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Netflix: World's Greatest Vacation Rentals

lisafrank

Attaché
Inner Circle
Having a focused interest in rural-based vacation rentals, I was taken by the way many of these properties were interpreted by the hosts of the show. "We were in these middle-of-nowhere places having the time of our lives" - said one of the hosts. In my opinion, the places featured in this series are everything but, "in the middle of nowhere", rather many of these rentals are anchored in the heart of culturally rich communities and fragile ecosystems that demand our attention and respect. It's evident that these destinations were chosen in an effort to promote safe travel in the era of covid-19, but what does this mean for the recovery of our industry?

Covid was a calling for a return to nature and a revelation to turn our focus to the "middle of nowhere" places that deserve a lift from the positive implications associated with travel. @Matt Landau - my biggest takeaway from your reaction to the show is....the disconnect from the realities of our industry. As expected, it romanticizes travelling to these remote places without considering the destination stewardship necessary for these rentals to truly be considered "the worlds greatest". The realities that wouldn't stand out to the naked eye of a non-industry viewer, is that much of the hosts in this show have incorporated hospitality into an existing business model. Many of the hosts featured are existing entrepreneurs who had a platform that elevated their success as hosts.

As the industry recovers and new vacation rental owners join the parade, I wonder how many will be first-time business owners attempting to make their break in our ever-evolving attractive industry?
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
Having a focused interest in rural-based vacation rentals, I was taken by the way many of these properties were interpreted by the hosts of the show. "We were in these middle-of-nowhere places having the time of our lives" - said one of the hosts. In my opinion, the places featured in this series are everything but, "in the middle of nowhere", rather many of these rentals are anchored in the heart of culturally rich communities and fragile ecosystems that demand our attention and respect. It's evident that these destinations were chosen in an effort to promote safe travel in the era of covid-19, but what does this mean for the recovery of our industry?

Covid was a calling for a return to nature and a revelation to turn our focus to the "middle of nowhere" places that deserve a lift from the positive implications associated with travel. @Matt Landau - my biggest takeaway from your reaction to the show is....the disconnect from the realities of our industry. As expected, it romanticizes travelling to these remote places without considering the destination stewardship necessary for these rentals to truly be considered "the worlds greatest". The realities that wouldn't stand out to the naked eye of a non-industry viewer, is that much of the hosts in this show have incorporated hospitality into an existing business model. Many of the hosts featured are existing entrepreneurs who had a platform that elevated their success as hosts.

As the industry recovers and new vacation rental owners join the parade, I wonder how many will be first-time business owners attempting to make their break in our ever-evolving attractive industry?
Wow, Lisa wow you need to do the hot takes from now on! You put your finger on it better than me.

Educating visitors to a destination seems like simultaneously the most vital and the most difficult thing that we as independent and responsible hospitality businesses must do (must, as in no one else is going to do it for us). My takeaway (after reading your takeaway) is that the best way to do this "education" is to avoid the saccharine and BE REAL. I have definitely had my tendencies in the past to go hype but can always count on the likes of @RichardC and @ToonTownRob and @Sallie of our community to take off the rose-colored glasses and calibrate shooting more straight.

If @BobG latest post about the very obvious trends (and potential “watershed moment”) towards environmental conscious travel is any indicator, recognizing our role in the place we live and work is where the money’s at!!!!
 
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lisafrank

Attaché
Inner Circle
Wow, Lisa wow you need to do the hot takes from now on! You put your finger on it better than me.

Educating visitors to a destination seems like simultaneously the most vital and the most difficult thing that we as independent and responsible hospitality businesses must do (must, as in no one else is going to do it for us).

If @BobG latest post about the very obvious trends (and potential “watershed moment”) towards environmental conscious travel is any indicator, recognizing our role in the place we live and work is where the money’s at!!!!
Ha! Thank you, Matt..that's humbling. Similarly to you, I've been peeling back the layers of owners' motivations and philosophies at a grassroots level for years. Most specifically, vacation rental owners paving a path of entrepreneurship in rural economies. The insights from the booking.com report we're in fact telling of this new wave of environmentally conscious travel. How @BobG and others like him have established the business is exactly where it's at. You nailed it, "recognizing our role in the place we live and work is where the money’s at!!!!"
 

