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Lodging Update April 30th, 2016

By Wm. May
Published: 04/30/16 Topics: Comments: 0

Now that Memorial Day is upon us, we are happy to report that guest inquiries and bookings are strong and it is time for an update about Vacation Rentals.

Good weather always helps to stimulate demand even for dates far in the future. There must be something about the flowers and sunshine that makes everyone think about going on vacation.

By the way, be sure to block out the dates you want for yourself, family, and friends. Doing that far in advance ensures that you get the time you want as the most popular dates go first.

The continued fast paced changes in this industry may be common in other industries as well, but keeping up takes lots of time and we want to stay well ahead of the curve in order to deliver the best occupancy and rates for your property.

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Thanks for allowing us to work with you.

Each month we jot down a few notes on what's new and exciting. Yes, our enthusiasm is always at a high for this business where we create lasting memories for guests and take care of homes for owners. There is seldom room to cover "All the news that's fit to print" but we'll give it a try.

NEW PROPERTIES; More owners are joining our family all the time as the demand for vacation rentals continues to grow. In fact, our list is increasing faster than other managers. We have met our goal to provide the most comprehensive management service and are now working to do even more than competitors.

AIRBNB: Airbnb.com is a fast growing lodging website that features vacation rentals around the world. However, the majority of listings are actually for people offering a bedroom or two in their homes. In a way, the latter is a brand new category which can sometimes confuse prospective guests.

The website has some peculiar attributes. It requires that guests inquire and book only through their website, AirBnb charges the guest credit cards and in some subtle ways controls the relationship between guest and manager. Customers are more chatty which takes time but that effort can pay off in knowing a bit more about the guests before allowing them to book.

While there are undesirable aspects, we were an early advertiser on AirBnb because it generates inquiries and income for owners. AirBnB fees are inexpensive but they add a "Service Fee" charged directly to the guest. Will AirBnB continue to grow or will its unusual rules and methods cause it to stall? Time will tell.

UPGRADES: With the continue growth of vacation rentals, the expectations of guests continues to grow. Physical upgrades that will increase income are hot-tubs and being dog friendly. We dislike suggestions that cost owners money, but will increase income.

TELEVISIONS: When flat-panel TV's were first invented they were very expensive and most owners waited to upgrade. Today these brilliant displays are now expected and failure to upgrade will cause guests to lose interest and not book. If you have not upgraded, considering doing so soon.

FIRE SEASON: For homes in wildfire prone areas, we take extra precautions such as posting "No fire" signs in fire pits and discouraging the use of charcoal barbecues. Propane is safer, easier to maintain, and cheaper to operate. Guests prefer them so what's not to love. (If your home does not have a barbecue, please invest in one today, or ask us to buy and install it for you)

EVENTS GALORE; In every destination, local festivals, concerts and other events greatly increase tourism and that helps us book more nights. You will notice we list local events on the websites, along with shops, restaurants and other services. Guests love it and it even helps increase visibility on Google, Bing and other search engines..

PROFILE: That friendly voice that so many of you will recognize on the phone is Penny Taylor, head of reservations. She has run businesses and large sales teams which is why she and her staff sell higher percentages of bookings than anyone else. Thanks to Penny.

Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0535 – 04/30/16
Sponsor: Vortex Organization – We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rental Management companies, in an industry that has been a webby net of technology combined with good old fashioned property, guest and owner services. – VortexManagers.com

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