I'm currently in the process of purchasing the townhouse I have rented since moving to South Beach, Miami in 2020.

Back then, I wrote this article about moving to the epicenter of the pandemic and I should really write an update soon.

But purchasing this townhouse is lowkey a pretty big deal for me personally:

My first home: decades of entrepreneurship and carving my path capitalized!

But it's also causing me to think about our industry in profound new ways.

Specifically, as a homeowner I must agree to not short term rent my property (which I had no plans to do anyways) seeing as though the building is very small (only 6 units) and the HOA is very family-focused (everyone knows everyone).

Of course I agreed. (after all, you all remember the Pink Flamingo Lady? I've pasted it below for reference)...

From VRMB Newsletter April 14, 2021
Yesterday I was leaving my house to go running around 6 AM.

It was still dark out.

When a cluster of clearly waaaaasted young women stumbled across the street in my direction.

One of them was wearing a flamingo pool floaty around her torso, but so tight it looked like it was cutting off circulation.

Another one wielding a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels (almost like teacher would a piece of chalk) asked if I knew about any bars that were open.

6 AM

I directed them to Dewey's (the only 24-hour bar in my neighborhood) which in all fairness is designed precisely for this kind of drinking.

And I chuckled.

Because once in a while, encountering a drunk group of people at the beginning of your morning run is funny.

I even asked for a photo (because I knew I was including this in our newsletter) but flamingo girl said "No, my hair looks terrible."


This past month I've had the pleasure of living on the same block as Spring Breakers in Miami.

The homes they are staying in were no-doubt Airbnb listings flung up at the smell of dollar signs.

But this is what Airbnb does: bring homesharing to the masses.

And as far as the noise, trash, and general disruption to peace goes: I can attest to it all.

The Spring Break groups turned my normally-quiet street into a college campus.

And it's supposedly over soon.

But let's get one thing clear, if this carried on it would not be funny: vacation rentals done unprofessionally really suck!

They suck for residents.

And they suck for the vacation rental professionals whose reputation gets tarnished.

As I've argued, Airbnb may be the single biggest threat to the professional movement.

I consider myself fortunate that the mayhem on my street will end with Spring Break.

But other neighborhoods aren't so lucky.

Ok onto some more motivational topics...

But I also felt hypocritical.

How can someone who profits off an industry not accept that industry in their own backyard?

I am curious if it's just me or if other members feel conflicted about this in any way and how you justify or compartmentalize this complex topic into clearer pieces. Asking for a new homeowner friend ;)...
There is a saying often heard in real estate that is jaded but still rings true: "...highest and best use..."

It often refers to profit only, but I like to think of it more in terms of community and neighborhood terms, especially now that I'm a short term rental owner/manager.

Owner-occupants and long term tenants might be the best models for the townhouse grouping you describe.

The first house I purchased as a dedicated vacation rental, however, had been on the market for 18 months because it has no yard, garage/outdoor storage, is on a steep site with an odd shared driveway, and is in a resort 'Activity Zone'. In my opinion, perfect for a short term rental!

I hope that we hosts consider these issues when converting homes to STRs. Many areas do have a housing shortage, and some homes may be at their best with full-time tenants.
I live in the centre of Barcelona, Spain, and I think about this a lot! There are two legal rentals in the building next door, but I actually had trouble with an illegal rental in my own building where some guests had a really loud party on a Monday morning at 4am. I find that the legal rentals, with owners who use noise software and set ground rules for their guests to avoid any trouble (repeat complaints = license revoked), don't cause any trouble, but the fellow tenant in my building subletting was troublesome. So no, I don't mind living next door to an Airbnb, but as long as the host is responsible!
I agree 100% that professionally managed properties have FAR fewer problem guests because their goals are aligned with the property owner - right guest, right price, right time, right place. It is important to have boundaries (see this) and I believe it is ok to now allow short-term rentals in some areas - per the property owner's wants and needs. However, I think that needs to be an agreement, not a legal imposition (think private property covenants one agrees to when purchasing - like you are Matt Landau Matt Landau versus publicly imposed ordinance and/or restrictions). I can empathize with your concerns and still believe that just because you make your living in the industry, we do not have to wholesale agree to allow operations everywhere. My Two Cents.
I agree 100% that professionally managed properties have FAR fewer problem guests
...or stated another way... properties managed in a professional manner so as not to be presumed only professional companies accomplish this.

Sonoma County in north bay area of California is undergoing STR growth pains. And its flurry of new restrictions exemplifies that pain. The challenge we face is determining whose law (or rights) trumps the other?

We're comprised of bedroom communities (the one I reside in) and tourist communities (river, wine-country, and ocean coast- my STR).

