While you don’t need to complete any formal education before you list your first property, there are a number of short-term rental courses available online that will help you to avoid costly mistakes.
These courses will improve your industry expertise and scale your vacation rental business much faster.
Not only are many available free of charge, but they also offer a unique opportunity to discover what other industry experts are doing.
After all, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, right? So, why not learn from their success and take your own short-term rentals to the next level.
Vacation rental industry courses aren’t mandatory for the success of your business, but they can provide a number of benefits in the long term. Even if you boast industry knowledge about long-term rentals or real estate investing, it can be a good idea to complete a course dedicated to short-term rentals specifically as there are a few key differences.
Here are some of the main advantages offered by vacation rental business courses:
After completing one of these courses, you will have more expertise and knowledge that you can use to your advantage. Not only will many of these courses teach you valuable marketing strategies, but some of the courses also offer short-term rental certification that will help you to differentiate yourself and your listings from competitors.
Whether you focus on marketing or short-term rental management, all these vacation rental business courses can help you to plan for the long-term growth of your business. They can help all hosts and property managers to reach their goals much faster.
By completing a course, services that you might be paying others to do, like bookkeeping or marketing, you will learn to do yourself. Not only is it good for personal growth, but it can also help to save costs.
There is a long list of courses for vacation rental professionals available online. Though, how do you identify the best ones? As it’s your time and money at stake, you’ll want to do some research before you hit that sign-up button.
Firstly, identify your own learning style, how much time you have available, and what you want to learn. At the end of the day, even a great short-term rental course won’t be as effective if it doesn’t meet your own unique needs and goals.
Secondly, just like guests read reviews so too should hosts. As mentioned, vacation rental courses aren’t mandatory. This means that not all courses offer accreditation or certification. To ensure that you’re signing up for a course that will offer you value, you can refer to the reviews written by previous students. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect.
To get started, here are our top recommendations:
If you’re searching for free resources, be sure to check out Vacation Rental University. There are more than 340 video lessons that will keep you up to speed with industry trends and introduce you to tools you need to scale.
The president of Vacation Rental University, Michael Friedman, boasts more than 30 years of experience in various industries and roles including franchising, real estate, and vacation rental marketing.
The Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) offers great opportunities for networking and professional development in the vacation rentals space.
You can, for example, check out their VRMA Vacation Rental Management Certificate Program that’s aimed at vacation rental managers who want to learn more about the industry and improve their skills.
What’s more, it will show to property owners and guests that you possess a standard of excellence that will boost the reputation of your business.
WealthFit is an online learning company that’s run by Tim Rosenthal, the founder of New Light Real Estate and an Airbnb host with multiple successful properties. It offers hundreds of classes that entrepreneurs can check out about investing and personal finance.
For more information about the short-term rental industry specifically, there’s the Short-term Rental Investing course. This course will teach you how to make the most of vacation rental platforms, like Vrbo and Airbnb, without owning any property.
The STR Certification course was designed by Julie Davies after public officials in Las Vegas realized that there were no good courses that covered the best practices of the short-term rental industry.
After completing this certification course, hosts will learn the best practices to be code-compliant and neighborhood-friendly. All in all, it’s one of the top courses for anyone who owns, manages, or sells short-term rentals. The STR certification seal of approval is well recognized in the market.
The Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (VRMB) was founded by Matt Landau, an experienced host and one of the leading voices in the industry. It aims to teach property managers and vacation rental owners techniques to help them create local brands.
Most of the content (which includes text, video, and audio) focuses on tech and the guest experience. It also doesn’t focus a lot on vacation rental platforms, like Airbnb, but instead aims to teach sustainable marketing strategies.
One of the benefits of The Short Term Shop’s free online courses is that it’s also available to the general public. Though, if you’re one of their clients, you can also sign up for their Management Monday class.
Topics that will be covered in their courses include booking platforms, cleaning and maintenance crews, reviews, guest communication, automation, and permits.
STR Profit Academy is the brainchild of Eric D. Moeller and Jasper Ribbers and was created for any host, big or small, who wants to start a vacation rental business from scratch or learn how to grow their existing business.
Their academy will help hosts to lay the correct foundation that includes securing properties, implementing systems and technology, and acquiring the right mindset.
BNB Mastery Program was founded by James Svetec, the co-author of Airbnb for Dummies and one of the leading Airbnb experts in the world. To date, the program has helped more than 700 students to generate a full-time income via Airbnb arbitrage.
When you sign up for this six-week online training program, you’ll also get access to custom templates and tools that will help you to run your listing more smoothly.
The Short Term Rental Lab is taught by Alisha Arnold, a short-term rental owner of multiple properties and former creative director.
By the end of the course, you’ll know how to set up your rental, create a listing, and hire the right team members. It also includes bonus material on hiring a property manager and implementing a pricing strategy.
One of the major appeals of this course is that the content is very interactive and each module contains videos, cheat sheets, tutorials, lessons, and loads more. Plus, you also don’t have to complete all three modules. Each module is offered separately.
Founded by Antonio Bortolotti who has more than 20 years’ experience in tourism, you’re bound to learn many secrets of the tourism trade.
