April 13, 2022

How Rent Responsibly is Aligning Forces to Protect the STR Industry, with David Krauss

How Rent Responsibly is Aligning Forces to Protect the STR Industry, with David Krauss

Tune in for today's episode with David Krauss, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent Responsibly, the organization that has helped thousands of managers from coast to coast as they deal with the influx of short term rental laws that are infringing on the industry. In most cases, short term rental laws are enacted by municipalities to combat issues created by the new wave of individual hosts that can now easily rent properties on Airbnb and Vrbo. Disruptive guests and hosts that don't pay taxes are among the top concerns, but while these laws are successful at eliminating those issues, they are also shutting down the professionally managed rental companies that operate their businesses above-board.

David's experience renting his own condo in Texas years ago led him to co-found NoiseAware, after one of his guests' had a party that got out of control and he was fined for a noise violation. This A-HA moment put David on a path to find a solution that would allow him manage guests and not be in violation of any HOA or local laws. Their technology provided an answer to this problem, but then David recognized a different need - to connect hosts with other hosts in communities that were staring down these STR restrictions.

Rent Responsibly provides tools and alliance management services equip local leaders to build successful, self-sustaining organizations of short-term rental hosts, managers and all other stakeholders. They make it easy for leaders and members to connect, collaborate, solve common challenges, advocate for themselves, steward their communities, and rent responsibly.

Watch on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/4BburRFTpug

CONTACT DAVID KRAUSS
https://www.rentresponsibly.org
david@rentresponsibly.org
LinkedIn

CONTACT ALEX & ANNIE
AlexandAnniePodcast.com
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Alex Husner - Linkedin
Annie Holcombe - Linkedin

Podcast Sponsored by Condo-World and Lexicon Travel

Transcript
Alex Husner:

Welcome to Alex and Annie, the real women of vacation rentals. I'm Alex

Annie Holcombe:

and I'm Annie.

Alex Husner:

And we are joined today with David Krause from Rent Responsibly. David, welcome to the show.

Dave Krauss:

Thank you for having me excited to be here.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, absolutely. We're super excited to have you here to hear more about all the amazing things that your organization is doing. But before we get started, can you give our guests a little bit of history about who you are and what your involvement in the industry has been?

Dave Krauss:

Sure, well, the short history is that I started off like many folks in this space, kind of stumbled in just trying out, I guess it was Airbnb at the time, in 2013, I was moving and I was going to have an empty apartment for a month. And next thing I knew I was a host and a enthusiast and really wanted to kind of move further into the space. So by the time I got to Dallas, where I was moving to from Boston, I was like, I'm gonna take a run at this, and was probably the first professional or, you know, full time manager in Dallas, when there were about 300 listings in the city. There's 10 times that now. And that led me as a host, and just kind of an entrepreneur, feeling my way out to realize that like, Hey, this is the coolest space in the world, you get to meet people, I was making a living, nothing special, but more than, you know, my desk job that I had left to do it. And from there, one incident led to Noiseaware, somebody threw a party, unfortunately. And I found out too late. And therein was the necessity being the mother of invention moment. And I realized if I needed to know about noise, sooner than my neighbors, that other people probably would, too. And so we brought my co founder and I brought a gadget or privacy safe noise monitoring system to market in 2015, which is kind of the explosive, like Cambrian moment where there was just a ton of energy in this space, that I think even still, now we're like, some of that dust is settling. But as Noiseware grew, I grew and I met 1000s and 1000s of hosts around the country and even the world and realize that there's really pretty much a formula to success, and many people don't discover it through a learning curve, or trial by error, right when you're getting started. And so that led me in 2019 to start Rent Responsibly. And I'll tell you about rent responsibly in a moment. But that's how I got here.

Alex Husner:

Wow. That's awesome.

Annie Holcombe:

That's a lot. So were you Were you mad that you weren't invited to the party that like started this whole thing?

Dave Krauss:

Oh, I've had plenty of jokes, you know, being an international party pooper for 40. I realized that, you know, you don't often get the invite. But at the same time, in the case that I had, I think the guests weren't really trying to bother anybody. They just didn't know how loud they were. Yeah. And so it was, it was more of kind of an accidental nuisance issue. And that's a lot of what we see out there. But at the same time, you know, I found out from the building two days later on, like, literally a form letter with the noise complaint and stuff like that. And I was like, There's got to be a better way than this. You know, you look and you're like, wait, nobody's touched this. nobody's figured this out yet. So that's, that's just how it all started.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, that's what I was gonna ask it was, I mean, what came of that? Like, did you get fined for it? Or how did that you got a letter? But then what happened?

