May 3, 2023

Advocating for Short Term Rentals with Dana Lubner

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This is a must-see episode: Today, we are joined by Dana Lubner, Director of Community Development at Rent Responsibly and host of the podcast "How to Save Your Vacation Rental Business." With a background in marketing and advertising, Dana fell in love with the short-term rental industry while working with her brother's company, Effortless Rental Group. However, her real passion emerged when she witnessed the industry's need for advocacy and education. As a founding member of Mile High Hosts, Denver's short-term rental community, Dana has organized events such as the Good Neighbor Summit and educates hosts on responsible practices. Now, at Rent Responsibly, she helps short-term rental owners and managers across the country mobilize to advocate for fair and balanced regulations while building strong alliances and educating the community. With her podcast, Dana continues to share her knowledge and passion for the industry, empowering listeners to take action and create a healthy and sustainable vacation rental community.

Don't miss out on this informative discussion with Dana. Discover how Rent Responsibly is advocating for short term rentals and promoting successful alliances for hosts. Tune in now to gain valuable insights and be part of the community-building efforts in the short-term rental industry!

Highlights of the Episode:
02:57 - Guest Background: Dana Lubner, Head of Leadership Development at Rent Responsibly
06:25 – Rent Responsibly the last couple of years
08:38 – The Good Neighbor Summit
14:02 – A portal for opportunity
16:52 – The year of reckoning or more regulations?
21:00 – Bring everybody that has a stake to the discussion table
25:23 – Partnership with the VRMA
28:38 – Interactions with other channels around vacation rentals
32:18 – What's next for Dana?

This episode is brought to you byCasago,Guest Ranger, andGood Neighbor Tech. to view our top picks for the best suppliers in vacation rental technology and services.

Special thanks toRev & Research for being the presenting sponsor of Alex & Annie’s List.

Connect with Dana:

Connect with Alex and Annie:
Alex Husner|Annie Holcombe

If you enjoyed this episode ofALEX & ANNIE: The Real Women Of Vacation Rentals, make sure to visit our socials, leave us a like, a comment, or share our content with the crowd! Don’t forget to subscribe!



[00:00:00] Welcome to Alex and Annie, the Real Women of Vacation Rentals. I'm Alex. And I'm Annie. And we are joined today with Dana Lubner, who is the head of leadership Development at Rent Responsibly. Dana, welcome to the show. Thank you both so much for having me here. Yeah, we're, we're super fans and been following you for a long time.
I told you, I felt like I'd been stalking you for several years, so appreciate it very much that you were willing to come on the show. I'm so glad to connect with you both and have this conversation today. Thanks for having me. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, to, to get started can you just give us a little bit of background on who you are and what your role is at Rent Responsibly?
Yeah. So Oh my God, where do I start in this story? And also as many of us, especially in the last year, have switched hats and changed and, you know companies that we've worked for. Currently my role with Rent Responsibly is, as you said, head of [00:01:00] leadership development. So I have the honor and privilege of getting to work with.
Local leaders within their communities who are looking to form an alliance of short-term mental hosts, operators, and stakeholders traditionally and typically to fight for fair regulations. So it's in a community building and advocacy role. And then Rent Responsibly itself is a tool that. Communities can use to empower local leaders to help build local communities of alliance leaders and members that wanna ensure they have an ability to short-term rent their properties down the road and in the future.
We have a lot going on there. So you actually started as a property manager, so is the property management piece of your background, what brought you to wanna be being so passionate about what Brett Responsibly does? I don't think I would be doing what I'm doing for as long as I've done it. If it wasn't for the property management and the firsthand experience.
Being in property management, without a [00:02:00] doubt, it was, you know, working alongside my brother with his property management company in Colorado called Effortless Rental Group. And it was when we saw that we were having regulations come that would, you know, restrict our family's ability to short-term rent in Denver and throughout the state we realized that we needed to organize and mobilize.
So, ended up starting my own local group found rent responsibly, met Dave. And he was like, do you wanna do this as like a full-time career? So this newfound passion that I was finding as like a, something I really enjoyed doing became my full-time career when I joined Brent Responsibly. Gotcha. That, that makes sense now.
