Podcast For two days in Toronto, there was a place where everywhere you went the conversation was on the same topic. In the hallways, the social center, the dining room, and even in the fitness center – the talk was vacation rentals. The Vacation Rental Success Summit brought together some of the most interesting, influential and motivated people in our industry. Attendees came from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, the UK, and all across North America. Workshops and presentations covered innovation, social media, digital marketing, video and photography, copywriting, emergency management, website creation, restrictions and regulations, social media and much more…. …and the venue was stellar too! So, what else could I do for this week’s episode but tell you about my key takeaways from the weekend. Bearing in mind I didn’t sit in on all the sessions, these nuggets don’t cover the full breadth of what was on offer, but it should give you a taste of what was shared and experienced. #1 When you get 100+ motivated, enthusiastic and dynamic individuals in one place, spending 2 days sharing their experiences, their best practices and their passion – magic happens. Imagine what would happen if that was tripled? #2 The threat of rental bans, regulations, and restrictions may impact your business at any time. All it takes is a NIMBY to start lobbying your town hall, municipal office, or local politicians. They often do so without evidence. When you keep it local, organize, and undertake economic impact studies, you’ll collect the data to present your argument factually and with power. #3 Video has become the must-do activity for creating your competitive edge. From paying for professional video of a property to recording short ‘digital handshakes’ to use in response to inquiries, this will become the must-have of marketing. It’s easy to create, a breeze to edit and upload. Let’s get on it! #4 Following the last takeaway, we should be working on our digital marketing strategy. Generating lead magnets to grow our potential guest lists, sending regular newsletter and informational broadcasts will become a natural part of the plan. #5 Planning for emergencies is low priority for many owners. I say that with tongue in cheek because there were only a handful of people in my workshop on the topic – though probably more than I expected. How could I compete with the video and web design workshops after all? I would encourage anyone who didn’t attend to watch the replay because this stuff is important and getting plans in place ready for any eventuality could save you a lot of money – and potential lawsuits.