Dave Krauss:

Yeah, I mean, what happened was, is the Fallout was my, my neighbors are frankly, very angry. And I think that every right to be, and I just realized, you know, I was kind of in a moment was figuring out what I wanted to do. So I ended up selling the condo, I don't know long term guests and then sold it. So it's kind of just feeling my way through that. But at the same time, that that kind of moment, right, like, life goes back to these moments. And that moment of like, How can I let this happen? It was really like, it sticks with me today. I was embarrassed. I was responsible. I stood up to it. I faced the music. But really the puns are absurd. But I, you know, I, at the end of the day, I'm the kind of person can't live with myself if I'm bothering people. Yeah. And so I just wasn't gonna let that happen again.

Alex Husner:

Yeah. Well, I mean, there's definitely we've definitely noticed this thread is that purpose built tech is the way to go. And it just didn't make sense. And that aha moment, clearly, that just defines, you know, how you got this product and I know noiseware still doing it. Amazing things within the space. But are you involved with that company anymore? Or out of it completely?

Dave Krauss:

Yeah. So out of it completely. Luckily enough, I, you know, Rent responsibly is built on partnerships. We can go into that in a moment, I'm sure. But the so noiseware was one of our first partners. And so we are engaged as partners.

Annie Holcombe:

And it's been a partnership, I was actually gonna ask that. So you started to all of this kind of spilled into you, you building rent responsibly. So why don't we go through that, and then we can get into kind of where the company's at and the founders and kind of your partners that you have, you're engaging with now?

Dave Krauss:

Sure, yeah. So you want me to just kind of,

Annie Holcombe:

yeah, just tell us tell I kind of I mean, because I think I see, like, you know, obviously, coming from noise where I mean, you had a violation, but that's like a bigger problem. There's people violating tenants of buildings all the time, or, you know, in, in neighborhoods, so that becomes, goes over to this rent responsibly, people needing to be good stewards of their rentals and good stewards of renting. So I think that it all, it all kind of led you to this path. But I'd love to hear like, what was that? Again, the aha moment that made you made you go this path?

Dave Krauss:

Yeah, I think well, so the aha moment, aha, moment, number one would have been the kind of Affer mentioned party there. The second one, and I was thinking about this in preparation, I was like, what was the moment, and I have to say, I remember I was sitting in a this kind of semi circleAnd there were people were going around talking about their challenges, you know, these are all hosts and managers, and one person started crying. And they were talking about how they were doing everything that they knew they needed to do to be a responsible host. They were following every rule, they were scour, you know, like, they were talking their city, they were, you know, being preventative, proactive, introducing neighbors, all these types of things. And, but their city was still trying with, there was a ban on the table, right. And so they're like, I'm doing everything I can, it's these bad apples, these turn bad apples, it's the other people who don't seem to care as much or don't, you know, are again on this learning curve, not always intentionally being a bad apple, but not always having the tools and the education upfront that they need. And I just, I was, it was wrenching to me, because that was me. When I was getting started. I was like, I'm trying to do everything I know to do. And so that moment, honestly, tears like, come on, like, I can't I get rocked when I see that level of emotion. And so it was a kind of an emotional like, moment. And that's when I just said, you know, this is this is solvable. Like you got all these solutions over here. And then you got communities and people struggling trying to find them over here. So ultimately, that was the inspiration was seeing this kind of consistent drumbeat of of people who are looking to do all the right things and help their community go above and beyond. And there just wasn't a platform or organization like rent responsibly, that was sitting right there. Because you know, when a lot of people are individually trying to do something you can only get so far. But when you use the collective and collaborate a lot more that that's where a lot of the things spring forward. And so, you know, effectively, I'll just dive right in, to what rent responsibly does responsibly as a community building an education platform for the short term rental industry. So what does that mean that the functions of what rent responsibly does fall into three buckets, collaborate, educate and celebrate? We're often called like an advocacy organization, which is really the function you need when there's something to advocate for, which means that you're trying to educate other people, maybe your city, maybe your city council, maybe even a neighbor, or an HOA or something like that. But functionally through those three vectors, collaboration, right, we have six founding partners. We have many, many other partners, but six that we work most closely with. And then we help local owners. So some managers collaborate with one another, right? That's collaborate, educate, we're oftentimes just distilling various pieces of information. You know, in many places, you need to know your local, your county, your city rules. And then there's all these other rules, like the OTA has their different functions, and there's many IoT, right? Can we just make that simple, please? That's our education. Motion is just like simplicity, and give people what they want, and we're full time. So we're kind of always helping people. When we see patterns, people need the same education. We create a tool and help them with that. And it goes beyond just the regulatory right. It's like we're helping people Understand how to professionalize like things like home inspection right there, there are tools out there. So we're helping people educate their lastly, to celebrate, celebrate is probably most near and dear to my heart, I'm pretty positive guy sunny side of the street. And there are so many amazing people in our space. Yes. And they're just not, their stories aren't told, there's no megaphone, there's no spotlight. But we're correcting that. So if you go to our website, we have we've probably 50 6070 stories now, of amazing people original, when we were kind of born in the beginning of pandemic, our first series was called Find the helpers. In March 2020, everybody's calendar got cleared, right. And people just filled it in with people who needed space, which was traveling nurses, people trying to quarantine first responders, like the ecosystem came together to help during the pandemic. So we spent almost the whole pandemic like trying to find these stories and, and help them get some shine. And then we did a survey, which is kind of this last piece, which is part of the education. But we did a survey and found out that 50% of the industry was supporting first responders or people who are pandemic related stays with their home. So this kind of whole understanding our space and celebrating the unique value prop beyond just great memories and vacations, which is righteous in itself. So that's, that's where a lot of our function comes in. And, you know, at the end of the day, we're we're a bunch of people trying to improve an ecosystem that we hold near and dear. So we're very honest, that there's a lot of things to work on. But we're working really hard to do that.

