Budgeting For Your Short-Term Rental Program

It happens every year: It’s time to set your annual budget. There are countless things to consider, and identifying priorities can be a challenge. Our team at Host Compliance is here to help you budget for your short-term rental (STR) program and can assist you in making sure you have the tools that can help you succeed. This short guide should help to prepare you for effectively managing STRs in the coming years.

Many short term rental programs tend to recover enough revenue annually to fund their own growth without increasing headcount, such as:

  • Marin Country, CA recovered $120 thousand in transient occupancy tax (TOT). That’s more than 2x the amount of their entire Host Compliance contract.

  • Placer County, CA reported TOT collection was up by $3 million from the year prior. Their contract with Host Compliance accounted for less than 10% of that amount.

  • Within the first eight months of working with Host Compliance, Denver, CO was able to collect $1.1 million in additional revenue from new permits and business licenses.

  • The Village of Islamorada, FL, is now able to find and warn 20 new short-term vacation rental listings in one day with no additional staff.

Even with these returns, it’s important to set aside sufficient funds to assure monitoring and compliance tools are readily available as your community grows.


Even with the slowing growth of Airbnb, the experience of staying at Airbnb-style accommodations continues to grow in popularity. In fact, STR tourism is expected to increase by more than 20% in 2020 and many areas are likely to see a rise in active STRs.

The proliferation of STRs across North America remains a serious point of contention. From disrupting neighborhoods and infringing on homeowner’s property rights to negatively impacting the local economy, there are countless incentives for local governments to regulate short-term rentals.

Thankfully, Host Compliance can help you stay on top of the problem by helping implement an effective regulation, a solution for monitoring, and having the resources needed to enforce the STR plan. The growth of STRs isn’t all bad–it presents more opportunities for revenue recovery and tourism–as long as you have the proper controls in place.

To best support our customers in this constantly evolving short-term rental landscape, we continuously enhance our short-term rental services with feedback from more than 250 of our customers. This is one of the reasons we operate on an annual Software as a Service contract so that we can continuously update the platform and provide guidance around the ever-changing STR landscape.


Before you submit a budget for next year’s short-term rental program, there are a number of factors to consider, including:

What growth are we seeing?

You can easily determine the amount of STR growth in your area by using the dashboard and by generating a report. These trends will give you a good sense of the support and services you’ll need to continue seeing results.

What additional support might we need?

With a growing and changing STR landscape, you may want to consider outsourcing bringing on some additional support. Host Compliance offers services for registration, permitting and tax collection that could save you valuable time on enforcement.  

Would adding a module have an impact on our program and improve our overall results?

From what we’ve seen, customers using compliance monitoring and outreach have dramatically higher compliance rates than address identification only customers. Let us do the work!

Of course, you’ll also need to know how much your renewal fees will be. Here’s how we calculate them:

  • In year 1, renewal fees are based on the prior 10-months average for monthly STRs.

  • In year 2 and beyond, renewal fees are based on the prior 12-months average for monthly STRs.


We hope this short guide is a helpful tool for setting your short-term rental program budget for next year. If you have any questions, including to get a quote on an STR program, reach out to us using the contact information below. We’re here to give you all the support you need to be successful.


1037 NE 65th St #81158
Seattle, WA 98115

Ph:   (415) 715-9280
Fax: (303) 200 8502

Email: [email protected]