what is advocacy?
If anything you see on our site interests you, then please stop and read here. Styling and marketing are critical, but the truth is that none of it matters unless you are operating in accordance with your local laws or if eventually you are not allowed to run your vacation rental due to a regulation change.
For us, Advocacy is more than fighting short-term rental/ vacation rental regulation. It is about being a good neighbor and member of the community, supporting fellow hosts and local businesses and creating amazing experiences for the guests we welcome.
Here at The Hospitality Creator, being an active part of the host community is vital to being a vacation rental host. Megan McCrea, owner of The Hospitality Creator, serves as President of the local Nashville organization, the Nashville Area Short Term Rental Association and is on a mission to activate host advocacy in Nashville, Tennessee and beyond.
Why Does Advocacy Matter?
Regulation is a global issue facing the host community that will have long-lasting impacts on short-term rentals. Consider this:
- Your guests may be hearing about bans or regulation in their own area, causing them to think twice about staying in a vacation rental during their next visit. What happens if enough potential guests start thinking this way?
- If guests have a bad experience due to regulation or an unwelcoming environment when they arrive, they may not choose to stay at a vacation rental again. What happens if more guests stop coming?
Whether you share the home you live in or a home(s) you do not; whether your local area just passed a great regulation or has none at all; whether the regulation impacts others but not your type of rental… regulation will eventually impact you and all hosts. This is why you should be involved now.
How Can You Get Involved?
most importantly, research and follow your local laws. While the host community is amazing, do not rely on “hearsay” when it comes to understanding the law. Contact your local area (typically City Hall and/ or Codes Enforcement) directly and/ or your local Short Term Rental Association if one exists.
Other ways to engage:
- Be a good neighbor. Introduce yourself and speak with your neighbors regularly. Make sure they have a way to reach you, even if you do not live locally. Set clear expectations with guests that align to your local laws, neighborhoods and personal preferences.
- Join your local organization, if one exists. These are typically not-for-profit organizations/ associations that rely on donations and volunteers.
o Shameless plug: If you’re in Nashville, you should definitely join the local association, NASTRA!
- Connect with other local hosts in your immediate and surrounding areas. Speak with everyone you know about being a vacation rental owner/ host. Share it on social media. with Your friends, family and everyone who touches your rental (cleaners, realtor, insurance agents, etc). often, those people are happy to support you and connect you to fellow hosts.
- Connect with and promote local, neighborhood businesses. Put their cards and brochures in your home and note them in your guidebooks. You can also feature them on your website and/ or social media pages.
- Talk to your representatives even if there is no proposed regulation on the table. Understand their position and be sure they understand yours.