Alex Husner:

David, how do you engage with these associations? So I'm on your website right now. And under the local alliances, I see that most of your most of those are the state vacation rental managers association. So South Carolina, we've got the SC vrma, how would you work with us, I'm going to give us an example of what Rent Responsibility would be charged to do.

Dave Krauss:

Sure, so actually, most of them are local, so their sub state, um, there's probably about 70, or 80 on there. In that list, um, shout out to anybody who's listening to this and is not part of a local Alliance or association, you can go to our website and find the one in your neighborhood. If there isn't one, we have a kit to help you start one if you're so inclined. So that kind of brings me to how we engage, we support local short term rental alliances, that is like the simplest way to think about it. And how we do that is we help the group, oftentimes, if there is no Group, we help them form, which usually comes in the form of finding folks who are going to raise their hand and say, Hey, I'd like to be a leader. Usually, it's like three to seven people, we help them get together and decide, you know, what are we what is our what are our goals? You know, what is our name, what is our website, things like that, we just support them in that effort. And then we help them build their alliances as in their members. And that's where we leverage our partners. So our six founding partners will help send a message into the market of their neighbors, right, you sort by that geography and say, Hey, join this local Alliance. And pretty soon, in the in certain cases, you have hundreds of owners hosts and managers, all in a an email list in a membership group with leadership. And we're just supporting them to execute on their on their goals, and then bringing in resources to support them on a regular basis. The things they need most are help with recruiting other people. How do you find other hosts in your own neighborhood? Side note, I hosted it in Dallas for six years, I don't do that anymore. I didn't need a single host until like the last year of hosting really short not I mean, there's just now we started the Dallas short term rental Alliance and help stand it up. So now there's, you know, over almost 600 People who are all doing this that are connected, but everybody was doing it, disparately in a fragmented way. And so that initial like, need to connect is probably the number one core thing we can help with. If you think about this, the OTAs are really really good Airbnb, VRBO, etc, are really good at finding guests and connecting them with hosts, right, that is their core function. Think of responsibly as the platform that connects hosts with hosts. Yeah, it's a missing piece. So once they're connected, it's actually a lot of it is pretty formulaic to build and kind of connect with other outside groups as well.

Annie Holcombe:

You when You found it responsibly, you brought on I think I think she's the co founder is Alex nota Alexa naughty Alexa Noda. Sorry, I always get on. Firstly, I'm terrible without thinking of me. And I am I'm sorry, Alex on the brain. And she's she's phenomenal. But she she's a little powerhouse, too. She was doing some stuff. Was it in Chapel Hill or Charlotte? North Carolina, right?

