Hosting Your Home - Airbnb host stories podcast

STR Advocacy Done Well - with Mark Rockwell

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Short Term Rental (STR) advocacy

Short Term Rental (STR) advocacy is difficult and time-consuming. But if you want STR regulation that is informed and fair, you need to work.  It's very easy for local government to spring into an over-regulated model, being saturated with negative news, so be proactive!  There is no single regulatory model that works for every municipality or jurisdiction, nor is there a single model that all STR hosts will embrace.  A city like Lake Oswego is completely different than a vacation destination resort area.

The "Social Model"

In his work in STR advocacy, Mark distinguishes between what he calls "social model" listings and "business model" listings.  He used this language to help commissioners understand:   He explained it as the difference between having the owner living in the home, earning money to offset taxes and maintenance, versus the owner being absent and expecting high returns.  Lake Oswego opposition to STRs had two big concerns.  First was the impact on long-term housing, and the potential for loud parties.  Mark was frank about not wanting to live next door to a house that had loud parties all the time.  He is also mindful that STRs, unchecked, can create financial incentives that would adversely impact long-term housing.  He told the City they could mitigate both of these problems  through his proposed requirement of having the owner live in the home.

The written word is important

The City planning bureau surveyed the entire City for their thoughts about short-term rentals. Surprisingly, a little over 50% of the responses were positive.  Mark notes the even higher approval from those who have used Airbnb in their travels.  I see this as a good sign.  It shows that as more people use the Airbnb model of travel, they become less fearful of it in their home towns.

All in all, the success Mark had in Lake Oswego, a wealthy and probably somewhat conservative city, shows that advocacy can work in what might seem like an unlikely place.  One of the most important tips Mark brought up for STR advocacy is the need to be able to clearly communicate your ideas in writing.  When he met with City officials he also left them with a document that explained his rationale and concerns. We will definitely follow his example and add this simple reinforcement when we meet with City officials.

See the actual regulations at

Mark is also a business coach and professional EOS implementer.  You can contact him at [email protected]




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