VRS115 – Association of Vacation Rental Operators and Affiliates (AVROA) with Rod Fitts

I last spoke with today’s guest a year ago and we discussed his passion for the vacation rental industry and the background to his fledgling community organization, the American Vacation Rental Owners Association. At that time, Rod was working on yet another iteration of his website, and although he had a lot of motivation to make it work, there seemed to be a lot of obstacles in the way, notably getting the technical side running smoothly.

Fast forward a year, and with help from some highly respected industry experts, the newly minted Association of Vacation Rental Operators and Affiliates has been launched.

tweetTweet: #AVROA @Cottageguru @RodFitts talk new direction, benefits to #VacationRental operators http://ctt.ec/uKEcU+ pic.twitter.com/VsAbjh6edq

Founder and Chairman of AVROA, Rod Fitts, joined me in this episode to bring us up to date on the changes; to talk about the work that went into the re-launch and to share his thoughts on its contribution to the vacation rental industry.

Membership of AVROA is inexpensive so I would encourage all owners and managers to look at the website and consider joining. Rod encourages owner groups to form and create community websites where they can harness the power of numbers, access discounts on services and share enquiries.

We discussed

  • Why a global trade association for owners and managers was so necessary
  • The 6-month journey to the name change and re-branding
  • How the concept of ‘chapters’ brings independence to owners and property managers
  • Low-cost community websites where owners can share enquiries and services
  • The key people who made it all possible
  • AVROA Certification and how to get it
  • Membership features
  • The LinkedIn group

Links Discussed:


Where you can find Rod:








Villa Ausblick

Heather, thank you for this updated interview with Rod Fitts. AVROA had been on my radar for a while, yet its unclear ‘behind-the-scene’ organization and long-term strategy has been a deterrent for me to take it seriously as a legitimate industry association representing the interests of VR owners and operators. Many calls in different community forums to affirm his vision to incorporate as Non-for-Profit organization with an elected Board of Trustees, By-laws, etc. went unanswered by Rod. For those of us VR folks around long enough, this leaves a big cloud of doubt. Sadly, this important question was not clearly addressed in this Podcast nor on the AVROA website (the latter BTW looks vastly better since my last visit, nice job!).

That said, there was something in Rod’s interview that I suddenly am highly interested in: the AVROA Certificate. Last Saturday I got a phone call from the VT State Police inquiring if I am the legitimate owner of my VR. While I had real guests staying at Villa Ausblick another group showed up that had fallen victim to a Craigslist scammer. While I am not in the business to screen the web for fraudulent listings, I am highly motivated to have my property photography amended with a seal of validity certified by an independent VR association. For that seal to count, however, the Association needs a signifiant larger membership and proper media coverage to be recognized as legitimate.

Rod has been quietly working on growing this Association and for that he deserves our thanks and acknowledgement. Now with masses of VR owners growing restless and frustrated with the larger OTA, Rod has a prime opportunity to capture these owners and truly become an Association to be reckoned with ….. if he understands that VR owners/operators need assurance that AVROA is not yet another listing site that will sell out. It needs to be Non-for-Profit and have a Board of Trustees of reputable, industry known individuals. Matt Landau’s Inner Circle is the place to find these folks.

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