In a world where social media rules the internet with an average of 2.46 billion users and where workplace email might soon cease to exist, do online forums still have a place they can call home?
For many sectors, such as the vacation rental industry, forums are as prevalent as ever and can provide a real source of support for hosts in need.
What are online forums?
At their core, online forums are discussion sites whereby users can exchange messages and join conversations that interest or resonate with them.
Not only are forums a fantastic way to network and build social connections, but they also help users to feel part of a wider community.
As forums are usually specific to a particular subject matter – in this case, vacation rentals – they’re an ideal place to find like-minded individuals who are experiencing (or have experienced) the same as you.
Even better, on vacation rental industry forums, other owners can help you out by offering their own first-hand experiences and advice. Airbnb horror story? They can chime in with the next steps to take. Negative review? The collective community will help you compose your reply.
Whether you’re looking to achieve more direct bookings or reduce the carbon footprint of your home, it all boils down to advice that you read and receive from people who have already done it.
Here is our list of the eight most helpful vacation rental forums for owners and managers. All of these forums are active and with useful communities waiting to accept you (and your questions!) with open arms.
Though its name directly relates to the popular home-sharing platform, Airbnb, any vacation rental hosts will find helpful answers to some of their biggest doubts in this forum. While not affiliated by Airbnb in any way, the Airhosts Forum allows hosts from all over the globe to connect with each other and share resources to become even better at hosting.
BiggerPockets Short Term and Vacation Rental Discussion
This forum, brought to users by BiggerPockets, boasts over 8,000 posts to date. In this online space, business owners discuss important aspects of short term real estate and vacation rental properties, such as marketing, legal issues, and the challenges the industry brings.
Community from HomeAway
The forum provided by vacation rental site, HomeAway, is another great resource for owners and managers who want to get ahead. Split into sections such as ‘New to renting’, ‘Get more bookings’ and ‘Interacting with guests’, there are plenty of discussion topics ready and waiting for new participants’ views.
Community with Airbnb
Currently available in nine different world languages, the global Community with Airbnb is the perfect place to connect with other hosts who are, in Airbnb’s words, ‘creating a world where anyone can belong’. Participate in discussion rooms organized by category, join Home Sharing Clubs and connect on a more personal level with meetups.
Don’t be fooled by the GlobalHosting forum’s appearance, it remains wildly active with regular new posts and discussions by experienced owners and hosts. There is also a corresponding Facebook Group with over 1,000 members.
Lay My Hat
The Lay My Hat forum also has an old-school feel, but it’s still full of active members (over 8,000 in total!) sharing tips and rental insights on a daily basis. It’s organized in such a clear way that, to quote Lay My Hat, “even the forum editor’s mother could use it”.
A relatively new player when it comes to vacation rental forums, SmartHosts has quickly gained lots of attention from industry professionals who are eager to share their ideas, hosting tips and debate sharing economy news.
VRMB The Inner Circle
One of the most active vacation rental forums out there, The Inner Circle’s ever-growing number of members speaks for itself – it’s without doubt one of the hottest places to hang out if you’re in vacation rentals. More than just a forum, a membership to The Inner Circle gives you access to eBooks and video courses, as well as meetups, networking events and more.
Are there any other forums you’re an active member of that we’ve missed? Get in touch and let us know in the comments!