Dave Krauss:

Indeed, yeah, actually, can I dive into that, because this, that's actually part of the origination story. When I was in when I was like, we need to figure out a scalable, repeatable way to help local short term rental communities get together, right. This is before Alex and I were co founders of responsibly, she was leading the short term rental Task Force in her town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There's like 300 rentals there, right. And she was just she is a powerhouse, no doubt, but she's whip smart and super capable of building, you know, websites and other things, a strong marketing background, strong communication background, she was basically single handedly building the entire Chapel Hill, short term rental Alliance. And when I started working with her understanding what she was doing, and how much time she was spending, it took her like 40 hours to set up just the group all in all the kind of sub pages on the website, sign up sheets and everything like that. I was like, this is the best formula I've seen in the entire country. And Alexa did it herself. And it took 40 hours, I said, if we can get that 40 hours that took her and reduce it to like four hours to get set up. We can repeat this across the country. And then we will have stronger groups connected groups. And we'll actually be solving a lot of the problems that cities come and say like, well, this is a problem we got, you know, party house over here or something like that. Once you're connected, you can actually educate and ensure that if there is like truly one or two or three really problematic properties, let's get them out of there. Let's remove the problems faster. Yeah. And then the solutions come behind it. So we actually took Alexis formula and co founder rent responsibly around that. And that's what we're doing. I think we're actually about takes about four hours to start a new short term

Alex Husner:

rental Alliance now. Wow, amazing. Now, do you have cities and local governments coming to you also? Or is it just these alliances? Like did they come up to you and ask questions about if OTAs need to have business licenses and things like that, but they consult with you on a question like that?

Dave Krauss:

Not really, actually. So we anything that happens at the local level, we just we we empower the local leaders to manage and handle it, we don't actually interact with anybody really, other than the local groups, because, frankly, they're way better suited. They know. Oftentimes, they know that people who are asking anyways, and then there's other specialty items, you know, somebody's like, hey, something about the platform and point them in that direction. We really just focus on supporting the local, the local groups as much as possible.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah, so one of the things I find interesting is that I've been in this industry for a number of years and way before COVID. And so there's always been this question of like, how do you make the municipality that people in municipalities understand the value of and I work and live in a very heavy vacation market, the Panama City Beach market, and I was in hotels and moved over to vacation rentals. And when that happened, that shift happened, the people who have held the power or the hotels, and they all of a sudden found every fault that could lie within vacation rentals, and we're constantly kind of like beating the drum of just issues that really weren't things that were that bad, but they just made them into issues that really didn't need to be issues. And we always joked that they were the people that would come to these meetings, and we call them the gunners. They just had an issue, they always had to come again and again with another issue and vacation rentals kind of became their thing. And, you know, we don't want our market hosting all these people from out of town. Even though we had been hosting people from out of town and hotels for, you know, 35 years, it was just because they were in these high rise buildings and more compact in their space, it became a problem. And so for you, you know, there's a huge problem around the entire country. And it's probably replicated from market to market, you probably see similarities with beach markets and city markets and those types of things. Do you have a framework of what you could say to somebody like, if you live in this market with this type of inventory, again, an urban versus a vacation market, that you have a package that they can work with, or kind of a framework that they can start their alliances out on?

Dave Krauss:

Yeah, so I think, great question. And I love questions. No, it's a great way. It's like, okay, what's the formula here? Yeah, what do we do? How do we make this simple again, right, there's just like, let's simplify this. I will go with an analogy, which always helps to simplify. So I call it the Ford Model. He analogy, the Ford Model T, parallel, when in 1908, when the Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line, there were already cars on the road, like you said this activity was happening, it just wasn't as much in the, you know, kind of mainstream. And but with sort of a 200,000 cars on the road in 1908. By 1916, there were 2 million cars on the road, it is basically the same exact curve that we've gone on in the last five or six years, in parallel in 2010. In the short term rental space 8% of the American population and stay in the short term rental the previous year, by 2015, it was 32%. So it's just these like massive, rapid adoption in like travel, right? When you're moving around, you're seeing different things in your neighborhood, it is, you know, it is new for many, many people, and that the issues with cars actually caused people to say we need to ban automobiles, it happened in the 1920s. And the response, though, was that the American Automobile Association and other car enthusiast that's us, by the way, the enthusiast, were the ones who kind of said, Hey, we got to solve these issues. Otherwise, like, we can't wait for somebody else to figure all this stuff out. And so we're actually in that moment, right now, we're kind of in the 1920s of the automobile here in the 2020s, with short term rentals, but it is up to us to solve it. So to your point of how do you make that simple, it comes down to three things, education, policy, and technology, everything goes back to those three elements, the policy can change, but there are best practices, and it will just take time to for that to shake out. The technology piece. I mean, noiseware is one example. But there are many, many, many others that weren't even there five years ago, noise was like barely five years old. And then lastly, is the education piece. This is all great as well, and it's good. But if people aren't aware of the rules, if people aren't aware of what they're supposed to do, and continuously improving, it's not like you learn at once like year over year things change, you need a system and mechanism for continuously educating people. That's where this all comes together. I mean, things like click it or ticket. Right. Right. policy is that you have to wear your seatbelt quicker ticket was an education campaign, and a seatbelt is technology

