They Banned Vacation Rentals in Our City — Now What? (Episode 371)

Fight for Your Right to Host! Oceanside, California Edition

Today’s expert guest is Ellyn Vollmer. She’s got a wild pain-to-purpose story that many hosts will find eerily familiar. She and her husband Devin live in Pittsburgh, PA and recently launched their first STR property in Oceanside, CA after a long and winding road filled with false starts and regulatory red tape.

We talk all about how their six-month plan turned into a two-year (and more!) ordeal that involved almost every possible hurdle, spending the first year creating a rental experience they could be proud of and another year dealing with city politics in order to get their permit approved.

This one will make you frustrated, it will make you sad, it will remind you that this business is based in emotion and fueled by thoughtfully presented data. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we do, and urge you to check out her new listing any time you’re in California.

(00:01:23) #STRShareSunday: @sea.sun.maui

  • Highlighting three sister properties 
  • Promote your big updates and renovations
  • Whale watching? Yes, please

(00:03:26) Early STR Trials & Tribulations of Ellyn Vollmer

  • Thanksgiving 2021 – the start of it all 
  • Getting started in Oceanside, California 
  • Good and bad of the transaction process 
  • Turning it into an Airbnb listing 
  • Get the Hosting Handbook:
  • Problems with an inexperienced contractor 

(00:14:04) STR Shed Permits? STR Shed Permits!

  • A nosy neighbor complicates their timeline
  • Do the inspection as soon as you possibly can!
  • Nervous about the first city inspection 
  • Surprise! Our shed was built illegally 
  • Can’t we just raze it? Yes, but no
  • Seven months to get the shed permitted 

(00:22:22) Fighting for Her Right to Host a Vacation Rental

  • Surprise! Hosting has actually been outlawed in Oceanside
  • Turning devastation into motivation 
  • We Fought Restrictive Local Hosting Laws (and Won) #339
  • Seeing opportunity in the gray area of the law
  • Why she contacted their city council person directly 
  • Benefits of record keeping and slide decks 

(00:37:58) Making Her Case to Oceanside (with Money)

  • Focusing on tax dollars available through her business 
  • Using the city’s tourism data in her arguments 
  • Highlighting the jobs gained by her operation 
  • Busting the hotel-killer myth

(00:41:19) Finally Hosting Their First STR Guests

  • Four bookings in – after a long 2.5 year permitting process
  • Getting to the fun phases 
  • Direct booking at
  • Instagram: @stayblueskies
  • Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

Download a transcript of this episode.




This week’s #STRShareSunday spotlight shines on a place that does not need any more sunshine, the one and only Hawaii. This breathtaking condo at Kihei Holiday in North Kihei, Hawaii is a total gem. It features an open floor plan with stunning ocean views and unique highlights like 10-foot ceilings and a luxurious spa rain shower. 

Perfect for whale watching from the balcony, it offers a bright, airy atmosphere with vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms. Located just steps from the golden sands of Kihei’s longest beach, this tropical paradise is ideal for families and friends looking to explore the island.

We would love to feature YOU, so don’t forget to use #STRShareSunday to get your chance!

Together, Annette & Sarah are the dynamic duo behind the wildly popular podcast Thanks For Visiting, co-creators of the Hosting Business Mastery Method, & seasoned short-term-rental hosts.

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