In a world where social media rules the internet with an average of 2.77 billion users and where workplace email might soon cease to exist, do online forums still have a place they can call home?
For many sectors, such as the vacation rental industry, forums are as prevalent as ever and can provide a real source of support for hosts in need. If you are looking for advice, support or relevant discussions about topics related to vacation rental (or if you would like to share your own wisdom) take a look at our list of the most helpful forums for owners, hosts, and property managers!
What are online forums?
At their core, online forums are discussion sites whereby users can exchange messages and join conversations that interest or resonate with them.
Not only are forums a fantastic way to network and build social connections, but they also help users to feel part of a wider community.
As forums are usually specific to a particular subject matter – in this case, vacation rentals – they’re an ideal place to find like-minded individuals who are experiencing (or have experienced) the same as you.
Even better, on vacation rental industry forums, other owners can help you out by offering their own first-hand experiences and advice. Airbnb horror story? They can chime in with the next steps to take. Negative review? The collective community will help you compose your reply.
Whether you’re looking to achieve more direct bookings or reduce the carbon footprint of your home, it all boils down to advice that you read and receive from people who have already done it.
Here is our list of the 14 most helpful vacation rental forums for owners and managers. All of these forums are active and with useful communities waiting to accept you (and your questions!) with open arms.
Listing site forums for hosts
1. Community with Airbnb
Currently, sporting an enormous number of over 750,000 members, the global Community with Airbnb is the perfect place to connect with other hosts who are, in Airbnb’s words, ‘creating a world where anyone can belong’. Participate in discussion rooms organized by category, join Home Sharing Clubs and connect on a more personal level with meetups.
2. Community from HomeAway
The forum provided by vacation rental site, HomeAway, is another great resource for owners and managers who want to get ahead. Split into sections such as ‘New to renting’, ‘Get more bookings’ and ‘Interacting with guests’, there are plenty of discussion topics ready and waiting for new participants’ views.
Out of the many travel-related forums offered by TripAdvisor, they also provide this one specifically about timeshares and vacation rentals. There are already over 3,500 topics with hundreds of replies you can browse through, or you can pose your own new question.
Independent forums for owners
4. Airhosts Forum
Though its name directly relates to the popular home-sharing platform, Airbnb, any vacation rental hosts will find helpful answers to some of their biggest doubts in this forum. While not affiliated by Airbnb in any way, the Airhosts Forum allows hosts from all over the globe to connect with each other and share resources to become even better at hosting.
5. BiggerPockets Short Term and Vacation Rental Discussion
This forum, brought to users by BiggerPockets, boasts over 27,000 posts to date. In this online space, business owners discuss important aspects of short term real estate and vacation rental properties, such as marketing, legal issues, and the challenges the industry brings.
Don’t be fooled by the GlobalHosting forum’s appearance, it remains wildly active with regular new posts and discussions by experienced owners and hosts. There is also a corresponding Facebook Group with over 2,500 members.
7. Lay My Hat
The Lay My Hat forum also has an old-school feel, but it’s still full of active members (over 9,000 in total!) sharing tips and rental insights on a daily basis. It’s organized in such a clear way that, to quote Lay My Hat, “even the forum editor’s mother could use it”.
8. VRMB Communities
Founder Matt Landau set out to unite the most creative vacation rental professionals under one virtual roof and after 7 years, VRMB Communities’ ever-growing number of members speaks for itself. It is the home of the “Listing Site Independence” methodology where owners and managers help each other build more independent marketing portfolios. More than just a forum, becoming a Supporter or Inner Circle Member of VRMB Communities gives you access to templates, courses, ebooks, video courses, meetups, networking events, and real-time Q&As with some of the most thoughtful minds in the game.
The question-and-answer website is organized according to topics but you can also search for specific questions or people. Of course, you can also post your own questions about vacation rental management, hosting, etc if the issue you’re wondering about hasn’t been discussed before (or contribute with your own advice). Take advantage of the collective knowledge of your fellow online host community and ask away!
In recent years, Reddit has emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms where topics of any nature can be discussed and debated at length amongst users. As a starting point, you can first follow the Airbnb subreddit (with a whopping 22,000 member count) and you will be sure to find a plethora of advice, tips and shared experiences about hosting and vacation rental management – you can even find discussions that are non-specific to Airbnb.
You can also browse through other subreddits related to vacation rentals. They offer all kinds of helpful insights into things like interior design and many more useful topics. Apart from helpful advice, you will also encounter many anecdotes and funny host stories shared by others that will surely brighten up your day.
Are there any other forums you’re an active member of that we’ve missed? Get in touch and let us know in the comments!