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Parade Magazine - Lodging Newsletter July 31, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 07/31/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Things Break

Parade Magazine, a newsprint tabloid, stuffed as a supplement into over 700 Sunday newspapers, has been published since 1941.

Over the years, the number of pages has continually shrunk to where it now is just 12 to 16 pages, mostly filled with ads and repetitive fluff.

Once a year, they publish a non-scientific survey of "What people earn" trending heavily toward celebrities, thinking readers want to know that Ben Affleck makes $55 million while new wife Jennifer Lopez pulls in a paltry $40 million.

Mixed into the article and photos are "Regular people", such as an "Intimacy Coordinator", "Doula and Lacation Consultant", and "Travel Nurses" - all of which serve to remind us all there is honor in all work.

Annual compensations range from $11,000 "Virtual Assistant" to $150,000 for a "TikTok Wood Chopper" (whatever that is), but the rewards are seldom commensurate to the skill, knowledge, hours or labor involved.

Without explanation, the articles never clarify if a person's income is gross for their business or net after expenses. The real question should be "What do they take home?"

Over the decades, "Get Rich Quick" schemes are innocently promoted by journalists anxious for a new "Story line" who are always "Late for a deadline."

That doesn't make their story thesis invalid, but it does mean "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is."


This month's newsletter is about why you should buy a vacation home. And maybe why not. That decision is not based on the home, nor the vacation rental industry. It is determined by you, the buyer. Are your goals reasonable, based on reality, or just fired up by emotion?

LICK YOUR LIPS: Does the $327,297 annual income the Boise Idaho AriBnB host makes on four homes entice you? Does it sound like you can just rake in money after buying a house of your choice, with a modest down payment?

Maybe. But the article fails to disclose the unavoidable costs of ownership - mortgage payments, property insurance, utilities, housekeepers, preventative maintenance, and guest supplies. Did you know that AirBnB, VRBO and other websites will charge you a huge percentage commission?

SUCKERED: Those pesky websites have stealthily offloaded most of the rental duties to unwary hosts, requiring them to answer texts, emails and online questions every hour of the day, every day of the year, schedule cleaning, and in general give up your life to "be in business."

And for all that labor, you the owner get no salary. A VRBO survey said do-it-yourself managers spent "only" 500 hours a year. That means you work for free. While some homes produce a full cash-on-cash operating profit per year, not all do. And not after valuing your own home.

NO RISK: Smart owners hire professional managers to do those duties, because they can do the work more efficiently, operate nearby, handle the incessant guest services, reduce the risks, and will increase rental income in an amount that exceeds the fee they charge.

So, the problem isn't buying a vacation home, but it is necessary to understand exactly why you are doing so before you get started.

Although vacation rentals are a popular hot topic in consumer publications and websites, our advice to home owners has not waivered in the decades we have been managing properties.

BEST REASON: The best goal is to buy a home in the destination you love, where you want to spend vacations and holidays, where you can bring your family and friends, that you can outfit as you see fit (Think hot tub!) and get first pick of all the choice dates.

Then hire a "Full stack" vacation rental management company, to produce the highest possible net income, do all the work, and send you money every month - all without you lifting a finger.

HOBBY: This newsletter may sound self serving from we managers, but it is not. Just like our accountant and attorney, our obligation is to help every client do what is best for them.

When folks who have been self-managing walk in and demand our services, they mention many reasons, but the underlying problem is the same. They say something like, "It sounded like a hobby, but the non-stop needs of hosting is a real job."

To which we must say, yes this industry is a lot like a job - an all consuming position that will eat your time and pay you nothing in return.

There are no get rich quick schemes. But if you choose the right manager, follow their advice, and let them do all the work, you will have purchased a vacation home for all the right reasons.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0913 – 07/31/22

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. –

Technology Rules - Lodging Newsletter June 30, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 06/30/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Things Break

Do you yearn for the "old days" when life was slower, more peaceful and serene?

It isn’t necessary to go all the way back to caveman day to realize how much lives have changed. Just a few comparisons are enough.

It was not long ago that telephones had dials, but it cost a dollar a minute to call from Seattle to New York. Cars had no seat belts and deaths in auto wrecks were far higher. Homes used far less electricity, but summers sweltered without air conditioning.

We were not interrupted with texting and emails and internet browsing, but the only way to find out most anything was to buy a book or visit a library for days on end. We are now better informed.

You may think that technical changes to the Vacation Rental industry are something new. You may not even have known of early changes that no one would abide by today.

There was a time when guests had to stop at an office and pickup towels and linens to make their own beds. There were cabins deep in the woods, where the toilet was in a smelly old outhouse. Some homes had no electricity, but, if you were lucky, there was a gas stove for cooking. Maybe you even had to pump water out of a well.

Long ago, vacation rental cabins were just a step or two up from camping. Nothing wrong with sleeping in a tent in the great outdoors, but today's travelers want far more.

This newsletter covers some of the changes we have been testing, installing and proving.


The Vacation Rental Industry is no stranger to technical changes, but the pace of technology has accelerated. Avoiding new ideas risks fewer bookings, lower rates, and increased management time. Here is what is coming to a home near you.

DISTRIBUTION: It s not new now, but we were innovators in Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs) that connect our properties to hundreds of websites, including the giants of AirBnB, VRBO, Expedia and others. It takes constant testing, oversight, fiddling, tweaking and alteration to give clients maximum advertising exposure. And all to generate higher income.

ELOCKS - Handing out keys or using keysafes has worked well. But elocks provide more flexibility and control. Owners, housekeepers and managers can have their own codes. Each guest can get a code good only for their stay. Unapproved early check-ins are avoided, because codes are scheduled to become functional at a certain time. Lock usage can be monitored and controlled remotely.

SECURITY: Owners may be tempted to put in cameras, microphones or even intrusive door bell cameras as they mistakenly think those will provide security. But as public spaces, courts have ruled that guests have a "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" and landlords must not infringe on it.

SURVEILLANCE: Territorial surveillance cameras, such as those mounted high that point at driveways or streets, are acceptable. Any closer and guests (and their invitees) will rebel, demand a cancellation with refund, claim invasion of privacy, post belligerent online reviews, or even press criminal charges.

GUEST MONITORS: So how to maintain good guest behavior and avoid over occupancy? We are now recommending new legal devices that report calculated sound levels (a bit like decibels) inside and around homes. They also count the number of mobile phones and devices at the property, which can reveal excess occupants. All this is transmitted to managers, so they can intervene or even evict guests who misbehave.

WIFI - Offering Internet is no longer a luxury, but as necessary as water and electricity. But as guests bring more devices, they devour more bandwidth. So we are recommending a technology that "withholds" Wi-Fi modem passwords and instead requires guests to register for accounts. Not just the registered guest, but all invitees, too.

DASHBOARDS: All of the above tools can be displayed on dashboards monitored by managers. Should noise exceed reasonable levels, especially at night, should there be excess occupants, or if other rules are violated, bookings can be canceled and guests evicted.

Prior to the technical revolution, rule breakers were few, but we aim to make them non-existent. Better yet, when guests know of monitoring, compliance should be even better. The costs are low and the pay-back is fast.

LEGALITY: With the onslaught of ever changing permits, laws, rules and regulations from cities, counties and even home owner associations, we employ a dedicated attorney who follows the iterations, advises on application processes and even lobbies a bit.

By combining that oversight with technology, every house can be a good neighbor and all because we use technology to improve service further.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0912 – 06/30/22

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. –

Time To Reflect - Lodging Newsletter May 31, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 05/31/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Things Break

Most vacation rental newsletters, like newsletters in most industries, are all about self-promotion and selling something to someone.

And yes, we are guilty of that, too, but we are allowed to be proud of the incredible work people here do for clients and guests 365 days a year. But today might be a good day for some reflection. Not just from the Covid cacophony, but because this, I am happy to say, is the 75th issue of our monthly diatribe.

It started with a short list but, the number of readers has grown. (I should say recipients because goodness knows if anyone reads them!) Some of you are subjected to it unwillingly, but I hope not regretfully. From others, I appreciate the comments, compliments and even the criticism.

I must ask however, please no more reminders that my use of the Oxford comma is sometimes a little sloppy or, as one reader claimed, a lot sloppy . . . . . . . .

Over 25,000 of these letters have been mailed and they haven’t gotten any returned with nasty remarks, so you must like them a little bit or find them good fireplace starter kindling.

I have been asked why do we send the letters by snail mail, when the rest of the world has gone completely paperless, blasting out email after email blaring about one topic or another. The answer is that writing the letter requires just a bit more time and thought. At least, I think so.

For you non-Luddites out there, we are going to start emailing copies of the newsletter, too, because mailing everyone is pricey. And with the price of inflation, we can save a few cents here and there. Plus, it will be easier for you to 'Unsubscribe" this letter out of your mind.

Speaking of records, we have now surpassed over 500,000 guests, which is not too bad considering we are a small band of the dedicated out there cleaning toilets, polishing windows and working hard to make guests love every property we work with.

So, enough self congratulations for now. On with the show.


It was an absent-minded remark when, in April of 2020, someone opined "Since Covid, we have all truly learned the definition of the word "unpredictable". But who could have predicted that unpredictability would continue for over two years now? So, this letter is full of this and that.

Summer - Have you noticed that Summer is finally here? Guests are flocking to rentals and our staff are moving fast. The pundits say 2022 won't equal 2020 or 2021 in rental income. But let's remind everyone that it will still greatly exceed 2019, which was a pretty great year.

AirBnB - Has released its latest upgrade with a few backward steps. They now write the headlines for listings using strangely generic things like "House in Jonesville." Well, gee, don’t they understand that guests search by geographic area and already presume they are looking for homes in Jonesville?

Is Big Better - Although giant companies dominate the business press, the world has been built on smaller, more innovative and more flexible companies all doing great work. That is what we aspire to.

Acquisitions - Giant Corporations continue to buy up small vacation rental management companies. But small management firms still dominate 98% of the vacation rental management industry. While some people try the remote "Do It Yourself" route, managed clients make more money by working with professional managers.

Public - Several public vacation rental companies have seen their stock plummet this year, along with companies in other industries that want to promote themselves as tech firms. In lodging the key word is, and always will be, "Hospitality" not "Algorithm".

Inflation - Wasn't it just recently that no one remembered the dreaded Inflation word? Did the further refinements in Yield Management Dynamic Rates contribute? Was it gas shortages? OR has Covid made us all greedy?

Gas Prices - All the research shows that Americans' quest for travel has slowed, especially to "Drive to Destinations." Yes, we feel it, but there are still legions of travelers anxious to get out and about. Time will tell.

War - Not to reveal the age of some antiquarians working here, but some remember Edwin Starr's Vietnam song "War, what is it good for - absolutely nothing." We are all rooting for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. - Our new central reservations service for travelers all around the mountain is up and running. It will be easier than ever for them to find great lodging. Just in time for the glorious summer sun.

Light Reading - If you missed any issue of our famous (or not) newsletter, remember you can read them online simply by registering free on our websites and logging in.

One Good Man - Allow me a short farewell to Fred Crowell. For 50 years he pumped joy in the 300,000 kids who attended his amazing basketball camp. After penning his inspirational book "Words of Hope", he passed last summer and a service was held in a packed auditorium over this Memorial Day weekend. Good Bye, Coach. We love you.

P.S. If you would like a copy "Words of Hope", ask and I would be honored to send you one.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0911 – 05/31/22

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. –

61,320 Hours - Lodging Newsletter April 30, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 04/30/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Things Break

We must say that managing Vacation Rentals is fun and profitable. But I have some news - it is also a whale of a lot of work.

For example, our guest services "Help Desk" is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a week. For guest inquiries, owner assistance and unplanned property repairs.

If you do that math, that works out to a whopping 61,240 hours a year. I have been wandering around the industry for 22 years, so that adds up to 1,347,280 hours in total.

Of course, our first office started in 1964, so, let's do some more math. Looks like 3,551,920 hours. But think of it as 213,115,200 minutes. Or 12,786,912,000 seconds. (Did I do that math correctly?)

But there is good news - it will only take you five minutes to read this newsletter to get a glimpse into what it really takes to manage a vacation rental home 24-7-365.

So, how do you survive and thrive in that world? This week's newsletter tells how we came to be reliable for every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

Some do-it-yourself property owners try to cover all of that time themselves. But why would they when they can have professionals like ours take care of everything?

Oh, and we do that with no effective cost to the owner. Don't believe it? Call today and we'll show you how.


We spend a lot of time polishing, perfecting and pursuing maximum rental income for clients. But we spend even more time taking care of properties to avoid late night issues.

ADVERTISING: On websites that we operate and on advertising website like VRBO, AirBnB and hundreds of others - guests are sold on every house's great features, but also told the rules and regulations.

CONTRACT: Guests may telephone to make bookings or submit orders online, but each is required to acknowledge the rules before their booking is accepted.

CONTACT: If they book on an advertising website, we contact the guest directly to answer their every question and to ask they accept the legal rules for the property.

ELECTRONIC: As the first lodging company to utilize online electronic signatures, we figure guests who rent your expensive home should sign a formal agreement to behave well and be responsible for any damage they cause - even if it's not intentional.

INSTRUCTION: Guests receive explicit instructions on how to find the property, how to enter, and how to treat the home with respect. They can call us 24-7-365 hours for just about anything.

NOTICES: Prominently displayed in the home are printed framed notices, reminding guests that there are rules and requiring them to adhere to those rules.

MONITORS: We now offer (Legal) devices that monitor noise and occupancy in every home. The system instantly notifies us if guests exceed either of those.

NEIGHBORS: When starting up a new rental, with the owner's permission, we contact neighbors, inviting them to call anytime they have an issue. (We may also send reminder letters every few months with our phone number (to keep that handy).

OWNERS: When properties need help, it tends to be needed quickly. We ask owners to contact the office rather than field personnel to ensure that every request gets acted on quickly.

HELP DESK: With the kind of preparation above, issues and problems are few. But our phones are open every moment of every day of every year.

DISPATCH: And what if the water heater stops heating.? The stove top stops heating or the frig freeze up? The help desk will dispatch a real live human to the home to diagnose and start solving the problem.

ENFORCEMENT: If a guest misbehaves, allows too many people, or brings unauthorized pets? The answer is, as skilled managers, we require guests to depart to keep neighbors happy. Few managers and almost no individual managers know to do this in the very unlikely chance it becomes necessary.

No one is perfect, but customers today demand polish and quality. They want easy access to a nearby manager, and they want repairs, or maintenance, or other kind of help - and they want it fast. If your manager can't provide it - you have the wrong manager.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0910 – 04/30/22

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. –

Rate Affecters, Mish Mash - Lodging Newsletter March 31, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 03/31/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Things Break

Summer may not actually be here, but with advance bookings, changes in the marketplace, and better weather, your handy vacation rental managers are deep into summer already. It will be fun.

In April 2020, I concluded that maybe for the first time ever, the world began to truly understand the definition of the word "Unpredictable." First, Covid plunged travel, but then it unexpectedly surged.

Prior to Covid, perhaps 40% of the traveling public had ever stayed at a vacation rental home. We then began to notice what was later proven by industry statistics that the number surged to over 60%. Doing that math, it’s a 50% increase in market size.

But be warned - there are management companies promoting that owning a vacation rental home is a "Get Rich Scheme." Of course, they don't say that and, in many cases, it can be true.

But with real estate prices jumping, with bidding on homes driving up prices, and with so many people buying vacation homes, will the supply outstrip demand? So far, the answer is no.

But profiting handsomely with a vacation rental should never be a home buyer's primary goal. For many decades, families have sought a second home to love it, enjoy it, outfit it as they want, get first pick of dates, vacation where they most want. And then - and only then - yes, they can get guests to help pay for some or all of the costs.

With our kind of comprehensive management, many owners make an actual profit on the cash it takes to buy the home. Unfortunately, we hear from do-it-yourself owners and even owners from other companies who bought into the market recently with homes that are underperforming.

In short, vacation rentals are not a get-rich-scheme, unless hundreds of big and small things are done well every day. Those include selecting the right home, outfitting it fully, managing it tightly, providing 24-7-365 guest services, and then advertising it far and wide. And then, the financial outcome will be the outcome.

In other words, no one can promise you profit. But picking a manager who outlines and then performs as promised is the only way to be a vacation rental owner.


In January of 2020, our ace programming staff completed version 3.0 of our technology-driven Strategic Seasonal, Dynamic and Distributed (S2D2) yield management software that every day revises rates looking forward up to 15 months.

We receive new telemetry about local, regional, national and global supply and demand overnight every day and the technology has been proven in two very different ways. (1) In February and March of 2020 every morning the computers were screaming "Where the hell did the guests go?" (Those days seem like a dream or nightmare.) (2) But by April, the software's artificial intelligence (AI) began to raise rates, which it did over and over through Summer of 2020.

We let the suggested prices "ride" and that resulted in far higher income for houses in almost every jurisdiction (except those affected by airline shutdowns, border closing and catastrophes).

Competitors who relied on seat-of-the pants for rates, lost massive income for owners. Competitors with technology similar to ours, laid off 90% of the staff. With no one at the wheel to oversee the business, their rates stagnated and their sales plummeted.

As we approach summer of 2022, the question on everyone's mind is, will the industry growth be maintained? Will guests continue to flock to private home rentals? What other factors may cause income to grow or shrink?

Yes, the Covid factors that exploded income, may indeed soften or reverse. And ups and downs will again be affected by things that have always affected income, such as:

Weather - At the home locations or at the guest's primary home. When it rains in Seattle, guests presume the weather is crappy at the beach, even if it's not. In winter, a big snowfall means giant crowds at the ski resorts. Low snow means a ghost town.

Events - Now that fairs, conferences and celebrations are returning, is your destination ramping up? Guests love to have a reason to visit.

On the coast of Washington, out-of-staters are perplexed to learn that a "Razor Clam" digging season on a weekend can double visitorship, or more.

Competition - If the number of rental homes continues to grow, will supply exceed demand?

Rate Panic - DIY owners always price their rentals too low, desperate for any bookings. They work twice as hard with half as much income. Will plummeting rates keep up if demand slows?

Booking Service - If guests book with us because you have a great house, we are all happy. If they book with us because we are the only managers answering the phone that is fine, too. (Of course!)

Big News - Wars, pestilence, protests - even if far away - cause people to pause their planning and travel can decrease.

We think of these variables every day. But the only solution is to love dynamic rates, react quickly, advertise massively, answer phones, emails and texts religiously and work like hell.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0909 – 03/31/22

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. –

Things Break - Lodging Newsletter Febuary 28, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 02/28/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Things Break

The surge of people purchasing second homes for their families continues, and many are counting on vacation rental income they can gain. But becoming a Vacation Rental landlord is not for everyone.

Our methods of qualifying, educating, contracting, monitoring and serving guests go a far way of controlling the behavior of guests.

In the industry, the incidence of extensive damage in homes is rare, and the occurrence of theft is unheard of.

On the other hand, having people live in a home - whether the owner's family as full time residents, or renting to tenants long term (perhaps on an annual basis), or allow guests to stay on a short-term basis (what are now called vacation rentals) - does subject the home to usual wear and tear.

Even with the most well behaved conscientious guests, homes may incur scuffs on the wall, broken glasses, lost flatware and other issues. So techniques are used to offset those costs.

When Visa/Mastercard objected to damages (or corresponding deposits) being charged on credit cards, the industry invented the "Accidental Damage Protection" (ADP) that pools small fees charged to guests, to offset minor costs. Some advertising websites also offer such coverage.

Should significant damage take place, homes should have property insurance designed for short-term renting. That will kick in to restore the home, for damages greater than the ADP.

Even with the cost of damage removed, however, there are other considerations every property owner should consider when becoming a vacation rental landlord. This newsletter discusses some of them.


Issues that arise with vacation rental homes are rare, but they can be upsetting to new owners unaware of them when they begin. Here are a few issues to think about:

Wear and Tear - Even if you lived in the home full-time, scuffs will appear on walls. Hardwood floors can get scratched, light bulbs wear out, and dishes get broken.

Replaceables - Things break, and not necessarily by guests. Be prepared for replacing kitchen and tableware pieces, towels and linens. Even when still serviceable, allowing amenities to age results in negative reviews and lost income. Be prepared to replace them regularly.

Upgrades - Sorry but, towels, linens, mattresses, sofa's, chairs and even electronics do not last forever. Depending on age, be prepared to upgrade and improve furniture and furnishings to maintain guest satisfaction and, therefore maximum income.

Cleanliness - Housekeepers are diligent but all homes differ, have "eccentricities", and some are very large. Out-cleans are thorough and done within a limited time frame because new guests are likely arriving soon. Should something be missed call us quick to fix.

Deep Cleans - While out-cleans cover guest cleaning, even your primary home needs a thorough deep clean twice a year. Be prepared for that cost and enjoy having a home that is well maintained.

Pet Friendly - Allowing dogs (never any other animal type) will increase income significantly. If you bring your own dog, it would be unwise to advertise the home as not dog-friendly.

Vendors - Whether for gardening, snow removal, hot tub cleaning, or other services, some vendors may make mistakes, fail to show up or raise costs. Be prepared to have that reflect on your property.

Neighbors - No matter how well guests behave, be prepared for neighbors anxious to peg you as a out-of-towner capitalist. They will manufacture complains and scream to regulators.

Regulators - When city or county officials in your area begin to add regulations or even prohibitions, be prepared to invest time and money to defend your property rights. You will need to attend hearings and lobby representatives.

Online Reviews - Now that every person is a "reporter", expect that most guests will love your well outfitted, nicely maintained and professionally managed home. However, don't be surprised if a guest invents a complaint to extort a free stay.

Weather - Most rental homes are in recreational areas where snow, rain, flooding, wind and other events that can cause cancellations and even delay housekeeping and maintenance. Be prepared for that.

Management - When issues arise, it may seem convenient to blame someone else. But keep in mind, managers are also negatively impacted by the need to maintain homes in good condition. Working calmly and collaboratively retains the motivated people you need available 24-7-365.

Most owners seldom have issues, and when they do, those should be small. In the end, being a landlord is the only way to enjoy vacation renting and profiting from it. Expect the best but be prepared for anything.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0907 – 02/28/22

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. –

Adobe 18 phone calls - Lodging Newsletter January 31, 2022

By Wm, May
Published: 01/31/22 Topics: Comments: 0

Phone Calls

The telephone call was to Adobe software. At first, for 5 to 10 minutes, no one answered. Eventually, someone came on, but of course, they had no idea how to help me.

Then I was transferred and transferred again. Then, the call dropped, and I had to start over. One fellow even instructed me to call a different phone number, which was the same number I used to reach him.

Each person used gobbledegook terminology and did nothing to help me. You should call the support people, you should call the sales department, you should call the customer service department, you should post a ticket online - I already did that. His suggestion - post again, get a ticket number, then call us back.

Should I call you or who? Well, just call that first number you started with. Do you mean that one has now taken me to 18 people in 24 phone calls?

Giant corporations pigeonhole workers so tightly (they want to call it specialization) that no person actually has a complete vision of what goes on or who takes care of what.

But the worst part of every call was the automated greeting that said, "Sorry, due to Covid, we are unable to respond as fast as we would like."

Really? In the two years that this bug has been here, you haven't been able to make changes?


In his 1960s TV skit show, comedian Flip Wilson, playing his drag character "Geraldine," when confronted with "her" behavior, would exclaim, "The devil made me do it, honey."

It was stupid then and is stupid now. But it became a popular phrase because, well, because, any damn fool can blame the devil. And now any damn fool can now blame Covid.

Have you noticed that during the 104 weeks of the bug so far, seldom is a small business owner heard blaming their situation on Covid? They talk about it, and they struggle with it. They change their plans and their product. And they worry but seldom do they blame.

Small businesses simply buckle down and get back to work, as they have always had to do. They must adapt to change, solve problems, zig and zag - just to stay in business. The cavalry is not going to come to save them.

In the 1980s, Harley Davidson motorcycle company was failing financially, as their product deteriorated and their reputation plummeted. Finally, the company jettisoned. Bloated overhead redundant middle management and instead put the power for quality back in the hands of the mechanics who actually made the motorcycles.

The turnaround was spectacular, and today Harley is revered by their customers and contemporary culture. So, a famous consultant studied the turnaround by walking the factory floor. One day, a very husky man with very long hair, covered with large tattoos, came walking his way. The worker looked like a Harley biker, and he was fuming.

When the consultant asked why, the biker growled, "I'm going to phone the company that makes this part. It is crap, and I am going to tell him to quit making excuses and start making good parts."

"What if that doesn't work?" asked the consultant. "Then I will get on my bike, ride over and have a friendly little talk with them. They’ll fix it if they know what's good for them."

So, that was the conclusion about Harley. They stopped making excuses, stopped blaming, and just started making extraordinary motorcycles again.

As I sat on those 24 phone calls for hours, it dawned on me not once have I heard anyone at our business blame Covid. Nor have they blamed it on the devil, the weather, or politics. They all went to work every day, and they all strived to do a job that many others would avoid, at a time that was - to say the least - unpleasant.

All businesses have reasons why sometimes things do not go as planned. Or mistakes are made. Or something is not noticed. But during this Covid thing, not one of us has ever said we blame anything on Covid.

As I sat on those 24 phone calls with Adobe software for hours on end, I realized those big guys could learn a lot from us. We could teach them to stop blaming something they can't do anything about. And that it is time to get back to work to make things better.

I won't hold my breath waiting for them to forget about Covid, start making better products, and provide better service. Because I am sure they'll blame it on some other lame excuse. Maybe the devil made them lousy.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0906 – 01/31/22

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. –

2021 In Review - Lodging Newsletter December 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 12/31/21 Topics: Comments: 0

2021 Review

Only a couple of us were here when our first office opened in 1964, but now some of us have been at this vacation rental challenge for a couple of decades.

To say the industry has changed over that time would be the understatement of the year. So how about for this last report of the year, we round up the big changes, the improvements and the growth that our group of experts has accomplished. And the extraordinary results achieved, along with the challenges that remain ahead.

First, we must back up two years.

Does it seem possible that old man Covid burst into our lives only 100 weeks ago? On one hand, it only seems like yesterday when the seemingly innocent news of a virus was a barely noticeable topic.

And then - pow - in nothing flat the pandemic became topic du jour, and then topic de l'année (a year).

And then top de deux ans (two years). And let's hope it does not end up as a topic pour Toujours (forever).

Last year about this time, we quoted (tongue in cheek) a famous comic who proclaimed 2020 was the greatest year ever. This year our hearts still go out to all those harmed by this bug and other events.

But in the vacation rental industry, is it OK if we celebrate the good things that have taken place in 2021?


We have been crafting, calculating, tweaking and perfecting our systems for decades. Call today to get a copy of our "How to Score Vacation Rental Managers" checklist to see how. We call it step-by-step-by-step.

Prospera - For long-term rentals, our new program offers more attention than conventional property managers. Homes are rented fast, and innovative oversight leads to better tenants.

Betwixt - Covid increased demand for longer stays, so we launched our "Betwixt and Between" rental services in partnership with Prospera. Now owners can win with vacation rentals even in cities, counties and homeowner associations which require bookings be at least 30 days long.

Scheduling - Moving staff from house to house efficiently takes coordination, so we honed our tape scheduling to instantly see slowdowns or early completions. That impresses guests by finding space for early check-ins and late check-outs.

Websites - We launched dozens of new websites this year, reeling in even more inquiries, producing more bookings, securing ever-higher rates. Only we have the tools to do this efficiently.

Listings Ads - Although on hundreds of websites, we start new advertising as it comes around. Google's new vacation rental listings are great. But there are other new sources, like, Plum Guide,, HomeToGo, Whimstay, Top Villas and many, many more.

Synchronization - Our engineering team synchs rates and dates with all those websites to maximize bookings and avoid double bookings. By building what the software industry calls our "Tech stack", we can capitalize on new ideas faster than stogy software firms.

Mark Ups - To offset the cost of listing websites, our technology may be the only software that sends marked-up rates to each website, avoiding the cost for property owners.

E-signatures - Almost 10 years ago, we were said to be the first lodging company to build instant electronic signatures into guest contracts. Faster for guests. More protection for owners.

Registration - When some ad websites hide guest identities, we customized guest registration to comply with their terms. We never want to usurp their fees, but must keep properties safe, too.

Yield Management - When our telemetry provider amped up market data reports, our technology anticipated and quickly dovetailed it into our system, so our in-house rate guru could visualize tiny changes and use them to fine-tune rates. It’s a little like a video game and a whole lot like an NFL game plan.

Local Knowledge - Supplemented with data secured from local tourism websites that only we have because we build them, our rate-setting capabilities are more accurate than others.

Internet - Keeping access safe can be unpredictable, so our new use of "Mesh" Wi-Fi is keeping guests connected, but also requiring guest identification. Noise and occupancy limits can be enforced through non-obtrusive technology. You heard it first here.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0860 – 12/31/21

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. –

Problem Solving - Lodging Newsletter November 30, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 11/30/21 Topics: Comments: 0

Problem Solving

Please be warned.

As the year marches on, it is high time to expose some unusual events and hidden secrets of the smallest kind. They are invisible behaviors that only a very few people know and even less would ever discover.

These are actions that are kept hidden away, not admitted, not promoted, not recognized with accolades, and not even known to our clients.

So, here is the secret:

We have a team of incredible, reliable and conscientious people.

And have had for decades.

These are the folks who have worked together long and hard, who have marched forward for decades every day of the year, and who did exactly the same thing even as Mr. Covid barged into their lives intent on making their always difficult jobs far more so.

Small competitors failed. Big competitors tripped up. But our business accelerated because our people did.

We are so lucky to employ these wonderful folks who have never waivered during these odd times. So it is time to expose just a few of their super secrets.


These are secrets of the not very rich and not very famous who deserve to be both rich and famous. Here then we tell everyone a few of the scenarios that have taken place while everyone else cowered down.

Careless Contractor - An owner with a newly built home was understandably unhappy with her contractor when severe winter storms blew water sideways into and around every improperly sealed door. In the middle of the maelstrom, one of our resourceful maintenance pros caulked every possible crevice. That avoided thousands of dollars in damage.

Lost Every Key - When a guest managed to lock every key they were given inside the house at 2AM, a chipper staff member jumped out of bed, drove 20 miles, and provided yet another key. A simple thing that other managers shirk, but we do not.

Surprise Visit - When Covid came unannounced, every field staff member double-checked every step in our hospitality clean service, and continued to clean and host guests from far and wide. No one got sick. Now, two years later the caution has never lessened.

Rate Riding - During Covid, big managers had major layoffs, but our rate experts manned the fort and were well ahead in the game as business resumed. Others sold out at half price. We sold out at double price. All because team members never waived.

Double Up - Owners loved that occupancy and rates went up so fast, but accounting, the guest services and after hours help also doubled. No staffer complained because it simply had to be done.

Stepping Up - Covid caused housekeepers for many rent-by-owners to jump ship, leaving those owners with bookings and no help. Even though they were not yet clients, our team helped all they could and on short notice. Just the neighborly thing to do.

Lost in Space - A mother feared she had lost her baby's favorite stuffed animal, until staff found it, cherished it, and rushed to her by overnight shipping. It made Mom as happy as it made us.

Early Bird - When the guest arrived a full day early to a home vacated that very morning, our team of professionals rushed to the house to ready it yet again, with no notice. Sure, they were ready to go home, but more ready to help a guest with no place to go.

Over and Over - At the height of the pandemic, when one home's bookings cancelled and rebooked seven times, reservation staff retained their cheerful helpful voices and even produced ever higher rates. More work, but more income for the owner.

Government Grab - As cities and counties adopt silly time-consuming regulations one of our leaders burned the midnight oil to provide mounds of documents and did it with heaps of happy attention to detail.

Simply Service - Guests could not decipher the TV remote controls at 1AM and demanded help. Not only did the manager drive to the house to help, she made the guests believe she was enjoying the experience. Because she did, and always does.

If you guess this newsletter was not really written for property owners, you are correct. It fact it is a salute to the amazing people who work here. Thanks to all of them.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0853 – 11/30/21

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. –

Dirty Little Secret - Lodging Newsletter October 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 10/31/21 Topics: Comments: 0

Dirty Little Secret

Whether they say it aloud or not, every vacation rental guests worries that the home they rent won't be clean or clean enough. So providing high hospitality grade housekeeping isn't just a good idea. It is absolutely essential.

Recently a new vacation home owner carped, "Why does it cost so much?" She figured that cheap cleaning would increase bookings and maybe even rates. But guests actually fear cheap housekeeping. They are reassured by paying for the level of clean they expect.

Then she wanted to compare what she pays to have her full time residence cleaned each week to cleaning a vacation home. But that is like comparing college football to the pros. Vacation rentals are no place for amateurs.

Does her housekeeper do the laundry for 8, 10 or 12 people; sometimes washing them twice to eliminate unspeakable stains and liquids? Do they do windows, scrape ovens, and spot clean carpets? Do they get down on their knees to scrub hard surfaces? Does she leave stacks of dishes, pots and pans with caked on food? Does her housekeeper work weekends on an irregular schedule, often on short notice?

She refused to accept that managers must pay payroll taxes, mileage and benefits. (It is illegal to pay people under the table.) Is her home in a rural place that requires long distance commuting?

Some guests make cleaning easy and others - not so much. Some leave late, causing staff to wait and wait. Some practically force their way in hours before their scheduled arrival. That can make cleaning time uncomfortably short between bookings.

All of this caused me to wonder why residential housekeeping companies never take on vacation rental cleaning. So I took a close look at their websites and there it was - the answer.

Although they all brag about the quality of their work, they have an absurdly long list of tasks they refuse to do. Every one of which are absolutely required for vacation rental cleaning. See the next page for that list.

It is no wonder vacation rental cleaning requires far more work and why we are so thankful to all the wonderful folks who help us keep homes clean and ready for the next family to arrive.


Tasks that regular housekeeping companies REFUSE to do.

No laundry ever. No towels, linens, bath mats, etc.

No barbecue cleaning. No tank swapping.

No bodily fluids cleanup (vomit, poop, semen, etc.)

No carpet or rug cleaning (Other than vacuuming).

No carpet stain removal or touchup. No hardwood floor scrubbing.

No ceiling or track light cleaning.

No minor repairs such as due to damage or wear.

No clutter rearranging or clutter pick up.

No cupboard cleaning or lining.

No deck or patio cleaning. No cement cleaning.

No defrosting or cleaning freezers.

No degreasing stove top hood.

No dishes, pots or pan cleaning.

No dishwasher cleaning. No dishwasher emptying.

No fireplace cleaning. No ash removal.

No fire or water damage restoration.

No furniture touch up.

No garbage can sanitizing or garbage removal.

No handyman repairs.

No hardwood refinishing. No hardwood repair.

No Hot Tub & no Pool cleaning. No chemicals or water exchanges.

No ice maker cleaning.

No irrigation management (Sprinklers).

No knick knack cleaning.

No oven auto cleaners.

No painting, not even touch up.

No grounds patrol. No pet feces pickup. No pet stains cleaning.

No porch or patio cleaning.

No shower curtain cleaning.

No sink trap cleaning.

No roof or gutter cleaning.

No small appliances cleaning or repair.

No tile grout cleaning.

No unclogging drains and pipes.

No duct or vent cover cleaning.

No water faucet descaling.

No window washing. No patio door track cleaning.

No wood scratch or damage repair.

No yard and walk cleaning. No cigarette pick up.

And a dozen more . . .

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0852 – 10/31/21

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. –

Uncommon Lessons from a Billionaire - Lodging Newsletter September 30, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 09/30/21 Topics: Comments: 0

Uncommon Lessons from a Billionaire

A few months ago, this newsletter claimed that Bill Gates was responsible for making the world ever so complicated. More specifically, that his contribution to the personal computer and its henchman, the personal printer, has made it too easy to spew out words and gum up good thinking.

But maybe the real culprit is Gate's original partner in the founding of Microsoft in 1975, a fellow by the name of Paul Allen.

With Bill Gates as frontman, Paul Allen stayed quietly in the background. He was older than Gates, and based on accepted accounts, far less flamboyant and definitely far less confrontational.

After receiving a Hodgkins Lymphoma diagnosis in 1983 and leaving Microsoft, he went on to found dozens of businesses - like Vulcan Real Estate, Stratolaunch Systems, Ticketmaster, Charer Communications, and the Allen Brain Institute. He funded the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, as well as Ebola research. His other interests included the Museum of Pop Culture, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Seattle Art Fair.

But it was in sports that Allen was most visible to the public and where we in the lodging industry might learn our biggest lessons. Allen died in 2018 of that dreaded disease, but there is still much to be appreciated about him.

After all, if we can’t learn from a guy who amassed 20 billion dollars and gave away (so far) 2 billion, who can we learn from?


Was Paul Allen a genius because he took up the study of computers early in his life or because he studied people and how to get things done?

Among all his projects, a single thread is visible if you look. He founded and funded many things. He set the goals and mission, then hired the very best staff and leaders he could find. (So far so good.)

And then he did the uncommon thing - he got out of the way - and let the leaders lead.

He bought the Portland Trailblazers professional basketball team, hired away Seattle's genius general manager and installed a coach. But he never choose the players, never consulted the coach on strategy, and never screamed at referees. But he could have.

As an investor in the Seattle Sounders Football Club (Soccer), he hired staff. Players were recruited and coaches picked. He had never played soccer, did not direct the practices, nor raise hell when they lost. But he could have.

After industry leaders, government officials and hundreds of thousands of fans urged him to buy the Seattle Seahawks professional football team, so it would not move out of the region, he relented, shelled out 194 million dollars. He inherited then coach Mike Holmgren and kept his hands off the team.

Current coach Pete Carroll said, never "in a million years" would he have left USC had it not been for the Seattle Seahawks owner's pitch, saying things Carroll hadn't heard from any other NFL owner. He wanted to hire Pete and then leave Pete alone. The result was winning the 2014 Super Bowl.

So what can we in the hospitality industry glean from how Paul Allen did things?

In lodging management, like other service industries, some property owners just can't keep their thumbs out of the soup, even though none of them have any experience, expertise or leadership in dealing with consumers as guests.

They have stayed in vacation rental homes, so surely they know everything there is to know. These are the same folks who want to open a restaurant because they dine out often.

There are no easy industries. Every job is far harder than it looks. Careers require thousands of hours of study and intensity to master. Lodging management does. Properties can be cantankerous. Guests can be mischievous and working every day of the year can be taxing. There are a thousands tips, techniques and tricks to making every property successful.

That is why property owners who pick proven managers and then let them manage get extra attention, the most money and the very best results.

Paul Allen fell in love with the guitar at the age of 16, after hearing Jimi Hendrix on the radio. In an interview with Vulture Magazine, Quincy Jones commented that Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen can sing and play guitar "just like" rock legend Jimi Hendrix.

A musician friend who occasionally played in a local band with Paul Allen, when asked "How good is Paul as a guitarist?" laughed and said, "He plays guitar like a good computer programmer. But it's always a fun gig because he plays great and lets everyone else shine." Smart guy, eh?

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0842 – 09/30/21

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. –

10 years in 18 months - Lodging Newsletter August 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 08/31/21 Topics: Comments: 0

10 years in 18 months

Do you feel like you have lived 10 years in the last 18 months?

We certainly do. When rentals plummeted in February 2020, who knew that by early summer, travelers would figure out what many others have always known - staying in a vacation rental home is safe, secure, roomy and private. Especially in drive-to destinations.

For our tireless team, that has meant double the work, shorter deadlines, more visitors per home, more cleaning, cancellations and rebookings, and hundreds of phone hours, answering questions from those folks new to vacation renting. (Lovingly called "Newbies.")

It is wonderful to introduce new people to a lodging option our guests have loved for decades.

A recent meeting of leading vacation rental managers from across the country, showed that the Newbie trend was happening in most areas. A representive from a giant vacation rental advertising website, said their research showed the guest market size has now grown as much as 50%.

For two decades, we have noticed that once guests experience a vacation rental, they rent them repeatedly. That is good news for anyone owning a vacation rental, providing, of course, that they have a manager who knows how to reach all those people.

We, on the other hand, are not complaining about all that extra work, because it shows owners we were prepared, both for the downturn and, more importantly, for the upswing. Those folks have been smiling with the extra money we are sending their way.


In addition to thousands of hours every month taking care of properties and guests, we spend many more hours answering comments from owners and guests. So we like to turn them into questions for clear response.

Q: When did your company start? Who owns the company.

A: Our first office opened in 1964. All key managers are partners.

Q: How long have your people been working there?

A: All key partners average 10 to 40 years in business.

Q: Who are your competitors?

A: Local managers who may do a decent job cleaning homes. Or out-of-town corporate managers who have technical advertising and pricing.

Q: So why hire you?

A: We are a hybrid manager - locally owned with a network that does Dynamic pricing and more advertising than the giant guys.

Q: What commission do you charge?

A: Depends on the house, location, amenities and services you choose. One size does not fit all.

Q: What kind of income can I expect?

A: Show us the house and we'll estimate your income and quote a fee.

Q: What factors influence income?

A: How tub, quality furniture & furnishings, Cable TV & Internet, etc. We can help outfit the home.

Q: Tell me about housekeeping and maintenance?

A: We achieve high hospitality cleaning and instant maintenance. We do all the work.

Q: Who pays for housekeeping?

A: Out-cleans are charged to the guests. We recommend deep cleans twice a year, which you can do or we will.

Q: How is maintenance done?

A: Our staff can handle many tasks. Larger jobs may require a licensed electrician, plumber, etc. There is no markup on such costs.

Q: What amenities do you provide for guests?

A: Guests are given a starter supply of toiletries and sundries. Owners may buy this stock or we deliver at cost.

Q: Who takes care of guest requests or issues? What happens if guests misbehave?

A: We do and are available 24-7-365. Guests who disobey rules are required to depart.

Q: Is there any limit on my use of my home?

A: No, we only ask that if you block it, you use it.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0829 – 08/31/21

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. –

Bill Gates Fault - Lodging Newsletter July 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 07/31/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Its Bill Gates Fault

I am sure we can blame the current situation on Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. And, no, I don't mean his recent personal situation. Ahem.

The blame is for making the world far too complex, none of which could have happened without the invention of computers, in general, and personal computers, in particular. Before that people had to write things by hand or punch ideas on slow, archaic typewriters. People, being lazy, kept things short.

But we humans have always been happy to enslave our neighbors in one way or another. Now we do it by haranguing others with ideas for how things should work and how everyone else should live their lives. And we do it with veeeeeeeeeeery long documents, all the better to hide our true goals.

And get their humans to whine and snivel and beg for more meetings and hearings, so they can spout their bigoted ideas in hopes that throwing something (anything) on the wall will stick.

Officials then turn around and hold never-ending hearings and meetings, that allow the "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY's) folks to spout off their selfish ideas.

"I don’t want anyone here who doesn’t live like me."
"I want rules for everyone else that don’t apply to me"

Weary officials succumb by writing ever more complex rules, regulations and requirements. That is what is happening to vacation rentals.

Bill Gates at Microsoft, Steve Jobs at Apple and even Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, credited with inventing the Internet and its communication protocols we use today, must take the blame.


The Declaration of Independence has 1,320 words. Really good words, too, with ideas that have held up now for 240 years and counting. If they had been able to slice, dice, edit and expand with a handy word processor, surely it would have been hundreds of pages long. But it would not be any more accurate and would be far less understandable.

At 4,543 words, the U.S. Constitution is longer, but still shorter than your average vacation rental ordinance. But maybe 4,543 is too much for officials to remember, which may explain why so many have forgotten about all the rights of Americans codified by that 222 years ago.

In the past few years, cities and counties have been on a rampage to strip away rights from real estate owners. Last summer, commissioners in Pacific County, Washington State, home of ever popular Long Beach, decided to cut vacation rentals and take away jobs in one of the poorest counties in the state.

One owner was recently denied a vacation rental permit because his septic pipes are too low in the ground? It's okay to live there. It's okay to rent the home long-term. But it’s a convenient way for the county to stop vacation rentals, by treating the goose different than the gander. That, my friends, is called "bureaucracy".

Fifteen years ago, Chelan County, Washington, did an extensive review of how vacation rentals operate there. Understanding that rentals had become a preferred lodging option for travelers, and being smart enough to not chop off good jobs with bad politics, commissioners voted unanimously to allow vacation rentals.

