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 that promoted products or companies 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 the curriculum. After months of academic review and documentation, 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) and other cities are adding the education requirement.

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 has had regulation class sessions in Nevada, Florida, or in Northern or Southern Utah --- but it has been 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 reserve 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; even some deaths; ... 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), TMCC, and other universities are hosting this 2-day course for less than $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! Owners and Managers from many countries have completed this course.

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 for live courses).

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!

Vacation Rental Management 411

At first, the STR Certification Course used a student manual, but universities asked for a full textbook. So Julie enlisted Breanne Ellis to co-author Vacation Rental Management 411, which was published through iUniverse. The textbook contains the time-honored "wisdom of experience" from Julie's decades of lodging management experience (including B&Bs and STRs) and teaching background, and it also contains the innovative and tech-minded approach of a Millennial who is well-educated in hospitality management and global enterprise with a special interest in social media marketing as well as STR management. The two perspectives match the strengths and opportunities within this often misunderstood and emerging industry.

When students take the live course, the textbook is included in the curriculum fee and is provided on the first day of class. 

For e-course and semester courses, the student needs to order a textbook and read the first 3 chapters before the first day of class.

The textbook is available for purchase in softcover, Kindle, and ebook versions:

  • From iUniverse (the publisher) 

  • From Amazon


It's about quality education for an emerging industry.

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 if their information is available outside of academia). We follow federal laws.

  • 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. We do not allow for sponsors of the Certification Course to help keep the content secure.

  • 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.


" The vacation rental class exceeded my expectations! The class, taught by Julie Davies, provided a warm and friendly atmosphere where students were able to learn the extensive curriculum, as well as exchange ideas, experiences and support. I hope CSN continues to offer this course on a monthly basis. Learning guidelines and standards are essential to help professionalize this emerging industry. " Paula Caballero, Realer and International Property Manager; Reserve with Paula; and President of the Nevada Vacation Rental Professionals (NVRP, a VRMA Affiliate)

"This is a very complete class for someone interested in STR. A MUST TAKE!"

from CSN Student Evaluation

"Excellent, Excellent, Excellent! Loved it!"

from DSU Student Evaluation

"This course was even fun! And a learned a lot of things I need to know. Great class!"

from DSU Student Evaluation

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

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"Thank you so much!! Really enjoyed your class! The best class I've ever taken, I must say (UNLV 2007 graduate)."

Miranda, STR Owner and Host

"Why didn't I learn this stuff sooner?!! It would have been so much better. This class saved my business during COVID-19 cancellations. I never had a budget before and I was only using Airbnb. But I survived and now I'm back at great rates and good guests. Thanks!"

JD Barker, STR Owner, four homes in Arizona

" I’ve been hosting guests in my homes for 12 years. Even though you think you know it all by now….you don’t! From the legality aspect to the small amenities making the most impact with your guests, this class runs the gamut of advising you on how to operate a short-term rental with professionalism and class! Highly recommended! This class is a must for anyone in the hospitality industry; I highly recommend this small investment to better your business."  

Mike Jensen, long-time licensed Vacation Home/STR owner, and International Travel Broker

"I learned more information in 2-days from this class than I learned as a full-time college student! Great Class!"

from CSN Student Evaluation

"Dreaded the 2-day /8-hour thing, but it went fast! Class well organized. I'd say almost not enough too short when classmates participate. I want to learn even more for her!"

from CSN Student Evaluation

"I didn't know how much I didn't know! No wonder I haven't been making money. Now I can! Thank you!"

from CSN Student Evaluation

"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

"I learned more about marketing than I did on getting my MBA! Practical information that could apply to any business, but especially to STR management. I would take classes from this teacher."

George Roman, Investment Banker and STR Owner

"The self-study class went by quicker than I thought it would. Great information in the lectures and book. I hadn't taken a test in years, so I was nervous. But it was what I learned, so I did it. I couldn't have opened my STR without this class. I wish my idiot neighbor would take it and stop having party guests. He doesn't know what he's doing and it's hurting my business."

Selia Gomez, California host and Oregon STR owner, too.

" My Wife and I have had Rental Cabins in Duck Creek Village , UT since 2009, and “thought” that we were well versed on the business, (until attending this class last weekend). 
We learned many things from Julie’s presentations, as well as from networking with fellow attendees. I highly recommend this class to anyone who is currently running an STR, or plan on running one in the future.... 👍" 

Doug Williams'‎ post on Facebook Short Term Rental Management Education

" The Certification class was very informative. Instructor Julie knows her stuff as a successful host. Hoping this class becomes a requirement for future STR hosts. 5 stars!"  New host, Syd Barcenas posted this on the Facebook page: Short Term Rental Management Education



"Every day is an education with your guests. This class goes into every tiny little detail you need and should know about hosting guests in your home. A definite must for anyone thinking of getting into this business!"  Posted by Airbnb Superhost on Facebook Short Term Rental Management Education 

"I came to class with a few questions but thought I knew everything. I left with answers and I learned a lot! Worth every dollar and every minute"

from UCF Student Evaluation

"The course was absolutely wonderful.  So happy I took the course.  After taking the course and working in the STR world for the past three years, I feel it is not enough to have a property management permit to conduct this business.  The Hospitality world is very different than Long Term property management.  Tenants versus guests.  Anyway, thank you for creating the course and sharing your knowledge!"


Robyn Yates / Broker CEO

Nevada Real Estate License B-036750

"I wasn't making good money from my Airbnb---Wait! I used the wrong term---my STR. Knowing that one truth has made a big difference for my STR---and more! Now my small business is profitable beyond what I thought possible. I enjoy hosting. I'm licensed. And my neighbors like me now. 5 star reviews! Thank you, Julie!"

Jo Chen, Superhost/Owner 6 STRs

"I took the class because I was required by the City after being a host for six years. Didn't think I needed it. But it changed my business! Great class! Every STR manager should take this class!" 

Roger Daley, STR Owner and Property Manager 

"Didn't want to take the class but needed to. Then I learned a ton of stuff and I'm glad I had to take it. I want to learn more. You need to hold a Part II class!"

Justin Rollins, New Jersey host and Florida vacation home owner (five homes)

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, an online self-study course, real estate continuing education, 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.