And. I also just saw on your LinkedIn that you graduated from the University of New Hampshire. Are you from New Hampshire? I am from New Hampshire. Oh my goodness. Me too. So is Alex. Yeah. I I didn't know that you were. I'm from Manchester. Where are you from? Amazing. I'm from Durham, New Hampshire. Okay.
Yeah. Right Where u nhs, small world. [00:03:00] I know, right? Small world, we would've thought. Yep. So I've never been to New Hampshire, but I have rode on my hydro on the, a river in New Hampshire. So that's the closes I've come. So my hydro, the, the hydro rowing machine that I have, they do live roads. Oh yeah. And they've done roads.
They did rows in New Hampshire. I guess it's the Connecticut River that goes partially through New Hampshire. So, That's, that's my only touchpoint with New Hampshire. I was just part of, I was trying part of the group. I used to row crew in New Hampshire in the real water. Yeah. I rodee in the Potomac when I was in high school.
Yes. Seven degrees of separation. Right. I knows. Crazy. Yeah. So we digress. Yeah. Yeah. Sad stories. Yeah. Oh, well. So, okay. Dana, where should we begin? I mean, you, you met Dave and. Obviously, I mean, Dave's a very compelling person. I can see why he g or how he got you or why you decided to go work for him and the team.But how has that been in the last couple years? I feel like Rent Responsibly has [00:04:00] been making a lot of impact and just doing some great things. But what, what's it been like? Wow. That my, my response to you right now is kinda like what it's been like. It's been kinda this, a lot of processing of how you know, you manage your mental wellbeing when you're working in an industry that feels like it's under attack.
Sure. You know, it's. I was doing client acquisition when I was working, so I'll back up for a second kind of to like connect the dots here, but I was doing client acquisition when I was working with my brother. I was bringing on properties and then when we realized that the enforcement tactics within Denver were really, really intense and they were following people and sending them affidavits and hosts were getting arrested for.
Claims of falsifying their primary residents. Wow. I was like, oh my God, we need to like really organize a group. Right. So we got together with other local property managers. I told my brother, you know, I, he, he run, he owns the company, but I pretty much was co-running it [00:05:00] with him and, you know, very much able to have some freedom and liberty with what I would spend my day-to-day on.
I said to him, I need to be spending a portion of my time on building the local alliance here in, in Denver. Like I need to spend time on meeting with council members. I need to leave the office. Like I needed to kind of adjust what my day-to-day duties looked like. And I share that part of the story because I.
As we continue to mature as an industry and as operators, you know, not only here, over and over, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when regulations are coming to you. It's not a matter of if or when, it's that they are. But what are you gonna do about it and how bad are they gonna be? And what is the role that you're gonna play in being able to impact the outcomes?
And I think. As hosts have the op, the responsibility to be engaged within their local community or wherever their property happens to be. All operators also have that same responsibility, so property management companies, if they have staff or they themselves, should be dedicating a certain number of hours.
To do the work that I [00:06:00] had to do in Denver. And whether it's like, hey, we don't, we don't have staff to be able to do this. It's a matter of dedicating resources. So it might be you know, a virtual assistant or donating money to the local alliance and so forth. So, As my job was morphing into more of this advocate and activist in Denver we put on a really big event called The Good Neighbor Summit.
And last fall we just hosted our fourth annual Good Neighbor Summit where we bring the stakeholders together. We invite council, we invite our enforcement office and really just show what it means to be a responsible operator and he'll host understand best practices and so forth. And we invited Dave Kraus, and Dave and I met.
And I think it was over the celebratory dinner. After that, I, I grabbed his ID and I noticed we had the same birthday, so, oh my gosh. I love that. Once he realized he was from Boston Mass, which when, you know Yeah, when you're, when you meet other New Englanders, it's a right. Same state. Mm-hmm. [00:07:00] And I was like, okay, so we're birthday twins and you're from Mass.
I'm from New Hampshire. Like we're fam like, that's the Yeah, totally. We felt like we were like, you know brother and sister separated at birth. Anyway, so that was just the opening to a friendship where we kept in touch and then the pandemic hit. And he is like, how are you managing all this? Like, what, what are you, what are you feeling?
Because this was like at the time when all vacation rentals were wiped from our calendars and you know, they were considered not essential lodging in Colorado. And so I was like, I don't know what I'm gonna do. And he is like, well, would you consider. You know, going full-time and becoming you know, our first official hire with Alexa and I, and doing this and helping other leaders do all the work that you did in Denver.