Annie Holcombe:

that basic is gonna be Yeah, yeah. So that

Dave Krauss:

the fact though, is 1922 1990 and 70 years, it became 90% safer to ride one mile in an automobile on a like a death per mile basis, even though the cars went that much faster from 1920. And that's what we're doing. And I think of it as like this power of 10. Right, that took seven years. I think we have five to seven years to like solve all these problems.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, absolutely. One of the things in our market right now that I actually just got quoted in a newspaper article that the writer texted me and I didn't know that I was being quoted in it, but it's okay. It's the truth. He asked. If we rent to locals and a condo world, we don't. And I don't think any of our competitors that are in vacation rentals rent to locals either, because of the issues that we normally have, that there are parties, and there's a lot of there's bad things that happen with locals. But is that a good policy? Absolutely not. I mean, we want to be able to rent to the good locals that are coming for a staycation or a birthday party or something like that. But for the most part, you know, the technology of a company like super hog or auto host that has not caught up to our market here yet. And I think that's going to be the next shift and how we fix some of these things. And when the article came out, it made me think of you and it made me think of those technologies that I'm like, this is where there's, there's still a disconnect, because you know, I'm very active within our Myrtle Beach CVB, which is, you know, very big advocacy platform. And we have a hospitality Association, but nobody is really looking at that issue. And so that's where I think responsibly vrma, everybody kind of needs to come together and figure out how you work more with the with the local hospitality Association CVBS to bring that message and just knowledge of what is out there for options for accommodations to be able to solve those things because it is definitely solvable. But I honestly I don't think that I think a lot of the vacation rental markets are aware of those types of products are becoming more aware of them. But hotels are not. So there's there's a big opportunity there to even make it make it a better experience for everybody within a market.

Dave Krauss:

Totally, totally. And I mean, I will say this that there's there's one I mentioned the survey we did during COVID. We did responsibly at the end of last year in 2021. We did the first state of the short term rental commission Unity Community Survey in report. And the construct of that was that we survey the short term rental community across the country about 4500. A lot of people responded to the survey, we also worked with the College of Charleston to interview 27 municipal staff folks who are responsible for kind of managing the short term rental program non elected. So these are just really like the people are just trying to, you know, keep their arms around anything that comes up and just follow up, you know, enforce the rules and what have you. And the results of the survey, I'll tell you, just in super, super simple summary, the really interesting part of it were these 27, in depth interviews, that said that cities which you can take as a proxy for really, you know, Hoa building, what have you, even the CVBS and DMOS of the world, they want to work with the short term rental community that was number one, which you know, that you asked, number two is they want to, they want help with informing people about what the rules are for compliance. Like that is what we're trying to build do faster. And the last piece, which was a little surprising, and Alex, people don't love this on our side, because it's like, Oh, we got to do that now to is help with enforcement. cities do not have infinite tools or resources to help them get what they need to do done. And if it doesn't get done, we end up having to do a lot more work to you know, convince people of the value and show statistically, like, the work is always going to be there to continue to improve. But right now, I think we need to take a little more ownership as a industry over what we can do to help people who fundamentally don't have a problem with short term vacation rentals. They're just pointing to these certain things. And that honestly, is it's can only be done together as a group. So it's not any individual has to go out and be like, you know, a vigilante or something like that. Yeah, yeah, it's just them as in tools that make that easier and easier. And we are hell bent on making that easier and easier.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, I think you're 100%. Right. I mean, the local groups, they definitely want to work with vacation rentals. I mean, we just had Jennifer Barbie on our show last weekend. And she said, you know, if there's one thing that came out of COVID, is that vacation rentals are so important for the local CVB DMO and a destination. I mean, they really save tourism in most markets. So they want to work with us. And they of course want to work with a professionally managed unit units, but they also want to work with individually managed units to, but it's just more of an education piece at this point. And, you know, I think there's a big play for rent responsibly to get involved on that higher level with like a destinations international type organization, that, you know, that kind of connects you more to start at that level. And then that connects you down from there to the local associations, because there's, there's, it's just seems like there's so much good information being shared. But it's still in silos between what you guys do what vrma does, what the CVBS do, but I think we're getting we're all kind of circling in the same, at least Tumblr there. I think we're getting closer to where it needs to be, which is exciting. And like you said, I think it's we're not in that 70 year timeframe to solve something it's like five to seven years now. Hopefully.

