FVRMA is now Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals (FAVR): Executive Director Denis Hanks discusses FVRMA rebranding

FVRMA is now Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals (FAVR): Executive Director Denis Hanks discusses FVRMA rebranding

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The Florida Vacation Rental Management Association (FVRMA) announced last week at its annual meeting at the Xtravaganza conference that it was changing its name and name to Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals (FAVR). We caught up with Denis Hanks, the association’s general manager to learn more about the rebranding and what it means for the association.

What prompted the name change and the new image of FAVR?

Denis Hanks: Change for our association and for the industry was imminent. The Florida vacation rental market continues to grow and evolve (particularly after the pandemic), and the association is adapting to these changes and market conditions. Our Florida market is unique, setting records and constantly evolving with the latest industry standards and advancements. Vacation rentals are taking their rightful place as the Sunshine State’s premier hotel sector.

Over the past 12 months, more than 70,000 New ads have emerged on major platforms in Florida alone. Inventories are rising and the industry is diversifying with mergers, buyouts and entrepreneurship. FAVR (Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals), under its new branding, will take its 27 years of experience in the Florida vacation rental market to new heights.

One of the changes will be to grow our current base to unforeseen levels as a professional alliance of owners, managers and supplier partners who work together for the advancement of the vacation rental industry throughout Florida. FAVR is also well positioned to advance our goals as we inaugurate our new Association President, Nykkie Rizley of Royal Shell Vacations, who will lead the association when it launches FAVR. Nykkie is a seasoned vacation rental veteran and is the Director of Operations at Royal Shell Vacations based in Ft Myers.

Does this help keep FAVR away from VRMA?

Denis Hanks: Over the years, the FVRMA has been confused with being a chapter or a subset of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA). The point is that the two organizations are separate and distinct operators and not at all linked. Cross-membership in the two organizations is very low. Florida VRMA, now FAVR, has always been an independent, 501-C6 not-for-profit corporation dedicated exclusively to the Florida vacation rental industry.

The Florida VRMA is actually larger (1,400 members) than the VRMA in both membership and programming due to the size of the Florida market and its inventory. Confusion has always existed with the two organizations having similar names. With the FAVR rebranding, our organization seeks to clarify that we are the first vacation rental association representing only the Sunshine State.

Are there any new objectives or goals for FAVR that accompany the rebranding?

Denis Hanks: FAVR will pick up where the Florida VRMA left off, but with a holistic approach and by forging partnerships and establishing relationships with travel and tourism partners, as well as non-traditional partners. This has been the key to our growth and success as a leader in the Florida hotel industry over the past 5-7 years.

While we will continue to seek growth in membership and sponsorship support, we are also focusing on vacation rentals by earning the respect they deserve in the Florida hospitality industry as a major contributor to the economy and as a premium hosting provider. This only happens with industry engagement, relationship building and education. Our partnerships with tax collectors, elected officials and statewide destination marketing partners are the most unique nationwide. All this in addition to attracting major suppliers, like Publix, for example, the largest grocery chain in Florida, which now offers vacation rental food delivery services throughout the state. Our technology partners are also tailoring programs specifically for the Florida market as we speak, and these will roll out in 2022. FAVR and our alliance partners will continue to innovate in Florida and lead the way as a leader in the US vacation rental market with 26 percent of inventory in the entire United States.

What challenges in the industry are you working to overcome?

Denis Hanks: Without a doubt, our most time consuming and important initiative is our local government affairs activity. This in itself is a third of everything we do. No other organization like FAVR has the depth of engagement and participation in law and government affairs in Florida.

Every dollar Florida VRMA has raised for advocacy – and every dollar FAVR collects – stays in Florida. it is never used for out-of-state consultants or distributed to efforts outside of Florida. FAVR has just established its eighth regional chapter, and this continues to attract the participation of our members and local partners to resolve issues on the ground locally. The ultimate goal is to establish a fair and comprehensive set of rules that are implemented statewide just like every other industry in Florida accommodation.

One thing that has always set us apart is our education and certification. The Florida vacation rental market has over 1,500 vacation rental management companies, but this also includes 70 percent of Florida inventory that is managed by owners / managers with less than five homes in their wallets. This segment of our vacation rental industry is a target audience for us and in urgent need of operational standards and education. FAVR will continue to expand its programming and benefits with a focus on each operator, regardless of size and hospitality product offered. We have expanded our curriculum and will continue to advance our MBA certification program under FAVR.

Have you already set dates for the next Xtravangaza conference?

Denis Hanks: Currently we are planning an Xtravaganza and Annual Meeting in September 2022. Following a successful Xtravaganza 2021 with over 500 attendees, we look forward to celebrating our next Xtravaganza as FAVR and rolling out many virtual and in-person regional events leading up to next year’s conference.

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About Michael B. Billingsley

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