And I was like, wow, okay. Leaving my brother's company. I felt some guilt there cuz I love my brother and my family. Yeah. Super close. But it was like, it felt. Like if you just listen to your gut, your gut is usually right. And I listened to my gut and I was like, it's time to like do this transformation.
And it felt like [00:08:00] the beginning of the pandemic had this like, this is gonna sound so wooooo, but like this portal. And I felt like right, this opportunity of chaos to like dive into it and see like what beauty could come out of it. And so that's when I was like, okay, I'll do that. So in the beginning we just had the three of us.
And then we grew to four and now we're at 11. But as within any startup in the beginning, you do so many different of the operational elements. You wear so many hat. Yeah. And so as we've brought on more staff, I feel like I've had the opportunity to have better work-life balance. And so I feel like I have my lane that I operate in and I understand you know, that.
Life goes on if you shut your laptop at night. And like, like all of those boundaries and guardrails so that you don't get burned out because what you ladies have probably seen yourself is like you pour yourself into what you're doing and next thing you know, you're, you've lost any sense of like routine if you're working from home.
Yeah. [00:09:00] Yeah. And especially in advocacy, advocacy never stops. And so you keep going if you don't have those, those brake pads in intact. Yeah. That's a really good point. Yeah. Well taken for, you know, Annie's been working at home for a long time, but this is new for me in the last couple months. And, and I have noticed that it's you know, I just, I, I always go to the gym after work or I used to, but it's, I'm having a hard time now getting myself to leave my house.
I'm like, do I go in the morning? But I really like going after work. But it's little things like that and, You know, like I haven't left the house in the last couple days and then all of a sudden you realize like, I have, there's things I need to do and I just haven't done them because I haven't had any reason to leave.
But yeah, it's interesting and good point. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I I, I love that you call, you said that Covid was like a portal cuz Alex and I talk about this a lot. So for the two of us, and I can just really speak for myself. Covid was the thing that was like, it, it separated me from the pack. Like it, I realized at that [00:10:00] moment, like I had done vacation rentals.
I had worked for OTAs. I was working with a technology company, but I was working in a space that I loved, and I loved all the people, but it, there was so much uncertainty that it was just like it was sink or swim, you know? Mm-hmm. Like you just really, and I remember just, you know, just like. I felt like I was just paddling for my life almost every day.
Just trying to figure it out. Like how are we all gonna land? And what was really funny is we were actually in Colorado when they locked down and we were in Keystone. And I remember months later hearing about all the things that kind of were happening in Colorado on advocacy, when things started to open up and like people getting really sideways about how many people were putting their units on rental.
Mm-hmm. And I just always felt that Colorado, all the times I had ever been everybody was so behind. Rentals and, and the vacation industry. And so it really, really shocked me. But you take all the stuff that happened with Covid, it was kind of like this perfect storm of opportunity for people to just kind of branch out and find their place and find their way.
And I think it brought, it [00:11:00] brought a spotlight on so many different pieces of the industry that we needed attention to. We needed a voice. But ha, I don't know that if had covid ha happened, we would be having this conversation to the depth that we've been having it as of late. You know, it's just, it just really opened up people's minds and again, it was a portal for so much opportunity.
A lot of strife, a lot of stress, a lot of uncertainty. But a really at the end of the day, I think there's so many more pluses that came out of it than minuses. 
Yeah, it's like it just fast forwarded everything. It like took the speed on the conversation and like clicked it up three notches. Yeah.
Because all of that was coming, you know, but it, I think Covid just sped up these conversations in town hall and city halls about what are we gonna do about that short-term rental problem. You know, like the conversation was it, it wasn't not ever coming. It was just a matter of when? When, yeah. And then Covid was like all of a sudden, as we know, like the lodging preferences changed [00:12:00] towards spaces to spread out in places that had like were sitting on an acre and that were in the mountains, that were away from urban destinations or crowded locations.
And so it shifted. I matured some destinations fast. I'd say faster than probably they would have because of the pandemic. Yeah. But now the pendulum is swinging the other way, so it's kind of having a reconciliation. And I, and I think that's gonna happen with regulations in 2023 and 24. Probably for, for at least the next three years that Oh, yeah.
