Do you feel like the proverbial ostrich with your head in the sand when it comes to knowing what is really happening in your VR neighborhood? Knowing what the neighbors are talking about?
Well, ostriches are not pretty, so let’s not be an ugly bird…or an ugly neighbor.
As a Vacation Rental Owner, one of the biggest issues facing our industry are Anti-Vacation Rental Laws. Some of this tension is because VR owners can feel like outsiders to the locals.
Many owners, especially those that live hundreds of miles from their VR, feel helpless & disconnected from their neighborhood. I have just the solution for that problem. Nextdoor.com is a free private social network specifically for owners & residents of a particular neighborhood.
How does joining Nextdoor.com benefit you as a Vacation Rental Owner?
- Allows you to “virtually” meet your neighbors.
- Offer to help – you want to earn a reputation as a helpful contributor to the area. This may come in handy later if trouble arises. This can transform you from the evil faceless out-of-state owner, into a trusted friend.
- Allows you to “listen” to any chatter about VR issues so you can be proactive and rally other owners together in time to fight for reasonable laws.
- You could – depending on the receptiveness of VR’s in your area use it to gently advertise a discount for neighbors bringing in relatives. (I would NOT do this at first. Wait till you get a feel for the attitude towards VR’s in general. In some places they are accepted others maybe not, so don’t think of this a place to list your property!) In most cases it’s wise to stay under the radar instead.
- Allows you to find local vendors like handymen, house cleaners, snow plowers, etc.
- Gives you the heads up on anything going on that my affect your guests so you can alert them. Weather, fires, local events and so on.
- Donate or sell your old amenities to your neighbors rather than the public at large.
Below is a screenshot of your home page with the “Classified” listings pulled up. It’s a great place to keep up with what’s happening in the ‘hood. You can even score a sweet deal on that missing piece of furniture you’ve been looking for. There are also categories for Crime & Safety, Free Items, Lost & Found and more.
The map allows you to see who is a part of Nextdoor and the stats for your area. Even though only 8% of my neighborhood is represented, I still feel like I have a good handle on what’s going on. Before this I was completely blind as to all the local happenings. So far, I’ve answered a few questions and also offered to bring anything up from Phoenix (2 hours south) that anyone might need. It’s so simple and easy to be a helpful neighbor.
Once again, joining is 100% free, and if you start a new neighborhood in your area you will get a free $25 Amazon Gift Card by signing up here.
Additionally, if you are concerned about your rights to legally operate your VR, be sure and join Stradvocacy.org and read my popular post “How to Prevent Anti-Vacation Rental Laws.” Getting involved and being proactive is the best way to prevent restrictive laws & bans in the first place. Don’t be an ostrich! That’s how owners get blindsided by bad laws that can crush our vacation rental dreams. Just like a bulldozer rolling over freshly laid eggs.