About the STR Certification Course

This course was developed after public officials in the City of Las Vegas asked Julie Davies if she knew of any accredited courses for the vacation home/STR industry. When they investigated the educational resources, they found some good webinars and a lot of dangerously bad webinars, but no courses taught within accredited settings specifically designed to educate about best practices for this emerging industry. 


Julie contacted the College of Southern Nevada (CSN)and presented a curriculum draft. After months of academic review and revision, CSN determined that there was a community need for this education, and the course was rolled out in February, 2018.


As City officials reviewed applications for STR licenses and permits, they saw a marked positive difference in STR Certification Course graduates, so Planning Commissioners and City Council Members mandated the course for many applicants. The City of Henderson, Nevada, recently approved the course for their mandated education requirement for all STVR registration homeowner/applicants (and their applicable designated local contacts).

Other colleges and universities recognized the need for this education in their communities and added the course to their continuing education catalogs in the professional-level 2-day version or as a full semester course within Hospitality Management degree programs.

Due to the approved real estate CE in certain states, this innovative live course is usually available in Nevada, Florida, or in Northern or Southern Utah --- but it can be available in other locations, too! This course is only offered within Accredited Higher Education Institutions which keeps the content secure from special interests and greatly reduces the cost for this vital education.


Whether you own, manage, sell, or book nights at a vacation rental home or homeshare, here's a great way to learn about this alternate lodging option. Improve your profits and earn more 5-Star reviews----for less than the cost of a short reservation!

Why did we develop this course? It was partly due to the repeated requests from public officials who recognized that a few hosts know what they are doing, but too many hosts make disruptive mistakes because they simply don't know how to host well. The course authors also received numerous calls from hosts, managers, and realtors who were in serious trouble --- and it was usually a costly problem that could have been avoided if they had received quality vacation home/STR education (these calls included reported hefty fines for not being properly licensed or for not following STR regulations; fines for the bad behavior of guests in STR homes and neighborhoods; lawsuits; costly damage to their homes; injured guests; disputes with the hosting platforms; ... and lack of sufficient income to cover the expense of hosting a home or room because they simply didn't know what they were doing or were following bad advice). This course reviews applicable laws, best practices, and innovative tools and tips that every host and property manager needs to know to stay out of trouble and to be more profitable!

Community Colleges and Universities put this course through stringent academic reviews before allowing it to be held within accredited higher education institutions. Real Estate Divisions also put the course through reviews before allowing CE for course graduates. This is not just a simple webinar or seminar. This is a college-level course, complete with an acclaimed textbook! (The same textbook is also used in semester-long courses within degree programs. The 2-day live course and e-course versions are for industry professionals, but both versions use the textbook).


Course graduates have rated this course with the highest scores and have clicked the evaluation box saying that they would recommend the course to other hosts, property managers, realtors, vendors, municipal leaders, and investors. Learn time-honored short-term rental industry 'best practices' along with laws and tips about innovations that help hosts better communicate with and monitor guests, keep more of the profits, and become more neighborhood-friendly.


This Course qualifies for Real Estate CE in some states due to the critical need for real estate professionals to understand this emerging industry. Realtors who don't know the difference between traditional property management and short-term rental contracts/procedures are causing problems for themselves and their clients. Some universities allow for fragmented registration (you can register for one or two parts during one session and then return to complete the remaining parts of the 2-day course in a following session). 


The College of Southern Nevada (CSN), Dixie State University (DSU), and University of Central Florida (UCF), Utah Valley University (UVU), and other universities are hosting this 2-day course for about $300 per student (the price includes tuition, instruction, testing, a renowned textbook, and course materials). This is a great, cost-effective investment in your STR business!


When you pass this course, you can use the honored STR Certification Seal to show that you have taken your knowledge and commitment to a professional level! It's taught within accredited higher education institutions, so the content is secure and it has been through academic reviews. Some municipalities are requiring this trusted course for their STR license applicants. Graduates are hosting in at least nineteen countries and increasingly, guests are looking for the seal when they're making reservations.


Space is limited, so register early!  (Classes fill quickly and academic institutions usually close registration a week before the course date).

If you don't see a date that works for you, we can usually add a class date with the commitment of a minimum 20 registrants. Get together with your associates and contact Julie about scheduling a convenient session for you!

Some notes about the course and this site:

  • When we offer courses within accredited higher education institutions, there are rules we must follow.

  • We don't disclose student information unless we have permission from the student (or their information is available outside of academia).

  • We do not share contact information submitted through this site's contact page. We may send an email. If you do not wish to receive information, simply ask to be removed from the mailing list.

  • We do not recommend or endorse products or services. Any mention of a company or brand is for education purposes---it is not an endorsement. We encourage students to do their own research before using any product or service.

  • This site is for information sharing. Again, any businesses listed are not endorsed or recommended (it is just allowing students to share information). If you have a problem with a business or service included on this site, please contact the site administrator so we can investigate and perhaps remove the content.

  • In the blog comments, we ask that posts contain accurate, civil, and positive messages using words and examples that would not offend others.

  • If any product or service is provided for review by a site administrator, it will be disclosed on this page.

  • The authors of Vacation Rental Management 411 and some of the instructors are site administrators. Paradise on Ice Vacation Rental is an STR of a site administrator.

From the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) Student Evaluations of the STR Certification 2-Day Course----the blue is "Exceeded  Expectations."  Top ratings!

"I came to class because I had to get registered and I wasn't happy about this being required to pay for a class. I have six homes and over 300 great reviews! By lunch the first day, I had learned enough new tips that I wanted the class to go on for a week! And it just got better (until the test, but I aced it). I thought I was doing great, but it has boosted my profits and I'm having more fun with my business and less worries. It's well worth every penny and every minute in class. I want more!"

Jeni Chang, STVR owner, manager, and traveler

About the Authors

Julie Davies is considered an international expert in the intricacies of the vacation home/short-term rental (STR) industry. She opened her first Bed & Breakfast Inn more than 30 years ago while also managing hotels. Her family's most recent STR purchase was in 2015. Julie's experience as a 5-Star host and property manager, along with several decades of teaching hospitality and business management within Accredited Higher Education Institutions, allows her to teach about time-honored best practices and innovations for this emerging industry from profitable experience and trusted research. Their textbook, Vacation Rental Management 411, is used in university degree courses, a 2-day intensive course for professionals, real estate continuing education, an e-course, and lectures.


Breanne Ellis grew up in hotels and inns and has traveled to nearly every continent, immersing herself in diverse customs and cultures. She received her ATA in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management when she was sixteen years old and was one of the youngest professionals to earn her Certified Culinarian designation. Breanne went on to earn degrees in Spanish and a Master of Science in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. She earned international awards for academic papers and research on social media and destination marketing. Breanne brings the Millennial perspective to the creation of Vacation Rental Management 411 and the accompanying university courses that teach time-honored best practices and technology-based innovations within the vacation home/short-term rental industry.

Quality Education can open doors

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