The Onsite Property Management Association (OPMA) is the collective voice of and a meaningful advocate for the vacation rental industry. The idea to form OPMA began in 2013 to fill a need in the hospitality industry. A countless number of associations exist for hotels but completely ignore the multibillion-dollar sector of vacation rental management—especially the onsite property managers offering spacious home-like accommodations with hotel-like service and amenities.
After officially launching in 2014, OPMA quickly acquired many onsite vacation rental property management companies and targeted service and product suppliers as members, representing more than 50,000 vacation rental units. The association provides education, advocacy, and the promotion of the value of the rental experience through onsite property management.
OPMA was born from this small idea and grew exponentially through the hard work and perseverance of property management professionals all over the US and beyond.
The goal of OPMA was simple: industry leaders coming together, setting egos aside, in pursuit of idea sharing and improving the industry. Membership in OPMA means standing shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues as a leader in the industry. OPMA members work together every day to innovate and shape the future of onsite property management.
As the vision unfolded for this association in its infancy, it became imperative to hold in-person meetings involving the leading decision-makers in the vacation rental industry. The association began holding two annual think-tank events called Executive Summits, held at various member properties around the country. The OPMA Executive Summits represent an industry first, providing a three-day immersive environment geared toward all things vacation rental management. Attendees meet and exchange ideas with leaders and decision-makers from OPMA member companies and their vendors.
The summits bring together the speakers of the well-known brands in their particular field, the best minds in the condo-hotel lodging sector, and their preferred suppliers, and they enable attendees to return to their respective marketplaces focused on shaping the future together with common objectives and goals. Technology, homeowner relations, the guest experience, and industry legal battles proved to be vital topics with special invited speakers and various panel discussions, and these summits encourage new ideas, better alternatives, and even spearheading global change in the industry.
The OPMA Executive Summit approach is a departure from conferences where traditional speakers field two or three questions at the end of their presentations with no plan of action ever surfacing. Instead, guest speaker presentations are followed by open dialogue and interaction between the presenters and the attendees. The intimate program format encourages stimulating discussions, the exchange of ideas, and arriving at potential solutions to our industry’s most pressing and challenging issues. This inclusive meeting environment results in the establishment of common objectives and an agreed-upon action plan that contributes to the continued growth and profitability of each OPMA manager and supplier member company.
Even with high momentum and real change happening through the efforts of OPMA members, our industry is not without its challenges. Financial recessions, natural disasters, and the political climate can instantly alter the hospitality sector. The most impactful damage most of us endured was when the COVID-19 pandemic ran rampant throughout the world in 2020. Depending on where you were, our industry experienced, at a minimum, a temporary shutdown for two months and, at its worst, a mandatory stay-at-home order that closed entire countries. Regardless of the severity, the impact was felt worldwide.
For many of us, OPMA served as a resource for overcoming obstacles from others’ experiences and allowed for more open discussions on how to handle crisis management situations. With the approval and launch of COVID vaccines underway, those of us in the industry are optimistic about what lies ahead in 2021 and beyond. Throughout this wild ride and moving forward, OPMA members know they have an invaluable resource and network of peers to lean on and learn from no matter the circumstances.
If you are in the vacation rental industry, whether as a manager or supplier, and are interested in joining or learning more about OPMA, visit TheOPMA.org for more information.