Responsible Hosting Practices for Your Vacation Rental Success with Rent Responsibly

podcast_David-Krauss

By The Hospitable Team

Responsible hosting. What does it entail, and how can it go beyond improving the general image of the vacation rental industry into paving the way for your business’ success? We’ve got the answers. 

David Krauss, the Co-Founder and CEO of Rent Responsibly, a community-building and educational platform for vacation rental hosts, brings his wealth of knowledge to the Hospitable Hosts podcast and shines the light on this vital aspect of short-term rentals. Our chat covers a wide array of topics, from implementing best practices for guest, neighbor, and community well-being to navigating the complex landscape of local regulations.

Hit play on the latest Hospitable Hosts podcast to dive into responsible hosting and discover how it can help your business thrive!

Do you prefer to read the highlights? We’ve got a summary of the key takeaways below.

What Influences the Public Perception of Vacation Rentals?

David begins with quite a declaration: “Being a short-term rental host… is a noble and an awesome thing, contributing to every community.” He challenges the narrative that has often cast vacation rentals in a negative light.

The common concerns among communities with short-term rentals are, in fact, not so hard to manage, as the top three nuisance issues are NTPs — noise, trash, and parking. “As long as you’re managing noise issues, educating your guests about parking and trash, and keeping an eye on your property… It’s not complex and even a little bit intuitive,” David comments. 

Beyond managing nuisances, David emphasizes the importance of building positive relationships with neighbors and the community.

Safety Sells… or Why You Better Be a Good Neighbor

“I think safety is the new professional photo. Everybody has professional photos now. What can you do to stand out? Lean into safety!” underlines David. He further explains that effective communication lies at the heart of this approach. This encompasses everything from the initial listing, which should transparently convey the property’s safety features and house rules, to ongoing communication throughout the guest’s stay.

David additionally emphasizes the importance of involving safety experts and making guests and neighbors aware of the steps taken to protect them. Highlighting safety measures with inspections or certifications, like those offered by Breezeway, can set your property apart. 

David recommends “putting yourself in the guests’ shoes” — take a close look at your rentals and identify potential hazards, from trip risks to the accessibility of fire extinguishers.

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Engaging with Local Regulations Through Host Alliances

For hosts facing the looming presence of regulatory challenges, the first step is to connect with or establish a local alliance. Rent Responsibly provides a directory of local alliances that can be an excellent starting point for hosts seeking to join forces with like-minded individuals, or as David points out: “That’s your vanguard. That’s the first thing to do. And without that, you’re always going to be behind the eight ball if and when things do come up.”

A common misconception among hosts is the perceived need for formal training to engage in advocacy or regulatory discussions. David dispels this notion, “We do not need training to get involved with a regulatory discussion in your local jurisdiction. Why? Because we are already experts in hosting. We’re already experts in our own life, in our own story, and in our economic impact.”

Whether through formal meetings or casual conversations, making your voice heard can demystify short-term rentals and highlight their contributions to the local economy and housing market. “If you’re not involved yet, get involved now,” encourages David. 

“If you haven’t listened to the full episode, listen now,” encourages our podcast team 😉

Your Voice Matters Where You Live

The journey to transforming the public image of vacation rentals is multifaceted, requiring a collective effort from hosts, industry advocates, and even guests, as studies conducted by the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) show. But David is hopeful that every host can lead by example in their areas: 

Your voice matters where you live, just as my voice matters where I live. As a local person, you have an opportunity to tell your story. And your story matters!”

Tune in to the full episode of the Hospitable Hosts podcast to explore how responsible hosting, community engagement, and thoughtful guest selection can collectively overturn negative narratives and pave the way for a more positive and prosperous industry.

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