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Lodging Update October 31st, 2016

By Wm. May
Published: 10/31/16 Topics: Comments: 0

Yes it is Thanksgiving season with Christmas soon to arrive. But did you know its also conference, seminar and meeting time for many industries?

In every business, keeping up with what's new and changed is important. In the lodging market it has become absolutely critical as it seems every aspect of our niche seems to be under constant improvement and sometimes threat.

Some changes are operational as guest expectations continue to rise. But technology continues to leap ahead requiring our constant attention and initiatives.

Although it eats up hours and even days, we do participate in many industry training and learning opportunities. I am attaching a summary of some of the new things to be thinking about.

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With Autumn here, the lodging industry presented many seminars, conferences, workshops and classes. Here is a run down.

WA Lodging Association - Their annual conference was held at the new Davenport Grant Hotel in Spokane. Unlike its cousin the renovated and luxurious Davenport Hotel, the Grand is everything new and almost futuristic.

Hotel staff were very well-trained, professional and accommodating, although surely they know they are being evaluated by hundreds of people in their own industry.

Technology is used to speed check-in, schedule maid service and even lower the blinds. Furnishings were very comfy and very modern. Great Colors, big desk, USB ports bedside and huge flat screen TV.

It is a reminder to Vacation Home owners that they are in competition with a very large industry that is working overtime to return guests to traditional hotels.

Downstairs the meeting rooms were impressive with attentive servers, huge presentation screens and technology everywhere. They even immediately switched to the Seahawks game when the meeting was done.

HomeAway Summit - Presented by the owners of VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com and dozens of other websites this seminar was all about their company, with only a few offerings by other vendors.

HomeAway admitted they have work to do to confront the advent of AirBnB, but their purchase by Expedia (headquartered in Seattle) gives them powerhouse technology and marketing.

Their newly implemented guest service fees has been despised by vacation rental managers and owners, but they reason that new income is necessary to advertise more which helps property owners.

They did not mention that $400 million in additional fees will help pay for the $4 billion price Expedia paid. Hmmm.

HomeAway is finally taking a bigger role in opposing vacation rental prohibitions pursued by some cities including San Francisco and even Seattle. Time will tell. Their technology plans

AirBnB Open (Conference) - Held in Las Angeles, AirBnB continues to promote "home sharing" as just a way for owners to pay their bills. While that is true for some, it has not stopped new regulations - San Francisco and New York State have both passed laws that prohibit renting by many home owners.

Big events were Delight Guests, (Interior) Designing for Success, and The Future of AirBnB. Finding your Inner Happy Host. The event is a love-fest for many hosts who actually share rooms in their homes for the joy of meeting other people.

That concept is growing, although it differs some from many vacation rental owners who want to make money, while keeping their places safe and secure.

Just last week AirBnB announced they were going to offer personalized tours worldwide, so that guests in homes could find "Authentic" experiences. This might be a brilliant idea, but some guests are already confused by a lodging website that does not focus on lodging.

It is fascinating to see AirBnB grow so fast, but their customer service seems to be falling behind trying to keep up. Complaints are growing from guests, owners and managers.

Summary - The WA Lodging group has a comprehension of the industry that other segments can not match. There is great collaboration for the mutual good, while allowing diversity of properties and competitiveness. HomeAway's recent fee changes may or may not result in benefits to managers and owners. AirBnB holds to its roots of room rental, but whole home Vacation Rentals are a huge portion of their income.

For your information we advertise on HomeAway, AirBnB and over 300 other lodging websites, plus thousands of search engines as well as hundreds of websites in our network.

Advertising widely is what yields inquiries which yield bookings. No one does more than we do. We keep owners apprised of industry trends as we incorporate them into the best management services in the world.

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Profile - It does not seem possible, but Salman Arshad joined our business as lead engineer about ten years ago. He is our Web Developer responsible for all programmatic and many graphic design elements our websites. He holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from University of Karachi His expertise includes legacy ASP/SQL Server and PHP/MySQL. He is a perfectionist when it comes to his work.

Salman is married and enjoys every minute spent with his family. The very little spare time he has is spent either on his programming blog or on online gaming servers.

Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0540 – 10/31/16
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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