Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Ahead to 2017


I have never been in a market moving as fast as this one. I email my colleagues in the business and it can be 3 days before they get back to me. I would feel bad, but I am doing the same thing. It seems like every minute of every work day has to be rationed with the knowledge that whatever you choose to work on means something else falls to a lower priority. In a market like this, many times friends have to wait.

In this past year I have seen large companies swallow smaller companies. I have seen start-ups close their doors on Friday, never to open them again. I have quietly listened to the frustration of owners and managers that have been crushed as their inquiries dropped 50% and then there is the anger, not just angry owners and managers, but angry guests as well.

There was a lot of pain and fear in 2016 that forced all of us to understand things have changed. That nobody is going to take care of us…that we are going to have to take care of ourselves.

For AVROA, 2016 was a great year. It was the first full year we didn’t have to weather a major systems upgrade. In 2016, our inquiry generation was way up and already in 2017, inquiries are running 400-500% ahead of last year. Membership is up. Awareness is up. Owners and managers, alike, are recognizing that we are all better off working together. Put it another way, we are starting to trust each other.

Looking Ahead to 2017

When I think about 2017, I get images of the great barrier reef of Australia. I think of its beauty, the diversity. Then I remember that only the fittest survive. That’s what the vacation rental market is going to look like in 2017. Small companies, even those will millions of dollars of venture capital, will be severely tested. My guess is that many of these company’s CEO’s are not trying to build a sustainable businesses but are just looking to cash out by getting a larger company to purchase them before they run out of capital.

Even the large listing sites, that we all love and hate, won’t be safe because there are even larger, established brands entering the market. Why not. After all, what are these simple advertising sites in the minds of guests compared to the brand trust that has been established over years of delivering quality experiences by the world’s greatest hotels?

Marriott vacation rentals

That brings us back to AVROA. Our plan for 2017 is to continue to develop our brand for independent owners and managers. One that stresses personal service and makes guests feel welcome and safe. The large hotel brands will most likely capture a large segment of the vacation rental market over the next several years but here at AVROA, we see a huge opportunity for independent owners and managers to develop their own brand as a group. One that offers the kind of assurance that can only be created when guests work directly with owners or managers.

Whether you are a vacation rental owner or manager, operate a B&B or a vacation rental industry affiliated business, I invite you to join our movement.

You can learn more about AVROA at