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In this episode Matt sits down with Kirsten King of Big Sky Vacation Rentals for some big takeaways on building and ultimately selling a supremely profitable and sustainable vacation rental business.



This episode is brought to you by Point Central, the leaders in smart home automation, and Breezeway, the best in class property care and automations platform.
Thread bump
Note: Thanks to ToonTownRob ToonTownRob for posting this mini-revelation about the power of starting your email responses with a twist. It inspired this week's Motivation (and I decided to record it in podcast form too below).



Listing sites like Airbnb and Vrbo rank as the top pound-for-pound allocation of your time to generate inquiries. All the various listing sites...
#3 from the Guest point of view. We wanted to rent a dog-friendly house in a specific beach community for three months during winter 2023. We're two adults and two golden retrievers. I first looked for local rental agencies and found nothing. Then I resorted to Vrbo. I...


This episode features Pamela Quinn, the Chief Experience Officer at LakeDays.Rentals. Pamela and Matt talk about purpose and vision, and how to align your team with them. They talk about how to get things done and the role of creativity in the process.

This episode is brought to you in partnership with OwnerRez, www.ownerrez.com, a property management software that...


This episode features Dixie Taylor, Director of Operations at Current Tides Vacation Rentals in Alabama. This episode discusses the significant leap Dixie took when she left her old "gig". The episode emphasizes recognizing when to step into the unknown, into something new ...

This episode is brought to you in partnership with OwnerRez, www.ownerrez.com, a property...


This episode features Paul Waldschmidt, the co-founder and CEO of OwnerRez, a property management software that serves both small homeowners and large property managers. OwnerRez is also the sponsor of this season of Unlocked.

Paul and his team were part of the reason Matt decided to create this 12th season of Unlocked. In this episode, Paul and Matt talk about the OwnerRez...
UPDATED: March 14, 2024

This past week Miami came out with the following commercial to dissuade partiers from choosing it for their Spring Break shenanigans. It was a brilliant example of the "Why our destination is NOT for you" messaging we've explored before...



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"7 Reasons Casco Viejo is NOT For You" (original blog post from 2010 attached) was the single most impactful piece of content...
We NOT remote owners who don't care about this community That's not a good comment, as the implication is that remote owners don't care about...

Gain fresh insights and stay connected with our Social Feed Bar. This new feature makes it easier for you to navigate conversations and find content within the community.​

Social Feed Bar​

Meet the all-new Social Feed Bar, designed to keep you connected with the...


This episode features Sean Breuner, the founder and CEO of AvantStay. Today's interview focuses on innovation and includes discussions about intuition and risk-taking. Necessities that are needed to create and differentiate in the Vacation Rental Industry as we know it.

This episode is brought to you in partnership with OwnerRez, www.ownerrez.com, a property management...


This episode features Julie Marks, who is the co-owner of Homestead Hospitality and the Founder & Executive Director of the Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance.

This episode is marked as one of Matt's favorite interviews to date. Matt and Julie talk about advocacy, helping, and connecting with people, which comes with a challenge: drawing boundaries. This interview is all...
Will Franco
  • Efficiency Manager, VRMB
Pi is an AI developed by InflectionAI. It's the most natural and human-like AI I've interacted with, capable of performing tasks comparable to other AIs, all at no cost.

Pi is designed as a companion AI to assist you throughout the day. I chat with Pi so frequently that even...
Loved this. Way to go @Matt Landau - you have certainly been my Pied Piper and Obi wan kenobi!


Today's episode features Henrik Kjellberg, CEO of Awaze. In this conversation, Henrik and Matt dive into "the new world". A world that requires adapting to change in more than just the Vacation Rental Industry, which is interesting but can be scary...

Henrik shares his take on innovation and creativity and how discipline, consistency, and leadership contribute towards growth...


Today's episode features Ruth Manfredi, owner of Cinque Terre Vacation Rentals in Italy. In this episode, Ruth and Matt talk about a shift toward creativity, authenticity, and originality within the VR industry. You will hear Ruth her passion and excitement while she shares her stories and experiences which involves more than just the VR industry.

