The number of women or female-identifying leaders in the multi-billion dollar vacation rental industry has exploded in recent years, and we are super excited to celebrate International Women’s Day by sharing Lodgify’s 2023 list of inspiringwomen in the vacation rental industry.
We are proud to support the empowerment of women, both in the industry and within our team. This year’s theme of innovation and technology for gender equality is particularly special to us, and this is a wonderful opportunity to highlight our brave and talented colleagues
These women are highly successful business owners, educators, and influencers who play a key role in inspiring upcoming professionals in this sector and have been recognized by their peers as such.
Without further ado, let’s introduce the women making waves in our industry. Based on alphabetical order, this list is by no means definitive, as we expect to add more names to the list in the coming years! If we’ve forgotten someone you think needs to be on our list, let us know!
Andrea is an online educator, designer, and Airbnb Superhost that loves to teach new hosts how to confidently start and run the vacation rental business of their dreams.
She is the founder of Mamma Mode, a space for hosts to learn and gain inspiration from her creative hosting ideas. She also runs her blog through Instagram, where she provides an array of educational content to help fellow hosts become Superhosts.
Julie George – Author of ‘Million Dollar Host’
Julie George is the author of the best-selling book ‘Million Dollar Host‘, which tells her story and the story of her unique STR property management business model that resulted in a portfolio of 130 properties and generated more than $8 million in income in 3 years. She travels the world speaking at conferences and is one of the most influential names in the short-term rental industry, supporting thousands of hosts worldwide.
Julie Marks – Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance
Julie is the founder and director of the Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance (VTSTRA), a nonprofit business association for vacation rental owners and hosts in Vermont. The group works to represent and protect Vermont’s short-term rental industry, supporting members with educational tools and resources.
Kierra Castleberry – For The Host Academy
Kierra aims to help new hosts with their STR business adventure by sharing her best-hosting ideas through Instagram, where she has over 15k followers. She also created the For The Host Academy, where she coaches STR owners on maximizing their business by bringing in more bookings and increasing profits.
Kristen – @KristenandMichael
Kristen is an Airbnb Superhost and Lodgify customer who runs a YouTube channel with her partner Michael documenting their hosting journey while sharing tips and ideas. Followers can see how they manage all kinds of obstacles when it comes to STR investing, from appraisals and inspections to renovating and creating their own website using Lodgify.
Lauren Piller – TikTok influencer
Lauren is a former nurse turned vacation rental host from Texas who creates educational content for STR hosts on TikTok. She aims to help hosts improve their STR businesses by sharing her hosting secrets and ideas. She also runs a Facebook group for Airbnb hosts.
Madison Rifkin – Mount
Madison is the CEO and founder of Mount, who help hosts provide adventure-filled memories for their guests via equipment rentals such as bikes, e-bikes, scooters, kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, snowshoes, and beach equipment.
Natalie is an Airbnb Superhost who began managing her first rental in 2017 when she started hosting her family’s rental in Big Bear. She now manages over 8 Airbnb properties and has been recruited by Airbnb to act as an ambassador. Natalie also hosts the Level Up Your Listing Summit with Tatannia Taylor-Tait, an award-winning designer and STR coach.
Rachel Gainsbrugh – Short Term Gems
Rachel is a best-selling author, pharmacist, and real estate coach who hosts The Luxury STR Doctor Show podcast on YouTube. She also shares short-term rental insights and offers training and courses on vacation rental investing with her Short Term Gems site.
Stacey St. John – STR Global
Stacey is the founder of STR Global, a data-driven solution that delivers education, resources, and support for short-term rental investors. She also provides training courses and hosts the STR Sisterhood podcast, where she highlights real-life stories from women within the STR industry.
Tracey Northcott – Tracey Northcott Consulting
Tracey’s Airbnb journey began in 2010 when she acquired a second home in Japan. Over the next few years, she grew her portfolio to 23 properties, which became a 7-figure business, and since then, she has hosted over 12,000 guests over the past 8 years. She now provides courses and hosting resources with her consulting business, Tracey Northcutt Consulting.
Victoria O’Connell – Go Lightly
Victoria is the CEO and co-founder of Golightly, the first invite-only vacation rental and home-sharing marketplace for women, which promotes safe hosting and stays for women in vacation rentals.