Philip K. Howard's book "The Death of Common Sense" explains that the citizenry's ability to adhere to laws is inversely proportional to their length. That means, when you make the law, rule, or regulation too long, nobody knows what the law really is.

And yet, well-meaning and poorly educated officials, after being beaten around the ears by the ever-present NIMBY bigots, still persist in drafting ever more complex regulations. (With the help of their fast and furious personal computers.)

Chelan County just passed a new vacation rental ordinance that has 42 pages and 16,000 ugly bigoted words. A mish-mash of non-linear, disjointed and utterly unworkable dictates. The NIMBYs biggest goal? To convert vacation rentals into "Affordable Housing", which only works by ignoring reality.

  • People buy second homes to use them personally.
  • They rent them out when not there, but
  • Owners won’t rent them to full-time tenants,
  • Because that would mean no personal use.

The City of Ocean Shores has prohibited vacation rentals in most zones for 25 years. But no second home owners rent their homes as affordable housing. No one. Nada. Zip. Because (duh) doing so would mean no use by the owner.

So to you NIMBY's and Officials, if you want to convert someone's home into affordable housing, to you we say, "You first".

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0823 – 07/31/21

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. –

Are we lucky - Lodging Newsletter June 30, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 06/30/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Are We Lucky

Are we just lucky?

By now you have all heard that vacation rentals and other specialty lodging boomed after the initial effects of Covid ironed out a bit. In fact, the income to our client owners jumped dramatically last summer and the trend has continued.

The travel industry is calling it "Travel Revenge", meaning consumers feel they were cheated out of enjoyment and are determined to get their revenge by traveling now and traveling more. There has been much conjecture about why demand surged:

Fly-to destinations were off limits, but most of our drive-to destinations were open for guests.

After spending no travel budget, people had money in the bank to blow.

Guests were frightened to stay in hotels and properties with shared amenities.

Visitors were able to social distance in a home with just their families and feel safe.

They did not have to interface with or, even, meet rental staff.

Vacation Rentals have always required greater cleaning and sanitation.

Guests could work from home and study from home, but using your home.

Customers who had never rented a vacation rental (Newbies) did so.

The entire industry has jumped up in size, almost overnight.

No one else cites this next motivation - but I think many people decided to "Live for today, because tomorrow may never come". Society has decided to enjoy life now, to spend time with family now and, yes, to travel now. No one wants to worry so much about the future because - well, who knew (and who knows) the future.

With the stellar numbers our staff have been producing for clients, was it just luck? This months' newsletter answers that question resoundingly.


The quote "Hope is not a plan" is attributed to many people, but our plan it is what enabled us to produce stellar results during Covid, while others plunged. We didn’t just hope to be ready for the unexpected, we had a plan ready to launch for anything and that plan has never waivered:

Hire committed, compassionate, hyperactive people.

Make partners of all responsible staff.

Commit to continuous training, education, growth.

Be leaders in our industry, study more than everyone else.

Pay people well and treat them with respect.

Another quote, "A rising tide lifts all boats" is attributed to President John F. Kennedy. In lodging, that means everyone in our industry should be doing well at this time. Supply has grown, but demand has outstripped supply quicker than ever before.

The feeling of euphoria that every lodging owner feels may be misplaced. They are just going along for the ride. But just securing many bookings does not mean your property has generated maximum profit. If your manager is not using every possible technique to help your property, you are losing out.

The next quote is "All good things must come to an end" is a proverb dating back to Chaucer in about 1374. For lodging that may mean several things:

The jump in lodging could end overnight, but probably not.

The arrival of newbies just means the market is bigger.

And is likely to stay bigger than it was.

But maybe not as big as currently.

Owners can celebrate their recent gains, but sock away some of their windfall profits and, most importantly, use a management company that pushes to adopt every proven technique and tool that comes along to help properties succeed.

We think and plan months and, even, years in advance. That is what made us ready for the unknown (Covid) and which makes us ready to serve our clients well into the future. We are investing more in technology, advertising, staff training, yield management and creative communications. Even the giant out of town managers can’t match our competence and speed.

Is your manager doing all of those things? Are they studying every possible idea that will keep your property on top? Do they live and breathe this industry, like we do? Or are they just taking a cut of rents without investing it back into themselves to help you do better.

John Wooden is the winningest basketball coach in college history. Some say, the best coach of any sport in any time. He has been my hero for as long as I can remember and he said. "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

That is what we did and will continue to do. Come on Covid, take your best shot. We double dare you.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0822 – 06/30/21

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. –

Maintenance v Repairs - Lodging Newsletter May 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 05/31/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Maintenance V Repairs

The vacation rental industry is really a fun business to be in. It really is.

Of course, it is also a lot of work. A lotta lotta work. First, we need desirable vacation homes to rent out. They come in all sizes and shapes. There is a market for most any kind of property.

Rustic cabin in the woods? Yes, people love to get away.

Modern condo in the city? Yes, a place to center urban sightseeing.

Chalets in the mountains? Yes, where ski bums lay their sleepy heads each night.

Bungalows by the sea? Yes, so visitors can get to the beach easily.

A tiny home just about anywhere? Yes, but who would have predicted that?

Since our first operation opened in 1964, bit by bit, more and more of the public suddenly realize the advantages of staying in a nice multi-room place, complete with kitchen, bedrooms, bath and living areas. And, it's even better if the home has a great location, TV and internet. Or better still if there is a pool, a hot tub or other amenities.

But even though it’s a fun industry, and even though 99% of our job leaves smiles on the faces of guests and owners alike, the remaining 1% of our job is dealing with an unavoidable conclusion.

Properties need maintenance unavoidably.

No matter how careful guests are, damages happen.

So this month, your handy newsletter discusses the where, why, how to deal with maintenance and how it differs from repairs.


There is good news. The incidence of guest damages at vacation rentals is very low. But the need for maintenance (not related to guest use) is persistent and necessary.

Maintenance - In our personal homes it is very easy to forget, or maybe not notice, water heaters fail, TV's lose life, and sofas become saggy, appliances quit, and blinds don't last forever. Neither do carpets. Linen's become see-through. Towels become scratchy. Plumbing needs plumbing. Electrical circuit breakers need replacement. It is a long list.

So here is a list of things owner should expect to replace, update or repair regularly:

Linens - Keep in good condition to avoid negative guest reviews.

Towels- Last longer than you might think, but not forever.

Blinds & Drapes - Keep them fixed. Keep them clean.

Water Heaters - They give no warning when they fail. But are easy and cheap to replace.

HVAC - Change the filters. Get regular inspections.

Electrical Panel - If your house is older than you are, expect breakers to break.

Plumbing - Clean your faucet heads to learn why they are running slow. Cheap fix.

Windows - Cracks in glass can appear when weather fluctuates significantly.

Appliances - No stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher or anything else lasts forever.

Electronics - TV's radios, phones and internet modems don't last forever, either.

Screens - Easy to replace and they keep your house clean, too.

Toilets - Why can't they make a handle that doesn't wear out every few years?

Keeping every little thing working well is simply essential. Do it yourself or have your manager take care of every little thing. But do take care of it. Inexpensive preventative maintenance can avoid the cost of expensive booking cancellations and negative online reviews.

Damages - It truly is good news, that guests are mostly careful and considerate and willful damages are very few. No matter the reason, guests are responsible for any damages they cause. Years ago managers charged guests a refundable "Damage Deposit", much like that used when a tenant leases a house or apartment long term.

Unfortunately, now days, every guest pays by credit or debit card. In recent years, Visa and MasterCard's policies have often refused to accept damage charges to a credit card, even if the cost is taken from a pre-paid damage deposit.

For that reason, professional managers switched to charging guests a smaller non-refundable fee for "Accidental Damage Protection." That method is then used to pay for damages up to a pre-determined amount, actually larger than what damage deposits previously covered.

Some costs may not be covered and the manager will pursue collection from the guest. Some advertising websites offer coverage, although that has proven to be unpredictable.

Responsibility - It is tempting to blame guests for anything that goes wrong while they are staying. But the difference between maintenance and damages must be determined before doing so. Guests are not responsible for inoperable appliances, faulty locks, or aging linens. But otherwise, if they break it, they need to pay for it.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0820 – 05/31/21

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. –

Russian Roulette - Lodging Newsletter April 30, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 04/30/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Russian Roulette

It was in the national news a few weeks back, maybe you read about it.

The deck of a home, on the Malibu coastline of California, overloaded with people, collapsed and sent a dozen or more occupants, crashing onto the rocks below. Emergency crews rushed to the scene, people were sent to the hospital, police reports were taken, and the media warned of overloading decks. But that was not the entire story.

Later reports revealed that the owner had rented the home for the weekend for a maximum of 6 people. When neighbors complained of too many people, the owner, living far away, telephoned the guests, "Pleading with them to leave."

For over 3 hours, she recorded the phone calls, eventually calling the police, but too late. A dozen people were hurt, some severely. She is lucky no one died, but there will undoubtedly be a lawsuit.

It seems the owner fell victim to the trap laid by AirBnB, VRBO and other websites, promising how easy managing your own home is. These websites promise owners can "Get Rich Quick" by simply listing online, finding a cheap housekeeper, and raking in the money.

The websites hide that the average home requires 500 hours a year of owner time, demands 24/7/365 monitoring, late night phone calls, and constant worries about experiences like the deck owner's.

When dealing with the public, no one can guarantee that every customer will behave. Troublesome customers are rare, but smart managers know how to train guests, before they arrive, on how to follow rules. Professional managers also know how to control guests during occupancy. Should a guest violate the rules, they know how to legally get rid of them in minutes. And the right manager will produce more income than they cost.

Amateur owners reflect poorly on the vacation rental industry, like the deck house owner who was trying to "beat a system" by failing to hire a reliable manager. These amateur owners put their homes and guests at greater risk.

This month's newsletter explains how owners can make maximum income with minimum fuss. Flip the page to read all about it.


In recent years, cities, counties and even home owner associations, have ramped up to regulate or prohibit vacation rentals, and all for a mathematically insignificant number of issues that nosey neighbors try to push on officials.

Bad Medicine: Governments hold hearings, listen to days of testimony, and dream up bandaid rules that seldom quiet critics, while stripping away rights that American property owners hold dear. Officials fail to grasp that, when issues do arise, they are almost exclusively caused by out-of-town, rent-by-owners who don't have the experience, skills, tools or proximity to responsibly manage their homes.

Hiring a kid down the street or a freelance housekeeper to "Keep an eye on the place" fails, because they lack management skills. They disappear when difficult work arises, like managing guest behavior.

Know the Ropes: Professional managers control the marketing and booking process, enabling them to qualify guests, put rules in writing, require signed contracts, and setup homes properly to educate and warn guests how to behave. This eliminates problems before they start.

The steps of establishing legally binding listings, contracts, rules and other documents are almost always skipped by rent-by-owners. Those same owners never even think about it and never commit to providing services 24/7/365, but that is the foundation of lodging management.

Full Service or A-La-Carte: The cost of hiring a manager will be easily offset by the additional income the manager will produce by securing higher occupancy and higher rates.

Companies like ours provide services a-la-carte and full service. Owners can pick and choose, so long as they setup their property to be safe and secure. Services are not free, but all pay off for owners.

Managers are not all created equal. A client switched to us recently because, when he called his current management company to report too many people at his home, the big corporate out-of-town management firm said, "Hey what do you expect me to do about it?"

"I know no one can guarantee every guest will behave," said the client, "but I expect management firms to know what they can do, how to do it, and then to do it."

Do-It-Yourself: The dream of doing things yourself runs deep. Those who would never do their own tax returns, never repair their own cars, or never fix their own plumbing, will try to manage one of their most expensive assets - their vacation home - even though they have absolutely no experience.

It is difficult to find a doctor, attorney, accountant who would consider managing their own rental home. They have done the math and find that hiring a professional manager is much cheaper than distracting from their own billable time. With us they make maximum income with minimum fuss.

Self-managing fills a need in some people to believe (incorrectly) that they are in absolute control, to be their own boss, and to own their own business. But with lack of training, sufficient staff members, and quick access to the property, do-it-yourself management is Russian Roulette. Just ask the owner of the Malibu deck home.

So if your home needs higher income, attentive management, and lower risk, call us today.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0813 – 04/30/21

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. –

Be Picky - Lodging Newsletter March 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 03/31/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Be Picky

Vacation rentals have been around forever. Did you know that many delegates to the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787 rented private homes during the meetings? Of course, they weren't called "Vacation Rentals", but they do mostly fit today's definition.

Why would the founding fathers prefer staying in private accommodations instead of a hotel? Believe it or not, there were no such things then as we know them today. But there were inns that had rooms and usually served food, too.

Maybe the delegates liked the idea of coming and going without being seen? Without disturbing anyone. Or maybe they liked the privacy while debating what were certainly earth-shaking questions.

Our first office open in 1964 and the world of vacation rentals has changed greatly, frequently and, sometimes, unexpectedly. The events of 9/11, the 2008 real estate depression, and now this dang thang called COVID have wrenched the industry, forcing managers to adjust and adapt. Not all have.

Although most of us were not around, or at least were not working (!), we know that past vacation rental management customer service pretty much included "Here's the keys, good luck." But those days are long gone.

Today, vacation rental professionals must provide 24/7/365 service, instant guest assistance, and careful property management. The internet changed the world and, very greatly, the world of vacation rentals.

Now guests can find, compare, quote, and rent homes all over the world. Photos, 3D tours, floor plans, online booking and reviews enable for careful shopping. Guests demand all of that and owners, who want to make maximum income with minimum fuss, deserve that.

But some property owners fail to get all they deserve because they choose managers for one reason instead of insisting on them all. Today's newsletter is a short-list of questions to ask possible managers. Don't settle for less.


Local vacation rental managers, often fail to embrace every method available to serve property owner clients. Mammoth out-of-town managers focus on one aspect and ignore others. Each type of manager will promote one aspect of renting or another.

On the other hand, our goal is to provide every service every home, every owner and every guest deserves. That is a big order and no one is perfect, but as the old cliché goes, "It you ain't trying, you ain't doing."

Some questions to ask of a prospective vacation rental manager are obvious: How long have you been in business? What education do you have? What are your frees.? But indirect questions will reveal whether the manager can deliver what they say - or not.

PROFITABLE - Is your business profitable? (If not, they won't invest in technology and staffing.) We are and have remained so during ups and downs, while others borrowed millions and fired staff to stay in business.

TENURE - How many years have staff leaders been doing rentals? (Nothing trains managers like years in the field.) Partners here have invested decades studying and advancing their craft. We have seen everything and figured how to handle it all. No surprises for property owners.

YIELD - Do they employ Dynamic Rates? (If not, you get lower rates and, surprisingly, fewer bookings - all of which take money out of your pocket.)

ADVERTISING - Where will the property be advertised? (If they say just a few websites like AirBnB and VRBO, your property will get less visibility, fewer inquiries and fewer bookings.) We post listings on hundreds of websites, including every major media you can name.

HOURS: Are they open every day of the year and with instant 24/7/365 support? (If not, one slipped gear results in cancelled bookings, refunds and losses for owners.) We provide instant service because guests, owners and homes deserve it.

TECHNOLOGY: Which software do they use? (The wrong tech slows bookings and prohibits pricing strategy, taking money away from managing your home.). We created all our own software to stay 3 steps ahead of the competition.

PERFECT: Does they provide perfect management in all cases? (This is a trick question.) Properties are like snowflakes - no two are alike. No one can guarantee your home will be hassle free, but we can promise to provide maximum income with minimum fuss to you. It is our job to do the work and your job to profit.

- - -

SCORE CARD: It is our goal to provide all the services and programs of those giant vacation rentals, but with all the benefits of being locally owned and operated. We call it locally managed, globally advertised and technically superior. (Any manager without all of those is losing money for clients.)

If you would like to compare our services to other managers, please ask for our "How to Score Vacation Rental Managers". A long worksheet that will show how much we do for you and how little the other guys do. The form is free.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0812 – 03/31/21

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. –

Why Tip? - Lodging Newsletter February 28, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 02/28/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

A new vacation rental landlord was appalled to find that the management firm put "Housekeeper Tip Envelopes" into homes. She incorrectly concluded that the housekeepers were not paid sufficiently.

Seems she has no idea how to be in the hospitality industry. Certainly housekeepers appreciate tips, but tips are not really there for the money.

  • Tips show appreciation.
  • Tips show recognition of the hard work.
  • Tips show respect for undesirable work.
  • Tips are the price you pay to avoid the job.
  • Tips show you are a kind person.

Maybe if she scrubbed floors, unclogged toilets, and pushed a vacuum until her hands grew callouses, and did it for years on end, just maybe she would begin to feel what it's like to be disrespected.

During the Covid crisis, it has been reported that customers are tipping restaurant servers, delivery drivers, and other service people, less than ever before. Of course, some consumers have less money available to leave tips, but for everyone else - shame on us.

Millions have lost jobs. Some have taken positions at lower wages. Some have been forced into part-time work. So now is the time to show more respect for people, not less.

Without much forethought our family has been trying to tip higher than usual nowadays. But this ungrateful client gave us a brand new idea. Not only is it time to tip everyone well, maybe it's time to start a movement - it's time to double tip everyone.

Tonight we stopped for fast-food take-out and tipped $20 on a $25 order, plus a big heartfelt THANK YOU to people willing to work in a steamy hot restaurant kitchen so we could have an easy meal.

The wonderful young clerk said, "Oh, that’s too much." To which we had to say, "Oh no, that’s just right." And the best part of tipping double is that you will get more out of it than the recipient. Generosity always benefits the giver.


Do we brag too much in these newsletter? Or maybe we promote too little, because it is our duty to help clients make a good decision when choosing to become vacation rental landlords.

