, follow Mark.
- Terry White – vacationrentalsoftwareguy.com – Terry spends hours reviewing software and watching demos so you don’t have to.
- Doug Kennedy – Kennedy Training Network – Doug is an expert in guest services and the guest experience. He brings hotel tactics to the vacation rental industry.
- Danny Rusteen – OptimizeMyBnB – Danny helps hosts and managers optimize their business to generate more income. Highly actionable information that’ll supercharge your operations.
- Jasper Ribbers and Eric Moeller – Overnight Success – Two huge personalities in our industry. They teach managers how to scale their operations for long-term growth and are the men behind the Airbnb Profit Club Facebook group.
- Heather Bayer – Vacation Rental Formula – Heather is an important voice in our industry because she’s also still involved in vacation rental operations.
Depending on your area of interest, you can also look at the software companies that address the process you’re interested in. So for example, if you want to stay ahead of trends in pricing and revenue, start following companies like DPGO, PriceLabs, Wheelhouse, Beyond, etc.
Bonus: Join ASTRHO’s network
Many in the industry have heard of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA). But the VRMA is primarily for property managers. The counterpart to VRMA is the Association for Short-Term Rental Homeowners (ASTRHO). It’s free to join, and you don’t need an extensive portfolio to join (as little as one property).
The community is highly active and supportive. The founders, Heather Richer and Heidie Henriksen, post news articles and content that is truly helpful for hosts and managers. ASTRHO is hosted on a platform that’s intuitive to use. If you want, you can get updates sent to your email account.
Grow and succeed with a community
With a host of Facebook groups, Linkedin personalities, and the ASTRHO, there’s no shortage of vacation rental forums to be a part of. You’ll have all of your bases covered and enjoy continued success through your vacation rental property.