StacyW

Counselor
Inner Circle
Accelerator
I haven't seen this one, mainly because my hubby and I are scarred from another show we watched called "Instant Hotel" and we forced ourselves through both seasons, lol. They did portray the owners in this one some what correctly, that sometimes our owners do think their house is the best, when it isn't even close. I will have to check this one out, but if you like train wrecks, check out Instant Hotels! I do think most of these shows do make it seem like you will be a millionaire tomorrow with a vacation rental. We have a lot of people call and are shocked when I tell them you aren't going to cover your mortgage. If it covered your mortgage everyone would have a vacation rental, now that is our area as we are seasonal and our housing market is very high. Can't wait to watch!
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
Having a focused interest in rural-based vacation rentals, I was taken by the way many of these properties were interpreted by the hosts of the show. "We were in these middle-of-nowhere places having the time of our lives" - said one of the hosts. In my opinion, the places featured in this series are everything but, "in the middle of nowhere", rather many of these rentals are anchored in the heart of culturally rich communities and fragile ecosystems that demand our attention and respect. It's evident that these destinations were chosen in an effort to promote safe travel in the era of covid-19, but what does this mean for the recovery of our industry?

Covid was a calling for a return to nature and a revelation to turn our focus to the "middle of nowhere" places that deserve a lift from the positive implications associated with travel. @Matt Landau - my biggest takeaway from your reaction to the show is....the disconnect from the realities of our industry. As expected, it romanticizes travelling to these remote places without considering the destination stewardship necessary for these rentals to truly be considered "the worlds greatest". The realities that wouldn't stand out to the naked eye of a non-industry viewer, is that much of the hosts in this show have incorporated hospitality into an existing business model. Many of the hosts featured are existing entrepreneurs who had a platform that elevated their success as hosts.

As the industry recovers and new vacation rental owners join the parade, I wonder how many will be first-time business owners attempting to make their break in our ever-evolving attractive industry?

And it is specifically because of those attitudes and behaviors of the tourists and remote workers that our rurally remote idyllic and architecturally historic community has been stomped on by the HOA board with the ultimate backing of the County to assure that these uneducated tourists are kept away by having the owners fulfill the following before they are permitted to operate:
  • DAYTIME /NIGHTIME LIMITS: Limitations on the daytime occupancy of any STR home> 8 maximum
  • NIGHTLY MINIMUM: A 2-night minimum stay.
  • AGE LIMIT: 25 YEARS FOR GUEST OF RECORD
FUTURE PLANS FOR THE NEXT SET OF RULES
  • CAP ON TOTAL STRs: Limiting the number of permitted STR homes > shall not exceed the lesser of (1) 20% of the improved lots at TSR or (2) 350 residences (the “STR Cap”).
  • OWNERSHIP: Only by individuals that are actual human beings > Entity Ownership Restricted. A residence on property fully or partially owned by a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity that is not a natural person shall not be registered or operated as an STR, except in the event
  • PROXIMITY LIMITS: Limiting the proximity of STR homes to each other in any neighborhood or street> must have a 300-foot separation measured horizontally from all parcel lines of property ownership as established by the legal description for the property on record with the County of Sonoma. (new wording to suggest perimeters of building)
  • CAP ON DAYS: Limiting the total number of days any single STR home can rent annually> 180 Night Annual Maximum in any calendar year.
 

Robin

Counselor
Inner Circle
@Matt Landau, my takeaway from seeing this show, like yours, was that this is all good for our growing vacation rental industry. It's a statement that the interest is growing and the parade is getting bigger. I can't say that I completely loved their style and I got a bit tired of hearing the three amigos saying "Oh, my gawd!!!..." but there are some very aspirational aspects to the way that the different VRs are presented that will no doubt attract new interest from travelers.

I felt the same way when I saw Homeaway first advertising on the Superbowl. When what you do is advertised in the Superbowl ad roster, you know you are onto something.

Your Vacation Rental Show definitely connects more to the hosts and why they do what they do and tells the story of our industry from another important angle. I like that angle, but it seems that in this case Netflix was favoring content that was beautifully photographed with a bit of a reality TV vibe. It's more of a fantasy show and less grounded in reality - it's all the good stuff without much of what it takes to make it happen.
 

ToonTownRob

Envoy
Inner Circle
Just as we understand the behind the scenes reality of our own businesses and industry, TV production has lots of tricks and traps and decades of accumulated experience with things that work and things that don’t. Ultimately their job is to build an audience and instead of ‘heads on beds’ get ‘eyeballs on screens’.