There's a lot of policy makers that are considering some somewhat knee-jerk reactions. Yeah. And how they wanna address the short-term rental problem. I just mm-hmm. It really irks me hearing it like that, or, or the issue. And I think that they're not looking big picture and so they are gonna see that.
There is, there was an overcorrection with the way that they decided to vote and pass [00:13:00] regulations and that will have to have, its hopefully an opportunity for a reckoning when you have new, new policy makers in seats with, with elections and so forth. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's just, it's sad that it has to get to that point though.
Cause it's like, You know, where, where I'm at in Myrtle Beach and where Annie is, I mean very tourist, tourist destinations that, you know, we spend a lot of money and efforts on advocacy, not just for short-term rentals, but just for hospitality in general and the importance of tourism. And, you know, we've been fairly protected to this point.
But, you know, we still worry about the same things. And you know, it's, we spend so much time. Showing how transparent we are, the value of tourism, how much money it brings in. I mean, what it does for not just tourism, but what it does for the area, what it contributes to schools and police and everything else, and roads, and it's like, it, it sometimes it just doesn't matter depending on who's been elected to sit in that position.
So [00:14:00] that's pretty scary. But do you feel like this year, is it gonna, is this gonna be the year of reckoning or do you think it's gonna be a continued year of. More regulations being put in place. I, I know Dave's been fairly optimistic that this could be a better year, but curious your thoughts. I think Dave and i's you know, twin characteristics is that we're optimists.
And I think in this same, in this in, in this specific part of our industry, it's great to be optimistic, but you also have to be realistic. You know, the work that we're doing at Rent Responsibly is specifically aiming to have. Better outcomes aiming to have the tides change, aiming to create a ripple effect that other municipalities can look to communities that have done things in a way that's considered thought out.
And bringing common senses approach to the way that you can allow people to use their properties within certain parameters. And so I think. This next year. I wouldn't say it's necessarily, in my [00:15:00] opinion, gonna be a reckoning, but I think advocates are becoming smarter and more strategic. I think that they're not allowing you know, regulations that are out of that are not legal within higher jurisdictions or within the state preemption or, you know, at, at at, in ways in which they might in the past.
I think they're getting smarter. I think they're looking at. You know, pursuing litigation where in the past they've said, you know, stay away from litigation. Whatever you can do, it's just gonna cost you. And then the community a lot of money. But we're seeing that regulations are being overturned because mm-hmm.
Of litigation. And I think that that is gonna be a wake up call to policymakers that are thinking like, oh, we'll just pass this. But they didn't really do the due diligence to find out if it was actually legal for them Right. To, to do what they're doing, so. Mm-hmm. I'm hopeful in that sense. Yeah, I'm, I'm fascinated by it and I can just speak for Florida.
So, and I'm sure you're, you're aware of every, Florida I'm sure is probably one of the hot, [00:16:00] the hot list topics that you guys have all the time. But, you know, when, when the lockdown happened and things started opening up, the governor here was like, well, the hotels are essential. We have to let hotels open up.
And we're like, That just flies in the face of everything that goes on with what is happening with Covid, like social distancing and, and having your own bathrooms in your own space and not touching other areas that other people touch. And I couldn't believe that we had to fight the way we did living in a state that is so heavily vacation rentals, that there was really such a fight about it and.
And it was, I think at the end of the day, you know, there was, there was a lot of conversation and there had always been within Florida like, well is the hotel lobby like behind this? And right. Is who's behind this? And, and I think, you know, it could go either way, but really at the end of the day, it just, it, it's all about education and it's about people understanding one, the value of what.
Vacation rentals in general brings to any destination, but what the business is all about and what good operators are. And yeah, there's always gonna be one bad apple in every bunch. I [00:17:00] mean, there's just no way to avoid it. But to start to make these regulations in Florida got really crazy about it, I think for a while where it.
Like, well, we heard some, we heard about something that happened way down the road. We don't know who these people are. And it was almost like they heard it like in the grocery store, like someone talking, you know, and they decided, okay, we've gotta put this regulation in so that something doesn't happen.