Zoey Berghoff – TikTok and Airbnb coach
Through TikTok, Zoey shares her hosting ideas, inspiration, and short-term rental advice, from how to manage your rental remotely to discussing the latest Airbnb updates. She also runs Airbnb coaching courses where she helps fellow hosts achieve financial freedom through investing in STRs.
Established women leaders from our 2018-2022 lists
Our newcomers have made a strong impression, but we can’t forget all those inspiring women who have left their mark on the industry these last years. Let’s continue with the list of female leaders featured in our ‘women in the vacation rental industry list’ from 2018 until today.
Alex O. Husner & Annie Holcombe – Alex & Annie Podcast
With over 35 years of combined experience in the vacation rental business, Alex Husner and Annie Holcombe have teamed up to create the popular podcast Alex & Annie: The Real Women of Vacation Rentals. Together, they tell the stories behind the people and brands that have made the short-term rental industry what it is today.
Aside from the podcast, Alex has led the strategic marketing and business development efforts for Condo-World since 2009. For her part, Annie, currently Vice President of Business Development for Lexicon Travel, has nearly 30 years of experience in hospitality and tourism, holding positions from front desk to sales & marketing and owner relations.
Angela Leone – Coconut Condos
Angela Leone is the owner of Coconut Condos, a property management services company in Maui. Coconut Condos was included in the list of 5,000 fastest-growing small businesses in the US economy by Inc. Magazine in August 2020 and also won “Vacation Rental Management Company of the Year” in the VRMA Excellence Awards in October 2021.
Starting as a home-based venture with one vacation rental (her own), Angela has expanded to a robust 10-person plus operation with 60 units on Maui. Coconut Condos has emerged as an industry leader, recognized for the quality of service, engagement of staff, and commitment to give back to their community.
Audrey Leeds Miller – VRPOme.org
Audrey Leeds Miller has many feathers to her hat, including being the founding president of VRPOme.org (Vacation Rental Professionals of Maine, inc) uniting the VR managers in Maine.
She is also co-founder of Cottage Connection of Maine, Inc. – a vacation rental company offering a wide variety of vacation home rentals throughout the Midcoast region of Maine (the Boothbay Region and the Midcoast).
Alanna Schroeder – The Distinguished Guest
Alanna Schroeder is the founder and curator of The Distinguished Guest – an online resource that helps other owners find high-quality linens, towels, and personal care products on a budget.
Additionally, Schroeder has wonderful networking capabilities and manages a number of Facebook groups in the industry which foster an environment of encouragement and support to owners, managers, and hosts. She is a major contributor to educating owners, both on her website and through #vacationrentalbootcamp with Tyann Marcink Hammond, where she is co-creator and co-mentor.
Amy Hinote – VRM Intel
As the founder and editor of VRM Intel Magazine, Amy Hinote is responsible for one of the most respected publications in the vacation rental sphere.
On February 7th, 2018, Hinote launched the annual #BookDirect movement, an initiative to help owners educate guests on the benefits of booking directly. The inaugural campaign reached an estimated 3 million travelers and 18.2 million consumers in total. During the pandemic, Hinote has provided countless resources and news for vacation rental owners looking to stay informed.
Along with her own expertise, the invite-only community she leads is a constant source of education and support for managing properties and managing listings on OTAs (Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com). In addition to this, it provides direct marketing support for business owners.
Carla Chicharro – Lodgify
Carla Chicharro has been Head of Marketing at Lodgify since 2021 after working in various marketing roles for the company since its inception in 2016. She grew the marketing team by 275% (from 4 to 15) and played a key role in defining and developing Lodgify’s GTM, customer and brand strategy to maximize customer growth.
She is a passionate digital strategist with experience helping global companies and funded startups grow and maximize the power of storytelling through inbound marketing while creating relationships that contribute to long-term success. In her free time, she hosts a humor podcast and runs a foodie Instagram account.
Christine Myer – NoiseAware
Christine is currently VP of Sales and Marketing at NoiseAware. However, she joined almost 7 years ago and hasn’t stopped growing in the company since! She has been with the two co-founders since they began selling the product online in 2016. She built the infrastructure, go-to-market strategy, and brand, defining and developing the marketing planning and execution process.
Debi Hertert – Host2Host
Founder of Host2Host.org, Debi Hertert has long been an advocate for home-sharing, especially in her local area of Portland, Oregon. This robust community platform is now going global to provide education, awareness, and support to hosts worldwide. Hertert is committed to the vacation rental cause and is working hard to bring like-minded industry professionals together.
