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City of Tybee Island Deploys AI Solution to Regulate Short Term Rentals

Granicus’ Host Compliance uncovers hundreds of unregistered rentals; streamlines compliance & tax collection

Denver, CO—October 13, 2020: Granicus, the leading provider of cloud-based citizen engagement technologies and services, today announced a partnership with Tybee Island, GA to streamline the City’s short-term rental (STR) registration, tax collection, and enforcement with Granicus’ govService Host Compliance product suite.

A bustling beach town, Tybee Island is known for attracting tens of thousands of tourists a week to enjoy its long sandy beach, local eateries and shops. This booming vacation destination has created a high demand for STRs through popular sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and FlipKey. While Tybee Island’s rental market has flourished, its transient population has made it challenging for the City to ensure compliance with local regulations and maintain the character of its neighborhoods.

“As our tourist population grows, it’s becoming increasingly important to hold owners—who are often from out of town—accountable for complying with local ordinances,” said Shawn Gillin, City Manager at City of Tybee Island.

“To ensure that Tybee remains a respite for people of all ages and interests, we needed a technology partner to help us identify unregistered rentals, communicate with owners, collect taxes and minimize disruption. Nothing came close to what Granicus was able to provide. Their partnership will take a significant weight off of our shoulders.”

Prior to working with Granicus, Tybee Island counted 1,100 active rentals throughout the city. Host Compliance identified an additional 300 unregistered rentals—a significant disparity for a small city of only 3,000 full time residents. As demand for tourism continues to grow, Host Compliance will provide the infrastructure needed to maximize compliance and drive tax revenue with AI-driven automation, requiring limited human intervention.

In addition to identifying non-compliant properties and streamlining outreach to operators, Granicus’ govService Host Compliance suite offers:

  • Property address identification to monitor over 60 vacation rental websites through big data and artificial intelligence, eliminating the ability for owners or platforms to bypass Tybee Island’s local ordinances.
  • Mobile permitting & tax collection to simplify the registration and taxation process for Tybee Island owners of host properties. .
  • 24/7 hotline that makes it easy for neighbors to report, prove, and resolve non-emergency short-term rental related problems in real-time.
  • Rental activity monitoring that estimates occupancy and rental revenue for each property and automatically initiates audits of operators who under-report taxes or exceed rental limits or frequency regulations.

“On Tybee Island—where rentals make up a considerable portion of residential properties—ensuring that each rental listing is registered and appropriately taxed is essential. But when rental hosts and platforms change on nearly a daily basis, this process can be near impossible to manage without automated technology,“ said Ulrik Binzer, founder of Host Compliance, now owned by Granicus. “Helping local governments drive revenue has always been a top priority for us, and in 2020, the weight of this charge has grown significantly. Having the tools to ensure steady STR compliance can make a million dollar difference for local agencies and enhance their residents’ quality of life.”

In addition to Tybee Island, over 350 municipalities look to Host Compliance products to understand the scale and scope of the impact of short-term rentals in their communities and enforce regulations that minimize their negative effects. To learn more about how Granicus can help your community, see here.

About Granicus

Granicus connects governments with the people they serve by providing the first and only civic engagement platform for the public sector. Nearly 4,500 federal, state and local government agencies and more than 200 million citizen subscribers power an unmatched Subscriber Network that turns government missions into quantifiable results. With comprehensive cloud-based solutions for communications, government website design, meeting and agenda management software, records management, and digital services, Granicus empowers stronger relationships between government and citizens.


Media Contact:
Susan Ganeshan