This has to be kept in mind when viewing these shows, but of course it is really hard to set personal values and concerns aside when watching something near and dear to one’s heart being presented through a distorted lens to the world.

Even ‘Reality’ TV has little to do with ‘reality’. Just google behind the scenes info on Reddit to learn just how much the reality is generated, created, or staged for the cameras. Most reality is frankly far too boring to make great TV. (That which isn’t is coming to a Netflix documentary soon!)

I have long remembered the lesson I was taught by local TV news about broadcast priorities when I attended a city council meeting one night. Many topics, some important, we’re on the agenda, but a minor one that happened to be incredibly crazy (something like moving the entire city 300 yards south of where it is in order to align it with positive crystal vibrations) contained in a letter from a citizen, was also discussed. It was handled basically like this; “This is the craziest thing I’ve heard in my time on council; I move that we receive the letter and completely ignore it!” Unanimously agreed and passed.

Later, I caught the TV news broadcast and its lead headline story: CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS SHIFTING THE ENTIRE CITY 300 YARDS TO ALIGN WITH CRYSTAL VIBRATIONS!

And of course, the story was ignored through an entire broadcast of news, sports and weather, until the very end of the show where the anchors reported the story as a humorous aside and had a good laugh about it as they were signing off with the credits running in front of them.

You truly can’t make thus stuff up!!

Remember, it’s all about eyeballs, and how many of them they’ve got on them! Everything else, even truth and accuracy, (even in the news, which is unfortunate in the extreme) are secondary considerations.
 

Lin

Lin
Inner Circle
I watched the first 2 episodes and found it all style over substance. More a travel show for the young and super adventurous. But I do understand that they have to appeal to a short attention span audience so it has to be either a beautiful, photogenic travel show or a hilarious 'train wreck' of a reality show - as in Instant Hotel - which Im embarrassed to admit, I did watch all the way thru.
 

AlexC

Envoy
Inner Circle
I haven't seen the show, I am fairly certain I wouldn't like it. This hot take DID get me randomly thinking about "what would some cool ideas be for an STR based show that I WOULD watch in addition to anything Matt Landau produces. So, even though nobody asked for or is all that interested in hearing it, I give you the pitch for a STR show I'd watch on Netflix:

Think wife swap combined with the apprentice combined with bar rescue.

Sounds ridiculous, but hear me out here on the aspects of the show I would like to see in one show on STRs.

Wife Swap: I haven't actually seen this show, , but the show name is pretty self explanatory. The aspect I'd like to pull from on it is vacation rental managers of varied backgrounds, ethnicities, skills, locations, management styles, ect swapping a listing and trying to improve performance on guest satisfaction, hospitality, design, marketing, ect....you could swap people in the same city but one is high end luxury and the other is value with completely different guest types and parts of a city or country....the interesting combinations are endless....and at the end, everyone learns a little about what it takes to be successful in completely different circumstances...highlighting what hosts have to do to try to run a successful business in hospitality as well as highlight awesome things that hosts figure out to do to improve guest stays (because, remember, there's a competitive aspect here on if you can improve performance of that property bringing in a new perspective and ideas).

The Apprentice: the only thing I am pulling from this is from the first season and as it relates to the highly skilled and successful business people they would have compete with each other

Bar Rescue: That show is kind of staged I think, but the host guy does talk a lot about hospitality in a real business way as well as the nitty girtty stuff that improve business performance.....if my show could do that as well as they do, well you have yourself a show. (think things like cleaning management, price management, guest management, and all the millions of situations hosts have to deal with and plan for to optimize)


So there you have it...my Wife Swap/The Apprentice/Bar Rescue show....if you are listening, Netflix, hit me up!
 

StacyW

Counselor
Inner Circle
Accelerator
I haven't seen the show, I am fairly certain I wouldn't like it. This hot take DID get me randomly thinking about "what would some cool ideas be for an STR based show that I WOULD watch in addition to anything Matt Landau produces. So, even though nobody asked for or is all that interested in hearing it, I give you the pitch for a STR show I'd watch on Netflix:

Think wife swap combined with the apprentice combined with bar rescue.

Sounds ridiculous, but hear me out here on the aspects of the show I would like to see in one show on STRs.