Dave Krauss:

Yeah, I will say this, too, is like, you know, five, six years ago, when I, like I said, stumbled into the space, I had no idea that I would be you know, as upset, I'm wearing the shirt and like, have this history of lighting and hats. And I mean, what, you know, the world is so interesting on a five year horizon. Yeah, it is way less interesting on like, a five month horizon, because you kind of know what the world's gonna be like, in five months, you have no idea what it's gonna be like in five years. And so I often think about that as like, if you have no idea what the world could be like, in five years, like, let's envision the best world we can create and run at it. Because there are people who are going to want that vision to, and in this case, people love to stay in short term rentals, right? There are other people who surround the ecosystem, not just me, everybody knows, owners hosts and managers are like, Yes, we love this. We need this. We want to protect this. But people don't know about these ancillary businesses. I mean, I've met more cleaner entrepreneurs than probably short term rental entrepreneurs, because it's flexible and they they can get they can create their own life around it, too. And then, you know, you talked about CVBS DMOS. They're oftentimes waking up. I've talked to people who said that five years ago, it was like, STR was a four letter word right? Now they're like, look, I It's been a A Whole New Day, and there's a warmth and an interest. And when we hear that, how do we harness that? This is today, imagined five years from now? We don't we don't know exactly what it looks like I think what is incontrovertible is that short term rentals are going to be as popular if not more popular, they're going to be regulated more closely. And for good reason have like more standardization across the board. And then lastly, the tolerance for poor behavior or those like outlier bad apples, right, that made that person cry originally, is just going to be nil in the system is going to be there to get them out there that is unacceptable. The same way you can't drive without a driver's license for too long, you can't be a drunk driver for too long, those systems evolved the same way. We're just trying to accelerate that and actually kind of maintain more kind of more control, if you will, of what this industry looks like in five years, because we're better at self correcting than we are outsourcing, you know, letting other people kind of come in and use their best guess at what's going to work.

Annie Holcombe:

And that leads me to a question actually. So again, a lot of good things came out of COVID, as bad as it was. And the one thing that alex and I've talked to a lot of people about is, is the spotlight that was shown on two vacation rentals, and you know, STR and the collective voice that has come together to try to make it a better industry. I'm curious, I was reading an article the other day, and they were talking about the growth of that under 10 unit kind of owner, you know, that is like the fastest growing part of the industry and go back to you know, vrma announcing that they were going to let in individual owners and that you know, depending on which side of the the conversation you were on, some people liked it, some people didn't, I kind of sat in the middle on it, Alex and I had debated it a little bit as well. But for you, I think that that's so important to be able to educate those people coming in. For me, it's like if you educate from the bottom up, as they start out, instead of waiting until they become a problem that will it's not going to solve everything. But it'll help stave off some of these problems. So how do you see the relationship with these smaller entrepreneurs, these smaller host these individual guys that aren't professionalized? How do you see that and bringing them into the fold and being able to rent responsibly being able to help local municipalities educate those guys as they start to enter the industry?

Dave Krauss:

What a good question. And a because, honestly, like, that is what it comes down to. Yeah. Nobody cares how much experience you have, if you're, you know, neighbor nearby, and you're dealing with it like, he cares, I don't care. I think you there's an obligation to make that learning curve happen before you, you know, put up your your listing. And so we're so I, I'll address that in one one second. So how do we kind of help the problem of kind of like really low barrier to entry is good, and somewhere it respects and also causing these other knock on effects. Before I get there, this survey that we did the state of the short term rental Community Survey, which again, if anybody is listening to this, it's on our website, download it is, is so important for us to understand who we are as an industry. And it was one of the best looks at that 70% of this industry has one of owners in this industry of one listing,

Annie Holcombe:

right. That's astounding. That's a really big stat. Yeah.

