This article is part of our partner profile series. Click here to read other articles in this series.
In 2022, GovOS began working with the Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals (FAVR) as part of our mission to bring awareness and education to communities nationwide.
FAVR is a nonprofit association that has supported Florida’s vacation rental industry for the last 28 years. Members, which include vacation rental owners and managers, have access to support and resources to help them operate successful, reputable short-term rentals (STRs).
For this partner profile, we sat down with Denis Hanks, Executive Director of FAVR to learn more about the organization and to gain a better understanding of the Florida travel industry as a whole—one of the biggest in our nation. Here’s what we learned.
Year established: 1994
Employees:3 (plus a larger support team of volunteers, partners, and lobbyists)
Members: 1,300+ (representing more than 80,000 units statewide)
What is FAVR’s mission?
To unite, guide, support, and represent the professional vacation rental industry in Florida. We help establish and maintain standards of professional conduct, promote consumer awareness and protection, provide government advocacy, and deliver member education, including certifications. Partnering with agencies like GovOS helps us solidify our mission statewide.
What makes FAVR unique?
FAVR has a diverse membership and leadership team with grassroots efforts in eight regions of Florida. Each region is represented on our Board of Directors and our regional chapters act as our eyes and ears for all that happens in our industry.
From operators with two self-managed homes to managers with 500 or more, our members turn to FAVR for trusted advice and support. This includes everything from working with entrepreneurs just starting out to informing members about the ever-changing hospitality environment in Florida.
Can you tell us more about the resources you offer members?
FAVR’s primary focus is on providing access to education and advocacy resources. We offer members more than 20 educational programs as well as networking opportunities and events. We engage in local and state regulatory issues and represent members on important boards like the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s licensing authority.
Have you heard any feedback from members recently?
Members are struggling statewide on local government affairs issues. FAVR plays an advocacy and organizational role in many of these local issues by speaking with elected officials and laying out best practices for policy issues.
How has the Florida travel industry evolved in recent years?
More than 35,000 new STRs entered the Florida market over the last three years. Vacation rental hospitality in Florida currently makes up 26% of the entire U.S. market, and that number continues to increase.
As a result of FAVR efforts and solid, data-driven studies, many people, including state leaders, are viewing the industry in a more positive light. A recent study by UCF Rosen College of Hospitality shows that vacation rental guests generate $1.9M per hour in the Florida economy.
Do you have any 2023 predictions about STRs?
The growth of the STR industry will slow down along with the economy. Older homes will transition to full-time residents and new, purpose-built homes will continue to be built to meet market demands.
What are some common misconceptions about STRs?
One misconception is that big corporations are the main ones buying and operating vacation rentals. In truth, the bulk of vacation rentals are owned by private individuals, but many hold their second home in a trust or LLC for legal purposes.
Another is that vacation rentals are the #1 cause of the affordable housing crisis. Florida is a rental market of 26% long-term rentals and only 1-2% short-term rentals. Florida residential developers cannot build houses fast enough to keep up with 1,000+ new residents moving to Florida each day.
What is FAVR’s best success story so far?
FAVR has helped transform the vacation rental industry in Florida, shaping many positive outcomes on legislation and creating a professional group of STR operators throughout the state.
From inception, GovOS has taken a holistic approach to offering solutions that have positive impacts on communities. To learn more about our partner program, visit govos.com/partners/