Vacation rental owners and managers, frustrated with changes
in the vacation rental market raise their voices through relaunch of AVROA
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Association of Vacation Rental Operators and Affiliates (AVROA) today announced its reorganization as a 501c(6) not-for-profit corporation in order to better voice growing concerns vacation rental owners and managers have about the direction of the market. The association will also focus on taking advantage of the opportunities that will emerge as owners and managers coordinate and work together as well as provide education, advocacy and other services to the vacation rental market.
“Vacation rental owners and managers need a voice that uniquely represents our interests,”AVROA Chairman April Salter said. “The board of directors was formed in the fall of last year and has been working to develop organizational infrastructure and member benefits, and now we’re ready to get moving. We know owners and managers want education, advocacy and a way to
network with each other and we’re working to provide that and a lot more.” AVROA has negotiated significant member discounts for regional listing sites, industry conferences
such as the Vacation Rental Success Summit in San Antonio this May, and is negotiating for insurance and other discounts. In addition, monthly webinars for owners and managers are already
on the schedule.
The vacation rental market has faced a series of disruptions – from the change of online travel agencies’ (OTA’s) fee structure and limits on guest-owner communication to positive changes like new technologies and listing sites that have the potential to put more control in the owners’ hands.
But more disruption is likely – cities and state legislatures have begun to force regulation onto the industry with mixed results. AVROA will be a voice of reason and will provide tools to help local owners and managers organize to advocate for the interests of owners and guests.
Vice-Chairman Rod Fitts, who founded the original AVROA as a for-profit entity, said the timing and the energy around the new association will ensure AVROA is successful.
“Previously, AVROA was known primarily as a listing site and we had a lot of member churn,” Fitts said. “ We are excited about now being able to offer a whole host of programs and benefits that will meet the needs of vacation rental owners and managers. My phone has been ringing off the hook in the past few months with owners and managers who want to organize and from goods and service providers interested in reaching the vacation rental market.”
Past AVROA members who wish to continue to list their vacation rental site have been migrated to a new platform and the new association is developing a directory of independent listing sites that meet two key criteria: they permit unfettered communication between guests and owners and they have either no service fees or transparent fees.
Recently, AVROA participated with other vacation industry partners to push the #BookDirect campaign which resulted in a reach of 8 million people – with no budget but lots of energy from the VR owner/manager community.
“That effort was the proof point we needed to demonstrate that VR owners and managers can unite to produce real results,” said Heather Bayer, the chair of the AVROA Education Committee. “There is a need for an organization to speak out in the media, on-line, and to the large corporations – to bring the owner and manager perspective to the table. Big firms have changed the industry and AVROA can help small businesses compete.” Vacation rental owners and managers are encouraged to join AVROA by going to the website avroa.org and becoming a Founder’s Circle member ($500 per year for 3 years) or a regular member ($169 per year). Once they join, they will be able to secure major discounts to some of the leading industry conferences, discounts from listing sites, and other member benefits.
History: AVROA was originally founded as the “American Vacation Rental Owners Association” in 2011 by Rod Fitts, a vacation rental owner with properties in Alabama, to create a community for vacation rental owners to communicate. After receiving a number of membership requests from owners and managers outside the United States, AVROA changed its name to the Association of Vacation Rental Operators & Affiliates becoming a global organization dedicated to supporting not only vacation rental owners but managers as well. In the fall of 2017, it was decided that AVROA’s best path forward was to reconstitute as a non-profit. AVROA’s board of directors and committees were created and a transition plan to reach non-profit status in 2018 was set in motion. AVROA will provide vacation rental owners and managers community, advocacy, education and most importantly a voice on matters affecting the vacation rental industry. For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected].