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Lodging Update May 31st, 2019

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

We love to talk with property owners and other people about our craft. In fact we encourage questions and education.

However explaining what we do has risks because, we never know if the owner just wants the short simple answer that we have spent decades mastering.

Or do they want to learn the details, the minutiae of how we arrived at the answer, what other facts were considered, and how we reached our conclusion.

Sometimes they want to know the policies, procedures and standards we have devised to master a topic. Sometimes they want to suggest alternatives or new ideas.

Our success has stemmed from grabbing good ideas wherever we find them, and quickly adapting to changes and improvements; but in explaining it all we try to avoid the "pocket watch" syndrome.

When you ask the time do you just want to know (1) the hour and minute? Or (2) do you want to know how the watch was designed, manufactured, assembled, and how it works?

This month's letter takes the first approach as we jot down some of the repetitious questions we get with the simple answers that we know to be true.

Here are yes/no questions you might want to know.


- 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.

- What produces the most bookings? Advertising on hundreds of websites.

- Should every home have its own website? Yes, and we provide that.

- Why are your photos so spectacular? Expert photographers using HDR.

- Why are 3D tours used? Guests want to see what they are renting.

- Why do you work 24-7? If not you would make less money.

- Who pays for guest cleanings? The guest does.

- How many sets of towels-linens do I need? At least 2, preferably 3.

- Will towels and linens wear out? Yes, over time.

- Who does deep cleaing? We do or owners do, at their choice.

- Can I just use part of your services? Yes, we offer full-service or a-la-carte.

- If I put in a hot tub, will I make more money? Yes, much more.

- Is a hot tub cleaning fee charged? Yes.

- Will allowing dogs get more bookings? Yes, more bookings & higher rates

- Should cats be allowed? Never.

- Should a dog cleaning fee be charged? Yes.

- Will I make more money if I handle advertising myself? No.

- How do I find a good cheap housekeeper? You can't.

- Are background checks performed on housekeepers? We do them on all staff.

- Do your staff members receive training? Yes and on a continuing basis.

- Can you help me furnishg my home. Yes, we know what works.

- What happens if there is damage? We require guest damage insurance.

- If I sell my house, must future bookings be honored? Yes.

- Who pays the credit card costs? The guest does.

- What rates should I charge? Rates must be very dynamic.

- Do guests call after hours for services? Yes, and we answer them all.

- Can I fill my house by using AirBnB? It’s good, but not enough.

- Do VRBO, AirBnB, etc charge commissions? Yes.

- How can I avoid them? You can not, but we can minimize them.

- Why do you advertise on those "Online Travel Agents"? They make you money.

- Do you mark-up rates, to cover OTA fees? Yes.

- Can I cancel bookings after guests make them? No.

- What happens if I do cancel bookings? Your home could get blacklisted.

- Do you collect and pay lodging taxes? Yes.

- Why are lodging taxes not shown on my statement? They belong to the state.

- Can guests request a "Chargeback" on credit cards? Yes.

- Do they need a good reason? No.

- Do you try to reverse those? Always.

- Are reversals successful? Usually, but not always.

- Must I get a permit to rent? In some areas, but not most places.

- Do I need special rental insurance? Yes. We can recommend agents.

- How do guests get into my rental? Keysafes, electronic locks, or front desk.

- Do you have more answers? Boy do we. Thousands.

- Do owners need to learn it all? No, we'll do all the work. Just ask.

Read more

Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0671 – 05/31/19
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. –

Lodging Update April 30th, 2019

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

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

Lodging Update March 31st, 2019

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

- 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

Lodging Update February 28th, 2019

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

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

Lodging Update January 31st, 2019

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

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

Lodging Update December 31st, 2018

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

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

Lodging Update November 30th, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/24/18 Topics: Advertising, Dynamic Pricing, Government, Online Travel Agents (OTAs) Comments: -

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 osensibly 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

Lodging Update October 31st, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/23/18 Topics: Advertising Comments: -

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

Lodging Update September 30th 2018

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

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

Lodging Update August 31st 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 12/23/18 Topics: Comments: -

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

Lodging Update June 30th 2018

By Wm, May
Published: 09/27/18 Topics: Comments: -

With the sun beating down, it's time to repeat some of the funny, wacky, crazy and just plain perplexing things we hear in the lodging industry. (We make none of this up.) Read more

Lodging Update July 31st 2018

By Wm,May
Published: 07/31/18 Topics: Comments: -

Tiny things make all the difference in any endeavor. Here is minutiae about vacation rentaling - How we do it and why our way is better. Read more

Lodging Update May 31st 2018

By Wm, May
Published: 05/31/18 Topics: Comments: -

This is a story of a vendor gone bad or, more accurately, that started badly. The industry news is filled with companies (usually start-ups) with new products all claiming to be the next big thing for vacation rental managers and owners. Read more

Lodging Update April 30th 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 04/30/18 Topics: Comments: -

Creativity is a word that everyone throws around yet most people don't understand nor do many people master it. Read more

Lodging Update March 31st, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 03/31/18 Topics: Comments: -

Some owners want full-service from their vacation rental manager - to provide global advertising, attentive reservations, hospitality grade housekeeping, careful maintenance and guest services. Other owners really only want help with on-site services while others just need extra bookings for maximum income. Read more

Lodging Update Feburary 28th, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 02/28/18 Topics: Comments: -

Guests decide just about everything. It is not up to the manager to dictate what guests want. With the internet, guests are given so many options. When a property is missing just one essential amenity, you can lose inquiries and guests. Read more

Lodging Update January 31st, 2018

By Wm. May
Published: 01/31/18 Topics: Comments: -

For the first time ever we are revealing the secrets of advertising, the magic of marketing, and the persuasion of promotion. These are insider tips that generate vivid visibility for every property and increase inquiries and large bookings. Read more

Lodging Update December 31st, 2017

By Wm. May
Published: 12/31/17 Topics: Comments: -

The term "High Definition" may apply to your television but "High Dynamic Range" photography refers to a technological process so powerful that it has been patented by Adobe Software. It's so powerful that our company committed to the cost and quality over a decade ago. Read more

Lodging Update November 30th, 2017

By Wm. May
Published: 11/30/17 Topics: Advertising, Dynamic Pricing, Housekeeping, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Many of our day-to-day services for property owners are hidden, but essential. Take for example - a day in the life of the reservation staff. Here is a peek. Read more

Lodging Update October 31st, 2017

By Wm. May
Published: 10/31/17 Topics: Comments: -

Here are some of the things we provide to offer the most comprehensive serivce in the vacation rental industry. We do them all because, well they are all required to provide the very best management services. No one else can match all of these. Read more

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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.