And so I saw a lot of it in Florida and. It just, again, I've been doing this since the late nineties and having had a property management company, I'm so thankful I wasn't in it when this regulation topic was just like you have to manage through it because managing vacation rentals is hard enough as it is, but to think that you throw this into it and you don't have the bandwidth because it's.
Generally a small team trying to operate it, and then you've got owners that are outta state that don't know what's going on, and they're hearing things from all over the place. Mm-hmm. Managing through regulations and the conversation and the talking points, and just really understanding the nuances of how to.
Navigate within your community. I mean, I [00:18:00] think that that's what, at least in my conversations with Dave is like, that's what you guys really try to do is bring everybody that has a stake in it to the table to say like, let's discuss this. Like, let's not just have everybody, you know, relegated to their tribes and making decisions.
It's like we, we all need to be working together. Yeah, and it's, you know, it's not a matter of like winning or losing, it's a matter of like, what is a compromise? Where is there common ground to find a path that's actually gonna be sustainable to move forwards? Because right, if you, if you try to ban short term rentals, they're just gonna go underground oftentimes.
And if you. To not take in, you know, input from all stakeholders. You're not gonna find something that everyone can kind of say, okay, that was good enough. I'm, I'm content enough with these outcomes. I can agree to this. I think one of the challenges, and you mentioned like there's gonna be a bad apple on every bunch.
You know, there was an article that Matt Landow sent to me yesterday and. It was about a company [00:19:00] in Austin, Texas, and they create these really like super instagramable, like hot, sexy, fun, kind of like bachelor, bachelor party style properties. And they're in the middle, mm-hmm. Of residential neighborhoods and Oh wow.
That's a long article and I read it. Yeah. And I was like, I am really uncomfortable reading this. Yeah. Like, this is actually really painful for me. Yeah. Cause I'm so, I'm so distraught hearing that this, the person who's kind of being the, the main character of the article is living Next Door and in the neighborhood where these homes are being bought up by this company that is you know, an L L C and creating these experiences.
And you know, I, anytime I hear a story like that at public, you know, public comment or within an article like this, you always have to take it with a grain of salt and say, Hey, you know, is this, is this a small percentage or is this a larger swath of hosts? Right? So we all know [00:20:00] this is not a large, this is not a representation of the large majority of hosts, but for the neighbor that lives on that street, that's a hundred percent Absolutely, yeah.
A hundred percent of what they know of hosts. And so it's moments like that where, I really get excited about working with local communities and how they can. Approach operators like that and bring people into more awareness and to say, you know, let's think about the bigger picture of this community here and let's, you know, that's the kind of behavior that, you know, or the, the business model personally that I'm not a fan of.
I, I don't, I don't believe in, in creating that kind of experience. Right in the middle of the neighborhood. I think there's a certain way of doing it, and I don't know if I have thought out well enough to say what I am okay with and what I'm not here right now, but yeah, that, that is painful for me to hear.
And it's like one of those things where you know, I think. What Rent Responsibly is trying to do is help local communities be able to address behavior like that ra, you know, raise the standards, [00:21:00] help there be better outcomes you know, not have all the public headlines in the News showcase operators like that in Austin.
Mm-hmm. Because we know that is just one operator that's creating one. Yeah. Experience, and there's a lot of people that are creating other experiences, but to think that somebody that has a full-time job happens to have a property, they short-term rent or they're a property manager and they're just trying to run their business, as you said.
Annie, it's a really hard business. Nevermind throwing in, fighting for fair regulations into the mix. Yeah. And so that's what Rent Responsibly does. Like we kind of become, you know, the wind beneath your wings, so to speak. Mm-hmm. And add fuel to your tank so you can still do your job. And we have a lot of plug and play resources.
That allow you to say, okay, if we need to get in the news, this is what we do. If we need to sit down with policy makers, this is what we do. If I have to give public testimony, this is what I can do. And then how do we do education and events so we can bring the community together and elevate best practices? So that's a lot of the work we do. So we make it easier for [00:22:00] advocates that just in reality, their plates are already too full. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, that's, that's interesting and a good explanation of it. Couple something else I wanted to ask you about.
 I know there's been a lot of talk about what the relationship is between Rent Responsibly and V R M A and you know, V V R M A obviously has the advocacy council, and from my understanding, there's a, there is a good relationship and, and the two organizations are working together, but some people don't feel that way.
