Blog

We want to keep you posted and publish occasional newsletters that can include news, information, opinions and data. Read everything we know.

Sky Not Falling - Lodging Newsletter February 28th 2020

By Wm, May
Published: 02/28/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Lodging Newsletter Comments: 0

You are probably receiving many emails urging everyone to follow safe procedures to slow down the COVID-19 virus. We agree of course, but someone also needs to talk about the bright future that will follow a virus named after a beer brand.

Of course I know it's not the beer, but it helps to fight the panic by calling it a beer bug.

This is not to make sport of the folks who are suffering and dying from this creepy thing. But for most people who get infected, the symptoms are going to feel like having had far too many Budweiser's.

It is said that many people will not get the virus and yet their lives have been turned upside down. Restaurant and retail workers are out of work. Public events have been postponed for months or cancelled altogether.

Some reactions to this problem are unnecessary. Hoarders don't need a years worth of toilet paper. Creepy speculators don't need to buy cases of hand sanitizer and try to foist it on others at huge markups.

There are even people in the travel world, such as Online Travel Agents (think AirBnB) who have unilaterally changed their own terms and are now allowing any guest to cancel for any reason. This helps guests but devastates hosts who have been counting on the income by holding dates for up to a year. It also cuts hours for housekeepers, maintenance staff, reservationists, and more.

We don't want to be selfish but we do want to make informed decisions. Every negative has a positive. It's difficult to believe that now, but time will tell that it holds true.

======================================================================================

In Seattle we were thrust into the national news. Please tell your friends the sky is not falling and we have experience. Undesirable of course, but we learned one big lesson, this too shall pass.

We oldsters remember the day, the minute, and exactly where we stood when it was announced that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas. Time stood still. We all thought we could never go on. It was our first taste of the sky falling, but we did grow older and in time the fear did pass.

On March 27, 1980 Mount Saint Helens blew its top just 98 miles south of downtown Seattle. Even from here a giant plum of smoke roared 70,000 feet into the air over our heads as if from a Faustian furnace. Ash covered Seattle and the Northwest. Cars were stranded due to ash, airplanes dare not fly. Schools were closed and people panicked. It seemed as if the sky was literally falling. But, that too did pass.

The terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 stopped everyone in their tracks, We fretted that more hijackings would crash perhaps into our fair city. Consumers hoarded food and supplies. Our hearts bled for the victims, families, and first responders. People fled the city to hide out in the country. People panicked and for good reason thinking the sky was falling. Slowly but surely this too did pass.

Our parents generation were stunned by 9/11, but they were a bit less stunned that my generation or younger. They had lived through World War II and had seen worse, far worse.

My father in-law was a night-fighter pilot off an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific tasked with shooting down Kamikaze planes where he could often see the faces of the Japanese pilots as they died. He did not allow himself to believe he would came back alive. That generation never knew if they or their lifestyle would survive. And yet, over time memories faded, fear diluted, and this indeed did pass.

The 2008 recession dominated the world financially, stole life savings, threw people out of work, evicted home owners, caused bankruptcies, and scared everyone for years. Life savings were lost through no fault of savers. The lodging industry was brought to its knees and participants felt the sky was falling. It did not. Slowly, very slowly this too did pass.

And now today we are deep into yet another crisis that seems as daunting as past panics because its outcome and its tenure are unknown. The enemy is unseen and impersonal. Everyone wants answers which have not arrived.

For now, the path is to follow the basic hand-washing, social distancing, and other rules that will slow the virus giving the medical establishment time to react and adapt.

The vacation rental industry has a little something to offer. We offer people private vacation rental homes to get away, to really relax, to spend time in the country away from the city. Where they can walk the beach, hike the mountains and watch nature, which is paying no attention to a virus whatsoever. Traveling by car guests avoid crowds. And for all of this we have our incredible staff who still clean and sanitize homes to the Nth degree.

If these comments seem a bit too selfish, or too early, keep in mind that truly the sky is not falling. The sooner we fit the new situation into our world, the better. After all, this too shall pass.

