Certification Program Modules

Certification Program Outline and Modules

The Vacation Rental Management Certificate Program consists of five online educational modules focused on the roles and responsibilities of a vacation rental manager working in the industry today. The modules are followed by an assessment, based on the knowledge gained from completing the online education.

Business Operations 

This module covers accounting and finance; management of human resources and personnel, housekeeping, maintenance, and reservations and sales; and rental contracts and agreements.

a.     Accounting and Finance

Basic accounting and financial operating principles will be covered in this module, including defining basic accounting terms, creating an annual operational budget, and reviewing and analyzing monthly financial statements, key performance indicators, and drivers of profitability.

b.     Human Resources and Personnel Management

The Human Resources and Personnel Management module will discuss critical components of managing employees at a successful vacation rental company. This module will cover creating a financially-viable staffing plan based on regulations, company performance, and industry trends. It will also discuss implementing the employee performance review process and ensuring access to training and development opportunities for staff. It will further cover employment laws and regulations to help ensure that your company is in compliance.

c.      Housekeeping Management

The Housekeeping Management section of the course will focus on establishing a company cleaning and laundry standard for all rental properties and articulate the critical importance of developing a standard property appearance protocol. The course also will cover ensuring compliance with government regulations and safety policies as well as demonstrate how to optimally operate your housekeeping staff and effectively manage resources.

d.     Maintenance Management

The Maintenance Management module discusses how to establish a company maintenance standard and when to implement reviews and updates to this standard. It also covers how to ensure compliance with government regulations, OSHA regulations and safety policies as well as discusses the basics of spa and pool care. The module will also include the critical importance between the maintenance and housekeeping department’s roles and responsibilities.

e.      Reservations and Sales Management

The Reservations and Sales Management module provides resources to ensure staff are following industry best practices and providing personalized selling experiences for guests. The module will also identify key action tasks that a manager needs to take to oversee the reservation and sales team as well as how to implement best practices for success. It will also review establishing company standards and implementing KPIs for the reservations and sales team.

Business Planning and Organizational Management

This module covers industry trends, legal regulations and compliance, ethics, insurance and liability, green initiatives, and emergency and disaster planning.

a.      Industry Trends

The industry trends module covers the ever changing dynamics of the vacation rental landscape by discussing current issues that are facing the market. The course discussing changing market dynamics from an increasingly competitive marketplace, changes in travel trend and regulatory standard, new technology and changing guest expectations.

b.     Legal Regulations

The legal regulations module demonstrates how to utilize available resources to ensure compliance with existing state, local, and federal regulations that apply to property owners. It will also demonstrate how to source federal, state, and local business tax liabilities that relate to your management company as well as the state and/or local sales taxes and occupancy/lodging taxes that apply to your rentals and who is liable for those payments.

c.     Ethics

The Ethics modules articulates the importance of codes of ethics and responsibility in the VRM industry. Gain increased awareness of the VRMA member code of ethics, the real estate licensure code of ethics, and develop and adhere to your own company code of ethics from this module.

d.     Green Initiatives

This module will discuss the various green initiatives currently being implemented in the vacation rental industry as well as the benefits and impact of incorporating these initiatives into your business practices.

e.     Emergency and Disaster Planning

Emergency and disasters are unfortunately a very real part of vacation rental management. This module will cover how to develop a disaster plan, put that plan into action and how to review and identify areas for future improvement. It will also discuss how to assess disaster plans and emergency needs in your local area.

Marketing and Promotion

This module covers marketing and promotion, including brand positioning, owner-targeted marketing, guest-targeted marketing, and public relations within your community. The module will discuss methods to identify target markets and assess competition as well as how to develop marketing strategies for promotion. It also examines the critical importance of identifying and articulating the company’s value proposition and core values of your brand. Lastly, the module will discuss how to develop strategies to marketing your business in your local community and building public relations.

Guest Relations

The Guest Relations module covers methods for delivering quality service and customer care. The module will discuss the critical importance of relationship management with guests, including strategies to manage guest expectations and deliver promised service and quality standards. It will further discuss methods for recognizing potential issues and how to implement resolution strategies.

Owner Relations

This module covers methods for acquiring and retaining your inventory and increasing your ability to build and maintain relationships with property owners. The module will discuss how to analyze performance of your rental properties and inventory acquisition strategy as well as discuss how to establish KPIs to monitor homeowner satisfaction. It will also discuss the manager’s role in defining expectations and requirements for new homeowner and company partnerships.