If you like STR Profit Academy, be sure to check out STR Legends too. This is another project of the legendary Eric D. Moeller and Jasper Ribbers, but this time they’re joined by other industry legends like Julie George, author of Million Dollar Host.
In short, STR Legends is a community for operators with at least 30 units who generate more than $1 million in annual revenue. Membership includes monthly intensives, weekly breakout sessions, and a private Slack group.
The four-hour Vacation Rental Management course that’s offered by the California Association of Realtors aims to share key information about legal issues, marketing strategies, and procedures and processes like property management setup. By completing this course, you’ll get access to resources that even experienced vacation rental managers will find helpful.
Heidi Miget, a vacation rental digital marketing strategist, uses her Fully Booked Course to teach new homeowners how to find their perfect guests and succeed on vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. All in all, it’s a great course if you want to hone your marketing skills.
In the step-by-step Airbnb Secrets Course, Dany Papineau shares the secret strategies that have helped him to make more than $500,000 via Airbnb and generate hundreds of positive guest reviews. From listing your place and taking photos, to claiming from Airbnb, his course offers loads of practical advice that you can start implementing from day one.
Udemy needs no real introduction. Each month it publishes new additions to its existing selection of 180,000+ online video classes.
If you specifically want to learn more about vacation rentals, you can sign up for its Vacation Rental, AirBNB Management course. Over six hours of on-demand video, it will teach you everything you need to know about operating multiple vacation rental properties like a pro.
Key topics include legality, bookkeeping and money management, staging, using a property management system, and guest management.
For those who are solely interested in Airbnb, there’s another course on Udemy – Airbnb Entrepreneur: Become the Best Listing in Town! While it’s much shorter than the above-mentioned Udemy course, you’ll get lifetime access to the material and learn loads of valuable tips to help you get started.
Then, once you’re up and running, the course will also teach you how to automate your listing and perfect your Airbnb management routine.
The Airbnb Course was founded by Nathan Rice, an Airbnb host who began hosting after losing his job. His main goal is to help new and existing hosts to maximize their profits fast.
Whether you have multiple properties or you’re hosting a private room, his free three-part video series and free eBook will help you to boost your knowledge and attract more bookings.
Mastering Airbnb is another course brought to you by Udemy. It’s listed as one of their bestseller courses and has been completed by more than 11,000 students already. While a basic familiarity with Airbnb will be helpful, it’s not a requirement.
If you’re searching for a way to set yourself apart from other owners, you’ll find the 20+ lectures and cheat sheets very valuable.
Short-term Rental University was developed to share Richard Fertig’s wealth of knowledge and experience in owning and renting real estate properties.
The online course, The Ultimate Guide to Finding & Buying STR Properties, shows budding entrepreneurs how to start and scale short-term rental properties for success. This course has a focus on how to buy the best vacation rental properties to have an advantage in the market and win over more sales to scale your business fast.
If you need help with automating your vacation rental business, be sure to check out the iGMS guides for vacation rental hosts. From generating post-departure emails to building your own direct booking website, here you’ll find a number of guides that will help you to take your business to new heights.
In addition to these helpful guides, iGMS also provides automation software and tools for short-term rental hosts. These tools can help you to reduce costs by offering a powerful platform to manage your properties without the need for a third-party property manager.
The following are just a few of the daily tasks that it can streamline:
If you specifically want to learn more about vacation rental revenue management, be sure to check out the course offered by Transparent, a specialized data intelligence company.
It consists of more than 140 minutes of video material that covers nearly 30 topics and over 30 associated PDFs and articles.
Topics that will be discussed include competitor pricing, budgeting, and pricing optimization. Then, to test and prove your progress, there are six interactive quizzes that you can complete after which you’ll receive a personalized certificate.
Not only is Google the leading search engine, but it also offers a range of free online courses. To help you market your short-term rental property and turn it into a profitable vacation rental business, you can check out its 30+ classes that look at digital marketing.
While these courses don’t target owners of vacation rentals specifically, there are many topics like the fundamentals of digital marketing, online advertising, and marketing analytics that can give property managers and other vacation rental professionals the competitive edge.
Just like Udemy, Coursera is one of the leading names in online education. They partner with hundreds of the leading universities and businesses to bring you thousands of courses, professional certificates, and degrees.
Their “What is Social?” course is aimed at business owners who want to improve their social strategy.
To help you avoid costly mistakes when managing your own property business, it can be a good idea to sign up for a course about basic accounting.
This course will tell you what you need to know about income and expenses, liabilities, equity, inventory, and fixed assets, and how to keep track of all these financial factors. This knowledge will be able to empower you as the owner of a business.
Cleanliness has always been a top priority and hosts can expect that it will only continue to play an even more important role in the post-pandemic era. So, it can be a worthwhile investment to complete the Cleaning Certification course offered by the founder and management team of VRScheduler.
After completing their certification course, you’ll be able to display a badge on your direct booking website to communicate to potential guests that you’re trained on guidelines shared by the WHO, CDC, and OSHA. Each online course is only about 30-40 minutes. So, there’s no reason why you and your cleaning crew can’t complete it together.
Any course mentioned above will be able to help you advance your skills and your business. All you need to do is start somewhere.
If you are short on time, why not try automating your daily hosting tasks with vacation rental software like iGMS. You can also join our next Product Webinar to see the tools in action.
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