Deborah Labi – The Guest Innspector
Deborah Labi is a creative-minded entrepreneur with passion and has been a vacation rental property manager and owner for over 16 years. She’s the founder of The Guest Innspector and has built several companies such as Have You Got, the first Book Direct ‘Meta-No-Search’ platform, and the Book Direct Show, a live virtual conference with educational sessions teaching you how to get (more) direct bookings.
Erica Muller – Vrolio
Erica Muller, a realtor for 17 years in Orlando and CEO of Vrolio, is known for bridging the gap between real estate and the vacation rental industry with a platform for professionals looking to purchase or sell short-term rental properties.
Heather Bayer – Vacation Rental Formula
Heather Bayer is the co-founder of Vacation Rental Formula and is a veteran of the vacation rental industry. With over 20 years of experience, Heather is a published author and hosts highly-rated podcast, Vacation Rental Success, making her an established expert voice for any owners and property managers looking for advice.
Jessica Gillingham – Abode Worldwide
In 2017, Jessica Gillingham decided to hone her PR expertise to focus solely on the niche industry of vacation rentals. Gillingham is the founder and CEO of Abode Worldwide, a specialist public relations partner for lodging tech innovators, and has presented at major international industry conferences and is a frequent contributor to VRM Intel and VRMA Arrival magazines.
Jessica Vozel – Guest Hook
Co-founder of Guest Hook, Jessica Vozel, is a selfless educator in this industry. She has traveled to many conferences and has provided educational materials for the short-term rental community for years. Her expertise helps owners around the world to tell better stories and create excitement and anticipation for guests.
Jill Mason – Operto Teams
Jill Mason is the VP of Operto Teams, formerly VRScheduler, a vacation rental and housekeeping management software solution that enables property managers to streamline employee and task scheduling. Jill was the founder and CEO of VRScheduler until it was taken over by Operto in February 2022.
She’s worked with property managers and cleaning companies for over four years and recently launched CleaningCertification.com, a certification program to help property managers and their staff to comply with new cleaning and disinfection protocols.
Jodi Bourne – JodiBourne.com
Jodi Bourne is a vacation rental marketing consultant, web designer, content marketer and educator at JodiBourne.com. She helps vacation rental owners and property management companies build and grow independent businesses.
She’s known for building beautiful and modern vacation rental websites, consulting and coaching with owners and property managers, and sharing ideas and strategies for owners and managers who want to uplevel their business and book direct.
Julie Brinkman – Beyond
Julie Brinkman is the CEO of Beyond, a short-term rental revenue management platform. She joined the company in early 2020 before being appointed CEO in February 2021. Prior to this, she spent more than a decade in leadership positions at high-growth technology companies, including Groupon and Hireology.
Interestingly, 62% of the executive team identifies as female. Go, girls!
Louise Brace – Rental Tonic
Louise Brace’s expertise lies in creating digital marketing channels for vacation rentals around the world. As well as over 15 years of experience in the travel marketing industry, Brace is also the go-to expert on short-term rental regulations in Spain and the owner of Rental Tonic. She has even appeared in The Sunday Times, giving advice on how to maximize vacation rentals!
Margot Lee Schmorak – Hostfully
CEO and co-founder of Hostfully, Margot has dedicated her professional career to developing community-driven products that help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and their customers. Prior to Hostfully, Margot led marketing initiatives for the first iPhone Developer Program and worked at ServiceSource as VP of Marketing and Strategy.
Megan McCrea – NASTRA & The Hospitality Creator
President of NASTRA, Megan McCrea, was the fighting force behind the state of Tennessee, grandfathering in existing homeowners to run legal short-term rentals. She has been and continues to be an unrecognized force in this industry. Her peers describe McCrea as a leader for good, a successful short-term rental owner, and a talented designer.
She also runs The Hospitality Creator, which helps other rental owners and managers stand out, connect with potential guests and provide an amazing guest experience once they arrive.
Mercedes Brennan – 1 Chic Retreat
More than an interior designer, Mercedes Brennan also knows all about marketing vacation rentals. Her website, 1 Chic Retreat helps educate owners on the specific design strategies that can increase website click rates and the guest experience to maximize their vacation rental ROI.
