Hospitality means we take people into the space that is ourselves — our lives and our minds and our hearts and our work and our efforts. It is the way we come out of ourselves. It is the first step toward dismantling the barriers of the world. It is the way we turn a prejudiced world around one heart at a time.
— Joan Chittister
What follows is one of VRMB's Monday Morning Motivations, weekly mailers distributed via email to our subscribers. If you'd like to receive these updates free of charge, simply sign up here.
I have to be honest...I've sat down to write this week's mailer now five or six times but failed on each. Too much sentiment is not what you "pay" me for. But too little recognition of the racial injustice circumstances felt downright wrong. The process of settling on my final draft has forced me -- like I am guessing the last week has forced you -- to stop and really think about the role of our little businesses in the world and how we can make it better.
One personality trait I have always admired about VRMB subscribers is your endless desire to improve. Self-improvement in health and lifestyle. Business improvements of efficiency and growth. Community improvements in your streets and neighborhoods and towns.
And in hospitality, our desire to improve is heavily rooted in people. If our people are happy, so are we! If our people are hurting, we hurt too.
Something else I really admire is that vacation rental professionals are Doers. When we get an idea, we run with it. When we see something broken, we fix it.
As you contemplate your own ways to help the world in which you live, I am announcing VRMB's Diversity & Inclusion Symposium, a virtual gathering of key underrepresented stakeholders in our industry, facilitated by Shine Diversity, in order to produce our industry's first Diversity & Inclusion Field Book to be freely shared with owners and managers throughout the world.
Until vacation rental teams accurately reflect the color palette of the general public, our collective potential is lost. Please reply to this email if you would like to help fund to this event.
And please remember:
Vacation rental professionals are important gatekeepers in the world right now.
We are the first step toward dismantling the barriers.
We are the way to turn a prejudiced world around, one heart at a time.
+ Global vacation rental bookings skyrocketed by 127% as a result of a surge in domestic tourism according to our friends at AirDNA.
+ Local authorities are failing to ensure that vacation rentals comply with the basic health standards. This letter to the editor in the Oregonian is some tough love required reading for all owners and managers.
+ Silver Lake is betting big on Vacasa. They just announced a new $108 million investment and Vacasa has started bringing back some furloughed employees and has resumed hiring. Talk about bidding confidence in the future of short term rentals!
+ Airbnb Plus is all but abandoned. Dennis at Skift revealed that the company’s vision for certifying homes with quality standards and design acumen has been all but abandoned. Support and product teams have been reassigned or laid off. One anonymous contractor said: "What didn’t make sense to me was to plan for Plus to blitz-scale. Not every business should scale. Plus should have grown organically."
I don't have much more to say today. My hope is that our weekly mailers bring you one part motivation, one part reflection, and one part X-factor.
Now is a time for your X-factor to shine. This moment in time is made for leaders to step up and improve their families, their customers, and their communities. But it must happen right now.
Here is a poem I shared several weeks ago to close at VRMA Virtual Spring. I had no idea it would be infinitely more fitting today:
I only have a minute.
60 seconds in it.
Forced upon me, I did not choose it.
Did not seek it.
Did not choose it.
But I know that I must use it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Suffer if I lose it,
Only a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.
- Dr Benjamin Mays (1894-1984)