But can you speak a little bit about that? Yeah, absolutely. So we do have a partnership with the V R M A. It was announced a handful of months ago, and you know, I, the VMA is a national organization that has the ability to raise funds, funds through the advocacy fund the right to rent program.
And those funds can be used towards, you know Allowing local alliances to apply for grant money whether it's for hiring a PR firm or wanting to get an economic impact study, you know, both of you [00:23:00] know all this, but just sharing for any listeners Yeah. That, that don't know And that's not what Rent Responsibly does.
So we're working with local leaders, helping local communities, like hand in hand stand up a, a local alliance. We oftentimes will advise the local leaders we work with. You know, Hey, if you guys are wanting to do a study or if you need funds to launch a PR campaign, you should apply to the VMA for the advocacy fund grant.
And vs you know, encouraging memberships to the V RMA as well. So I look at the VMA as this kind of. Umbrella, so to speak, where these local alliances are more at that local level that are doing trying to affect change in with policy that's going to be written at the city or the town or the municipality level.
Mm-hmm. You know, for both VMA care is, you know, Bigger than just advocacy. You know, there's a lot of other areas in which the VMA focuses on. So naturally, you know, we have advocacy as a strong arm of the support that we provide to the community. So there's some [00:24:00] overlap and resources and so forth. But I don't think, you know, by any means that's you know, more than we need by, you know, like, like yeah, there's, yeah.
Yeah. More people out there that need these resources and need to be able to feel empowered to get started and that they're not starting from scratch. So yeah, no, we're, we're really excited to do more with the B R M A in this next year and couldn't be bigger supporters. Yeah, that's, that's good to hear.
I, I was curious and it just myself having worked at Expedia it's really like, you know, I think that having the channels be part of the conversation is really important. And I think they, they've taken a really strong stance in being part of The conversation and not being kind of a, a bystander or letting it happen.
And so I'd love to hear like, you know, what, what you guys are doing, not just with Expedia, but with other channels because I, you know, I think Alex and I have been started something just by happenstance through a conversation with a, with a, a guest a while back. The, the hashtag we're not Airbnb and it wasn't about putting the channel down, it was just that, [00:25:00] because people talk about vacation rentals and short term rentals and call all of it in Airbnb.
The brand is an Airbnb. And then when. Thing bad happens. It's like, oh, did you see what the Airbnbs are doing? And so all of a sudden it becomes, like you said, what happened in the house next door to the neighbor becomes a reality. And it becomes the reality everywhere because it's labeled in Airbnb. And so, you know, we, we've been.
Very big proponents of having the channels be part of the conversation. 
So I love that Expedia is involved in it, but I don't, I don't see the other ones as much. So I don't know, like are you having interactions and conversations with other channels that are, you know, around vaca? I mean, anybody that's dabbling in vacation journals, I guess?
Yeah, absolutely. So the way that, and. This is your question, but just adding more another layer to it. The way that Rent Responsibly makes its money is a couple different channels, but one channel is through our partnerships. So it's organizations like Expedia Group, vrbo. The other ones are key data, ver excuse me, proper insurance, breezeway, goos, noise aware.
De [00:26:00] travel or Pero and Wheelhouse. And so they're all, they're all partners with rent responsibly and believe in the work that we're doing that if we're not helping Empower advocates to get organized and you know, affect change that the industry is gonna suffer. And, you know, the, yeah. Industry will begin to, to shrink and we'll see more restrictive bands be passed on short-term rentals.
And so it's wonderful to have these organizations as partners because they all, in turn become. Advocacy, you know, I'd say advocacy tools. Mm-hmm. You know, if it's proper insurance, like making sure you have the, the right insurance or your property so that if something happens, you're not, you know, being you know, you don't burn down your neighbor's place, God forbid, and you don't have the right insurance, like right.
Responsible about your safety and your home coverage. Same with breezeway or like leveraging noise aware. So you have technology that can detect noise before your neighbor hears it. Like all of that is considered like advocacy tech. Mm-hmm. And so we love our partnership with vrbo. [00:27:00] But you know, we've heard things about like, Oh, do your partners get to tell you where that, where you work or how you support communities and No.
You know, like the way in which we work, we are working with an organization in, on Hilton Head Island. Drew Brown is one of the, the president of that group. And there were some questions about, you know, are you, are you pushing. Expedia group's agenda when you're working with these local groups and absolutely not.