There are signficant differences in how to run a vacation rental, how to hire a thoroughly competent managers, how to deal with guests, what to think about all the advertising websites and their usurious fees. And even bigger issues confront someone cavalierly deciding to become a "Do It Yourself" owner.

Why would anyone want to DIY vacation rental management? There are those who need a hobby. Some feel it would be a joy to "talk" with guests. Some love the idea of sharing a home they are so proud of.

Those reasons are fine, of course, but the hidden factor in lodging managemement is that guests don't care about what owners want. It's not about the owner, it's about the guest.

Any owner can feel some success because, with today's online websites, most anyone, for most any kind of property can secure some bookings. But getting some bookings and getting all bookings at the highest possible rates is just not possible for most owners.

As the old saying goes, "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then."

So the question is how much are owners losing by going Do it Yourself?

Without the kind of completely comprehensive marketing, advertising, distribution, cross selling, hospitality grade cleaning, quick maintenance, and reservation experts like ours, most owners are earning half what they should be earning. And working twice as hard.

A study revealed that owners spend an average of 9.2 hours per week dealing with rental issues. And some of those are in the middle of the night.

Self managing may give owners a sense of control, but unfortunately many such owners are overly selfish and fail at the good hospitality test. Some think they are "cutting out the middle man" (manager's fee), but most are actually cutting their income and increasing their work greatly.

By speaking with hundreds of guests on the phone each week, we hear them scream complaints about dealing with owners directly. They talk about owners who are non-responsive, not clean enough, rude and demanding. Not everyone is cut out to be in the hospitality industry.

If you don’t love people, even when they are difficult, you can't succeed fully in this business.

During Covid we have received calls from DIY owners everyday whose housekeepers failed to show up to clean. These owners lived hundreds or thousands of miles from their rental homes. They thought all they needed was someone to come over immediately to clean their homes,

They begged, "Hey can you help me out just this one time?"

We helped where we could, but our time and allegiance must be to home owners who value the stabilty, reliablity and quality of what we do and realize the value of having a trusted management firm ready to handle every little thing.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0811 – 02/28/21

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. –

Not What It Seems - Lodging Newsletter January 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 01/31/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Not What It Seems

If you are one of our lovely and gratefully appreciated property owner clients, you may not need to read this letter. You have hired us so you can sit back, make maximum income and let us handle all the details, interruptions, unexpected events and, even, political disruptions. Geez.

But, if you are not a client or if you just want to know what is going on in the vacation rental industry, then this month we rant on a bit about Online Travel Agents (OTAs), how we work to maximize their effectiveness and minimize their negatives.

For example, you may be aware that the formerly "couch surfing" website AirBnB, now focused greatly on vacation rental advertising, continues to dominate the gossip. They are just one of the hundreds of websites on which we list lodging properties and from which we get a steady stream of guest bookings.

In December, AirBnB "went public", offering to sell its stock on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. It was baffling. How does an investor value a company that had 2.25 billion dollars in revenue and a negative profit of 697 million dollars! Wow.

We want to let our clients know we have never operated like that. Service businesses - like vacation rental and lodging management - are not wildly profitable. We don't bleed money. And we are not counting on a big stock market score to survive.

Unlike AirBnB, we don't grow for the sake of becoming world famous. Maybe it's old fashioned, but our goal is to take care of owners, guests and staff members. Your property's future is safe and secure with us.


All About Channels - Accepting bookings from AirBnB, VRBO,, Expedia and many others (the industry calls them Online Travel Agents "OTAs" or "Channels") is expensive. Most charge the property and the guest a commission. So, long ago we adapted and created software that marks ups rates so that guests pay those.

Expensive - Some five years ago, we were hired to launch rentals at a new resort, and it was a huge success. Thousands of nights were booked at a property still under construction. Each time a guest checked-in at the front desk, who had booked through an OTA, they were told or given a form that explained that they paid 15 to 20% too much by booking through a channel.

Repeat Visitors - A funny thing happened the following year. Of all the OTA guests who returned, 75% booked through an OTA again and paid too much. Foolish yes, but those customers fell for the OTA hype and that just reveals the power of marketing.

Complications - Channels increase costs in other ways. Their guests are not self sufficient - such as they may not answer phone calls, don't read driving directions, can't turn on TV's and generally expect instant service, even at 3 am. That may be reasonable, if the "host" of the couch you are surfing is sleeping in the room next door, but more difficult when homes can be spread out many miles from staff.

Book Direct- For years, there has been a campaign asking managers to avoid advertising on channels, or at least to decrease the portion of business they accept from them. Unfortunately, that is just foolish.

Branding - OTA's have convinced people that they have all available properties in their catalogue (so to speak), that they have the lower rate (which is clearly untrue), and that they get special perks like Points (that can be used for more travel - after you earn a few billion of them).

Performance - Channels do offer one compelling advantage, By demanding the hated percentage, at least they only get paid when they send us rental income. In decades past, conventional media, such as newspapers, radio and TV, took the ad dollars without so much as a wink of a guarantee.

Newbies - It must be admitted that OTA's have another advantage. They can bring in new guests who have never rented a vacation rental home before. This expands the market for everyone. The steady growth of the industry over the past two decades is a direct result of travelers discovering the joys of renting a private home.

Conversion - So, it becomes our job to convert those channel guests into direct booking guests. It's better for them, better for properties, better for owners and, certainly, better for us to. We do that with printed "Table Tents" in the homes, including Book-Direct reminders on all emails, and even by reminding guests in phone conversations.

We won't stop the tsunami of OTA growth, but we can improve the situation for every home we serve.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0810 – 01/31/21

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. –

2020 Hindsight of 2020 - Lodging Newsletter December 31, 2020

By Wm, May
Published: 12/31/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Do It Yourself Rentals, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals, Venture Capital, Yield Management Comments: 0

2020 Hindsight

Did you think 2020 would never end? Did it feel like it would last more than the usual 12 months? Or was it so wonderful for you, that you really wanted to extend the year longer?

Nah, let's admit surely no one can feel that way. But we can all agree that 2021 will be the first year in history that looking back will truly allow for 2020 hindsight.

For two decades, everything in Vacation Rentals and specialty lodging has grown and changed constantly and at an ever-increasing pace. Then Covid sped up changes even faster. Even owner income went up almost everywhere.

I am proud as punch to give credit to all our wonderful team members who rose to the occasion last year and are charging forward in this one. There are more people here than meet the eye.

Many work onsite cleaning and maintaining houses, providing guest and owner services. The onsite management partners and others all outpaced the competition.

Behind the scenes, accountants, software engineers, the reservation team, graphic artists and photographers, client representatives and even our board members - every person has pulled double duty this year. So, hugs and kisses.

And now, attached are our predictions for the new year.


They say that predictions are a fool's errand. But, for our lodging industry at least, we are going to foolishly take a stab at what to expect.

Vacation Rentals - We predict that the industry, which has grown steadily for decades, will continue to generate healthy returns for second home owners, especially for those who use our services. Nothing has slowed it down, including 9-11, the 2008 recession and not even Covid.

Covid - We predict that even more families will discover that vacation rentals offer a great respite to work-at-home, study-at-home and be-together-at-home. They can socially distance at the beach, in the mountains, at the lake, and on the ski slopes.

Drive To - We predict that even more guests will realize they can easily to drive to our locations, without jumping on a tiny narrow aluminum tube - also called an airplane. This year, folks may start flying more, but drive-to destinations will continue to prosper.

Rent By Owner - We predict that even more do-it-yourself rental owners will hire us when their amateur cleaners mess up or fail to show up, and when piddling maintenance needs require long drives, or when they realize they are making half as much money at twice as much work compared to what we can do for them.

Complexes - We predict that Condo Associations, Inns and Resorts will join us as they see how our marketing and sales services can make running their properties easier and more profitable.

Dynamic Rates - We predict that the science of Yield Management will continue to become so intricate that property owners will continue flock us, as they realize how much their technology-challenged managers are losing for them.

Venture Capital - We predict that investors in those over-leveraged, corporate vacation rental management companies will stop dumping money into their unprofitable business. Wise property owners will jump ship and into our program for stability and income.

Corporate Downfall - We predict that the corporate, out-of-town vacation rental companies will stop their come-on practice of promising profits to owners that they have failed to deliver.

Regulations - We predict that xenophobic governments officials, who were determined to kill the Golden Goose of tourism, will admit that vacation rentals are the cleanest, safest, quietest industry their cities and counties could ever hope for and can offset the devastating effects that Covid has wrought.

Partnerships - We predict that only service companies made up of partners, like ours, will continue to the kind of commitment to quality that every home needs and deserves

Rock Stars - We predict that Penny, Jackie, Salman, Trina, Evelyn, Brandon, Ozair, Kate, Barbara, Kylee, Fahim, Samael, Stephen, Jerry, Hisham, Simon, Jan, Chris, Nichole, Nichole and Nichol and all our team members will continue the commitment, dedication and expertise that make us so proud.

Invitation - We predict that property owners, who want maximum income with minimum fuss, will jump ship and join us soon. 2020 hindsight shows them that now is the time.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0807 – 12/31/20

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. –

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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.