Wife Swap: I haven't actually seen this show, , but the show name is pretty self explanatory. The aspect I'd like to pull from on it is vacation rental managers of varied backgrounds, ethnicities, skills, locations, management styles, ect swapping a listing and trying to improve performance on guest satisfaction, hospitality, design, marketing, ect....you could swap people in the same city but one is high end luxury and the other is value with completely different guest types and parts of a city or country....the interesting combinations are endless....and at the end, everyone learns a little about what it takes to be successful in completely different circumstances...highlighting what hosts have to do to try to run a successful business in hospitality as well as highlight awesome things that hosts figure out to do to improve guest stays (because, remember, there's a competitive aspect here on if you can improve performance of that property bringing in a new perspective and ideas).

The Apprentice: the only thing I am pulling from this is from the first season and as it relates to the highly skilled and successful business people they would have compete with each other

Bar Rescue: That show is kind of staged I think, but the host guy does talk a lot about hospitality in a real business way as well as the nitty girtty stuff that improve business performance.....if my show could do that as well as they do, well you have yourself a show. (think things like cleaning management, price management, guest management, and all the millions of situations hosts have to deal with and plan for to optimize)


So there you have it...my Wife Swap/The Apprentice/Bar Rescue show....if you are listening, Netflix, hit me up!
Haha love this! You should check out the show I mentioned as it is kind of the show you are describing, however maybe make it less over the top and dial it down a bit. The show we watched was very good in the sense the premise of it was a great idea, but some of the contestants made it unbearable to watch. It was called Instant Hotel.
 

Craig

Envoy
Inner Circle
Accelerator
I am watching it at the moment and I have to say I quite enjoy it...my kids absolutely love it, so I enjoy having something we can all watch (that's hard with teenage kids). Look, it's chewing gum for the eyes, I don't thinking it does any harm, if anything it raises the profile of VR's a little bit more which is never a bad thing.
 

AlexC

Envoy
Inner Circle
Haha love this! You should check out the show I mentioned as it is kind of the show you are describing, however maybe make it less over the top and dial it down a bit. The show we watched was very good in the sense the premise of it was a great idea, but some of the contestants made it unbearable to watch. It was called Instant Hotel.

Woooww! I had scrolled down through the thread and saw on your post "instant hotel" and sort of kept skimming (my thinking was VRs/professionally managed STRs being equated to hotels in any way wasn't something I would likely be interested in). Your response prompted me to take a look at the trailer for the show and read some about what it was all about, and again, wooowwww, its very similar to the idea I was talking about lol. I haven't sat down and watched an episode just yet, but it looks like they have a similar idea of what would be really interesting on the hosts competing with each other, and even an entertaining hook that they stay at each other properties. Seems like they figured it was more entertaining to go with the reality TV personality route than what I would want, which are highly successful professional hosts that just have huge differences in how and where they operate. I think the fun part would actually be seeing how different hosts deal with guests on everything from guest complaints, to bad guests, to generally trying to improve guests experiences...guests might appreciate our side more that way (we all know it takes a lot to be a great host, but guests probably don't realize how much really goes into it from the hosts who really do care). I also don't think. many hosts know how other hosts really think and operate and the impact that can have on guests one way or another.....its wayyyy too nuanced to actually ever get made, but if I hit the lottery, you can count on me to produce it...it would just be fascinating for me to watch and find really interesting match ups lol
 

ToonTownRob

Envoy
Inner Circle
I've been inspired!

"It's time to play every STR manager's favorite game show BEAT MY GUEST!"

Dah da duhhhhh... Dah da duhhhhh... Dah da duh da duh...

"And here's your host; Huge Ayedeearerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"


"Hi everybody!
I'm your host, Huge Ayedeeare! Welcome to Beat My Guest!, the fun game show where we find the worst vacation rental guests and humiliate them just for fun and stress relief! Before we meet our contestants, let's tell everyone how the game is played Johnny!"

"Thanks Huge! Like every show, today's contestants are three STR owners or managers who've brought with them the worst guest they've hosted in the last twenty-four months! The guests are sequestered back stage in sound-proof booths and have no idea what's going on. They think they're here for a one in three chance of winning an all expense paid trip around the world!