This episode is brought to...


Today's episode features Maria Schuh, owner of Mistiso's Place in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. In this episode, Maria talks about ways that effectively allow her to navigate the threats that seem to hold a lot of VR owners back and how dancing influences the way she goes about life.

This episode is brought to you in partnership with OwnerRez, a property management...


Today's Unlocked podcast episode featuring Steve Hafner (co-founder and CEO of KAYAK) is perhaps my proudest interview of all time.

As you'll hear in the introduction, I was quite nervous beforehand for a confluence of reasons...

From the recording studio I rented for the occasion, to the personal nature of the topics I wanted to discuss, to Steve's famed pointed status in...


Today's episode features Barry Shimelfarb, who is a short-term rental operator, an executive coach to tech leaders in Silicon Valley, and a father of two.

In this episode, Barry opens up about one of the most difficult times in his life and how this has shaped his guest philosophy, the way he manages his businesses, and the way he tries to make the best use of every single...
Challenge: Creativity is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more it strengthens your story and your vision for the future. I'd like to challenge members to share one short story that moved them emotionally (reference the feelings wheel for inspiration) in the last few weeks. It can be short. Or long. Great or lame. The mere act of sharing your quick story is the creative act in and of...
When we started living in our vacation house in Mexico for six months a year, I never suspected our dog would open the door to our becoming a part of our village. This is one of many of his stories. Brando’s dense, fluffy blond coat and “I love...
Back in 2009, with the listing sites (and our category in general) starting to gain momentum, the members of this community and myself predicted that "listing site independence" (ie. marketing diversification for vacation rental pros) would be the north star to follow. In the years that followed, plenty of direct booking movements spawned and a legitimate trend was formed.

The theory of "Limited...
We are reading the book as a company and have our first meeting this Friday to discuss the first 8 Chapters! We will discuss what it means to...
MeganM
  • Owner & Hostess
I am at it again - after moving from Nashville where I ran the local Advocacy group for over 5 years, I am started efforts in my new hometown (Cocoa Beach, Florida). This is a MUCH smaller area than Nashville so I am working with a lot less resources (ie Airbnb and Vrbo...
Did you see my post on this other thread? Take a look, especially at the articles I linked to. Thanks, Rob. I hadn't seen your post. I did already have a link to the UCF article but since it was pre-COVID was trying to...
This thread is for the general discussion of the Article Contrarian Perspective: Is there a VR Industry Bubble?.

If you're a vacation rental nerd like me, you probably follow every media site, blog (like VRMB!), Facebook group, etc. just to glean what you can about...
I wanted to revisit this discussion as it appears to me that we have definitely "burst" or at...
One of the big shifts I've made over the last year is in recognizing creativity is THE muscle all homerunners need to start exercising more consistently and pronto -- said another way, it is the LACK of outside-the-box thinking that gets even the most innovative companies stuck in their old/comfortable ways and in some cases sunk.

Side Note: I've become so enamored with creative pursuits that I have begun to...
For several years I worked with a printer for big jobs as well as small jobs. He was easy to work with, reliable, and his pricing was...
My mother is a brain scientist who has earned an incredible array of accolades over the last few decades. Becoming a scientist wasn't common for women in her generation so (with the help of great mentors) she chose to blaze her own trail.

My father was a shopkeeper whose family business served as a keystone to the community of Princeton, New Jersey his entire adult life (he has since retired and the shop...
From the young age of two, my family begin hosting exchange students from all over the world. My mom was a HS teacher and my father...
How do you consider whether you want lots of little improvements or one much bigger change? Is it possible to both simultaneously? Does it depend on the particular phase of growth?

Years ago @ROster introduced his formula for continual improvement and many members have shared examples of this thinking in all aspects of the business (and life). The gist? Continual improvement always.

If you are on...
If I could challenge this idea...I think inherent to the big changes is the understanding that there is no going back. For me, it's less of a flexibility in that sense. And more of an agility to move in...
I wanted to start a discussion on this topic because teams are the piece of the puzzle that make everything tick ... however due to a convergence of forces, teams are distanced physically and subtly/mentally in new ways (most enabled by tech).