Dave Krauss:

That's crazy, right? Yeah. And, and they're not gonna, you can't be full time because if you're an owner, our survey said 38% of your household income comes from your short term rental, you can't live off 38% of your own income, but it is meaningful, and meaningful enough. The other statistic, and I'm looking at it right here is 50. If you're a manager 54% of all managers have less than 10 units, really. So you're actually talking about, you're talking about this, like if the pyramid is like, yeah, you know, it's a whole big chunk of people who are, you know, part time or new or small or whatever? Yeah. And so we all kind of live together because we're all in the same ecosystem. So that being the case, you're talking about a one to many, many, many people education system. The fact of the matter is, the only way you get your hand around that is you have to think about it in a in something that you put your arms around on a local basis. And you have one point of reference that has good information, right? If you go to enough city websites, they're good. Sometimes they're hard to get through and expect everybody to go and sift and like, if you read an actual ordinance, it is not reader friendly. To be honest, and then the irony of it all is that you can, you can get all the way into the ecosystem, and then have to go back and look at this stuff. And like, I'm not one to really pass judgment on that system, because that's how I got in. It's just like you kind of start people come in for different reasons. What I can say is, we're going to continue to try and make it easier and easier and easier. Where if you want the step by step guide of how to do it the right way that that is effectively what we're building. And so when you're, you know, you get that information on the way in, not you're in and then you get the information, do you not, I mean, so much

Annie Holcombe:

work to be done. It's just incredible.

Alex Husner:

I mean, there's, there's so much going on within our industry, and that the statistics about 54%, or 10 or less units. I mean, you think about years ago, I mean, the legacy providers that had upwards of 500 units, there's not a whole lot of them anymore, and the ones that have that amount, they're gradually losing inventory year over year, because there's so many of the new companies that are popping up that are just like those less than 10 units. So the industry is shifting, and that's this is definitely an area where we're starting to see it's just it's so important. You can't, you can't just have the information that goes out just with the professional organizations, it's got to go out to everybody, because it's becoming just that as the norm for the industry.

Dave Krauss:

Yeah. And beyond that the type of stays shifting, yeah. Through COVID. You see this, like, you know, I always people ask, What's hotels versus short term amounts, and they're different types of stays to begin with? Absolutely. You're over three people, or over three nights, the preferences for short term rentals. If it's under three people, or under three nights, the preferences for hotels, that's how I have like, by rule, I'll stay in a hotel. If it's under three nights or under three people. It's just that's kind of what is built for more so yeah, so on our side, then you also have this, you know, I think at 25% of Airbnb bookings are over 28 days now, right? 40 per survey. 40% rent for 40% are open to mid length stays, that's 30 to five months for non leisure guests. Wow, you have this like opportunity where basically living you know, my wife and I are just thinking about, she's a teacher. So she has summers free. We're like, why don't you know, Texas? I live in Texas, god awful. And July, August. Yeah, yeah. Why aren't we going, you know, live in somewhere for two or three weeks? Yeah. On the other side of the planet, and like literally looking into that. I'm like, five years not? Yeah. autoworld. I thought I would be in but here we are.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, yeah. Gosh, this

Annie Holcombe:

is so amazing. And I think there's so many different directions, we could take this conversation. And I know that you guys have a lot going on. And obviously Varma has a lot going on. And there's going to be a lot. There's articles every day about different rules and regulations that are popping up in towns that are kind of putting the kibosh on people entering the space. And you know, if you don't have a permit, now, you won't get a permit ever kind of thing. And so it's an interesting conversation, I think we could continue to have but we're at time and wanted to wrap it up. So one, thank you for all that you and your team is doing. I've interacted with a lot of your team over the last year and they've been awesome to work with. So kudos to you guys. But I wanted to ask you, you've done a lot and I was looking at your resume. And one of the things that really resume your bio, you are very big into just helping people you you have very, very big heart and I and it just speaks to me. And so I wanted to ask you of all the things that you've done through your life thus far, what are you most proud of?

