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Inch by Inch - Lodging Newsletter October 31st, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 10/31/19 Topics: Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Photography, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Our entire mission is to have happy property owners and happy guests.

Guests are happy when the home they rent is clean, comfy, convenient, and exactly as advertised. They also expect staff to be friendly, efficient, and helpful in all cases.

Owners want their homes to be very well cared for and to make great income when away from their second home. We call it maximum income with minimum fuss.

Our approach is different than any other company or chain management operation. We offer personal service with a smile. Local staff and management who are always Johnny-on-the-spot (or Jill). Local advertising that others can't match. Plus global marketing on hundreds of websites, including the giants Airbnb, VRBO,, and Expedia.

Personal. Local. Global.

If you are wondering how we do that so well when our competitors find it so difficult, this month's letter reveals the simple and effective method we use.

It's called "Inch-by-Inch" and we owe the philosophy to songwriter David Mallett.


Whether building a house, a space ship or a winning basketball team, the direct and efficient way to achieve greatness is to approach projects inch-by-inch. There are no short cuts.

PEOPLE: Success starts with people. Always has. Unlike corporate lodging managers who suffer high turnover, we recruit, interview and train our wonderful people inch-by-inch. Many have been with us a great long while. We treat them well, compensate them nicely, and treat them like the customer services experts they are. People who clean toilets deserve our highest respect.

INTEGRATION: Most lodging managers limit their advertising to just a few websites because synchronizing dates, rates and descriptions, and retrieving bookings is convoluted. Initially, we were tempted to settle for incomplete software but, through an inch-by-inch review, found it necessary to author our own software. The result is the most robust lodging advertising system around.

RENTAL v. COMPLEX: The way in which availability is synched with vacation rental sites is markedly different from how hotel complexes are done. Many years before competitors, our inch-by-inch study proved that neither market could be ignored. Luckily, our custom software adapted to advertising in both, making us the only company with software that does so.

TIMESHARES: Recently, timeshare resort operators have fallen on hard times as they suffer from "aging properties and aging owners." Dates go unused while expenses go ever upward. After being contacted by one resort manager, we determined that guests are happy to rent those homes and, inch-by-inch, adapted our software and systems to market those properties far wider than ever before. Now, more resorts are joining us because we are the only people who can solve their problem.

PHOTOGRAPHY: By far the most important factor to increasing bookings is to have fabulous photos. Fifteen years ago, a search led us to the then newly invented High Dynamic Range Photography. HDR is not the HD of your TV. We studied inch-by-inch the very few people doing HDR, interviewed a dozen photographers, and hired the very best person.

RESERVATIONS: Long ago, we wanted to work 5 or maybe 6 days a week, but the Internet convinces guests that every business should be open long hours every day of the year, and have 24/7 help. Inch-by-inch, we have expanded guest and owner service times to meet that need.

FLOOR PLANS: Decades ago, we wanted property floor plans that guests could use to figure out where Grandma sleeps, which kids get bunks, and how mom and dad can get a private bedroom. However, owners seldom had construction plans and the cost of surveying each home was prohibitive. Inch-by-inch, enables us to examine every way to meet the need. Today, we produce customized, accurate "Water Color" floor plans for every home. No one else has figured it out.

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES: Recently, one of those corporate vacation rental managers crowed that they had just added electronic signatures into their software to ensure valid bookings. We had a good laugh. Nine years ago, our software team pleaded with a major e-sig company to get the computer code and, inch-by-inch, we built, what the vendor called, the first e-signatures in the lodging industry.

All of these little inch-by-inch steps and hundreds of others, benefit guests and owners alike. They prove that consistency, dedication and perseverance always produce good results.

Maine song writer David Mallett said it best "inch by inch, row by row, my garden grows."

Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0712 – 10/31/19
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. –

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