Our owner/managers each get four minutes to describe in excruciating detail exactly what made these particular guests the worst they had to deal with. The stories are shared in random order based on lots drawn before the show. After all three have shared their stories, the studio audience will vote on who they think is the worst guest. The lucky guest chosen as the worst, will then be escorted blindfolded into the studio to receive 'their prize'! Take it away Huge!"

"That's right Johnny! This is where the fun really begins on Beat My Guest! The worst guest, as chosen by our studio audience, will be placed in a sealed container with glass walls, where each of the owner/managers will have three minutes to beat them senseless with a nerf foam bat! After their surprise nine-minute ordeal is over, they'll be dumped into a tank of freezing cold water where they'll listen to a recording of what made them such a horrible STR guest! Meanwhile, the studio audience will vote again for which owner/manager got the best shots in on them. Tell our contestants what they'll win, Johnny!"

"The winning owner/manager will receive an all expenses paid two week vacation, without their cell phone, including a stay at the second place finisher's vacation rental! The winning guest will be plucked out of the cold tank, and watch as their credit cards and passport are all shredded in front of them. Then they'll be put in an Uber and told to find their way home. The second and third place finishing guests on Beat My Guest will be left back stage in the dark in their sound-proof booths long after we've all gone home for the evening!"

"That's right Johnny! And our 2nd and 3rd place owner/managers will receive some lovely parting gifts, along with a copy of the home version of Beat My Guest! And now... Let's meet our contestants!"

"Thanks Huge!
Meet Troy Finklesnelter of Myrtle Beach, NC. Troy's brought a guest with him today who left him a one-star review on four different websites because the weather was bad for the first two days of their two week holiday! They vacated on the third day and demanded an immediate refund for the value of the entire stay. When Troy refused, they published their negative reviews stating; "He's the professional. Of course he should know what the weather will be when we book a year in advance! He had more than enough time to get it right!"

"And here's contestant number two: An 89 year-old grandmother of 26, renting out her garage loft to raise money to care for orphaned puppies..."


Would you watch it? :rolleyes::sneaky:
 
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DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
LOVED Rent Responsible's Blog post and review- that I also shared with our group of owners!

"The magic of TV has a way of transporting us, especially in the past year. Netflix’s new series The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals couldn’t have come at a better time, reminding us all about the wonders vacation rentals can create, and why many of us started hosting in the first place."

Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the show:

Rent Responsibly highlights 7 hosting lessons garnered from the show’s eight-episode series. Here are the highlights

Lesson 1: Check-ins count.
  • It set’s expectations for the vacation to come
  • It’s a critical opportunity to set the tone for your expectations of guests.
Lesson 2: Set proper expectations and rules to preserve your community and your vacation rental property.
  • Setting your standards high here can preserve not just your community and your relationships with neighbors but your property itself.
Lesson 3: Design with intention, brand – and safety.
  • Great design should never come at the risk of a guest’s or staff member’s safety
  • Don’t forget to have property/rental insurance
Lesson 4: Bring experiences to the vacation rental.
  • If hosts want a property that can host parties, we must make absolutely sure 1. It’s legal to do so, and 2. It’s not going to disrupt neighbors.
  • Embrace the uniqueness of your home /location
Lesson 5: Integrate with the local community and help guests explore it responsibly.
  • Curate their experiences to the quintessentially local – and help them explore responsibly
Lesson 6: Embrace nature. (an easy one for us!)
  • The point: what’s outside your vacation rental is just as important as what’s inside. Embrace it – with the love, care and respect nature deserves.
Lesson 7: Preserve and celebrate history.
  • using vacation rentals to preserve history creates win-win-wins all around
  • Our advice: If you preserve a historic property in your town and support it through short-term renting, make sure your community and particularly your policymakers know about it,
 

JPrugh

Envoy
Inner Circle
@lisafrank I agree with your assessment of the "World's Most Amazing" in that 1) they're really NOT the world's most amazing and 2) the hosts were IMO nearly unwatchable for an old boomer like me. As a VR owner of properties in small-town Kansas, it might be interesting to talk with you about our experiences and challenges in trying to stand out in a Netflix world where staying in a $5,000 per night property seems perfectly appropriate. My properties aren't near an ocean, lake or beach, so it's difficult to say "Ahem! Look over here!" @Matt Landau visited our little town about three or four years ago for his Vacation Rental show. Find a link on my website: www.LindsborgVacationRentals.com. P.S. Hey @Matt Landau - the community water fight is back on this summer!
 
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