Like I would love to go on the record and make that super clear. We're empowering the local leaders to say, what do we want? What can we live with? What works with our model? What can we not live with? Like what, what makes the most sense about our community in order for us to figure out what our path forward is?
And so I love that because, I couldn't ever be a puppet for a big organization. I couldn't ever do something as an outsider for a community that I thought was best. The best I can do is say, Hey, this is what we've seen work and not work in other communities that you might say are comparable. But they are simply supporters of the overall mission of what [00:28:00] we're doing.
And then, you know, the other Bo, the other booking platforms, We have a relationship with Booking and we have a relationship with Airbnb. You know, we work a little bit less with Airbnb. We're pretty, we, we have a lot of opportunities to help communities grow through our partnership with vrbo, but they're all participating and all helping spread the word and promoting these local alliances and ensuring that there's good outcomes where there's big events like the Super Bowl this upcoming weekend.
Sure. That's, that's, that's good to hear cuz I think that again, it's about education and the more people that are in the room to have the conversation. The better off everybody's gonna be because then the, the right information is getting out to the people instead of this, you know, game of telephone. I heard, I heard, I heard.
And by the time you get to the 10th person who's making the rules, it's not even anywhere near what the problem actually was. Yeah, exactly. That's a good point. Yeah. Communi communication is normally the, the root of the problem and the answer to the problem. Yeah. So [00:29:00] lost side. Yeah.
 So what's, what's next for this year, Dana?
I mean, what would your goals be for looking back when we have you back on the show, maybe in December? What, what's something that you wanna accomplish this year? Well, I'm really excited. Something not to do with rent responsibly, but But to do with the time. Sure, yeah. Personal and professional. Yeah. Yeah.
We have a lot going on. So, With my podcast, how to Savior Vacation Rental Business that I do with Matt Landow produced by Stuart Hooper. We are rounding up on the, the last couple episodes of season three, and this third season is all about creating a scorecard for operators to grade a destination as far as like the viability as you know, a sustainable destination for our short term rental business to exist.
Oh, good. Yeah. I know, I think I see on, you know, social media platforms about folks that are saying, You can cash flow thousand. Oh yeah. We hate that. Oh yeah. Us nuts on your Airbnb. And they're not saying short term rental and I'm like the get rich quick guys. Yeah. And [00:30:00] I'm like, you're the ones that are hurting the industry for everybody else.
Exactly. And so we really wanted to make a podcast that brings up the areas that are not traditionally part of like a spreadsheet analysis of like, okay, how's the supply? How's the demand? Maybe they'll look at regulations a little bit, but not really. So we're going way further and more in depth to, to evaluate, you know, does a local alliance exist?
You know, do they have relationships with policymakers? Are they hosting events? Are they getting in the news? And some factors that take a little bit more work to harvest that data. But the ideas for, just to bring awareness about like what people's involvement in engagement is in their local community.
And so really excited to see that. Season wrap up and who knows if we'll do a season four. Each time the season's wrapped, we've always been like, okay, that was it. We're done. Right? And then we come with an idea for our next season. They're always really thematic. But with rent responsibly, what I'm really excited about is we, over the last three years have just been [00:31:00] growing our library and growing our skillset and our knowledge about.
What communities need and how we can make their lives easier in the sense of like an advocacy, leadership and alliance perspective. And so we've been designing software that is going to be a, a community hub. It's called Calm Hub. And so it's a place that. Local stakeholders and members of an alliance can log in.
They can have access to each other. They have access to partner perks and benefits discussion forums, educational modules and resources, compliance checklists like the, the one of the most. Kind of like surprising things I think I've discovered is that people wanna be in compliance if they know what the legisla, right?
Mm-hmm. They understand the rules, they wanna follow it. So when you see low compliance in a destination, it's not because people don't want to follow the rules, it's cuz they just don't actually understand. And so it's like you said, Annie, there's like. An education opportunity or an information gap? Yeah, so this com hub is gonna have a lot of [00:32:00] tools, checklists, and resources and guides for folks to be able to ensure that they're in compliance.