Read more Leave comments

Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0748 – 02/28/20
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

The Little Things - Lodging Newsletter January 31st, 2020

By Wm, May
Published: 01/31/20 Topics: Lodging Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

If you have been reading these monthly updates for long, you know we have a propensity to quote songs, stories and even poetry. That is because creative endeavors remind us of obvious truths, and say it in a way we might all remember.

Property management is a seemingly simple career. Talking about it can be a bit dry. And the real work of those who serve is invisible to clients. Most cannot imagine the intricacies of the job.

In recent years, our industry has been plagued by self-promoting, venture-capital chain management companies, who want to manage homes from thousands of miles away. They are willing to lose millions of dollars per month in hopes they buy up the market before they run out of cash.

We see this a bit differently. Actually, we see it much differently.

Yes, we have every tool they have and then some. But we also vest our work in little things that make a big difference to guests and to property owners. Focus. Focus. Focus.

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent van Gogh

==================================================================

Hundreds of little things contribute to great guest experiences and hundreds more provide property owners with complete service. Our daily regimen avoids problems and ensures quality.

Penny - Every human can learn how to be calm and helpful to every person who calls, even when guests lock themselves out of the home at 3AM. It's not by accident, but rather by determination.

Jackie - If a home has been vacant for more than a few days, we go to each of them to double-check for dust, turn on the front door light, check the heat and - it's odd to say - flush the toilets to make sure there is no "ring."

Jon - It astounds me that other managers don't create floor plans for every property on their website. Of course, they haven't figured out to do them great and affordably like we have.

Kylee - Software speeds up the monthly statement closing process, but every item on every report is double-checked by hand because, well because we would be embarrassed if it was wrong.

Simon - No one likes criticism, but no one is perfect. So email surveys are sent to every guest. We sell them great stays but need to know if any little thing was off the mark.

Salman - Advertising on every possible website is the only way to ensure maximum demand for every property. That takes technical integration for rates and dates, and daily tweaks to the system are incessant.

Kate - When starting with a property we have the world's longest checklist. Would you want to get on a jetliner where the captain did a short checklist? Same thing with rentals. We do nothing by chance.

Fahim - In addition to our management websites, we build local tourism websites. Maintaining lists of activities, events, shops and restaurants takes far more time, but we attract even more guests than the other guys.

Bronson - In a hotel, it's is called "Night Auditor". Here we just call it constant auditing. Reconciling inbound payments from websites and guests requires great attention to details plus thousands of key strokes.

Lenny - After a long day running to properties with a checklist, I make a list of anything that might have been overlooked. And then I double-check it the next day.

James - After 15 years paying for Dynamic Range photos I am happy to report the competition never catches up. Superior photos gather more attention and produce more income. I hope they never figure it out.

Quinn - Answering the same repetitive questions from guests can be tiring, But some guests have been planning for years and its my job to make their dreams come true. It delights me.

William - My father once said, "It is necessary to master that we dislike the most" and then everything else is easy. We challenge everyone here to embrace the little things every day. It really is the secret to doing great work.

Read more Leave comments

Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0718 – 01/31/20
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

A Storm is Brewing - Lodging Newsletter December 31st, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 12/31/19 Topics: Government, Lodging Newsletter, Regulations Comments: 0

What a lovely, enjoyable industry we are in. Tens of thousands of guests going to thousands of unique and interesting vacation rental homes, Inns, Resorts and other specialty lodging. Read more Leave comments

Good Manners - Lodging Newsletter November 30th, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 11/30/19 Topics: Behavior, Lodging Newsletter, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

What a lovely, enjoyable industry we are in. Tens of thousands of guests going to thousands of unique and interesting vacation rental homes, Inns, Resorts and other specialty lodging. Read more Leave comments

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

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. Read more Leave comments

Great Expectations of the Vacation Rental Industry

By William May
Published: 10/24/19 Topics: Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Why did a father disown a teenage son who consistently earned straight A's in school, played all the major sports, attended church with the family, was an eagle scout, volunteered for every worth cause, was president of the student body and treated everyone, young and old with smiling respect. Read more Leave comments

What Guests Want - Lodging Newsletter September 30th, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 09/30/19 Topics: Advertising, Channel Management, Dynamic Raes, Employment, Lodging Newsletter, Photography, Property Management, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