The community where our STR is located originally was created as a touristy, try-it-then-buy it ..and when you can afford it, retire in it community.

Fast forward 50+ years those retirees are now grumpy pants grannies and grandpas who want all those loud, nature invading whipper-snappers locked out of the 'hood. Our saving grace is a state law that protects owners of STRs by assuring access to the coast for all, even Gen Z.

Where I reside, Windsor, a family-oriented cookie-cutter version of the touristy wine-country resort town right next door without the resort or much of the wine is striving to completely outlaw any non-hosted STRs. It is attempting to put in place one of the most stringent set of rules against STRs in the entire County.

A quick google check nationwide...and globally will show more and more people at the moment of closing the deal on their family home want to know who are the people in their neighborhood (cue Mr. Rodgers), especially when that community was sold to them as being a "neighborhood," and not a resort. And failing that, they will put up more and more restrictions
I live in a neighborhood with MANY vacation rentals. The closest is ~100 ft line of sight and the owners manage it themselves. The closest one that my company manages is ~1 block. I'm happy to see the well managed vacation rentals here. Once or twice a year I text the owner about outdoor lights left on and only because they shine into my house. Maybe once about noise in several years. But, this area was built as 2nd homes, so most people moving here understand the community character. Personally, I have more issues with long-term residents who are inconsiderate of noise and cigarette smoke.

My husband and I have seriously considered purchasing the home immediately next door to set up as a vacation rental if the owner ever sells. We actually think it would be great! We're right next door for emergencies and can address noise or behavior issues immediately and before they bother any other neighbors. We'd run the management through my office so we don't tell the guests we're the owners next door to maintain our privacy - only reaching out if needed.

But, I might feel differently living in an apartment or condo complex with shared walls and upfront expectations. Vacation rentals are not the "right fit" everywhere and it's the owners/property manager's responsibility to have that awareness. And, as a property manager, I turn down managing homes that are not a good fit - too close to neighbors (many homes here were built before a standard building code and set back requirements), no parking, septic or other utility issues, impinging on neighbor privacy, etc.

I think it's all about expectations...
I grew up in Sunriver Oregon, which is where I now currently manage vacation rentals. As a child I loved having these neighbors. This community was 70% rentals and 30% retirees, so as a child I loved any chance of having kids to play with. I don't ever recall having issues or my folks being frustrated with the renters. Now mind you my parents were running the vacation rental company at the same time. Having lived next to neighbors I don't like and stuck with them for a year, the short term doesn't seem to bother me. I think it is a wonderful experience to meet new people from all over. No matter who your neighbor is you will always have issues whether short term or long term, so why have we gone so anti short term rentals?? I feel the level of hatred against STR is a little unfounded, yes there are of course exceptions, but overall are they really as disruptive as we hear they are or are folks jumping on the ban STR bandwagon because it is the new trendy thing to do?
My husband and I own and manage our short term rental and have for over 11 years. Our little romantic getaway cabin is on our primary property (approx 9 acres.) I believe by having officially signed rental policy and speaking to each guests before their arrival, giving them a layout of the land (we live on the property and family lives around the lake) lets them know, we take good care of our investment... We can only accommodate 4 guests, therefore, the party element is limited...We have had great renters over the years and if someone wants to return, I look back at records to see how they left our cabin...So a well managed vacation rental is totally different than a Airb&b "money grabber"
Since we live next door to our 16-person vacation rental and have for almost 30 years, I have to say, I have a vacation rental in my own backyard literally. LOL We rent the house through our professional agency (that we own) and we lay out the rules. People tend to be very respectful and many return year after year. But, this is Maine and not Miami. From all the things I have heard and seen it is perfectly ok with me not to allow rentals in a situation like yours. Although, I think it is violating your rights. You should be able to do what you want to with your property. That is my only concern. The issue of regulation and a city or town or (HOA) telling a property owner what they can and can't do with their own property is a big one for our industry. Have they had problems in your complex? What is the reason behind this? Are you allowed to have a pet? I don't like being told what to do, I might have a problem with your HOA.
This is a complex topic and deserves more than an 'all or nothing' analysis. You are not being hypocritical at all.

From the VR perspective, the ask should be that each HOA is educated on the vr topic, so they can make an informed and democratic decision. It's a problem when there is misinformation and 'fear-based' conjecture.

We own and live in a condominium that is pretty ideal for VR, but if we decided to rent it out, we would respect any decision made by the HOA for or against short term rentals, as long as it was an informed one.
First of all, congratulations! A new purchase is always worth celebrating! Next, I absolutely agree with you. There are short term rentals that are responsibly managed and then there are the "pay, come, do whatever you want, leave" models that are not good for the building, neighbors or neighborhood.

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