One of the more interesting interviews that came out of VRM Intel this year, was an interview that Amy Hinote did with Steve Trover of All Star Vacation Homes as they closed their doors this year. In this wide-ranging interview, Trover, who has long been a consultant in the vacation rental industry, comments on things he wishes he paid more attention to in running his company, in order to help others.
Here is an excerpt from the article discussing one of the weakness for his company:
"Trover regrets that he did not implement trust accounting and believes that while it cannot be legislated overnight, it should be a best practice for vacation rental managers. “When I consult with clients today, it’s one of the first questions I ask. I think there is a need for a federal mandate or at minimum, state laws similar to those in North Carolina in this regard,” Trover said.”
Besides providing accountability, trust accounting—when utilized by a state or market—builds a barrier to entry for new, less responsible businesses. As Trover pointed out, in North Carolina’s Outer Banks where trust accounting is required, the reason there are several large management companies instead of dozens of small companies is that the trust accounting requirements are burdensome for fly-by-night operators. And the greatest benefit is for guests who then work with experienced managers who have established, solid businesses and guest services. In addition, markets that require trust accounting are far less reliant on OTAs for bookings."
Every year around this time, I spend some time thinking about how to position Barefoot from a marketing perspective for the upcoming year. With all the changes in the landscape of vacation rental management software providers, I believe that we need to refocus our effort on discussion what is really at the heart of the Barefoot solution. We offer the stability of a full trust accounting system that has been tested by millions of dollars in transactions. We have the largest average client size in the industry for a reason. Our accounting works.
Trover went on to state that he feels that everyone should be required to move to a full trust accounting system, but “it is very difficult for a 100-unit FL management company to get there, especially if they are upside down, and too many are.” I disagree! Each of our clients go through trust accounting training during the Barefoot implementation process. Our accounting support team does and audit during the implementation process that evaluates each situation uniquely and provides recommendations from getting from no or existing trust accounting to Barefoot trust accounting. Once you’re actively using the system we provide as much guidance as you need to make sure that your trust accounting is working for you.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to talking about accounting with you.