Dave Krauss:

Oh, goodness. Um, well, actually, when we when we all three of us talked a while ago, my mom passed in January, will say sorry about that. Yeah, you talked about that. Yeah. I mean, I don't need to go too deep. It'll be like that. But um, but you know, I think I'm proud of the the kind of qualities that I think I'm manifesting that really look a lot like qualities my mom had, um, she had a long career, advocating, and she was this kind of, you know, happenstance advocate her her issue or her her kind of passion was for helping families that had somebody with a developmental disability. So somebody's mental retardation, the deinstitutionalization of people who had mental retardation and put into society or out of institutions in the 70s. And she worked, doing research and studying and holding commissions and all this stuff. For like, 30 years and But I'd asked her like, why, you know? Or why, why were you so passionate about that? She didn't have an amazing answer to it. It was just like this sense that like, it just has to be done. Right? Somebody's got to do it. And I'm like, her DNA was a leader. And so I look at what she did. And, you know, it's not it's not like a riddle to me, because I grew up around it, but it's just like, if it's got to be done, and nobody's doing it, like, have a look in the mirror. Yeah. So I think I'm proud of the fact that I'm just, you know, able to step into that, you know, Marty, like quality. And in a way that, you know, it lights me on fire. My dad, you know, speaking of parents, like my dad, in equal dose, he always said, something along the lines of, you know, your nothing gets done without work. But it doesn't have to be hard work. Work is like, you know, effort over time. Hard work is things you don't want to do. Easy work is things you're passionate about and do want to do. So I work a ton I work like 12 plus hours a day on, you know, long days, but easily more than your average bear. And, uh, I don't really care about the time because I'm so passionate about it. I don't watch the clock. I'm like, That's a dream job. I'm just maybe I'm proud. I found a dream job or Korea.

Annie Holcombe:

I know a lot of people can't say that. And I think you know, your mom would your mom is very proud of you. She's definitely watching over you. And you, you obviously exude everything that she taught you whether she meant to teach it to you or not. But she led by example. So that's really wonderful.

Dave Krauss:

She's right. Right there.

Annie Holcombe:

Right there. Perfect.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, absolutely. That's great. I think the last time that we are on our pre call, we asked Who was your your mentor, and I think that's the lead into how you mom, you told us about your mom. And it just we've heard a lot of great things. And it's been wonderful seeing everything you've shared on social media about her too. So

Dave Krauss:

thank you. Yeah, I mean, I, my mom, when I was starting out responsibly, I kind of consider her like my first mentor, or first advisor and everything I do, because she knows exactly where I'm going to, like, mess up. And she's like, she pushes me away from that. But her advice to me was, she's like, you're gonna get impatient. Things won't change won't happen as fast as you want them to. And I, she's right. Every time I get impatient, I'm like, she called it. She called it like just, you know, have faith.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, yeah, the power of timing is important. And not everybody's gonna be on your timeline or timetable of getting things done, which does. It's tough when you're a little impatient. I know. I'm the same way. So that's a challenge. But thank you, Dave, so much for being here with us today. This was wonderful conversation. And you know, Andy and I are so appreciative of what you're you and responsibly do for the industry, as are all of our listeners, I'm sure to if anybody wants to get in touch with you, how, what's the best way to contact you?

Dave Krauss:

Oh, email david@responsibly.org. I would say, you know, we try and put everything we have on our website and make it easy for people to find so like, just let us know what we can add to our resources. We serve our community and our communities, the short term, the broader short term rental community, which is to say the world now because short term rentals are everywhere. That's

Annie Holcombe:

true, very true.

Alex Husner:

Awesome. Well, if anybody wants to get in touch with Annie now you can go to Alex and Annie podcast calm. And if you're enjoying listening to the show, and these amazing guests that we keep bringing on please go to Apple podcasts or whichever podcast app you use and leave us a review. We'd love to hear from you, David, thank you again. And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. We'll see you next time. Bye.

David Krauss Profile Photo

David Krauss

CEO/Founder

David Krauss is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rent Responsibly where he leads a passionate team creating the short-term rental industry’s first community-building and education platform.

David has been an STR owner and manager since 2012 and was honored by Airbnb in 2019 as one of the longest-tenured Superhosts in the world. Early in his hosting journey, an incident with loud partying guests inspired him to co-found NoiseAware, a “smoke detector for noise.” Through this work, he met thousands of passionate STR stakeholders with an interest in building a stronger community, getting better access to education and having their voices heard. In 2019, he decided to take the lead in building the platform that he too wishes he had when he started hosting. That platform is Rent Responsibly.

Outside of work, you can find him getting his daily steps (shoutout to FitBit), reading American history biographies (shout out to Doris Kearns Goodwin), screaming at the TV when Boston sports are on (shoutout Cs, Bs, Sox and Pats), and spending time with his wife, Courtney.