As well as free resources and useful blog articles for any budding vacation rental professional, 1 Chic Retreat also offers tailored interior design advice on a one-to-one basis.
Nancy McAleer – Florida Rental By Owners
After years of frustration with OTAs, Nancy decided to co-found her own booking website, Florida Rental By Owners, a no-booking fee website “Built By Owners FOR Vacation Rental Owners” with the goal to give full control back to the short-term rental host, homeowner, and property manager.
Noelle Randall – Nuurez.com
Noelle Randall has launched an equity-crowdfunded vacation rental business called Nuurez.com that allows member investors to not only reap dividends from the performance of the company but also to enjoy discounts on vacation rentals across the gulf coast and Jamaica.
Nuurez takes the concept of location-sharing and temporary home rentals a step further. The company buys and leases a series of unique properties in prime locations and other territories that are highly attractive to their clients who travel constantly.
Noelia Novella – DOINN
CEO and Co-Founder of DOINN, an operations automation platform that connects short-term rentals with hotel service providers. DOINN handpicks licensed housekeeping services in each city and connects them with property managers to save money, protect guests, and increase productivity.
Paola Gheis – Luxury Rental Consulting
Paola is the founder and director of a consulting firm that specializes in the marketing and communications of high-end vacation rentals, Paola Gheis. She’s also a property manager of The Villa Italy, a collection of exceptional villas in Italy.
Resha Shroff – Lynx Automation
As the CEO and co-founder of Lynx Automation, Resha Shroff is a strong representative for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the vacation rental industry.
As well as being an engineer, Shroff is also a savvy businesswoman (a vacation rental host herself), and she started Lynx Automation to help automate the mundane and time-consuming aspects of managing short-term rental properties.
Rocío Lane – Cleancio
Rocío Lane is the founder of Cleancio, a fast-growing and innovative startup that provides on-demand vacation rental cleaning services. Originally from Bolivia, Lane has a strong background in real estate, combined with a natural flair for entrepreneurship – as demonstrated through previous positions at companies like SpotHero.
Sara Karakaian and Annette Grant – Thanks for Visiting
Sara Karakaian and her partner, Annette Grant, host a weekly podcast called Thanks for Visiting, Each week, they interview someone involved in an aspect of short-term rentals (STR). Additionally, they highlight other STRs every week that are doing things well and ask listeners to “heart” them in order to lift their search numbers.
They provide insights and information weekly through their podcast, website, and Facebook page. They also highlight properties at the start of each episode.
Tyann Marcink Hammond – VR Mastered & Touch Stay
Considered the industry leader in vacation rental photography, Tyann Marcink Hammond also has the advantage of being a property owner herself. Her passion and expertise for what makes a good photo gallery have led her to co-found VR Mastered and Vacation Rental Boot Camp. In addition to all this, Tyann works at Touch Stay as Queen of Guest Experience.
Vanessa De Souza Lage – Sustonica
Besides having been the co-founder of channel manager Rentals United, Vanessa de Souza Lage is also the founder and CEO of Sustonica. This first-of-a-kind company recognizes and certifies sustainable short-term rental businesses.
Vered Ravid Schwarz – Guesty
Vered Ravid Schwarz is president and COO of Guesty, a property management platform for short-term and vacation rentals. She previously worked as COO for Fiverr. A lawyer by training, Veved´s early career also included stints at Kenshoo and Media Mind.
Yaa Priscilla Birago – Femmebnb
Co-Founder and CEO of Femmebnb, a vacation rental platform and home-sharing network that helps women rent properties from other women to maximize protection. She’s also developed an AI-Powered Travel Companion that assists women in planning their trips from beginning to end.
In addition, Yaa is also the Co-Founder and President of the Hands of a Hero Foundation (HOHF), a non-profit organization that offers mentorship, leadership, and career development services to Canadian youth and children. Yaa received the Global Impact Award, Women’s Courage International Award, and was named a Black Canadian Role Model and Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada.
Yamaris Bonilla – Vacationhomehelp.com
Yamaris created VacationHomeHelp.com, a marketplace for vacation rental owners and cleaners in the Disney World destination market (Orlando, Florida). She founded the company after leaving Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and has been creating opportunities for cleaners in the gig economy ever since!
As this industry grows and evolves, we’re looking forward to getting to know more women who are helping to shape the future of vacation rentals. If you’d like to suggest an addition to this list, use the button below!