Written by Elitza Batchiyska
The battle for short-term rental freedoms has been a long and hard one, with Airbnb at the forefront oftentimes emitting an impression to the world that does not apply to all short-term rental vacation companies. What many lawmakers and locals often forget, however, is that short-term rentals do not always fall under the Airbnb format. In fact, if you ask most small-scale vacation rental business owners, they will tell you that Airbnb does not operate within their code of ethics.
In a recent letter written by Senators Brian Schatz, Dianne Feinstein, and Elizabeth Warren to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the three senators request further investigation into short-term vacation rentals. However, their stance poorly reflects the specifics of the vacation rental industry. In a recent press release from the Vacation Rental Mangers Association (VRMA), it states, “The letter…incorrectly casts all short-term rental operators in a negative light and does not in any way acknowledge the value that professionally managed short-term rentals bring to the economies in the home states of each senator.”
The key word in VRMA’s statement is “professionally managed”. VRMA’s network consists of professionally-managed short term rental companies like Nomadness Rentals, who operate legally, ethically, and on the small scale. Companies like Nomadness Rentals take care of both online booking and management – combining the work of online travel agencies (OTAs) and property management companies (PMCs). This new format of short-term rental operation is called an HBMC (hybrid booking and management company), and proves the most effective for homeowners and renters alike. Unlike Airbnb, these HBMCs are managed by a company that is staffed with knowledgeable and credible representatives and offers its own online booking database, ensuring ultimate account security for its homeowners.
Meanwhile, Airbnb is not professionally managed, as it relies on user-generated content. Any homeowner can list a home, or even just a room, on the website with no promise of accountability, legality, or reliability. When renters book with Airbnb, they never truly know what they’re getting themselves into. On the other hand, companies like Nomadness Rentals provide 24-hour nonstop services 365 days of the year. HBMCs take care of maintenance, repairs, marketing, and booking for their homeowners all while providing renowned customer service.
Nomadness Rentals and similar reliable rental companies stand beside VRMA and encourage their guests to see that these companies are not interchangeable with Airbnb and typically increase tourism to towns and cities by providing entire homes, various lodging options, and abiding by all town/city ordinances. Airbnb, however, has had some dodgy attempts at bypassing town ordinances, such as their recent request in Mammoth Lakes to be waived for local taxes, inspections, and audits. Short-term rental companies like Nomadness Rentals do not work against local governments and lodging partners like Airbnb does, but rather in cooperation with them as a way to maximize the vacation experience.