The only trouble we have with giving customers what they want, so we can produce absolute maximum income for owners is pleading with and even begging owners to do the little things necessary. Here is what guests want. Read more Leave comments

Dispatch Magic - Lodging Newsletter August 31st, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 08/31/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Help us help you by reading the ins and outs of what has become a very intricate intense industry. Read more Leave comments

Bringing News - Lodging Newsletter July 31st, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 07/31/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

It's not bad news, usually it's good news, but it's always news. Read more Leave comments

Surprising Internet - Lodging Newsletter June 30th, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 06/30/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

We have now spent a dozen years building software used for many reasons, but one is just to fight the war for more advertising visibility. Here are just a few challenges we work on every day. Read more Leave comments

Quick Tips - Lodging Newsletter May 31st, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 05/31/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

- How many hours does it take to self manage? Experts say 520 hours per year. - Will I make more money self-managing? No. - Why would I self manage? You need an unpaid hobby. - Should I limit occupancy in my place? Absolutely. Read more Leave comments

Who Owns Your Property? - Lodging Newsletter April 30th, 2019

By Wm, May
Published: 04/30/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Owners of every Inn, Resort and Vacation Rental work to offer unique and wonderful properties and when they hire a management firm a big question is "Does that manager promote themselves or do they focus on the property?" Read more Leave comments

Rates & Pricing - Lodging Newsletter March 31st, 2019

By Wm. May
Published: 03/31/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

- Who sets the rate, the owner or the manager? - What would the nightly rate be for my home? - How many nights will it rent? In the simplest form, answering those questions may sound a bit too glib. "No one sets the rate. The market sets the rate". or "The number of nights will be dictated by the rate." Read more Leave comments

Did you know? - Lodging Newsletter February 28th, 2019

By Wm. May
Published: 02/28/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Here is a mish mash of "Did You Know" facts, figures, statistics, and plain ol' good wisdom we have picked up over time. DYK - Our definition of "Hospitality Clean" is defined as cleaner that most people leave their homes just after they've done a deep clean. Guests demand clean above all else. Read more Leave comments

Rain Rain Snow Snow - Lodging Newsletter January 31st, 2019

By Wm. May
Published: 01/31/19 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

Vacation rentals are a seemingly simple industry. How tough can it be? Run some ads, take reservations and money, give keys to the guests, find a housekeeper and do it all again. But a day in the life looks little like that. Read more Leave comments

Want the Money? - Lodging Newsletter December 31st, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/24/18 Topics: Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments: 0

DO YOU WANT THE MONEY? If getting the money is not your goal, you may find even the smallest aspects of landlording might make you uncomfortable Read more Leave comments

Its Always something - Lodging Newsletter November 30th, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/24/18 Topics: Advertising, Dynamic Raes, Government, Lodging Newsletter, Online Travel Agents (OTAs) Comments: 0

Yes, in this industry it really is always something. Something unexpected, something unknown, something new.. REGUATIONS - After decades of operating alternative lodging for guests, cites and towns have begun to restrict, regulate and even prohibit vacation rentals ostensibly because they take away affordable housing. It is silly to think that people with expensive second homes are going to rent them out long term for low rates. Its always something out of the blue.. Read more Leave comments

Vacation Rental Psychology - Lodging Newsletter October 31st, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/23/18 Topics: Advertising, Lodging Newsletter Comments: 0

Why would Budweiser Beer buy a half dozen ads in the Super Bowl broadcast for about $5 million dollars each? Most viewers watch the entire game, wouldn't just one ad be enough? Is Budweiser stupid? Read more Leave comments

Happiness - Lodging Newsletter September 30th 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/23/18 Topics: Education, Employment, Lodging Newsletter, People, Reputation Comments: 0

Today's world is full of negativity, aspersions, and personal attacks. This is nothing new. There have always been negative people but there has also always been some people, a smaller number, who always manage to remain positive. Read more Leave comments

Secret S2D2 System - Lodging Newsletter August 31st 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/23/18 Topics: Lodging Newsletter Comments: 0

Some call it "Dynamic Pricing." Uber calls it "Surge" pricing, Disney World calls it "Crowd" pricing and supermarkets just call it a plain old sale. Read more Leave comments

1 2 3 4 5

DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.