Short-Term Rentals: Uniting Vacation & Urban

Posted By: Elizabeth Sickels ICOR Blog & News,

Short-term rentals in urban markets take heat from legislation and their own industry at times. Elizabeth Sickels invites everyone in the vacation rental management industry to focus on what matters most – the guests.

The traditional vacation rentals have been in business for 50+ years, think beaches, ski resorts, etcetera. These professionally managed properties have had their systems down. Running like a well-oiled machine and reaping the benefits of their hard work. Then in 2008 these three punks from San Francisco were out of money and needed to make some cash. Who knew renting out an air mattress would turn into a $30 billion plus valuation in less than a decade?

Airbnb was dismissed heavily by the traditional vacation rental companies, then competition came into play. Airbnb and VRBO (although VRBO doesn’t have the market presence of Airbnb) let any Joe Schmo become a host.  No experience needed, none.  Take some pictures, set a rate, and post your property.  Done.  The floodgates opened and guests were booking.

Short-Term Rentals Go Mainstream

Coming out of the 2008 recession, real estate became a hot investment strategy for the average person. The economy was growing, unemployment continually decreasing, extra money was abounding.  The rise of the entrepreneur was becoming a status symbol instead of being crazy, not wanting to work for a corporation and have that security. The gig economy was born as well, allowing free spirits and those with different life goals to after it.

As short-term rentals became accepted in true vacation areas, it morphed into the urban market and your neighborhood. That eventually lead to a rub between the professionally managed properties and those that are, well, let’s just say not professionally managed.  As the urban market opened more and more to both vacationers coming to see family, friends or visiting the location, to business folks – it evolved into a whole new sector.

Identity Crisis for Short-Term Rentals

Eventually, the discussion became “who are we as an industry”? Are we vacation rentals, or are we short-term rentals? Where does the “urban rental” play into this? There is some bias as to the true vacation rental destinations and the urban destinations.  And yes, Indianapolis is an extremely popular urban destination!

There are money-hungry people in every sector of life. And people who could care less about standards, reputation, or just doing the right thing. That is no different in the short-term rental industry. Now is the time in our industry to come together, no matter what type of properties you manage. We have such a great opportunity to stand even further apart from properties that are not professionally managed. Including hotels, motels, and every other form of nightly accommodations.

A Call for Inclusion

Our passion for the guest, for our client (the property owner), our team, the commitment to cleanliness, safety, and providing unique interiors and locations truly let us stand out. No matter where your properties are or what you consider your space in providing overnight accommodations, let us include all of those who have a passion for our industry. We are here to host our guests, and what an honor it is.


Join ICOR in May as we welcome Elizabeth Sickles to discuss the investment and hospitality side of short-term rentals, how it compares to long term rentals, and the nuances that will allow you to triple your cashflow from one door. For more information visit