VRS204 – The Future of the Vacation Rental Business with David Angotti

This year’s VRMA National Conference was the biggest yet. Over 1400 property managers convened in Orlando for 3 days of networking, education and technology inspiration, and we had a lot of fun.

I was privileged to spend time with so many industry influencers, movers and shakers, and meet up with a lot of old friends, and make many new ones.

This conference seemed different from previous ones and I wasn’t sure why until I shared my takeaways with my friend David Angotti that I realised we’ve reached a kind of tipping point. As Steve Milo put it, if you embrace new technology and appreciate we’ve turned a corner in this industry and need to adapt to the changes, you may as well sell up and get out.

In answer to the question, ‘Is there a future for property managers’ the answer was ‘Yes, but not all of them”.

I sat down with David Angotti of Smoky Mountains.com for an in-depth discussion on what inspired us (and what didn’t) over the course of the conference. We talked about the general sessions; some of the breakouts we attended and explored the best and newest in technology and products in the Supplier Showcase.

You’ll hear:

  • David’s take on the Keynote by Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk and what he felt was the significance of it.
  • Why Home Away’s effort to control pricing in the market is a predicatble move and what the implications are.
  • The reason you lose the right to complain when you choose not to develop your own brand.
  • How 70% of bookings coming from online booking channels today and what you need to do to reduce that for your own brand.
  • Why focus on content, photos and long-tailed keywords could keep you in business.
  • How repeat business and remarketing are the key to survival.
  • Who Steve Milo’s ‘lipstick on a pig’ comment referred to.
  • How to create a ‘protective moat’ around your business.
  • Why we should feel optimistic about Vacasa’s latest round of funding.

And much more……..

Links mentioned in this episode:

Smoky Mountains.com

VRMA National 2017: What We Learned

Market Maker



Hello Here


Your Welcome

Wes Melton’s Guide to navigating technology

Vacasa’s latest round of funding

Terry Whyte

Thank you Heather & David. That was fascinating, sometimes an hour just isn’t enough.

Villa Carpe Diem

What a blast! So many insights from VRMA shared by David Angotti and Heather Bayer. This one warrants a really close listen and action. Super excited by these tips and ideas guys. Thank you so much. I’ve now 12 tabs opened that need a closer look, gonna be a late night here in the Eastern Med! Best, Andy

Celine Girard

Heather & David – fantastic podcast. I agree with Terry, 1h is not enough! You both rock!

Filipa Leitão de Aguiar

Thank you Heather and David top episode!

Matt Elder

Great interview and interesting to hear the key takeaways from the conference. Never really understood the channel manager as a stand alone entity and thought the flashlight analogy was a curious way of looking at it.

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