And so I'm really excited for us to launch that and get, to get to work with communities where they know that they need to get organized. Like a, nothing gives you more satisfaction than having folks say when they fill out like a forum on rent saying, We don't have regulations yet, but I know they're coming and I wanna see what I can do now to get organized. Yeah, that's great. I'm like, yeah, like these are like the little victories of like, oh my God, okay. The message is getting out there and people are trying to be proactive. Like nothing makes my my heart sing more than that. So I'm excited to be able to work and get these alliances into our system and be able to support them at a larger scale than we have over the last couple years as, as we've been building out these resources.
Yeah, that's a, that's a lot. Yeah. Yeah. But it's such great work and, you know, yeah. I think our industry, we're very grateful for, for what you do and what the whole team does there. So keep it up. We're, we're [00:33:00] making an impact and you're certainly making a huge impact. And it's just about communication and keeping that message out there and, you know, keep beating the drum.
Exactly. And I think making sure people understand that there's like benefits beyond just fighting for the regulation that it can bring you closer to your community, you can create. Yes, definitely. We really do have fun with it. I mean, people often think of the a word as like advocacy as snooze fest, but we actually haven't Right.
With it. Yeah. And then you can grow your business. Like, you know, John Hildebrand is a, a dear buddy. He's a great example. Yeah. And he, you know, like, and he's already, he was already like in that influencer status with his YouTube channel, but he is just taken a whole new tone on of advocacy and regulations and bringing the community together.
And he's just, anyone that I've worked with now has had the opportunity to like network with new faces and meet new people. Yeah. And really grow their business if they're in a position to wanna grow. And so that's one of the satisfying things that I'm excited to see more groups step into and [00:34:00] realize it's beyond just like the fear factor of their business being impacted.
It's like the opportunity factor in 2023. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, we had John on recently and I was actually gonna bring him up cuz I think he, he's a great example of what kind of the nudge that you guys can give people to push them in. Because he was already, like you said, he was already influencing conversations.
He was right there. And I remember he said, yeah, Dave came to me and said, you know, you should do this. And he is like, oh no, not me. And it was like, yeah, yes, you totally, yes. And he's completely taken it on as like this. Like personality traded. He's doing amazing work. He's just, he's just an amazing steward for the business and for the industry and, you know, for his destination.
And it's, I think again, he just needed somebody to kind of give him like the, the balance that he could do it and not, you know, I think he was doing so many different things and he was just trying to grow his business, but he knew he needed to be part of the conversation and he was having the conversation, but just didn't have the comfort level to get out in the front of it.
And I think that Dave and, and your team, Was able to kind of give him the, the how do say, the, the [00:35:00] floaties to get out there and, and do it and not feel like he was gonna drown. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And that's like the biggest thing I would say to anyone that's like, okay, we hear Dana and and team talking about getting involved and becoming an advocate and starting a group, and then people are like, I'm in property management.
I'm not like in politics, like, this isn't necessar, this is like, I couldn't do this. And you don't have to know how to do it. Like just to know that you have a voice and that politicians work for you and that like, we'll help you with the rest of it. It's like you don't have to be an expert to be able to get involved and, and make change.
So that would be something I'd love to leave folks with. Yeah. I absolutely. Making advocacy fun again. Yeah, exactly. Who knew? Yeah. Oh, well Dana, if anybody wants to get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to reach out? You can email Awesome. Okay. And the website obviously is rent
And if anybody wants to contact Annie and I, you can go to Alex and annie [00:36:00] And until next time, thank you everybody. Thanks Dana. Thank you.

Dana LubnerProfile Photo

Dana Lubner

Director of Community Development Rent Responsibly

Dana Lubner, Director of Community Development at Rent Responsibly and host of the podcast "How to Save Your Vacation Rental Business." With a background in marketing and advertising, Dana fell in love with the short-term rental industry while working with her brother's company, Effortless Rental Group. However, her real passion emerged when she witnessed the industry's need for advocacy and education. As a founding member of Mile High Hosts, Denver's short-term rental community, Dana has organized events such as the Good Neighbor Summit and educations hosts on responsible practices. Now, at Rent Responsibly, she helps short-term rental owners and managers across the country mobilize to advocate for fair and balanced regulations while building strong alliances and educating the community. With her podcast, Dana continues to share her knowledge and passion for the industry, empowering listeners to take action and create a healthy and sustainable vacation rental community.