If our business' health is directly correlated to the strength of our relationships within our teams....how do we correct this course?

Doing things face-to-face...
Another way to strengthen team relationships is by emphasizing purpose. If you can draw a line between one's contribution and the bigger picture (happy/loyal guests) you've...
From Phocuswright's STR study Through The Roof, 87% of travelers agreed or strongly agreed that they actively seek out properties with an interesting look and feel. "Character" was not a make it or break it moment of the conversion -- but definitely a big appeal.

Character is where a huge new wave of vacation rental entrepreneurs are investing: tree houses, tents, themed homes...etc.

So I wanted to start...
@RuthM recently shared this article with me "Why You’ll Be 750x Better Off Running An Airbnb Than A Vacation Rental Or Holiday Let" suggesting that how you feel about terminology does not matter...it's the public search statistics that should dictate...


Today's episode features Antonio Bortolotti, who runs the vacation Rental World Summit with his wife, Christina. It's become the preeminent event in Europe and the Middle East for vacation rental professionals. In this episode, Antonio and I recount this most extraordinary moment on stage at the end of the Vacation Rental World Summit in Barcelona just a couple weeks ago. We...


This episode features a conversation between Justin Ford and Matt Landau. Justin is a longtime industry advocate, having introduced professional safety protocols to the emerging industry of vacation rentals. In this episode, Matt and Justin talk about leadership and fear, and how certain experiences impact the way we think about, and handle, risk. The episode concludes with a...


I GOT STUCK is my story but it could also likely be yours. As burnout started to rear its ugly head my relationships and projects started to wobble. I was forced to accept that I was lacking a clear vision for my future: I was without a firm foundation to create from. How does one become visionary? What does it feel like to grow in new ways? How do we adapt and unstuck...


This episode features a conversation between two lifelong friends, Adam and Matt, who talk about their childhood, their fathers, and their heritage. In this conversation, they reflect on how travel reunited them in a very special place in this world, close to their roots. This episode is about exploring who they are as a person and creating life-lasting memories at their home...


In this episode, Matt talks with his close friend and landlord robin. Robin‘s whole life seemed to be going according to plan until she got hit by a shit storm and her marriage started to unravel. In this episode, we explore themes of relationships, adversity, movement, and travel, and how to lead your children and loved ones by leading yourself.

This episode is brought to...


In this podcast episode, Matt Landau and Guy discuss personal growth, business insights, and transformative experiences. Matt talks about his life-changing trip to Israel and how travel can trigger transformation. Guy shares his enlightening experiences with psychedelics and how they altered his perspective on life. The episode also covers Guy's journey into parenthood and...


Join us for a conversation between Matt and his mother, Barbara Landau. This episode offers a glimpse into Barbara Landau’s rich life experiences and adventures. She reflects on her career choices, emphasizing the importance of building a network of mentors and allies for success. Barbara's impressive achievements are a testament to her dedication and determination...


Join us for a captivating conversation with Valerie Gangas as she shares her inspiring journey of growth, spirituality, and resilience. From starting a vacation rental company during the pandemic to exploring the depths of her spiritual awakening, Valerie's story is a powerful testament to the human spirit. Tune in for a dose of inspiration and insights into embracing change...

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I’m Matt Landau, the founder of this forum. It was created in 2016 when a group of us wanted a safe space to discuss our growing STR businesses.

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Discover "Unlocked: The Intermission" - a captivating 6-part podcast series featuring the individuals who have shaped Matt Landau's horseradish in the past 6 months.

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Here Goes Nothin'

Retreats, workshops, and discussions that spark creative leaps in your business.

Learn More

Upcoming Retreats

Matt's first Here Goes Nothin' retreat is slated for THIS NEW YEARS Dec 26-30 (cohort 1) and Dec 30-Jan 3 (cohort 2).

This retreat is all about creativity as an advanced leadership technique and is open to anyone exploring more creative risks in business (and life!)

Simply reach out to [email protected] with a bit about your current goals to learn more...

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