7 popular online short-term rental courses property managers and hosts should check out

Stay ahead of the competition by checking out these 7 short-term rental courses that will help boost your knowledge of the vacation rental language, technology and operations and keep you up to date with industry best practices. 

Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list. Many consultants, bloggers and podcasters also provide valuable learning resources that may not come in a course format.

What are the benefits of short-term rental courses?

Guest behaviour, travel demands and industry trends change year on year, which is why it’s so important to stay up to date with what’s happening, so you can continue to increase your revenue, streamline your operations, target niche markets and grow your business effectively and efficiently. 

Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills required to be successful in such a multi-faceted role by choosing the right short-term rental courses for you.

Choosing the right short-term rental course for you

As you know, learning from others is an excellent resource for all property managers and hosts. 

If you want to venture into the world of events, check out the top 10 vacation rental events and conferences to attend in 2023.  

But, if you’re searching for the best online property management courses to help boost your vacation rental education, then you need to consider what exactly it is you’re hoping to learn so that you can choose the right course for you. 

Here are two points to help you identify whether the course will be a good fit for you:

  • How do you learn best? Do you learn best from visuals, auditory, reading/writing or kinesthetic learning?
  • What do you need help with? Are you just getting started in the industry or is there a particular business strategy you’re looking to learn more about and implement into your operations? Do you have any knowledge gaps?

6 short-term rental courses for property managers and hosts

1. Vacation Rental University

Vacation Rental University

Why should you join VRU?

Vacation Rental University (also known as VRU) is an online academy and vacation rental training platform with over 340 video lessons, providing a mixture of courses designed for all levels of competency. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to refine your strategy and employee education, VRU trains and supports those in the vacation rental industry. 

What is the cost of VRU?

There are 4 packages available to property managers and hosts:

  • Basic: Free
  • Masters: Lifetime access for $495 or a monthly subscription for $49pm
  • Enterprise: Custom plan & pricing upon request
  • 1-1 Consulting: Custom plan & pricing upon request

Does the course provide short-term rental certification?

Yes, you can sign up for their VRU Realtor Certification which will help ‘teach you all you need to know about the vacation rental industry, attract more investor clients, close more sales and even manage the properties.’

2. VRMA Vacation Rental Management Certificate Program

VRMA Certificate

Why should you join VRMA?

The Vacation Rental Management Association is one of the most well-known and prestigious professional bodies in the short-term rental space. Alongside their annual industry events, their vacation rental management certification course is for those looking to ‘strengthen their industry knowledge, sharpen their skills, advance their career, improve their business and gain a competitive edge in the professionally managed vacation rental business’. 

What is the cost of VRMA?

If you are a member of VRMA, the certificate programme will cost you $450.

For non-members, the cost is $750.

Does the course provide short-term rental certification?

Yes, you must complete the 5-module online programme and achieve a ‘pass’ on the assessment to earn your certificate.

Once the certification has been gained, you can use it to help distinguish your standard of excellence to the industry, including guests and other property managers.

3. Alterschool


Why should you join Alterschool?

Alterschool offers 100% online training from some of the most influential vacation rental companies changing the industry’s dynamics, including Avantio, Vacasa, Expedia and Booking.com. 

You can learn everything you need to know to help revolutionise and grow your business. With short classes of just 15 minutes a day and over 120 lessons, Alterschool will teach you the skills that will help you become more efficient with your vacation rental business. 

There are three educational programmes available:

  • Tech Entrepreneurship
  • Vacation Rental Growth
  • Housing Acquisition (coming soon)

What is the cost of Alterschool?

This online training is available for $595 and you can spread the cost in instalments.

Does the course provide short-term rental certification?

The course consists of webinars, live classes and networking opportunities with speakers and other students. There is currently no certification upon completion.

4. STR Certification

STR Certification

Why should you complete the STR Certification?

STR Certification course is all about short-term rental education. This course was designed by Julie Davies to educate on best practices for the emerging vacation rental industry after public officials in Las Vegas noticed a lack of valuable accredited courses on such topics. 

With excellent academic reviews, the STR Certification is a college-level course that can be taken as a 2-day live course or a 2-week self-study online course, with an available textbook ‘vacation rental management 411’.

You can register your interest for STR Certification on their website and check out the upcoming course dates available.

What is the cost of the STR Certification?

Price available upon registration. 

Does the course provide short-term rental certification?

Yes, upon completion of the course, property managers are awarded the STR Certification Seal to represent that they are now an accredited short-term rental professional who abides by industry best practices.

5. Lodgify Academy

Lodgify Academy STR Course

Why should you join Lodgify Academy?

If you want to take your business to the next level, Lodgify Academy is a great resource offering courses with something for every level of expertise, whether you’re a rookie or a pro.

The courses are interactive, with opportunities to participate in quizzes and competitions. There’s also a community space where hosts can engage with each other, sharing tips and advice.

There are four courses available are:

  • How to get started with your vacation rental business

  • Get direct bookings with SEO for vacation rentals

  • How to use social media for your vacation rental

  • Photography for vacation rentals

What is the cost of Lodgify Academy?

It’s totally free!

Does the course provide short-term rental certification?

Yes! At the end of each course, students will receive a Lodgify Academy certificate of completion, which they can share across their social media platforms, and a badge that can be showcased on their vacation rental website.

6. Revenue Management Course by Transparent

Revenue Management Transparent

Why should you complete the Revenue Management Course by Transparent? 

If you’re looking to become an expert in vacation rental revenue management and maximise your revenue from your inventory, then this course is for you!

As one of the leading short-term rental data providers, Transparent offers a fully comprehensive online course to help you level up your revenue expertise. 

What is the cost of the Revenue Management Course?

The course costs €249, but discount codes are available through certain property management systems (PMS) or channel managers. Don’t forget to ask if you qualify. 

Does the course provide short-term rental certification?

Yes, a certificate is presented to those who have successfully completed the course.

7. Cleaning Certification

Cleaning Certification

Why should you complete the Cleaning Certification?

Cleaning Certification is a great short-term rental course to have your vacation rental cleaners complete so that you know their following best practices at all times. Since Covid, this has become a primary concern to both hosts and guests. 

What is the cost of the Cleaning Certification?

Courses start at $24 but there is the option to buy in bulk if you would like multiple employees to complete the certification.

Does the course provide short-term rental certification? 

Yes, once you have become certified, not only will you receive a certificate of completion, your vacation rental business will be provided with a unique bade to showcase to your guests that you are trained to guidelines set out by WHO, CDC and OSHA. 

This badge can then be displayed on your listing on OTA sights like Airbnb and Vrbo, or even your own direct booking website and other marketing materials you use.

Are you ready to skill up your vacation rental management strategy? Discover how our risk management platform can protect your properties.

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