Today, property managers and vacation rental pros have more and more opportunities to learn the secrets of the trade.
Universities around the world may not offer Vacation Rental Management degrees just yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t receive professional education.
There are plenty of online short-term rental courses and certification programmes available, whether it comes to building a profitable business, mastering revenue management or becoming a vacation rental marketing expert.
To help you find the right course for you, we’ve put together a list of 10 companies that provide vacation rental education.
Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list. Lots of consultants, bloggers and podcasters also provide valuable learning resources that may not come in a course format. If you’d like to learn more, check out:
And now, let’s get into our list of the top 10 short-term rental training courses!
Vacation Rental University or VRU is an online academy that educates and supports the VR community.
They provide you with “proven systems, tools, templates, and industry expertise to launch and build a very profitable vacation rental business.”
The VRU platform has over 340 video lessons – 8 of which can be accessed for free to give you a taste of the content. If you’re hungry for knowledge, you can subscribe to a variety of plans that include video lessons, business growth tools, weekly industry updates, pdf downloads and more.
Furthermore, VRU offers a Certification course for realtors that will “teach you all you need to know about the vacation rental industry, attract more investor clients, close more sales and even manage the properties if you choose.”
Vacation Rental Secrets (VRS) is a leading educational resource for property managers who want to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and strategies that work.
Founded by Antonio Bortolotti, VRS provides online training sessions, one-on-one consulting and website design, and is also the organiser of the Vacation Rental World Summit.
VRS’s popular online course called Fully Booked Formula teaches how to increase your conversions rate and boost your revenue. There’s a 30-day free trial so you can start with Module 1 – How to turn up to 100% lookers into bookers – for free.
The Vacation Rental Management Course by the California Association of Realtors is a treasure trove of knowledge for both beginner and experienced vacation rental property managers.
It covers all the foundations of managing short-term rentals, from legal issues and contracts to management concepts and strategies. You’ll learn about identifying opportunities in the market, designing effective marketing strategies and setting up efficient procedures and processes.
The course is also full of resources, advice and tips and tricks that property managers can implement instantly. As a result, any real estate professional working with vacation rental properties will benefit from taking this short-term rental course.
Alterschool is transforming hospitality education in Spanish by adapting it to the digital world.
It’s a never-seen-before resource for property managers who want to gain the practical skills needed to run an exceptional property management business.
Alterschool works with the world’s most prominent vacation rental companies (Booking, Airbnb, Vrbo, Airdna, Expedia, Hostmaker, Vacasa, Fevitur, etc) who share everything you need to know in order to become a high-growth company in this sector.
Alterschool’s trainees include companies like Transparent, Destinia, Weguest and Alterhome, among others, helping them to become real stars without compromising their time or money.
The online classes are 15 minutes per day and the course costs less than €600. Before signing up, you can watch some free video lessons about a topic of your choice, from revenue management to vacation rental growth.
STR Legends is a community and mentorship programme exclusively for scaling short-term rental operators with at least 30 units.
It’s run by co-founders Eric Moeller and Jasper Ribbers, who’s also the founder of Get Paid for Your Pad where he helps beginner hosts start an Airbnb business.
Members of STR Legends have access to monthly mastermind meetings, weekly breakout sessions and a curated community of 7-figure business owners.
The aim is to share knowledge and help members scale their companies, solve specific business problems, improve their teams, build relationships within the industry and more.
STR Legends members have achieved results like doubling their inventory and starting new businesses together.
This prestigious organisation has developed a training programme called the VRMA Certificate Program. It’s a comprehensive online certification course for vacation rental managers who want to expand their industry knowledge, improve their skills, further their careers and gain a competitive edge for their businesses.
Vacation rental managers who obtain the certificate can use it to demonstrate their excellence to both guests and property owners.
VRMA also offers a Company Accreditation Program that serves to differentiate vacation rental companies that meet the industry’s standards of excellence.
The course is titled Become an Expert in Revenue Management with Transparent. It teaches property managers how to maximise the revenue from their inventory. It includes contributions by large industry players like Booking.com and the STAA.
The online course consists of videos, written content, interactive quizzes and provides a personalised certificate upon completion. Topics discussed include getting started with revenue management, driving occupancy and rate optimisation.
VR Mastered is a bootcamp-style in-person training programme for property owners and managers.
The sessions focus on social media but also cover other topics such as email marketing, websites, SEO, copywriting, photography and video, hospitality and more.
Founded by Tyann Marcink and Alanna Schroeder, VR Mastered gathers the experience of industry experts to help you navigate the competitive world of vacation rentals.
Previous editions have taken place in Mexico and Nashville, Tennessee. The 2021 edition is yet to be announced.
Related: Vacation Rental Copywriting Guide
Cleaning Certification is a training and certification programme created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Property managers who complete it are rewarded with a unique badge to show guests that their cleaners are trained in cleaning guidelines approved by the WHO, CDC and OSHA.
The process is easy: each of your cleaners take a short, 30-40 minute online course on COVID-19 cleaning best practices. You then get sent a unique badge with an ID that you can display on your website and OTAs.
The curriculum includes advanced cleaning techniques as well as products and tools to use.
Related: New OTA Cleaning Protocols Revealed
Julie Davies developed the STR Certification course in response to repeated requests from public officials and property managers for an educational resource that teaches the best practices of the short-term rental industry.
This short-term rental course has been put through strict academic reviews by community colleges and universities. As a result, it’s not just a webinar: it’s a college-level course, complete with an acclaimed textbook. It can be taken as a 2-day live course or a 2-week self-study online course.
Property managers who complete the course are awarded an STR Certification Seal to show that they are accredited professionals familiar with industry best practices.
You can find dates for the online enrolment and the live courses on the STR Certification website.
VRMB (which stands for Vacation Rental Marketing Blog) is a worldwide community of vacation rental professionals founded by Matt Landau.
Its goal is to “teach vacation rental owners and property managers thoughtful techniques to build profitable local brands that retain guests, homeowners, and employees over time.”
They do this in several different ways, including a free newsletter and a paid membership programme.
A large part of the information is available free of charge, including a list of tried-and-tested marketing concepts and a library of videos and podcasts. You can dig even deeper by becoming a VRMB community member and taking part in private forum discussions.
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